Guns of the Gunfighters

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by E.L., Dec 30, 2007.

  1. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Guns of the Gunfighters
    By Jerry Turner-Special to The News
    Two steely-eyed men walk out in a dusty street as the frightened town folk run for cover. We see the determination in the men’s faces, their fingers twitching as they reassuring touch the hammer of their six-shooter. Suddenly the guns leave their leather holsters and one of the men drops to the ground- dead because his draw was tad slower than his adversary. This has been the scene of hundreds of western movies, novels, and even biographies of real gunfighters. We know the characters, but know very little about these weapons of death. The Guns of the Gunfighter Lawmen, Outlaws, and Hollywood Cowboys written by Doc O’Meara published by Krause Publications tells just about everything, one would want to know about these guns.

    The author takes the reader on a most interesting trip from the world of fact to the world of the entertainment industry. He explains how gunfighters of the West used their guns and along the way, O’Meara debunks some of the myths associated with them. Guns of the Gunfighters is divided into two parts - The Real Gunfighter and The “Reel” Gunfighters. There are twenty-one real gunfighters discussed including those who were not outlaws, but merely outstanding with a gun. Such would be Ed McGovern, an exceptional fast draw and trick shot artist as well as President Theodore Roosevelt. Teddy carried a .44-40 colt Single Action Army revolver and was said to be a good shot.

    A section of colored pictures depicting various guns with notes about their owners add a great deal to this book. Closeups photos with their descriptions gives the readers a real understanding of what the author may have said in the text. It is a real highlight and a most interesting and valuable part of this great book.

    O’Meara gives good detail about these gun fighting characters of whom we have heard so much. But, alas, much of it was pure fiction. He discusses Billy The Kid, Buffalo Bill Cody, Wyatt Earp, John Wesley Hardin, Jesse James and a host of other gun totin’ hard shootin’ western folk who used a gun for their living.

    Of even more interest to me was the section devoted to heroes of the silver screen. From the first western star, William S. Hart to John Wayne, the author covers many of the “B” western stars and their guns. One may be surprised that many fancy dressed stars shot guns considered poor quality weapons, although portrayed to be very special. Many had cheap plastic grips with poor quality finishes. The holsters, however, were often very elaborate and decorative. The actors would often carry rubber guns since they wouldn’t hurt as much as the real ones in fights or falling off horses. The Lone Ranger looked so impressive in his beautifully tooled black, double rigged holsters and guns. The guns, however, were purchased in a pawnshop, amateurishly altered and a cheap set of plastic stocks dyed to look like ivory were added. Gene Autry refused to carry real guns when making personal appearances, fearing one might accidentally fire, hurting someone.

    If you have an interest at all in the real West and its characters or in the “reel” world of make-believe gunfighters, get a copy of The Guns of the Gunfighters, you will enjoy the dickens out of it. When you watch an old cowboy, shoot-em-up movies, have a copy of this dandy book nearby, you will be surprised how much more you will enjoy the movie.
  2. MbRodge

    MbRodge Monkey+++

    Sounds like a good read. Except for the part where the write up equated John Wayne with "B" movies! How dare they!
  3. weapons_762

    weapons_762 Monkey+++

    lol Mb , you havent seen a lot of john's old stuff have you? did you know he played a singing cowboy? he did a lot of movies that us younger folks never even heard about or seen
  4. MbRodge

    MbRodge Monkey+++

    Oh, I've seen them all. I just refuse to equate John Wayne with anything less than perfection! I may come from the younger generation, but John Wayne's genious is there for all to see!
  5. CRC

    CRC Survivor of Tidal Waves | RIP 7-24-2015 Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Don't mention that around my father.....He is a WWII Vet, Pilot...Flew P51's...

    I don't dare mention John Wayne around him...The fact that John Wayne never served in the Military (during War time,at that) and the controversy surrounding why he didn't just sets my dad on end! Trust me, it's a rant you never want to be on the receiving end of......

    Even though there were other "stars" that did not enlist...the fact that John Wayne became a "celluloid War Hero" drives him crazy...

    It only took once for me to learn that lesson...I never mentioned him around dad again...
  6. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    By the time the war started, Wayne was 34 and personally I think he did more for the war in the bond drives, USO appearances, and patriotic movie making than he would have serving, just my opinion though.

