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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hope I get this right. Jim Martin's friend bought Ben Johnson's Colt in New Mexico. Here's the picture Jim sent me that I think his friend sent him. I wonder if it was used in any movies or was a work gun of his. I went to Cowboy film festival in Sonora, Ca. years ago because Ben Johnson was going to be there. I missed him by about 20 minutes. I did meet Buck Taylor who had a display of his watercolors. I said, "Hi, Buck". He said, "Do I know you?" I said,, "No, but I know you. I see you almost everyday at 6"60 when Gunsmoke is on." Ben John died soon after that festival.
 

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That is cool!

Lowered front sight-it would be a lot of fun testing it to find out which bullet weights and powder charges it likes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Wyatt and Jim for sharing. It would be a great gun to have. What year was it born, if known. Thanks. Dennis
I was trying to figure that out. I think it's a late pre war gun. There's no circle around the horse, the barrel markings are right for a late 30's gun (I think), the trigger guard is round bottom, and the cylinder has a slight bevel. and a pro on this forum told me the hammers were polished in that period, too.
I never get tired of watching Ben Johnson ride that horse through Monument Valley chased by Indians in She Wore a Yellow Ribbon. He was somethin' else.
 

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i wonder if that front sight is a replacement? the blueing on it doesn't match the wear of the rest of the gun. that front sight looks like it would cause the gun to shoot high with 250-255 gr bullets. otherwise nice 1st gen colt.
 

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To hold a piece of history like that would be an honor. I'm an admitted John Wayne western movie fan (though "The Quiet Man" was good) and when Wayne and Johnson teamed up that was a true western classic. It was as if they were "film brothers" feeding off each others characters. It's interesting that both actors "stumbled" into their careers instead of studying to be in the profession.
 

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Ben johnson was the real deal. I found what I consider flattering his charactor. [ When offered the role of Sam in "The Last Picture Show" (1971) for which he would win an Oscar, he first turned it down because he didn't believe in swearing or in nudity in films. His friend, Director John Ford, got him to change his mind, but only after Ben got permission to rewrite all of his scenes with the offensive words removed.]
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
To hold a piece of history like that would be an honor. I'm an admitted John Wayne western movie fan (though "The Quiet Man" was good) and when Wayne and Johnson teamed up that was a true western classic. It was as if they were "film brothers" feeding off each others characters. It's interesting that both actors "stumbled" into their careers instead of studying to be in the profession.
And who'da thunk that an ex rodeo guy and movie wrangler would eventually win a well deserved Academy award, just a couple years after his pal John Wayne did. Jim Martin wrote and said he was told this gun above was used in at least one movie. For some reason I'm thinking One Eyed Jacks with Marlon Brando.
 

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Remember that piece of rideing he did standing up on two horses? I think it was in one of those movies he played trooper tyree. I also lilked where he could stop at full break neck speed, vault from his horse and salute all in a split secound. Another non western movie I liked was "Dillenger" where he played melvin purvis.
 

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The funny side of his movies was, The Shaddow Riders, with Sam Elliott and Tom Selleck. Where Black Jack always said, "Well it must have been that other thing" in referring to why the posse was still after them. When asked if it was because of a shooting, Old Black Jack just said, "Not a serious shooting".
 

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Ben Johnson was born and raised in northern Oklahoma and one of my late gun trading friends that lived north of Tulsa knew some of his family and ended up with a custom rifle and a shotgun that Ben Johnson had owned. Seems like my friend had a signed picture of Mr. Johnson and a big horn sheep that had been taken with the rifle. Don't know what ever came of that rifle after my friend passed away.

On the single action.....it could either be a post 1929 1st generation colt (judging by the caliber marking) or maybe even a 2nd generation. The front sight may have been reduced to be easier to draw out of a holster?
 

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I looked back through my archive of Ben Johnson materials (he has always been one of my favorite actors) and found this one. Was Tector Gorch using Ben's personal SAA here in this key scene from "The Wild Bunch"? (Not likely, but its fun to think about.)

Regards,
Charlie

 

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Nice old Colt. I really liked Ben Johnson. In real life he was quite a accomplished Horseman. I think the movie you are refferring to was maybe She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.

He was a recruit and they were all demonstrating their riding skills or lack of them. Could be wrong but that sounds right..
 

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Starred with Gene Hackman and James Coburn in a movie about a horse race. Hackman and Coburn were former Rough Riders. Can't think of the title. (Senior moment) He played an old cowboy dreaming of what he would do with the prize money. That's my favorite Ben Johnson flick.
 

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I liked him in most every part he played . Not a huge role but colorful was Sheriff Strong in "The Hunter" playing opposite Steve McQueen . :cool:
 

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"Rio Grande" was the movie Ben Johnson and Harry Carey Jr. rode the horses "Roman Style" in. It was the third movie of the John Ford cavalry trilogy starring John Wayne. The first was "Fort Apache", with Henry Fonda, followed by "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon".
 

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Harry Carey, Jr. talked about the Roman riding. He said Ford came up with the idea and sent Carey and Johnson out to "try it out." I've heard of people who spent years learning out how to Roman ride. I think they had less than 30 days. Simply amazing!
 
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