gunfight at ok corral bob boze bell true west magazine
Gunfight at O.K. Corral by Bob Boze Bell.

The question frequently comes up, are the guns used by the participants at the Gunfight behind the O.K. Corral in museums or in the hands of private collectors?

There have been many guns touted as being “authentic” from Tombstone to Alaska over the years but thus far none have been confirmed.  Jeff Morey and Casey Tefertiller are two of the most noted experts on the Gunfight behind the O.K. Corral.

Morey, says Frank McLaury’s and Billy Clanton’s six shooters were identified by their serial numbers at the Spicer Hearing but neither weapon has surfaced.  Weapons belonging to the Earp’s and Doc Holiday were not identified at the time.  That means any particular
collector’s or museum display weapon claiming to be used by them really can’t be validated. There are several phony guns which have been touted as being “authentic” over the years but thus far none have been confirmed. Unfortunately, making loud claims doesn’t make something so.”

Casey Tefertiller agrees and adds, “It did not seem like a big deal at the time.  Nobody imagined folks would be talking about the gunfight a century later.”

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian and vice president of the Wild West History Association. His latest book is Arizona Outlaws and Lawmen; The History Press, 2015. If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or email him at

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