Guns with True Grit

Movie prop man Keith Walters’ selections add authenticity to the Coen brothers film.


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If not for replica firearms, we’d still be watching movies where the actors shoot it out with 1892 Winchesters and 1873 Colt revolvers—regardless of the time period of the film!

Thanks to detail-conscious prop men and armorers like Keith Walters, the 2010 True Grit’s property master, this story first shared on film by John Wayne is authentic and a real treat for Old West gun lovers.

Walters already has an impressive resume of Westerns under his belt, including 1999’s Ride with the Devil, 2003’s The Missing and 2008’s Appaloosa—all noted for their authentic looks and firearms. When it came to True Grit, he says, “I made a special effort to select weapons and gunleather that were well defined by the characters in the original Charles Portis novel, as well as being solid work horse guns, that is . . . arms that were commonly and popularly used in the particular era, rather than a novelty or unusual weapon that might seem ‘cool’ or flashy to a modern audience.”

Walters got most of the guns needed for the...

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