While Django Unchained was more of what people typically think of as a western (even though it took place in the south in the mid 1800s), Tarantino’s next film, The Hateful Eight (2015), was actually set in the Old West, but was more of a murder mystery that takes place in a claustrophobic cabin. The movie follows eight travelers who all become stranded in a secluded log cabin, which is a known stop for people on the road, during a massive blizzard. Despite it’s enclosed, tight setting, Tarantino filmed it in the Ultra Panavision 70 film format, which has only been used for 12 feature films.
Tarantino tapped some of his favorite actors for the movie, including Kurt Russell who played John “The Hangman” Ruth, a bounty hunter with a strict set of morals. He carries a gun we saw in Django, a Remington 1858 New Army Cattleman’s Carbine, which is a revolver with an extended barrel and a full buttstock.
The Remington 1858 was a percussion cap revolver that began production in 1863. The revolver became a secondary firearm for the Union Army, until Colt had a devastating factory fire in 1864. The Colt 1860 Army ceased production for some time, and a large number of Remington revolvers were ordered by the U.S. government. It saw a lot of use during the war and in the American West, and a large number were later converted to fire metallic cartridges.
Ruth also carries a Colt Single Action Army Calvary model with a 7.5″ barrel.
Another oft-cast Tarantino alum, Samuel L. Jackson, plays Maj. Marquis Warren. He is seen in the coach at the beginning carrying a two “Quickdraw” Colt Single Action Army revolvers. The “Civilian” or “Quickdraw” model had a 4.75″ barrel, making it easier to clear from a holster.
Later we see Warren wield two revolvers in the cabin, one of which is a Colt SAA Calvary model with a 7.5″ barrel, along with one of his quickdraw pistols. The longer Colt belonged to John Ruth.
Jody Domingre (Channing Tatum) carries a Colt 1878 Double Action as his sidearm.
The M1878 was a double action revolver made by Colt from 1878 to 1907. It is sometimes referred to as the “Frontier” model or the “Double Action Army” revolver.
Colt made a total of 51,210 of the revolvers, including 4,600 for the U.S. Ordnance Department, which are known as the “Philippine” or “Alaskan” models.
The M1878 was designed by William Mason, Colt’s factory manager and Charles Brinckerhoff Richards, Superintendent of Engineering. It was similar in design to the Colt Model 1877.
Joe Gage (Michael Madsen) is seen taking a double barrel Coach Gun from the stage as the storm blows in.
A similar gun is held by Bob “The Mexican” (Demián Bichir).
Yet another Tarantino regular, Tim Roth, shows up in HE as Oswaldo Mobray aka “The Little Man.”
Fitting with his accent, Mobray carries what appears to be a British Bull Dog revolver.
The Bull Dog was a popular solid-frame pocket revolver made by Webley begining in 1872. it was later copied by a number of gunmakers on both sides of the pond. It typically had a 2.5″ barrel and was chambered for .44 Short Rimfire, .442 Webley, or .450 Adams with a five-shot cylinder.
Joe (Michael Madsen) also uses a Colt Walker revolver with ivory grips that is secretly hung from a hook under the cabin’s main table. The Colt Walker or Walker Colt was the result of a collaboration between Captain Samuel Hamilton Walker and American firearms inventor Samuel Colt.
The six-shot revolver was a monstrous gun and was meant to be holstered on a saddle, not a belt. The design had a number of flaws including cylinders that had a tendency to rupture and a loading latch that often dropped during recoil, preventing a second shot from being taken. These issues were remedied with the following series of Colt Dragoon revolvers.