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 Billy's pistol

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Dave
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PostSubject: Billy's pistol   Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:27 pm

I just finished re-reading Michael Wallis's Endless Ride and according to Wallis Billy was carrying a .41 caliber sixshooter in his waistband as he approached Pete Maxwell's room and pulled it on Poe and McKinney as he backed into Pete's bedroom. I don't recall reading anywhere about this pistol having been kept for historical preservation as was the butcher knife he carried on that fatal night...did the Garrett party keep the gun?

What are your thoughts??

Happy trails
Dave
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Cliff Caldwell
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PostSubject: Re: Billy's pistol   Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:41 pm

Dave,
Sounds like you will be needing your own copy of my new book "Guns of the Lincoln County War" as soon as it's published. Here is what we know about Billy's .41 Caliber Colt Model 1877 Thunderer (not Lightning):

"Legend has it that a man named Cherokee Davis, who worked for John Chisum, was given a new .41 Caliber Colt Thunderer by him on 4 July 1881. Cherokee was a cook for Chisum, and when Billy the Kid rode into his camp along the Pecos, he saw Davis’s Thunderer and took an immediate liking to it. Billy proposed a temporary trade with Davis. Some claim that Cherokee Davis lost the .41 Colt Thunderer somewhere along the line. There is also a version of the story that claims that Davis sold the Thunderer to a collector named Maury Kemp in El Paso and later sold Billy’s Single Action Colt .45 to a doctor in El Paso. Since Garrett reports that Billy had such a gun in his possession when he was killed at Fort Sumner, this gives rise to the belief that there is some legitimacy to the foregoing story."

This is also mentioned in "Dead Right - The Lincoln County War".

Laughing
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Dave
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PostSubject: the gun   Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:12 am

Cliff...in your opinion, did Billy have the gun with him the night that Garrett is reported to have shot Billy? somehow I can't imaging him walking around without a pistol at that point in his short life.

Dave

p.s. good luck with the book...I'd love to have a signed copy upon pubication
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Craig S.



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PostSubject: Re: Billy's pistol   Thu Feb 19, 2009 7:00 pm

Dave:

Hope all is well with you. I apologize for interjecting into your question posed to Cliff, but in my humble opinion, whether or not the Kid was carrying his pistol might depend on where he was actually coming from that night. If we take Garrett at his word that he came from outside after having been at another building then it would make sense to me that he would be carrying his pistol. If he was within the main building of the Maxwell home, maybe "visiting" Paulita, then he might have felt secure enough to not be carrying his pistol at the moment that he entered Pete's bedroom. He might have left it in the holster of his gunbelt in the room he just came from. It's kind of hard to guess how careful he was at that point. He should have been carrying a pistol; however, he should have also left New Mexico by then, yet he chose to hang out in the Fort Sumner area.

Craig
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Cliff Caldwell
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PostSubject: Re: Billy's pistol   Thu Feb 19, 2009 8:04 pm

Dave,

In my opinion...for what little that's worth... I don't think that Billy had the gun (or any other gun) on him when Garrett shot him. I think the gun was in the room where he was staying, but that he was walking around outside without it. Why....simply because he had no where to put the gun. No pocket in his trousers, no belt to stick it in and no holster on a gunbelt. Not unlike when you take all of the "stuff" out of your trouser poskets before bed and put it on the dresser. I think that he came into the room, Garrett shot him, and claimed that Billy had fired a shot as well.

Cliff
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DonnaT



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PostSubject: Re: Billy's pistol   Thu Feb 19, 2009 9:42 pm

As to the thoughts about Billy carrying a gun or not, my feeling is that he did not fire a shot that night if he was indeed carrying. Whatever brought Billy the Maxwell's porch on that late evening, I believe he thought he was was surrounded by trusting and loyal friends.....people who had looked out for him all along. When in fact, many, including Maxwell, were getting a bit tired of sheltering him and Pete of course mostly likely wanted nothing more than to see Billy head to Old Mexico.....without Paulita. Yes, I do think Maxwell had a hand in aiding the hunt for Billy, but Billy couldn't have known that so when he backed into Pete's bedroom, he thought he was entering a place of safety and most certainly would have hesitated to fire his gun not wanting to shoot a friend or friend of a friend.

