Krieghoff’s ‘Buffalo Jump’ Gun

Firearms engraved to celebrate episodes from the Wild West are not uncommon, but those featuring scenes from Native American history are rare. Krieghoff has changed all that with its 2023 Gun of the Year, which honors the buffalo jump tradition, in which hunters herded bison and then drove them over cliffs, injuring the animals so that they could be dispatched by tribe members waiting below. The practice was recorded by Lewis and Clark and rendered in watercolors by Alfred Jacob Miller.

Krieghoff dealer Alamo Sporting Arms, in Boerne, Texas, commissioned Italy’s Creative Art to engrave scenes from a buffalo jump using a Model K-80/S as the raw canvas. The finished gun, which was unveiled at the 2023 IWA Outdoor Classic, in Nuremberg, Germany, features mounted warriors with drawn bows pursuing stampeding bison on the right sideplate. The right knuckle shows a brave in a buffalo headpiece with a lance and medicine hoop. On the left side a hunter holding a bow astride a wildly rearing horse dominates a scene of scrambling buffalo. The knuckle on the left side has a chief in a feathered headdress holding a bison skull. The bottom of the receiver shows the culmination of the hunt: buffalo tumbling off a cliff to the ground below. The toplever is pieced with eagle feathers, one of the many symbols of Native Americans that adorn the gun. 

The first Americans hunted buffalo primarily for food but also used every part of the animal for clothing, shelter, sewing needles and so on. The Krieghoff K-80/S “Buffalo Jump” gun celebrates this vital American tradition.

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