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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  The Darksider's Den (Moderator: Cuts Crooked)  |  Topic: Black Powder Firearms in the new series "Hell on Wheels" 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Black Powder Firearms in the new series "Hell on Wheels"  (Read 35258 times)
Mako
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« Reply #75 on: November 13, 2011, 02:50:46 pm »


Although the "hero's" gun was just a brass framed 51 Navy, the calling it a G&G I thought was a nice touch, yes they were low production but so was the Walker and no one has a problem with Gus's Walker.  Every hero has to have his Excaliber and a plain ol Colt would just be a plain ol Colt.  Yes it would have been nice to unscrew the barrel and turn it round, but it didn't happen.


Hey Del,
Good to see we are almost back on topic.

Since we are discussing the firearms on this thread I think you might have misspoken.  The revolvers they have Cullen carrying and the prop guys showing are not brass frame '51s, they are brass framed '60s with Navy length brass grips.




If they had used a brass framed '51 that actually would have been closer to the Griswold and Gunnison.

Pietta Brass Frame "1851"



Pietta Griswold and Gunnison


Notice I didn't say "brass frame G&G," the Pietta Griswold & Gunnison is actually a rather faithful reproduction.  It has the right barrel, it's the right caliber, it has the correct cylinder (sans engraving).  In all it is a rather faithful copy.

Here's a couple of real ones:



Except for that "Pietta Flare" they put on all of their Navy size grips I think Pietta NAILED IT. There are some minor differences  such as the grip bottom angle, but all in all a very nice reproduction.

They are CHEAP too, something any prop department would appreciate.

$179.99 at Cabelas!
http://www.cabelas.com/pistols-pietta-griswold-gunnison-36-caliber-revolver.shtml

Instead they went with a Pietta Fantasy Kludge brass frame 8 inch barrel .44 caliber pistol like this


If good Griswold and Gunnison reproductions were hard to come by then we would just say they are doing the best with what they have available at a reasonable cost.  The reality is that they (armorer and prop masters) don't know the difference .  We can tell they don't from the comments they made during the interviews.

It all comes down to having a "guiding document," a good production commissions those guiding documents for all aspects of the period, clothing, hardware, saddles, tack, camp gear, etc.  When it comes to things like a full scale train we might not expect them to have an 1865 vintage steam engine, but when you can buy props like firearms at the prices you can get Piettas then there really isn't a good excuse.  I'd be willing to bet hard money the prop guys didn't have a case of brass frame '60s sitting around, they went out and bought them.  Too bad.

By all accounts in the trade magazines they aren't an underfunded project.  While they don't have the higher profile actors or the budget of Deadwood  they have a much smaller permanent set and camp to deal with.  I just hope the premise of the revenge seeking vet doesn't become the overriding week to week theme of the show and instead becomes the intertwined thread that appears from time to time as the season(s) progress.

So far I like the series and I'm looking forward to tonight's episode to see what new characters and firearms show up.

Until then,
Mako
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« Reply #76 on: November 13, 2011, 02:56:12 pm »

So it looks even closer, still don't see the problem when there are far more historcal facts wrong. Wink

Perhaps I'll start a thread in the Longbranch and we'll see how many flaws we can find in episode 2, I promise I'll give the other "historians" here a chance before I give them all away. Grin

After all, I'm sure all of us here have a base in the history of the time period that goes beyond the guns don't we?
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« Reply #77 on: November 13, 2011, 03:18:11 pm »

So it looks even closer, still don't see the problem when there are far more historcal facts wrong. Wink

Del, There may be many, many more glaring historical inaccuracies, but this thread deals with "Black Powder Firearms in the new series "Hell on Wheels."   Because after all this is The Darksider's Den.

Quote
Perhaps I'll start a thread in the Longbranch and we'll see how many flaws we can find in episode 2, I promise I'll give the other "historians" here a chance before I give them all away. Grin

After all, I'm sure all of us here have a base in the history of the time period that goes beyond the guns don't we?

Del that sounds good, I'm looking forward to reading those posts as well.  Have you considered putting that thread in the Cas City Historical Society instead?  This is their charter, "Topics related to the history of the old west; Events, authenticity, characters, firearms, etc.." That sounds like the perfect venue.

