Home Defense – Do You Need a Gun to Garden?

Guns aren’t useful for digging or anything like that. However, if you are becoming self-reliant, you may want a gun for home defense.

Let me tell you a true story that happened to me and made me decide to go buy several guns. This from a woman who couldn’t even look at the glass case where the guns were kept in the sporting goods area. Avoiding my eyes on the way to the camping section was the norm.

In the early days of The Grow Network, back when we first produced the DVD “Grow Your Own Groceries,” I went to several local stores to see if they would sell it.

Watch the video to hear the rest of my story (Length: 4 min.15 sec)

How scary is the thought of being without a home defense strategy?

Think about what you would be protecting.

  • Your family
  • Your animals
  • A big cache of backup food supplies
  • Your garden and food for the coming year
  • Your property

If you don’t own a gun, are you really prepared for any scenario?

When he looked at me for a long moment, as if I was stupid…

…and pulled out a big, black semi-automatic weapon, at first, I didn’t understand. Then, as he carefully laid it on the counter between us, I was stunned. He wasn’t threatening me. Looking back on it, he was opening my eyes.

His words, “Well, if anything happens—it is like this—with this gun, I can get all the food I need from people like you.”

I was speechless. Note: I didn’t sell any videos either.

Now I live in Texas, which has a proud tradition of gun ownership.

Buying, selling, and swapping guns is easy and legal. In fact, it is a major pastime for many Texans. While that doesn’t mean that everyone in Texas would be part of a marauding band of gun-totin’, food-stealin’ individuals, that mentality exists in some form everywhere. It’s the “haves” versus the “have nots,” and feeling like you’re owed something for which you didn’t put in the blood, sweat, and tears.

In recent history, it is well-documented that crime and violence go up as economic conditions go down. Certainly, there are scenarios where law and order could break down. In that case, having some level of home defense is not only an important skill, but smart!

After the experience with the shop keeper…

…I realized I needed to learn a whole new set of skills that included home defense. Getting over my fears and prejudices about guns and putting emphasis on understanding defense became a priority.

In an upcoming article, I’ll write about what guns I choose to use and why.  I’ll also do a short series on resources that I’ve found particularly useful for understanding principles of home defense.

As shocking as the experience with the shopkeeper was, I see it as a good thing. It opened my eyes to a reality I hadn’t been willing to see.  While this site is mostly dedicated to food and medicine, I will let you know what I’ve been learning about personal and home defense, too.

What a shocker! Huh?

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This post was written by Marjory


  • Thank you for a well written and educational article.

  • Nichole says:

    Great post! An uncomfortable topic that needs to be addressed. You handled it well. Thank you! (and sharing!)

  • CaptTurbo says:

    Great topic! Everyone who wants to be more self sufficient should learn to be proficient with weapons. The bad guys always have them so all the good folks must have them too.

  • Anne Wilson says:

    No matter what subject you talk about in any given video, I always come to the end of it feeling like I love you SO MUCH Marjory. What an amazing, inspiring, down-to-earth, beautiful and wise person you are Marjory Wildcraft!

    As for this particular video and subject:
    As a woman who has lived alone in some very isolated places, I have always believed the saying “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” to be ridiculous. I’ve come to think that a gun is a girl’s best friend (with the training and practice to use it properly – important part of that equation!)

    Good on you for addressing what can be a rather touchy subject for people. You always shine a bright light on truth in my opinion, for so many subjects!

  • Michael Lewinski says:

    Fortunately, I learned that lesson in the 1980’s with the Survivalist movement. Now a days a lot more people are coming to this realization. You do not need a gun for aggression, but to protect yourself from aggression.

  • Sue Vella says:

    A very weak argument in my opinion. Did you go to the authorities? Did anyone ever try to take food from you. Sounds like this happened a long time ago according to your story. What about having dogs? Your story seems based on fear like many of the people who own guns.

    1. Tina says:

      Really Sue? Authorities? It is called self defense. No need to call out the store owner. He was giving a heads up. I basically thought he was going to say hunting for own meal…but be aware of what may come upon you. Authorities wont be in arms reach if this happens. Get real.

