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Gold standard in cowboy rifles,....is what model??

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by towhead, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. towhead

    towhead Member

    When we think of Hollywood cowboys and their pistols, we usually think Colt SAA.

    Is there a "SAA" in the rifle world?
  2. jmr40

    jmr40 Well-Known Member

    Winchester 92 was probably used in more movies. The Henry may have been used by more real cowboys.
  3. paintballdude902

    paintballdude902 Well-Known Member

    agree with jmr the 92 is what you see in all movies normally in like a .44-40 (john wayne)
    or a henry
  4. Dr. Fresh

    Dr. Fresh Well-Known Member

    Winchester '73 most likely. Previous models weren't quite as popular and the '92 and '94 are kinda after the cowboy era.
  5. B BRI

    B BRI Well-Known Member

    In Hollywood, the Winchester 92 by a mile.
  6. CZ223

    CZ223 Well-Known Member

    The 1873 is the Cadilac in the movies and on the Cowboy action circuit. The 92 and the 94 Winchester were the "everyday" guns in the John wayne era mostly because they were abundant.
  7. Harve Curry

    Harve Curry Well-Known Member

    I think the 1892 Winchester was the most used rifle in Hollywood westerns.
    In the real west of the mid-1870's through 1880's I think the 1873 Winchester was the most sought after.
  8. moewadle

    moewadle Well-Known Member

    I did not take the question as

    meaning in the movies but in real history. The reference by the questioner seems to be in real history with the movies as the indicator. In my opinion the "gold standard" as the questioner put it would be the venerable Winchester 73. It was made from 1872 or 1873 until about 1919 and I think that over 600,000 were made. Virtually every article and book on them states they are known as, "The gun that won the west." If you compare this to he Henry, the 1866, and the ones that came after you will see it was the 1873 that was the gold standard for cowboys. The 1894, of course was made for over 100 years but includes the era long after the west was "won." Hands Down Model 73

    And, by the way, for what it is worth...I have been watching westerns since the late 1940s and I think the 73 has shown up a lot more than the 92.
  9. Gunfighter123

    Gunfighter123 Well-Known Member

    The 1873 ---- Hell , they even had a major movie about it !!!!!
  10. moewadle

    moewadle Well-Known Member

    The film was WINCHESTER 73

    starring James Stewart, Stephen McNally, Shelly Winters, John McIntire. Will Geer played Wyatt Earp and there were two tiny parts played by Rock Hudson and Tony Curtis. It was made in 1950 in black and white. It is considered a classic. If you really are a film buff of westerns you should watch it.
  11. Dr. Fresh

    Dr. Fresh Well-Known Member

    How much do later '73s go for?
  12. moewadle

    moewadle Well-Known Member

    I suppose by "Later 73s"

    you mean the modern replicas. The MSRP for an actual Uberti 73 replica with full octagon barrel, walnut wood, case-colored or hardened frame, crescent butt stock, etc is $1249. The other importers such as Cimarron and Taylor are similarly priced.
  13. Dr. Fresh

    Dr. Fresh Well-Known Member

    Nah, I actually meant the '73s that were produced late in the production life of the rifle, IE the ones made in the early 1900s.
  14. wanderinwalker

    wanderinwalker Well-Known Member

    When I saw the title, the first rifle to mind was the Winchester 1892, when the word Hollywood is included.

    Exclude Holloweird, and the '73 is probably the rifle.

    However, I think in modern SASS shooting the Marlin 1894 is one of the gold standards. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong though.

    Oh, and FWIW, just about everything I've ever read or seen suggests that the Colt SAA wasn't as common as cap and ball revolvers and conversions in the "real" West.
  15. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Well-Known Member

    In reality it was probably the Trap Door Springfield. In the movies, I agree it was the Winchester 1892
  16. Onmilo

    Onmilo Well-Known Member

    Western frontier citizens had as many choices as we do today in choosing a rifle.
    Much of the choice was dependent on the amount of cash they had to spare when choosing their rifle.
    Surplus military firearms were in abundance as were new rifles produced by upstart companies during the reformation.

    Gold standard repeating rifles of the era would include the 1873 and 1876 Winchester lever actions as well as the coveted 1881 Marlin which could use the .45-70 Government cartridge.
    Winchester did not introduce a repeating rifle in this caliber until 1886 and by then the only real uncivilized areas were located in the barren southwest.

    In reality, the majority of westerners chose those Military surplus rifles with Spencer, Henry, and Sharps rifles being the creme' de-la creme' of affordable hardware.
    Muzzleloading Infantry rifles were quite common too, with a good majority being reamed out to act as 20 guage smoothbores shotguns.

    It is interesting to note in old gun catalogs that side by side cartridge loading hammer double guns were extremely expensive compared to the repeating rifles of the era.

    A good period lever rifle from Marlin or Winchester could be had for around $50.00 cash money and brand new.
    An English or high grade American hammer double gun was going for three times that amount!
    Well out oif the price range of the common citizen scraping a living out of the American west.
    Consequently, the majority of real shotgun hunting was done with muzzleloading single and double guns, right up to the turn of the century.

    While praise is lauded upon the Winchester lever action rifle and Colt single action revolver, historical study has shown that real trends towards modernization of firearms in the hands of common citizens did not begin until the turn of the twentieth century.

    As for Cowboy Action Shooting today, Marlins seem to win the beans most often in the big money games.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2008
  17. JWF III

    JWF III Well-Known Member

    I'd say the Winchester '73 is the original cowboy rifle, because of the movie titled after it. John Wayne carried many '92s though. Either one is a classic cowboy gun. For original examples in good to very good condition, look for prices to start in the neighborhood of $2000 and go up. Originals are not as economical as repos (as always), but their smoothness and history add a lot. You just never know where that Winchester has been, or what it's seen or shot. That Uberti has seen Italy and shot paper and/or steel. End of that story.


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