Earp Revolvers at College of the Ozarks

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by J-Bar, Sep 29, 2016.

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  1. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

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    I spent an enjoyable afternoon at the Ralph Foster Museum, on the campus of the College of the Ozarks in Branson, Missouri. This museum has a large gun collection in addition to exhibits of early Americana, stuffed birds and game animals. Quite a few of the guns are attributed to famous people. Being a cowboy at heart, I thought I would share two Colt Single Action Army revolvers, identified as owned by Wyatt Earp's brothers, Morgan and Virgil.

    The one with the 7 1/2 inch barrel is identified as Morgan Earp's revolver, and the 4 3/4 inch revolver belonged to Virgil Earp, and is identified as the gun he carried at the OK Corral. I'm including the notes by each gun, hope they are legible enough. The thumbnails do not do justice to the grips. Virgil's are undoubtedly ivory. Morgan's gun might be antler or bone with it's discoloration, but I am not an expert...it could be ivory as well.

    Whether or not the provenance is correct, they are a neat looking pair of guns.

    If you are ever in Branson, treat yourself to a meal at the Keeter Center on the college campus and a tour of the museum Students at this college literally work their way through to a degree and graduate debt free; pretty remarkable these days.
     

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    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
  2. Robert101

    Robert101 Member

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    Very nice and thank you for sharing. Amazing how the guns lack semi-auto function, night sights, rail, flashlight, and all the other tacticool stuff we have now - And yet these are historic pieces of our days in the Wild West. What a treasure.
     
  3. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    Those grips are gorgeous on the 44-40. Nice to see a cowboy gun in cowboy flavor, you just don't see that very often any more.
     
  4. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    Very interesting.
    I wouldn't have thought that Virgil Earp would be the kind of tinhorn who filed notches in the butt of his gun though.
     
  5. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

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    I think those are aging or use cracks. I didn't see notches on them in person.
     
  6. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    That makes sense.
    I certainly can't see them in the photographs.
     
  7. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

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    I want to know who ruined those with all that engraving. I am pretty sure they didn't engrave that .

    Remember been said the Bat Masterson would buy guns in pawn shop and sell to people as his personal carry guns from those days.
     
  8. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

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    What engraving? There is no engraving on these two revolvers.

    The bluing shows considerable wear.
     
  9. BSA1

    BSA1 member

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    Does the Museum list their source for the claim that they were the Earp's guns?

    Somehow they sound like Jesse James guns. I have a book of the actual testimony in the trial in Judge Spicer's court and don't recall anyone giving a actual description the guns that were used. Now I need to reread the book.
     
  10. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

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    Does the Museum list their source for the claim that they were the Earp's guns?

    You know what I know, from the information in the first and third photos.

    The Museum might cooperate with a serious researcher by giving access to donor records. Contact them and see.
     
  11. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

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    J-BAR

    The sign says inscribed on back strap Morgan Earp Deputy Marshall Tombstone Arizona T.

    On the butt 1881 Other one marked Virgil Earp on back strap.
     
  12. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

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    I stand corrected. To me "engraving" is fancy decorative scrollwork but of course an inscribed name would also qualify. Whether or not the Earps would have put their names on their revolvers I cannot say.
     
  13. Dog Soldier

    Dog Soldier member

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    The Earps were from Illinois and usually ran houses of prostitution. They were never Cowboys. They likely owned many guns in their life time. Wyatt Earp was John Waynes acting coach at Republic Pictures.
     
  14. tomingreeneco

    tomingreeneco Member

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    According to True West magazine they do not know exactly what guns were used by the Erps' at the OK Corral shootout.
     
  15. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Which is true. (Pardon the pun.) Only two of the revolvers used in what was then called "The Street Fight" didn't occur at or near the O.K. Corral, but it's catchy name" were positively identified and logged into a court record. Both were Colt Frontier Model Single Actions chambered in .44-40/blued finish/ 7 1/2 inch barrels. One was used by Billy Clanton, and the other by Frank McLaury.

    That said, eye witnesses have left us with (more or less) descriptions of the guns used by the Earp's and Doc Holliday.
     
  16. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    Been there. Somehow I missed that display. Thanks for the pictures!
     
  17. lawandorder

    lawandorder Member

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    There are several firearm museums...........

    ...........in the area that hold guns purported to have belonged to famous, or infamous individuals from history. Many of these examples have little, or no provenience. At the time most of these collections were put together the buyers bought the story along with the gun.

    Trying to skin someone in a gun deal is not confined to recent times.
     
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