Back to the Gunbelt homepage  To the Gunbelt homepage


They wore their gunbelts backwards ...

For those into gunbelt trivia, here's some images and info on the actors that wore single or double holster rigs with their sixguns in a butt forward approach. As we find more of these, we'll add.




(From Old Corral image collection)

If there's one western movie hero that "owns" the butt forward gunbelt design, it's Wild Bill Elliott. Above, from L-to-R are Judith Linden, Tex Ritter and Elliott in the initial pairing of the two western film heroes, KING OF DODGE CITY (1941). Below is a crop/blowup of the Elliott gunbelt used in his Red Ryder films at Republic Pictures.




(Image courtesy of Ed Phillips)

Above - Rex Allen, with his butt forward gunbelt, and trusty steed Koko ... and Rex's autograph.


(From Old Corral image collection)

Above are Roy Rogers and Andy Devine in a lobby card from BELLS OF SAN ANGELO (Republic, 1947). Devine is playing his "Cookie Bullfincher" sidekick role. Note that Andy is using the long barrel Colt revolver and the butt forward belt and double holster rig. He used a similar butt forward, twin holster gunbelt in THE ADVENTURES OF WILD BILL HICKOK TV show.


(From Old Corral image collection)

Above are Bill Elliott, Adrian Booth, Jack Holt, Hank Bell and Andy Devine in a scene from Elliott's THE LAST BANDIT (Republic, 1949). Both Elliott and Devine are wearing butt forward gun rigs.


(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Raymond Hatton, during his time as a member of Republic's Three Mesquiteers and Monogram's Rough Riders, wore his long barreled Colt on the left side, butt facing forward.


(From Old Corral image collection)

Above - Tim McCoy looks on as Buck Jones has Ray Hatton by the throat in this laugh scene from the Rough Riders adventure DOWN TEXAS WAY (1942). On the far left is the very tall Glenn Strange. You can see Hatton's left side holster with the gun butt facing forward.


(From Old Corral image collection)

Above are Tim Holt and Richard Martin. Notice that Holt is grabbing for his right six-shooter and the butt forward left side sixgun. Holt adopted this gunbelt in his films after returning from World War II duty, and he wore it through WESTERN HERITAGE (RKO, 1948). He then reverted to a traditional twin sixgun rig with the butts facing rearward.


(From Old Corral image collection)

Above, is star John Carroll (probably Yak Canutt doubling for him) in a brawl with beefy Dick Alexander as "El Lobo" in the ZORRO RIDES AGAIN (1937) cliffhanger.


(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from left to right are Joan Barclay, Tex Fletcher and Reed Howes in a lobby card from Tex's one starring oater, SIX-GUN RHYTHM (Grand National, 1939). Note that Howes is wearing his six-shooter on the left side and the butt is forward for a crossdraw. He wore it this way in other films as well as the traditional right side holster with the gun butt facing to the rear. See below for another variation.


(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Reed Howes, Dave O'Brien, Carleton Young, Bob Steele, Claire Rochelle and Ted Adams in a scene from Steele's RIDERS OF THE SAGE (Metropolitan, 1939).  Note the 'butt forward' gunbelt on Howes with the holster on his right hip.


(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is Jack Hoxie and his gunbelt in both silents and his half dozen sound westerns was a cross-draw rig, with the reversed holster on his left hip.


(Courtesy of Ed Phillips)

Another cowboy film hero who briefly tried the 'Bill Elliott gun butt forward style' was Sunset Carson. In the above still, Sunset is tangling with Weldon Heyburn in CODE OF THE PRAIRIE (Republic, 1944). This was an early Sunset Carson film and Smiley Burnette was the star with Carson billed second. After a few early films, Sunset adopted the normal style, with the gun butt facing toward the rear. Note the tape wrapped around the grip on Heyburn's six-shooter.


(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above, one of the last of the B western cowboys - John (Johnny) Carpenter wearing a left-handed, cross-draw holster and gunbelt in his starring role in BADMAN'S GOLD (Jack Schwarz Productions/Eagle-Lion, 1951).

(From Old Corral image collection)
I'm sure I'd get questions if I failed to include a mention of this TV western hero and series.

On the left is Guy Madison as television's WILD BILL HICKOK. In that TV show, both Madison and sidekick Andy Devine (as "Jingles") wore gunbelts with twin holsters and six guns with butts facing forward.


Back to the Gunbelt homepage  To the Gunbelt homepage