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  #1  
Old 06-03-2009, 06:03 PM
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Some guy named Bob Ford, if memory serves, shot Jesse James in the back with a topbreak S&W.

Was it a Schofield or a New Model No. 3 in .44 Russian? Memory fails me.

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Old 06-03-2009, 06:56 PM
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Okay, but was it a single-action or a DA Frontier?

Can you post a photo? Thanks,

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Old 06-03-2009, 07:06 PM
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Ford_(outlaw)

Here's a Wikipedia entry showing Ford with a Colt SAA which he said was the gun!

My guess is that the S&W was confiscated when Ford was arrested, and he bought the Colt later, to pose with.
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:48 PM
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The gun was a .44 Russian caliber New Model SA No. 3 serial number 3766. The Coroner's report called in a Colt revolver, but the serial number listed for the gun in the evidence locker was the serial number for a S&W New Model. For years some researchers and writers called it a Colt, in various articles, probably based on the picture of Bob Ford with a Colt SA. According to a newspaper article in the Baltimore Morning Herald,Jan 2, 1904, The gun was Jesses's originally and he had given it to Bob Ford. Bob Ford presented the gun to a Col. Corydon F. Craig, at the time of the shooting. Later the S&W factory engraved the side plate "BOB FORD KILLED JESSE JAMES WITH THIS REVOLVER AT ST. JOSEPH. MP. 1882" Ford tried to collect the $10,000 reward for James from the Gov. of Missouri, but it was never paid, however he was pardoned by the Gov. Col Craig was the young son of the sheriff of St. Joseph, Mo. at the time of the shooting, and was given the gun in gratitude for the nice treatment Ford received during his stay in the St. Joseph jail. Craig lated sold the gun to a friend, James Gary Jr. The gun went through several hands and was stolen, but recoved and sold again at auction in 1993 for $160,000. Ford was killed in a gun fight in Creede, CO. in 1892, by shootist Ed O'Kelley's double barrelled shotgun. The gun was auctioned off again by the 1993 buyer at Little John's auction Nov. 19, 2003 for $385,000. ( I was a bidder, but not the high bidder!) Ed.
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Old 06-04-2009, 04:25 AM
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This was the only picture I could find on google images:
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Old 06-04-2009, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by opoefc:
The gun was a .44 Russian caliber New Model SA No. 3 serial number 3766. The Coroner's report called in a Colt revolver, but the serial number listed for the gun in the evidence locker was the serial number for a S&W New Model..... Ed.
Interesting!
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Old 06-04-2009, 09:44 PM
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Twaits, That picture is the gun. I took it all apart before the auction and all numbers match, except the grips did not have a number that I could see. It was probably penciled on the back of the right grip panel at one time, but has faded, or perhaps the factory put on new grips when they did the inscription engraving. Both Frank James and Bob Ford were known to have sold off various guns after Jesse's death, each claiming "this is the gun that put poor Jesse in his grave!" One midwestern museum exhibited a Colt revolver for some years as "the gun" until a collector pointed out that the gun's serial number indicated it was made 5 years after Jesse was killed. Ed.
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:33 PM
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There is a long article in the current (summer 2009) issue of Guns of the Old West. It is titled " The Gun That Killed Jesse James" "S&W New Model No. 3 that gunned down America's most famous outlaw!"

It includes pictures of the gun shown above.

Ken
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opoefc View Post
Twaits, That picture is the gun. I took it all apart before the auction and all numbers match, except the grips did not have a number that I could see. It was probably penciled on the back of the right grip panel at one time, but has faded, or perhaps the factory put on new grips when they did the inscription engraving. Both Frank James and Bob Ford were known to have sold off various guns after Jesse's death, each claiming "this is the gun that put poor Jesse in his grave!" One midwestern museum exhibited a Colt revolver for some years as "the gun" until a collector pointed out that the gun's serial number indicated it was made 5 years after Jesse was killed. Ed.

Thats really cool Ed. Just handling a piece of history like that must have been such a rush!
You're lucky just to have held it!
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:58 PM
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The auction house values my opinions on collectable firearms, especially S&Ws, so asked me to provide same on the originality of the revolver, etc. as they wanted to be sure there were no ticking time bombs somewhere that could come back to haunt them after the sale. That had happened to them in the past on some clever fakes that both the consignor & the auction house had thought were the real deal. I mainly checked for replaced parts, correct fitters & assemblers stamps, etc. and verified as much of the written provenance I could in a short time. I could not verify, but I couldn't disprove it either, the story that the factory added the engraved inscription 20ys after the fact, as there was no quick & certain way to find the original return & engraving paperwork & invoice in the S&W archives at the CVHM, but the gun is what it is and the engraved inscription doesn't devalue the gun, in my opinion. Several stories have come down over time, that this gun was one of a pair, so collectors need to ferret out where that missing mate may be. Hint: Get a factory letter fron Roy on the inscribed gun. If it was shipped as a pair, identify the serial number of the other gun, and start your hunt! Good Luck! Ed.
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Old 06-09-2009, 04:04 PM
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Ed,

Were there original police documents that stated the serial number of the gun that killed Jesse James?
I thought for a while, like many others, that it was a Colt simply because thats what people said for years (because of that one picture of Bob Ford with the Colt).

