For Fun: Wyatt Earp's Semiautomatic


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StewRacing
July 10, 2011, 09:48 PM
If Wyatt Earp was alive today, what do you think he would carry? I kinda think he would be a 1911 man. For all we know he could have handled one, he died in 1929.

On the other side, he was a law enforcement officer and they carry a lot of Glock's!

In his time he most likely carried a Smith and Wesson .44 Schofield. So the M&P could be an option.

I am just curious to what others think.

I am voting 1911 in 10mm!

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Nushif
July 10, 2011, 09:52 PM
Did he not carry the standard gun of the time for LE types?
Glock 17 it is.

Sorry to bust the romantic notion. 8)

Vonderek
July 10, 2011, 10:00 PM
He liked to club miscreants on the head with the barrel of his revolver. I'm guessing he would want something with some length and weight at the front end. Maybe something w/4-6" barrel with full length underlug like a S&W 686.

Lawdawg45
July 11, 2011, 07:24 AM
An interesting and fun question. He was known to carry a Schofield break top, but he also had a Colt Buntline (10 inch) at the OK corral, so his emphasis was more on accuracy than a fast draw. He was also known for not wearing a gun belt, often carrying his pistol in his rear waistband or overcoat pocket. As was stated, he opted for non lethal force many times as he clubbed suspects over the head, and he was never known to fight alone, he always had back up.

If he were alive today, he'd probably be the Chief of a department, so I would put him in a suit coat with a S&W Scandium frame .357 ( 6 or 8 inch) carried in a shoulder holster. He'd also have a non lethal option of an ASP baton or Taser.:cool:

LD45

1911Tuner
July 11, 2011, 09:40 AM
The Earp Buntline Special was very likely a myth perpetrated by Stuart lake, and also as likely abetted by Wyatt himself by telling Lake what he obviously wanted to hear. No documentation exists of Earp ever carrying a Buntline during the execution of his duties in Tombstone or anywhere else, and there isn't really a clear record of his ever having owned one, though he probably did.

Why would he tote a sixgun that would be hard to manage in both carrying and in quick presentation in a time when men could lose their lives in fractions of seconds? I imagine that a 10 or 12-inch revolver would be a real drag to carry.

Here's an excerpt from William Shillenberg's article:

"The Myth of Wyatt Earp's Buntline Special."

lthough Wyatt supposedly told Stuart Lake, "Mine was my favorite over any other gun." If the Buntlines "caused a lot of talk in Dodge" it certainly didn't impress Wyatt Earp enough to note the incident. John Flood admitted being confused after reading Lake's Buntline Special story in The Saturday Evening Post. Flood later remarked to John Gilchriese that he and Mr. Earp discussed weapons in detail many times but no mention was ever made of such a gun. [82] Also, the late Raymond Thorp told a story about Wyatt Earp showing him a revolver in the late fall of 1914. At that time, he said, Wyatt carried a Colt S.A.A. with a 5-1/2-inch barrel. Thorp claimed Earp told him, "I don't like a gun with a longer barrel. Sometimes an inch or two makes a difference when you want to jerk it quickly."

Sig88
July 11, 2011, 10:27 AM
I'd second the 1911 in 10mm.

DWFan
July 11, 2011, 10:39 AM
If Wyatt Earp was alive today, he'd be Dirty Harry...
a S&W .44 but more likely a 6" barrel
Kurt Russell had a 10" barrel SAA at OK Corral, Wyatt Earp didn't

Joe Demko
July 11, 2011, 10:40 AM
What I've read about Earp didn't really paint him as a gun enthusiast in the sense of a typical THR member. I got more of the impression of him regarding them as tools of the trade. If we want to go with the version of Earp that paints him as a lawman of sterling character, I guess he'd probably be carrying one or another of the typical cop guns of the present day. A Glock, an M&P, or a Sig are all great possibilities. If we want to go with the version of Earp that has him as a member of a gang at war with another gang, I guess he'd probably do like many criminals today and not have "a" gun. He'd buy something off the black market, complete his "business," and then ditch that gun.

1911Tuner
July 11, 2011, 10:42 AM
I also think that Wyatt and his contemporaries would opt for a big-bore revolver. There was a general mistrust of the "Newfangled Automatics" among the frontier pistoleros...which is often alluded to by Elmer Keith.

Earp would certainly show an interest...but if he had to pick up a sidearm for serious purpose...he'd doubtless stick with his old reliable sixgun.

Elm Creek Smith
July 11, 2011, 11:58 AM
Smith & Wesson 681 .357 Magnum.

