Why does John Wayne appear to have a large caliber bullet in his belt?

mtrimbleIn many of John Wayne’s movies, his gunbelt seems to have a large caliber bullet in the center of the belt. Why?

John Putz

Phoenix, Arizona

Most folks usually carry different caliber ammunition in separate belts. For his movies, John Wayne wore a gunbelt that centered the .45-70 long rifle bullet in order to separate the other two similarly-looking bullets. Historian Jim Dunham says that one side (probably the right from the buckle, around to the long case) was filled with .45 long Colt ammo that fit the Duke’s revolver. On the other side were .44-40 caliber bullets that fit his Model 1892 Winchester carbine. The two bullets look identical; if one got mixed up with the other, it would easily jam the firearm.

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