Cody, Wy –-(Ammoland.com)- The most recent addition to the collection of presidential guns on display at the Cody Firearms Museum of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming, is an extraordinary rifle that was presented to Ronald Reagan, the 40th president of the United States.
The Winchester Model 64 Lever Action Rifle in .30-30 caliber was customized by firearms notable Frank Pachmayr and magnificently engraved by Master Engraver R. Boucher.
The gold pistol grip cap is engraved, “Presented to Ronald Reagan from Nan and Frank Pachmayr.” It was a pet project of Pachmayr, famous Los Angeles gunsmith and manufacturer, who knew Ronald Reagan personally and admired him greatly.
Bruce Eldredge, Executive Director of the Historical Center, says, “This rifle is a wonderful acquisition that supplements the Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, John F. Kennedy, Dwight Eisenhower, and Lyndon Johnson presidential guns that we have on display. It is truly a splendid work of art.”
The rifle is unique in that it has a series of gold inlays representing the various stages of Reagan’s career. A football reflects his days as a player at Eureka College; an antique microphone, his time as a sportscaster; the famous drama masks depict his career as an actor; and a Screen Actors’ Guild logo represents his presidency of that organization. More gold inlays are the great seal of California and the Presidential Seal of the United States. The final inlay is a striking portrait of Reagan.
Not the least of this firearm’s appeal is its finest quality Circassian burl walnut stocks with remarkably beautiful grain and immaculate carving and checkering. Firearms Curator Warren Newman says that those who have seen the rifle to date consider it to be among the most delightful historical objects they have ever had the privilege of seeing. He thinks it is one of the most impressive guns he has examined in his more than 40 years as a firearms professional.
Cody resident Nick Misciagna, a former San Francisco attorney for more than 50 years, was a member of then California Governor Reagan’s speakers bureau. He and Pachmayr began collaborating on the rifle in 1981 as a gift for Reagan.
“We had three things to consider,” Misciagna explains. “We had to decide on the appropriate kind of gun for this special project, and then it had to have what I call a ‘broad canvas’ for engraving. Finally, we talked about ways to feature Reagan’s achievements through the engraving.”
On hand for the actual delivery of the rifle to the president, Misciagna noted that the presentation was delayed until Reagan had left the White House. “This meant that the gift became his personal possession and not a presidential artifact headed for the Smithsonian.”
Learn more about the Cody Firearms Museum ,or contact Newman at [email protected] or 307.578.4092 .
Committed to connecting people with the Spirit of the American West, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center weaves the varied threads of the western experience—history and myth, art and Native culture, firearms technology and Yellowstone natural history—into the rich panorama that is the American West. The Center, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is now operating its summer schedule, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily. For general information, visit the Center's Web site, or call 307.587.4771 . www.bbhc.org