Regards,
Mako
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« Reply #78 on: November 13, 2011, 04:45:51 pm »

Del, There may be many, many more glaring historical inaccuracies, but this thread deals with "Black Powder Firearms in the new series "Hell on Wheels."   Because after all this is The Darksider's Den.

Del that sounds good, I'm looking forward to reading those posts as well.  Have you considered putting that thread in the Cas City Historical Society instead?  This is their charter, "Topics related to the history of the old west; Events, authenticity, characters, firearms, etc.." That sounds like the perfect venue.

Regards,
Mako

I agree - NOT in the Longbranch.  But St. George might not be thrilled to have it in the Historical Society ... this actually belongs in a new board;  the Not-Very-Historical Criticism Group!

 Wink
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« Reply #79 on: November 14, 2011, 02:55:42 am »


I always get the following message at the amc website:

The video you are trying to watch cannot be viewed from your current country or location.

So for those outside the U.S. here is another link:

http://www.outdoorlife.com/videos/outdoorlife/guns/rifles/2011/11/firearms-amcs-hell-wheels

 Wink
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Mako
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« Reply #80 on: November 14, 2011, 08:47:04 pm »

Well it seems to be interesting so far and we have been introduced to the first correct pistols.  The "deputy" to the Swede was carrying a '58 Remington, that was good to see, but it was in an 1885 style Cavalry flap holster.  I guess they thought that looked more civilian.

Have you noticed how the villains are carrying the Remingtons and the hero a derivative of the Colt's pattern pistols?  It seems  someone has some sense  Grin .  The exception to that I guess would be Pale Rider where the bad guys carried '60s and the hero a Remington.

Well we've met Beauty and they chose an intimidating piece for that role:








It appears it is a Belgian shotgun that was imported anywhere from the 1890s to just before WW I.  based on the side lock I think it is a Henry Pieper that was imported by a LOT of companies.  A lot of them were English such as the Saxton company. The proximity of the exit hole of the lock screw on the port side to the counter bore of the head of the screw passing through to the other is the giveaway.  The main thing we could call technically wrong is the Swede's comment that she is an old girl.  Actually breech loading shotguns were extremely rare and very new in 1865.  Pin fire guns were introduced in the late 1850s but central fire guns were a new breed beginning in England.  In fact I don't think there were any American ammunition producers until 1869.

My favorite scenes with it were when they were searching and the Swede was hurrying along with it.  It is definitely a memorable piece.

I will make one more comment which I am actually stealing from a different board the poster "Lead Zeppelin" wondered if the Swede gave the G&G back to him after he became the Foreman.  I answered "Naaaaahh...the prop department has plenty, they hand them out like candy..."



Which is tongue in cheek because they are overusing that pistol they are calling a "Griswold."

Over all I am happy with the plot development so far,  there are a couple of story arcs already going and it looks like they have set the primary thread with the struggle between the railroad now personified by the Swede and Durant to some extent against Cullen.

Later,
Mako
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« Reply #81 on: November 14, 2011, 09:09:13 pm »

I noticed the 1858 held by the Swede's henchman.

Trivia here:  the Swede is played by Christopher Heyerdahl.  His Uncle, Thor was the one who back in the 40s (1947) made a balsa wood log raft and crossed the Pacific, thus proving that ancient Man could have done it.  The raft was named the Kon-Tiki.  When he tells "our hero" that he is called "the Swede," but he is actually Norwegian, it is more or less true.  He's Canadian ... of Norse/ Norwegian descent.

He also played a Wraith in Stargate Atlantis and is currently playing John Druitt on Sanctuary.  He's a good actor.

Yes, in addition to Olde West and the authentic weapons used in movies (or NON-authentic), I like Sci-Fi too!  And Science Fiction movies of the future NEVER use brass-framed revolvers that never existed!  (Not any I've seen, anyhoo!)

 Grin
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« Reply #82 on: November 14, 2011, 09:17:13 pm »


... I like Sci-Fi too!  And Science Fiction movies of the future NEVER use brass-framed revolvers that never existed!  (Not any I've seen, anyhoo!)

 Grin


No...but they used a Steyr-Mannlicher bolt action rifle receiver complete wit the double set triggers to make Deckard's pistol in Blade Runner



~Mako

P.S. you should look at all of the prop guns for Star Wars...
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« Reply #83 on: November 15, 2011, 02:03:16 am »

Sci-fi and cowboys can absolutely go together!  Don't forget the rather unusual selection of guns that seem to have survived into the future on Firefly:
http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Firefly

For instance, making a Taurus 85 into some sort of "westerny space gun"...





