April 25, 1888

Annie Oakley Purchases Smith & Wesson Gun


On this day in 1888, Annie Oakley, the star female sharpshooter in Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show, purchased a Model 3 handgun made by the Springfield firm of Smith & Wesson. Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson had joined forces in the 1850s and opened a factory in Springfield to produce a revolutionary type of gun and ammunition. Their design pioneered the use of sealed cartridges for quick-loading and rapid-firing. The company continued to innovate, introducing the Model 3, which became a favorite of the U.S. cavalry, cowboys, and European soldiers; the 38 revolver, carried by policemen all over the world; and the Magnum made famous by Clint Eastwood in the movie "Dirty Harry."

Related Moments

Mass Moments is a project of Mass Humanities, whose mission is to support programs that use history, literature, philosophy, and the other humanities disciplines to enhance and improve civic life throughout the Commonwealth.

Please consider helping us towards our goals with a donation today.

Interested in sponsoring Mass Moments?

What is the sum of 4 and 7?