Oh, wait! That's my duty gun!

ECS

easyg
July 11, 2011, 12:15 PM
As much as I like rvolvers....no way would Wyatt carry one today.

He would pobably carry a Glock 21.

BossHogg
July 11, 2011, 12:34 PM
;) If he was alive today he'd be over 160 years old, so I'd say something lightweight.

1911Tuner
July 11, 2011, 12:35 PM
I think not, easyg. I betcha that if ol' Wyatt would wake up from his slumber, he'd go pick up a New Vaquero in .45 Colt. He'd really like that transfer bar and the ability to carry it with all six holes loaded.

IlikeSA
July 11, 2011, 02:14 PM
If Earp were alive today, I can see a fancy engraved 1911 in his holster. I can also see him very disappointed with the shall issue laws, and would support the Brady center.

Lawdawg45
July 11, 2011, 03:55 PM
"I also think that Wyatt and his contemporaries would opt for a big-bore revolver. There was a general mistrust of the "Newfangled Automatics" among the frontier pistoleros...which is often alluded to by Elmer Keith."

I agree completely, especially since the 1911 was mainly designed as a military weapon to be carried in condition 3 until battle required it's use. I really could see him carrying a .357/.44/.45 Colt under a jacket coat. Is there any credible record of what he carried towards the end of his life (if anything)?

LD45

Joe Demko
July 11, 2011, 04:08 PM
If he was like a lot of folks during the early 20th century, he might have been carrying something we'd consider rather anemic, especially as he grew elderly and farther removed from the life of a lawman/wiseguy. Judging by the numbers of them that are still around, smallish revolvers in .32 and .38 seem to have sold very well during that time, as did .25, .32, and .38 autos.

wheelgunslinger
July 11, 2011, 04:30 PM
he'd go pick up a New Vaquero in .45 Colt. He'd really like that transfer bar and the ability to carry it with all six holes loaded.
Yeah, probably.

But, it depends on what the question is. If the question is "If Wyatt were a lawman today..." then I'd have to say Glock.

Dr.Rob
July 11, 2011, 06:33 PM
Didn't Wyatt shill for Savage in his twilight years?

Seem to recall him boasting of Savage's 10 shot .32 automatic as a thing of wonder and precision.

Sorry I guess it was Bat Masterson:

http://www.vintagepistols.com/1907/ad9.html?adid=9

MICHAEL T
July 11, 2011, 06:41 PM
If Earp was alive he be working for the Brady bunch trying to ban carry. they seem to be anti guns in the towns they worked 2nd didn't matter to them They wanted gun control. Sort of like those mayors .

1911Tuner
July 11, 2011, 07:24 PM
Quote:

>If Earp was alive he be working for the Brady bunch trying to ban carry. they seem to be anti guns in the towns they worked 2nd didn't matter to them They wanted gun control. <

The Earps weren't against guns and they had no anti-gun agenda. They were trying to keep a handle on cow towns where liquor flowed like water, and men settled their differences with guns about as often as not. The last thing you want in a saloon is an armed drunk who's just lost a month's wages at the Faro table. Gunfights on the street corners and in the saloons were generally bad for business...which is why they resorted to banging heads early on in a confrontation, before gunplay became a possibility. Nothin' personal. Just business.

Whenever Wyatt and Virgil signed a contract to act as town marshals and police officers, they agreed to enforce town law...and town law forbade the open carrying of firearms within town limits. Sometimes, the statute was only in effect for Saturday night...or whenever the drovers rolled into town.

The statute against public drunkeness was no more than a revenue generator. They sold the liquor, and then arrested and fined the people who got drunk on it, thus doubling or even tripling their take. Neat racket, methinks.

Mikey Idaho
July 12, 2011, 01:18 PM
Well, considering the whole bad-a LE type I'd vote for a glock or m&p in 10mm or 45. Picturing him using a revolver in the present is holding into the old west image too much.

Zombiphobia
July 12, 2011, 01:26 PM
If Earp were alive today, I can see a fancy engraved 1911 in his holster. I can also see him very disappointed with the shall issue laws, and would support the Brady center

Yeah, they did support a lot of 'no carrying in town limits' crap didn't they?

They were trying to keep a handle on cow towns

Yup, and that counts as 'gun control', which the brady bunch is all about. Wyatt himself clubbed quite a few people just for carrying, rather they were drunk or not, so the liqour factor isn't even relevant.

1911Tuner
July 12, 2011, 01:49 PM
Zombi...They signed a contract to enforce town laws. They didn't write the laws. They may not have necessarily agreed with the laws...but they did agree to enforce them. Many modern police officers may not agree with the laws...but they do have a duty to enforce them.

