By Tank Hoover
Skeeter Skelton wrote several stories about a fictional character, Dobe Grant, derived from several of Skeeter’s friends, and to some extent, himself. One of my favorites, “Treasure of the Turkey Track” tells the tale of Skeeter visiting his old amigo, and after a delicious meal they commence building a Colt SAA from a box of parts the old codger buys from someone in Pennsylvania.
Fictional Real Deal?
This is a great lead-in for a real life amigo of mine. He is without doubt, one of the finest scroungers I have ever known when it comes to vintage guns, gun sights, holsters, books, magazines and any other sixgun paraphernalia.
He’s managed to crack the code of the complex labyrinth leading to the secret websites, auctioneers and fellow collectors known to have the really cool stuff we all enjoy. Hell, they call him now, when they want to unload some vintage gun goodies.
Here’s Madbo putting on a front sight of a Colt New Service Target Model for a friend.
Madbo just happened to have a box full of sights in his truck handy for the repair.
Here’s a brace of King Conversion S&W Triple-Locks Madbo got somewhere.
Madbo’s S&W .44 Hand Ejector First Model Target shipped in 1908.
Factory letter for that Hand Ejector.
My real life Dobe Grant goes by the name “Madbo” short for the “The Mad Bohemian.” Like most of us, Madbo is a throwback, being born 150 years too late, loving the time and spirit of the old west when sixguns ruled the roost. He’s another friend I claim through the wonders of the Internet where this colorful collector caught my eye on the various gun forums. It wasn’t ‘till several years later I got to meet this character — and he didn’t disappoint.
Madbo is a master of scouring the Internet for old, brand-name guns like Colt, Winchester, S&W and Ruger’s to name but a few.
Throw the name “King Conversion” in front of those makes, and you’ll see a true “pro” in action. He’s a collector of old leather, too (holsters, tools, carvings, signs, etc.) and always seems to find himself in the middle of a bid, bargain or negotiation.
But I’ll give him credit; he has the discipline to set a limit, and stops bidding when the limit is reached. It just makes all his blued steel more valuable that way. Plus, he shoots and enjoys his treasure trove of Triple-Locks, Flat Tops and Target Models, as they only go up in value. How’s that for a 401K? Making money while enjoying your investment!
A colorful arrangement of ivory stocked Randall knives and guns with some Barranti Leather.
S&W Registered Magnum 3 ½” barrel, #2330, King short-action with King front and rear sights.
A few of Madbo’s guns hanging out at the range, waiting to be shot.
King short action Colt SAA in .45 Colt.
Madbo told me the tale of how he got started collecting — accumulating — his stash of sixshooters. He was at a gun show during his teen years and saw collectors with tables full of the old guns he fancied, even back then. He asked one old timer, if he would be willing to part with one of them for a price? The response, “I’ve got mine, go get your own F***ing guns!”
Madbo chuckles, but says it was great advice, so he did! And he freely gives out that same advice. So don’t even try to “shark” any guns from Madbo!
Madbo shooting his Colt Flat Top Target Model in the reclined “Keith” position.
Bill and Madbo hanging out at the range.
A Close-up of Bill, Bill Jordan’s Outstanding American Handgunner trophy, from 1976.
The ol’ Scoundrel even managed to get a few of Elmer Keith’s holsters.
Another Keith shuck for a 4″ N-Frame.
Madbo travels with his constant companion, Bill! They’ve logged several thousand miles traveling to gun shows, shooting ranges and any other gun related gathering. Bill doesn’t talk much, but that can be a good thing on long trips, so as not to get on your nerves.
Quiet as he is, Bill also sits statue still, being strapped into the passenger seat. This could be his one fault, he never offers to share the driving, but it’s probably better he didn’t.
Bill’s pretty famous, almost obtaining legendary status among the sixgunner crowd. I’m glad to see Madbo get him out and about a bit so everyone can enjoy Bill’s company.
I haven’t seen Madbo, or Bill, in a few years now. Hopefully we’ll all catch-up in Raton, NM, at our yearly rendezvous of sorts. More than likely, Madbo will be hauling several large bins, full of his latest treasures. I can’t wait to see them.
King Mauser C96 King Custom sights, action job and matching serial number shoulder stock.
New Century Triple Lock S&W .44 Spc. With rare 5” barrel. Sanderson grips,
King front sight and action job.
Barranti-Myres holster with Elmer Keith premier grade Commemorative model 29
with ivory stocks. Only 100 made.
Pre-29 4″ with Elmer Keith’s Chic Gaylord holster. Bohlin fly-away hammer spring release.
1st generation Colt in .45 Colt SAA. King front sight, 2-leaf flip-up long range rear sight.
Action job, original S.D. Myres holster and belt. Ivory grips showing a Mexican eagle and snake.
Pre-model 27 5-screw 3 ½” barrel. Original S.D. Myeres holsters and engraved ivory stocks.
King Fiasil II of Iraq repo Randall knives with ivory grips on Elmer Keith’s saddle bags.
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