Gun that killed Jesse James sold at auction

The gun that killed outlaw Jesse James has sold at auction for $350,000 in California.

The gun that killed outlaw Jesse James has sold at auction for $350,000 in California.

The .44 calibre nickel-finished Smith & Wesson was bought by an absentee bidder who requested anonymity, said Mr Brian Maize, spokesman for Little John's Antique Arms.

There were more than 20 bidders for the pistol, which had been expected to bring about $300,000.

"It probably went back to Texas," Mr Maize said. "(The price) bounced around, struck at 300 and crawled up to 350."

He said the top bid was a record for a Western history firearm. The previous high was $240,000 paid in 1998 for a pistol used by outlaw "Blackjack" Ketchum.

Little John's owner, John Gangel, acquired the gun about six months ago from a collector who bought it for $160,000 at a 1993 auction in England.

Bob Ford, a late recruit to Jesse James's gang of bank, train and stagecoach robbers, killed James on April 3, 1882, in St Joseph, Missouri. The revolver was made in about 1875.