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Doubling Down With Annie Oakley


Her name was Phoebe Anne Moses, but the world knew her better as Annie Oakley. Her success with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West shows allowed her to acquire many fine firearms. One of her favorite handguns was an engraved Stevens .22 pistol fitted with mother-of-pearl grip panels. This well-known single-shot pistol, part of the Robert E. Petersen collection, was sought by Hollywood prop masters when the 2004 film Hidalgo was being outfitted. The Stevens used in the film was entirely gold-plated and received similar engraving coverage. Today, the original Annie Oakley gun resides in the National Firearms Museum’s Robert E. Petersen Gallery, while its cinematic counterpart is part of the museum’s “Hollywood Guns” temporary exhibit.

The National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Va., has thousands of historic arms on display daily with no admission charge (donations gratefully received). Check out the museum store, which offers the finest in fraternal items and collector publications that span the centuries of arms technology. For more information, call (703) 267-1600, e-mail or view the online galleries at