    2. Gary says:

      If SHTF the police will not be around to help. Dogs, it only takes about 10 seconds to kill them with a gun. It isn’t fear it is the desire to be able to protest my family and myself. I live 35 miles from the closest police force. On a good day they can get to my place in 25 minutes, 45 if they are on the other side of the county. Without a good form of self defense the primary job for the police will be to draw the chalk line around your body and do the paperwork. Also if things have gone down that far it won’t just be one person coming for your stuff. Today they will kill you for a special pair of tennis shoes, can you imagine what they will do for your food and other supplies. Without firearms it can become survival of the largest and most ruthless. You are the first responder.

    3. Ilse says:

      Boy, are you ever ill advised, ignorant, or just plain Polly-anna. Let me advise you of reality. I am a now retired RN who spent 33+ years working with those wonderful members of our society that we call “criminals”. While I did enjoy my work immensely, because I was always bone honest with the guys, treated them like I would any patient in the community, and did tremendous education as every part of an encounter, and was immensely likes and respected by these “fine specimens” of society…….I can tell you one thing with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY. ………you are an idiot if you believe for one moment that virtually every one of these men will refrain from taking anything and everything you have that they want when TSHTF. These men were and are predators and that is why they were in prison. Their track record proves this. For every one person my state puts in prison there are 9 who are convicts but are dealt with intensely at the community level. What the hell do you think will happen when TSHTF and the counties and states no longer provide this intense supervision?
      Now, the above comments only apply to those people who prove themselves to be aggressive “takers” when society is not in a SHTF crisis. Do you have ANY KNOWLEDGE OF HISTORY with regard to how people act when under extreme stress or when the law enforcement aspect of society is no longer functional?
      I am simply unable to fathom the ignorance and sheer stupidity of people like you, but, look at the EU, especially Sweden. Want o understand how you will be treated when a barbarian attitude exists amongst the males?????? Stockholm is now virtually the rape capitol of the world……
      All I can do is shake my head when I read comments from people like you. I will not waste any bullets protecting the likes of you.

  • Anne Wilson says:

    I doubt the authorities would care that someone had a different opinion than Marjory. I know many people these days would LOVE to see anyone with a different opinion shut down and banished but thankfully we aren’t there yet!

  • Yvette says:

    Very wise and well stated, Marjory. As a wilderness woman, I am always mindful of home defense … there are many varmints that may warrant a warning shot, at the very least.

  • Eugene says:

    Unfort that day.unately its very true. Hope we never see

  • Bill Bridwell says:

    Seeing you with that semiautomatic rifle makes me happy I get your emails. I am a firm believer in self defense on the farm. Because you never know when you will need it. I live so far from town it would take the sheriff 30 minutes to get to us. So I am never far from a firearm.

  • Joy says:

    Yup. This is a reality i’ve recognized from day one. I believe in having at least a year’s supply of food on hand, and growing whatever I can, including livestock. I know that if and when society breaks down, farmers may be the only ones that have food, and even though they may be willing to share, there will come a point when that won’t be possible. In WW II, German farmers eventually refused gold and silver for food, because you can’t eat it, and rations were scarce. If they hadn’t been able to defend their farms, they would have lost everything. I’m thankful that I grew up in a family that had guns and that I learned at a very young age how to handle them safely and respectfully.

    I’ve often chuckled at those who don’t believe in guns for defense. Why not put a sign in front of your house that says “Gun Free Zone”? That way criminals would know the places that are safe for them to create havoc. Do those who don’t believe in self defense really think the police would arrive in time to protect them?

  • Frances Graham says:

    I heard a story, many years ago about homeless people being given shelter from the elements. Many cots many people with very little – yet one was murder that night for his shoes. Unfortunatley that is reality that some will go to any lengths to obtain what they want/need.
    I’m in Australia not Texas; so here its mainly the criminals and law enforcement who have access to guns in suburbia. Gun licenses are available to farmers and others that meet the required conditions.
    Enjoying your videos Marjory – thank you

  • NormaJean Ellingboe says:

    I have been on the fence about this gun thing for some time. After watching your video about needing a gun to garden, I believe it is time to give it more serious thought. While I don’t live on a homestead, I do live on the edge of town, so to speak, and I am an elder (pushing 80) woman living alone.

    My son is coming to visit soon so I think this will be a topic of discussion while he is here!

