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It's Your Newsletter: Tombstone Tips Issue #23
February 01, 2019

Insider Info Newsletter

February 2019


~ ~ Guns of the Old West

~ ~ January Events/Insider Update Review

~ ~ The Latest at Tombstone Travel Tips


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Old West Gun Ad
in Breeder and Sportsman
Page 51: Published in 1882

#1 -Guns Helped to "Win the Wild West."

~ ~ A variety of firearms found their way into the Western frontier of the Americas. Settlers found them useful for a number of reasons. Essential for basics like bringing in food while they made their travels by Prairie Schooner.

~ ~ They also helped in animal management. That included dangers faced by the wild variety: venomous snakes, charging bears or cougars, etc. If their own animals became injured beyond cure, they would need to be humanely "put down."

~ ~ And then there was physical protection. And usage could be defensive or offensive types. Think of rustlers, stagecoach robberies, clashes with some resident Native American tribal warriors, miscellaneous drunken gunfight antics, personal physical attacks & various official armed conflicts.

Colt Army Model - from 1860

#2 - What guns were used in the Old West?

~ ~ A wide variety of firearms were used in the Wild West. Some were more popular. But there's not one that was absolutely the most in use. Colt produced a number of the popular ones.

~ ~ The Colt Single Action Army was one of the mainstays. Names you'll recognize from the 1880s favored it: Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, John Wesley Hardin. It 1st came out in 1873 for the U.S. Cavalry. Liked for its fast action & good feel in the hand.

~ ~ Another popular brand was the Smith & Wesson. Wyatt Earp is said to have used one at his renowned Tombstone gunfight. The most popular, Model 3, also fancied by Pat Garrett. It was a fast reload 6-shooter. Something the single-shot Colt Army couldn't do.

Wyatt Earp's .44 Model 3
Located at the National Museum of Crime & Punishment, Washington DC
Photo Credit: David from Washington DC

#3 - Shotguns were also popular

~ ~ One brand that has become a well sought after collector's item, is the L.C. Smith Double Barreled, made with a side lock. Manufacturing started in the early 1880s, the 12 gauge was the most common.

~ ~ The original company owner, L.C. Smith, actually went into business with that new-fangled invention: typewriters! He sold out in 1888 to John Hunter of Fulton, NY - who continued the line.

L.C. Smith 12 Gauge

#4 - What gun did Doc Holliday prefer?

~ ~ The 1st gun he used regularly as an adult was a gift from his uncle. It was an 1851 Colt Navy revolver. That gun was named for the Texas Republic's Navy & popular in the Civil War. It balanced & handled easily.

~ ~ In the photo below, you can see one of Doc's relished weapons. It's 1 of the 2 he picked up on a little later. The .41 caliber Colt Thunderer. It was a nickel plated double action gun.

~ ~ The other he often carried was the .38 caliber Colt Lightening, another double action favorite.

~ ~ Some myths have him using shotguns. But with his tuberculin illness, his lack of strength would never handle that weapon's strong kick-back. Only at the OK Corral did he fire 1 shot with such a weapon - since Virgil handed it to him.

~ ~ But he ditched it quickly. Then used his own Colt Thunderer pistol when he shot Tom McLaury. His choices reflected his physical capabilities.

A firearm Doc Holliday Favored: the 41 Caliber Colt Thunderer
Photo Credit: TennesseeWanderer

#5 - Serious Western researchers agree that...

~ ~ There were many, many firearms produced during the Old West. Some really seem to get the attention & publicity - like those we've mentioned & others you may have heard of...

~ ~ ~ 1873 Winchester Repeater
~ ~ ~ 1874 Sharps Buffalo Rifle
~ ~ ~ The Peacemaker
~ ~ ~ The Deringer Pocket Pistol

~ ~ But there still is no ONE Old West Gun that can be said to have "Won the Wild West!"

~ ~ There are often historical remembrance events that make one want to know what were the true facts for people who roamed Tombstone & the Old West. What was their life like? What tools did they use?

~ ~ And we enjoy sharing what we find with you.

We hope we'll see you in town sometime, seeing areas where they spent time - back in the 1800s.

Let us know if you'll be going to an upcoming event! Tell us how you liked any of them, or what you visited here! Just reply to this newsletter for easy input! (Let us know if we can use your comments - credit with just a first name & last initial; or only initials; or anonymous.)



~ ~ No regularly scheduled events happen in January. Maybe it's a month for relaxation & rejuvenation/planning for the year ahead.

~ ~ Of course there are always visitors to town. Always regular activities going on around Tombstone Area Attractions. In fact this time of year is probably about the busiest, in general. Many winter visitors are here. Those who come here to escape their home cold climate winters!

~ ~ But there sure is a lot of buzz in town right now. Some new things in the works!


~ ~ We've got a few new things to let you in on this month!! We're really in anticipation!

~ ~ 1ST - We finally took a ride on the NEW Goodenough Mine Trolley Tour. We started talking about this new trolley a number of months ago - after the mine reopened with a new owner.

Different Views on This Tour

~ ~ It was a fantastic tour. Jeff took Bill & I through areas of town you'd not see with the other tours - that's a great thing! For instance, mining spots in the hills.

