cody firearms museum

Cody Firearms Museum

Tom Tobin was a mountain man and bounty hunter in the late 1800s in Southern Colorado. He is most known for killing the Espinosa outlaws. The Espinosas were tormenting the San Luis Valley in Colorado by allegedly killing more than 30 people. The brothers were killing these men as retaliation for relatives killed during the Mexican-American War. Ashley Hlebinsky, the curator of the Cody Firearms Museum, said the U.S. Army asked Tobin to capture the Espinosa brothers.

James Doolittle was a general during World War II. He became famous for his raid on Tokyo in 1942 just after Pearl Harbor was bombed. Danny Michael, the assistant curator of the Cody Firearms Museum, said the U.S. wanted to retaliate so Doolittle led an air raid. A lot of his crew was captured or killed, but Doolittle made it back alive. 

Cody Firearms Museum

The Cody Firearms Museum has a machine rifle gun from the early part of the last century that was ahead of its time in looks and functionality. 


Cody Firearms Museum

The Cody Firearms Museum has a pretty unique Colt Texas Paterson. The revolver is a repeating firearm with a revolving cylinder with multiple chambers. 

Kamila Kudelska

On Saturday July 6, the newly renovated Cody Firearms Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West will reopen its doors to the public. It's long been home to one of the largest firearm collections in the world. The museum is trying to move away from just a display of guns to telling a story of the role of firearms in American culture.

Images courtesy the Cody Firearms Museum

The Thompson Submachine Guns was invented in the early 1900s and it was originally meant for the battle field. But it became notorious as the gangster gun because it has been used in some gangster crimes. One of the most well-known is the 1929 Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre.


The McCracken Research Library, Buffalo Bill Center of the West

If you are a Wild West film fan, then you've probably seen Winchester '73, True Grit and High Noon. Besides being films about the West, all of these films also feature a Winchester Model 1873 rifle. The carbine has widely been credited as being the gun that won the West. Danny Michael, the assistant curator at the Cody Firearms Museum, said the history might be a little iffy on whether the rifle really won the West, but it still may have had an impact.

Wikipedia.

During World War II, the U.S. Army was one of the first armies to adopt a semi-automatic rifle as its standard infantry arm. This was a big deal because during the war, most countries were still fighting with bolt action rifles, which are slower and don't have quite as much fire power.  


Gift of Olin Corporation, Winchester Arms Collection


The Cody Firearms Museum is home to over 7,000 firearms but there’s one that is particularly popular with the public. That gun is a percussion trap gun. Ashley Hlebinsky, the curator of the museum, said it's nickname is the watermelon patch gun.

Courtesy of Cody Firearms Museum

Throughout history, it was common for royalty to present another noblemen or royalty with a firearm. The gift usually symbolized peace between countries or two parties.

Courtesy of Discovery Channel

A new Discovery Channel show features one of Wyoming’s own. Ashley Hlebinsky is the curator of the Cody Firearms Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and is now a judge on “Master of Arms” as well.

Image from the Cody Firearms Museum, Museum Purchase

  


In firearms history, there are many parallels between firearm production and automobile production. So Ashley Hlebinsky, the curator of the Cody Firearms Museum, was excited to find one lever action shotgun that held significance to two tycoons in the automobile industry.

Image Courtesy the Cody Firearms Museum, Gift of Olin Corporation, Winchester Arms Collection

The wheellock rifle was invented in the 1500s. These were incredibly popular guns in England during the 1600s so there are many that have survived until modern times.

The M1 Carbine is a short, lightweight rifle that was introduced during World War II and then used throughout most of the rest of the 20th century. The army developed the rifle as an alternative to their big and heavy M1 Garand rifle, which was close to nine or ten pounds.

Courtesy of the Cody Firearms Museum

The earliest known reference to the Winchester Arms Collection is a letter from Oliver Winchester to R.S. Lawrence in 1871. Oliver Winchester asked to have the Jennings rifle for his collection because it was a link to the development of the Winchester lever action.