Here are some samples of the
educational displays presented by UGCA members.
We hope you enjoy them. Part of the pleasure of gun collecting is learning about the historical, technical, and artistic features associated with firearms. Gun shows provide members, and the general public, a chance to appreciate these aspects.
If you collect guns,
we invite you to join UGCA.
Membership benefits include for free admission to all UGCA shows, reduced table rates, and a great newsletter.
Click here for membership information and application
Copyright 2001 by Utah Gun Collectors Association. All rights reserved. Box 711161, salt Lake City, UT 84171
Let's go to the UGCA gun show!
Now- on to the Great Displays!
Click on the title to go directly to one of these displays or enjoy scrolling down the page to see them all.
This impressive collection was shared by one of our lady friends. Hunting has been necessary for survival, or enjoyed as sport for many centuries. While some weapons used were rather plain but sufficient to feed the family, others are exceptionally ornate and demonstrate the owner's status in the community. However, all must possess utilitarian features in order to serve their purpose. Beyond that, the maker often added artistic touches based on traditional designs or materials, varying with the skill of the maker from primitive folk art to the finest craftsmanship.
Swords have been traditional hunting weapons in Europe, often used to finish off wounded game or for protection against attack by wounded animals.
A variety of hunting rifles circa 1800-1850.
More hunting rifles, circa 1870-1920. (Yes, flintlocks were still being made for Indian trade goods in the 1870s)
The lavishly decorated gun at the top is from the personal armory of the Maharaja of Hyderabad, India, circa 1800.
An amazing combination sword and pistol, circa 1750, extremely scarce.
Two hunting knives. American Indian knife (Kiowa circa 1870) at the top was intended for daily use, and the ornate German Forester's knife circa 1935 below was intended mainly as a ceremonial item.
It was an exceptional privilege to view these
fine guns, older than those found outside of the world's finest museums.
Firearms in the early days (and we mean really EARLY!) were very expensive and owned only by the wealthiest individuals, and made by skilled artisans using secret techniques. Artistic embellishment was expected to be present and excite as much admiration as the ferocious firepower would awe adversaries.
The centerpiece of this display was a magnificent matchlock, the earliest type of firearm. The brass barrel features the open jaws of a dragon to emphasize the fire and smoke which would issue from its mouth when fired. The breech is decorated with a high relief carved image of the Devil, with an evil expression and ominous horns on his head.
The top of the barrel is dated 1490, two years before Columbus sailed the Ocean blue to discover the new world.
An equally impressive feature was a PAIR of wheellock pistols made by Felix Werder in 1646. Unlike the matchlock which used a smoldering length of cord to ignite the powder charge, the wheellock had a wound up spring that would turn a wheel rapidly while a flint was pressed against it by the hammer, generating sparks much like a cigarette lighter.
Special thanks to one of UGCA's long time supporters for sharing these beautiful works of art! They don't get much "gooder or older" than this!
Matchlock carbine circa 1490 (top)
Pair of wheellock pistols, circa 1646 by Felix Werder (center)
Wheellock carbine circa 1650 (bottom)
Muzzle detail on the matchlock.
Lock mechanism the matchlock
Detail of the breech on the matchlock, with the date 1490 visible.
Pair of Wheellock pistols by Felix Werder, circa 1646
Detail of the lock mechanism.
Some of the artistry on the pistol pair.
Detail of wheellock carbine mechanism.
Combination matchlock pistol and ax.
Part of the crowd admiring these beauties, including the devil on the matchlock!
Arthur G. brought about a dozen
different types of rifles, dating from the 1803 model used by Lewis and
Clark up through the Civil War period. Of course, he also provided
examples of the proper bayonets, ammunition and other related items.
This great exhibit earned the BEST OF SHOW Award! As a retired Navy man, the proud owner qualifies as part of the display.
Mr. M. ("Ol' sarge in the photo) shared his impressive variety of Civil War Carbines and revolvers and related items. He enjoys preserving these historic arms and explaining their features to visitors.
"Ol' Sarge" at the left keeping an eye on the guy on the right. It's okay, he is one of the many law enforcement officers who regularly attend our shows and are avid gun collectors. UGCA offers free admission to all uniformed public safety officers and military personnel, and done so for many years.
Some details of this very fine collection that "Sarge" has been working on to show the amazing variety of arms used during the Civil War.
A great display by the guy who really did write the book on these interesting guns, designed for clandestine use during WW2. A huge number were turned out by the General Motors Guide Lamp Division, with average production time of about 3.5 seconds per unit, making it a gun that took longer to load than to manufacture. Resistance fighter were supposed to sneak up on an enemy guard, and use this single shot pistol to kill them and then have their much more capable) weapon to use in the future. Special thanks to Ralph H. for making the trip to allow us to enjoy these.
Close up of the "Liberator" ready to fire on the left, and open for loading on the right. While these look like a semi-auto pistol, they are actually a primitive single shot weapon.
Study carefully, as you may never see a collection like this again.
Jeff is interested in a variety of historical
guns, and brought these three as an example of "Basic Springfields" that
a collector might want as examples of some of the arms used by the U.S.
military from the 1870s through World War I.
Jeff is moving to Alaska soon (job transfer, not for the weather!) and was selling off a lot of his hunting, camping and outdoor equipment at bargain prices. You never know what you will find at a gun show! (The rifles are a Model 1873 .45-70 "Trapdoor," the Model 1898 .30-40 "Krag" and the Model 1903 "Springfield," if you need a shopping list to start your collection.
Jim C uses some really great modern replicas of the extremely valuable originals to show how Col. sam Colt improved his pistols over the years from a very basic concept (the revolver cylinder) into practical arms for use by our mounted troops. Jim loves to explain the story to visitors.
Jim also brought out his Colt Frontier Scout .22 revolver display.
Always popular with the public, Mr. B. brings an amazing display of weapons, tools, and other artifacts from the earliest Americans. These have won the "Public's Choice" Award several times now. Very little of this material is found outside of museums.
Showing examples of medical related materials at the first aid and field medicine levels, this is a good reminder of how dramatically medicine has improved since the Revolutionary War era of the soldier and his daughter shown here, and the miracles performed today.
Geroge's award winning display of outstanding artistry in wood and metal. Incredible skill is needed to combine the utilitarian aspects of a top quality firearm and the best artistic qualities of engraving, sculpting, and carving in walnut, steel and precious metal. His special guest enjoyed her first gun show!
John brought out an array of handguns, swords, bayonets, knives and bolos used during WW1. Although most people think of machine guns, tanks and trenches, sidearms were still widely used in WW1.
Model 1911 .45 automatics from Colt, Remington-UMC and Springfield and related material (right)
James Montgomery Flagg's portrait of a Marine with his sidearm was a popular WW1 recruiting poster.
WW1 era revolvers, Model 1909, 1917 (Colt), 1917 (S&W) and 1903
Trench knives- Model 1918 with brass knuckles on the left and the sharp pointed Model 1917s on the right.
Bayonets were side arms as well, from the 1917 and 1903 rifles.
Swords were pretty much useless, but the various bolo knives were popular.