Supica and Schreier bring John Wayne's Colt Single Action Army to NRANews
- Alone it's remarkable. A Colt Single Action Army revolver. The sidearm every American recognizes from the classic westerns of days gone by.
"This gun is a great old original first generation Colt Single Action Army. The serial number places it's production at somewhere around 1901. There's no finish, gray patina, original barrel length with imitation ivory styled grips."
That's what National Firearms Museum Director Jim Supica told viewers Monday afternoon on the Sportsman Channel. On set with Senior Curator Philip Schreier, the two drove down to NRA News studios for a live version of much heralded Curator's Corner this Monday.
Earlier that afternoon, onlookers gawked at the six-shooter inside the green room. As Supica told us, a Colt Single Action Army in similar condition usually goes for somewhere around $2,500. This one, however, is insured for $25,000. We didn't find out why until they went on the air.
"This was John Wayne's last gun," said Schreier.
Markings on the frame include the initials H.O.P. — House of Props. A cornerstone of Hollywood accessories since 1948, the House of Props inventory has everything from books to clocks to forks, jewelry and wine casts. Also on the list are firearms. This was one of their firearms.
"Eventually it was sold to Ellis Props," explained Schreier. "Their records show it was used in films such as Rio Lobo and on television shows like 'The New Maverick'. But the claim to fame for this gun is that records also tell us that John Wayne check it out for interviews and advertising campaigns to promote his very last film The Shootist in 1976.
"So this was the last gun he wore when working in the film industry."
First produced in 1873, the single action army was the gold standard for almost twenty years. Weighing in at just over two pounds, the six-shooter saw action during the Great Plains Wars, the Spanish American War and was a favorite of General George Patton throughout his military career.
This particular Colt will soon find a place inside our Hollywood Guns Collection in the Museum's Ruger Gallery. Until then, the only place that you can see it is on repeats of Monday's NRAnews show.