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« Reply #84 on: November 15, 2011, 05:49:37 am »

Mako, I've seen ... and admired some/most/all of them.  But #!) they ain't brass-framed, and #2) since it is ALL fantasy, they can't be wrong or from the wrong time-period!

 Grin

Like Lead Zepp mentioned, (provided the link,) IMDB has a "movie weapons" site that is quite interesting.  But I tend to like the types like you mentioned earlier - real, fire-able weapons modified for different purposes.  Like the 5.56mm mini-gun you mentioned from Predator.




We now take you back to our previously-posted discussion ...
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« Reply #85 on: November 15, 2011, 06:32:56 am »


Western Movie guns:

http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Category:Western_Movie

 Wink
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Mako
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« Reply #86 on: November 15, 2011, 10:35:55 am »


Henry,
Even that site has mistakes.  It takes a while for the information to get all sifted out because it is a wiki based archive.  If you look at the page for Hell on Wheels you will see the original posters were a bit confused.  They correctly identified the silhouette of an 1860 used in the opening credits, but didn't realize that style pistol is used by Cullen and mistakenly identified as a "Griswold."

A lot of what people were posting on that archive, this site and many other forums who are talking about Hell on Wheels is the result of watching the special videos on the AMCTV.com site.   That is why I am so critical of misinformation by purported experts.  Once that information gets out it is almost impossible to stuff the genie back in the bottle.  This actually happens lot and many times the revisionist accounts end up being the remembered and recounted "facts."

The nature of wiki style encyclopedic archives is that the whole world can participate and usually the facts win out.  Sooner or later someone who actually knows the truth steps in and lays it out.  In the case of the Hell on Wheels imfdb wiki the original posters will now go back and look more closely and realize they were too accepting of the facts from the hired "experts."  They will clean it up and watch it ever so more closely now.

Best regards,
Mako

P.S. Every time I see your avatar it reminds me of what a fine image a long and lean Henry cuts against the sky.  I only wish they had chosen 24" Henry rifles instead of what appears to be primarily '66 carbines and maybe even 20" '66 short rifles.  Great for CAS but not the best representation of the most common repeaters in 1865.
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« Reply #87 on: November 15, 2011, 11:09:32 am »

Steel Horse, and Lead Zeppelin,
I used to wonder why they used existing weapons and hung sheet metal and molded parts on them for props.  I understand why they would do this for contemporary or even films depicting the past because they need something that shoots blanks.  My friend tells me it started that way with a few movies and then the rest of the FX and prop crowd followed suit.  It is much easier to take a Broom Handle Mauser, FG-42, Taurus 85, (fill in the blank here) and go from there.

They also have rubber and urethane copies they make for "throw down" and stunt guns to prevent injury.   They are constantly looking for firearms that are not mainstream to use as futuristic, sometimes it is simply removing hand guards from M16s, often it using European, Korean or even older reworked weapons.

Tommy got his start when he went to the MGM auction of their prop firearms.  He wanted the Thompson carried by Vic Morrow in the series Combat.  We had nick named him "Tommy Gun," and he found out there were actually four Thompsons used in the series.  One was the "hero" gun used for close ups, there was a firing model and a throw down gun.  The fourth was a Navy model and really wasn't correct but they had it.  He fell in with the former prop guys and armorers who were trying to buy the arsenal to set up a new company.  The Prop master was retiring and MGM didn't want the responsibility of the weapons and especially the class 3 weapons so they were selling it off.  In exchange for helping them at the auction they "let" him win the hero model of the bunch.  So I've been able to play with the gun "Sarge" carried in Combat. They told him to look them up if he decided to get out of the service, so when he separated he went to work with them.

All props have the potential to be compromises, but when blessed with the availability of very good replicas it is a shame to scorn them when so many prop builders would have "killed" to have something like that available when they were fabricating their models.

Regards,
Mako
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« Reply #88 on: November 15, 2011, 12:05:44 pm »

Henry,
Even that site has mistakes.  It takes a while for the information to get all sifted out because it is a wiki based archive.  If you look at the page for Hell on Wheels you will see the original posters were a bit confused.  They correctly identified the silhouette of an 1860 used in the opening credits, but didn't realize that style pistol is used by Cullen and mistakenly identified as a "Griswold."