    Thanks to you, Marjory Wildcraft

  • Cate says:

    I was taught to fire a .22 when I was a girl of about 11. I was a better shot than my big brother, who has since become vegan and has moved to an asian country, so determinedly has he turned his back on his culture.
    I’ve become a ‘prepper’, homesteader, and seek to own a rifle (my sister/mother gave Dad’s rifle to the police when he died, grrr) so I can not only cull an animal in extreme circumstances in an humane way to feed the neighbours, but keep the children and husband safe. I know it’s not considered PC, but that now seems the best reason to go hammer and tongs in getting one. Power to you, Madame. 🙂

  • Katie says:

    Marjory I applaud you for thinking freely. You don’t let yourself be bound by political correctness or idealism. Great article.

  • Lucy Harper says:

    Hi guys, this is so utterly depressing! In a country where more people get killed in the US on a daily basis by toddlers than are killed by terrorists, you think it is just fine to own a semi-automatic. No wonder you got Trump for president!
    UGH!!!! We all need to rethink how we live and treat our planet, not blindly go down the negative, destructive, selfish path.

    1. Joy says:

      Is it selfish to protect your home and children? If so, I have no problem with that brand of selfishness. This has nothing to do with party lines; it has to do with protection. The answer to the “toddlers” question is not to remove PROTECTION from a home, but to keep guns safely put away, where they are readily accessible for protection (and even taking out a woodchuck who’s destroying the crops). What you want to do is through out the baby with the bathwater. And in today’s political climate, let’s not forget that the reason we have a right to guns is to protect us from an over-reaching government, one that would sell our sovereignty to a world government headed by another flavor of tyrant.

      1. Abby Boehm says:


  • Hein says:

    I guess South Africa, when I live, is not the same as the US. Back in the 1990’s, when the civil war in Mozambique, a neighbouring country ended, an AK47 could be had for USD10. There was a glut in the market.

    They cost more now, but with some effort, can still be procured.

    The question now is, I have an AK, and so do all those who want to relieve me of my food. What can I with my AK do against 8 AK’s.

    My neighbour wants to plant some thorny fast growing bushes which you can train into a hedge, leave a space of 1 1/2 m, put up a fence to grow plans lie passion fruit, and fill the pace between with broken rock. I told him all that that achieves is is to provide a convenient flat surface to walk across, after scaling the hedge with a ladder, and then it is easy to jump down on his side.

    So what o do? Your rifle alone won’t protect you, you need to know in advance where and when an attack is mounted against you. So now you need an alarm, that not only tells you that your perimeter has been breached, but where as well.

    And what are you going to do if they crash through you gate with a big fat truck.

    So now its building reinforced concrete wall, at angles to each other on the approach driveway, that forces the truck into a severe slalom, and thus slows him down.to a virtual stop. After that comes your gate, then a chain skied with nails that is stretched across the driveway, to puncture even the fattest tyres. Then you dig a pit in driveway and fill it with home made explosives.and cover. You need a pressure switch in the ground on the driveway, and some way to deactivate it when you want to use the driveway.

    So now the truck and contents first gets slowed down then stopped by punctured wheels, and then blown up.

    While you’r about it get a couple of SAM missiles and a radar to ward of aerial attacks.

    I suppose you get my drift. History has proven that no fort or castle has ever been successful against a determined attack. This is because it is static, and has a distinct disadvantage against those that are mobile.

    If you need help with home made explosives and triggering systems, you can email me

    1. Ben says:

      Hi Hein,
      I’d like to email you, what’s your email address?
      I also live in South Africa, where more than half a million people has been murdered since we got wonderful democracy.

  • Liana McCoy says:

    Just another side of the coin to look at. This happened near a town just an hour from where I live in Mn. This particular article does cover most of the things I remember hearing about the case from others. I do not read newspapers or listen to mass media news, so I am not persuaded by them probably why I made jury duty twice in my county in less than 20 years. One case having to do with threats, harassment, and guns the other having to do with an accidentally killing by vehicle. I could go on about jurors and witch hunting based in prejudices, but I won’t it would take to long to explain. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/04/29/minnesota-homeowner-kills-teens/8480047/
    The man was supposedly protecting his home and his possessions. I also like to point out Minnesota has no death penalty, but I do believe Texas still does. I am leaving this as something to think about and what a person’s actions or in actions could lead them to in the end.

