Tag Archives: Clint Eastwood

That’s not just any ordinary Spaghetti Repro

The image above is of an Italian-made reproduction .44-caliber Colt 1851 Navy percussion revolver imported to the U.S. by Val Forgett’s Navy Arms in the 1970s.

Man I miss the old Navy Arms….

While these guns aren’t rare by any stretch and don’t cost a lot of cash– heck, original Civil War-era Colt Navy revolvers themselves only go for about $2K these days at auction, the above Italian repro just brought $17,400 at a Milestone Auction in Ohio last month.

You see, it was one of a pair of replica guns used by Clint Eastwood in the 1976 film The Outlaw, Josey Wales, and was accompanied by two signed certificates from Paramount Studios.

The movie, adapted from Forrest Carter’s western novel, was one of Eastwood’s cowboy stories actually shot in the U.S., filmed across Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, and California in DeLuxe Color and Panavision, and was directed by Eastwood.

A commercial success that brought over 10 times its filming budget despite the hero being a Missouri Bushwacker with a backstory that included “Bloody Bill” Anderson, in 1996, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry of the Library of Congress for being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

One of the certificates identified the gun by serial number and attested to its having been used by Eastwood in his starring role in the classic Western. The gun, marked 1526 and Paramount on the butt, was found in 2000 storage by the studio and logged to the film.

It was then sold at a charity auction while its companion gun is now part of the Smithsonian collection in Washington, DC.

Milestone had estimated the gun would bring $5,000-$10,000. I guess they underestimated the draw of Josey Wales.

20mm Burglary Tool

In 1965, Canadian criminal Joel Singer, a 22-year old member of the Montreal-based West End Gang syndicate, stole two WWII-era Lahti L39s 20mm anti-tank guns and 200 rounds of ammunition from a Plattsburg, New York gun dealer.

This thing

Singer and four other gang members later used one of these guns in a dramatic late-night burglary when they broke into the vault of the Brinks facility in Syracuse, New York. The Boombeast–equipped with a drum-sized improvised suppressor made from an oil drum filled with steel wool and rubber shavings, then dampened with a wet mattress– cracked open the bank vault after a hail of 33-rounds of AP, allowing the gang to flee with nearly a half mil in cash.

Oh my

Singer was the 221th person to be added to the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List on November 19, 1965. He spent two weeks at large before authorities captured him and sent him up the river. Singer later suffered PTSD during the Attica prison riots in 1971 and was released just after on account of this. This 20mm bandit took his own life in 1973 at age 29. In the end, just $166 of the nearly $425,000 taken was recovered.

The use of a 20mm cannon in a robbery was never tried again after this incident. The Brinks job incidentally was the central plot device in a later 1970s Clint Eastwood film “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot” but an unsuppressed US Navy surplus Oerlikon cannon (in puny 20x128mm caliber) was substituted for the Finnish hardware.

Of course, these things have a heck of a kick.