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Well, Gene Autry was about as famous a Cowboy as you could possibly get. "The Singing Cowboy" he was called. And he did sing "Rudoph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" that we all love. But he was more than that to millions of kids. To them he was an icon of Saturday mornings and a force for Good on the Silver Screen.

When our heroes like Gene Autry disappeared from TV and the movies, then the Cap Gun industry was DOOMED!!! It took awhile to realize it, but finally we noticed that the kids who were playing with Cap Pistols were getting younger and younger, and companies that made the guns were making them smaller and smaller, for the younger set were not as discriminating as the older ones had been.

The next thing you knew, the Cap Gun companies were going out of business. Now they are antiques and some of us older folks are wondering, "Why in the world didn't we take more care of those wonderful toys of yesteryear?"

Several different companies made Gene Autry Cap Guns, like Kenton, Buzz Henry, Leslie-Henry, Marx and the Keyston Brothers made holsters. Maybe others...I'm sure you will tell me. And, of course, send me some wonderful photos!


NICHOLS GUNS
(in Uncle Talley's order)





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Here is Gene Autry in the Kenton Hardware Plant, August 8, 1938 with Monette Whitmore. She is showing him how the gun was assembled. Bob Bailey now owns the gun in the picture.


Gene Autry and a molder at the Kenton Hardware Company on August 8, 1938. His grandson, Leonard Shaw, tells me that the molder in the photo is none other than his granddad, Guy Chamberlin. My guess is that it was hot in there and Gene didn't stay long.

Photos thanks to Hardin County Museums
and Sondra Bixler Elliot, daughter of Lewis Bixler, Jr., treasurer of the Kenton Hardware Company.
CLICK ON PHOTOS TO SEE FULL PHOTOS



Another photo of the Singing Cowboy
Thanks to David Denton.

(CLICK ON PHOTO FOR ANOTHER PHOTO!)



Isn't this a wonderful double holster set from Ed Manes? Now I know why I seldom see nice holster sets in antique stores. It's because people like Ed and Steve Arlin have hoarded them all. And the funny part is that most antique dealers don't even know anything about Cap Guns and holsters. We have them all over Huntsville, and I have yet to find a store that has any decent Cap Guns! Amazing! Notice that this set has Gene's name engraved on the pocket and his picture too! This set must be worth a small fortune.


Most of you will never see a display like this one, much less the gun itself. It is a Kenton, as it says, "MFG. BY KENTON HARDWARE CO., KENTON, OHIO, U.S.A." Remember when the USA actually used to manufacture things? I'm old enough to remember. Because my dad and my Uncle Talley actually did! Notice the beautiful grips with no signature on them.


Gene Autry Cap Gun by Leslie-Henry
Be Sure To Click On The Thumbnails!
Thanks to David Denton.
This is one of the most valuable Gene Autry Cap Guns that there is! Made by Leslie-Henry around 1950-1960, we all just wish we had been smart enough to buy a few cases! Beautiful gold finish and high-relief black grips with a horse's head on them. Truly a wonderful find and if that isn't enough, then there always the box, which is worth more money than most people's collections these days!



And how's this for a nice Gold Gene Autry Leslie-Henry Cap Gun and holster? This one is furnished to us by our friend Scott McCollum of Tulsa, Oklahoma.




Gene Autry Cap Gun by Kenton
The "Singing Cowboy" probably had more Cap Guns made for him than any other TV and Western star—except for Roy Rogers.

Here is a signed example of a gun made by Kenton. You will notice that this gun was submitted by Mike Sadzo of Belgium. This shows that the Cap Gun hobby is really an international hobby and has collectors from all over the world!
Be Sure To Click On The Thumbnails!
All photos thanks to Mike Sadzo of Belgium!



Here's a photo of this nice Gene Autry Cap Gun in the dark finish with a really nice box, but this one has the special signed grips.
Photo thanks to our good friend Jim Manning.





"The Singing Cowboy" photo submitted by
Jim Manning of JM Cap Guns & Toys. Thanks!




