The Guns of Laredo … Part 2 … the Handguns

Bob Dylan

Streets of Laredo contains most your standard Western gunfare: Yer Colt 45, Yer Winchester ’73, and Yer double barrel shotgun ….

But it also has 2 unique weapons – plus another that’s fairly uncommon.

I was not able to locate any resources that specifically itemized the Guns in Streets of Laredo. It took considerable detective work to discover the identity of at least 2 of the firearms. A Thank You goes to my brother Richard who identified the mysterious and unusual shotgun carried by Charles Martin Smith.

The Handguns:

Most of the main characters use handguns at some point Streets of Laredo – including Sissy Spacek and Sonja Baca.
The handgun of choice appears to be the famous Colt 45 – either long or short barrel.

streets of laredo GUNS

streets of laredo Alexis Cruz with Colt

Alexis Cruz

streets of laredo Sonja Baca with Colt

Sonja Baca

streets of laredo Ned Beatty with Colt

Ned Beatty

A Colt Refused

Near the beginning Episode 1 (of 3) of Streets of Laredo, James Garner (Captain Woodrow Call) is offered a pearl handled Colt by his employer – which he refuses – upon advice there may ‘strings attached’.

streets of laredo colt in a case

 Uncommon Gun Number One

Smith and Wesson top loading handgun

Randy Quaid, who plays the very surly John Wesley Hardin in Streets of Laredo, brandishes a nickel plated handgun that looks almost too grand to be a ‘shootin’ iron’ of the Old West.
But there it is. This gun was not easy to for me to identify and I’m still not certain I have it right, but I’m going with a:

Smith & Wesson Schofield 

Subsequent editions of a successful weapon design often remain or appear almost identical to the original – even over years of production – with only minor refinements. Or can be copied by other Manufacturers.
In other words, they aren’t easy to identify. So this is just a guess on my part.

Randy Quaid with Smith and Wesson

Randy Quaid

Top Breaking handguns.

When you consider that the ‘top breaking’ feature (similar to double barrel shotgun) of this handgun appears to be make loading and unloading quicker and easier, you’d think they would have been more popular, but it seems the side loading style of the Colts was more common. I do not know who originally invented this design, but it was clearly used by other manufacturers as well – including Colt.

Randy Quaid with Smith and Wesson 2


The Guns of Laredo … Part 3 … the Rifles

The Guns of Laredo … Part 1


– The Management


When I initially started My Favorite Westerns, I had intended to include a page/section on the Guns that appear in each movie I profiled. Certain things have evolved however, to make me adjust or re-think this intention.

The first is the number of horrific and disturbing gun incidents over the last few years. Enough said… almost.

The second is less idealistic: many Westerns use the same guns – so identical gun profiles seemed redundant.

BUT/YET … What the hell is a Western without a GunYou can pretty well define Westerns by guns. There ARE a few Westerns that don’t have guns … very few. Even Little House on the Prairie had an occasional gun. Fact is, if a Old West period piece doesn’t have any guns, most of us wouldn’t even consider it a Western. Or even watch it. 

I’m not defending gun culture – or guns. It’s just a fact.

Further, this predilection for guns in our Entertainment is hardly unique. Take a look at the current list of films showing at your local theatre. Over half of them have guns – or violence – be it delivered via sword of Hobbit or gun by Willis.

Guns? Swords? Monsters? Space ships … ? You name it … We shoot it.

We are blood soaked and blood fuelled.

Violence you say? Nahhhh. They’re called ‘Action Movies’.

TV is not exempt. Sports, for instance, is huge on TV … and full of violence. And it’s debatable that we would watch it if it wasn’t. A hockey, football, or baseball game with no hitting is boring. And when there’s no Action we flip the channel – searching for Action/Violence. And what about Cop Shows? Game of Thrones, etc. etc? There’s no end of examples. Even most Reality Shows have Conflicts built into their setup – to raise the Entertainment factor. 

“Lights! Camera! Action!” Every day, all day, year ’round, we fight – we kill. 

Comic books? You might think you were in a porno shop … if it wasn’t for the killing. Rated G.

VIdeo games? Over 90% have graphic violence and bloodshed. Killing.


Bottom line: WE LOVE THIS STUFF!

And we keep the pushing the envelope –  more action, more violence, more graphic, more blood, more killing …

What’s next?

Another thing I truly wonder about is the Desensitization that seems to be occurring. Nobody bats an eye at most of this stuff any more.


The real question though …. is WHY? do we Love this Stuff?

I’m trying to come up with an answer.

In the meantime … let’s look at some guns.


Next the … The Guns of Laredo … Part 2


High Noon … the Guns …

Guns … ever a controversy …  never a solution ? 

In High Noon even Grace Kelly – a pacifist Quaker and sworn gun hater – eventually pulls a gun and kills somebody.
God forbid that any of us should ever have to do such a thing … and in a perfect world guns wouldn’t exist.
Unfortunately, this is surely not a perfect world.
Do Westerns glorify and encourage gun usage?
In my youth I handled and used guns extensively. Today I own no guns and haven’t shot one in many years … and have no intention of doing so.

Guns: Internet Movie Firearms Database:

Guns and Killing …

Gun laws were tougher in old Tombstone

No need to check your firearm today in the Arizona town famed for the gunfight at the OK Corral.

By Bob Drogin, Los Angeles Times

Reporting from Tombstone, Ariz. — A billboard just outside this Old West town promises “Gunfights Daily!” and tourists line up each afternoon to watch costumed cowboys and lawmen reenact the bloody gunfight at the OK Corral with blazing six-shooters.

But as with much of the Wild West, myth has replaced history. The 1881 shootout took place in a narrow alley, not at the corral. Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday weren’t seen as heroic until later; they were initially charged with murder.

And one fact is usually ignored: Back then, Tombstone had far stricter gun control than it does today. In fact, the American West’s most infamous gun battle erupted when the marshal tried to enforce a local ordinance that barred carrying firearms in public. A judge had fined one of the victims $25 earlier that day for packing a pistol.

read more …