My Stallion .45’s
It was Christmas Eve, 1950. I was 7 years old, and so excited that I would finally get the long-hoped-for shiny new bicycle. But it was not to be; instead of the bike, my parents surprised me with my second top choice — a pair of shiny new cap pistols.
But these were no ordinary cap pistols. These were a pair of Stallion .45 Colt “Peacemaker” pistols. They were made in Texas, and were advertised as “The King of the Cap Guns” by The Nichols Company. Years later, my mother told me that those cap pistols cost my Dad a day’s pay.
The guns were fully 12 inches long; they were heavy, and a real handful for a small 7 year old boy who was determined to hit the trail with Roy and Hoppy. I was breathless as I tore open the box and pulled out the shiny new pistols, and to this day, I can remember smelling the new leather of the matching holster set.
The guns came with 6 toy bullets that you inserted into the pistol’s rotating cylinder. They had white pistol grips, with an embossed rearing Mustang on one side, and a Longhorn steer on the other. And if that wasn’t enough, there was a mesmerizing red ruby jewel that was embedded at the top of both grips. There was no doubt about it, . .in my mind, these were just what a real cowboy needed to have.
As I grew older, I lost interest in my Stallion .45’s, and I really didn’t care what became of them. My younger brother, John, played with them for a while, but eventually they were lost, making their way into strangers hands.
Later, as an adult, I regretted letting those pistols get away from me, . .and I never ran into one at any of the numerous garage sales that I went to over the years.
Then came eBay!
I went on the new site to see if it was possible to locate any Stallion 45s. What!!! . .there they were! . .a mint matching set, with holsters,. .just like MINE! I watched as the auction came to a close, . .SOLD! for $850.00!
Unbelievable! . .and waay out of my range! But there was also an auction for a box of the Original Stallion caps, and 6 toy bullets, which I bought for $15.00, . .but it would be ten more years before I would get the gun to go with them.
That day finally came when I won an auction on eBay for a Stallion .45 for $73.00. It was a trashed gun; the cylinder didn’t rotate the loading gate was broken, and it had a chipped handle grip, . .but it looked good to me, and I was confident that I could restore it to its former glory.
Shortly after it arrived I began the repair of my Stallion .45. I carefully unscrewed the two screws that holds the two halves of the gun together. As I lifted the top half of the gun away from the bottom half, . .there was an explosion! . .parts went everywhere! The main spring went flying somewhere, and a large metal pawl flew up, hitting me in the forehead, ricocheting up and behind me out of sight.
I just blew it, . .I will never be able to find all those small parts, let alone know how they all fit back together. So, with a bleeding small knot on my forehead, and a bruised ego, I began searching for the parts, and found all but two of them. After some frenzied searching, the powerful main spring that caused the explosion was found AROUND the corner, in the living room, sitting on the seat of a chair, . .talk about a ricochet! I didn’t find the pawl that hit me in the head until I unloaded the dishwasher, . .the dishwasher door was open at the time, and the part came to rest inside, on the floor of the washer.
So, with all the parts, (I put on my safety goggles this time) I attempted the repair and reassembly of the gun. By this time, my wife, Joanne, could not hide her amusement of the situation any longer. I just ignored her laughter and went about finishing the job at hand. . .and I finally wound up with a reassembled pistol.
Today’s kids are not into cap pistols, and all toy guns are now required to have a visible “orange tip barrel plug” so it won’t be mistaken for a real gun.
It’s just another example of a sad commentary on our times. Back in 1950, the police never worried about us kids carrying around real guns, and I so appreciate that I was able to grow up in the era of no “orange plugs”.
So at age 75, . .I finally got back one of my Stallion .45’s, and now I spend a little of my free time practicing the “Road Agent’s Spin”, . .something that every cowboy should know.
Happy Trails To You!
(A guest post by my brother. Posted by permission.)