The Outlaw Josey Wales’ guns

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These beautiful Colt Walker revolvers were used in Clint Eastwood’s western classic The Outlaw Josey Wales .

I think these guns were featured on the previous episode of NRA News’ Curators Corner. Unfortunately I cannot figure out how to watch it! Anyhow, you can read more about these guns at the NRA Blog.

UPDATE: You can watch the episode here (Thanks ThinkingEngine for the instructions) …

Basic steps to watch the Curator’s Corner.
1. Go to http://www.nramuseum.org/
2. Click on Curator’s Corner in the bar on the left.
3. Click on the “Clint Eastwood’s Colt Walker at the Tulsa Arms Show” button just to the right.

[ Many thanks to Lars Dalseide for sending me the photos. ]


Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • DavidR

    That is more something of a Walker/Dragoon hybrid cartridge-conversion (Whitneyville Dragoon?) Also the modified cylinder looks to be from a Dragoon as well (triangular bolt notches)

  • Don

    Josey Wales is my all time favorite “western” movie. I actually have a poster of Clint with his Walkers right inside the door to my apartment sort of off to the side. It has made person who has been to my apartment for the first time jump when they walk in because it’s at a height that an actual person would be if they were standing to the side of the door.

    http://www.sptddog.com/sotp/clint13.gif

    -D

  • SpudGun

    I think it was Jose Wales or Pale Rider where Clint was reloading his revolvers by swapping out the cylinders, like a retro speed loader. If any of the cowboy shooters out there can confirm that this was not only possible but common practice, then it would be much appreciated.

    BTW, agree that those old cap n ball revolvers like the Colt Walker and Navy are works of art.

  • Oswald Bastable

    That’s a Dragoon.

    The Walker has no loading lever catch.

  • Lance

    I thought he had a 1860 Army not a Walker????

  • Bill Lester

    Spud,

    I’ve seen period leather gear that included a pouch for an extra cylinder, so it was done by at least a few “gun nuts” of the day.

    Clint did the 18th century speedload in Pale Rider. In Josey Wales, he carried enough pistols to arm a troop of cavalry and didn’t need extra cylinders.

  • zach

    Size and squared trigger guard of the Walker Colt but the loading lever catch of a Dragoon. looks awesome, its like a ’51 Navy but huge

  • zach

    but in the movie his are genuine Walker’s which lack the loading lever latch…

  • Don

    he’s definitely got walkers in the promotional poster.

    -D

  • ThinkingEngine

    I figured out how to watch just the other day so here is how I did it.
    Basic steps to watch the Curator’s Corner.
    1. Go to http://www.nramuseum.org/
    2. Click on Curator’s Corner in the bar on the left.
    3. Click on the “Clint Eastwood’s Colt Walker at the Tulsa Arms Show” button just to the right.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      ThinkingEngine, Thanks!

  • JoseyWales

    SpudGun, you’re thinking of Pale Rider. In that movie, Clint was using a Remington 1858 Army. In the second picture shown, this gun is directly above the Dragoon. On the 1858 Army, what appears to be a loading lever actually releases the cylinder. The 1858 Army was also a closed frame revolver (strap running above the cylinder), unlike all the Colts which were open frames. Open frame guns were considered less durable because firing over the years would tend to loosen things up. Regardless, the Colts were still a quality product and perfectly usable firearms.

    DavidR and Oswald Bastable also appear correct that this is a Dragoon and not a Walker because of the load lever latch. It appears to me to be a 2nd model Dragoon because of the squared off trigger guard in the rear and squared cylinder bolt slots. 1st model had oval cylinder bolt slots and 3rd model had a rounded trigger guard. A Whitneyville Dragoon was like a Walker, but had a Dragoon barrel and cylinder (probably 1st model?)

    I’m a huge fan of the movie and don’t mean to dispute any claim that what appears to be a Dragoon above was not used in the movie, but near the end of the movie where Clint gets the chief bad guy, he clearly has two Walkers (no load lever catch), a Colt 1860 Army in the front waistband and a smaller gun in a front shoulder-type holster which appears to be a Colt 1849 Pocket revolver.

    Originally, all these guns were black powder, percussion cap. But in both of these movies, and other movies like his spaghetti westerns, Clint treats them like cartridge conversion guns.

  • DavidR

    So, according to the video, there was a percussion Walker and a cartridge Walker used in the film. That goes a long way to removing the original confusion I had when watching the movie. However, as I and others said earlier, the pictured revolver is NOT a standard Walker Colt. Perhaps, if the NRA were still more interested in promulgating firearms knowledge rather than propaganda, their “curator” would have thought this a salient point to mention!

  • http://homeplace-artsstuff.blogspot.com Arthur B. Burnett

    I think it was Pale Rider where he switched cylinders. The weapons he did that on were Remington 1858s. To change the cylinder you drop the loading handle and pull the cylinder pin. Bring the hammer back to free up the old cylinder and put in the next. As the Remington was solid frame they could do that without disassembling it.

    I think the book Packing Iron showed the cylinder pouches that Mr. Lester mentioned. It could have been done in the day but no telling how often it was done.

    As for what Eastwood used in the movie, I think your all right. If you remember the last scene in the movie when he is pacing down the jerk that killed his family he drew weapons form more holsters than I saw, out of his capecoat pockets, out of his boots, and he would drop them and go to the next. The man pulled handguns from everwhere but under his hat!

    In the course of the film I saw walkers, dragoons, baby dragoosn, I believe 1860’s and navies. He must have taken guns off every body he found or made.

  • JonMac

    Perfectly plausible that this was ONE of the revolvers used in the production of the movie, but it certainly isn’t one of Clint’s main arms. Propstore had (have?) one of them;

    http://www.propstore.com/joseywalespistol.htm

    All the IMFDB screencaps show the Walker;

    http://www.imfdb.org/index.php/Outlaw_Josey_Wales,_The#Colt_Walker_1847

    Possibly a bad-guy gun? Or something from the production, but not actually screen-used?

    Can anyone be bothered to frame-by-frame the movie to try to spot it?!

  • http://homeplace-artsstuff.blogspot.com Arthur B. Burnett

    Greetings from Texas,
    A prop gun to be sure. I think the loading gate shown in the last photo was cut by a prop department rather than someone making a cartridge conversion. The movie folks don’t want to be bothered with loading cap and ball revolvers. It was / is common practice to cut the flash shield so a blank cartridge could be loaded. Us slobs in the movie audiance were never suppose to see that, like the bolt action enfields in the movie Zulu!
    Were this a cartridge conversion the loading ram would usually have been removed.

  • http://txfellowship.blogspot.com Mark

    Dragoon second model, converted for cartridge. Clint carried 2 1847 Colt Walkers, a 1860 Colt Army and an 1849 Colt Pocket.

    Link to IMFDB.org page for movie:

    http://www.imfdb.org/index.php/Outlaw_Josey_Wales%2C_The

    The page shows the cartridge conversions.

  • Jacque

    Interesting sidelight : I read a while back that one of Josie Wales’ Walkers was the same one that Kim Darby carried in True Grit.

  • http://kidneystonedietx.com/ Kidney Stone Diet

    Thank you for putting this together, especially with decent hi-res photos. It is great to find info like this online because whilst some of us have a passion for these gorgeous western pieces the powers-at-be in our country doesn’t share the interest and frowns upon it sadly. So it’s nice to find sites like this :)

  • steve rogalinski

    I happen to own on of these pistols that he carried in the movie. If anyone is interested in learning more I can provide photos and certificate/documentation from the auction house. Not really looking to sell them but was trying to get a feel for what it might be worth.
    Thanks,
    Steve