Here's a genuine Gene Autry Hunting knife (made out of rubber).
from Doug Hamilton





Now here's a mighty nice set of Leslie-Henry Cap Guns and a fine double holster set!
David Denton of The Antique Cowboy. Thanks!



This is a beautiful and awesome "Gene Autry" Buscadero Double Holster Set. These Premium sets were produced during the mid 1950's and cost most of our parents half of a day's wages to purchase. This set can be seen with Leslie-Henry "Gene Autry" cap guns in Department Store Christmas Catalogs from the 1950's such as Sears & Roebuck, Montgomery Ward and Spiegle. This Premium set is one of the fanciest sets offered at any time during the 1950's and makes a great looking center piece for any collection.
photos thanks to Rich Hall



Here's a similar set that has the famous "Flying Al Ranch" logo on it. Again, a couple of Leslie-Henry guns to top it off.
photos thanks to Rich Hall



Here are 3 different variations of Gene Autry Rifles. The top 2 are from Leslie-Henry (1955-1960's) and both are cap shooters. The bottom one is from the 1950's, made by West Hollywood Craft Shop and it's a pop gun.



Here's some serious close-up detail of the two cap-firing rifles above. These must be rare as the Dickens.


The Leslie-Henry MOC on the left is super rare with the elliptical grip insert. And the Kenton Cap Guns and boxes on the right are no slouches either! Two of them are fully engraved. These kinds of boxes get rarer by the day. The slightest thing and you degrade them. And there's no turning back!


Rare Keyston Gene Autry holster set. It's all complete and be sure to notice the mint Gene Autry decals along with a fully-engraved Kenton cast-iron Gene Autry Cap Gun. Notice the motto on the front of the book? "Keep 'em HAPPY, HEALTHY and BIZZY." Today it might be, "Keep them on Prozac or Ritalin and give them all of the video games they whine for."




Here's a close-up of that fine Kenton Cap Gun.


This shows a rare Gene Autry pretty blue Keyston holster along with 2 Kenton cast-iron Gene Autry Cap Guns. NOTE: On the black gun it has the rare Gene Autry name on the grip in a special position. It's UPSIDE DOWN!!!


Here's a close-up of the guns and a nickel plated version to show how the grips normally look. All have their original pearl grips (beauties!) and the bottom one is the last silver painted version.


Gene Autry Gun by Leslie-Henry
This excellent Cap Gun appears to be what Jim Schleyer calls the GA-24 in his wonderful book, Backyard Buckaroos. However, the box doesn't have the same scrollwork as the gun!
I still wish I had one!

Nice photo thanks to Dan Morphy of Morphy Auctions. Thanks!



Gene Autry Cap Gun by Kenton
Kenton made the same gun in several styles with a few variations here and there.

Here is another one of that series of guns, submitted by Robert Runge.
Be Sure To Click On The Thumbnails!
All photos thanks to Robert Runge





Leslie-Henry Gene Autry .44
Now here's a "Dirty Harry" gun before there was a "Dirty Harry." (I love Clint Eastwood movies!!!)
A Leslie-Henry Gene Autry .44.

Actually the .44 was a common size gun, even in the old days. It just didn't have the serious Smith & Wesson power you are thinking about. But Leslie-Henry made a fine Cap Gun.
Be Sure To Click On The Thumbnails!
All photos thanks to Larry & Marilyn Tanneberg. Thanks!!!
Below we have the Singing Cowboy and our .44




Here's a nice "Ranch Outfit" boxed, double holster set featuring a pair of the Leslie-Henry .44 Cap Guns. Gene's horse Champion is on the grips.

Kudos and thanks to Jim Manning!




In his own words, "I happened to be in Kenton, OH last week on business. Took a picture of this nice painting of Gene Autry on the side of a building there."

Thanks to Glenn Marx for this nice photo




It would probably be wise to save anything having to do with Gene Autry. A good investment!

Thanks to David Denton.



Here's a really nice Gene Autry model bicycle. It's a 1950 Monark. Pretty fancy.
Photo contributions by Ed Manes




We will be happy to list toy shows and the like (free), if you will please send them to me at: .
Should you have some nice photos and/or some text, please send them to me at: .

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