THIS ISSUE IS CLOSED.
Reuniting Two Sharpshooting Legends of the American West
“A love of the gun was just born in me.” – ANNIE OAKLEY
In 1887, Buffalo Bill Cody and his Wild West show arrived in London to entertain Queen Victoria and millions of her loyal subjects. Cody’s massive traveling extravaganza was a combination of circus sideshow and rodeo roundup. It was a sprawling depiction of American frontier life that included live horses, elk, and buffalo as well as Native American warriors and Texas cowboys, but it was the small young lady from Ohio who stole the show.
Annie Oakley bounds into the arena, blowing kisses. She selects a weapon from her small arsenal of rifles and shotguns and opens the lid on a leather box so that the sunlight glistens off her gold-finished revolvers. The second she pulls the trigger, the audience is amazed. Her bullets blow out candles and split playing cards in half. She shoots backwards with a mirror, with both hands or while riding a bicycle. She rarely misses which is how she gets her nickname, “Little Sure Shot.”
It’s hard to imagine two people who loom larger in the history of the Old West than Buffalo Bill Cody and Annie Oakley. Together, they brought the love of the American West to life for legions of Old West fans. America Remembers is proud to honor these two Western icons with the Buffalo Bill Cody and Annie Oakley Tribute Revolver. The Tribute is issued on a classic Wild West era revolver – the legendary top-break revolver.
The Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley Tribute is a working top-break revolver, No. 3 2nd Model revolver, in caliber .44-40. Craftsmen commissioned specifically for this project by America Remembers polish and decorate each working revolver in sparkling 24-karat gold, and the unfluted cylinder features classic images of Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley with a nickel background. In magnificent detail, this Tribute captures the excitement and thrill of the Wild West extravaganzas that made Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley famous around the world. This Tribute is available exclusively from America Remembers, with an edition that is strictly limited to only 500 Tribute revolvers. The Tribute features handsome walnut grips and the frame and barrel features scrollwork inspired by a firearm owned by Annie Oakley.
A Western Classic: ‑ The Top-Break Revolver
For this historic edition, we selected a top-break revolver produced by the master craftsmen of A. Uberti. This revolver is based on the original Schofield designed by Major George Schofield with Smith & Wesson. Around 1870, Major George W. Schofield of the 10th Cavalry wrote to Smith & Wesson requesting one of their Model No. 3 revolvers, in hopes it would prove useful in combat. The Major made his own modifications to meet the Cavalry’s needs and in 1875, S&W incorporated his refinements into a design they named after him. As a “top-break” revolver, the Schofield Model could be loaded quicker than other sidearms of the day and could be operated one-handed.
A common sight in the holsters of scouts, cowboys and Cavalrymen, top-break revolvers are true Western classics. Annie Oakley had many firearms in her collection, including a variation of the Smith and Wesson Model 3 revolver with engraved scrollwork. Like Annie’s revolver, this Tribute features an overall 24-karat gold decorated finish.
Annie Oakley: An American Original
Phoebe Ann Moses was born in a rural cabin in the woods of Ohio. Poverty forced her to choose work over school. For the tough young country girl, work meant hunting and trapping. It turned out she was quite a shooter, as Annie could outshoot most of the experienced hunters in the field, manly outdoorsmen who had no idea what to make of the little girl with the big gun.
On Thanksgiving Day, 1875, Frank Butler came through Cincinnati with his sharpshooting act. The hotel owner (who knew of Annie’s expertise with firearms) bet the Irish marksman $100 that a local shooting sensation could beat him. Never one to turn down easy cash, Butler took the bet. No doubt he was shocked to meet his 5-foot tall, 15-year-old female competitor. It’s reported the pair traded shots and both fired true for 24 consecutive shots. On the 25th, Butler missed. The Irishman lost the bet, but won himself a wife. A relationship between Annie and Frank bloomed. She toured with his sharpshooting show first as his assistant, then his partner, and eventually as the main attraction. It was clear to Frank that his wife’s talents were special. She adopted the stage name Annie Oakley and won over legions of fans on the circus and variety show circuit, but the sharpshooting couple yearned for something more.
The classic image of Annie Oakley captures the sophisticated legend of the Old West. The image features Annie elegantly attired for a day of shooting holding a rifle in her arm. It’s said that Annie’s modest choice of dress was in response to the loose and revealing style of costume that was common on the variety circuit. Annie was determined to set herself as a proper Victorian-era lady in manner and dress. It became her trademark and yet another sign of her fierce, individual spirit.
Buffalo Bill: Ringleader of the American Frontier
Born in 1846 in Iowa, young William Cody seem destined for adventure. Like Annie, Cody took a job at a young age to support his family. At eleven, he rode along as a messenger boy for a wagon train. After that, he never did stay still for long. Years later, he caught gold fever and headed west to chase his fortune. He didn’t strike it rich, but Cody found his passion on the open plains. In his life, Cody is reported to have tried his hand at many jobs. He was a rider for the Pony Express. He enlisted as a U.S. Army scout, and he had a knack for hunting buffalo to feed the crews building the Kansas Pacific railroad (a skill that also earned him his famous nickname).
But somewhere deep inside the hunter and soldier beat the heart of a showman. People had an endless appetite for dime novel adventure tales about the Wild West. Modern society didn’t want to experience the danger and violence for real, but Cody discovered that they sure enjoyed the stories. In 1872, Buffalo Bill Cody started his show business career on stage in Chicago. Along with his pals Texas Jack Omohundro and later Wild Bill Hickok, he toured for years recounting stirring tales of the Old West that were equal parts truth and fiction, but Cody yearned for something grander.
The portrait of Cody on the cylinder portrays “Buffalo Bill” in his prime. His big hat and buckskin outfit became the symbol of the rugged Western hero and nobody wore it better than Bill. His trademark long hair, impressive moustache and Billy goat beard completed the iconic look. And it didn’t hurt that he had plenty of natural charisma. Cody’s character was larger-than-life and he was able to stand out even in the midst of his own Wild West extravaganza.
The Wild West Comes to Life
Buffalo Bill Cody imagined an all-consuming spectacle that would feature real cowboys, Native Americans, live animals, and of course it would feature the greatest sharpshooters in the country. His vision came together to become one of the most elaborate spectacles on Earth. It toured across America to packed crowds. When Annie Oakley joined forces with Cody’s traveling sensation, it put them both on a path to worldwide fame and fortune. He had the hottest ticket in the country and she was the sharpest shot to ever squeeze a trigger.
Annie performed for thousands of fans in New York City, London, Rome and Paris. She won praise from the most powerful people on the planet. Sitting Bull admired her skill and christened her “Watanya Cecilia” or “Little Sure Shot.” When Queen Victoria met her, Her Majesty declared Annie “a very, very clever girl.”
We have held fast to the goal of creating a handsome and powerful tribute to two true legends of the American West. Together they stand as shining symbols of the pioneer spirit and living proof that adversity and hardship can be conquered. Buffalo Bill Cody was the living, breathing frontier hero, and Annie Oakley rarely missed a shot. Whether you’re a fan of the Wild West, a lover of American history or simply a passionate collector of handsome presentation firearms, the Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley Tribute Revolver is sure to become a cherished addition to your collection. Order today to ensure your position in this edition honoring two of America’s favorite Old West legends – Buffalo Bill & Annie Oakley.
Custom Made Display Case
An optional high-quality case is available. The locking glass lid protects against dust and unauthorized handling. The glass lid locks with a brass key, and the case liner is custom contoured to hold your Tribute in place.