John Wayne Six Shooter Gun Review
John Wayne’s Six Shooter is one of the most iconic guns in the world. Its actual name is Colt 1896 Single Action Army, but it was nick-named Six Shooter due to its six-shot cylinder. At the moment, this is one of the most popular firearm replicas in the world. If you want to buy one from a reputable manufacturer like Cimarron Firearms Co. you have to be on a waiting list of up to six-months.
John Wayne carried this gun about 36 years ago when he played the Duke in the famous Western movie- “The Shootist”( 1976). The pistol that got everyone’s attention in this film was a Colt 1896 Single Action Army with a butterscotch-colored single-screw grip. A replica of John Wayne’s well-known Six Shooter can cost up to $887. This gun is an exact imitation of the one used in the movie and a fully firing weapon. It comes with a 44/40 round or a 45 caliber.
The Duke was one of those brilliant actors that had a huge passion for Western movies and firearms. He was the kind of enthusiasts that was always looking for the best available quality. All his movie guns were obviously non-firing props, but John Wayne was very demanding about their looks. He made sure that every single one of his weapons had the highest degree of authenticity and the Colt Single Action Army is no exception.
Its iconic Six Shooter had its grips made of a substance called “Calalin”. This was a special material, a resistant early version of Bakelite plastic appreciated for its durability and resistance to heat. The actor liked so much the feel of the grips that he stained them with tea to get the look of aged ivory. To accommodate his oversized trigger finger, the Duke fitted a special trigger guard on his Colt Single Action Army, thus making the gun easier to handle for the camera.
John Wayne’s Six Shooter was manufactured in two main lengths- one of 11 inches with a 5.5-inch barrel and one of 13 inches with a 7.5-inch barrel. The gun was 2.31 pounds and as to this day it is still able to fire a couple of rounds. It was available in 45 caliber, .44/40, .357 magnum, and .44 special.
Even though, the Duke enhanced the notoriety of the Colt Single Action, this powerful gun has its own rich and impressive history. The firearm was first manufactured in 1872 and back then it was used exclusively for military services. It was one of the most dependable and rugged pistols designed for the special needs of soldiers, lawmen, ranchers, cowboys or outlaws. Its main qualities are- the simple and functional design mainly influenced by the need of having a revolver that was also easy to handle. The aesthetics of the Colt Single Action has influenced the numerous generations of weapons that followed throughout the history.
Even General George S Patton Jr had a pair of Colt Single Action Armies during World War II, personalized with ivory grips. But there is one other very popular replica gun on the market, very appreciated by collectors. This is the Colt Single Action offshoot, known also as the Buntline Special. Experts claim that this gun was carried by Wyatt Earp.
The most impressive turn in the history of John Wayne’s Six Shooter is the moment when at the end of his life, the Duke gave his gun and holster as a gift to an employee of his production company. Nowadays, these very precious classic items are part of a private collection. Their value is estimated in the six figures.