Remember, Billy kept saying "Quien Es, Quien Es Pete" Not what a hair trigger type would take the time to say if he thought his heart was about to get shot through. There may indeed have been some fabrication in Garrett's story, but catching Billy by surprise wasn't one of them.
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Dave
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PostSubject: good thoughts   Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:30 pm

good thoughts from all of you...I sure like the folks who are on this board, and although I'd like to see maybe a little more activity, I think the concept that Marcelle came up with is a good one....limits a lot of the BS and such on an open board..thanks again guys

dave
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Bronte
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PostSubject: Re: Billy's pistol   Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:12 pm

I have to agree that Billy was gunless that night.Its so hard to believe that he would be so careless but I'm pretty sure that he thought he was with friends I've even thought that maybe Garrett ambushed him while he was sleeping.that sounds like something Pat would've done and then that would explain why Billy was unarmed.Does anyone know what happened to any of Billy's other belongings? not that he had much but I'm sure he had a few clothes and different trinkits.I love this new board but its soo dark I have a hard time reading the posts.I guess I need stronger reading glasses.
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Cliff Caldwell
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PostSubject: Re: Billy's pistol   Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:53 pm

Bronte,
I agree…it’s a little hard to read the posts on this new format. Good old fashion black and white would be good. Embarassed

As for Billy’s “stuff”, I believe that the Colt Model 1873 pistol that had belonged to him was owned by the noted actor William S. Hart who died on 23 June 1946. I am not certain where the gun is now. The Colt Model 1877 Thunderer is on display in Ruidoso Downs at the new museum I believe, but don’t take that as 100% certain. His bowie knife and the kitchen knife he had when he was killed are also floating around, and I think one of the two knives is also in Ruidoso Downs. The spurs that are on display in Lincoln were obviously made way after 1881, so IMO they are clearly not authentic. The hair in the Fort Sumner private museum is simply laughable IMO, as is the Winchester 1873 Carbine that they have on display (also made after 1881 so obviously not authentic). I hate to be such a doubting Thomas, but Bernie Madoff wasn’t the first guy to invent fraud! lol!

Cliff
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Bronte
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PostSubject: Re: Billy's pistol   Sat Feb 21, 2009 12:51 pm

I read an article that Fred Nolan had written and he decscribed how long it took him to purchase the knife that Billy had on him the night that Pat offed him.I believe it had been passed down thru Celsa's family.I"m not sure how many yrs. of bargaining it took him but he says he owns the steak knife.As far as the guns go it anyones guess as to where they are and on top of that how would you be able to prove that they were authentic? I seriously doubt Billy writing a letter of ownership and I've never heard of a bill of sale on the guns and even if someone came foward with a bill of sale no one would believe them.Thats my take on it anyway.I"m with you on purported BTK hair what a joke (LOL) you can tell by looking at it that it is doll hair.I find it sad that people are making money off of Billy's name and image when he didn't have a pot to pee in at the time of his death.I bet he would be upset about how people has used him to make their millions.I know I would be. Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad
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Paul O'Brien aka paulo
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PostSubject: Re: Billy's pistol   Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:02 am

With all due respects I don't think that knife from Celsa's descendants is the real McCoy.

The watchers in the peach orchard were targetting Celsa's house;the figure,later identified as the Kid who 'arose from the ground' did'nt walk down to Celsa's house but in the direction of Maxwells,so unless he had borrowed the knife previous it is unlikely it came from there that nite.

I still believe it was Saval Gutierez who tipped his brother-in-law Pat Garrett the Kid was in Sumner.Pat would'nt say to avoid trouble in the family.
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linda J
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PostSubject: Re: Billy's pistol   Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:17 am

Paul O'Brien aka paulo wrote:
With all due respects I don't think that knife from Celsa's descendants is the real McCoy.