Do You Know? Find Out on The Tour!

~ ~ 2ND - We spoke with the Goodenough Mine's new manager. He has a lot of experience in town - running tours, etc. - & is hard at work bringing lots of new ideas to the Mine Tour. Recommend it! Check them out on their new Facebook Page - Click Here>

~ ~ We'll be updating our tour page very soon to reflect all of this & give more details! Including their new (& unique!) Ghost Tour.

~ ~ 3RD - Finally got a chance to sample Mario's. Mentioned it before, but finally got to stop in for some eats. And saw some of their inside improvements, too. Just take yourself to the South side of Allen, between 5th & 6th - you'll see them.

Mario's Bakery Cafe - A Review

~ ~ There are 2 types of seating. We chose the lower tables. But there are also higher tables along the wall, with more like a bar-stool seat, & a window view.

~ ~ You're greeted warmly when you enter. See the menu with all kinds of sandwich choices - cold or hot. Soups & meal deals, too! Plus all those delicious, freshly made bakery treats! The sandwich fixings are organic - that's not very common in town. We were glad to see that, since we choose certain types of organic produce when we go shopping ourselves.

Welcome! Peruse the Menu!

~ ~ Bill ordered the sausage & peppers sandwich. I wanted the Veggie - but it was Sold Out! (Ingredients exhausted!) I hoped secondly for the meatball, but it had also sold out! Whoa!! So I chose the sausage & peppers also. It really is a favorite of mine, anyway!

~ ~ We both loved our sandwiches. They came with a pickle & we got to choose a freshly baked cookie with our meal deal. We loved the peanut butter - Yummy!!

~ ~ We'll be back, I'm sure. Look soon at our Tombstone Restaurants page - we'll be getting them on there very soon. And you can check their FB Page also!

~ ~ 4TH - The Oriental Saloon is Coming Back!! It's actually being reinvented, a new business in town. Wow - something a little different.

~ ~ Alright, so we did mention this before, too. But now, it seems it's really happening. Opening in February is the word. It will be called "Wyatt Earp's Oriental Saloon & Theater". It's run by the owners of the Crystal Palace. They're in the process of hiring crew right now.

~ ~ They're planning for 3 to 5 daily shows. The former tenants (see photo below) have moved further East on Allen. So now the original Oriental Saloon area is vacated - I think the saloon bar is still there, though!? Have to check on that.

~ ~ It will be entertainment suitable for the family. I believe it will be somewhat interactive with the patrons, as well. Alcohol won't be served - there isn't any liquor license. Don't know if there's any plan for that in the future.

~ ~ So that sounds quite interesting - there's not anything quite like that in town right now. We'll have to see how they work it out!

~ ~ 5TH - Another New Business on Allen Street. Between 4th & 5th, on the North side, a notice has been posted of an application for a Liquor License. It's in the shop where the Tombstone Mustachery used to be, before they moved down the street & across from the O.K. Corral.

Tasting Area of Flying Leap in Willcox
Located on Corner Where Warren Earp Was Killed

~ ~ Seems a winery is planning to set up a tasting room there. Cochise County & the county just to the West - Santa Cruz, have quite a few wineries. This may be a logical new idea. Willcox has done pretty well with this idea. We already have one tasting room here - pretty good wines in there, between 3rd & 4th!

Silver Strike Winery
Tasting Room, Allen St., between 3rd & 4th

~ ~ 6TH - Last Minute Item!! Thanks to our Friend Tombstone Bob.

An Early Tombstone Name - Reopening
From the Arizona Daily Star: Wed., Feb. 11, 1880

~ ~ Vogan's was a Tombstone establishment in the 1880s. It even had a bowling alley for a time.

~ ~ It played its part in Old West notorious history & mythology. Note below that a prisoner was held inside - Johnny Behind the Deuce. We'll be discussing his situation in a newsletter soon!

~ ~ In later years it reopened. But more recently closed down again. It's been up for sale now for quite a while. Well, it seems someone bought it - & it's reopened!

~ ~ We'll have to get over there & check that one out soon!!

Vogan's - Coming Back


~ ~ Whoa! A lot more than we talked about last time!!

~ ~ If you follow our Facebook Page, you saw the nice snow-fall video we reposted, which showed views of the O.K. Corral & the Tombstone Mustachery in the falling snow.

One Final Announcement


~ ~ Our Tombstone Custom Calendar is now further discounted at the New Year special price for our subscribers! Still for a few more weeks at a little more off only through the special link below. We had to adjust the original price to be able to get a further savings in the end. Available for a little while longer - probably a few more months.

~ ~ But after that, there will be a different deal for subscribers, so you can watch for that if you want. It will be downloadable. So not quite as nice, - unless you have a super printer! But print it out for free!!

~ ~ Remember, when you order online it ships from Massachusetts. And they don't begin your calendar's printing process until ordered. Click the link below for all the details - This link is only for Tombstone Tips subscribers...

2019 Subscribers Tombstone Calendar Offer


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Until Next Month,

Karen & Bill McGowan
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