William S Hart owned this gun and purchased it under the impression that it was owned by the Kid. There is some doubt, however, as the serial number of the gun seems to indicate that it was manufactured after the kid died. Doc O'Meara mentions this on page 11 and page 138 of his book "The Guns of the Gunfighters."
It would be ashamed if that gun was lost to history. Have you tried contacting any of Hart or Johnnie Macks estate folks? Sometimes an executor leaves good research with a law firm or even the executors documents of disposal. I think its kinda cool the front sight is sawed off. Dont suppose you know the sn#.
I stopped to eat in an old cafe/bar near Carlsbad. There was an old revolver on a plaque over the bar. On the plaque under the gun it said, 'This is the only gun in New Mexico that never belonged to Billy the Kid'. To bad it wasn't for sale, it must have real collector value.
this is from cliff Caldwell's new book."Guns of Lincoln County"........
"Legend has it that a man named Cherokee Davis, who worked for John Chisum, was given a new .41 Caliber Colt Thunderer by him on 4 July 1881. Cherokee was a cook for Chisum, and when Billy the Kid rode into his camp along the Pecos, he saw Davis’s Thunderer and took an immediate liking to it. Billy proposed a temporary trade with Davis. Some claim that Cherokee Davis lost the .41 Colt Thunderer somewhere along the line. There is also a version of the story that claims that Davis sold the Thunderer to a collector named Maury Kemp in El Paso and later sold Billy’s Single Action Colt .45 to a doctor in El Paso. Since Garrett reports that Billy had such a gun in his possession when he was killed at Fort Sumner, this gives rise to the belief that there is some legitimacy to the foregoing story."