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Museum gets Lone Ranger's Colt .45 pistol

Apr 29, 2014 - The Associated Press

CODY -- A museum in Wyoming has acquired an old pistol made famous by a masked hero of television from more than 60 years ago.

The Lone Ranger's Colt .45 is now on display at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, in Cody.

The single-action revolver belonged to actor John Hart. Along with Clayton Moore, he portrayed the Lone Ranger in the original TV series in the 1950s, about a masked Texas Ranger who battled injustice in the Old West. His sidekick Tonto was one of the most well-known American Indian stereotypes of all time.

Hart used several firearms over his acting career, but this gun is special. It features ivory grips and intricate engraving.

The museum also has acquired autographed photos of Hart in costume and a cookbook he wrote in the 1990s. Hart died in 2009 at age 91.

Moore is more famous for the role, but Hart stepped in for 52 episodes while Moore was in a dispute with producers of "The Lone Ranger" in the 1952.

Moore returned to the role for the show's final two seasons, although Hart played the role in later TV appearances and appeared in person as the character many times after than.

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