Look at it in the same way as the issuance of permits in order to exercise a fundamentally and Constitutionally protected right...or facing criminal charges if you're caught.

Should we have to pay a fee and beg permission in order to exercise a right? Once government is involved with licenscing and saying YEA or NAY to those who apply...it's no longer a right. It's a privelege, granted at the whim of government. Yet, everybody raised their voices and rejoiced when the "Shall Issue" legislation passed.

Can we say: "Oh! The irony!"

Earp and Company had no anti-gun agenda. In those days, guns were pretty much an accepted reality and it was assumed that nearly everybody had one somehwere. The town government officials were interested in keeping the money flowing...and shoot'em ups were simply bad for business.

Again...The last thing you want in a saloon/gambling house is an armed drunk. If you had a cookout at your house, and one of your guests showed up armed and drunk...would you ask him to hand over his gun...or would you just shrug and keep cookin' the ribs?

Cosmoline
July 12, 2011, 02:01 PM
He mostly seems to have gone where the money and action were, whether that was Arizona or Alaska or California. In modern times that probably puts him doing lawman's work in Las Vegas. Maybe running mobsters out of town or knocking heads for the casinos, too. I don't think he cared much about the particular firearm he carried. In photos he clearly sees himself as a stylish gent of means, not a gunman.

1911Tuner
July 12, 2011, 02:15 PM
There ya go, Cosmo. Earp was down with makin' money, and...after a lot of reading the historical accounts...he wasn't all that particular about following legal or moral codes to do it. Short of murder for hire...he'd probably do pretty much whatever it took. Among his many business ventures were prostitution and gambling, and he wasn't above rigging the gambling in his favor.

The Earps weren't lawmen as much as they were opportunists. If acting as law enforcement officers in a given town also offered the opportunity to make a fast buck...and there usually was...then that's what they did. If there was more money in running a Faro or poker game, and leaving the law enforcement duties to somebody else...that's what they did.

One of Doc Holliday's scams in Colorado involved gold plating lead bars and selling them as gold. And where do you suppose he got the idea for that?

FTG-05
July 12, 2011, 02:44 PM
If Wyatt Earp was alive today, he'd be Dirty Harry...
a S&W .44 but more likely a 6" barrel
Kurt Russell had a 10" barrel SAA at OK Corral, Wyatt Earp didn't

Trivia question: What did Wyatt Earp carry in that movie?

KodiakBeer
July 12, 2011, 03:17 PM
This!

http://www.calzaretta.com/scans/AMT%20LS%20small.jpg

SharpsDressedMan
July 12, 2011, 03:30 PM
Earp lived long enough and lived his later life in urban areas, and had opportunity to own the semi-autos of the day. I could see him packing a Colt .32 or .380 under his suit coat.

gordy
July 12, 2011, 04:55 PM
Oh I see the man with a Sig 229.

Rembrandt
July 12, 2011, 06:31 PM
He'd probably use the Desert Eagle "Buntline Special"......

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/de2.jpg

1911Tuner
July 12, 2011, 06:48 PM
SharpsDressed...I could see that...and a sign over the door:

"Wyatt Earp Detective Agency."

1911Tuner
July 12, 2011, 10:18 PM
FTG...Probably his favorite...a .44 caliber Merwin and Hulbert. Conflicting stories indicate that his OK Corral gun may have been a No 3 Schofield...but his favored sixgun was the Merwin. At a distance, the two looked enough alike that it could have been a case of mistaken gun-dentity.

Maple_City_Woodsman
July 13, 2011, 12:06 AM
Wyatt Earp lived until 1929. By the time he died, semi-autos had already been on the market for 40 years, with reliable models widely available for at least 30.

I don't think anyone here can say that he did or didn't own one? He certainly had plenty of time to try them out.

Dimis
July 13, 2011, 11:07 AM
1911 longslide .45ACP

If Wyatt Earp was alive today, he'd be Dirty Harry...
a S&W .44 but more likely a 6" barrel

Clint used a 6 inch for the majority of filming all the DH movies the 8 inch was used for the promotional stuff and for a few scenes in the original dirty harry movie but not much else

kdave21
August 8, 2011, 01:17 AM
Old thread but just came across it...

Regarding the Buntline controversy: Lee Silva makes a good argument in favor of Wyatt owning a Buntline. I am not in either camp at this time but I think it is impossible to say its not fact.

