Woods and Waters An outdoor blog by John McCoy

If West Virginia were to name an “official state firearm,” what would it be?

Within the past few weeks, the Utah Legislature passed a bill recognizing John Moses Browning’s Model 1911 semiautomatic pistol as the Beehive State’s designated shootin’ iron. The Arizona Legislature got into the act when its Senate approved a measure to recognize the Colt single-action Army revolver. Now Alaska has joined the party with a proposal to name as the state firearm the Winchester pre-1964 Model 70 rifle in .30-06 caliber.

West Virginia already has an official state animal (black bear), bird (cardinal), flower (rhododendron), fish (brook trout), tree (sugar maple), fruit (Golden Delicious apple),  and song (The West Virginia Hills). So if our lawmakers decided to designate a state firearm, which one would you recommend?

Strong candidates would be the Pennsylvania rifle or the Kentucky rifle, both of which were widely used by the Mountain State’s early settlers. Problem with those is, they carry other states’ names. For that reason alone, it’d be difficult for West Virginia to claim them. So I’d like to suggest the Model 1842 smoothbore musket produced at the U.S. Armory in Harpers Ferry.

Any other ideas? If so, post them in the comments so others can see them!