atm-logoWho actually shot the coin tossed in the air in the movie Winchester ‘73?

Steve Andrews
Colorado Springs, Colorado

I ran this by True West’s gun expert Phil Spangenberger, and we both agree the shooter was Herb Parsons, a marksman employed by Winchester Arms. Daniel Brumley, curatorial assistant at the Cody Firearms Museum at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, confirms Parsons was the shooter. He says Parsons is standing in the scene when Jimmy Stewart shoots the coin. Check it out next time you see the film.

By the way, the rifle Parsons used in that shot (a Model 71 Winchester chambered for a .348 caliber) is on display at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, signed by the cast—and the coin is embedded in the stock.

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian.His latest book is Wyatt Earp: Showdown at Tombstone. If you have a question, write:
Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008,
Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or e-mail him at

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