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  #1  
Old 04-07-2010, 03:52 PM
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Default The .44 S&W that Bob Ford used...

to kill the notorious bank robber, Jessie James.

(The other threads on a feller by the same name made me think of this)

I remember the news about it coming up for auction.

I haven't seen a picture of it though, but vaguely remember one of the fellers from the auction service actually shooting it on a TV program or something. A gun that someone paid $250K+ for????

Hey, it's his money...

Am I dreaming, but am I remembering it correctly?

What was the serial number of this gun?
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Old 04-07-2010, 05:08 PM
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Jim Supica, the Director of the National Firearms Museum shot 30 rounds of .45 Schofield through Jesse James' S&W Schofield. The fired rounds and their cases were then matted and framed in a very handsome display for the Friends of the NRA auctions. I saw one two weeks ago at my local event. I thought it was pretty neat and I bid $300 but it went for $450.

A Piece of Jesse James History

There is also a video and perhaps that's what you saw?
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Old 04-07-2010, 05:22 PM
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This is from an excellent article by our own Mr. Supica. Maybe he'll chime in:

"Compare this to “the gun that killed Jesse James”, which was also recently sold at auction. For most of the 20th century, the S&W has had the reputation of the gun used to do the wicked deed. In fact it reportedly went back to the S&W factory for engraving of the inscription on its side commemorating the event. However, a look at the supporting documentation raises some questions.

The story is that the gun was given by Bob Ford to the young son of t he Marshal who briefly jailed the Ford brothers after the shooting, in appreciation for kindness to the imprisoned Fords by the boy. The date of the earliest documentation appears to be a 1904 affidavit and newspaper article. Yes, this is along time ago, but it is also twenty two years after the incident in question!

The waters are muddied further by the fact that there is another gun out there with the same claim – a Colt Single Action Army mentioned by Ford in a newspaper article a month after the shooting. It helps not a bit that an 1882 newspaper account of the incident records the gun variously as a “Colt’s .45” AND a “Smith & Weston” (sic).

Where does that leave us? I’d give the gun a solid “B” as a Bob Ford gun, and it certainly approaches “B by publication” status. However, given the conflicting claim, it seems to exist in some sort of schizophrenic “B/D” limbo as the gun that laid poor Jesse in his grave."

Evaluating the history of a gun
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Old 04-07-2010, 06:29 PM
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Ok, I wrote this one before but here it is again. When I was a kid at the oshkosh wisconsin museum they had a 1851 colt navy that was taken off cole younger when the party came through oshkosh on the way to northfield minnesota. I belive it probley was a vagrancy thing and "surreties for keeping the peace". After the northfield robberies they got looking at the gun and found burnt in the flap of the holster, "To cole younger from Maj. Quantrell"! The daughter of the police chief had donated or lent the gun to the muesum and I seen it and the holster a number of times back in the 50s and 60s.
About 15 years ago I went home and went to see it again. It was gone. The museum had a fire, (Not to the ground, but bad enough), was closed for a year or two for rennovation. Now they had removed a ton of guns and other stuff and went to large murals with just a few guns on display in several rooms. I remember when they had roughly 400 various guns on display, now all through the muesum there probley was 15?
I looked up the currater and asked him where the younger gun was. He definetly was not a gun man and just shrugged and said, oh, I suppose it must be in storage! (We are probley talking about a damp basement here!)
A old secatary heard me and said, "I remember that gun!" She said we used to sell picture postcards of it in the gift shop.
I had her search and she did find me one. I had it around the house for years. I have since moved and been trying to find it again, and if I ever do, I will scan and post it.
I belive a lot of bleeding hearts and do gooders donate stuff to museums all over the country like that, and truth is many times stuff like that gets put in a damp basement with cobwebs by some pencil necked currateor that isnt into guns or whatever!
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:24 PM
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They did the same thing with the Wyoming State Museum. As a kid I can remember rack upon rack of guns, saddles, and old implements. They they went to "interpretive dioramas" and the guns were stored in the basement. They are improving somewhat in recent years, but there are some real treasure floating around somewhere.
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:47 PM
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I read that Bat Masterson would buy old Colt SAAs, carves notches in the grips, "authenticate" them as the one he carried in the West, and sell them for a high price.
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLACKHAWKNJ View Post
I read that Bat Masterson would buy old Colt SAAs, carves notches in the grips, "authenticate" them as the one he carried in the West, and sell them for a high price.
Jesse's mother made a living by selling Jesse's gun. Over and over.

"Twas a dirty little coward who shot Mr. Howard, and laid poor Jesse in his grave."
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:24 PM
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Iggy. Back around 1970 there was a old guy that worked at lockheed. He was raised somewhere in wyoming. I belive he said he and his brother were deer hunting and wounded a deer. It ran in some super heavy brush on the mountain side and they discovered the brush was blocking a cave entrance. He claimed they found a gatling gun in the cave. He went to school and told the teacher. He said the gatling gun ended up on the capital lawn. I think he said the gun was researched and supposedly it had been assigned to some unit that got wiped out. I dont know if he was BSing me or not, but thats what he told. Figuering his age and what he would have been in school, I suppose this took place around the early 1930s.
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:31 PM
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I just found the cole younger gun and story to it on the computer! These computers are a good thing!

