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HARDIN - A pistol that may have belonged to Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer will be on display at a business here through the end of June.

Collector George Scott, who lives in Florida, loaned the six-shooter with an octagonal barrel to the Fort Custer General Store. Scott has lent Custer-related items to the store for several years.

The Remington-Beals pistol has a dye stamp under the barrel that reads "Gen. Geo. A. Custer 1869." Scott, who said he traded a "heavy load" of antique firearms to a collector in Texas for the pistol, described the revolver as "just a working gun" that belonged to Custer.

"I believe it's his," he said. "There's no way you can say it belonged to Custer - there's not provenance or letters. But it's likely."

Scott was a teacher on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation and was a ranger at the Little Bighorn Battlefield in the early 1980s. He said he believes the stamp is authentic because someone wanting to profit from Custer's name could find a better way and a more valuable item to try to pass off.

Custer is best known for the 1876 Battle of the Little Bighorn, in which he and his troops of the 7th Cavalry died while fighting a vastly greater number of Lakota Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho warriors. The battle also is known as Custer's Last Stand.

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