Big Jake is a 1971 western/crime caper directed by George Sherman and starred John Wayne, Richard Boone and Maureen O'Hara. The grandson (Ethan Wayne) of Martha McCandles (Maureen O'Hara) is kidnapped and many of her employees are slaughtered by John Fain (Richard Boone) and his men during a raid on the McCandles' Ranch. With no one left to help, Martha calls in her estranged husband "Big Jake" McCandles (John Wayne) for assistance, along with his sons Michael (Christopher Mitchum), James (Patrick Wayne), his old friend Sam (Bruce Cabot) and his dog (named Dog), to ride after the gang. In many respects, the movie reflects the social and political climate of the time (early seventies) when it was made. Big Jake was written by husband and wife team Harry Julian Fink and Rita M. Fink, who went on to write the film Dirty Harry, which explains the decidedly modern feel that Big Jake has when addressing such issues as criminals and relations between parents and their grown children. "Big Jake" was longtime movie director George Sherman's (1908 - 1991) last feature production. He began his career working in the Warner Brothers mail room in 1921 and formally retired from the business in 1978.
The following weapons were used in the film Big Jake:
Colt Single Action Army
Jake McCandles (John Wayne), John Fain (Richard Boone), "Breed" O'Brien (Glenn Corbett) and James McCandles (Patrick Wayne) all use the Colt Single Action Army throughout the move. It's also used by other characters.
Model 1866 Remington Derringer
Hollywood Guns and Props has a copy of the invoice for the gun rental on this picture and it is listed on that invoice as Liberty Arms .38 Cal Derringer #14XXX.
Jake McCandles (John Wayne) carries a double-barrel, Remington 1866 Derringer, as a backup to his Colt SAA, which he loans to his grandson Little Jake (Ethan Wayne), played by Wayne's son, at the end of the movie. Jake McCandles calls the little Derringer "Betsy".
"Bergmann 1911" (Mocked Up Walther P38)
Jake's son, Michael (Christopher Mitchum), carries a semi-auto pistol, which is called "Bergmann 1911". Actually, it is a movie prop, made using a Walther P38 that has been modified to resemble the early Bergmann Model 1896; actual Bergmann pistol from 1911 looked different. This same prop later appeared in the films Black Caesar 1973 and Caged Heat 1974.
Rifles & Carbines
The Winchester Model 1892 is used by multiple characters throughout the movie. Most notably Jake McCandles (John Wayne) and John Fain (Richard Boone). John Wayne favored the Winchester 1892 and had at least two modified for him by having the lever loops enlarged with a larger loop. John Wayne had large hands. It can seen in Big Jake and the famous gunfight sequence near the end of True Grit and Stagecoach.
The U.S. Springfield 1903 rifle is carried and used by various Texas Rangers. Most notably by a Ranger guarding the strongbox containing the ransom and other Texas Rangers during the ambush sequence. Big Jake takes place during 1909 so the Model 1903 making an appearance is correct timewise. Though it is unknown if the M1903 was available to any other organizations besides the United States Army.
The rifles and scopes used in the movie aren't historically accurate, but are intended to represent the emerging 20th century and enhance the suspense. Another western in which a scoped bolt action rifle plays a significant role is the Clint Eastwood movie Joe Kidd . Batjac Productions rental invoices from Stembridge Gun Rentals indicate 4 scoped hunting rifles were rented. 2 Qty Mauser Danzig Sporting Rifles - 30/06 are listed on invoice, which were used by Dean Smith as the outlaw "Kid" Duffy during the raid on the ranch and shooting from the bell tower during the climactic shootout at the end. The other two guns listed on this invoice were 1 Qty Springfield and 1 Qty Remington Model 721 Rifle scoped rifles which were used by Christopher Mitchum in his role as Michael McCandles. A careful review of the screenshots shows that the production was rather cavalier in continuity though. Both Mitchum and Smith are shown using the different rifles. Often in the same scene.
Double Barrel "Coach" Shotgun
In Big Jake various short double barreled shotguns are almost the co-stars. Multiple characters use them. Jake McCandles (John Wayne) uses 2 twin double-barrel shotguns in the movie. He refers to them as "my Greeners". Greener was and still is a British maker of fine shotguns. He gives one to Sam (Bruce Cabot), who, along with his knife, uses it as his main weapon. A double barreled shotgun is used by the kidnappers as well. Most notably by John Fain (Richard Boone) during the climactic gunfight between him and Jake McCandles who is using one of his Greener shotguns. According to Hollywood Guns and Props. Stembridge Gun Rental invoices to Batjac Productions for Big Jake indicates the rental of 5 American Gun Company (Crescent F.A.) short barrel shotguns to the production, not actually "Greeners."