If you haven't seen the movie "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford", I believe they used the correct S&W in the scene where Ford shoots James.
If you know about the gun in the movie, do you know if it was a reproduction or the real thing? The gun in the movie appeared to be in new in the box condition.

-Erik
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:53 PM
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Erik, Yes, I remember the movie and recall that a S&W was the revolver used in the movie, but I have no knowledge about that particular gun. I'm sure, however it wasn't the actual gun used by Howard, as the owner of the real gun would never have allowed it to be used in a movie, I don't believe. There are evidence notes and a sheriff/coroner's report that call the gun a Colt, but gave the serial number of a S&W New Model No. 3 Other documents, correctly call the gun a S&W. Most LEOs, then and now, are ignorant about guns, with few exceptions, and call revolvers automatics and repeating rifle machine guns. No wonder the media never gets it right either! I still recall the TV coverage of Kennedy's asassination, where the Dallas LEO was holding up the Carcano carbine found in the Texas Book Depositoiry bld. for the media crowd, and proudly claiming he had recovered an "automatic Mauser rifle !" Ed.
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Old 07-29-2009, 07:53 PM
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and that S&W Jesse had given to Ford as a present!! is the one that he killed him with.
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Old 07-29-2009, 08:02 PM
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If you visit the house Jesse was killed in, in St Joseph, MO, they have a pistol on display next to the hole in the wall where Jesse was shot.
It is a double action that was manufactured after his death.
Since, the bullet that killed him did not exit, I wondered about the "bullet hole" in the wall as well
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Old 07-29-2009, 08:13 PM
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oh i should have said the gun in the movie was the same one as given him to him by jesse was used we tvo it and went back and forth so many time's in slow and fast motion it was funny my wife son and me agureing lol Yes now that you mention it it was a Dlb action i remember now when I went there back in 1980-86 sometime when I was stationed @ Ft. Worthleaven was what we called it!! I wish I still had the movie on tvo I think that one was a dlb action also cant remember but think it was oh well you guy's really know your stuff every day i spend some hours just reading your post and have really learned alot!! what I know mostly about revolvers has bee self taught by read books and watching DVD's on Gun and tv and the Army
thanks guy's and gal's
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Old 08-01-2009, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james56 View Post
oh i should have said the gun in the movie was the same one as given him to him by jesse was used we tvo it and went back and forth so many time's in slow and fast motion it was funny my wife son and me agureing lol Yes now that you mention it it was a Dlb action i remember now when I went there back in 1980-86 sometime when I was stationed @ Ft. Worthleaven was what we called it!! I wish I still had the movie on tvo I think that one was a dlb action also cant remember but think it was oh well you guy's really know your stuff every day i spend some hours just reading your post and have really learned alot!! what I know mostly about revolvers has bee self taught by read books and watching DVD's on Gun and tv and the Army
thanks guy's and gal's
The one in the current Jessie James movie with Bradd Pitt is exactly like the original gun that I posted a picture of at the beginning of this thread. Single action.
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Old 08-01-2009, 04:32 PM
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http://www.imfdb.org/index.php/Assas...Robert_Ford%2C


Check the above site for the movie guns, all of which I believe were either USFA or Uberti repros. One story I heard was that Brad Pitt
liked his 7.5 SAA so much he bought it or just kept it as his own after
filming. It was his production company, I belive.

The above site also contains hundreds of "movie guns" used in films or at least the types used in films. Look at the box in the left corner and pick
"Movies." An alphabetical list will come up.
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Old 08-01-2009, 07:38 PM
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Conflicting reports but good information guys. I can only add the truth . . .

The gun that killed Jessie James was the OTHER GUY'S gun! LOL

T.
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Old 08-09-2009, 07:56 AM
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Default Digging up Jesse

As an aside, a few years ago a professor from George Washington University exhumed Jesse to try to establish that his was actually the body buried in the grave. I talked with the professor afterwards to see if he found any evidence that would show it was a S&W vs. a Colt. He said he didn't find the bullet and the characteristics of the wound didn't provide any clues.
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Old 08-13-2009, 01:12 PM
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I think the recent issue of Guns Of The Old West has an article on the Jesse James gun.
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Old 08-16-2009, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twaits View Post
I think the recent issue of Guns Of The Old West has an article on the Jesse James gun.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CowboyKen View Post
There is a long article in the current (summer 2009) issue of Guns of the Old West. It is titled " The Gun That Killed Jesse James" "S&W New Model No. 3 that gunned down America's most famous outlaw!"

It includes pictures of the gun shown above.

Ken
Yes, it does.

Ken
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