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A Gun From The Moros


The well-worn walnut grips held inset coins, but the faded typed inscription glued to the revolver’s bent and rusted frame simply read: “Colt Revolver captured from Mindanao, Moros by 18th Co., P.S., 1912 C.M. Tuteur 2nd Lt. P.S.” The gun was a Colt Single Action Army .45 in admittedly “relic” condition and, by its low serial number, had been manufactured in 1877. But sometimes, an otherwise mute pistol in an exhibit case can help tell a tale of the past.

The year was 1912 and Clifford Tuteur, a 28-year-old officer from Pennsylvania, found himself in the middle of the Philippine Insurrection. After surviving tropical heat and humidity in several military camps throughout Mindanao for five more years as an officer in the Philippine Scouts, then-Capt. Tuteur transferred to California and continued to serve in the field artillery. Perhaps before he passed in 1978, retired Col. Tuteur’s thoughts might have included memories of the campaign where he acquired this well-worn Colt, 66 years before.

The National Firearms Museum at NRA Headquarters reveals stories drawn from six centuries of firearm history in galleries filled with guns associated with American presidents and foreign nobility as well as military rifles and handguns from battles throughout time. Admission to the museum is free (donations appreciated) and the doors are open seven days a week. For details, call (703) 267-1600, e-mail or check out our website at