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Merz Antique Firearms Museum

BASS OUTLAW’S ENGRAVED COLT FRONTIER SIX-SHOOTER

Fellow Texas Ranger, Alonzo Oden once described Bass Outlaw, aka Baz Outlaw, as "so kind..more sympathetic, more tender, more patient than all of us when necessary". Except "Bass [can't] leave liquor alone and when Bass [is] drunk, Bass [is] a maniac".* Bass joined the Texas Rangers in 1885. He served in Company E & D. He was a bit of a mystery man who came to Texas from Georgia. As he was fearless and lightning fast with a Colt, he was promoted to Sergeant. He was found drunk while on duty in Alpine, TX and subsequently forced to resign. Eventually, he became a U.S. deputy marshal and sometimes worked in conjunction with the Rangers.
In April of 1894, Bass Outlaw was in El Paso to testify in court. He became intoxicated and ran into Constable John Selman who escorted him to Tillie Howard's sporting house to sober up. Later, Tillie blew her police whistle and while responding, Ranger McKidrict was shot in the head by Bass. In the gun battle, John Selman delivered a fatal shot above Bass' heart. Bass Outlaw was carried to the rear of Barnum’s Saloon. Four hours later, he was dead.
Subsequently, County Judge F.E. Hunter ordered Sheriff Simmons to surrender 3 weapons to Tom C. Powell (the undertaker) to recover burial expenses. This Colt identified by SN in the court order.
Mr. Outlaw was certain to have been proud to own this engraved Colt. He 'earned' the price of it by riding hard and shooting straight: 5 1/2" bbl, .44-40, nickeled, scroll engraved with fairly full coverage. Two piece pearl grips feature a Mexican Eagle and snake carved in left side, right side has a solidly repaired crack. Nice bore, nice Colt markings but the backstrap inscription is very faint, mechanically crisp and tight. Overall gun shows use with moderate wear and some rounding to the corners. Generous amount of original nickel-the balance cleaned to a semi-bright gray. This is a rare opportunity to own a solidly documented Colt once owned by a most colorful lawman. Complete with Factory Letter stating it was shipped to El Paso, Texas.
*Excerpts from: 'Classic Gunfights' by Bob Boze Bell; True West Publishing.
A couple years after we found the Bass Outlaw gun, we discovered that he had actually owned a matched pair of guns. We located the mate and reunited the pair. Judging from the decoration on the grips, we can see that the first Bass gun was his left-hand gun, and the second one was his right-hand gun. Below are photos of each gun, starting with the left-hand gun.

Sold by Merz in 2005, and in 2011.

BASS OUTLAW’S ENGRAVED COLT FRONTIER SIX-SHOOTER

Fellow Texas Ranger, Alonzo Oden once described Bass Outlaw, aka Baz Outlaw, as "so kind..more sympathetic, more tender, more patient than all of us when necessary". Except "Bass [can't] leave liquor alone and when Bass [is] drunk, Bass [is] a maniac".* Bass joined the Texas Rangers in 1885. He served in Company E & D. He was a bit of a mystery man who came to Texas from Georgia. As he was fearless and lightning fast with a Colt, he was promoted to Sergeant. He was found drunk while on duty in Alpine, TX and subsequently forced to resign. Eventually, he became a U.S. deputy marshal and sometimes worked in conjunction with the Rangers.
In April of 1894, Bass Outlaw was in El Paso to testify in court. He became intoxicated and ran into Constable John Selman who escorted him to Tillie Howard's sporting house to sober up. Later, Tillie blew her police whistle and while responding, Ranger McKidrict was shot in the head by Bass. In the gun battle, John Selman delivered a fatal shot above Bass' heart. Bass Outlaw was carried to the rear of Barnum’s Saloon. Four hours later, he was dead.
Subsequently, County Judge F.E. Hunter ordered Sheriff Simmons to surrender 3 weapons to Tom C. Powell (the undertaker) to recover burial expenses. This Colt identified by SN in the court order.
Mr. Outlaw was certain to have been proud to own this engraved Colt. He 'earned' the price of it by riding hard and shooting straight: 5 1/2" bbl, .44-40, nickeled, scroll engraved with fairly full coverage. Two piece pearl grips feature a Mexican Eagle and snake carved in left side, right side has a solidly repaired crack. Nice bore, nice Colt markings but the backstrap inscription is very faint, mechanically crisp and tight. Overall gun shows use with moderate wear and some rounding to the corners. Generous amount of original nickel-the balance cleaned to a semi-bright gray. This is a rare opportunity to own a solidly documented Colt once owned by a most colorful lawman. Complete with Factory Letter stating it was shipped to El Paso, Texas.
*Excerpts from: 'Classic Gunfights' by Bob Boze Bell; True West Publishing.
A couple years after we found the Bass Outlaw gun, we discovered that he had actually owned a matched pair of guns. We located the mate and reunited the pair. Judging from the decoration on the grips, we can see that the first Bass gun was his left-hand gun, and the second one was his right-hand gun. Below are photos of each gun, starting with the left-hand gun.

Sold by Merz in 2005, and in 2011.

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LeRoy Merz
PO Box 494
Fergus Falls, MN 56538

Phone: (218) 739-3255 ~ Email: leroy@merzantique.com

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