Guns of the Showman Shooter

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Two well-used guns in the National Firearms Museum collection proudly tell of a time when exhibition shooting captured the nation's attention. A Smith & Wesson .22 Outdoorsman revolver and a .38 M&P revolver commemorating the exploits of Herb Parsons, Winchester representative and master exhibition shooter, were donated in 2009 by his family.

Parsons, renowned for being the actual stunt shooter for Jimmy Stewart in the film "Winchester '73," as well as his thousands of demonstrations across America from 1930 to 1960, fired a variety of handguns, rifles, shotguns and even a nickel-plated Thompson submachine gun. During the World War II years, his unique training skills aided in preparing servicemen heading off to battle. His two nickel-plated Smith & Wessons, fitted with stag grips, are now part of the museum's competitive shooting gallery.

Reprinted from America's 1st Freedom, April 2010.