Autry Museum of the American West

Rodeo performer Slim Pickens

right side

right side

1903; serial number 249639
Owner: rodeo perfomer Slim Pickens
Inscribed: Slim Pickens
Manufacturer: Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company
Acquisition made possible in part by John E. Bianchi Jr.

Slim Pickens, a rodeo performer and actor, owned this Single Action Army. Born Louis Burton Lindley Jr., he joined the rodeo at age twelve despite a warning that such work would offer "slim pickings," or very little money. Lindley thought the advice was funny and adapted the phrase, making it his stage name. After a successful career as a rodeo clown, Pickens was cast in a variety of Western roles, including many as Rex Allen’s sidekick. He is probably best known for playing Major King Kong in Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 dark comedy Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. At the end of the film, Pickens hearkens back to his rodeo days and famously rides an atomic bomb as if it were a bucking bronco.

  • left side

    left side
  • inscription on backstrap

    inscription on backstrap
  • Lobby card from Down Laredo Way (1953) starring Rex Allen and Slim Pickens

    Autry National Center

  • Publicity photograph of actors Slim Pickens and Rex Allen

    Autry National Center


Jeffrey Richardson

Web Development

Gary Cannone

Electronic Cataloging and Imaging

Marilyn Kim, Vlasta Radan, Carmel France, Rebecca Menendez, David Benitez, Susan Eisenstein


Marlene Head

Special Thanks

Greg Martin, R. L. Wilson

4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles, CA 90027-1462 Phone: 323.667.2000

© 2015 Autry Museum of the American West. All rights reserved.