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Help on Colt dates please

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by rusty bubbles, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. rusty bubbles

    rusty bubbles Well-Known Member

    Watching DVD Western classics, with John Wayne et al,-I was told that the
    revolvers he used in "The Searchers," (1868)and "Red River" (1865) would not have been invented at that time.

    I tried to learn more from Wikipedia, but was unable to pin down a date.

    Can any of you pistoleros help ?


  2. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

  3. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    Proofhouse can be very useful. but only if you know what model revolver(s) were used in the movie, and what models should have been used.

    In both movies the revolvers were Colt Single Action models, that were introduced in 1873. However in Red River at the very beginning when the boy is found he has an 1849 Pocket Model Colt, but it plays no important part.

    Western movies and television shows generally used the Colt 1873 model (or a copy) regardless of the time frame of the story, because they were easily available, looked correct to most viwers, and fired the blank cartridges they most often used. More recently copies of the correct period pieces have become available and are showing up in current work.

    On the western frontier of 1865-68 Colt or other cap&ball revolvers would have been the rule. To see examples, go to: www.cimarron-firearms.com
  4. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Well-Known Member

    About 99% of period movies with guns show the characters using guns that didn't exist in the time period of the story. Westerns are particularly bad for gun anachronisms like showing Colt 1973 revolvers carried by Civil War soldiers and 1894 Winchesters on wagon trains in the 1870s.

    One movie that comes to mind as being historically accurate on the firearms was the Bronson/Marvin film Death Hunt. I think the time frame was around 1920 and the characters carry Krags, 1886 Winchesters and Colt New Service models to name a few. Cool to see those old guns in action.

    But I can't watch that movie because a dog gets killed in it. I know it's silly but I can't watch a film where a dog dies so I have only seen Death Hunt once and no more.
  5. csmkersh

    csmkersh Well-Known Member

    Death Hunt was very roughly based on a true story. Unlike the movie, Albert Johnson didn't escape over the mountains. He was surrounded at Eagle Lake and killed in Feb 1932 by the RCMP.

    We're seeing more and more Colt open-top and converted revolvers in period movies. And the Winchester 92 and 94 are being replaced by the 1866 and '73. Dances with Wolves had the Sioux using Henry rifles against the Pawnee raiding part which for the 1863-65 time period would have been correct.

  6. dagger dog

    dagger dog Well-Known Member

    If you get a chance to watch some of the old silent , and early talkie movies , you are in for a treat. They use a lot of period peices, in the making of these older films. The old guns were still around then and they used them along with period leather . The acutal language was also used in the movie dialog, along with the correct grammar.

    As the western films became "pulp" productions, in the late'40's and early 50's the old guns had been used up and most were put to pasture, the "all in one blank" made it's appearence and thats when all the revolvers went to '73's and rifles '94's.

    The only film I can relate is the B&W film remastered by Ted Turner "CIMARRON" a film in the late thirtys, if you ever get a chance to see it don't forget to record it, you'll wear out the pause and rewind button on the remote, going back and stopping to check out what kind of gun the guy is brandishing!

    I'm back, just googled western movie CIMARRON, and found out it was best picture for 1931 the only other western with that claim to fame is THE UNFORGIVEN by none other than Rowdy Yates aka Clint Eastwood. Both are examples of carefull studies in american history, and reflect a lot of truth in the production and direction !
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2008
  7. rusty bubbles

    rusty bubbles Well-Known Member

    Thanks a lot guys, for those helpful replies.
    - appreciate the info.

    Rusty B
  8. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    One of my favorite silent movies was made (I believe) during the 1920's and titled, "Under The Black Flag." It stared Jesse James Jr. (son of the famous outlaw) in the role of his father, and co-starred some of Jesse's (the father) friends from the old days. They used their personal arms, and Jesse Jr. had some that had belonged to his Dad. The bank holdup was a hoot. :D

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