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Pistol of murdered ‘Wild Bill’ Hickok set for auction

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Handout photo of Smith & Wesson No. 2 Old Model Army revolver owned by "Wild Bill" Hickok
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A historic Smith & Wesson No. 2 Old Model Army revolver owned by "Wild Bill" Hickok is seen in an undated …

This auction house ain't big enough for the both of us.

A pistol of legendary Wild West fame is set for sale at auction in San Francisco on Monday, and the tales of gun-slinging law enforcement, gambling and murder tied to the weapon are drawing curious eyes, according to Reuters.

The gun, a Smith & Wesson No. 2 revolver worth up to $50,000, was on the person of James "Wild Bill" Hickok on the day his rival, Jack "Crooked Nose" McCall, shot him through the back of his head, the story goes.

"Damn you! Take that!" McCall is thought to have yelled after killing him.

[ Related: Philosophical argument leads to gunfire in Russia ]

The Civil War veteran, sheriff and well known gambler was playing poker in Deadwood, Dakota Territory at the time of his death in 1876, and his ill-fated hand — two black aces and two black eights — is still known as the Dead Man's Hand today.

The Black Hills Visitor website says Jack McCall was eventually hanged for the murder.

Recently, the HBO series Deadwood featured a character based on Hickok.

Stories of Hickok's life as a trigger-happy sheriff and actor are steeped in legend, and it's difficult to know what is fact. But the value of his steel and rosewood pistol is no myth.

Reuters reported there could be more Wild West fans than people who can actually afford to bid at the auction.

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