by National Firearms Museum Staff - Friday, March 4, 2016
In the frontier West, land of tall tales and legends, one chronicler of fabulous stories that were published in a nearly perpetual series of “dime novels” was Edward Judson, better known as Ned Buntline.
It is said that Buntline arranged for the delivery of five 16-inch barreled Colts to frontier lawmen: Wyatt Earp, Neal Brown, Charley Bassett, Bat Masterson, and Bill Tilghman at Dodge City in 1876. Supposedly these sixguns were fitted with shoulder stocks, yet no trace can be found in the Colt factory records of any special order by Buntline, although thirty of these special long-barrels were indeed manufactured.
The legend has some truth, perhaps as documented by Wyatt Earps’s Buntline Colt, used by him at the OK Corral fight and later when refereeing a boxing match in 1896. Colt later introduced a special line of long barreled Buntlines like these two engraved Colts.