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Mike Harvey, Founder of Cimarron Firearms, Celebrates Milestone Birthday

A passion turned hobby turned business, Cimarron Firearms founder Mike Harvey continues to design authentic classic American West firearms in his eighth decade.

Fredericksburg, Texas (June 2024) – Mike Harvey, founder of Cimarron Firearms, the makers of quality replicas of Old West firearms, celebrates a milestone birthday this month. With no retirement on the horizon, Mr. Harvey, who turns 80, is still very much a hands-on business owner. But then, Cimarron Firearms was never just a business, it was and still is his life’s passion.

A born and bred Texan, Harvey built his first replica, a Hawken rifle, in his youth. Soon, he began buying and trading Old West firearms until it became clear his hobby was getting the better of him. Harvey opened his first store in 1977, where customers could buy and trade classic firearms and muzzle-loading supplies. He named the Houston-based store “Bigfoot.” The store was not named after the legendary hairy creature of the Great Northwest but after Texas Ranger William Alexander Anderson “Big Foot” Wallace, a formidable man over 6 feet tall with 11-inch feet. Although not considered large by today’s standards, Big Foot Wallace left a large legacy as a soldier and Texas Ranger.

In the early 80s, Harvey saw a niche in the marketplace: a lack of quality replica historical arms. Partnering with Allen Firearms, the team imported replicas from Uberti of Italy. Unfortunately, the initial reproductions lacked authenticity, something Harvey was adamant about. Harvey upscaled the Uberti firearm offerings by providing design features that were authentic to the originals, from stamp marks, forging of revolver frames, and finishes. He would use pieces from his growing collection of antique firearms as the standard bearer for the replica that Uberti would build for him.

Harvey bought out Allen Firearms and Cimarron Firearms was founded in 1984. As to the company name, Harvey couldn’t come up with a name that resonated with him, and asked his friend and gun writer and magazine editor, Phil Spangenberger, for a suggestion. Phil suggested “Cimarron” explaining that it just sounded and felt “Western.”  The newly minted Cimarron Firearms relocated from Houston to its present location in Fredericksburg, Texas where the firearms are sold through its sister store, Texas Jack, a storefront location for everything western.

Harvey is considered by many to be a first-rate historian, not only regarding the firearms of the Old West but also the very men and women who shaped the West. The history of Cimarron Firearms recalled by Mike Harvey, makes for an interesting story about the birth of a unique company, and the infamous guns behind the colorful characters that built the West. Whether they were frontiersmen, Texas Rangers, lawmen, or scoundrels, Harvey can spin a colorful yarn about those days long ago that became legends.

Today, Cimarron Firearms continues to be the leader in authentic Old West firearms and the go-to for Hollywood Western films. Mike Harvey shows no signs of slowing down and classic gun fans can expect to see new replicas and interpretations soon. Happy Birthday, Mike.

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About Cimarron Firearms:

Cimarron is the leader in quality and authenticity of replica firearms. For the past 30 years, Cimarron has worked continuously to perfect the authentic detail, fit, finish, and function of our line of frontier firearms. There is no other firearm that is near equal in value, strength, reliability, and authentic detail as is the line from Cimarron Firearms Co.