Most visitors come to our museum to explore our collection of more than 7,000 firearms. But if you’re not a gun aficionado, never fear, because we have an additional 15,000 artifacts that might surprise you! While most are ammunition, animal mounts, or military accouterments, every once in a while the most unexpected items can be donated, purchased, or loaned alongside a firearm.
Recently, we acquired a Colt Single Action Army Revolver owned by John Hart who was an actor from the original Lone Ranger series.
The firearm itself is striking; it is a single action revolver, serial number 32395SA, in .45 Colt, with a 4 ¾ inch barrel. Master Engraver Ben Shostle engraved the steel and added two-piece ivory grips with a carved steer head. The gun is in its original Colt case on a bed of purple velvet. To any lover of westerns and firearms, this piece is truly a must-see.
The gun also came with autographed photos of John Hart in costume, and interestingly enough, an unconventional cookbook penned by Hart in the 1990s. In his later years, Hart experimented in the kitchen, “driving his wife nuts,” in hopes that “everyone, Cowboys, Cowgirls, gourmet cooks and overworked cooks [could] find something in this [cook]book, even if it’s just a good recipe or two and a few laughs” (John Hart). And he certainly serves up both.
Cowboys in the Kitchen is more of an anecdotal memoir of Hollywood tales, cheeky hunting advice, and even a section on Women and Liquor. Alongside his stories, Hart provides his own “cowboy” recipes as well as recipes from other western film and TV actors, such as his co-star Jay Silverheels (Tonto). This book provides some levity in the kitchen and shows off the personality of the man behind the gun.
The Lone Ranger Gun, along with its accouterments, will be on display at the Cody Firearms Museum in spring 2014. We hope to see you here!