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The Duke - theme and accessories.

Discussion in 'GSSF' started by cphilip, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. cphilip

    cphilip

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    I tend to do this with certain guns that stroke my historical interest. And, in fact seem to get into themes and accessories collecting with about anything I do. Some of you may have seen some of the themes I have done with my Gun collection with WWII and Communist Bloc country weapons. I sort of get off track with these things sometimes once I get a inspiration.

    Here is my latest side track...

    The Duke.

    Background: John Wayne adopted a Gun, Holster and belt style for Westerns somewhere around 1950 that he then consistently wore all the way through all the rest of his career. It sort of became his signature look. He was very aware of the importance of establishing a style that would be his. Great Western actors of the time all did this. His was this particular Belt and Holster in which he had a Colt Single Action Army type of revolver so typical of the time. It is known that the gun he used was kind of a mutt but of that model and type. He, himself, found and tea stained some fake Ivory grips and those also became recognizable. His rig has been copied many times by many makers and is always referred to as "the Duke" rig. I know he started using it in the 50's but I was watching an older film the other night, Angel and the Badman from 1947 and he was not wearing it in that one. So it appears true it came into use somewhere around 1950.

    This is a scanned picture of John Waynes rig that is now in the hands of a private collector. Old and worn of course.

    [​IMG]


    So recently I came into possession of a Ruger Single Six. Been wanting one for cheap target shooting. This gun is styled upon the grip frame of an old Single Action Army (well for the most part and looks wise). Many of the old style Revolvers still have that look. A trained eye can see the difference but, in the holster it is difficult to discern a BlackHawk form a Vaquero from a Single Six... at least they look a lot like a Single Action Army anyway. It is why they build them that way. Anyway it is close enough to pull off the look. So this gun I needed some fun thing to place it in and Western too. I got to stumbling around looking at Western styles of holsters and ran across the whole story of "the Duke" and it simply fit what I wanted to have here. It was the inspiration for what I then did.

    A picture of the Single Six:

    [​IMG]

    So I first had to find a set of fake Ivory grips that would yellow like old ivory does and like John had done.... then find someone to build me a replica rig like his but that fitted the Single Six in the barrel length I had....

    This is a picture of the fake Ivory I ended up using because the maker swears to me that they will yellow. I will apologize in advance for the poor Phone cam pictures but I hope to get some good ones taken this weekend when the Sun returns to our land. These are fairly cheap at about $35 a set. No big problem to find but you do want a set that will not be perfectly stable white.

    [​IMG]


    So then I found Red Dog leathers who does a very reasonably priced good quality version of the Duke and does it for whatever of those SAA clones you want. He does these for $155 and about $10 shipping and gets them done in about 10 days. They are very well made too. Good stitching and good leather and parts. And so I had him to this one and for the use of 22 Win Mag in the cartridge loops. The final product is a true bargain.

    Now... the final Rig is all done and here... which I will still need to Yellow up the grips and dirty it up but time will take care of that. But this should be a real fun set and a cheap shooter too.

    I give you MY version of MY rig that is a tribute to John Wayne...

    "The Little Duke" (again only poor phone cam for now)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2010
  2. keninnavarre

    keninnavarre bulletproof

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    Great write up. I like that rig, seems like you could wear it comfortably, probably why Duke liked it so much. I have a couple of .44s, and a .45 Ruger, but the little .22mag Single Six gets more holster time with me than all the rest. Cudos for using it in your interpretation of "The Duke's" rig.
     

  3. deadite

    deadite Groovy.

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    Nice work! I love the Duke, but personal preference, I thought the tea stained grips were ugly. Your white ivory grips look better. :) The rig is really nice, too. I'd love to shoot it.

    deadite
     
  4. cphilip

    cphilip

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    I don't plan to hasten my yellowing along either. I will let it go naturally. Apparently John liked it though and felt it was what he wanted. My tastes are a bit more like yours though. I notice that U S Fire Arms, makers of licensed replicas of his gun, do not not try and age their grips either.