James H. Bullard, a master mechanic for S & W before striking out on his own, built a limited number of rack-and-pinion lever-action rifles of high quality. . Wonderful and rare deluxe Bullard rifle with 28" octagon barrel, Rocky Mountain front sight and Winchester 73-style semi-buckhorn rear sight, full magazine, with highly figured deluxe checkered forearm and butt stock with "S" shaped grip and Bullard Repeating Arms Co. hard rubber butt plate having an elk head in the center. The left side of the receiver is engraved with foliate arabesque patterns having punch dot background and a light engraved border line with the side plate having an engraved rib band which is inscribed: "PRESENTED TO / Col. Wm F. Cody / BY THE / BULLARD REPEATING ARMS CO." The right side of the receiver is covered with about 50% foliate arabesque patterns with punch dot background. The balance of the receiver and dust cover have light border decorations. There are more border decorations at the chamber and muzzle ends of the barrel. There is also a small, highly-detailed raised silver inlaid buffalo head on the tang behind the hammer. NOTE: This rifle, until August 2001, was on display in the Buffalo Bill Museum , Buffalo Bill Historic Center , Cody , WY . However, this may be the only Bullard with Buffalo Bill connection known. It makes sense that the Bullard Repeating Arms Co., only in business from 1886 to 1890, at the height of Buffalo Bill's fame, would have sought his endorsement to their product. Buffalo Bill, at that time, had just completed his first European tour with his Wild West Show and was without question, the most recognized and well-known man in the world.
I have enclosed part of an Email from G. Scott Jamieson, the most knowledgeable
man on Bullard's, I know. His email is as follows:
The serial number of the Bullard is 282. The number is stamped on the lever inside according to my notes from the Cody Museum. The Buffalo logo covered the serial number's original location behind the hammer. The Bullard factory began producing BULLARDS in January 1883 and ceased production in January 1891. However any large scale manufacturing has ceased by 1888. There were only 1700 large-frame repeaters made. I base this on my surveys of the past 27 years. Further the .40-90 Bullard was one of their most popular cartridges given the fact that no game in North America could stand against it. Buffalo Bill often visited Bullard's home when the show visited Springfield. My second edition of BULLARD ARMS is now at the publishers and will contain over 1000 B & W photo's along with 150 Colour ones several excellent shots of the Cody Bullard.
Thanks to Scott for the Info.