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Auction Date: May 2, 2014

Lot 1206: Colt - Army Special

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Historic Documented Colt Army Special Double Action Revolver Belonging to Public Enemy Era Outlaw Clyde Barrow
Estimated Price: $35,000 - $55,000
Item Views 374 Bid Activity Average
Serial #Colt - Army Special ManufacturerColt ModelArmy Special
TypeRevolver Gauge38 Special Catalog Page126
Barrel2 3/8 Inch Round FinishNickel GripPhenolic
Stock ClassCurio & Relic Handgun RatingSee Condition
DescriptionThis revolver has been documented as being found in a car stolen by notorious 1930s outlaw Clyde Barrow. Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were Dallas area outlaws who traveled the central United States with their gang during the Great Depression. The exploits of the gang, especially those of Bonnie and Clyde, captured the attention of the American public during the "public enemy era" (1931-1934). The gang is believed to have killed at least nine police officers and several civilians as they went on a spree of bank and rural store robberies. Bonnie and Clyde were later killed in an ambush by law officers in Bienville Parish, Louisiana. Originally manufactured in 1924, the revolver has been customized in the Fitzgerald Special style which includes a short barrel, bobbed hammer and cutaway trigger guard. It is a equipped with a half moon front sight and has the standard sighting groove on the top strap. The inside of the frame and crane are stamped with the matching serial number. A collector's number has been added to the butt. The revolver is fitted with a set of finger grooved yellow phenolic grips. Included with the revolver are three documents attesting to the revolver's provenance. 1) A letter signed by Navarro County, Texas Sheriff Rufus Pevehouse states, "This nickel (sic) plated Colts 38 Special, Serial No. 505844, was found in a car driven by Clyde Barrow on May 6, 1930." The letter is undated and is on Sheriff Pevehoue's letterhead. (Rufus Pevehouse was Sheriff of Navarro County from November 1928 to November 1938.) 2) A notarized affidavit dated September 12, 1969 signed by Rufus Pevehouse stating that he sold this revolver to noted Texas gun collector Gaines de Graffenried and that the revolver has been in his (Pevehouse) possession since he confiscated it on May 6, 1930 from a car driven by Clyde Barrow. 3) A signed statement from Texas Ranger Bill Gun of Fort Fisher Headquarters, Co. F, Texas Rangers (The Texas Rangers Garrison Museum) states that he (Bill Gun) was with Gaines de Graffenried when he acquired this revolver. Gun states, "I have known about this revolver for several years and know it to be fully authentic. "Sheriff Pevehouse has owned this revolver since May 6, 1930, and I think this to be a top outlaw item that once belonged to Clyde Barrow." Note that Clyde Barrow was sent to Eastham Prison Farm in April 21, 1930 and remained there until February 1932. The date May 6, 1930 mentioned by Sheriff Pevehouse was the date that he found the revolver in an abandoned car he had previously impounded. From a letter signed by Corsicana, Texas historian Bobby Fluker, the missing part of the story is told. According to Fluker, Sheriff Pevehouse remembered the date for finding the revolver because that is when an F-4 tornado hit the town of Frost, Texas, killing 27 people. Sheriff Pevehouse inspected the town of Fluker in the only working vehicle he could find, a car he had once impounded. This is when he found the overlooked revolver in the glove compartment. The impounded car was left at the home of Frank Barrow, Clyde Barrow's uncle, who had called Sheriff Pevehouse to come to his home to pick up a stolen car. Bobby Fluker also relates the story that when the gun was on display at the Fort Fisher Museum, a notarized statement from Texas Ranger M.T. "Lone Wolf" Gonzaullas stated "that the gun was stolen from his car when he worked the East Texas oil boom" and that the modifications to the gun were made while it was in the Ranger's possession. M.T. Gonzaullas was a Texas Ranger from 1920 to 1933. A contemporary case is included with the revolver.

ConditionVery good as period refinished and modified (see above). The revolver retains 98% plus of the nickel finish showing some minor scratches. Traces of the factory Colt markings remain. The grips are fine as undersized with a few minor handling marks. Mechanically fine. A truly historic and significant opportunity to own a piece of history from one of the most famed outlaw couples of all time…Bonnie and Clyde!
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