Book Description: In this unique tribute to the West, R. L. Wilson has produced the definitive and most lavishly illustrated book ever on the weaponry of the West and its colorful and intriguing users.In 320 full color and 215 black and white illustrations, with in depth text and captions, the broad range of arms and users is detailed. Beginning with Native American primitive weaponry, this book presents a comprehensive panorama from Lewis and Clark and their historic expedition, through subsequent trailblazing explorers, traders and mountain men, to the Army, the gold and silver miners, gunfighters, gamblers, outlaws, frontier madams and their soiled doves, to peace officers, cowboys and ranchers, as well as sodbusters, shopkeepers and the agents of Wells Fargo, hunters and gentlemen sportsmen, Wild West showmen and women, to the Western stars of stage, screen, radio, and television. A final chapter provides insights and revelations on collecting arms and related treasures of the frontier. No book of the West has been so thoroughly researched to produce an unmatched mother lode of exquisitely designed color illustrations. Drawing upon talents of gifted photographers, and upon archives of period images, the author has assembled the most dramatic and captivating visual collection of historic and priceless Western arms and their users ever published.The original color photography and the historic period photographic images and art, and film and TV stills create a new and comprehensive look at the West.These extraordinary, often beautiful illustrations also include hundreds of objects of memorabilia that have their own role in the saga: Indian artifacts, holsters and cartridge belts, chaps, saddles, boots, and countless other leather goods, military uniforms, gambling equipment, law enforcement badges, headgear, clothing, advertising art and trade cards, show business memorabilia, and much more. Even frontier architecture is frequently illustrated.Over 250 private collectors, museums, and historical societies cooperated in the author's far reaching research. Foremost among these sources is the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum, which exhibits an unmatched collection of arms and accoutrements. Over sixty illustrations were taken of specific arms and memorabilia displayed by that remarkable institution.The book's large format presents most of these arms in exquisite close ups accompanied by details of their history and significance. The book's organization provides a unique overview of the original West and the fictional West, the latter serving to keep alive the spirit of romance and adventure. A selected bibliography and detailed index complete the contents of this landmark tribute to an American phenomenon: The West.