Educational Zone #128 – The Texas Ranger Museum

We went on a short vacation last week and visited some friends in Temple, Texas. One day we went to Waco to visit the Texas Ranger Museum and I thought you might enjoy some pictures from our visit. The Texas Ranger Museum is a fine museum, with lots of history and lots and lots of guns. 


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The tour starts with a 45 minute video about the history of the Texas Rangers. Then you can walk around and see exhibits about Rangers and most of them are filled with great guns.

The video explained that the Rangers and Indians were about equal in armament when the war started. The single shot rifles and pistols of the Rangers were off-set by the ability of the Indians to shoot 6 or more arrows per minute. They just waited for the Rangers to shoot, and then charged them. But with the advent of the revolver, the tide quickly turned in favor of the Rangers.

The first repeating revolver that they used was the Patterson, a 5 shot revolver.

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Later, a Texas Ranger named Walker asked Colt to build a powerful revolver capable of “shooting through horses”, and the Walker Colt was born.

Here is an original Walker Colt, probably worth more than $100,000 today.

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Here’s me and Ted looking at an example of a reproduction Walker.

It weighs over 6 pounds and is very heavy in the hand.

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It was the most powerful revolver until the advent of the .44 Magnum revolver.

It is heavy to hold, but is just right for Gus to pistol whip a surly bartender.

Of course, the mainstay of the Rangers in the old west was the Colt Single Action Army.

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The museum even has a section for movie and TV Texas Rangers.

Here’s The Lone Ranger’s guns and mask.

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There was a large selection of old guns of every type imaginable.

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It was common for Texas Rangers in the past to carry highly engraved pistols, either for special occasions, or for some, as an everyday thing.

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Many of these beautiful guns are on display.

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Here are some of the really nice revolvers.

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And here are some nice 1911 .45 ACP pistols that were on display.

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Another one…

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and another one.

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Here is an absolutely beautiful Winchester rifle with an ivory stock.

I had never seen a rifle with an ivory stock before.

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There were many exhibits of well-known Texas Rangers on display.

Here’s one with a shotgun owned by Texas Ranger Frank Hamer, who was responsible for the killing of Bonnie and Clyde.

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Here is a display of some shotguns taken from the car of Bonnie and Clyde.

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In 1974 some prisoners tried an escape from Huntsville Prison.

They had hostages and asked for armor and steel, bullet proof helmets.

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The Rangers refused the armor, but decided to give them the helmets, as it was thought that they would be more of a hindrance to the prisoners than useful to them.

Many years ago when I was a police officer, I actually met and talked to an officer that was involved in the resulting shootout.

All of the prisoners were killed or captured, but some of the hostages were also killed.

Conclusion:
The Texas Ranger Museum is a great museum and I would highly recommend it to anyone that is interested in history and firearms.

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