P.S. Every time I see your avatar it reminds me of what a fine image a long and lean Henry cuts against the sky.  I only wish they had chosen 24" Henry rifles instead of what appears to be primarily '66 carbines and maybe even 20" '66 short rifles.  Great for CAS but not the best representation of the most common repeaters in 1865.


Mako, you are right, the website is NOT the well of knowledgeGrin

I only saw two Henry Rifles in the movie.
First one at the beginning of episode 2, the right guy is holding one



and one Cheyenne under Pawnee Killer( i hope it's not the Sioux Chieftain )



It's great to see the cartridges .
Sorry for the bad pics, but i can see Hell on Wheels only on the web here in Germany.

Oh, btw, as Doc Durant (Colm Meaney) said MORE ARROWS.WE NEED MORE ARROWS
 Wink
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« Reply #89 on: November 15, 2011, 12:41:00 pm »

It's getting off the subject, but since we're discussing prop guns, there's a whole story behind the heroic efforts of the gun suppliers during WWII. The government told Hollywood to make lots of shoot-'em-up war movies to boost homefront morale, then took away their guns - specifically functioning machineguns. They also made it all but impossible to get powder for blanks or brass for cartridges - crucial war materiel, you know. Makeshift patrol boats off the California coast prepared to repel a Japanese invasion with Vickers and Maxim machineguns left over from "All Quiet on the Western Front" and other WWI movies. So on the quick and on the cheap the prop guys had to develop convincing guns for those propaganda movies the War Department demanded. So when you see the Browning watercooled machineguns mowing down banzai charges of Chinese restaurant waiter extras on Wake Island and Corregidor, the guns are as phony as the Japanese Imperial Marines. They used gas jets to simulate muzzle flashes and dubbed in the sounds later. Notice that you rarely see cartridges ejected in those films. After '43 I believe they got their guns back and were able to get blanks and powder but those early films were really a challenge.
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« Reply #90 on: November 16, 2011, 08:54:47 am »

Hey Kid, Howdy!

Int'resting bit of Historical Trivia you posted!
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« Reply #91 on: November 16, 2011, 06:45:09 pm »

Hey Kid, Howdy!

Int'resting bit of Historical Trivia you posted!


I agree, good stuff and thanks for sharing!

Jason
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« Reply #92 on: November 17, 2011, 01:35:01 am »

Just to agree with all of you, let me say that I've been watching movie & TV westerns my whole life - and I was never much of a history student.  Because of that, I really struggle with knowing what is "authentic" and what is just entertainment.  In fact, just as you all have said, I think that when I do see things that are "authentic" and "period correct", they look a little weird to me.  I'm really learning a lot from everyone!  When I read something here, it makes me hit google and try to research for more info.  It's a good time!  Smiley

 
 
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« Reply #93 on: November 17, 2011, 07:03:36 pm »

I was kind of hoping others would jump in here and talk about some of the other obvious guns we have seen so far.

Any comments about Durant's Pepper Box?  It appears to be a Hoppes reproduction like this one:



These are always identified as Ethan Allen Pepper Boxes or sometimes Allen & Thurber pistols, but I've never seen an actual original single shot model like this one.  I have seen single shot versions that have screw off barrels that had lock works that looked like this, but most of the Pepper Boxes appear to be double action pistols.

Experts?

~Mako
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« Reply #94 on: November 17, 2011, 07:40:22 pm »

I was kind of hoping others would jump in here and talk about some of the other obvious guns we have seen so far.

Any comments about Durant's Pepper Box?  It appears to be a Hoppes reproduction like this one:



These are always identified as Ethan Allen Pepper Boxes or sometimes Allen & Thurber pistols, but I've never seen an actual original single shot model like this one.  I have seen single shot versions that have screw off barrels that had lock works that looked like this, but most of the Pepper Boxes appear to be double action pistols.

Experts?

~Mako

While not an expert, that's exactly what it looked like to me.  Additionally, Lily's double barreled deringer that will appear in future episodes, also looks like one of Hoppe's models.

I've had bothh the pepperbox and double barrel by Hoppe's in the past.  fun guns to shoot; but not much more than that.  IIRC, while not rifled, they aren't smooth bore either.  They had some really shallow lands.  It's been a long time since I've owned one of them, so my memory is a little foggy.
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« Reply #95 on: November 17, 2011, 09:13:00 pm »

Like you, my first thought upon seeing those guns from the "Expert" was Hoppes, or CVA.

