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John Wayne's original Hondo Rig

Discussion in 'Handguns: Holsters and Accessories' started by Cremony, Jul 18, 2012.

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  1. Cremony

    Cremony Member

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    Has anyone heard anything about John Wayne's Hondo rig being made by Tom Threepersons?
    I wrote to Wm. Brown Holster Co. Tombstone, Arizona about this matter who says John Wayne's gun belt was actually a non-functional money belt, originally made by the artist Bob Brown of Hollywood. See item #71 John Wayne - boot tops, holster and belt.

    bbrown1.jpg

    Bob Brown of Hollywood​
    Bob Brown the Leonardo of Leather
     
  2. Cremony

    Cremony Member

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    Hondo style rig

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    Wayne used a 5 1//2 inch Colt 38-40 from 1933 to 1936, he carried this gun in an Ed Bohlin heavily carved two tone gunbelt rig. In 1937 he started wearing a # 714 H. H. Heiser rig that was also heavily carved, and had a silver Bohlin buckle and tip. This rig was used until Angel and the Badman (1947).

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    The first movie he used his trademark holster rig in was Hondo (1953), which the Duke used in almost all his subsequent Westerns. This was a sewed up rough out moneybelt style combined with a skirtless holster. These rigs got darker over the years, but stayed basically the same.

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    Customized Colt single action army revolver and western rig consigned by Wayne’s family, realizing $97,750.00 last October.

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    John Wayne wearing belt made by John Bianchi used during filming of Undefeated in 1969. The Duke’s personal Colt originally left the factory in 1909 as a Bisley Model in .45 Colt with a 5 1/2" barrel. First used in The Searchers (1956) with dark gripes, and 4 ¾" barrel. In The War Wagon (1967), he added plastic grips with three finger grooves on the left side, that he personally stained with tea to make them look like aged ivory.

    John%20Wayne%20Holster%20%26%20belt%20set%2015053000-Bianchi.jpg

    John Bianchi Commemorative

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    John Bianchi Model #100

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    Bianchi prop holster provided by Stembridge Gun Rental Inc., for John Wayne in Eighteen Movies.

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    Wayne Enterprises and DeSantis Gunhide® commemorating the 100th anniversary.

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    El Paso #44

    In The Shootist (1976) he used heavily engraved Great Western revolvers, with genuine Ivory grips, and did not wear the Hondo style holster rig, even though the #44 was made for him by El Paso.​
     
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Tom Treepersons didn't even make his own gun leather.
    The S.D. Myres Saddle Co. in El Paso TX made it for him.

    Anyway, according to Wackypeedia:

    BTW: In two photos above is seen a 45-70 rifle cartridge stuck in a pistol caliber belt loop.
    Yet John Wayne never used a 45-70 rifle.

    Trivia Q: Why did he always carry one rifle cartridge that didn't fit his Colt SAA or his Winchester 92??

    A: Supposedly, as a "marker" to tell when half his ammo was used up.

    rc
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012
  4. Cremony

    Cremony Member

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    Loop number 22?

    Rcmodel :>Trivia Q: Why did he always carry one rifle cartridge that didn't fit his Colt SAA or his Winchester 92?

    A. According to legend, the addition of the single, centrally located .45-70 cartridge in the gunbelt started when an old timer visiting the set told a story of his Indian fighting days. He explained the use of the odd bullet -- when reached during the heat of battle it would indicate that your pistol ammo was getting low and it was time to conserve. ~ Jim Lockwood
    39a28201.jpg
    Count them yourself​
    Q. Does it to tell when half his ammo was used up, or just when he was getting low?

    A. The rig he wore in The Searchers (1956), was what is known as a "half-breed" style, which is a combination of smooth leather and rough-out, the latter having the property of not moving about while being worn. The well-worn rig furnished with the Duke's Colt came with a number of original 5-in-1 blank cartridges in its 36 cartridge loops. A single .45-70 Gov't cartridge seen in most of Wayne's later Western movies remained in loop number 22. Wayne used it to indicate when he was getting low on ammunition, a fairly common practice in the Old West. He reportedly used it as a tribute to the U.S. Cavalry, which used this round in its "Trapdoor" carbines during the Indian Wars. The belt is about size 40. ~ John Wayne, The Movies & The Old West
     

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  5. EVIL

    EVIL Member

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    Man, cool thread, I love reading about these old & reproduction JW holsters. Thanks for the info --- the old movie posters are really cool too.
     
  6. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    The Bisley triggerguard and backstrap were replaced at some point and the standard TG and Strap do not quite match up to the Bisley frame. It is noticable in some of the earlier films but not in the later ones when he carried other factory revolvers he owned.
     
  7. kyletx1911

    kyletx1911 Member

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    kyletx
    long live the duke seee now im going to get in trouble big jake she wore a yellow ribbon
    eldarado etc..... day shot and iffin momma dont go shoppin i"ll be shot too but willin to risk it
     
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