A Smith and Wesson .44 caliber revolver taken from the Bonnie and Clyde ambush vehicle. This Second Model Hand Ejector revolver, serial number 18110, was given by Sheriff Henderson Jordan to his friend Bertram F. Barnette, a local attorney and a senator in the Louisiana State Legislature. Included is a notarized Statement from Bertram Rowe Henry, M.D., and Herbert Wayne Henry, M.D. (The grandsons of Bertram F. Barnette) that relates that during their childhood years they were shown this Smith and Wesson revolver many times and that their mother and grandmother told them about the ambush of Bonnie and Clyde and how their bodies were put on display for the “town’s people to see.” They also state that Sheriff Henderson Jordan had called for their grandfather to come to his office immediately, where he found a “pile of weapons” and was invited to take one for a souvenir. “He chose the nickel plated Smith and Wesson .44 caliber pistol which which has remained in our family for over 75 years.” Also included is a copy of a signed letter from Bertram F. Barnette’s legal secretary at that time, Norma Duty, dated January 29,1986, in which she states, “I saw Clyde and Bonnie at the funeral home but did not see a weapon of any kind and am reasonably sure Sheriff Jordan was telling the truth when he told your father the gun belonged to and was in the possession of Bonnie and Clyde.” In photographs taken of the stockpile of weapons laid out on the Sheriff’s desk that day, there is a Smith and Wesson .44 caliber pistol clearly visible; the gun offered here is most likely that pistol.
A copy of a Smith and Wesson factory letter states that this revolver, serial number 18110, was shipped with a 6.5 inch barrel and a nickel finish on January 25, 1922 to Richards-Conover Hardware Co., Kansas City, MO. As recovered from the car the revolver had a barrel that was shortened to 4 7/8 inch with the original front sight professionally installed and the factory butt swivel removed. While in the possession of the Barnette and Henry families the revolver developed several areas of rust that resulted in the Henry brothers having the revolver professionally restored by one of the best gunsmiths in the country, David R. Chicoine of North Carolina. It now has 100% nickel remaining with a very good bore, tight action, and factory checkered walnut grips that show wear along the backstrap where they have had the checkering scraped to thin the grip. This revolver may be the one that is referenced in a July 8, 1933 United States Bureau of Investigation report that is included with the gun. This report contains the details of a June 10, 1933 incident involving Clyde Barrow, Buck Barrow and Bonnie Parker near Wellington, Texas, in which they wrecked a stolen Ford V-8 coupe and injured themselves. Although injured, Clyde Barrow got the drop on the investigating police officers and took “a .44 S&W Revolver” from the holster of Paul Hardy, Chief of Police for Wellington, Texas.
Richards-Conover Hardware Co., Kansas City
Bonnie and Clyde
Sheriff Henderson Jordan
Bertram F. Barnette
Mary Ellen Barnette Henry
Bertram Rowe Henry, M.D.
Herbert Wayne Henry, M.D.
This transfers as a modern firearm.