Speaking technically, if the Colt letter in the lower photo pertains to this revolver, it is a “Frontier Sixshooter” chambered in .44 WCF (Winchester Centerfire) also known as .44-40 Winchester. This revolver would, if that were the case, take the same round as its owner’s Winchester Model 1873 (or Model 1892), making it convenient to need only to carry one type of cartridge for both rifle and pistol. The serial number indicates it was made in 1898.
The Early West
The Collection of Jim and Theresa Earle
27 Aug 2021, 12:00 PDT
Lot 12: JOHNNY RINGO’S COLT SINGLE ACTION ARMY REVOLVER FOUND HELD IN HIS HAND WHEN HE WAS FOUND DEAD AT TURKEY CREEK.
Serial no. 222 for 1874, .45 caliber, 7 1/4 inch barrel with single line address. Doughnut ejector. US mark on left side of frame (partially defaced), Inspectors marks on barrel. Serial number partially visible on frame and triggerguard. Number on cylinder defaced. Condition: Good. Generally no finish with traces of blue on ejector housing balance a brown patina. Toe of left grip missing. Worn grips with no visible inspectors marks. Cylinder possibly replaced. Barrel shortened through wear. A very early martially marked single action.
Provenance: Johnny Ringo, found in his hand in Morse Canyon (mentioned by serial number, containing five cartridges, in inquest document, “Statement for the information of the Coroner and Sheriff of Cochise County, A.T.,” 1882); by descent to Mrs. Prigmore; to Allen Erwin (bill of sale, signed by Erwin and by Mrs. Prigmore’s son Donald Wilson, on her behalf); by descent to Francis Huffstadter (signed Power of Attorney, May 2, 1979; sold European and American Firearms, Sotheby Parke Bernet, Los Angeles, 1980, to Jim and Theresa Earle.
Literature: Burrows, Jack, John Ringo: The Gunfighter Who Never Was, Tucson, 1980, p 101; Wilson, R.L., The Peacemakers, New York, 1992.
The Bridgeport Rig was patented by Louis S. Flatau of Pittsburg, Texas in 1882 and manufactured by the Bridgeport Gun Implement Co., of Bridgeport, Connecticut. One’s Colt Peacemaker could be drawn quicker by simply sliding it in a straight line forward from its clip, and it could even be fired potentially faster still by leaving it attached and just swiveling the gun.
I’ve heard of this before, but Fred Sinclair has some details I didn’t know. Apparently, they actually sold 500 of the rigs to the US Army. It’s not hard to see that soldiers wouldn’t like them. A Bridgeport Rig could be just the thing tucked away under your long coat for a night gambling in the town saloon, but it would be a trifle insecure, bouncing around on top of a horse, and for field duty you’d want a holster with a flap, not an arrangement that left your expensive revolver completely exposed to the weather.
Profiles in History, Calabasas, CA, June 11, 2015, 11:00 AM PST, Lot 164:
Estimated Price: $60,000 – $80,000
General George Pattonâ€™s personally owned Colt .45 revolver with original stag horn grips, Pat. Sept.19.1871,. July2.72, Jan.19 75. Serial # is 351427, ca. 1928, with the vast majority of the blue finish fully intact. Excellent condition. General George S. Patton, Jr.â€™s Colt .45 single-action revolver â€“ directly from Pattonâ€™s grandson, Robert H. Patton. This Colt .45 Model 1871 single-action revolver (Serial No. 351427) was acquired by George S. Patton, Jr. around 1928 and owned by him throughout the remainder of his life, along with his famous ivory-handled Colt .45 revolver that is today on display at The General George Patton Museum and Center of Leadership in Fort Knox, Kentucky. Patton was photographed carrying this weapon at least once – while dressed as Rhett Butler at a â€œGone With the Windâ€ costume party which he attended with his wife, Beatrice (ca. 1941). The event is referenced on page 314 in the personal memoir, The Button Box, written by Pattonâ€™s daughter, Ruth Ellen Patton Totten. The photograph is included in Patton: The Man Behind the Legend, by Martin Blumenson (p. 148). The weapon was positively identified in the photograph by matching the original stag horn grip (the natural texture of which being absolutely unique), visible above Pattonâ€™s belt at the 1941 costume party. A Colt .45 single-action revolver (ca. 1928) in this condition, with original stag horn grips â€“ without the Patton ownership heritage â€“ has an appraised value of $16,200 (Blue Book of Gun Values, 17 March 2015). To the best of our knowledge, no other Patton personal Colt revolver with documentation from the Patton family has ever come to market. Interested bidders should note that this is a working firearm and must be shipped through a Federal Firearms Licensed dealer. Provenance: This Colt revolver comes directly from Robert H. Patton, grandson of the legendary WWII General, and includes a signed letter of authenticity stating in part: â€œâ€¦the Colt .45 model single-action revolver shown below, serial number 351427, belonged to my grandfather, General George S. Patton, Jrâ€¦The pistol was given to me by my father, General George S. Patton IV, nearly 30 years ago. It was purchased by his father, the General of WWII fame, in 1928. This pistol, with the fancy stag horn grip, was undoubtedly a version of his more famous ivory-handled Colt .45 now on exhibit at the Patton Museum and West Point. Patton owned and used this gun for about 17 years.â€
Jim Dickson, at Gun Digest, picks the three deadliest gunfighting pistols of all time.