  • gthomson says:

    I grew up in a no-gun family. My mom’s cousin actually did get his eye shot out with a BB gun by his brother, and had a glass eye almost his whole life. So you can imagine how well guns were thought of in my family. But a year ago, mom was cleaning out the house for a move, and getting rid of stuff. Asked me if I wanted my grandfather’s old rifle – an old Winchester .22 that I believe was made back in the early 40’s. So I took it – thought it would be interesting to learn about it. Could tell it got a lot of use – I’d guess from catching rabbits for dinner. After getting more familiar with it, it now seems so simple the way it’s made. Doesn’t seem so scary or dangerous as long as it’s handled with respect and in a knowledgeable way. I live alone with a pooch, and a few times have heard noises I wanted to go check out and then though ‘what the heck am I going to do if there is a person breaking into my house?’ With nothing to fight back with, I’m pretty much screwed. So I’ve decided to get into some classes to learn more about them, and get this one cleaned up so it’s safe to shoot it, and then maybe get a shorter 20 gauge pistol grip shotgun for home defense. I live in California, so gun laws here are considerably different than Texas – so that’s the area I need to understand. I don’t believe I need to register the one I have since it’s been passed down through the family. But still need to learn that aspect better. Never thought I’d be a gun owner, but the world seems a little crazier these days, and the crazy people will have them. So it’s best to be prepared in advance to deal with them. After is too late.

  • Lyle Wilson says:

    Yup that’s the reality of life on planet earth just watch “Animal Planet ” for about a week and you’ll catch right on. Look at all the nice folks up in Minnesota that thought the “moderate”, “refugee” Muslims were going to be good neighbor s ! Well they weren’t moderate, (read the koran, small k missed spelled on purpose, books 4&5 tells the whole story) , nor are they refugees! We the People have been sold out, looks like we will need to defend all we hold near, and dear, as well as our food supplies, and your not going to do that with good intentions!

  • Marley says:

    “My example concerns a young woman patient who, in spite of efforts made on both sides, proved to be psychologically inaccessible. The difficulty lay in the fact that she always knew better about everything. Her excellent education had provided her with a weapon ideally suited to this purpose, namely a highly polished Cartesian rationalism with an impeccably “geometrical” idea of reality. After several fruitless attempts to sweeten her rationalism with a somewhat more human understanding, I had to confine myself to the hope that something unexpected and irrational would turn up, something that would burst the intellectual retort into which she had sealed herself. Well, I was sitting opposite her one day, with my back to the window, listening to her flow of rhetoric. She had an impressive dream the night before, in which someone had given her a golden scarab — a costly piece of jewellery. While she was still telling me this dream, I heard something behind me gently tapping on the window. I turned round and saw that it was a fairly large flying insect that was knocking against the window-pane from outside in the obvious effort to get into the dark room. This seemed to me very strange. I opened the window immediately and caught the insect in the air as it flew in. It was a scarabaeid beetle, or common rose-chafer (Cetonia aurata), whose gold-green colour most nearly resembles that of a golden scarab. I handed the beetle to my patient with the words, “Here is your scarab.” This experience punctured the desired hole in her rationalism and broke the ice of her intellectual resistance. The treatment could now be continued with satisfactory results.”

    — Carl Jung

    1. Joy says:

      Can you explain how this relates to home defense?

      1. Jo says:

        Rely on a flying insects knocking on the door ?? kidding, but yes i dont get the hone defense part of this story!

      2. Bob says:

        Perhaps the poster may be trying to use this story as an analogy to the way many liberal leaning people have ensconced themselves in a “Peace, Love and Understanding” bubble that refuses reality, ie, in this case, that having their own personal world destroyed by evil people might bring them to realize people are basically bad – even the good ones – and that it’s ok to defend yourself…

    2. Abby Boehm says:


  • Jo says:

    Marjory, how brave, I couldn’t agree more with you.
    You are correct to have a gun to protect what is yours, because people are dangerous when it comes to broken down gov, law and rules!
    Like you, I will never give up anything without a fight, and am a proud and necessary gun owner too ?
    Safety first, at any level!!!

