April 22, 2011
Help Complete the List of State Guns
By Phil Bourjaily
Following the Utah legislature’s resolution to name John Browning’s 1911 pistol* as the official state gun of Utah earlier this year, Arizona has became the second state with an official gun, choosing the Colt Peacemaker. I somehow doubt the trend to naming state guns will spread to all 50 states and I’m not sure it should, since legislatures have more important matters to debate. However, state guns are a perfectly appropriate topic for this blog. A while ago I asked for suggestions for state guns and the responses were so good we decided to make a gallery of unofficial state guns for all 50 states. This will be a collaborative effort and I need your help to finish it.
As you see from the list below, we’re almost halfway there. I took the best responses from the first post and added some I chose myself. There is one non-gun on the list: the Bear bow was nominated by two different readers for Michigan. Given Fred Bear’s huge role in popularizing bowhunting I made an exception and am allowing a bow as Michigan’s state gun.
The remaining states are open for suggestions. I would prefer American-made and/or designed guns, although foreign guns can be nominated. Ideally we would have 50 different guns, although some may double up.
The gun should have specific historical or sporting meaning to the state it represents. As this is Field & Stream, there may be bias shown toward hunting guns. You suggest, I choose, and in the event no good decision is reached for a particular state, a default state gun will assigned, either the Remington 870 or Model 700.
Your suggestions please.
*personally I think Utah should have left the 1911 to Connecticut, where it was made, and should have chosen the A-5, reflecting both John Browning’s genius and the tremendous waterfowling on the Great Salt Lake.
Photo: Utah Gov. Gary Herbert holds a Browning M1911 presented to him by Chris Browning (right), grandson of John M. Browning, during a celebration honoring the gun designer in front of the Utah Capitol in Salt Lake City.
Arizona – Colt Peacemaker
Arkansas – Daisy Red Ryder
California – Weatherby Mark V
Iowa – Knight MK 85
Kentucky – Kentucky Rifle
Maryland – Beretta 92S pistol
Massachusetts -- ’03 Springfield
Michigan – Bear Bow
Missouri –Hawken Bros. Rifle
Montana – Cooper Rifle
New Hampshire – Ruger 10/22 rifle
New Jersey – Paterson Colt
New York – Remington 870
North Carolina – M1 Carbine
North Dakota –
Ohio –Ithaca 37
Pennsylvania – T/C Hawken Flintlock
Rhode Island --
South Carolina – Jarrett Beanfield Rifle
South Dakota --
Texas – Walker Colt
Utah – 1911
Vermont – Kendall Underhammer Muzzleloader
Virginia – 1853 Enfield
West Virginia -- 1803 Harper’s Ferry Musket