I didn't comment 'cause I don't know much about pepperbox pistols or small C&B doubles.

The name "Snake Eyes" comes to mind ...
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(former) US Army M1 & M1A1 Tank Master Gunner
AKA - Jeff Bailey  A Three-Percenter & Sheepdog

Take me out to the black, tell 'em I aint comin' back. Burn the land; boil the sea: you can't take the sky from me. Have no place I must be; since I found Serenity:  you can't take the sky from me.
by Joss Whedon 2002 - Firefly
Mako
Shooter of the "holy Black", Frontier Gunfighter #1, STORM, Henry 1860
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Cowboying since the Mid-20th Century


« Reply #96 on: November 19, 2011, 08:28:40 pm »

Only one more day... can't tell from the previews how much gun play we'll get in this one.  I'm waiting for the firefights with the '66 carbines to see if they have sprinkled in any Henry rifle as Lonesone Henry has spotted.  Looks like they are going to spend some time on character development tomorrow...

~Mako
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A brace of 1860s, a Yellowboy Saddle Rifle and a '78 Pattern Colt Scattergun
NRA, TSRA, MCA, MCAA, ANA, MOAA, ASME, SAME, BMES, STS
Sacramento Johnson
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« Reply #97 on: November 20, 2011, 12:19:09 pm »

Howdy!
I'm actually rather disappointed with "Beauty".  Why didn't they just get a percussion hammered double from Pedersoli and chop the barrels down to  anywhere from 12 to 16 inches?  They're easily obtainable, and not particularly expensive , especially used.  They could have gone with a 10g for slightly larger barrels if they wanted to (more menacing on film and actually 10g was more common back then than nowadays, from what I've read), and firing blanks (which they haven't done, yet) would pose no significant problems for it.  
It wouldn't have been hard to obtain/setup, would have been period correct to the time depicted and the shotgun would have looked just as threatening as the so very non-period correct one they did use. Very poor form by the supposed 'expert' armourers, in my opinion. 
I'm not holding out much hope that we'll see a lot of period correct Henry or Spencer rifles being used.  The armourers may know how to make firearms work safely with blanks on film, but evidently not much about the actual firearms of that time period. A shame, as they have the resources nowadays to use period correct firearms. The film company should have hired a firearms historian as a consultant, as opposed to relying on their armourers.

SJ, who just happens to have a Pedersoli 10g percussion hammered double!
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Fairshake
Shooter of the HOLY BLACK
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« Reply #98 on: November 20, 2011, 01:22:43 pm »

The episodes that have already been shown may be watched on the AMC channel forum. I had missed the first episode because of a hospital stay from my heart stopping.
I shoot nothing but 100% Black Powder all the time. If I do just plinking it is with BP, if hunting it is with BP. I shoot FC in SASS. I was shooting 3 matches a month until some serious health issues put me down.
I have read this thread with interest and have a few comments. First how many of us have seen any John Wayne western at least 5 or more times? I'm sure that the number is large and I'm sure that all of you are aware  he used a 92 Winchester regardless of the time period shown. The one that he could not was when he played Davey Crockett in the Alamo. We all have nothing but praise for this man.
The one thing that I felt was that real BP was not used as I saw no sparks or flames out the end of any barrel. The guns and smoke both appeared to be some sub and not the real thing. I have never fired a BP round that did not have this look. I have also fired many a smoke ring down range.
This has been a good thread for the forum. Later David aka Fairshake
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Deadwood Marshal  Border Vigilante SASS 81802                                                                         WARTHOG                                                                   NRA                                                                            BOLD So that His place shall never be with those cold and Timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat
Sacramento Johnson
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« Reply #99 on: November 20, 2011, 02:53:08 pm »

Howdy Fairshake,
I have no problem with John Wayne films (and other films of his era) not being period correct; it wasn't the intention of the filmmakers back then to be so (there's a great quote by John Ford regarding non-period correct footwear in Harry Carey Jr's book) and period correct firearms were harder to come by (they would have been old originals).  The current crop of western film and TV show makers appear to be trying to be more period correct than their predecessors  and the firearms (replicas) to do so are easily obtainable. 
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