Can You Help Find a Missing Pistol for $2000?
Finding it may be a "long shot".
An Australian gun collector named Bryan McGuren is looking for an antique Colt pistol that has been missing for almost 40 years. If you know where it is and an help reunite him with the gun, it’s worth $2000 for you.
McGuren, who comes from a historic family in the Grafton area of Australia, was helping with the historical collection of the Schaeffer House collection, when he remembered the pistol was missing. The Schaffer House, which was built in 1900, belonged to another historic Grafton family and is now a museum. McGuren realized almost 40 years ago that the gun was missing from the kit because he was helping the museum set up its collection. Now that he is working with the museum again, he felt compelled to come forward and ask the public for help in locating the missing gun.
McGuren is looking for an 1860 New Modern Army Colt .44 caliber pistol, which was missing from a boxed set which included a wooden stock, which clipped onto the pistol, converting it into a carbine. The box still has some of the ball ammunition needed to load the pistol. The boxed set that would have held the missing gun has been in storage all this time.
The missing pistol has the serial number 156664 and the stock has the number 156665.
“The fascinating thing about the stock is it is also a whisky flask,” said McGuren in an interview about the missing pistol. This fact along is enough to make us wish we could find the pistol, or at least see it! “When it was made the stock was split in two and hollowed out and the flask put in and then glued back together. It’s such a good job you can barely see the join where it was glued back together.”
The antique weapon is a revolver, but does not take bullets, like a modern pistol. “It’s what they call a cap and ball pistol,” McGuren explained. “You would have a flask of powder which you put gunpowder into each cylinder, then placed the ball into each cylinder. The pistol has a lever which you pulled to ram the bullet and the charge home. Then you would put a little grease in each cylinder to stop the flash igniting the other charges. After that you would have to place a percussion cap on at the back of each cylinder to allow the hammer to set off the charge.”
McGuren said the gun would have cost more than a typical year’s salary at the time it was purchased, leading him to describe it as a “rich man’s toy used to “pot a few roos.”
“It would have cost more than a year’s salary for most people in those days.”
The gun was made in Colt’s British works rather than the factory in the States in Cincinatti. This means it would have been made of higher quality steel than what came out of the Ohio factory. McGuren own an American-made pistol that is the Ohio version to the one that is missing, and says it is of inferior quality.
McGuren discovered the case in the museum’s storage and said it had been damaged over the years. He brought it back into shape by steaming the wood to straighten it and clamping it to re-bend it back into its proper shape. He says he knows that it’s a “long shot” that the pistol will turn up but maybe the $2000 reward will sweeten the pot if someone happens to have this gun in their family collection. If someone has been holding on to it all this time, it’s quite likely they have no idea what they have. “I’ve got no idea how or why it went missing, but I would love to see this set back together,” he says.
Bryan McGuren has a licence to collect antique pistols (Lic No 689-068-300). If you have the gun or information about it, contact him on 0422 860 681 (in Australia).
Images from dailyexaminer.com.au