Author Topic: How about this gun for this time period ?  (Read 5946 times)

Offline Marshal Deadwood

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How about this gun for this time period ?
« on: October 20, 2011, 09:01:15 PM »
1861 Springfield .58cal rifled musket ? Outta fit OK with the early plainsmen personas,,yes ?

MD

Offline boilerplatejackson

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Re: How about this gun for this time period ?
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2011, 10:24:52 PM »
The 1861 Springfield would work for 1862, but would be more convincing, IMHO, after 1864 on the plains. The 1841 US rifle
has a very strong history in the region from 1846 on. The half stock rifle was king of the plains. I own a 61 springfield and an
1858 pattern Enfield.

Offline Caleb Hobbs

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Re: How about this gun for this time period ?
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2011, 11:42:44 AM »
Howdy, Marshal. Absolutely, the .61 Springfield fits. It does place you at the latter part of our 1840 to 1865 time frame, but that was still a pretty exciting period. We'd love to have you be a part of the Plainsmen.

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Re: How about this gun for this time period ?
« Reply #3 on: Today at 10:24:03 AM »

Offline Big Bear Lowe

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Re: How about this gun for this time period ?
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2011, 03:17:02 PM »
Howdy,

I have a couple of 1842 Springfield .69 caliber smoothbores that I consider proper and correct for certain impressions of this period.  Granted they are not the ideal choice as they are smoothbores and the rifled gun was indeed king of the plains.  But realistically they were aroundand a potent if not precise weapon.  I can generally hit a 5 gallon bucket at 50-75 yards when properly patched and loaded but I won't guarentee a hit every time.  Just the same you wouldn't want to be on the recieving end of that .675 caliber chunk o' lead.  The plus side is they load rapidly and clean up quickly.  I expect there were numerous people wandering about the plains with "diverted" military arms such as this and one could do far worse for an early plainsman impression.

Of course a few years later a rifled version was issued and range and accuracy was substanially increased.  Pair an 1842 up with a couple of Walkers or   Colt Dragoons and you were a formidable presence on the plains and prairies of the Great American Desert.  Probably gave the Mexican fellows further south a thing or two to worry about as well.

Just my thoughts.

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Offline Trailrider

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Re: How about this gun for this time period ?
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2011, 06:04:03 PM »
Awhile back I sold a gentleman an incomplete copy I started years ago of a Jonathan Browning (John Moses' father) harmonica rifle. He completed it, and shot it a number of times. Unfortunately, I've lost his name and address, but that would work for the pre-CW timeframe!  Six shots .45 caliber as fast as you could fire, drop the locking lever, move to the next chamber, lift the lever, cock the hammer (underhammer) and fire! Sounds slow, but it would be a lot faster than a single shot!  :)
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Offline Tascosa Joe

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Re: How about this gun for this time period ?
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2011, 07:52:37 PM »
Trailrider:

Colt Fanning bought an incomplete copy from somebody a few years ago and finished it.  He brought it out to one of our NCOWS shoots.  It was a lot slow, but it went bang with authority. 

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Offline JimBob

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Re: How about this gun for this time period ?
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2011, 08:20:55 PM »
The M1841 Rifle and M1842 Musket would have been more likely to have been found in the west during the period than the M1861 Rifle Musket.Production on this model didn't get going till mid 1861 and the fact that many units ended the war still using something other than M1861 and M1863 muskets would I believe have made it a rather uncommon piece out west.Alternately if your persona was a deserter or Confederate guerilla from Missouri you might indeed have one obtained by theft or capture.

Edward's Civil War Guns discusses at some length the difficulty Fremont had obtaining arms in the 1861-62 period first in California and then in Missouri.He purchased a wide assortment from buying surplus Hall's carbines to Austrian smoothbore muskets to ordinary sporting rifles contracted from dealers in St.Louis like Dimick commenting that "no arms are to be had from the St.Louis Arsenal".

