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Discussion Starter · #21 · (Edited)
Here's a trivia question for you JW fans, (99% of us).....What's that .45-70 cartridge doing among the pistol cartridges in the loops? I have an idea but I'll let you guys chime in first, jd45
Generally if look close it isn't a 45-70 in his belt in most movies but a 32-40. I read some time back it was to remind him of what was left for ammo as well. Splitting up the 44-40 ammo for his signature '92 makes more sense though. Although 44-40 shoots just fine in a 45. Not the other way around of course and hard to clear.

Buttttttttt :)

BITD I could see using a .45 Colt and a .44 '73 or '92 with HV rifle ammo instead of a '76, '86 or '94. '73 was a lighter gun and lighter ammo than the '76, '86. By the time the '94 and '95 showed up you had a LOT more gun worth the extra ammo and rifle. 44-40 HV rifle ammo was the 44 mag of the day. And early 44-40 Colt's didn't at first function well with the generic 44-40 ammo you could buy. It was too hot and backed up primers. Took the ammo makers (Winchester?) some time to tone it down so it would work in a Colt SAA. Matching guns and ammo I suspect was a lot less common than one might first think. Simply because the 45 Colt worked so well in a SAA. As did the 44-40 in a rifle.

Tea stains? No doubt in my mind the GW engraved pair are tea stained. His movie guns were never ivory but a yellow plastic.
"Wayne's famous grips were produced by Maurice Scharlack, who made only yellow catalin grips."



one of JW's actual rental guns now on loan to the NRA Museum.

Yellow Dairy

Great JW trivia thread here:

John Wayne in "The Shootist" - El Paso Saddlery rig doesn't quite match....

I know this is harsh and it hurts my soul to even acknowledge the fact. But John Wayne used plastic and Tom Selleck used ivory...damn! Then there is the '92 verses a '76.

"said I never had the use for one....never said I didn't know how to use one". :)
 

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The Colt in the American Rifleman article (October, 2007 issue) and shown in post #17 was a 1909 model that was originally "...a Colt Bisley in .45 colt with a 5 1/2" barrel that, sometime, somewhere, was converted to a .44-40 with a 4 3/4" barrel."..."It is perhaps the only 4 3/4" Colt actually owned by John Wayne, as it is the only one known to be listed in his personal inventory." Two sets of grips came with the gun. "Although often billed as ivory or bone, both sets are synthetic. Frisch [Al Frisch, one of the best authorities on Hollywood movie guns] verified that all of these grips were made by Maurice D. Scarlac of a material he developed called Catalin. Wayne reportedly liked them so much that he took them home and personally tea-stained them to a yellow color such as the patina often seen on ivory and bone grips."
American Rifleman, October 2007
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Would seem to me The American Rifleman had some details wrong. Including the grip maker's name, which is on his grips, Maurice Scharlack.

below is the Wiki info on Catalin.

Catalin is a brand name for a
thermosetting polymer popular in the 1930s. Developed when the American Catalin
Corporation took over the patents for Bakelite in 1927, Catalin is a cast
phenolic which can be worked with files, grinders and cutters and polishes to a
fine sheen. Chemically, it is a phenol formaldehyde resin. Catalin has a
different manufacturing process (two-stage process) than other types of Bakelite
resins (without using fillers such as sawdust or carbon black). Catalin is
transparent, near colorless, rather than opaque, brown, so unlike other bakelite
phenolics it can be dyed bright colors or even marbled. This has made Catalin
more popular than other types of Bakelite. In the 1930s-1950s it quickly
replaced most plastic consumer goods.

Catalin is heavy, quite greasy in
feel and as hard as brass. It is heat resistant and does not soften under
boiling water. Like Bakelite it gives off a distinctive phenolic odour when
heated, and can be tested using Simichrome - which turns from pink to yellow.
Due to oxidation, older Catalin items darken in color with white fading to
yellow. This caused some very interesting effects when radio cabinets were made
from Catalin. [1] Catalin radios were often made in stylish Art Deco designs and
are highly sought after by collectors.

