Desert Peoples / New Industries



William Moore Co.
ca. 1860

The McHaney shotgun is a 14 gauge, muzzle–loading, double-barrel, black powder shotgun with exposed rabbit ear hammer and double trigger. The stock has been repaired at the wrist with sheet copper.

According to the Keys family, the shotgun was originally owned by reputed cattle rustler James McHaney. Homesteader and miner William F. Keys etched the stock with designs depicting James’ life, including an inscription of his name. James had a reputation for spending lavishly and eventually was arrested for counterfeiting.

Favored because of its versatility, most non-urban households of the mid to late 1800s would have owned a shotgun. A shotgun is not a precision weapon but scatters the pellets, making it easy to hit a target at close range.

Wood, metal. L 129 cm
Joshua Tree National Park, JOTR 2622