Tuesday, July 21, 2015

John Wayne Commemoratives

It occurred to me the other day while doing some research, that there have been quite a few guns dedicated to the memory of John Wayne. So I looked into it and this is what I found.
John Wayne was perhaps the most prolific actor of the 'old west' genre of movies, having starred in 142 films, most of them westerns.
I should've posted this on his birthday....I must've been asleep at the wheel. The Duke would have been 108 on May 26th....

For the record, anything labeled with the name John Wayne or the "Duke" has to be licensed by John Wayne Enterprises, see their website here

in 1982, Winchester created these tributes based on the model 94 lever action rifle. They came in blued and nickel plated

Winchester brought them back in 2007 for the 100th anniversary of the Duke's birth.

Uberti did the same, except they used their copy of the Winchester model of 1873

Some Colt Revolvers that were created to memorialize "The Duke"

The U.S.F.A. Duke commemorative Single Action Army

Ruger created a Vaquero commemorative, similar to their "Last Cowboy" series

Ruger also created a special edition Vaquerito .32 Single Six to honor the screen legend.

This Smith & Wesson double action revolver is a tribute to the actor, Wayne didn't always carry a single action in his movies...
This Colt 1911 was dedicated to him as well. John Wayne starred in numerous World War II movies including: The Sands of Iwo Jima and The Flying Leathernecks

 This Coach style shotgun features a famous line from the movie The Shootist

There were also some John Wayne commemorative ammunition made, in the early 80's Winchester-Western made this ammo to coincide with the tribute rifles.

On what would have been the Duke's 100th birthday (2007), Winchester Ammunition brought back the line of John Wayne ammo. The ammunition featured "Duke" on the head stamp. Available calibers included 30-30 Win, 32-40 Win, 44-40 and 45 Colt.

1 comment:

  1. This man is a personal favorite of mine. I don't consciously think in terms of having heros, but the reality is that he would be one of a very few, without any question. "Legend" does not even seem quite sufficient, and that refers to his personal carriage just as much as his on-screen persona.

    You have pictured the Ruger .32 Vaquero tribute pistol more than once on this blog, and one thing I've noted that no one else has is the "D" with the squiggly lines below it etched above the trigger.

    Duke aficionados should certainly recognize this as the brand of one of the most famous cattlemen of the silver screen; Thomas Dunson. The "Red River D" was an integral symbol from one of the greatest westerns, and arguably his best, ever; "Red River." At movie's end, an M was added below the river, in tribute to Matthew Garth, the adopted son of Dunson, exceptionally well played by Montgomery Clift, who by then had well and truly earned that recognition promised to him earlier in the film.

    This is just a guess, but I'd say a pretty educated one, and really not that much of a stretch. I wonder who had the notion to include it on the gun, and how many people have thought to wonder, let alone realized its connection?