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"Wyatt Earp and the Buntline Special Myth" Topic

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634 hits since 23 Aug 2019
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP24 Aug 2019 8:48 p.m. PST

"UNFORTUNATELY, stories linking weapons with Wild West heroes appear with almost monotonous regularity. Yet in the mythology of America's West regularity should never be confused with truth. In researching any accepted belief, truth becomes more elusive and frustrating than popularizers care to admit. Perhaps the most widely accepted of all such stories concerns Wyatt Earp and Colt's so-called "Buntline Special" revolvers. Legend describes Earp's gun as sporting a 12-inch barrel and shoulder stock attachment. Garish accounts then have him using this extra length barrel to subdue a host of hardcases in both Dodge City and Tombstone. Although a journalistic fabrication, at least as far as Wyatt Earp is concerned, this somewhat awesome-looking weapon remains his trademark in literature and in Hollywood.

This gun's inseparable association with Wyatt Earp has helped scores of writers and film makers transform that individual into one of the frontier's most fascinating marshals. Yet one is strangely reminded of earlier heroes -- Achilles and King Arthur -- their feats of derring-do, their mythical weapons and physical prowess…"
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Old Wolfman26 Aug 2019 6:11 a.m. PST

Earp reportedly used the extra-long barrel to coldcock an enemy on the dome rather than shooting through it in one case. Bat Masterson was gifted one of them also,but he had the barrel trimmed down to 7 inches.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP26 Aug 2019 10:41 a.m. PST



pikeman66626 Aug 2019 1:49 p.m. PST

So it was a better bludgeon than firearm, at least until Masterson reworked it! I'm not surprised.

chironex27 Aug 2019 5:44 p.m. PST

Haven't heard of this silly legend, or anyone assuming the Buntline Special was ever used operationally, for that matter.

Old Wolfman28 Aug 2019 5:47 a.m. PST

Writer/actor Ned Buntline convinced Colt to custom make the revolvers,and had his first name carved into the handgrip. One info source was "The Weird Wild West"

chironex30 Aug 2019 6:28 p.m. PST

That doesn't suggest anyone thought anyone would be vain enough to have one as EDC.

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