His choices are the German Luger, the Colt Model 1911, and the Colt Model 1873 Peacemaker.
Personally, I think his list ought to have been longer. But the surprising choice is, of course, the Luger. Americans who played with one will be even more surprised to find the author praising the Luger for its reliability of functioning.
When the troops needed pistols the Fatherland set out to supply them, despite the fact that the Luger pistol cost three times as much to manufacture as the Mauser rifle.
The Luger proved up to the challenge. It took in stride the mud, dust and sand maelstrom that was a WWI artillery barrage and kept on working when the famed Smith & Wesson Triple-Lock Revolvers were jamming. It would continue firing when its barrel was bulged from being clogged with mud. A Browning-style gun with the slide over the barrel is jammed solid until a new barrel can be installed when its barrel is bulged.
This feature saved so many German lives in the First World War that when the P38 was designed, the army specifications demanded a fully exposed barrel on it. All the Luger needs for reliability is a magazine spring that is as strong as you can get in the magazine and proper ammoâ€”standard velocity ammo of the proper overall length. Hot loads cycle the action too fast for the magazine to feed cartridges in position to chamber before the bolt rides them down. This was never a problem with German army issue ammo.
A larger problem was the fact that the average German soldier was not a pistol shooter. The Luger handled that problem better than any pistol before or since. The Luger is the best pointing pistol ever made, bar none. Just point at the target and you hit it. It is as simple as that. It is also the most accurate pistol you will ever find. Most any good Luger will shoot a 10mm group with 9mm ammo at 25 yards.
Armed with the Luger the German troops proved a terror in trench fighting. Every stormtrooper was issued one regardless of rank, and production was geared up to equip every combat soldier by late 1918 or 1919. The Luger was a key factor in the new stormtrooper tactics as well as the new infiltration strategies of General Von Hutier and Colonel Bruchmuller, which had knocked Russia out of the war. The intensity of the trench fighting and the number of kills made by the Luger was staggering.
World War II saw more intense fighting with the Luger often being used against Russian human-wave assaults. Sometimes it was the officerâ€™s only weapon and sometimes it was the last thing he had loaded magazines for. At those close ranges one could hardly miss. Once more the tally went up drastically. Add to these figures the numbers of the other countriesâ€™ armies that used the Luger and you get a number far exceeding any other pistol.
Lot 103. Colt Single Action Army Frontier Six Shooter Revolver Owned And Carried By Harvey “Kid Curry” Logan Of Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch
Amoskeag Auction Company, Sale No. 104, November 22nd & 23rd, 2014, Lot 103, Estimate: $50,000-75,000.
Harvey Logan, â€œKid Curryâ€ originally rode with the Black Jack Ketchum gang, formed his own gang sometime in 1897 and eventually wound up with Butch Cassidy and The Wild Bunch. He was described as â€œthe wildest of the Wild Bunchâ€ and before his career would end he had purportedly killed nine peace officers and two other men in an about 10 year career. While he was described by William Pinkerton (Pinkerton Detective agency) as having â€œnot one single redeeming feature, he is the only criminal I know of who does not have one single good pointâ€, he was evidently always kind to the ladies; in fact would often spend his â€œtakeâ€ from the Wild Bunch robberies laying up in brothels with friendly ladies and good liquor, until his share was exhausted. Logan rode with Butch and Sundance until they left for Buenos Aires in early 1901. In July of that year Curry, â€œTall Texanâ€ Ben Kilpatrick and â€œDeaf Charlieâ€ Hanks decided they would rob the Great Northern Railroad Coast Flyer No. 3. This they did on July 3, very professionally and well, Logan commandeering the engine with engineer and fireman intact. The train was stopped a few miles outside of Malta Montana, engineer Thomas Jones was made to disconnect the baggage and express cars from the passenger cars and pull the train forward some miles. When safely away from the other train cars, Logan commanded the mail clerk and express messenger, each a Jimmy Martin and a C.H. Smith, to open the express car doors and jump out telling them he would not hurt them, Logan saying all he wanted was â€œJim Hillâ€™s moneyâ€ (Hill being the president of the railroad). The men did so and, although it took three attempts, the outlaws blew the safe open and gathered their loot, amounting to 800 sheets of banknotes, each with four notes each of $10 and $20 denominations. They also took about $500 in notes from the American National Bank of Helena, a package of watches and a bag filled with silver coins, all told about $40,000. As the trio was leaving express messenger C.H. Smith hollered to Logan that he wanted his Colt pistol. When Logan asked him â€œwhat for young fellowâ€ he told him as a souvenir of the day, Logan obliged by emptying the revolver into the air and tossing it to Smith saying â€œthanks for your helpâ€. Logan would later be captured in Knoxville Tennessee in 1902 and during his trial for the train robbery, eyewitness testimony, from the trainâ€™s fireman M.F. Oâ€™Neal and C.H. Smith himself both related the incident identically, of the outlaw emptying his gun and tossing it to the young express messenger. … The backstrap is very neatly engraved in small script, during the period of use, showing appropriate oxidation and wear from the years: â€œThis pistol was given to me â€œC H Smith G.N. Ex. Messâ€ by Harvey Logan during train robbery July 1, 1901â€.