The Chronicle

$8m for gun that killed Billy the Kid


LOS ANGELES: The pistol used to kill outlaw Billy the Kid in the days of the Wild West has been auctioned for $US6.03m ($A8.2m), a world record for a firearm.

The Colt single-action revolver owned by sheriff Pat Garrett saw “lively bidding” on the phone, online and in the room, auction house Bonhams said.

“It stands as a relic of one of the most important and well-known stories of the Wild West,” Bonhams said, adding the gun was in “very good” condition with “well worn grips”.

Garrett used the .44-caliber gun to shoot Billy the Kid – who was born Henry McCarty but also went by William Bonney – in the chest on July 14, 1881 in New Mexico. The gunfighter was 21.

The previous record for a firearm was $US1.98m, set by Christie’s in 2002 for a pair of flintlock saddle pistols carried by George Washington during the Revolution­ary War, Bonhams said. They were gifts from his friend and ally the Marquis de Lafayette.

The sale was the highlight of an auction of Old West firearms, manuscript­s, photos and other memorabili­a amassed by Texasbased collectors and college professors Jim and Theresa Earle.

Also sold was a Whitney double-barrel hammer shotgun that Billy the Kid took from a sheriff’s deputy and used to kill him as he escaped from jail in April 1881.

It fetched nearly $US980,000.

 ??  ?? William H. Bonney
William H. Bonney

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