Guns of The Shootists Holiday

In 1985, notable sixgunner and gun scribe John Taffin joked with some shooting buddies about a week-long range trip where the participants would be limited to bringing a maximum of two firearms.  It started as a fanciful notion, but the idea was too good to dismiss, so Taffin and friends soon found themselves planning the first trip, which came to be known as the “Shootists Holiday.”

The Shootists began as a small group of friends, but soon blossomed into a larger brotherhood that included some of the most prominent people in the firearms industry. The Shootists come from all different walks of life, but are united in their appreciation for firearms, shooting, and the company of good people who share their strong morals and values.

Membership in the invitation-only Shootists grew large enough that they soon needed a bigger range to host their annual pilgrimage. The NRA’s Whittington Center in Raton, New Mexico, is now the home of The Shootists, and the host to the annual Shootists Holiday each year in June.

Each member of The Shootists has his or her own tastes and preferences in firearms, but the group has its origins in a circle of friends that were sixgunners at heart, so a fondness for fine revolvers runs through the group like a ribbon that binds all of them together.

A visitor to the Shootists Holiday will be impressed by the selection of fine and unique firearms on display in the hands of its members, but a RevolverGuy will be truly overwhelmed by the collection of classic and embellished revolvers gathered in Raton. Rarely-seen historical revolvers will ride in fine leather alongside examples of modern craftsmanship from the best gunsmiths, finishers, and engravers known to exist. A worn, first-Generation Colt Model P will share the firing line with a classic Triple-Lock, an engraved Registered Magnum, or a highly-polished GP100.

The Shootists Holiday is a feast for a RevolverGuy’s eyes, and we’re proud to offer this collection of images from the 2018 Shootists Holiday.  Make sure you have a tissue to mop up the drool before you start browsing!

The Dan Wesson .44 Supermag, a revolver you don’t see very often. Shoots .44 Russians, Specials, Magnums, and Super Magnums.
Four revolvers any RevolverGuy would love to shoot! Colt Bisley, Schofield, Freedom Arms .44 Special, and K-38 Masterpiece.
There were plenty of ivory handles being fondled at the Holiday!
The big three US revolver makers all well represented in a single case.
The owner of this Highway Patrolman wearing Bear Hug Grips had a bag full of .357s for anyone to shoot.
This is why I like Peter so much. His S&W 38/44 Outdoorsman in a custom holster and wearing personalized ivories.
A “Perfect Packin’ Pistol” custom .44 Magnum.
Yes, the belt, the holster, and the grips are all rattlesnake skin.
One of the Shootists picked up this original .44 Special Triple Lock at a gun store during the drive to the Holiday. We could all be so lucky.
My wife Robin about to let loose a .50 caliber round from a fellow Shootists’ Model 500. He handed me the gun and ammo and said, “Please Shoot it all up, I need the brass for reloads.”
It’s not often you see three .44 Special Model 97 Freedom Arms single actions at once.
A gorgeous engraved S&W by Tyler Gun Works.
A beautiful example of Bobby Tyler’s work at Tyler Gun Works..
More single action magic from Bobby Tyler.
There really isn’t anything Bobby Tyler can’t do with a firearm.
If you like single action revolvers, there were plenty on display and most of them were going bang.


Tyler Gun Works

NRA Whittington Center

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Author: Steven Tracy

Steven Tracy is a retired police officer after 30 years of service and has been a firearms enthusiast since birth. He was a certified firearms instructor for his department for 28 years. His father and grandfather were shooters and collectors before him, so it’s pretty much in his DNA. Steve’s firearms interests lean toward blued steel and walnut, while nickel-plating, ivory handles, and tasteful engraving make him even happier. From old guns (he has fired the 300+ year-old Blunderbuss that hangs above his fireplace) to the latest wondergun – handguns, rifles, and shotguns – he likes them all. Retired to a log cabin in the Volunteer state of Tennessee (“Patron state of shooting stuff,” as the character Bob Lee Swagger stated, in the movie, Shooter), he keeps busy shooting cottonmouths, armadillos, and beavers that invade his property.

8 thoughts on “Guns of The Shootists Holiday”

  1. Absolutely stunning, Steve! Thank you for sharing these beautiful guns with us. I think we need to assign you a special project on Bobby Tyler’s work, because it’s magnificent and I’d love to learn more about it.

    Next time, I hope to see Peter’s Outdoorsman unleashed!

    1. Thanks Mike! Tyler Gun Works is THE place to go for any work someone needs done on any type of firearm!

  2. Spectacular article and photographs, thank you so much for sharing the experience.

    Not to be “that” guy, but I would guess the snakeskin rig to be cobra, not rattlesnake, having spent some time where each species lives, but I could well be wrong. Minor detail.

    Love your postings here – please keep up the great work, all of you!

  3. David, You are correct about the species of snake on my holster rig and grips. They are indeed King Cobra and the gun is a JP Sauer and Sohn in .44 mag. God Bless and shoot safe.
    Larry Little aka Gripmaker

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