Help please for a firearms related question

I got an email from one of my readers tonight regarding an old revolver. I haven’t got the foggiest idea where to begin so I’m hoping one of you can help or at least steer us in the right direction.

I have a question. I have an old pistol that allegedly was used by a Texas Ranger to kill a couple of Banditos. Do you have any time to do research or know of any good resources?

Please leave your tips in the comments.

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13 Responses to Help please for a firearms related question

  1. Boots says:

    Write to the mfgr for the manufacturing and shipping records. Include serial number, model name, caliber, etc; and anything else inscribed or stamped, particularly on the backstrap. Note grip type (hard rubber, wood, etc) also, and ask in the letter what grip type the revolver shipped with.

  2. Jack Crabb says:

    Maybe run the serial number through the manufacturer’s archives to see if the date of manufacture, shipping destination, etc. match up with the story, i.e., if the serial number shows it was made in 1930 and shipped to a dealer in New Jersey, probably not an 1800’s Texas Ranger gun.

  3. Mel says:

    TX rangers hall of fame and museum located in Waco, TX. A good place to start.

  4. Gregg says:

    Most of the large manufacturers have digitized their historical records and put them online.
    After getting the manufacturer data, who it was shipped to etc…, I would touch base with the Rangers. Here is the link to their museum and historical research organization.

  5. ChuckN says:

    Start backtracking the firearm; previous owners etc… You can
    go right to the manufacturer or TX Ranger archives but if you
    can narrow down a time frame (bought/sold record,
    manufacturing period) the research will go a lot faster.
    Also consider checking to see if any auction houses know

    Finally, check the local gunsmiths. Chances are they will know
    someone who’s either a history buff or can find a few leads
    of their own.

  6. Jesse Bogan says:

    Smith and Wesson and Colt both do “historical letters” They are not free, but for some folks, or some guns, worth the expense. And a picture or two might help. Not that I like looking at interesting old guns either…

  7. Keith says:

    The NRA’s National Firearms Museum personnel were very helpful to me on a firearm ID/ history–I would give them a phone call.

  8. RustyGunner says:

    Look up Tam Keel at She knows her pistols. She doesn’t allow comments on the site, but her email address is listed there.

  9. PoppaGary says:

    A letter to the Cody Firearms Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West might yield some info too. 720 Sheridan Ave, Cody, WY 82414 Phone: (307) 587-4771. They have rare access to select serial number records from Winchester, Marlin, and L.C. Smith.

  10. Dave says:

    What sort of provenance is the OP looking for? History? MFG of revolver? Model?
    Too many questions.

    A picture is worth 10K words

  11. Rick Rix says:

    Best answer is the Ranger museum, or the research center. Little fun you can always check out the website, lots of good info there.

  12. Mark says:

    If he would send me a good set of macro photos of the weapon including serial number and any other roll marks in GIF or BMP format, I will see what I can come up with.

    I can always show them to the local historical society plus a retired Ranger who lives about 30 minutes from here.

    He can hit my e-mail address on my blog or on the GBBL

  13. Glenn B says:

    Just sell it to me and be done with it, I am offering $50.00 cash for that old thing.

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