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20 guns from the ‘Wild West’ that were sold at an auction – great pieces of history here

Brought up in an era of Western movies, cowboys & Indians – your childhood wasn’t complete unless you had a toy gun, holster and Sheriffs badge. There is still a massive fascination of the Wild West, frontiersmen and cowboys. Would love to have one of these guns on a wall but will have to do with staring at the pictures below.

As the American frontier passed into history, the myths of the West in fiction and film took firm hold in the imagination of Americans and foreigners alike. America is exceptional in choosing its iconic self-image. David Murdoch has said: “No other nation has taken a time and place from its past and produced a construct of the imagination equal to America’s creation of the West.”

A Western auction is never complete unless there are some Winchesters up for auction and there were plenty in this auction.


1873 44-40 carbine with crudely carved buttstock showing red ochre pigment, metal surfaces deep dark natural brown patina. Typical fashion of an Indian gun the small parts removed including rear sight, loading gate, saddle ring, dust cover, lever latch and barrel band. The 20″ barrel left in factory length, bulged in middle, magazine tube shortened in the period, lower tang with tiny serial number 125366, factory forend intact. Action functions the bore completely shot out. Dakota Territory Winchester that probably saw it all. From an old Central City SD collection. Antique.



Remington 12 ga. double 30″ barrels SN 3001 with letter of authentication from L.R. Burke, Director Railway Express Agency dated 1965. Top of barrel engraved W.F. & Co in 5/16″ letters, and WF&Co stamped on left side receiver. Letter further states the firearm was transferred in 1918 acquisition of Wells by R&A. Serial numbers matching on forend, barrel and receiver. A well documented guaranteed REAL shotgun from the legendary Wells Fargo Company. Antique.



Carbine professionally restored with standard 20″ Numrich Arms barrel, blue and case hardened finish, excellent action and bore, quality wood with good fit to metal. Modern.



38 cal. SN 258684 rifle with shortened 17 1/2″ octagon barrel and magazine, the stock with various bunk house carvings, names and initials. Bought from a north western South Dakota ranch family in the 1960’s, all metal surfaces show dark brown patina, functioning action and dark bore that may clean to good. Great old cowboy Winchester mfg’d in 1904. Modern.



Blue and case hardened with Colt hard rubber grips, remains very good to near fine, shows 30-40% original blue, frame uncleaned silver gray with visible case color in protected areas, markings sharp including serial numbers, grips show scratched in matching serial number, excellent fit checkering slightly flattened with small chip on left bottom, action tight and firm with fine bore. Mfg’d 1909, Modern.



With 4 3/4″ barrel and hard rubber grips. All metal surfaces show an even silver gray patina, some light scattered pin prick pitting, all matching visible serial numbers, left grip with small chip behing Rampant Colt. Includes factory letter, shipped to Kansas City. Action firm. Est.


Mfg’d 1856, 5″ barrel and walnut grips with original black leather flap holster. All metal surfaces show old silver gray patina, front bead sight intact, strong visible stage coach cylinder scene brass uncleaned mustard patina, walnut grips good with small chip on left heel showing areas of original varnish. All serial numbers match including wedge. Action functions, barrel show strong rifling. Holster remains generally good, main seam resewn in a few areas, toe plue and belt loop intact. From North Dakota collection.



Revolver cut to belly gun or Morman Revenger with 3″ barrel, non matching serial numbers, walnut grips, functioning action all metal parts showing silver gray to brown patina. Antique.




With 7 1/2″ barrel, blue and case hardened with Colt hard rubber grips. Revolver shows very good original condition. Barrel retains visible blue near caliber stamping area and around front sight, the remainder a plum to gray untouched patina, the cylinder blue gray. Frame shows areas of muted case colors, back strap and trigger guard showing silver gray, trigger with bright blue. Grips remain very good, screws and marking sharp. All visible serial numbers match, mechanically tight with firm action and good bore. Mfg’d 1907, Modern.



Shooter 44-40 SN 140622 revolver in very good to near fine condition, 7 1/2″ barrel blue and case hardened finish with Colt hard rubber eagle grips. Extremely nice original black powder single action, barrel retaining 85-90% bright blue, roll marked Colt Frontier Six Shooter on left side, ejector housing 40-50% blue, cylinder with 30-40% thinning and drifting to plum, bright blue in flutes. Frame show bright case color in low areas, light freckling below cylinder on left and right side, hammer with bright case color, grip strap and trigger guard with 25-35% blue remaining. Grips very good with small loss on bottom, Mfg’d 1891. Antique.




Revolver with 4 3/4″ barrel and walnut grips. Overall condition very good top of barrel with 2 line Colt address, front sight slimmed down, left side with roll marked Frontier Si Shooter, left side frame with 2 line 1871 1875 patent dates and Rampant Colt, matching visible serial numbers, uncleaned finish is generally gray brown with visible blue and case color in the protected areas the walnut grips very good. Action is tight and firm the bore very good. Nice honest old Colt Mfg’d 1896, Antique.


