Bingo! 1st .44 magnum I owned was also a JP Sauer & Son (think maybe it read Sohn?) back about the same time. It was a nice solid built SA. I traded it even for a 2" S&W model 10 RB a couple of years after getting that .44.It's a copy of the Colt SAA made by J.P. Sauer & Sons of Germany. It was the first handgun I ever owned. It was a .44 MAG way back in 1966.
Marshall Dillon carried a Hawes Western Marshall in "Gunsmoke". I wonder if it was a Sauer...or maybe just a Hawes.
Indeed he did. Not only Matt Dillon, but J.B. Books, a.k.a. John Wayne, had a pair in The Shootist, a gift from Bill Wilson early in the days of Great Westerns. These are in the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City.I AM PRETTY SURE Matt Dillon's pistol in "Gunsmoke" was an American made GREAT WESTERN. The show predates the SIG/SAUER SA sixguns by a decade or two.
Bob:You've been given some wrong info,GW was founded in 1954 & remained in business until 1962,Hy Hunter was never an owner he was just a distributor.They weren't manufactured in Hollywood but in West L.A. Ca.on Miner st. who ever wrote the article your quoting didn't know what they were talking about.If you'll buy the book you'll see what the real story is & as a side note what I'm posting is 1st hand info based on the fact that I was there & used to build many of the old GW's.For whatever its worth, here is some data I have gleaned from various sources regarding these Colt SAA copies.
Great Western Arms was founded around 1950, manufactured in Hollywood, Calif. Bill Wilson was the principal officer, Audie Murphy a prominent investor. The Single Action they manufactured was a copy of the Colt SAA except for the firing pin, which was of the Christy type designed by Christy Gun Works of San Francisco.
Haywood "Hy" Hunter became a principal distributor for GW arms. He published an elaborate catalog of GW guns and Colt revolvers also around 1955. As GW encountered financial problems, Hy Hunter took the GW to J.P Sauer & Sohn of Suhl, Germany around 1958. These copies of the Great Western were sold as the Hy Hunter Western Six Shooter model in various calibers. Around 1965 Hy Hunter left the gun business, and these guns were imported by Hawes.
Hawes went defunct in 1980 as a result of law suits, and J.P. Sauer sold the tooling to Weirauch or Germany
Hawes guns were sold under the models of Western Marshal, Texas Marshal, Montana Marshal, and Silver City Marshal. These varied as to caliber and grip straps, either brass, alloy, or steel. Grip panels were either walnut or plastic imitation stag.
These German made guns were all well made, and so far as I know, were either all blue or nickel finished.
Early reviews of the Great Western guns indicated that many parts were interchangable with the Colt SAA, and even (for $8.00 extra) a Colt firing pin bushing and Colt hammer could be installed on the GW after removal of the Christy firing pin assembly.
The above gleaned from notes I've made over the years.