  • Carolina says:

    Are all the people who responded negatively to this post afraid of guns or just afraid of the irresponsible people who use guns? Now if only irresponsible people are the ones that have guns, how are they going to be kept in check without the responsible people owning guns. The police?…no, police are part of the irresponsible lot who don’t know when to keep their guns down and when to shoot. We clearly have a police training problem in America. They have not seen enough cowboy movies to know that it ain’t right to shoot and kill someone in front of you who is not pointing a gun at you. I will not be depending on them, but on Sally and Joe up the street, Jorge and his boys, your armed neighbors are what are going to keep our ‘hoods safe. Learning how to use a weapon is a life skill, like reading and writing. If you know how to use and keep a gun, you will not be that ignorant fool who has to do whatever the guy pointing the gun at you tells you to do. But what do I know? Thank God I live in Arizona where there still are a few rattlesnakes around
    left to remind us how handy a good ole handgun is.

  • Abby Boehm says:

    Me my husband and four of my five kids do have a CWL to carry. The Pastor of our Church actually has a trained professional to come in and do classes to be certified to carry. Personally my third son, who hasn’t spoken to me in 4-5 years except an occationally text to threaten me…is the only child that does not have a license to carry and I am grateful for that. Anyway…yes people need to be able to protect their families and homes… Especially the times were in now.

  • Jill M. says:

    The gun post was interesting but I’m sorry it was posted. I’m new to your blog and was ecstatic when I found you. I’ve enjoyed every one I’ve read until today. It’s the same as giving opinions about religion or politics. It garnered the same extremism of reaction that religion and politics do. It creates the opposite of peace energy.The picture of you sitting there with an extreme automatic weapon and a smile on your face says I was wrong about my 1st impression of where your spirit is.

    In case you’re thinking i’m a gun hater, you’re wrong. I have a cwl and believe strongly in our right to own guns. I also used to proudly have bumper stickers proclaiming “they’ll get my gun when they pry it out of my cold dead fingers” and another with a pic of the barrel of a gun & the words “forget the dog, beware of owner” besides the obvious foolish advertising of the fact that I have guns it also was in conflict with my desire to become an instrument of peace. It’s not the owning a gun that’s a problem it’s the extreme energetic emotion that can often become attached to the idea of the gun. I am an eternal optimist and choose to believe that if enough of us start creating a more loving, kind, compassionate environment towards all living beings, we can change the world and prevent the doomsday scenario that many want us to believe in inevitable. Those people who fear monger are part of the problem instead of becoming part of the solution.

    You become the equivalent of the 5 people you spend the most time around. Choose wisely my friend … Peace and Love … a fellow traveler on this journey through life.

    1. Doug A says:

      Hi Jill,

      I think you’re wrong about Marjory’s post. Marjory isn’t boasting about protecting her homestead, but rather this blog is an educational tool and she’s providing valuable information about this difficult but necessary subject that relatively few will talk about. Man has a sinful nature, and simply thinking good thoughts won’t change this. I agree that we are to be peace makers, and also wouldn’t post a pro-gun bumper sticker on my car. Rather, “as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” While some people will react strongly to such a post (in either direction), this does not mean it didn’t need to be said.

      1. Jill M. says:

        Hi Doug,

        It’s a good reply to my post. I agree it’s a difficult but necessary subject because of the current realities of the times we live in. Unfortunately, Marjorie stated she would be covering this subject in a series of articles on guns and home defense. While I applaud having this knowledge, which can be found so many other places, I see a possible shift in tone that this subject could cause. My regret is not about the subject but about the possible changes in tone of the blog in the future.

        My perception of the blog is that it was filled with wonderful information on food and natural medicines to help us become more independent and self sufficient. I am finally becoming a gentle soul after decades of struggle. Gentle does not mean weak. Gentleness comes from strength. There is an old saying “nothing is as strong as gentleness, nothing is as gentle as real strength” That was a game changer for me. I came to realize that my need to project being rough and tough came from fear and insecurity of who I really was. As I grew spiritually, I got to know myself more, and learned about living in Peace and Love. I hope the blog keeps the loving, gentle tone it started with. That was the intention of my post. Have a Great Week … Peace and Love … Jill M.

