‘Yellowstone’: What Kind of Pistol Does Kevin Costner’s John Dutton Carry?

by Amy Myers
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While cowboy hats and denim are an important part of the Yellowstone uniform, just as pivotal is the firearm strapped to your hip or perched on your shoulder. Throughout the series, Kevin Costner’s character, John Dutton, has brandished quite a few different revolvers, pistols and rifles to protect his ranch and family.

Even when they aren’t actively using them, it’s safe to assume that the Yellowstone characters are always packing some sort of heat. After all, you never know when you could find a hostile intruder on the ranch or a bandit on the run. But when it comes to an emergency situation, everyone on the show has a go-to gun, including the ranch patriarch, John.

He’s taken quite a few shots over Yellowstone’s four seasons, so let’s take a look at the most prominent ones.

John Dutton’s Pistol and Go-To Firearms in ‘Yellowstone’

  • Ruger Blackhawk .357
  • Two-tone Kimber Custom TLE II
  • Winchester 1894 .30-.30

Dutton Made His Debut with a Single Action Revolver

When we first met John Dutton, he was in the middle of a tragic moment with a beloved member of the Yellowstone ranch. During the first moments of the pilot episode, Dutton had to put down one of his horses. While this moment was incredibly sad, it did at least introduce us to one of the many firearms in the Dutton family arsenal.

Meet the Ruger Blackhawk model. First developed in 1955, the revolver loosely resembles the legendary Western co-star, the Colt Single Action Army “Peacemaker” but with a bulkier frame and cylinder, coiled springs, elevated and adjustable sights. Post-1973, all models have adopted a transfer bar that allows the hammer to rest on the cylinder without risking accidental firing. This model comes in a variety of calibers, but Dutton himself prefers to keep a beefy, stainless steel .357 at his side. Along with the .44 Magnum, these two calibers are the most common among Ruger carriers.

It also appears to be a Taylor Sheridan favorite, as it was featured in the Yellowstone creator’s 2017 film, Wind River.

Since John Dutton and the Blackhawk’s debut in Yellowstone, the gun has yet to return to the series. Surely somewhere in the Duttons’ arsenal, it’s possible that this sidearm is reserved only for honorary deaths, like the euthanization of a trusty steed.

John Dutton Shows off Rarely Seen Pistol in ‘Yellowstone’ Season 4

It wasn’t until this past season that we finally saw John Dutton put a pistol to use in Yellowstone. In Season 4, Episode 3, “All I See Is You,” Dutton first checked his Kimber Custom TLE (Tactical Law Enforcement) II before heading into a meeting with Chief Rainwater. There, he found out who had organized the militia and the hit against his family. In the back of Rainwater’s truck was the bruised and beaten Chester Spears.

When the Yellowstone star drove the hitman to his fields, he threw down his .45, took out a knife and cut Spears’ ties. But John wasn’t about to let this man go. Instead, he gave Spears the chance at a fair shoot-out, and surprise, surprise, Dutton and his Kimber won.

The Custom TLE II has a flat, slide top, seven-round magazine, three-dot night sights and “aggressively textured” grips. Basically, it’s the perfect contender for a midnight duel. Dutton’s model has chevron scalloping and is two-toned. Besides Dutton’s .45 cal, the model also comes in .10 mil.

The Unsung Hero of ‘Yellowstone’ – the Winchester 1894 .30-.30

Even though we haven’t seen John Dutton with many pistols, he does have one go-to firearm throughout Yellowstone. Since Season 1, Episode 7, “A Monster Is Among Us,” Dutton has put his Winchester 1984 .30-.30 to good use. First, we saw him chase off some unruly, trespassing tourists. In Season 2, Dutton fired away at one of the men responsible for kidnapping his grandson, Tate. During a face-off with a couple of bikers, the Yellowstone star had his Winchester at his side but didn’t end up having to use it. And, most recently, in Season 4, we saw the rifle make a standoff appearance at Ruby’s diner where Dutton shot at some bandits.

There’s a good reason why the Winchester 94 is John Dutton’s go-to firearm in Yellowstone. The lever-action rifle is often deemed “The Gun that Won the West.” Its lightweight frame and easy handling make it one of the fastest and smoothest firearms out there. From whitetail hunting to diner shootouts, this rifle can handle it all.

Why Dutton Doesn’t Need to Brandish His Sidearm Often

Between the premiere episode of Yellowstone and the Season 4 shoot-out, Dutton has obviously carried quite a few different firearms. More often than not, he’s brandishing a rifle which, while more powerful, isn’t as fast on the hip as a pistol. Time and again, Dutton has come face to face with his adversaries with his hand calmly on the barrel of his Winchester, a part of his identity more than it was a sense of protection.

Despite this, Dutton tends to come away with a few scratches, if any.

And, well, this is why:

Dutton’s most trusty sidearms tend to be his branded ranchhands. Like lions in the savanna grasses, Kayce, Lloyd and others emerge with flashlights and firearms ready.

Just as important, Dutton has the gift of intimidation. Not only did the Yellowstone star orchestrate this unexpected tete-a-tete in the middle of his ranch in the dead of night, but he also had them dig their own graves. After giving the bikers the initial warning, they still returned, so Dutton demonstrated how people in Montana keep their words.

Once they dug, Dutton stood, his voice still an unsettlingly even tone. He made the terrified men swear to never return, and they happily agreed, their lives still intact. But, just in case, John Dutton promised that these graves would be waiting for them, should they ever think of coming back.

It’s possible that all the while, Dutton also had his Ruger or Kimber in a holster during the exchange. But, as we’ve seen, John Dutton is already pretty deadly on his own.

Outsider.com