Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tom Selleck, Firearms, the NRA and Movies

Several months ago Tom Selleck donated several firearms to the NRA's National Firearms Museum. Pictured here is my favorite, the 1876 SRC from Crossfire Trail (Also shown are a Schofield and open top Colt conversion from the same show.). Altogether he donated the following:
- Henry .44-40 reproduction rifle imported from Italy by Allen Firearms, an early retailer of Western replicas. Mr. Selleck used a Henry from Stembridge Gun Rentals, a Hollywood prophouse for the 1997 film Last Stand at Saber River. Mr. Selleck had this rifle specially engraved to match that prophouse rifle, which was damaged from overuse in other films.

- Winchester M1876 .45-60 rifle modified by Ken Howell of R&D Gunshop for use by Tom Selleck in the 2001 film Crossfire Trail. Based on an original carbine receiver made in 1879, this longarm was rebuilt for movie use.

- .45 Schofield revolver from the 2001 film Crossfire Trail. This hand-built revolver was manufactured by Ken Howell of R&D Gun Shop for the film.

- Colt Richards Conversion .44 revolver manufactured for the 1997 movie Last Stand at Saber River. Engraved with Cable on the backstrap, this ivory-stocked revolver was the one maintained to match its early presentation condition in the film.

- Colt Open Top .44 revolver manufactured from a Colt blackpowder reproduction for use in Crossfire Trail. The revolver was modified by Ken Howell of R&D Gun Shop.

- Colt Single Action Army .45 revolver used in the 2003 movie Monte Walsh. This revolver was hand-built by Ken Howell of R&D Gun Shop for the film.

- Winchester M1886 .50 Express carbine from the 2003 movie Monte Walsh. One of two carbines restored from production receivers by Ken Howell of R&D Gun Shop. Both guns letter as .50 Express carbines.

Mr. Selleck is a NRA board member, a gun owner and an actor. I'm told he's pretty good looking but I don't think he's much different from me. We both have mustaches and graying hair. I don't know if he needs glasses or had Lasik or similar eye surgery to correct his vision. I do know that we also like the old guns. I couldn't get over that he had these guns "in storage" so he donated them. I certainly wouldn't have had them "in storage". Maybe he just sees them differently. Anyway, I thank him for sharing them with the rest of us. I hope I'll actually be able to visit the museum one day when I go to visit my daughter just 10 miles from there. She'll have to drive me though. I'm not much for enjoying city traffic and she's adapted like a fish to water!

So Tom Selleck likes firearms. He is or has been the member of at least a couple of organizations including the NRA and supported firearms ownership. For that he's sometimes been pilloried, most notably by the incredibly obnoxious Rosie O'Donnell. Maybe it hurt his career. Maybe not. I know a lot of folks who will watch his movies/TV shows just because he's pro-gun. They know whatever he's in will be tempered by his views. Lately, he's been doing a series originated by Robert B. Parker about a character, Jesse Stone.

Jesse likes dogs and hurts when they die, he drinks too much, he still loves his ex-wife, he likes people and he does the right thing no matter what. He also knows how to use his Colt Government model .45. Can't fault him for his taste in guns. This is one show that both the wife and I like. I hate reading fiction but I can stand this. Tom Selleck does a great job with the part and the character is reasonable as are the plots. I'm beyond tired of the cop shows that explain some eosteric forensic technique that takes place in one-tenth the time possible and without budget constraints. Some are downright phony (at least so far). Not in Jesse's world. Good stuff.

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