Catalin is a trademark of the
Catalin Corporation of America.
[edit] Uses

Catalin bakelite is
perhaps the most worldwide recognized plastic and was used in the 1930s to 50s
for many household objects, jewelry, small boxes, lamps, cutlery handles and
desk sets. Catalin jewelry, more commonly referred to now as Bakelite jewelry
was made from the 1930s until the end of World War II when it became too
expensive as every piece had to be individually cast and polished. The Catalin
Corporation introduced 15 new colours in 1927 and developed techniques to create
marbling. The colours included yellow, orange, red, greens, blue and purple,
with clear, opaque and marbled versions. In the 1930s jewelry made from these
colours were very popular with sets of beads, bangles, earrings and rings being
worn together. Even though the jewelry made out of this material is referred to
as bakelite in the antique trade, the household items, radios, cutlery ,etc is
accurately referred to as Catalin.
 

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Gorgeous pair there, and a fitting tribute to a fantastic movie (one of my JW faves).

Let's not forget a couple of other notable Stars who contributed significant roles in the movie, Hugh O'Brian (TV's Wyatt Earp, and the resident gambler/gunman in The Shootist) and Scatman Crothers, the man who bought (and sold) J.B. Books' horse from (and to) him.

Yessir, a great movie. I really enjoyed how they used scenes from a bunch of his previous films in the opening, particularly another of my favorites, Rio Bravo.



Always admired and then lusted over that pair of fully engraved and blued GWs used in "The Shootist".
But also no doubt in my mind JW wouldn't have built them the way they were delivered given a choice. This particular pair were a gift from Great Western to Wayne. He liked them enough to use them in the movie...which he likely suspected would be his last. But I'd also bet he preferred a Colt given the chance.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bm_ZK5vU5ag

The originals now at the National Cowboy Museum, in OKC.




In 1976 John Wayne played his last role in "The Shootist". The story line was simple. "A dying gunfighter spends his last days looking for a way to die with a minimum of pain and a maximum of dignity."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JUfOIglaSc#t=50

Glendon Swarthout - The Shootist

John Wayne: one last shot before the final farewell - Telegraph

The film is based on the 1975 novel of the same name by Glendon Swarthout[3] with a screenplay by Miles Hood Swarthout (the son of the author) and Scott Hale, and featuring Lauren Bacall, Ron Howard, Harry Morgan, Richard Boone and James Stewart among other well know character actors.

"The aging Books (John Wayne) and the Old West are dying. Arriving in Carson City, Nevada on January 22, 1901, reading reports of the death of Great Britain's Queen Victoria in the newspaper, Books is insulted by a stranger who calls him an "old man" and barks at him to get out of the way. Books seeks a medical opinion from someone he trusts, E. W. "Doc" Hostetler (James Stewart). Hostetler confirms a Colorado doctor's prognosis of a painful and undignified death from cancer, so Books rents a room from the widow Bond Rogers (Lauren Bacall) and her teenage son Gillom (Ron Howard) to contemplate his fate."

The Shootist - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It is a story that has been played out many times in real life in one form or another. I find much to admire and ponder in the film. I liked it 30 years ago (for different reasons) and for more obvious reasons now.



Down but not out!



And my new pair below which took 2 years to get sorted out . Long Hunter's full action/ trigger jobs, rear sight cuts with bulleye ejectors added. Guns were shot a bunch before heading off to the engravers. Both guns are signed. The upper gun is by past Colt, master level engraver, John Adams Sr. and has slightly more cover than the lower gun. Lower gun was done by Darrick Smalley. The design for the pair mimics a specific, 1890's Cuno Helfricht pattern. Finish was done in an antiqued full blue. Beautiful colors and heavy grain in the matching bookend, one piece ivory by Gene @ Gunner Products which I then hand fitted. Only the lower gun is really showing the ivory very well in the less that stellar photo.

Two guns that shot well enough from the get go to deserve the extra cosmetic enhancements imo.


 

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Yahoody, speaking of H.V. .44WCF ammo, I saw a handload for it in "Cartridges of the World" using, I believe, Hercules, (it was from an old edition) 2400 powder, can't remember the charge, a 200GR bullet, supposedly giving about 1800FPS, IIRC, with a warning to use it only in 1892 actions in good condition.
TBone, I was saddened to see another good actor dieing right before my eyes in that movie besides JW. Who, you might ask? Richard Boone, jd45
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Richard Boone...such a great actor as a bad guy in several of JW's movies! And Scatman?! What a wonderful part he played in The Shootist. But weren't they all great parts, well played? Even the shady bartender in the end.