    John Wayne - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia@@AMEPARAM@@/wiki/File:Mergefrom.svg" class="image"><img alt="Mergefrom.svg" src=""@@AMEPARAM@@commons/thumb/0/0f/Mergefrom.svg/50px-Mergefrom.svg.png

    Military service controversy

    Visiting Brisbane, Australia in December, 1943

    America's entry into World War II resulted in a deluge of support for the war effort from all sectors of society, and Hollywood was no exception. Established stars such as Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. (USN, Silver Star), Henry Fonda (USN, Bronze Star), and Clark Gable (USAAC) as well as emerging actors such as Eddie Albert (USN, Bronze Star) and Tyrone Power (USMC) rushed to sign up for military service. As the majority of male leads left Hollywood to serve overseas, John Wayne saw his just-beginning stardom at risk. Despite enormous pressure from his inner circle of friends, he put off enlisting. Wayne was exempted from service due to his age (34 at the time of Pearl Harbor) and family status, classified as 3-A (family deferment). Wayne's secretary recalled making inquiries of military officials on behalf of his interest in enlisting, "but he never really followed up on them."<sup class="reference" id="_ref-16">[17]</sup> He repeatedly wrote to John Ford, asking to be placed in Ford's military unit, but continually postponed it until "after he finished one more film."<sup class="reference" id="_ref-17">[18]</sup> Republic Studios was emphatically resistant to losing Wayne, especially after the loss of Gene Autry to the army.<sup class="reference" id="_ref-18">[19]</sup> Correspondence between Wayne and Herbert J. Yates (the head of Republic) indicates that Yates threatened Wayne with a lawsuit if he walked away from his contract, though the likelihood of a studio suing its biggest star for going to war was minute.<sup class="reference" id="_ref-19">[20]</sup> The threat was real, but whether Wayne took it seriously or not, he did not test it. Selective Service Records indicate he did not attempt to prevent his reclassification as 1-A (draft eligible), but apparently Republic Pictures intervened directly, requesting his further deferment.<sup class="reference" id="_ref-20">[21]</sup> In May, 1944, Wayne was reclassified as 1-A (draft eligible), but the studio obtained another 2-A deferment (for "support of national health, safety, or interest").<sup class="reference" id="_ref-21">[22]</sup> He remained 2-A until the war's end. John Wayne did not "dodge" the draft, in the sense of illegal or dishonest action, but he nonetheless never took direct positive action toward enlistment. Wayne was in the South Pacific theatre of the war for three months in 1943-'44, touring U.S. bases and hospitals as well as doing some "undercover" work for OSS commander William J. "Wild Bill" Donovan, who thought Wayne's celebrity might be good cover for an assessment of the causes for poor relations between General Douglas MacArthur and Donovan's OSS Pacific network. Wayne filed a report and Donovan gave him a plaque and commendation for serving with the OSS, but Wayne dismissed it as meaningless.<sup class="reference" id="_ref-22">[23]</sup>
    The foregoing facts influenced the direction of Wayne's later life. By all accounts, Wayne's failure to serve in the military during World War II was the most painful experience of his life.<sup class="reference" id="_ref-23">[24]</sup> There were some other stars who, for various reasons, did not enlist. But Wayne, by virtue of becoming a celluloid war hero in several patriotic war films, as well as an outspoken supporter of right-wing political causes and the Vietnam War, became the focus of particular disdain from both himself and certain portions of the public, particularly in later years. While some hold Wayne in contempt for the paradox between his early actions and his later attitudes, his widow suggests that Wayne's rampant patriotism in later decades sprang not from hypocrisy but from guilt. Pilar Wayne wrote, "He would become a 'superpatriot' for the rest of his life trying to atone for staying home."<sup class="reference" id="_ref-24">[25]</sup>
  7. CRC

    CRC Survivor of Tidal Waves | RIP 7-24-2015 Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I tried all that with him....He is , in his own words, a "Super Curmudgeon"...
  8. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Ghrit.........on steroids.
  9. CRC

    CRC Survivor of Tidal Waves | RIP 7-24-2015 Moderator Emeritus Founding Member


    Monitor cleanup on aisle 4 please.... :lol:
  10. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    No candle next to my light == -- [rofllmao]
  11. jim2

    jim2 Monkey+++

    A super salute to all vets! Gotta love them!

    Even the U.S. Govt. admits that Wayne tried three times to enlist and was refused because of an old football injure. Perhaps the sudios were behind the refuals, I don't know. But, he did try and serve, and that's good enough for me.

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