Question about the bullet in his gun belt

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    There are 13 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by OriginalMexicanBob.

    • Question about the bullet in his gun belt

      Hello , as you guessed it I'm new around here. Someone may have asked this question before ,but I couldn't find it anywhere.
      Does anyone know what the significance was for the Duke to have 1 (one) extra long bullet in the middle of his gunbelt ? And does anyone know what the caliber was? It can be seen in most of his movies from the 60's & 70's . I'm not sure about his earlier works.
    • Re: Question about the bullet in his gun belt

      Liberty Valance,

      First of all I'd like to welcome you to this great message board. We love John Wayne and all the things about him. You are right that we have talked about this question before. And I knew about the subject, but I had to search myself because I have forgotten about this, and it is good to research this answer.

      The answer is: the single long bullet John wayne carried in the back center of his gunbelt was actualy .45-70 Springfield Trapdoor cartridge, it was carried in tribute to the soldiers of the Indian wars. I had to go back over three years ago to find that answer.

      You can go to: dukewayne.com/showthread.php?t=544&highlight=bullet+gun+belt and you can see the discussion about that bullet. I'd answer this for you but I didn't know the answer. You will see who does.

      Thanks for being a part of this special place and feel free to ask any question; you'll get an answer.

      Cheers :cool: Hondo Duke Lane


      "When you come slam bang up against trouble, it never looks half as bad if you face up to it"
      - John Wayne quote
    • Re: Question about the bullet in his gun belt

      Hello Liberty,

      Welcome to the site...I am so glad you asked that question as I have wondered about that bullet. I am new here too and this is THE PLACE to find answers.

      Thanks for the info. Hondo....
    • Re: Question about the bullet in his gun belt

      Liberty Valance,

      First of all, I'd like to join the others in welcoming you to the John Wayne Message Board, a great place for all fans of Duke to gather!

      Here's a picture of one of John Wayne's gun belts, and you can see that bullet -

    • Re: Question about the bullet in his gun belt

      Hello and welcome to the board, Liberty Vallance. No question asked is a bother, even if it was discussed befor. This is the place to find answers or to talk John Wayne. Glad you found us. Don't be a stranger now!

      Mark
      "I couldn't go to sleep at night if the director didn't call 'cut'. "
    • Re: Question about the bullet in his gun belt

      In the 1930s Yakima Canutt one of the Great Stuntmen and Actors of the Old Black and White Westerns, told Duke that this was the way that the Old Timers would know when their Gun Belt was 1/2 Empty and to Go To The Other Side Of The Gun Belt for More Ammo.
      :hyper:


      As Duke was a into the History of the Old West He Started Doing this in His Films. And Hondo is Correct it is a 45-70 Cartridge. That Means a 45 Cal. Bullet with 70 Grains of Black Powder in the Cartridge.
      :ohmy:


      Chilibill
      :cowboy:
    • Re: Question about the bullet in his gun belt

      Welcome to the board Liberty! I see your question has already been answered but still wanted to give a welcome.

      Enjoy your ride here!
      Tbone


      "I have tried to live my life so that my family would love me and my friends respect me. The others can do whatever the hell they please."
    • Re: Question about the bullet in his gun belt

      Liberty Valance wrote:

      Hello , as you guessed it I'm new around here. Someone may have asked this question before ,but I couldn't find it anywhere.
      Does anyone know what the significance was for the Duke to have 1 (one) extra long bullet in the middle of his gunbelt ? And does anyone know what the caliber was? It can be seen in most of his movies from the 60's & 70's . I'm not sure about his earlier works.


      Welcome to the site and as you can already see we have alot of knowledge here so search the boards and join in on the conversations.
      Life is hard, its even harder when your stupid!!
      -John Wayne
    • Re: Question about the bullet in his gun belt

      Hello , I want to thank all of those of you that responded to my question. I have been trying to find the answer for years. Yes , literally for years. And thanks for all of the warm welcomes. I don't usually hang out on any of the different message boards but this one seems like a great place to drop in once in a while.
    • I’ve also been given to understand that the long cartridge was an easy way to tell when you had gotten halfway through your reserves of ammo. You could tell by feel where you were.
      Tbone


      "I have tried to live my life so that my family would love me and my friends respect me. The others can do whatever the hell they please."
    • John Wayne himself said one time when asked that this was to tell when you only had so many rounds left. During that time period it was very common for someone to carry a handgun and carbine that used the same cartridge. Back then there were no carbines using the .45 Colt round...it had to do with both the rim design of the brass plus the metallurgy of the time period. Today the .45 Colt has somewhat different rim dimensions as well as better metallurgy to make carbines to use it.

      The .45 Colt was the standard military cartridge (actually it was the .45 Schofield so the Army could use the same cartridge in both the Colt 1873 Single Action Army and the Smith & Wesson revolver that was also issued). The most popular round used by civilians was the .44-40 which the Colt, Winchester and Marlin carbines were all chambered for.

      Due to the movie and television industry everyone thinks all Colts and Winchesters were .45 caliber but that was far from the truth. The carbines and revolvers used many other calibers...it may have been a logistical nightmare to keep well armed with all the different calibers. That's a big reason why the cap and ball percussion arms stayed popular for so long...black powder, lead bullets and caps were often much more easily sourced than brass cartridges along the frontier...plus new revolvers were expensive.

      Arguably the most useful and popular firearm on the frontier was the shotgun.
      "It was me...I shot Liberty Valance."

      The post was edited 1 time, last by OriginalMexicanBob ().

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