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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  STORM (Moderators: RRio, Major 2)  |  Topic: 1851 Navy .36 in Texas pre and post war 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: 1851 Navy .36 in Texas pre and post war  (Read 565 times)
Doug.38PR
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« on: February 14, 2018, 11:12:57 am »


I have read that the .36 1851 Navy was quite common among Texans before the War.   Texas Rangers, other lawmen, soldiers, citizens.   Terry’s Rangers, a Confederate Cavalry unit formed in Houston had like around 150 .44 Colt Armys...and around 575 .36 Colt Navy’s listed in their arms inventory.

Texas was a state least hit by the ravages of the War compared to other Southern states, but the economic hardship was sure felt after the War. 

You couldn’t and probably wouldn’t just go out and buy a cartridge loading 1873 SAA when they came out or a Richards Mason coversion before 1873.   

So the only real options were to either keep your ball and cap as your gun well well into the 1880s...or convert it to take cartridges.    How common was one or the other in Texas.  Could gunsmiths in Houston or Galveston or even frontier towns convert them with gate, ejector rod and all?
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Fox Creek Kid
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« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2018, 12:32:36 pm »

...How common was one or the other in Texas.  Could gunsmiths in Houston or Galveston or even frontier towns convert them with gate, ejector rod and all?

Very, very few in the overall scheme of things IMO. Austin pop. in 1870 was less than 5,000 and less than 12,000 in 1880. Houston had 17,735 in 1870 & Galveston 15,290 respectively. The hostiles had been pushed back north & west beyond the then frontier lines and despite what Hollywood would have us believe most men were worried about daily sustenance moreso than playing cards in a saloon and just "itching" for gunplay.  Roll Eyes  In the book Arming the West ( The Sales records of Schuyler, Hartley, & Graham of firearms sent west of the Mississippi 1868 to 1886) one of the biggest sellers for Texas was old martial muskets converted to shotguns/fowlers as no doubt these would double for hunting and for defense.

The best indicator we have is to merely look at the population today as compared to then. Yes, people owned firearms then as now, but the majority had/have basic armament for defense/hunting just as today. Your aunt Martha out on the farm probably doesn't have an AR-15 tricked out with optics/laser gizmos and a Glock with 20 mags at the ready. Too many of us gun owners have a tendency to view the rest of the population through our own perspective.
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Doug.38PR
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« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2018, 12:54:39 pm »


The best indicator we have is to merely look at the population today as compared to then. Yes, people owned firearms then as now, but the majority had/have basic armament for defense/hunting just as today. Your aunt Martha out on the farm probably doesn't have an AR-15 tricked out with optics/laser gizmos and a Glock with 20 mags at the ready. Too many of us gun owners have a tendency to view the rest of the population through our own perspective.

That’s actually what prompted my question.  The idea of working with what you have while keeping something fundamebtal for defense.  The old frontier1851 navy was already around or inherited and most people didn’t wake up January 1, 1873 and say “I can’t wait to go get that new gun Colt just released!”
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Coffinmaker
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« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2018, 01:31:52 pm »


PLUS ONE to Fix Creek Kid.
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Coffinmaker
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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2018, 12:28:32 pm »


He's BAAAAACK!!

Whilst watching Biathlon I suddenly had a couple of other thoughts.  Understand, they aren't exactly original thoughts, but hey,  now it's 10,000 Meter speed skating.  SO:

If one were to consider ....... The 1851 Navy was quite common everywhere, Before, During and After the Civil War.  Known sales records confirm the 1851 out sold everybody's everything else, except Colts' own pocket revolver.  Therefore, I don't think we should limit our sampling to Texas.  Unless, of course, you happen to live in Texas and don't care about anywhere else. 

As an aside or as a footnote (fungus anyone??).  It actually wasn't possible to run out to your local 5 and Dime for a new 73 Colt SAA as soon as they were released.  The initial production of the SAA was pre-sold to the Army.  Aficionados were limited to Conversions and Open Tops.  And, there really weren't that many Open Tops produced.  And, lose ammunition remained popular well to the turn of the century.  And Frankly Scarlett, There are some of us whom prefer loose ammunition well into the 21st Century.  I am an Anachronism - yepper. 
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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  STORM (Moderators: RRio, Major 2)  |  Topic: 1851 Navy .36 in Texas pre and post war « previous next »
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