Young Guns is a 1988 semi-historical Western that purports to tell the real story of Billy the Kid. The film stars Emilio Estevez as William H. Bonney, aka "Billy the Kid", who was taken in under the wing of the rancher, John Tunstall (Terence Stamp), along with other 'wayward' young men. During the Lincoln County Wars of 1878, several groups warred over diminishing land for their cattle herds. When Tunstall is killed after being ambushed, Billy the Kid organizes a group who called themselves 'the Regulators' to avenge the death of their benefactor. Despite being officially 'deputized' at the time, Billy does not arrest the suspected killers (men allied with Rancher Laurence Murphy), Billy just killed them, resulting in him and his 'gang' becoming the hunted fugitives. This film and its sequel did a very interesting job of hypothesizing what happened in the short life of Billy the Kid and offered its own explanations of why real historical characters did what they did (and how they did it). The film's cast includes Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips, Dermot Mulroney, Casey Siemaszko, and Charlie Sheen. Most of the cast returned for the 1990 sequel Young Guns II.
The following weapons were used in the film Young Guns:
WARNING! THIS PAGE CONTAINS SPOILERS!
Colt 1877 Double Action
William H. "Billy the Kid" Bonney (Emilio Estevez) starts carrying a Colt 1877 DA Lightning/Thunderer revolver with a 6" barrel towards the start of the film, and uses it along with a Single Action Army in some scenes. Billy takes Sheriff Brady's 4½" Lightning and thus wields two Colt Lightning revolvers by the end of the film. The real Billy the Kid carried a Colt 1877 DA Thunderer revolver in .41 Long Colt, but since this is an uncommon blank round, the similar Colt 1877 DA Lightning in .38 Long Colt was used for simplicity.
1877 Colt Lightning in .38 Long Colt with 6" bbl.
Billy the Kid with his Colt Lightning drawn.
Billy pulls his Colt Lightning on McCloskey (Geoffrey Blake) when he suspects him of being a traitor.
"Reap the whirlwind, Sheriff." Billy holds Sheriff Brady's own Colt Lightning.
A side shot of the Colt Lightning.
Billy jumps up and shoots one of the men outside the house between the eyes.
A side shot of Billy's Lightning.
After hiding in a trunk thrown out the front window, Billy break open and fires his Lightnings.
Billy comes back to finish things.
Billy puts a bullet between the bad guy's eyes.
Single Action Army Quickdraw
All of the Regulators carry at least one Single Action Army Quickdraw as a sidearm. Billy the Kid (Emilio Estevez) is also seen using one for the start of the film.
Colt Single Action Army 4¾" Quick Draw - .45 Long Colt.
Billy points a Quick Draw SAA at John Tunstall (Terence Stamp
) when he offers him to join the Regulators.
Billy prepares to shoot a pig that knocked him over with his SAA but is stopped when "Jose" Chavez y Chavez (Lou Diamond Phillips
) throws several knives at him.
Billy spends pretty much the entire beginning of the film pointing his SAA at people because he doesn't trust them.
Billy and "Doc" Scurlock (Kiefer Sutherland
) fires their SAAs in the air during the party.
Billy pulls his SAA with his left hand to shoot a man in the head.
Apparently this isn't enough so he shoots him again in the chest and then
he falls down dead.
Billy files down the front sight on his SAA so he can have 1/8ths of an advantage on Sheriff Brady.
Single Action Army Cavalry
The Single Action Army Cavalry is also used in the film.
Colt Single Action Army 7½" Cavalry - .45 Long Colt.
Two posse members searching for Billy the Kid are armed with Cavalry Single Action Armies.
A braggadocios gun fighter claims his ornate Cavalry SAA is going to kill Billy the Kid, unaware he's talking to him.
Billy unloads three rounds from his SAA and hands it back to him, then tells him he's The Kid. The gunfighter's gun clicks empty three times before Billy kills him. this was one of the many tricks Billy The Kid used in real life to win his gunfights.
Single Action Army Artillery
The Single Action Army Artillery revolver is also used throughout the film.
One of Murphy's men (an uncredited Tom Cruise
) opens fire with the SAA Artillery.
Colt New Service
During the opening credits (shot in original 19th century style film), one of the Regulators is seen firing two Colt New Service revolvers, even though these are highly anachronistic to the era.
Colt New Service M1917 - .45 ACP.
