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Gun that killed Billy the Kid 140 years ago on sale at auction for staggering £2.2million

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Gun that killed Billy the Kid 140 years ago on sale at auction for staggering £2.2million
Historians believe this is a photo of outlaw Billy the Kid, second from left, and Pat Garrett, far right, taken in 1880 Credit: AP: Associated Press

Gun that killed Billy the Kid 140 years ago on sale at auction for staggering £2.2million.

THE gun that killed Billy the Kid 140 years ago has emerged for sale for an expected £2.2million.

The notorious Wild West outlaw, 21, was gunned down by Sheriff Pat Garrett at his ranch hideout in July 1881.

Gun that killed Billy the Kid 140 years ago on sale at auction for staggering £2.2million
Gun that killed Billy the Kid 140 years ago on sale at auction for staggering £2.2million

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Billy, who committed at least eight murders, had been on the run for two months following a violent jailbreak which saw him kill two of the sheriff’s deputies.

He met his end in Fort Sumner, New Mexico, after Garrett found him by chance and pulled the trigger of the Colt army revolver.

It is being sold at auction as part of the collection of Jim and Theresa Earle, which includes two shotguns used by Billy.

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Catherine Williamson, of Bonhams, LA, called it an “American legend made manifest, this iconic piece of history and mythology memorialises the outlaw spirit, encapsulating the notion of the code of the West”.

Gun that killed Billy the Kid 140 years ago on sale at auction for staggering £2.2million
The gun that killed Billy the Kid 140 years ago has emerged for sale for an expected £2.2million Credit: Reuters

“The Billy the Kid gun of Pat Garrett is the most important and desirable Western firearm known, as well as one of the most well documented, and has never before appeared at public auction.

“I believe Billy the Kid captures the attention until this day is that as he was a charismatic outlaw.

“The Winchester gun he had with him when he died, while he discarded the gun which he murdered Olinger with.

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“Jim Earle died in 2019 and Theresa is elderly now so the family have inherited this remarkable collection and have decided to sell it.”

Billy, born Henry McCarty, was orphaned at 15 and first arrested for stealing food aged 16.

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