There’s no reason you can’t use your Old West replica firearm to protect home and family.
Replica Old West metallic cartridge firearms are made to enjoy in exciting endeavors like Cowboy Action Shooting, Cowboy Mounted Shooting, Wild West reenactments and other fun events. Although these 19th-century replicas were made for leisure shooting, hunting or competitive events, there’s no reason these same guns can’t be used to protect life and property. They can be more than just sporting arms or wall-hangers.
Whether plain-Jane models or fancily embellished guns, cowboy guns are work-ing replicas of those frontier-era metallic cartridge firearms that have served in combat, sometimes under the most adverse conditions. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that these replicas should be your first choice when it comes to defense, but if at a time of need you don’t have access to a modern-designed firearm, don’t overlook a replica. There’s no question that if you are in a situation where reloading is required, you’d be best off with a modern handgun, such as a semi-auto pistol, a double-action revolver or a long gun that can deliver several rounds in rapid succession. The ability to quickly reload via a magazine or a speed loader, rather than the one-at-a-time method of re-stoking the gun is all-important. Replicas do have the advantage of being chambered to take commercially available, modern factory smokeless ammunition, and they pack plenty of power for self-defense purposes.
Another reason not to overlook such arms if they’re all you have is that your guns may have been fine-tuned, some with short-stroke actions, and they can perform like the finest modern arms available. Many gun owners involved in the Cowboy Action sports have become proficient with their old-time smoke wagons, like the 1873 peacemaker-styled six-guns, frontier-era lever-action rifles, and exposed hammer or hammerless scatterguns. Thanks to the success of the Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) and the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association (CMSA), sports where most of the shooting is accomplished at short, combat-style distances, many competitors have become crack shots and excellent point shooters. Women, senior citizens and others who’ve become involved in these sports, have become expert in the use of these vintage-style guns, handling them with the ease, proficiency and the accuracy of professionals.
If trouble arises during these times of civil unrest in many cities, it’s best to be prepared to defend your loved ones and your property. If you know how to use your cowboy guns safely and effectively, and have no modern firearms options, they could be the one thing that keep you from falling victim to danger. Cowboy guns for self-defense? You bet!
Phil Spangenberger has written for Guns & Ammo, appears on the History Channel and other documentary networks, produces Wild West shows, is a Hollywood gun coach and character actor, and is True West’s Firearms Editor.