Running Iron- the rarest of cowboy collectibles. Cattle rustlers running iron. A tool of professional rustlers in the west involved in the stealing of branded cattle and altering the brand. In the very early west cattle rustling was almost accepted as a way to build one's herd of livestock which is how many cattle ranches got their start. Stealing an unbranded calf who was not following their mother was not even looked upon as rustling, but as the cattle barons decided it was hurting their pocketbooks cattle rustling began to be seen as a serious crime. There are two types of branding irons. The stamp iron which included the full brand, and the running iron which had a tip that could be used to change or make any brand. The running iron was the favorite tool for the cattle rustler. Being caught by a vigilante group with a running iron in one's possession could mean certain death by hanging if the law wasn’t around. This one works by unscrewing the iron from the tube handle then re-screwing it in the other end before heating the brand. It was small and easily concealed. This iron is 24" Long when assembled. When put away into the leather scabbard it is 13" Long. Widest is 2". Comes with original scabbard that has seen much use. Note burn holes in bottom from putting in hot.
PERIOD: Late 19th Century
ORIGIN: British Columbia, Canada
SIZE: 24" Long 2" Wide