For more than a century, sharpshooters from around the world have gathered every four years to determine who’s the greatest. Men’s shooting was one of nine events at the first modern Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, in 1896. Women’s shooting events were added in 1984. Here are five guns that brought home the gold.
Arthur “Cookie” Cook became the youngest American athlete to ever win a medal in the shooting sports when he nabbed gold at the age of 17. He captured the medal using this Model 37 Remington Rangemaster at the 1948 Olympics in London—the first Olympics held after the end of WWII. His record held until a young lady by the name of Kim Rhode made her Olympic debut in 1996.
This Colt revolver, factory-fitted with a skeletonized hammer, was used by A.P. Lane in winning five gold medals. Known as the “Pistol Wizard,” Lane won three medals during the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden, and two in the 1920 Games in Antwerp, Belgium. An interesting aside: One of the silver medalists in the 1912 Games won it using Lane’s borrowed ammunition.
High Standard Supermatic .22 to win the Gold Medal in Rapid Fire Pistol during the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, Italy. His 587 of a possible 600 score secured the only Gold Medal won by the U.S. in the shooting sports during that Olympiad.
The stickers on this rifle are from committees that review guns for competition, and they’re a good way to judge how many competitions a gun has been used in. It’s safe to say that Launi Meili and her Anschutz Model 54 Bolt-Action Rifle have been quite competitive. Meili even brought home the gold during the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain.
The year was 1920, and the event was the Olympic Games in Stockholm, Sweden. With the American team on the line for free rifle, Marine Morris Fisher made a last-minute decision to eschew this specialty rifle—which he had just shot poorly with—for a standard 1903 Springfield .03-06. The result: high score of the day and a gold medal for the United States.