Celebrate the Legacy of the Old West with a Tribute to the Frontier Days of Cowboys & Indians
The National Cowboy Hall of Fame Tribute Rifle
From the noble and proud heritage of the American Indian to the earliest scouts and explorers…from the cowboys on the open range to the famed lawmen and outlaws of the Old West…and to the hardy settlers who risked danger and peril traveling across unknown territory, Americans continue to be intrigued by the legend and lore of the frontier days of the Old West.
The era we picture as the Wild West lasted a relatively short period of time, but the impact of the events during this era would forever influence and alter American history. Starting after the end of the Civil War, the migration westward grew steadily through the 1870’s and 1880’s. Many of the romantic and adventurous images that form our view of the Wild West have been influenced by the legends and lore of the Old West.
For many of us, our image of life in the Wild West is built on the books, photos, and documentaries on the era, plus the romanticized image portrayed in many of the silver screen features. No image of the West would be complete without the cattle and cowboys we have come to love and admire as symbols of the American West. The rough-and-ready cattle towns of the West would inspire a folklore all their own, a uniquely American saga with larger-than-life heroes and villains that we all recognize today – names like Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, Billy the Kid, Jesse James, the Dalton Gang, and Buffalo Bill Cody. Even people who have never visited America are fascinated by our Old West heritage. The era of the Old West was captured by artists like Frederic Remington, Charles Russell, and James Earle Fraser, and today, their masterpieces forever remind us of the cowboys, Indians, and pioneers who lived on the Wild West frontier in the late 1800’s.
Honoring a Proud Tradition
Magnificently capturing this fascinating era in American history is the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center in Oklahoma City. The museum, encompassing more than 200,000 square feet, houses one of America’s most comprehensive collections of art and artifacts from the Old West. Among the museum’s many valuable treasures are frontier firearms carried by cowboys, pioneers, and Indians who roamed the Western Plains. For many in the West, in addition to a horse and saddle, indispensable equipment included a rifle for hunting and protection.
The National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center was founded in 1965 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. To honor all of the men and women of the West, the museum has many exhibits, includingProsperity Junction, a 14,000 square foot recreation of a turn-of-the-century western town, the American Cowboy Gallery, the recently opened Joe Grandee Museum of the Frontier West Gallery, and in the Fall of 2000, the Native American Gallery will be opened to the public.
To honor the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and the western frontier days of the late 1800’s, we at America Remembers set ourselves to the task of finding the most appropriate firearm for a Tribute to the cowboys and Indians who roamed the wide open spaces of the West. It had to be in keeping with not only the historical West, but also with more recent times, in recognition that the Western tradition still lives on.
Built for the Saddle
For years, historians, firearms enthusiasts, and collectors have recognized the importance of firearms in the Old West. In fact, you will often see references to the “Guns that won the West.” It’s generally agreed that Winchester rifles and Colt Single Action Army Pistols are the classic “Guns that won the West.” The reputation of these firearms is legendary, and they are a favorite of collectors around the world.
For this Tribute, we agreed that a Winchester rifle would be the most appropriate model for our Tribute. This was a firearm that put meat in the pot, protected the cattle herds against predators, and was used for protection by the cowboys, settlers, and Indians alike on the Western frontier.
For over a century, the quintessential lever action rifle for many cowboys, collectors, and sportsmen, has been the Winchester Model 94. Based on a classic design by the peerless firearms innovator John M. Browning, the Model 94 was in fact the first lever action repeater to be designed specifically for cartridges loaded with the then-revolutionary smokeless powder. It was a cowboy’s dream. . .sleek, compact, and rugged, perfectly adapted to a saddle scabbard. The .30-30 cartridge for which it was chambered was powerful enough for the cowboy’s purposes and it was also a favorite for many state and local law enforcement agencies. The numbers alone – more than six million sold from 1894 to today – are testimony to the wide acceptance of this classic lever action.
Artistry Sculpted in Steel
To honor the legacy of the Old West, we have spared no effort to create a magnificent work of firearms artistry. The National Cowboy Hall of Fame Tribute is a work of art in its own right and a museum-quality masterpiece. Craftsmen specifically commissioned by America Remembers for this Tribute meticulously polish the receiver and trim to prepare it for the brilliant 24-karat gold decorated artwork. Through the skillful application of both traditional craftsmanship and modern technology, the receiver and walnut stocks are beautifully embellished with representations of some of the fabulous Western artwork on display at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame.
A Superbly Crafted Legacy
America Remembers is especially proud to offer this handsome Tribute, which captures the romance and legacy of the Western frontier. The left side of the receiver is decorated in 24-karat gold with a depiction of the world famous statue entitled The End of the Trail by James Earle Fraser, and accented by a rich blackened background, elaborate scrollwork, and the legend “National Cowboy Hall of Fame – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.” Now proudly displayed at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, this 18-foot statue of a lone Indian warrior on his weary horse is one of the most recognized and poignant symbols of the American West, paying sincere homage to a great and valiant people and their exemplary courage and endurance.
On the right side of the receiver is a recreation of one of the most famous and challenging bronze sculptures by the renowned western artist Frederic Remington, the rip-roaring Coming Through the Rye. This statue is so popular with collectors that an original casting sold for more than $4 million in 1989, a testament to the magnificence of this particular sculpture. In the statue, you can imagine four exuberant cowboys celebrating on payday after a hard and dusty trail drive, riding at a full gallop and firing their sixguns in the air. We have built a lasting and highly romantic body of legend around the American cowboy, a hardy creature of the open range, that harsh and unforgiving land that tests a man’s survival skills. The challenge of meeting the range on its own uncompromising terms produced a special breed of survivors, these hardworking cowboys who, from their earliest beginnings, managed to survive hardship, adversity, and isolation. Remington’s statue is a classic celebration of the cowboy life, payday jollity and good times in general.
To complement the distinctive metal artistry on the receiver, the walnut buttstock and forearm are polished with a high gloss finish. On both sides of the buttstock’s straight grip, our artisans laser-carve a recreation of Frederic Remington’s striking bronze, The Mountain Man, surrounded by exquisitely detailed floral displays. It was the mountain man who trailblazed the paths through the difficult terrain and made it possible for the settlers to migrate westward. These explorers were the first to see and report on many of the most spectacular sights of the West.
The buttstock also features the museum’s official logo, which includes the monumental statue of Buffalo Bill Cody bordered by the inscription “National Cowboy Hall of Fame.” If you’ve toured the museum, you’ll certainly remember this inspiring statue of Buffalo Bill, which is the focal point of the gardens behind the museum. The outdoor garden and sculptures provide breathtaking views of the surrounding area, and the tranquil setting is the perfect spot to relax and reflect on the special era we romantically think of as the Wild West. Both sides of the forearm also feature a silhouette of the Buffalo Bill statue, accompanied by the official legend “National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center” with scrollwork bordered by a decorative lariat. You’ll find that both the buttstock and forearm are protected by a brilliant hard gloss surface, a finish associated with many of the finest custom-crafted firearms.
As you review the enclosed brochure, you’ll notice the attention to detail throughout the Tribute. There is an unmistakable feeling of authenticity to the images, and in their richness, the frontier era comes alive once more. Review the Tribute and you will notice that the barrel bands, hammer, trigger, lever, sight, and magazine end cap are polished and then gold plated to add a final touch of elegance to the Tribute. The individual edition number, from 001-300, is permanently etched on the rifle. I think you’ll find that the National Cowboy Hall of Fame Tribute Rifle is a work of art in its own right and a museum-quality masterpiece that will be a focal point in any home or office.