TEXAS VIEW: Official Handgun? Texas adopts historic revolver as its own

THE POINT: Some pundits are calling it the “Most Texan thing imaginable.”

The Lone Star State takes pride in its heritage. And a lot of that is wrapped up in the cowboy culture of the Old West.

And, of course, residents are well-known for their love of firearms and strong support of Second Amendment rights.

That’s why it was, perhaps, a most Texas thing last week when Gov. Greg Abbott signed a resolution naming an “Official Handgun of Texas.”

The governor didn’t honor some shiny new pistol. Nothing foreign-made either.

No, the state’s official handgun is steeped in the Old West mystique itself. It’s the 1847 Colt Walker revolver, America’s first six-shooter.

The gun has Texas roots, designed by Texas Rangers Capt. Samuel Hamilton Walker and firearms magnate Samuel Colt. It was based on the five-shot Colt-Paterson revolver but with an extra round and more stopping power.

The same year the Colt Walker came out, 1847, Capt. Walker was killed in the Battle of Huamantla during the Mexican-American War.

Today the gun is a rare collector’s item. An original, complete with case, sold in 2019 for $1.84 million. It’s the highest auction price ever realized for a firearm.

One can debate the merits of having an “official handgun” all day long. But in the end it’s not much more than a romantic symbol of an idealized past. And for that, the governor couldn’t have picked a better example.

Texarkana Gazette