Big Jake

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Big Jake (1971)

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. She calls in her estranged husband Jake for assistance. Jake McCandles (John Wayne), his sons Michael (Christopher Mitchum), James (Patrick Wayne), his old friend Sam (Bruce Cabot) and his dog (named Dog), go 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.


The following weapons were used in the film Big Jake:

Contents


Handguns

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.

Colt Single Action Army w/ 4.75" barrel, referred to as "Quick-Draw" or "Civilian" model.
"Breed" O'Brien (Glenn Corbett) with Colt Single Action Army.
James McCandles (Patrick Wayne) takes aim during the ambush sequence.
John Fain (Richard Boone) during the raid on the McCandles ranch.

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".

Remington 1866 Derringer
At the start of the movie Jake McCandles is pleased to see that Martha remembered to pack his Remington Derringer with his Greener shotguns. In his own words, "It pays to be careful".
Jake McCandles (John Wayne) hands his derringer to his grandson Little Jake McCandles (Ethan Wayne) during the climactic gunfight with the kidnappers.
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Movie prop: "Bergmann 1911"

Jake's son, Michael (Christopher Mitchum), carries a semi-auto pistol, which is supposed to be a "Bergmann 1911". Actually, it is a movie prop, made using a Walther P-38 that has been modified to resemble the Bergmann. This same prop later appeared in the films Black Caesar 1973 and Caged Heat 1974.

Bergmann 1896
Walther P-38, modified to look like a Bergmann pistol in "Big Jake"
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Rifles & Carbines

Winchester 1892

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 Winchester 1892 Saddle Ring Carbine with large lever loop used by John Wayne in the film True Grit. Serial #501892. Pictured with .44-40 shells. (Source: Photocopied from book "The Peacemakers: Arms and Adventure in the American West" written by R.L. Wilson.)
Jake McCandles (John Wayne) preparing to "butt" into somebody's business.
Jake McCandles (John Wayne) with a Winchester Model 1892 saddle ring carbine. Note the enlarged lever loop.
John Fain (Richard Boone) with his Winchester Model 1892 rifle. Preparing to ambush a posse of Texas Rangers.
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M1903 Springfield

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.

Springfield M1903 Mk 1 - .30-06
Texas Ranger working the action on his 1903 during the ambush.
Texas Rangers with 1903 Springfields.
Texas Ranger guarding the strongbox containing the "ransom".

Sniper rifles

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 M721 scoped rifles which were used by Christopher Mitchum in his role as Michael McCandles.

Actual Hero Mauser-Danzig (7.92mm Mauser) used by Dean Smith in Big Jake.Courtesy of NRA National Firearms Museum.
Michael McCandles (Christopher Mitchum) explains to Jake McCandles that he is an excellent rifle shot.
Kid Duffy (Dean Smith) during the raid on the McCandles Ranch.
Kid Duffy (Dean Smith) during the ambush on the pursuing posse.
Michael (Christopher Mitchum) displays his shooting ability to his father.
At the end. Little Jake (Ethan Wayne) has been rescued and the villains are all dead. Big Jake (John Wayne) and Michael (Christopher Mitchum)

Shotgun

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 us 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."

Remington SPR220 Shotgun Exposed hammer Cowboy Action Gun - 12 Gauge
Martha McCandles presents Jake McCandles with his two Greener shotguns and his Remington Model 1866 Derringer before he leaves to get Little Jake back.
Jake inspects one of his Greener shotguns.
Sam (Bruce Cabot) with one of Jake's Greeners.
Jake (John Wayne) confronts Fain (Richard Boone).
Jake (John Wayne) opens fire on the kidnappers.
Fain (Richard Boone) aims his shotgun at Jake McCandles (John Wayne).


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