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Lone star lever guns; Texas is celebrating its Sesquicentennial in a unique way, with a chance to join an authentic Old West wagon train and own a piece of history with these beautiful Winchester Model 94 Commemoratives!

To much of the world, Texas is America. From its coloful frontier beginnings, to today's modern skyscraper cities and the home of our country's space program, Texas represents the very image of American's past and present. Paralleling the history of our nation, Texas was born in rebellion, grew up as a wild frontier, and has matured into a rich and productive state that is proud of its past, yet looks to the future. Texas is that mysthical yet real land that spawned such enduring legends as the Alsmo and her valiant defenders Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett and Co. William Travis. It was the land of the great cattle drives, of John Chisholm and the Chisholm Trail, of the great Indian leader Quanah Parker and notorious gunfighters like John Wesley Hardin and Sam Bass. And, of course, there were those who fought to protect law and order like the world famous Texas Rangers. Today, new legends are being made in Texas with NASA and our American astronauts, while Texas stands at the forefront of the American scene with her own superstars like Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter and the Dallas Cowboys' Cheerleaders.

In 1986, the Lone Star state will celebrate its 150th anniversary--the Texas Sesquicentennial. As with everything associated with texas, this celebration is shaping up to be a BIG Texas event, with parades, special community celebrations and an authentic Old West wagon train that will travel throughout the state for six months, visiting over 120 cities and towns. This wagon train will be a living exhibit of Texas' frontier days, and "citizens and friends of Texas" are invited to join this trek for any length of time they wish.

Another colorful reminder of Texas' 150th birthday is a specially commissioned Winchester Model 94. Called the Texas Sesquicentennial Winchester Commemorative, this unique collector's firearm is actually available in either rifle or carbine form or as a cased set of both guns.

The Winchesters are chambered in .38-55 caliber, which was one of the original chamberings of the 1894 models. Incidentally, the cartridge is still available in factory ammunition today.

The carbine, which sports an 18-1/2-inch blued round barrel, is handsomely set off with two gold-plated barrel bands and receiver. This receiver has been roll-engraved with scenes from Texas history and bears the legend, "Texas Sesquicentennial." Etched in gold on the barrel near the receiver is "1836-TEXAS-1986," and the carbine's lever is embellished with an etched gold wagon train scene on one side and the yellow rose of Texas on the other. Additionally, a gold-plated commemorative medallion is embedded in the butt-stock. The stock and fore-end are of beautifully figured select walnut and are satin finished and neatly checkered with a unique space pattern. Production of the Texas Sesquicentennial carbine will be limited to 15,000 guns, and they will be serial-numbered TEX-1 through TEX-15,000. The carbine will retail for $695.

The rifle version of the Texas Sesquicentennial Winchesters is quite different from any commemorative arm made yet. These guns sport 24-inch round and tapered barrels with full-length magazines. Each rifle is equipped with an authentic-type full buckhorn rear and a Marble gold bead front sight. Unlike the carbine, the rifle's receiver is blued, with scenes from Texas history etched on each side in 22 karat gold, by the well-known firm of Aurum Etchings, of Garland, Texas. The top of the receiver and the barrel sport gilt embellishments along with the legend, "1 of 1500." The rifle's lever is decorated in the same manner as the carbine's.

Adding to the value and collectibility of the rifle is a limited production issue of the Texas Sesquicentennial Bowie knife by Western Cutlery. Each knife is fitted with stag handles, polished clip point blade with etched gold scenes on both sides. The rifle and Bowie knife come in a presentation-grade oak case, along with a Collector's Edition Print that is signed and numbered by artist Texas' past and present. Only 1,500 rifle/knife sets will be produced, and they are priced to sell for $2,995.

A third edition of the Texas Sesquicentennial Winchester Commemorative is the cased rifle/carbine/Bowie knife set. Only 150 of these have been made. The Number One set is to be presented to President Ronald Reagan. Others are scheduled for the Governor of Texas, the National Rifle Association and specially selected museums. Of the 150 sets produced, only 135 have been offered for sale. This cased trio of Texas commemoratives is specially serial-numbered and carries a $7,995 price tag. However, don't get out your checkbook, because each and every one of these 135 sets has been sold! Incidentally, knife collectors will be interested to learn that the Texas Sesquicentennial Bowie Knife can be purchased separately. Housed in an attractive oak presentation case, this commemorative blade is priced at $389.95.

Texas is a big, big state. Not only in size but in spirit as well. Few states can boast the loyalty of a Texan, and far fewer are known throughout the world as well as Texas. From its vast plains and ranchlands, to its eastern bayous and ultra-modern cities of glass and steel, Texas offers a cross section of American life. These Texas Winchesters are fitting tributes to a land with an exciting past and a promising future. They embody the flavor of the raw, untamed frontier years, yet their elegance and rich finish bespeak of modern Texas and its rich, sophisticated culture. Through these fine firearms, everyone--regardless of where you live--is offered a piece of Texas history. After all, admit it, there's a little bit of Texas in each of us. I've often heard Texans say, "There's two types of people...Texans, and those who wish they were Texans!"

For further information on the Texas Sesquicentennial Winchester or the Sesquicentennial wagon train, contact the Texas Wagon Train Association, Dept. GA, 2329 W. Rochelle Road, Irving, TX 75062, or call toll free, 1-800-255-1986 (in Texas, call 1-800-441-0028).
COPYRIGHT 1985 InterMedia Outdoors, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1985 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Spangenberger, Phil
Publication:Guns & Ammo
Date:Oct 1, 1985
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