The Guns of Laredo … Part 3 … the Rifles

The Guns of Laredo … Part 3 … the Rifles

In Streets of Laredo we see mainly 3 standard rifles – plus a couple of oddities. There are others long guns, but their appearance is too brief to mention.

Streets of Laredo Rifles

Firstly we have the Winchester 73′ rifle – ‘the rifle that won the West’? Combined with the Colt 45 pistol, these are backbone of many a Western Film and probably a good chunk of Old West history as well.

James Garner (Captain F. Woodrow Call) carries two rifles (not sure why .. but Why Not?): a Winchester 73′ and a 1860 Henry Rifle Brass Frame .45 LC.

Streets of Laredo Garner and Rifles

Streets of Laredo Garner with Yellowboy
Woodrow / Garner with his Henry
Streets of Laredo Garner with Yellowboy 2
Garner using the Henry – folding sight.

Ned Beatty (Judge Roy Bean) and his Winchester 73
Streets of Laredo Ned Beatty with Winchester 73'

Between drinking and hanging people the Judge shoots things.

Streets of Laredo Ned Beatty with Winchester 73' 2

George Carlin gets ready to demonstrate the ‘Yellow Boy‘.

Streets of Laredo George Carlin with Yellowboy 2

Hang on to your ears.

Streets of Laredo George Carlin with Yellowboy 2

The 2 Unusual Weapons

Streets of Laredo Smith and Cannon
Smith and Cannon

Charles Martin Smith and Cannon? Sounds like a Law Firm. And he’s got the guns to back it up.

Streets of Laredo Holland & Holland Paradox

The first of the 2 unusual weapons that I spoke of, is the The Holland & Holland Paradox shotgun (well named).

From the Internet Movie Firearms Database (

“The Holland & Holland Paradox was an interesting design. It was a smoothbore until the end of the bores where there was rifling … The 8 and 10 gauge shotguns were considered to be the most effective against Elephant, Cape Buffalo ect, but lacked the accuracy and range of a rifle. The Paradox design was a compromise which offered improved performance from the smoothbore design … “

In other words, Charles Martin Smith is carrying an elephant gun. Sheesh.

This weapon eventually contributes to the demise of our main antagonist.

Thanks to my brother Richard for finding this information.

Don’t ask me what the pistols are though … he never pulled ’em.

Charles Martin Smith seems to have a fondness for shotguns:

Streets of Laredo Smith and Shotgun
Charles Martin Smith with shotgun in The Untouchables – 1987

That other weapon is claimed to be a Model 1889 Schmidt-Rubin rifle with Scope.

Streets of laredo  Model 1889 Schmidt-Rubin rifle
Model 1889 Schmidt-Rubin rifle – without scope

Apology: I lost my sources for this reference. I do recall the the individual who recognized this rifle said that this weapon did not exist in the era of Streets of Laredo. I would not be surprised as we find this quite often in Westerns (and other movies) where technology from the future is imported to the past. Most often nobody cares or notices, but some Gun and Western history fans/experts do take note. 

Streets of Laredo Alexis Cruz and rifle

Alexis Cruz with Model 1889 Schmidt-Rubin rifle

The only thing I can say for sure it that if Joey Garza (Alexis Cruz) takes a liking to your gun, you better just give it to him. And run away. Fast.

But it might not do any good.

The Guns of Laredo … an interesting mix.

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

James Garner Westerns con’t: Streets of Laredo / 3 part mini-series 1995 / Part 1

Capt. Woodrow F. Call: I will not tolerate rude behaviour!”

Fortunately, Streets of Laredo is chock full of rude behaviour.

I selected this version of the very famous song The Streets of Laredo by Ed Bruce ( (writer of “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” and “You’re the Best Break This Old Heart Ever Had“) because Bruce is a close friend and co-hort of James Garner. And I like it.


Larry McMurtry’s Streets of Laredo • Official Trailer • Miniseries


I have no problem understanding what people like about McMurtry’s writings: Lonesome Dove (1986 Pulitzer Prize winner) etc. of which Streets of Laredo is part of his enduring saga of Woodrow Call – and others – It’s the people in his stories. They are fully realized and believable. Real. And we like them and admire them. His people are honest, hard working, caring, loyal, honest … good people. Not perfect in any way – but good. They have standards and they have a code – and they stick by – and stick together. We come to care about them and relate quite a bit with them – I hope. McMurty’s stories are good too – filled with these interesting characters and his great knack for excellent dialogue. No problem finding quotes in his writing.
Streets of Laredo is excellent. Streets of Laredo Banner Streets of Laredo starts out with a coyote howling in the sunset and plaintive death march of the song Streets of Laredo … giving a sense of loss – that something is ending rather than beginning. And in the opening scene we see the no longer young Woodrow Call (Garner) preparing for a journey … his last quest ??

Streets of Laredo James Garner Banner


They don’t usually make many posters and such for TV events (tell that to Game of Thrones) so we often have to rely on DVD covers and the like for any promotional images. As such:





Notice anything about one of these DVD images?
It’s reversed. Yes. This is something that you encounter
very often on the internet – reversed images. Why? I don’t know.
It’s annoying. For one thing it’s dishonest. Secondly, sometimes
you can’t tell which is the honest/correct/original image.
Why do people do this? It can’t be done accidentally.
It’s a head 
scratcher … ??


I rate it an 8 out of ten
SOL Rotten Tomatoes
“54%” !!??? – that’s insane.

I was completely caught up in this gritty Western.

James Plath's picture
James Plath
Wednesday, May 5, 2010 – 12:00 am
” … a considerably better-than-average Western . . . even if it isn’t quite the same caliber as “Lonesome Dove.” It hooked me right from the beginning, and that’s worth something. Like the best mini-series, “Streets of Laredo” depends upon strong characters to make the difference, and they do.”
Alexis Cruz does a fantastic job as the child killer, but so does Randy Quaid as John Wesley Hardin and Ned Beatty as the self-appointed law west of the Pecos, Judge Roy Bean. Even comedian George Carlin turns in a decent performance as grizzled carryover from “Lonesome Dove.”
Bottom Line: As a stand-alone mini-series, “Streets of Laredo” merits a high 7 to a low 8 out of 10. As a sequel? It’s probably not going to satisfy anyone looking for consistency from film to film. But I think the first point trumps the second. Always.”


If interested in finding Streets of Laredo you’ll have no problem – it’s freely available on YouTube – all 3 parts in blazing Hi Res that you can watch right on your computer – though I downloaded it and Rose and I enjoyed watching it on her big screen TV.

That’s enough for today …

Coming Up …
Streets of Laredo: The Cast