  • Lisa Craig says:

    Do you need a gun to garden is a funny title… But I can totally relate to you; I had to teach myself all about guns since my parents stopped keeping one around when they almost shot my middle brother who had come downstairs for a drink of water (I was eight). A couple years later (like 35) someone had let themselves into the house and stolen a huge crate of papers (with divorce documents), a birth certificate, and college papers… While I was in the backyard gardening. Ugh! And I could of just locked the sideoor when I went out… Anyhow, for a while, not only did I lock the side door… But I also brought my shotgun with me while gardening… Just in case. Well… No more break-ins lately; but the shady neighbors across the street moved. Still lock the side door; but don’t bring the gun… Have a dog that sits by the side door, that loves to bark at everything! I’ve read before on the virtue of bugging in or leaving… You have to decide whether you are going to win or Not… Anyone like that shop keeper is going to be out of luck when the robbed groceries run out and he doesn’t have a clue how to survive in the mountains for years like the native Americans. Anyhow, I still live in the red zone of my town (Central Texas). But it is small and it is not the Houston, Texas red zone. Working towards a hand gun instead of just a shotgun; which funny enough… My friends sister that was in the Homeland security group for years, she was fbi trained, said the reason that the handgun rules have been relaxed in Texas is because the violent crime has increased… Something I’m aware of, but can’t convince my Ohio relatives. Be safe… Watch out for telling about all the guns you own.

  • Les says:

    Living in the country, in south central Texas, having a weapon to deal with varmints of the two and four legged variety is a good thing, and then you might want to consider one that will handle some of the ones that slither along the ground. Most of the folks around here are armed, one way or another, and many have a shotgun handy for the slithering variety. If a coyote or fox is out killing your sweet hens, they aren’t going to stay gone just because you came out all noisy and waving your broom around! There have been a number of rabbits that would have had their last meal in my garden if I had had the means at hand to eliminate them. So, a lot of us keep a weapon or three around the house for a number of reasons. As the nearest city gets closer and closer, so do the number of burglaries, the high speed chases, and the occasional message on the phone from the county sheriff’s office letting us know some criminal or a group of miscreants have been sighted in our area and to be in the watch. If someone’s hungry, they’re welcome to the food in the garden, but it’s good to know we have some say over who and when and how much. Be careful, be responsible, but be armed and ready.

  • Natali says:

    Hey Marjory I Love your videos and articles and I am so grateful for your work! My partner and I would like to learn more about how to protect ourselves and our land with guns, but we have zero experience with these things and honestly don’t know where to start. Any good resources/ suggestions are much appreciated.

  • Robert Wymer says:

    Guns are interesting as they relate to Texas history. This is an email string with a friend of mine who is an expert on the history of the Texas Rangers and their guns.

    Great— Important, fascinating information. If you don’t mind I may cut and paste most of this and send it to grandchildren as they get older. Don’t know if you have seen the whole dvd documentary on the Texas Rangers ** it is great.
    I sometimes ask teachers and occasionally high school students I see at clinic about what they know of the Mexican/Am war and the role of the Texas Rangers. Most know nothing. But the facts are that if it was not for the Tx Rangers, the US would not have Tx, Az, Co, Cal, or NM. Wonder if it has become politically correct to ignore this history as not to make Latin Americans feel bad? Or, maybe Texas educators harbor a guilt complex — like Merkel in Germany who is destroying German culture and security by encouraging Middle East refugees to flood into Germany.
    * This originally had pictures of the colts mentioned, plus a short audio about Jack Hays, but couldn’t figure out how to attach them.
    On Jan 9, 2016, at 9:56 PM, ************wrote:
    Hi Bob,
    Thanks for the video. Jack Hays played a huge role in Texas Ranger history.
    It’s interesting because the guy who played the major role in developing the “Walker Colt” was actually Samuel Hamilton Walker, a young Ranger in Hays’ command.
    The Walker Colt is the most desirable of all Colt pistols. It’s the big one in the middle of the picture below. Walker went to Sam Colt to specifically help him develop a pistol more useful to the Texas Rangers than Colt’s previous “Paterson” model. The Paterson is the one on top in the picture below. It was a five shot, 36 caliber pistol. It was also somewhat odd in that the trigger folds out of sight into the receiver until the hammer is cocked. It was not that powerful – being only 36 caliber. Walker wanted something that would literally take a horse down at a 100 yards, or a man off a horse at a 100 yards. The result of their effort will do this.