Rifle 28″ octagon barrel, standard walnut stocks with crescent butt. Rifle remains good untouched condition, barrel shows 15-20% blue on bottom flats the remainder a brown overall patina, non Winchester rear sight, barrel address sharp. Receiver shows approx. 10-15% blue around side plates the remainder gray drifting to brown, correct 3rd model dust cover is intact. Walnut stocks original forend showing moderate to heavy use No repairs, buttstock with old 1 3/4″ ranch brand carved on both sides, NO cracks or repairs, cleaning rod buttplate a gray brown patina. Solid old ranch gun with excellent action and decent bore. Mfg’d 1882, Antique.



Engraved nickel finish with 7 1/2″ barrel and pearl grips. All matching visible serial numbers, Colt Frontier Six Shooter on left side of barrel, standard one line address on top. Revolver shows fine scroll engraving to barrel, frame, cylinder, backstrap, ejectory and trigger guard, all Colt markings remain sharp. Pearl grips with good color, left side shows old crack through escutcheon, right side with chip at heel. Mechanically tight with firm aactin and very good bore. No Colt letter, mfg’d 1901. Modern.



Shot rifle 28″ octagon No. 1 barrel, blue and case hardened with standard walnut stocks and crescent buttplate. Rifle shows good condition, barrel plum brown patina, receiver a muted silver gray, walnut stocks very good. Nice firm action with dark bore, Mfg’d 1892.



.44 having belonged to Owen C. Mathews (1888-1968) Sheriff of Grant County New Mexico, gifted to him by Texas oil man Burton Prince, excellent provenance purchased from Matthews grandson by a previous owner. Matthews served as sheriff for 3 terms 1935-1938, 1943-1946 and 1953-1956. Resided in Silver City, was involved in various mining interests and actually moved from Texas to Grant County to pitch baseball for Chino Mines Copper Company. His obituary listed him as a member of the Stockdale, Texas Mason’s Lodge and Charter member of the New Mexico Sheriff and Police Association founded in 1935 and had a long colorful career as sheriff. Research on Burton Prince (1879-1948) lists him as resident of Waxahachie, Texas and a prominent business man, owner of Perice Hardware, and oil man under firm name of Prince and Prince where he handled the largest drilling contract from 38 wells at a time, owned a chain of filling stations, Buick Auto dealership, served 3 terms as Mayor of Waxahachie, and director of Security National Bank. Of further interest is him father being the first white child born in Ellis Co, Texas in 1850. The revolver a Smith & Wesson 44 cal 3rd model SN 32623 hand ejector 4″ barrel, nickel finish shipped to Wolf & Klar, Ft. Worth Texas in 1928. Features Wolf & Klar extensive engraving, gold plating with mother of pearl grips, gold horns and skull caps, initialed OCM, nose ring, Mexican coins and ruby eyes bezel set in gold. Near fine condition with some loss of gold plating on hammer and trigger, excellent action and bore. Includes factory letter, copy of provenance from a previous owner, black tooled holster stamped AB Seitzler, genealogy on Burton Prince, copy of Matthews photo and Grant Co Sheriffs Dept. patch. A great Wolf & Klar highly embellished gun with interesting Texas and New Mexico history. Modern.



26″ barrels browned and case hardened finish with English style plain walnut stocks. Condition is very good, Damascus barrels showing pleasing brown to gray patina, receiver with visible case color around hammers the remainder a silvery gray drifting plum, hammers excellent with no repairs. Walnut stocks show vry good some light dings and bumps, unsanded, forend with black ebony insert. Matching serial numbers on receiver, barrels and forend. Action are excellent the bores good. Nice example of what was regarded Americas best shotgun. Antique.



Etched panel revolver 7 1/2″ factory nickel, one piece walnut grips shipped 1882 to Winchester Arms Co in 50 gun shipment. Barrel shows 15-20% nickel visible panel scene, rest of gun shows 10-15% finish. Good firm action and bore. Antique. Includes factory letter.



with John T. Cleveland condemened US Cavalry barrel, Mfg’d 1877 revolver shows matching serial numbers 35038 on frame, trigger guard and bckstrap, bottom of 5 1/2″ barrel stamped C over P over J.T.C. original 4679 below 5038 serial number, cylinder 157. Condition of revolver remains very good barrel showing silver gray patina visible blue in protected area, 3 line patents on left side, hammer muted case color on top, left and right side silver gray, backstrap and cylinder gray starting to drift brown, patches of bright blue on bottom, trigger guard show 10-15% thinning blue. Bright blue remaining on ejector house, front sight slimmed down. Oil stained walnut grips remain fine. All markings sharp, action tight with great bore. Interesting revolver with rare J.T.C. mark from an inspector who only inspected for a mere 2 years with records indicating 1208 barrels rejected during his years as an inspector (1876-1877) (Ref: Study of the Colt Single Action p. 221). Antique.

All sold at

Sam Dickson

Sam Dickson is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News