Smith & Wesson New Model No 3
While shooting in the town, "Dirty Steve" Stephens (Dermot Mulroney) fires a Smith & Wesson New Model No. 3 along with his Single Action Army. A Smith & Wesson New Model No. 3 is also used by Charley Bowdre (Casey Siemaszko).
Smith & Wesson New Model No.3
Charley Bowdre (Casey Siemaszko
) fires his Smith & Wesson New Model No.3 in his left hand and a Single Action Army in his right in the final shootout.
Sharps 1874 Cavalry Carbine
Josiah Gordon "Doc" Scurlock (Kiefer Sutherland), the obvious sharpshooter of the Regulators, uses a Sharps 1874 Cavalry Carbine as his long arm in the film.
Sharps 1874 Cavalry Carbine - .45-70.
Doc points his Sharps 1874 Cavalry Carbine at Billy the Kid when they first meet him hiding in a cow pen.
Doc points his Sharps Carbine at Sheriff Brady's men.
A thug runs out of the bar armed with a Sharps Carbine.
Doc by the creek with his Sharps.
Doc fires his Sharps at the last man by the creek.
Doc tries to fire his Sharps at the bounty hunter hired by Sheriff Brady but is wounded before he can shoot.
Doc with his Sharps while holed up in the house at the end of the film.
10 Gauge Double Barreled Shotgun
Dirty Steve Stephens (Dermot Mulroney) carries a shortened 10 Gauge Double Barreled Shotgun as his long arm in the film.
Belgian made 10 gauge Meteor used by Val Kilmer
in the film Tombstone
. From the personal collection of the film's armorer Peter Sherayko.
Dirty Steve points his shotgun at Sheriff Brady's men.
Dirty Steve holds his shotgun on the men by the creek.
While under the influence of Chavez y Chavez's Peyote pellets, Steve manages to fire off three shots from a two shot shotgun without reloading.(Though it may have just been the Peyote)
Dirty Steve fires his shotgun at Brady's bounty hunter.
Steve fires his shotgun while holed up in the house.
Several characters in the film are seen using Winchester 1873 saddle ring carbines. Of the Regulators who use the gun, "Dick" Brewer (Charlie Sheen), Billy the Kid (Emilio Estevez), and "Charley" Bowdrey (Casey Siemaszko) are of notable mention.
Winchester 1873 - .44-40 WCF.
One of Brady's men with a Winchester 1873.
One of the thugs outside the bar fires his Winchester 1873 at the regulators.
Dick aims his Winchester '73.
A Native American with a well-worn and tribally decorated '73 rifle.
Bounty hunter Buckshot Roberts (Brian Keith
) pokes his rifle through the timbers of an outhouse and kills Dick, who overacts his death a lot.
Sheriff Brady reaches for his Winchester before being killed by Billy the Kid.
Billy the Kid poses with his Winchester rifle for his famous photograph. The actual photograph is shown for comparison, showing Hollywood's often inaccurate portrayal of the 1870-1890 Western "Cowboy" and his clothing and style compared to the real Wild West. This was one of the top topics discussed between analysts in the late 1980's when the original photo was enhanced, manipulated i.e. color or shade alteration to increase clarity or visibility and then studied intensely by top experts from the relevant professions; all types of film experts, computer experts, Wild West historians, etc. The theory that Billy was left handed was disproved when the same panel of experts proved that the famous photo of Billy the Kid was a reverse ferrotype and therefore was flipped-so the movie is right on that).
Billy with a Winchester rifle while holed up in the house.
Charley unloads both his Winchester rifles on the US Army.
Winchester 1866 "Yellow Boy"
Winchester 1866 "Yellow Boy" rifles are also common in the film. Billy the Kid (Emilio Estevez) and "Jose" Chavez y Chavez (Lou Diamond Phillips) are notably seen using them.
Winchester 1866 "Yellow Boy" - .44 Rimfire.
Billy the Kid holds a Winchester 1866 "Yellow Boy" while being sworn in as a deputy.
A thug in the bar fires a Yellow Boy at the Regulators.
Billy the Kid fires a Yellow Boy. Note saddle ring.
Chavez y Chavez with a Yellow Boy while holed up in the house.
A thug in the town with a Yellow Boy.
Colt Gatling Gun
The US Cavalry uses a Colt Gatling Gun near the film's conclusion, apparently wasting roughly thirty rounds on one man!
Colt 1865 Gatling Gun - .44 Rimfire.
US Cavalry fire their Gatling Gun.
The Gatling fired on the right.
The Gatling stops firing.