Special Interests - Groups & Societies > Cas City Historical Society

Colt Bisley use

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In 1892, after tests at Governors Island NY, the Krag Jorgenson rifle was adopted as the standard rifle for the US military.  In 1893, historian Frederick jackson Turner said the American frontier was gone.  In 1894, Winchester brought out the 1894 rifle, and Colt introduced their Bisley model. 

The 1894 Winchester was quickly adopted, and was used by lawmen, outlaws, revolutionaries, and "just folks".  The Bisley . . . "not so much".  It was a favorite of Pancho Villa; some of the Dorados and Villistas adopted it (when available) out of admiration.

But was the Bisley used by any other notable lawmen/outlaws?  I couldn't sleep the other night, and got to wondering about this (because when you can't sleep, why not?).  Anyone have any examples?

St. George:
The Bisley saw use South of the Border simply because it was in stock - not because it was admired.

if you look closely at photos of the Villistas, you'll see S&Ws, OpenTops, Forehand & Wadsworths,, Hopkins and Allens, Iver Johnsons - pretty much every revolver that was on the shelf and had ammunition was usable.

By the time of introduction, the Frontier West was done, save for the Dime Novels - 'civilization' and the railroad saw to that - making trail drives short-distance affairs - and the Army pretty well ended any threat from hostiles, so the Bisley likely was purchased because there weren't any SAAs at the dry goods and the buyer didn't want to wait.

Scouts Out!

Sir Charles deMouton-Black:
The Bisley was developed, as it's name implies, for bullseye target shooters. Colt was competing against English revolvers notably the Webley. The grip angle and lowered hammer spur were what British shooters were accustomed to.

Tascosa Joe:
The town Sherriff in Creede, Colorado carried a Bisley as a duty weapon in the 1970's and 1980's.  It was either .45 or 38 WCF, I do not remember which.  Just a bit of trivia.


Jake MacReedy:
That's a great bit of trivia, Joe!  Good to hear that fine old firearms were still being put to go use on those days!  Was in Creede in the early 70's...wish I had paid more attention to things like that!



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