HV ammo? Really interesting to me to see the history of the early 44-40s and the Texas Rangers being not so pleased that the rifle/pistol combo didn't work.

I go my own share of that. Tried shooting Snooky Williamson's HV 32-20 loads in our '92 and then me trying to get them to run in a SAA (impossible combination of course) :rolleyes:
 

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Great guns and a great movie! I thought the story line was excellent, and I consider the movie one of Wayne's best works. The book ending was a little better I thought.
 

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I just finished reading 'The Last Shootist.' A sequel written by the son of the author of 'The Shootist.' I should say it is a sequel to the novel, not the movie. The novel and movie had different endings. The sequel is entertaining and an easy read. And J.B.'s guns were a match pair of nickle plated 1890 Remington .44's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 · (Edited)
I had the good fortune to stop by OKC last week and had some time to burn in the National Cowboy museum. The original GW guns owned by John Wayne and used in the "Shootist" are there.

I'll start another thread to answer a few of the questions brought up here.

In the mean time...not the best picture but gives you an idea of what is in store :) I'll also add a link here to the new thread.


One of John Wayne's personal engraved Great Western .45s @ the museum.

link to the new thread:

http://www.coltforum.com/forums/lounge/107039-shootist-john-wayne-s-engraved-gws.html#post834989
 

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JW did one more movie and that was a documentary for the United States Navy Seabee's. Most was filmed on our base at Port Hueneme California. He looked at all of us Seabee's that were smoking and said you know those things will kill you guys, just like me. He loved the troops and made a great movie called John Wayne and ghe Fighting Seabee's. Still one of my favorites. I was an equipment operator for 20 years in the Seabee's.
Mike
 

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Most of this thread was posted before I became a member here, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to agree with every post and state the obvious, "one of my favorite movies" and probably captures the essence of JW's career in the movies. He sure cut a wide swath.
Ed
 

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Great thread! love the movie- JW a great American last of the breed.

I mostly watch old westerns on DVD now seldom watch modern films- they are bleh at best. Last good American film I saw was "American Sniper." Can't take the PC indoc. included in most films those days.

Yahoody- those are great looking revolvers!

I read the original "Shootist" novel not long ago, and if I remember correctly, the pistols were referred to as- "double action Remingtons"?

The novel was great much darker than the film good story- but the reference to the pistols made me wonder..
 

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Yes the book refers to the "double action Remingtons".

Also in the introduction in the book written by Miles Swarthout he explains the different ending. It was at John Wayne's insistence.

Dan
 

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Would seem to me The American Rifleman had some details wrong. Including the grip maker's name, which is on his grips, Maurice Scharlack.

below is the Wiki info on Catalin.

Catalin is a brand name for a
thermosetting polymer popular in the 1930s. Developed when the American Catalin
Corporation took over the patents for Bakelite in 1927, Catalin is a cast
phenolic which can be worked with files, grinders and cutters and polishes to a
fine sheen. Chemically, it is a phenol formaldehyde resin. Catalin has a
different manufacturing process (two-stage process) than other types of Bakelite
resins (without using fillers such as sawdust or carbon black). Catalin is
transparent, near colorless, rather than opaque, brown, so unlike other bakelite
phenolics it can be dyed bright colors or even marbled. This has made Catalin
more popular than other types of Bakelite. In the 1930s-1950s it quickly
replaced most plastic consumer goods.

Catalin is heavy, quite greasy in
feel and as hard as brass. It is heat resistant and does not soften under
boiling water. Like Bakelite it gives off a distinctive phenolic odour when
heated, and can be tested using Simichrome - which turns from pink to yellow.
Due to oxidation, older Catalin items darken in color with white fading to
yellow. This caused some very interesting effects when radio cabinets were made
from Catalin. [1] Catalin radios were often made in stylish Art Deco designs and
are highly sought after by collectors.

