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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I watched "Wild Bill" (with Jeff Bridges) on TV last night, and it got me curious about his guns. Four of them actually still exist. The provenance on them is not solid, but documented as well as other famous guns.
His main guns were a matched pair of .36 caliber 1851 Colt Navys with 7 1/2 inch barrels. Nickel plated. Carved ivory grips and extensive engraving, with his name on the brass back straps. He wore them stuck butt forward in a sash, no holsters. One of them is in the Cody museum (photo), and the other in the Adams Museum in Deadwood, SD.
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At some point he had a .44 Colt with a conversion plate for cartridge ammunition. It's also at Adams.
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He had a Sharps sporter with a shortened butt stock, and his monogram carved into one side. He was buried with it. A few years later it became necessary to move his grave. The rifle was then given to a close friend. It belongs to a collector. (I couldn't find a good photo).

Last is the gun he was carrying when he was shot from behind, murdered at the age of 39. A S&W Model 2 in .32 rimfire, 6 inch barrel. The barrel hinged up, and you removed the cylinder to load cartridges. Owned by a collector.
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If you go by all the exaggerated newspaper reports, Hickok killed dozens in actual gunfights. It was more likely 6 or 7, but his fast accurate shooting seems to be true. He was in several shootouts against multiple opponents. Considered the first fast draw street duel, in Springfield MO on July 21, 1865 he shot a man dead center at 75 yards, documented by the mayor and several witnesses. It was said in some accounts that he practiced almost daily, and people would come out to watch.

May 27, 1837 Homer, Illinois -
August 7, 1876 Deadwood, Dakota Territory
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I remember reading with his cap and ball revolvers he shot them daily and then cleaned and reloaded so he had fresh loads every day.

The man that shot him:

Jack McCall is the most infamous murderer in Deadwood. On August 2, 1876, McCall walked into Nuttal & Mann’s Saloon #10 and point blank shot Wild Bill Hickok in the back of the head while Hickok was playing a hand of poker. McCall claimed he killed Wild Bill to avenge his brother’s death. At the time of the killing, Deadwood had no law so a group of miners held a trial in the McDaniel’s Theatre. After two hours, McCall was found innocent and headed out of town.

He ended up in Wyoming where his mouth got him in trouble. McCall bragged so often about killing Wild Bill that finally a US Marshall arrested him. Since his trial was not held in a legal territory (Deadwood was still a gold camp in Indian territory,) the trial was deemed illegal. McCall was sent to Yankton, the capital of Dakota Territory, where he was retried, found guilty and hanged in the spring of 1877.
Jack McCall – Infamous Deadwood | Deadwood, South Dakota
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I had fun with that, checking facts and hunting through pictures. From what I read he was an ill-tempered braggart, but honest in card games and really knew his guns. He screwed up having his back to the door when McCall shot him, but his sight was failing by then. His days were numbered anyway.
 
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