Why do Westerns feature guns that didn’t exist at the time period?

Richard Klingenberger
Rochester, New York

Movies sometimes “hot rod” firearms or alter a later model to look like an earlier model. Gun expert Jim Dunham, who has advised on Westerns, says, “Rule # 1: Don’t get information from movies. They are almost always wrong on history, people, costumes, events, weapons, etc.”

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian and vice president of the Wild West History Association. . His latest book is Arizona’s Outlaws and Lawmen; History Press, 2015. 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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