In January, just before the 2017 SHOT Show, I got the opportunity to travel to Cody Wyoming to visit the Cody Firearms Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, to see some of their rare firearms and bring photos of them to our readers.
Today our subject is one of my all-time favorite rare firearms, the World War I-era Burton Machine Rifle. What makes the Machine Rifle so fascinating is that it is a collection of then-futuristic ideas, many of which would, many decades later, become staples of automatic weapon design. From the weapon’s straight-line stock, to its ambidextrous controls, modular construction, and interchangeable barrels, the Machine Rifle is a collection of features so advanced and out of place, it seems as if it were invented by a time traveler.
So far as we know, the example at the Cody Firearms Museum is the only extant Machine Rifle, although the Cody Museum does also possess a number of alternate barrels for the rifle. Sadly, I did not get hands-on time with the Burton, as an untimely storm cut our visit short. The below photos, therefore, are courtesy of the Cody Firearms Museum staff, and I am very grateful to them for it.
If you’re interested in seeing more of the Cody Firearms Museum, I highly recommend taking a trip out to Cody, Wyoming to see their awesome and extensive collection. They have over 7,000 firearms, about 4,000 of which are on display. In particular, if you have an interest in Winchester firearms and their history, Cody is the place to be. If just a visit isn’t enough for you, then check out the museum’s 79-page book, which highlights some of the finest pieces in their collection!