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  #10  
Old 04-07-2010, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feralmerril View Post
Ok, I wrote this one before but here it is again. When I was a kid at the oshkosh wisconsin museum they had a 1851 colt navy that was taken off cole younger when the party came through oshkosh on the way to northfield minnesota. I belive it probley was a vagrancy thing and "surreties for keeping the peace". After the northfield robberies they got looking at the gun and found burnt in the flap of the holster, "To cole younger from Maj. Quantrell"! The daughter of the police chief had donated or lent the gun to the muesum and I seen it and the holster a number of times back in the 50s and 60s.
About 15 years ago I went home and went to see it again. It was gone. The museum had a fire, (Not to the ground, but bad enough), was closed for a year or two for rennovation. Now they had removed a ton of guns and other stuff and went to large murals with just a few guns on display in several rooms. I remember when they had roughly 400 various guns on display, now all through the muesum there probley was 15?
I looked up the currater and asked him where the younger gun was. He definetly was not a gun man and just shrugged and said, oh, I suppose it must be in storage! (We are probley talking about a damp basement here!)
A old secatary heard me and said, "I remember that gun!" She said we used to sell picture postcards of it in the gift shop.
I had her search and she did find me one. I had it around the house for years. I have since moved and been trying to find it again, and if I ever do, I will scan and post it.
I belive a lot of bleeding hearts and do gooders donate stuff to museums all over the country like that, and truth is many times stuff like that gets put in a damp basement with cobwebs by some pencil necked currateor that isnt into guns or whatever!

Merrill-

I know that you have some spelling problems. Was Quantrill's name one of those? If the spelling that you gave is really what was on that holster, I think it may be a fake. If it was spelled correctly, that gun and holster should be a national treasure. Alas, guns seldom achieve that in modern museums.

We'll never know for sure which gun Bob Ford used on Jesse James. Or, find the knife that the Mexicans took from Jim Bowie's body at the Alamo. A pity.

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Old 04-07-2010, 11:29 PM
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William Quantrill - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Here's Wikipedia on Quantrill, which may interest some not already familiar with the man.

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Old 04-07-2010, 11:37 PM
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Texas star, read closly the link I provided. It also says maj quantrell or whatever spelling was on the holster. I cant be sure of the spelling I gave, just from handeling the gun and holster close to 50 years ago.
Here is what I THINK happened. We know younger rode with quantrill.
I belive quantrill presented him the gun. Oshkosh was about the end of the railroad track north in those days. I belive the james-younger gang put their horses on the train and rode it to oshkosh, took the horses cross country to hit northfield. In my area of wisconsin in those days people just didnt open carry THAT much. I had ancesters there in that time period too. I belive younger was open carrying and no doubt was challanged on sureitys of keeping the peace and relieved of his shooting iron. I belive the gang rode west from there to northfield, and just after the law found the inscription burnt on the inside flap of the holster and put things together. Even the museum write up is a little hazey that I found, however they seemed clearer on the story in the 50s when I seen the gun.
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feralmerril View Post
Texas star, read closly the link I provided. It also says maj quantrell or whatever spelling was on the holster. I cant be sure of the spelling I gave, just from handeling the gun and holster close to 50 years ago.
Here is what I THINK happened. We know younger rode with quantrill.
I belive quantrill presented him the gun. Oshkosh was about the end of the railroad track north in those days. I belive the james-younger gang put their horses on the train and rode it to oshkosh, took the horses cross country to hit northfield. In my area of wisconsin in those days people just didnt open carry THAT much. I had ancesters there in that time period too. I belive younger was open carrying and no doubt was challanged on sureitys of keeping the peace and relieved of his shooting iron. I belive the gang rode west from there to northfield, and just after the law found the inscription burnt on the inside flap of the holster and put things together. Even the museum write up is a little hazey that I found, however they seemed clearer on the story in the 50s when I seen the gun.
Thanks, Merill. I note that Quantrill's rank is usually given as Captain, but the holster said, Major? Another puzzler. But I think your theory is correct.

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Old 04-07-2010, 11:55 PM
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I am positve it said "Maj" abreviated, and the lead to the gun I posted from the museum also said major quantrill.
Its funny, because somehow I still remember as a kid at first thinking it said MAY Quantrill. I remember wondering at the time if I had discovered a illicit romance but on closer inspection saw it was "Maj" quantrill. I was about 16 years old in 1957 or so and still remember my 1st look thinking that! Amazeing huh? I cant remember in detail everything I did yesterday! I am very sorry to see that the holster burned up. That inscription was burned right into the inside flap of the holster by a iron or something. I remember it like yesterday.
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Old 04-08-2010, 12:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feralmerril View Post
Iggy. Back around 1970 there was a old guy that worked at lockheed. He was raised somewhere in wyoming. I belive he said he and his brother were deer hunting and wounded a deer. It ran in some super heavy brush on the mountain side and they discovered the brush was blocking a cave entrance. He claimed they found a gatling gun in the cave. He went to school and told the teacher. He said the gatling gun ended up on the capital lawn. I think he said the gun was researched and supposedly it had been assigned to some unit that got wiped out. I dont know if he was BSing me or not, but thats what he told. Figuering his age and what he would have been in school, I suppose this took place around the early 1930s.
I'll be in Cheyenne next week and will take a tour around the state capitol grounds.

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Old 04-09-2010, 07:07 PM
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Wyo-man, when you do, I am guessing you ought to ask someone in the capital about it if you dont see it. Its hard to belive they would leave a gatling gun out in the rain and snow all these years! I would think it moved to a museum. This was back around 1970 when the guy told me the story, however he did say they had put it on the capital lawn many years ago.
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Old 04-09-2010, 07:07 PM
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I don't ever remember seeing a Gatling gun around Cheyenne.

I have heard the same type of story about hunters finding Atlas Missile warheads stored in an old abandoned iron mine about 35 miles NW of Cheyenne. Ain't found them either.
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