Murder/Suicide Weapon?

When Frank W. Crail, grandson of the original homesteader, presented the Colt Navy Revolver to the Historic Crail Ranch, he told us that the revolver had been evidence in a murder/suicide and that his grandfather, Augustus Franklin Crail, as clerk of the court, held an auction and bought the gun himself. However, our research indicates there was no murder/suicide 1896-1900, when Mr. Crail was clerk of the court.

Just a myth? Not necessarily. Maybe the gun was from an earlier murder/suicide. Our research continues.

“This is the West, sir. When legend becomes fact, print the legend.” — The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
NOTE: For safety and security, when not on display, these guns are not kept at the Ranch.

A Colt Model 1851, .36 Cal.

The centerpiece of the exhibit — A Colt Model 1851, .36 Cal., single action, black powder, percussion cap, “Navy Revolver” owned by the Crail Family. Also on display — A Winchester Model 1890 .22 Caliber (Long) Pump action rifle with wooden stock and pump grip.  Adjustable, pivoting rear sight and fixed front sight.  Notch on top of mid-barrel for adjustable sight.  This gun is thought to have belonged to Eugene Crail.
PHOTOS COURTESY SCOTT CARPENTER