John Wayne was one Western actor who towered above the competition. Born Marion Morrison in Iowa in, his family moved to Southern California, and the subsequent small roles in films from director John Ford were where he first received billing as John Wayne.
The National Firearms Museum is honored to have on loan several of the firearms that were used by Wayne during his 50-year film career appearing in more than movies. One of his first was "The Big Trail" (1930), and one of his sidearms in that movie was a nickel-finished Remington cartridge conversion revolver, embellished with "diamond" file cuts on the barrel. A matching nickel-plated Remington double derringer is another of Wayne's sidearms from that early period. Much later, in the film "Big Jake" (1971), Wayne employed a shortened American Gun Company doublebarreled shotgun that he referred to as a "Greener" – a favored brand of side-by-side used by lawmen in the Old West.
Each of these rearms is a part of the exhibition "Guns West!" that opened in May at the National Firearms Museum. Firearms from the famous and infamous on the frontier, guns of cinema and television stars and arms of today's Cowboy Action shooters are featured in the museum's William B. Ruger Changing Gallery.