We missed Curator's Corner last week because the bulk of our people were at the NRA's 139th Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Charlotte, North Carolina. But this week we're back to highlight another Clint Eastwood special - the Smith & Wesson Model 66 snub nose from Tightrope.
A police thriller based in New Orleans, Tightrope follows the Eastwood character as he juggles a murder investigation with the complications of fatherhood.
The brand of Smith & Wesson 66s used in this film were first produced in 1970. Though barrels were available in a variety of lengths, Eastwood had the handle of the two inch model. The double-action six-shooter, chambered in a .357 Magnum, stood out from similar models because of its stainless steel and smooth trigger pull.
For the rest of the tale on this beauty from the soon to be revealed Hollywood Guns exhibit, be sure to tune in tonight at 10:20 p.m. as National Firearms Museum's Senior Curator Phil Schreier makes another appearance on NRANews.com and Sirius Patriot 144.
The desk on the left is empty. Its regular occupant, National Firearms Museum Senior Curator Phil Schreier, has spent the majority of the day meeting with fellow firearms curators and collectors here on the Eastern Seaboard. He can do that because today's edition of Curator's Corner is already in the can -- filmed on-site in the great state of Oklahoma during the Wanenmacher Tulsa Arms Show. A favorite of Eastwood devotees everywhere -- it is one of the Colt Walker 1847 revolvers from The Outlaw Josey Wales.
The Colt Walker, a single action black powder shooter, was created through the collaboration of firearms icon Samuel Colt and Captain Samuel Walker (from the Republic of Texas and U.S. Armies respectively.) Their goal was to replace the Colt Paterson with a reliable six shooter from over 100 yards. Results were mixed at best.
Any inspiration to correct the firearm's deficiencies, such as substandard metallurgy or a poor lever catch, were probably lost after Captain Walker was killed at the Battle of Juamantla in 1847. As the legend holds, Captain Walker died by the hands of Juamantla's Mayor with a Colt Walker in each holster ... the guns arriving only days before his death.
But for all the information on the pseudo prototype for the dreaded Dragoons, (and another example of our startling new Hollywood Guns exhibit) tune in tonight at 10:20 p.m. eastern time to see Phil Schreier make his latest waves as Curator's Corner hits the airwaves on NRANews.com and Sirius Patriot channel 144.
Steve Lee – singer and songwriter of the infamous Australian tune “I Like Guns” – swung by for a tour of NRA headquarters last week. While here, he was good enough to sit down and play an acoustic version of his YouTube hit for the cameras. Spliced into the mix are shots of Steve & his wife Tracey’s tour, his time at the range, and meeting some of the folks here at the office.
NRAblog will have more on Steve’s visit over the next few days, but for now, enjoy the video.
For more about Steve, his musical family, and their tour dates, visit their website at www.thelees.com.au.
Curator’s Corner comes to us again from Wanenmacher’s Tulsa Arms Show. This week’s special comes to us not from the museum, but from a collector. It's a Civil War favorite – the LeMat Revolver.
The revolver was Dr. Jean LeMat of New Orleans, whose initial attempts for a military contract were met with resistance until the outbreak of the Civil War. Thanks to his father-in-law, a deal was struck with the Confederacy and production was underway. Due to the South’s lack of manufacturing, it was decided that the LeMat would be produced in France. Unfortunately for them, only a little over 2,000 of these guns made their way past the Union naval blockades.
What makes the LeMat special is that it is two guns in one – a revolver and a shotgun. Each had nine shots from either a .42 or .36 caliber pistol as well as a single 16 gauge buckshot from the lower barrel. Although, as Senior Curator Doug Wicklund mentioned, it’s better to shoot the buckshot first, because the pistol shots have a way of jarring the buckshot loose.
For the full story on the LeMat, join the guys from the National Firearms Museum tonight at 10:20 p.m. EST as Curator's Corner hits the airwaves on NRANews.com and Sirius Patriot channel 144.
Steve Lee – the gun-toting Australian made famous by YouTube – didn’t set out to cause a ruckus. The son of a preacher, Steve grew up fascinated by firearms “and other things that go ‘boom.’” One night, around a campfire, the lifelong musician struck up a song. “I wanted to sing about how much I like guns, even if others find them unnecessary,” he told NRAblog.
Steve and his wife Tracey are in the U.S. visiting friends and family. They found their way to NRA HQ in Fairfax, VA, earlier this week for a tour of the NRA National Firearms Museum, time on the range with American Rifleman’s Mark Keefe, and exclusive access to Museum Director Jim Supica's safes.
Cam Edwards of NRA News even dropped in for the chance to interview Steve. Pictured at right, Cam, Supica, and Steve smile for Phil Schreier's camera.
For more from Steve, tune into NRA News tonight at 11:20 pm EST. Listen on NRANews.com and Sirius Patriot channel 144 -- and keep checking NRAblog for the latest, including pictures of Steve's Museum tour and NRA HQ Range visit.
