This Model 1911 Colt .45 was found in the waistband of Clyde Barrow’s trousers by Texas Ranger Frank Hamer who brought the outlaws to justice via a high firepower ambush on a rural Louisiana road on May 23, 1934.
A breakout raid on a Texas prison farm by the Barrow gang in which two guards were shot (one of whom died) infuriated Texas state officials, who responded by hiring retired Ranger Captain Frank Hamer, a veteran of a hundred gun fights who had been shot 17 times and who had reputedly killed between 50 and 70 men, to track down the Barrow gang and out an end to their criminal careers.
Hamer’s commission was to deliver justice, not bring them back alive. He was encouraged to trap the gang, making sure the correctness of his identification of the suspects, and then to just “shoot everybody in sight.” Part of Hamer’s compensation for the manhunt included authorization to appropriate as trophies the weapons and personal effects of the criminals.
Hamer caught up with Bonnie and Clyde on a rural highway in Louisiana with an ambush by six lawmen, armed with a Browning Automatic Rifle, Winchesters, and two Remington semiautomatic rifles. The outlaws’ car was riddled with bullets before either had a chance to shoot back.
RR Auctions of New Hampshire is offering for sale next September 30, with documented provenance going back to Frank Hamer, two pistols found on the bodies of the deceased bandits, Bonnie Parker’s cosmetics case, and Clyde Barrow’s Elgin pocket watch.
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This Colt Detective Special .38 was found by Hamer taped to Bonnie Parker’s inner thigh.