The M1861 and the Model1863 muskets didn't enter onto the civilian market in any large quantities till the last quarter of the 19th century.The newest arms that would have been found in western military units were most likely of the M1855 pattern or older.

LOL Not trying to be a "stiche nazi" just put a little historical background in,but 1862 would have been the earliest you might maybe might have could have had one.

Offline boilerplatejackson

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Re: How about this gun for this time period ?
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2011, 11:14:19 PM »
One rifle we dont think of as a plains rifle was the 1803 Harpers Ferry flintlock rifle. It came to Ft. Leavenworth in the 1830s, when
the US Congress dissolved the 1st US Rifle Regiment. They were transfered to the Infantry regiments. Captain St. George Cooks
cavalrymen of the 1850s were chasing Cheyenne Indians on the plains of Kansas in the mid 1850s with these flintlock relics.

Percival Lowe, whom was later stationed at Ft. Leavenworth as a Dragoon, was using an 1842 Musketoon 69 cal. smoothbore
up until he was honorably discharged in 1854. The 1852 Sharps slant breech carbine was in use by horse soldiers on the plains as well , but in limited numbers. At most of the Territorial Battlefields of 1856 the Flintlock Springfield musket was dominant on
the Free State Milita side, while better percussion muskets were utilized by the Kansas Territorial Militias on the other side. Except
for the known 1841 Harpers Ferry rifles, those muskets were 69 cal. smoothbores. Samuel Reeder tried to use his Pennsylvania
long rifle in the first days battle of Hickory Point, but found it way too slow and went back to the wagon to obtain a flintlock
musket.  The Free State Militia bought their flintlock muskets from Ft. Leavenworth at their condemned weapons and accouterments
sale in 1855 or 1856.

One cannot go wrong with either a long rifle or half stock plain rifle for 1840-1865.

Offline boilerplatejackson

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Re: How about this gun for this time period ?
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2011, 11:22:43 PM »
Another thought on the 1861 Springfield is that there is not much difference between it and the 1855 model Springfield. There were differences in the lockplate tape door, the rear sights, and the fore end cap. I dont know of any known 1855 Springfield muskets
issued to the Forts on the plains, much less in US Quartermasters hands.

Offline JimBob

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Re: How about this gun for this time period ?
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2011, 11:55:46 PM »
Good points sir,especially concerning the M1855.That model if I remember right wasn't fully approved until Lincoln took office.Those in the west were more likely to be armed with the M1842 or something even older in flint configuration or flint converted to percussion.A civilian would stand little chance of having the latest model when many of the troops weren't even equiped with them late or at the end of the war.

Offline Trailrider

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Re: How about this gun for this time period ?
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2011, 12:02:52 AM »
Trailrider:

Colt Fanning bought an incomplete copy from somebody a few years ago and finished it.  He brought it out to one of our NCOWS shoots.  It was a lot slow, but it went bang with authority. 

T-Joe

Much obliged, Pard! Yeah, I'm pretty sure that one was mine.  Started it when I had access to a Bridgeport milling machine at a local university back in the early '70's, but after I got the receiver machined and a barrel bought from Numrich and mounted it, I moved on, but packed the project along with me through three moves and years of gathering dust.  He did a bang-up (pun intended) job of finishing it! Interesting piece. Ol' John Mose's pappy was a pretty good gunsmith himself before he moved to Utah. Then had too many other irons in the fire supporting a couple of families of his own.  His son's of course contributed far, far more to American gun design.  Without John Moses, our troops would probably be firing Maxim machine guns from the tops of turrets of our tanks instead of Ma Deuces!
Ride to the sound of the guns, but watch out for bushwhackers! Godspeed to all in harm's way in the defense of Freedom! God Bless America!

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Offline Sir Charles deMouton-Black

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Re: How about this gun for this time period ?
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2011, 12:45:47 PM »
Those "old" .69 cal. smoothbores would be a blast to shoot with paper cartridges in "Buck & Ball" loading.  Reproducing paper cartridges is easy once you get your fingers trained a bit.
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