We recently surveyed thousands of Texans to find out what they would choose as the unofficial Texas state firearm. Well, the results are in, and we’re excited to share them with you — and provide a brief background on the firearms we chose to include. From an 1847 Colt Walker pistol to a Winchester Model 1873, find out which firearm came out on top.
Winchester Model 1873
Commonly known as "The Gun That Won the West", the Winchester Model 1873 is an incredibly well-known firearm. There was even a movie filmed in 1950 called Winchester ‘73 starring Jimmy Stewart. In addition to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, the Winchester Model 1873 was popular amongst cowboys.
According to Winchester Repeating Arms, the Winchester Model 1873 “allowed the working cowboy to use the same ammunition in both his rifle and revolver, an important advantage when one was living out of saddlebags and the closest suttler’s store was several days hard ride over the hostile prairie.” Up until 1919, 720,000 Model 1873s were produced and consisted of three different variations: a 24” rifle, 20” carbine, and a 30” musket. Guns America Digest says, “the 1873 was primarily chambered in 44-40, 38-40 and 32-20. There were also a few that were made in .22 long and short”.
Roughly 26% of voters chose the iconic Winchester 1873 gun as the unofficial Texas state firearm.
Texas “Come and Take It” Cannon
The Texas Cannon is best known for its involvement in the Battle of Gonzales, which took place near Gonzales, Texas in 1835. Green DeWitt, an empresario in Mexican Texas, requested the cannon from the Mexican government as protection from hostile Indian tribes. When the government asked that the cannon be returned years later, Mexican troops marched to retrieve it, only to have the cannon fired at them. This moment is referred to as the start of the Texas Revolution.
According to the Texas State Historical Association, ‘Come and Take It’ refers to “the motto adopted by the Texian rebels. A few days before the battle, two young ladies from Gonzales, Caroline Zumwalt and Eveline DeWitt, hastily prepared a flag with an image of a cannon and the words ‘Come and Take It’. This flag was raised above the Gonzales cannon during the battle on October 2, and later carried with the gun toward San Antonio, but was soon lost without a trace.” Measuring just two feet long, the swivel cannon is relatively small and made of brass. It now sits at the Gonzales Memorial Museum, where it is open to the public to see.
The Texas Cannon received an equal number of votes to the Winchester Model 1873. Just over 26% of voters chose the Texas Cannon as the unofficial Texas state firearm.
1847 Colt Walker Pistol
The Colt Walker pistol was named after Captain Samuel Hamilton Walker, an American army officer who had fought in the Texas-Mexico wars. Captain Walker came to Samuel Colt, the American inventor who established Colt’s Patent Fire-Arms Manufacturing Company in 1836, to design a pistol created specifically for the Texas Rangers and the U.S. Dragoons (Texas law enforcement).
With over 1,000 pistols created, this single-action gun weighs in at 4.5 lb, has a length of 15.5 in, and a .44 ball caliber. The effective firing range of the 1847 Colt Walker is 100 yards, and according to the Smithsonian Natural Museum of American History, Samuel Colt was believed to have said, “It would take a Texan to shoot it [the pistol].”
Coming in as the clear winner, nearly 50% of voters chose the Colt Walker pistol as the unofficial Texas state firearm!
What firearm would you choose as your state gun? Send us your state & suggestion and we may just include it in a future round of voting.