Los Angeles is an underrated town, in my opinion. Aside the variety of stunning landscapes, alien planet heat, and atmosphere of sunfried amorality, there is a lot to recommend it.

One such gem is the Gene Autry Museum, a lovely little building near the Los Angeles Zoo that is devoted to the history of America’s west. The museum is expertly and tastefully curated, with regularly excellent exhibits throughout the year. Their interests range from Native American life and history to Chicano culture to past and current regional artists expressing the many complicated issues facing the modern southland.

They also have a delightful permanent collection, the pride of which is the wall of ridiculous wild west firearms. My wife and I laughed out loud when we saw these two beauties…which I’m sure would have gotten us shot thoroughly dead in whatever saloon we they originally appeared. It would have been humiliating.

Boy, that sure is a fancy gun you got there, mister. What do the bullets look like? 

These things got me diving down a very specific rabbit hole of absurdly bedazzled and ornate firearms.

Deluxe Tiffany & Co. Smith & Wesson .32 Double Action 4th Model Revolver Exhibited by the Factory at the 1893

I don’t know what type of person does this to a gun…

Very Rare Smith & Wesson Engraved Model 38 single action 2nd model top break revolver two barrel set.

But I’m not sure it’s the sort of person you find among the average gun owners of today.

I admit, it’s pretty. For a gun. 
Well, that’s just stupid. 

Of course, the desire to beautify and personalize our instruments of death is perfectly understandable. Once upon a time this was the way to stake out an identity. Arms and amour were statements of status and achievement. Symbols of the self that have been replaced by hotrod cars and…er…internet blogs.

But I can’t tell if these designs would make a person more inclined to use the weapon or less. Does a gold gilded ICBM stay in its silo or does it demand to be seen streaking across the sky? Thermonuclear Warhead by Faberge…handle with care until detonation.