Wyatt Earp’s Buntline Special
Wyatt Earp’s trusty talisman is no other than the famous Buntline Special Colt Revolver-Carbine. This is one of the most appreciated, desired and disputed guns in western history. This very special weapon is part of a limited 31 pistols line in the serial number range 28,800 to 28,820. These models were different because they had customized frames that were designed to be used with oversized barrels. Now, the Buntline Special is one of the most renowned guns on the planet, a firearm that attracts countless fans.
In 1876, E.Z.C.Judson aka “Ned Buntline” gave five extra-long-barreled Colt .45 to Wyatt Earp, Bill Tilghman, Bat Masterson, Charlie Bassett and Neil Brown. And even though Tilghman and Lasterson decided to cut their 12-inch barrel to standard size, Wyatt kept its gun as received and grew very fond of it.
Wyatt Earp and his Buntline Special became such a famous and an inseparable duo that in 1955 a TV series was launched with the iconic lawmen as main character. Hugh O’Brian played the leading role on this show and he carried a replica of the stunning Buntline Special proving remarkable agility and speed in quick-drawing the long-barreled Colt .45 Revolver-carbine. This was the moment when the firearms fame started growing uncontrollably.
Creating the Colt .45 with a longer 12-inch barrel was a decision meant to add a dramatic touch to this very powerful gun. Usually, this model came with a 10-inch barrel which is more comfortable to shoot and carry than the larger version. Still, for a remarkable personality like Wyatt Earp, a fierce look was as effective as it reputation. He and the Buntline Special brought countless criminals to justice.
Over the years, Wyatt Earp’s Buntline Special has inspired both movie producers and gun manufacturers. This famous gun appeared in countless films and TV shows, and it has been replicated by some of the most artful imitation guns companies. The best replicas available on the market are actually the Italian-made SSS-style “Buntlines” that come with detachable shoulder stocks. Even the original company, Colt, started making “Buntline Specials” 12-inch barrel on its standard-frame Single Action Army. Some of the most notable recreation of the Buntline Specials is the version made by U.S. Fire Arms that has complemented its imitation by adding the original features of the 1876 pistols- flip-up rear leaf sight and flattop frames with a milled grove for a long-range. There is even a vent-hole in front of the sight which when the gun is fired it is supposed to minimize any lead powder gas spraying from the side of the cylinder. The oversized barrels are actually the most obvious aspect of the “Specials”. Collectors have the options of choosing this remarkable gun in one of these three barrels lengths- 10, 12 or 16 inches.
When you actually have a Wyatt Earp’s Buntline Special in your arms you are struck by its unique beauty. Its legendary times are brought back to life by the distinctive rich color and period bluing case hardened frames. I am pretty sure that every firearms collector wants to include one of these replicas in its display case, to capture a moment in time when lawmen and fierce guns were writing history.