Regarding Earp being anti-2nd: I dont think so. In fact, I know thats not true. Earp owned guns, carried guns both as an officer and as a civilian, and was known to have certain favorites. Never met an "anti" like that before. Would you label security personnel at an airport as "anti-gun" because they are doing the job that the citizens have paid them to do? Of course not. The business owners of that time did not want their customers being shot because they snickered or said the wrong thing to a drunken cow boy or card shark. As a side note, I could see Wyatt enforcing the weapons laws with rowdy characters, and turning his head to the law abiding citizens who were known to carry. Most people dont realize what LE had to deal with back then. Lee Silva also does a good job of explaining this in his book "Wyatt Earp A Biography of a Legend: Volume I The Cowtown Years"

One of Doc Holliday's scams in Colorado involved gold plating lead bars and selling them as gold.

Source? I've read some books on Holliday (Gary Roberts and Karen Tanners among others) and have never even heard of this. I did a search for this and found there is a TV episode called "Death Valley Days - Doc's Gold Bars" that Im guessing portrays this event happening, but most of those old westerns were about 96% fiction (or more). Its those old TV shows and dime store novels that have gotten history so twisted up in my opinion.

And where do you suppose he got the idea for that?

Where?

TexasBill
August 8, 2011, 04:49 AM
Virgil Earp was the real lawman in the family; he spent the largest portion of his life as a marshall, sheriff, constable or railroad agent. Even after he was crippled in Tombstone, he worked as a lawman. In fact, he was a deputy sheriff almost up to the time he died. Because of his law enforcement and military service, Virgil actually had more experience with firearms than Wyatt did.

Wyatt, who was younger and outlived Virgil by 24 years, got the good press and notoriety but likely never owned a Buntline Special because there probably never was a Buntline Special. Ned Buntline, the supposed donor, wrote only four Western-themed stories and they were all about Buffalo Bill Cody. In addition, Colt doesn't have any record of Buntline (or anyone else) ever ordering revolvers with 12-inch barrels in this time period. Historians now believe the Buntline Special was a product of Earp biographer Stuart Lake's highly embellished prose.

I find it hard to believe Wyatt Earp would choose a Glock. Glocks are ugly and Earp was a bit of a dandy. The engraved, nickel-plated .44 S&W American he used at the OK Corral was a gift from Tombstone's mayor and the publisher of the Tombstone Epitaph.

A scandium S&W .357 would probably be too unpleasant for a sidearm that saw frequent use (Earp was definitely not a masochist). Besides, shoulder holsters were reputed to be more Doc Holliday's style.

Where serious power was needed, Earp preferred a shotgun.

According to most reliable sources, Wyatt Earp seldom wore a gunbelt and it's a bit hard to imagine him in uniform with the standard duty rig.

It is easy to imagine Earp with a big S&W N-Frame, but it's easier to imagine him with a handgun he could drop in a pocket or tuck in his waistband, his preferred method of carry. IMHO, a .45 auto, perhaps a Colt Commander, would be the likely choice.

1911Tuner
August 8, 2011, 07:14 AM
Source? I've read some books on Holliday (Gary Roberts and Karen Tanners among others) and have never even heard of this. I did a search for this and found there is a TV episode called "Death Valley Days - Doc's Gold Bars" that Im guessing portrays this event happening, but most of those old westerns were about 96% fiction (or more).

It's buried in some of the biography. I've read several, and don't remember where it is...but it's there if ya look hard enough. I do remember that it was in Leadville, Co.

Where?

Very likely one of the Earps, and most likely from Wyatt, who apparently wasn't above running a scam.

Shienhausser
August 8, 2011, 12:41 PM
Coonan .357

mrt949
August 8, 2011, 03:37 PM
brain far$

Prosser
August 8, 2011, 03:42 PM
I can't believe he'd use anything weaker then a .44 Magnum, or .45 Colt.

WHY would you step down in power as better technology came along? .45 ACP
was designed to be equal to the .45 Colt, but failed in it's final presentation, unless you are using Buffalobore 255 grain LFN ACP ammunition.

At LEAST a .45 Colt Vaquero...
Since one gets hooked on SAA pistols, how about a .45 Colt revolver, with a reasonable length barrel, like 5"?

As for a semi-auto, the only reason for that would be a backup gun. I'd pick a Detonics Combatmaster. You can load it with rounds that come close to the .45 Colt, and, it's controllable, if a little heavy
for a BUG these days.

Deaf Smith
August 8, 2011, 07:55 PM
Due to the Earps propensity to using their guns as clubs to 'buffalo' drunks I'd have suggested an Automag in .44.

It makes a nice club that can still shoot after being used on the noggins of drunks.