The watchers in the peach orchard were targetting Celsa's house;the figure,later identified as the Kid who 'arose from the ground' did'nt walk down to Celsa's house but in the direction of Maxwells,so unless he had borrowed the knife previous it is unlikely it came from there that nite.

I still believe it was Saval Gutierez who tipped his brother-in-law Pat Garrett the Kid was in Sumner.Pat would'nt say to avoid trouble in the family.




I wonder that too Paul. Suspect Suspect Especially if Billy was messing with Saval's wife.
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stevenz
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PostSubject: Re: Billy's pistol   Mon Apr 27, 2009 12:51 am

Personaly i don,t believe the kid had a pistol and people will think the kid would be crazy to walk around without a gun but it was also crazy to go to Fort Sumner no matter how you look at it.

The kid was a young guy with a false sence of security he thought that everyone at fort sumner was his friend and that Garrett couldn,t get him there he didn,t realize that he had enemies.

I believe he also made the same mistake that so many people make in there lives like when they get in there car and say i don,t need to wear my seatbelt it,s only a short drive to the shop or i won,t wear a condom just this once it will be alright and it turns out to be not alright.

The kid could have thought well it,s only a short walk to Pete Maxwell and back it will be alright but sadly for him it wasn,t.

When you consider the way Gerrett pumped up the kid to boost his own reputation i find it hard to believe that he or one of the other men involved in the killing wouldn,t of held onto the kids gun.
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Russell Burrows
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PostSubject: Re: Billy's pistol   Mon Apr 27, 2009 3:09 am

Dave wrote:
I just finished re-reading Michael Wallis's Endless Ride and according to Wallis Billy was carrying a .41 caliber sixshooter in his waistband as he approached Pete Maxwell's room and pulled it on Poe and McKinney as he backed into Pete's bedroom. I don't recall reading anywhere about this pistol having been kept for historical preservation as was the butcher knife he carried on that fatal night...did the Garrett party keep the gun?

What are your thoughts??

Happy trails
Dave

Dave, if what Poe said is true: The man waliking along the inside of the fence appeared to be buttong his trousers, he would have had a hard time keeping a pistol tucked in his waist band. Trousers of that day were not exactly easy to button up. You have to start at the bottom and work up to the waist.

No, I don't think Billy was carrying that night. Rather it appears to me that he was "wool" gathering and paid the price for it. I did the same thing last fall and allowed a cougar to walk up and set down not twenty feet from me. I didn't shoot it but that .44 came out mighty fast.

Russ
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Cliff Caldwell
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PostSubject: Re: Billy's pistol   Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:51 pm

Altghough Wallis wrote an excellent book on the LCW, and probably one of the most popular and easy to read, he didn’t let a lot of facts get in the way of telling his story. I know of no reference to Billy having the Colt .41 Thunderer “stuck in his waistband”. Wallis made that up. No one knows if he had the gun on him or if it was in the room on the dresser or table. I find it unlikely that he “had it in his waistband”.

As for what happened to the gun…I covered that in my first post on this topic.

Cliff
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Russell Burrows
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PostSubject: Re: Billy's pistol   Tue Apr 28, 2009 3:16 am

Cliff Caldwell wrote:
Bronte,
I agree…it’s a little hard to read the posts on this new format. Good old fashion black and white would be good. Embarassed

As for Billy’s “stuff”, I believe that the Colt Model 1873 pistol that had belonged to him was owned by the noted actor William S. Hart who died on 23 June 1946. I am not certain where the gun is now. The Colt Model 1877 Thunderer is on display in Ruidoso Downs at the new museum I believe, but don’t take that as 100% certain. His bowie knife and the kitchen knife he had when he was killed are also floating around, and I think one of the two knives is also in Ruidoso Downs. The spurs that are on display in Lincoln were obviously made way after 1881, so IMO they are clearly not authentic. The hair in the Fort Sumner private museum is simply laughable IMO, as is the Winchester 1873 Carbine that they have on display (also made after 1881 so obviously not authentic). I hate to be such a doubting Thomas, but Bernie Madoff wasn’t the first guy to invent fraud! lol!

Cliff

I agree with you Cliff. That museum isn't worth visiting.

Russ
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