Catalin is a trademark of the
Catalin Corporation of America.
[edit] Uses

Catalin bakelite is
perhaps the most worldwide recognized plastic and was used in the 1930s to 50s
for many household objects, jewelry, small boxes, lamps, cutlery handles and
desk sets. Catalin jewelry, more commonly referred to now as Bakelite jewelry
was made from the 1930s until the end of World War II when it became too
expensive as every piece had to be individually cast and polished. The Catalin
Corporation introduced 15 new colours in 1927 and developed techniques to create
marbling. The colours included yellow, orange, red, greens, blue and purple,
with clear, opaque and marbled versions. In the 1930s jewelry made from these
colours were very popular with sets of beads, bangles, earrings and rings being
worn together. Even though the jewelry made out of this material is referred to
as bakelite in the antique trade, the household items, radios, cutlery ,etc is
accurately referred to as Catalin.
I actually have found a pair of grips for a single action colt that were made by Maurice Sharlack. Total luck.
Generally if look close it isn't a 45-70 in his belt in most movies but a 32-40. I read some time back it was to remind him of what was left for ammo as well. Splitting up the 44-40 ammo for his signature '92 makes more sense though. Although 44-40 shoots just fine in a 45. Not the other way around of course and hard to clear.

Buttttttttt :)

BITD I could see using a .45 Colt and a .44 '73 or '92 with HV rifle ammo instead of a '76, '86 or '94. '73 was a lighter gun and lighter ammo than the '76, '86. By the time the '94 and '95 showed up you had a LOT more gun worth the extra ammo and rifle. 44-40 HV rifle ammo was the 44 mag of the day. And early 44-40 Colt's didn't at first function well with the generic 44-40 ammo you could buy. It was too hot and backed up primers. Took the ammo makers (Winchester?) some time to tone it down so it would work in a Colt SAA. Matching guns and ammo I suspect was a lot less common than one might first think. Simply because the 45 Colt worked so well in a SAA. As did the 44-40 in a rifle.

Tea stains? No doubt in my mind the GW engraved pair are tea stained. His movie guns were never ivory but a yellow plastic.
"Wayne's famous grips were produced by Maurice Scharlack, who made only yellow catalin grips."



one of JW's actual rental guns now on loan to the NRA Museum.

View attachment 86318

Great JW trivia thread here:

John Wayne in "The Shootist" - El Paso Saddlery rig doesn't quite match....

I know this is harsh and it hurts my soul to even acknowledge the fact. But John Wayne used plastic and Tom Selleck used ivory...damn! Then there is the '92 verses a '76.

"said I never had the use for one....never said I didn't know how to use one". :)
Just like these?
Generally if look close it isn't a 45-70 in his belt in most movies but a 32-40. I read some time back it was to remind him of what was left for ammo as well. Splitting up the 44-40 ammo for his signature '92 makes more sense though. Although 44-40 shoots just fine in a 45. Not the other way around of course and hard to clear.

Buttttttttt :)

BITD I could see using a .45 Colt and a .44 '73 or '92 with HV rifle ammo instead of a '76, '86 or '94. '73 was a lighter gun and lighter ammo than the '76, '86. By the time the '94 and '95 showed up you had a LOT more gun worth the extra ammo and rifle. 44-40 HV rifle ammo was the 44 mag of the day. And early 44-40 Colt's didn't at first function well with the generic 44-40 ammo you could buy. It was too hot and backed up primers. Took the ammo makers (Winchester?) some time to tone it down so it would work in a Colt SAA. Matching guns and ammo I suspect was a lot less common than one might first think. Simply because the 45 Colt worked so well in a SAA. As did the 44-40 in a rifle.

Tea stains? No doubt in my mind the GW engraved pair are tea stained. His movie guns were never ivory but a yellow plastic.
"Wayne's famous grips were produced by Maurice Scharlack, who made only yellow catalin grips."



one of JW's actual rental guns now on loan to the NRA Museum.

View attachment 86318

Great JW trivia thread here:

John Wayne in "The Shootist" - El Paso Saddlery rig doesn't quite match....

I know this is harsh and it hurts my soul to even acknowledge the fact. But John Wayne used plastic and Tom Selleck used ivory...damn! Then there is the '92 verses a '76.