Deaf

kdave21
August 28, 2011, 02:17 PM
It's buried in some of the biography

If you ever find the source let me know.

Very likely one of the Earps, and most likely from Wyatt, who apparently wasn't above running a scam.

That is one theory, although I would argue it's fully speculative one. He was a flawed human being, no doubt. Nevertheless, I would be interested to hear a documented case of Wyatt pulling a "scam." The closest thing I have heard of a "scam" (my definition of scam is deliberately tricking people for your own profit) is speculation that he sold old pawn store Colts to unsuspecting journalist types who sought him out looking to "own a piece of history." I could see him doing that, although I could also see him doing it because he was tired of being hounded and figured if they were silly enough to assume it was what he used in his gunfights then so be it. He was not a publicity hound.

Gambling was viewed as a legitimate past time and even occupation in those days. Prostitution, although frowned upon, was rampant.

There is a lot of anti-earp literature out there. There is also a lot of Earp worship. They cant both be right. The truth usually lies somewhere in the middle, although I tend to lean towards the belief that in general he was an overall honorable man who did a heck of a job enforcing the law in a time which is hard for us to understand. Yes, I am pro-Earp.

Regarding Wyatt's image and Stuart Lakes Book: Between an aging memory, wanting to make himself look a little better in histories eyes, and Stuart Lakes writing aspiration, there were probably things that got glossed over or highlighted in the wrong ways. I would concede this and I think most historians would accept that as a minimum starting point. In most cases, much of what Stuart said was at least grounded in the truth.

kdave21
August 28, 2011, 02:33 PM
Now back to the gun stuff:

In addition, Colt doesn't have any record of Buntline (or anyone else) ever ordering revolvers with 12-inch barrels in this time period. Historians now believe the Buntline Special was a product of Earp biographer Stuart Lake's highly embellished prose.

Lake did write a letter to Colt inquiring about the "Buntline Special." In my opinion there can be only three possibilities as to why he would do this. Either A) Wyatt owned one and told Lake about it B) Wyatt exaggerated or lied about having one and told Lake about it or C) Earp never told Lake he owned one and Lake did it just so he could add legitimacy to his story.

I dont think C is likely cause Lake also wrote other people about it trying to track down the elusive Buntline, and thats just too much work when you dont believe in something. So that leaves A and B. I guess I dont really see what Earp had to gain by exaggerating the length of a barrel.

The Colt factory DID write back to Lake and said they found no record of such a gun, but were very honest in admitting that the record keeping was terrible back then. By no means did Colt definitively say that it wasnt made.

This is an endless controversy, much more than can be discussed here, but is studied in great detail in the book I mentioned earlier by Lee Silva (I recommend buying his book to anyone interested in this topic).

I think Earp would carry a govt sized 1911, to answer the OPs original thread :)

Shaky
August 28, 2011, 03:29 PM
If he were alive today, he'd almost certainly carry one of the SA .22's (familiar platform, reasonably light, and .22's are easier on those 160+ year old bones).

KodiakBeer
August 28, 2011, 03:31 PM
Good point Shaky! Even with a .22, I'd still stay off his lawn....

gyvel
August 28, 2011, 11:23 PM
More than likely he would work for some agency of the Federal government and carry whatever the the duty weapon du jour was. He would be working for the Feds so he could cash in on loot from the RICO statutes.

defjon
August 29, 2011, 12:42 PM
Beretta 92fs Inox.

Ability to be a club.

Quick on presentation.

Issued firearm.

Little to no recoil- but long barrel, good range.

Plenty of ammo on tap to put down the bad guys.

:)

defjon
August 29, 2011, 12:53 PM
double post

Buck Kramer
August 29, 2011, 10:23 PM
1911 long slide...

memphisjim
August 29, 2011, 10:35 PM
Didn't he have a buntline in his pocket whe he entered the ring to referee snarky vs fitzsimmons? It was taken by police and he had to see a judge. He also intentionally robbed fitzsimmons of his victory so he and his friends could win their bets. Earp was not the great man most think him to be

kdave21
September 2, 2011, 06:22 AM
Didn't he have a buntline in his pocket whe he entered the ring to referee snarky vs fitzsimmons? It was taken by police and he had to see a judge. He also intentionally robbed fitzsimmons of his victory so he and his friends could win their bets. Earp was not the great man most think him to be

I believe there was a reporter who wrote in his coverage that Earp was carrying a revolver with a long barrel. If I recall correctly, he said 10 or 12 inches but dont remember without digging it up. Whether the reporter exaggerated the length of the barrel or estimated accurately is unclear.

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