Those of you counted among the loyal viewers of NRANews – broadcast every weeknight from 9pm to midnight eastern time – should be familiar with the picture on the right. That's the actual NRANews studio where host Cam Edwards interviews guests and shares the latest firearm stories of the day.
The picture was taken during Executive Producer John Popp's traditional pre-show rundown. He checks the cameras, adjusts the lighting, sets the show clock, and so on. But even if you know the show you're probably not familiar with the shot below. That's the control room – where the magic really happens.
The technical staff here leaves nothing to chance. Everything heard or seen on the show – from the music to the graphics to the phone calls – is the result of this talented behind-the-scene team.
NRAblog stopped by earlier this week for a meeting with Executive Producer John Popp. Fresh off the road from his coverage of the Wanenmacher Tulsa Arms Show, Popp took a few minutes to talk about NRANews coverage of upcoming events, like the Annual Meeting in Charlotte, National Rifle & Pistol Championships at Camp Perry, and the National Police Shooting Championships in Albuquerque.
They'll have to pare down the equipment list when hitting the road for all those locations, but there will still be plenty of gadgets and gizmos on hand to make sure that the best product possible makes it to the airways. And with any luck, NRAblog will be there to provide the rest of the story.
Fans of Curator's Corner are in for a real treat. For the next few weeks, you'll be transported to the floor of Wanenmacher’s Tulsa Arms Show. There you will see the gang from the National Firearms Museum highlight some of the more popular guns they take on the road. This time out, it was an offering from the Clint Eastwood collection.
But tonight we're taking a new angle. Instead of highlighting a particular gun, we are going to highlight a gun show. To assist us in this venture is Joe Wanenmacher, founder of the Tulsa Arms Show. Hear how the show grew from a few hundred tables to over four thousand, what obstacles they faced, exhibitors that have come and gone, and what steps a patron should take when evaluating or purchasing a gun.
We're back on schedule next week with a beautiful revolver (no clues yet,) so take advantage of Mr. Wanenmacher's experience while you can. It's not every day that one have to opportunity to gain such a unique look at running the world's largest arms show.
In addition to Curator's Corner, the show provided a nice backdrop for our first shot at the NFM Roadshow — where people bring their firearms for appraisal and evaluation live on camera. But you'll have to wait for more details on that front.
What you won't have to wait for is Joe Wanenmacher, live on tape from the Tulsa Arms Show tonight at 10:20 p.m. EST as Curator's Corner hits the airwaves on NRANews.com and Sirius Patriot channel 144.
Wanenmacher’s Tulsa Arms Show
had some 30,000 people in attendance this past weekend.
Our very own Jim Supica and Phil Schreier were on hand representing the NRA National Firearms Museum. They chatted with as many of those 30,000 people as time would allow. A few of Clint Eastwood's guns accompanied the pair (details here). “The display proved extremely popular. It caught the eyes of lots of passersby, plus many folks showed up specifically to see the display,” Supica told NRAblog.
“The Dirty Harry S&W .44 Magnum made a special side trip to the Smith & Wesson Collectors Association “Southwest Bunch” Bar-B-Q dinner on Saturday night, where a number of SWCA members got the opportunity to have their picture taken with the original “Make my day” revolver. Funny… in each picture, the subject is grinning like a kid in a candy store.”
Adding a layer to the excitement, NRA News was on the scene to capture both the general feel of the show and to allow the Museum curators to play a few rounds of Antique Roadshow. You won’t want to miss this footage, coming soon to both NRAnews.com and NRAmuseum.org.
“Some spectacular guns came out of the woodwork for our inspection, identification, and value estimates for NRAnews.com," Supica continued. "Here are just a few of the rare arms that viewers will get to see:
- Winchester 1886 smoothbore .50 caliber lever action rifle
- “Apache” combination brass knuckles, pinfire revolver, and dagger
- A trapdoor carbine attributed to one of Custer’s Indian scouts
- Marbles “GameGetter” folding combination shotgun / rifle."
“Phil and I also reviewed some more common classic firearms such as a Browning Superposed shotgun, Winchester Model 70 rifle, and even an RG 10 revolver!” Supica told us excitedly. “Value estimates ranged from sixty dollars to six figures.” More
NRANews Producer Cameron Gray was in Tulsa, Oklahoma for the Spring edition of the Wanenmacher's Tulsa Arms Show. While there, he snapped a couple of shots of the National Firearms Museum's section of the festival. Sorry to report that only two of the pictures were salvagable — have to be careful with those camera phones.
Not familiar with Wananmacher's gun show? Take a look at NRAblog's post on the show from last year. Or, for those looking for a first hand account of the attractions, here's what Cameron had to say about the show:
"I have been to a lot of gun shows while working for NRA News. But nothing comes even close to the massive scale and historical richness of Wanenmacher's. I really hope to make it a twice a year pilgrimage."
Keep up to date with NRAblog
Don't miss anything! Sign up for the NRAblog Newsletter
San Antonio Tactical Police Comp
Granddaddy's Gun - Aaron Lewis