"said I never had the use for one....never said I didn't know how to use one". :)
Generally if look close it isn't a 45-70 in his belt in most movies but a 32-40. I read some time back it was to remind him of what was left for ammo as well. Splitting up the 44-40 ammo for his signature '92 makes more sense though. Although 44-40 shoots just fine in a 45. Not the other way around of course and hard to clear.

Buttttttttt :)

BITD I could see using a .45 Colt and a .44 '73 or '92 with HV rifle ammo instead of a '76, '86 or '94. '73 was a lighter gun and lighter ammo than the '76, '86. By the time the '94 and '95 showed up you had a LOT more gun worth the extra ammo and rifle. 44-40 HV rifle ammo was the 44 mag of the day. And early 44-40 Colt's didn't at first function well with the generic 44-40 ammo you could buy. It was too hot and backed up primers. Took the ammo makers (Winchester?) some time to tone it down so it would work in a Colt SAA. Matching guns and ammo I suspect was a lot less common than one might first think. Simply because the 45 Colt worked so well in a SAA. As did the 44-40 in a rifle.

Tea stains? No doubt in my mind the GW engraved pair are tea stained. His movie guns were never ivory but a yellow plastic.
"Wayne's famous grips were produced by Maurice Scharlack, who made only yellow catalin grips."



one of JW's actual rental guns now on loan to the NRA Museum.

View attachment 86318

Great JW trivia thread here:

John Wayne in "The Shootist" - El Paso Saddlery rig doesn't quite match....

I know this is harsh and it hurts my soul to even acknowledge the fact. But John Wayne used plastic and Tom Selleck used ivory...damn! Then there is the '92 verses a '76.

"said I never had the use for one....never said I didn't know how to use one". :)
Just like these?
737860
737861
 

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Always admired and then lusted over that pair of fully engraved and blued GWs used in "The Shootist".
But also no doubt in my mind JW wouldn't have built them the way they were delivered given a choice. This particular pair were a gift from Great Western to Wayne. He liked them enough to use them in the movie...which he likely suspected would be his last. But I'd also bet he preferred a Colt given the chance.


The originals now at the National Cowboy Museum, in OKC.




In 1976 John Wayne played his last role in "The Shootist". The story line was simple. "A dying gunfighter spends his last days looking for a way to die with a minimum of pain and a maximum of dignity."


Glendon Swarthout - The Shootist

John Wayne: one last shot before the final farewell - Telegraph

The film is based on the 1975 novel of the same name by Glendon Swarthout[3] with a screenplay by Miles Hood Swarthout (the son of the author) and Scott Hale, and featuring Lauren Bacall, Ron Howard, Harry Morgan, Richard Boone and James Stewart among other well know character actors.

"The aging Books (John Wayne) and the Old West are dying. Arriving in Carson City, Nevada on January 22, 1901, reading reports of the death of Great Britain's Queen Victoria in the newspaper, Books is insulted by a stranger who calls him an "old man" and barks at him to get out of the way. Books seeks a medical opinion from someone he trusts, E. W. "Doc" Hostetler (James Stewart). Hostetler confirms a Colorado doctor's prognosis of a painful and undignified death from cancer, so Books rents a room from the widow Bond Rogers (Lauren Bacall) and her teenage son Gillom (Ron Howard) to contemplate his fate."

The Shootist - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It is a story that has been played out many times in real life in one form or another. I find much to admire and ponder in the film. I liked it 30 years ago (for different reasons) and for more obvious reasons now.



Down but not out!



And my new pair below which took 2 years to get sorted out . Long Hunter's full action/ trigger jobs, rear sight cuts with bulleye ejectors added. Guns were shot a bunch before heading off to the engravers. Both guns are signed. The upper gun is by past Colt, master level engraver, John Adams Sr. and has slightly more cover than the lower gun. Lower gun was done by Darrick Smalley. The design for the pair mimics a specific, 1890's Cuno Helfricht pattern. Finish was done in an antiqued full blue. Beautiful colors and heavy grain in the matching bookend, one piece ivory by Gene @ Gunner Products which I then hand fitted. Only the lower gun is really showing the ivory very well in the less that stellar photo.

Two guns that shot well enough from the get go to deserve the extra cosmetic enhancements imo.


That was a good movie, watched it again a few weeks ago. I often wonder what John Wayne had to have thought about will filming.
 
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