The U.S. Carbines Caliber .30
The Buffalo Bill Memorial Association was established after the death of William (Buffalo Bill) Cody in 1917 at the age of 70. The initial focus of the Memorial Association was an historical center to preserve the history of the West. Over time it has grown from it's original small building into the current day Buffalo Bill Center of the West. The center is on 40 acres with a seven acre building housing five museums with over 70,000 artifacts in addition to a research library with a collection of 30,000 books, over 400 manuscript collections, and more than 900,000 photographs.
The McCracken Archival Index is available online for those who wish to conduct research at the library. The library also has an online digital collection for viewing.
The Buffalo Bill Center of the West is located in Cody, Wyoming near the east entrance to Yellowstone National Park.
Oliver F. Winchester was the founder and first president of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company in the 1860's. He started the Winchester Arms Collection as a research and reference collection containing arms of all his competitors as well as those manufactured by Winchester. By the early 1870's the collection expanded to include documentation of the historical development of firearms in general. The collection continued to expand with Oliver's successors through the years of the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. To include the works of the various companies acquired by Winchester over the years.
In 1975 Winchester, then the Olin Corporation, placed their entire collection on loan to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, WY. The collection was formally deeded to the museum in 1989 and opened as The Winchester Arms Museum. With funding from Winchester and others the museum was expanded and became the Cody Firearms Museum in 1991. Since then the Cody Firearms Museum has become a repository for historical firearms from many different companies. Historical documents have been placed in the Harold McCracken Research Library where they are available to researchers under the supervision of research librarians. The Cody Firearms Museum currently houses the most comprehensive collection of American firearms in the world.
Winchester having been at the heart of the design, development and production of the .30 caliber Carbines the museum has many of the various prototypes constructed by Winchester during and after WWII.
The McCracken Research Library is in possession of the historical records of Winchester that includes Winchester's production drawings of the Model M1, Model M2 and Model T3 carbines, internal communication at Winchester regarding carbine production, and many more documents related to the Winchester carbine program.
Over the years researchers from The Carbine Club have conducted research at The Cody Firearms Museum and McCracken Research Library including author Larry Ruth for his three volume "War Baby" series on the history of the carbines. Some of the research projects and material included on this website have been obtained from research trips to the museum and McCracken Library..
More recently several members of The Carbine Collectors Club have assisted the museum with identifying a number of prototypes absent any records from Winchester and serve as resources for the museum on anything .30 caliber carbine related. Using the museum's online resources a Virtual Exhibit photo gallery of carbines has been constructed showing some of the carbines in the collection with additional carbines added as information becomes available.
.30 caliber Carbines of The Cody Firearms Museum
Carbine Collector's Club online .30 cal. Carbine Photo Gallery
Buffalo Bill Center of the West Virtual Exhibit
Over the years a number of members have discussed the need for a Carbine Museum as a central repository for historical records and items of historical interest in private collections whose owners wish to see preserved for future generations. Several of us have decided the most solvent museum that is certain to be around for many future generations with the historical documents and carbines of where it all started at Winchester is the most logical and appropriate place for these items.
Donations made by members as courtesy of The Carbine Collector's Club have included:
Starting in August 2018 the museum will be undergoing another renovation to make the most of the square footage available to display more firearms. The renovation is scheduled to be completed by June 2019. One area will be dedicated to rotating displays to show many of the firearms normally kept in storage. If you would like to help support the renovation Click Here.
The Buffalo Bill Center of the West, which includes the Cody Firearms Museum and McCracken Research Library, has 501c3 tax exempt status and is a registered Wyoming charity. Donations are tax deductible. Should anyone wish to consider a donation to the museum or library they are invited to contact Assistant Curator Danny Michael by phone (307 578-4099) or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Having visited almost all of the large firearms museums in the United States, The Cody Firearms Museum has no equal. The Carbine Collectors Club is devoted to the research and preservation of the history of the U.S. .30 caliber carbines. We can think of no better place for that history to be preserved and shared with the generations of the future.
The Discussion Forum also serves as a reference desk for the more advanced material that could easily overwhelm a website and is often subject to opinions that may vary
due to a lack of original documentation. A number of researchers and authors are present on the forums, helping others and seeking information for various research projects.