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Three-panel graphic of man with rifle, man on horseback with rifle, and woman with riflt

A special exhibition on view in our Cody Firearms Museum

This exhibition anticipates another special exhibition that will open May 18 at the Center of the West, Advertising the Frontier Myth: Poster Art of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West, which features posters from the Jack Rennert Collection, acquired through the generosity of the Hal R. and Naoma J. Tate Foundation, as well as works from the Center of the West’s own unrivalled holdings. 

Firearms played a key role in Buffalo Bill's Wild West

William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody’s performances used firearms to tell stories and wow audiences with shooting feats. The guns shown in this exhibit are tied to individuals that participated in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West or performed in similar shows on their own. For more on William F. Cody, his Wild West, or stories of the people featured here, make sure to visit our Buffalo Bill Museum. And, once it opens on May 18, the special exhibition Advertising the Frontier Myth: Poster Art of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West.

A few exhibition highlights
Man in cowboy show attire standing with rifle and pistols, wearing a cowboy hat.
William F. Cody

Buffalo Bill originally owned a pair of Colt Frontier revolvers that he gave to William F. Schneider in 1890. Cody rarely used pistols during arena performances but was often photographed with revolvers, and, in most instances, he is pictured wearing pistols “cross-draw,” the preferred method of his friend Wild Bill Hickok. In the image at left, his hand is on a revolver in a “cavalry draw,” where a pistol worn butt-forward was drawn with the same side hand.

Photo Portrait of William F. Cody, undated. MS 6 William F. Cody Collection, McCracken Research Library. P.69.0030

Buffalo Bill's pair of Colt Frontier Centerfire Six Shooters, .44 caliber, ca. 1880-83. Museum purchase, Mary Jester Allen Collection. 1.69.2642&3

Pair of Frontier Six Shooter Revolvers, 1880, (Colt Single Actions) Colt (Hartford, CT), .44-40, Serial #s 54057 & 54070. Mary Jester Allen Collection. 1.69.2642 & 2643

Buffalo Bill's Model 1873 Rifle Winchester, 1906, (New Haven, CT), .44-40, Serial #607678. Museum Purchase, Garlow Collection. 1.69.1237

Winchester Model 1873 Rifle, 1906, (New Haven, CT), .44-40, Serial #607678. Museum Purchase, Garlow Collection. 1.69.1237

Annie Oakley's Francotte SxS Shotgun, ca. 1895 (Liege, Belguim), 12 gauge, Serial #27184. Gift of Frederick J. Bolton. 1.69.68
Annie Oakley’s Francotte SxS Shotgun, ca. 1895 (Liege, Belguim), 12 gauge, Serial #27184. Gift of Frederick J. Bolton. 1.69.68
Annie Oakley's Smith & Wesson Revolver, ca. 1880 (Springfield, MA), .38-44, Serial #3653. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William Self. 1.69.2782

Annie Oakley’s Smith & Wesson Revolver, ca. 1880 (Springfield, MA), .38-44, Serial #3653. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William Self. 1.69.2782

Annie Oakley

Annie Oakley used a wide variety of firearms throughout her shooting career. 

The Belgian-made Francotte was built to order for Oakley and imported by the then well-known firm of Von Lengerke & Detmold based in New York City.

Annie Oakley's Winchester Model 1892 Rifle, 1905, (New Haven, CT), .44-40, Serial #301670. Gift of Dorothy Stone Collins. 1.69.25
Winchester Model 1892 Rifle, 1905, (New Haven, CT), .44-40, Serial #301670. Gift of Dorothy Stone Collins. 1.69.25
Woman in dress and wide-brimmed hat standing to side with rifle over shoulder.

Photo Portrait of Annie Oakley, undated. MS 6 William F. Cody Collection, McCracken Research Library. P.69.1192

Lithograph, Buffalo Bill's Wild West poster featuring Johnny Baker, 1893. Gift of The Coe Foundation. 1.69.18

Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show advertising poster featuring an illustration of Johnny Baker. Baker P.6.1505

Johnnie Baker

Johnny Baker famously shot from a variety of positions, even upside down, during his performances.

Winchester inscribed this 1897 at the factory with Baker’s name on the receiver.

Johnny Baker's Winchester Model 1897, ca. 1902 (New Haven, CT), .16 gauge, Serial #190092. Museum Purchase. 1.69.365

Johnny Baker’s Winchester Model 1897, ca. 1902 (New Haven, CT), .16 gauge, Serial #190092. Museum Purchase. 1.69.365

Johnny Baker posing upside down with shotgun. MS 71 Vincent Mercaldo Collection, McCracken Research Library. P.71.34

Johnny Baker posing upside down with shotgun. MS 71 Vincent Mercaldo Collection. P.71.34

Now open!
Advertising the Frontier Myth: Poster Art of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West

On view in our Anne & Charles Duncan Special Exhibition Gallery.

BUFFALO BILL CENTER OF THE WEST ◦ 720 Sheridan Avenue ◦ Cody, WY 82414 ◦ 307-587-4771Contact Us
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