    The Walkers were issued for use by the Rangers during the Mexican War as the DVD notes. Only about 1,100 were made by Colt. Of those, about 300 are know to exist today. Thus, rarity and connection to an important event in American history makes them incredibly valuable. Actually, one of the most valuable “cased sets” ever sold at auction was the matched pair of two Walkers presented as a personal gift to Sam Walker as a note of appreciation by Sam Colt. As Sam Walker was killed in October of 1847 at the Battle of Huamantla, their value skyrocketed. It is not known if Walker was actually carrying these exact pistols at the time he was killed.

    It turns out that the Walker Colt was the most powerful handgun available until the advent of the .357 magnum in the 1930’s. They are the stuff of legend. If you ever saw “Outlaw Josey Wales”, Clint Eastwood uses a pair of them. Also, Gus McCrea in “Lonesome Dove” has a memorable scene in which he “smacks a surly bartender” with his Walker Colt. In the original “True Grit”, Mattie shoots a Walker that Rooster Coburn (John Wayne) comments on.

    As it turned out, the Walker itself was improved by the next model Colt, called the “Dragoon”. The Dragoon is third one down in the picture. It is literally true that without Sam Walker going to Sam Colt and developing the Walker model, there would be no Colt today. Colt was essentially in bankruptcy when Walker approached him for the improved pistol that bears his name. The Dragoon, by the way, is the pistol prominently mentioned in Cormac McCarthy’s horrendous classic of the Texas frontier after the close of the Mexican War – “The Blood Meridian”.

    The Paterson, Walker, and Dragoon were all “percussion” pistols – meaning they had to be loaded one cylinder at a time from the front. This seems slow to us today, but it still represented a tremendous increase in firepower when a Ranger had two of them at his disposal. The true “center fire” cartridge didn’t really get established until Colt came out with the incredible “Peacemaker” in 1873. It took about 20 years, from roughly the early 1850’s, to get past some legal challenges Colt had with another firm of legend – Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson. I have both a Colt Walker and Colt Peacemaker. Mine, however, are genuine Colts, but they are second generation.

    I’ll show them to you sometime. Can’t remember which I might have showed you before.
    As a footnote, Sam Walker’s remains were repatriated from their original burial place in Mexico to Odd Fellow’s Cemetery here in San Antonio. Nobody I know even knows, or cares, about this anymore.

    Thanks for asking.

    I don’t get a chance to rattle on like this often.


  • Dusty Schwartz says:

    Yes you are right, I been shooting for a long time and I live way out in the sticks of Tennessee. I carry a gun 9mm. I raise my own pigs,chickens turkeys, have a garden. Collecting water as the only water I have no bathroom very primitively living. Love watching your videos,and love what your doing. Thank you!!!!! Dusty

  • gthomson says:

    I just attended an intro to handgun training class today – my first experience doing anything with guns in my 53 years here – dang, almost 54… I’m still on the fence as to whether or not they should be promoted or discouraged. But I do now think better education on them could be a good thing. They always scared me. Criminals, cops and crazy gun fanatics had them – but not me.
    In the class today, there was a dental hygenist, a really tiny HR lady (although she seemed a bit feisty, and not one I’d want to mess with :-)), a Special Ed teacher, a lady with two girls at 11 and 16 years old who wanted to be able to teach them if needed.
    I’m in California – not the most gun-friendly state to say the least.
    They had us shooting a 9mm by the end of the day of training – a very strange feeling for me.
    And regardless of what I do now with guns, I feel like this was a bit of education that everybody could do well with – just to understand things better in this area in case needed at some point, whether it’s to use one or to make sure one is safe and unloaded.
    During the short shooting part of the training, my finger kept going onto the trigger – it just felt like the natural place to put it. Not good. I’ve never felt comfortable around guns because they have always been a bit mysterious to me. Now I feel comfortable around them, and I think it’s just because of the educational aspect – I know what to do, expect, etc… now with them.

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  • Virginia Concealed Carry Class says:

    Superb write this article.

  • Joanna Newcomer says:

    My husband will love this one! We focus on protection and preservation in all aspects of our homestead so this fits in perfectly.

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