Special Interests - Groups & Societies > 1860 Henry

Some thoughts on the longevity of the .44 Rimfire FULL POST

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Tuolumne Lawman:
Somehow, it only posted part.  Here is the whole post.

Today, we live in an age of consumerism, where things are made to be replaced rather than repaired.  We always want the newest and best, especially when it comes to guns.  I did, when I was younger, but as I got older it slowed some.  My Glock 19 I have had for 26 years is a perfect example.  I got it as a Deputy, and since then it has never malfunctioned a single time.  I see no reason to replace it...

Back in the 1800s and early 1900s, we were not so much a consumer society.  If it worked, we didn't replace it with a newer item.  If it broke, and could be repaired, we fixed it and continued to use it.  many percussion revolvers and rifles continued to be used until the turn of the century and beyond.  I read an article a long time ago about a Constable, I think in the Texas Panhandle, that was still carrying a Richards Conversion of a Colt percussion in the 1920s.

Winchester continued to produce their ever so popular 1866 in .44 Rimfire off and on until 1896, which was the last run.  That was 23 years after the 1873 in .44-40 was introduced, and even 4 years after the magnum strength 1892 was made.  It was that well liked that it continued being in production, even after the "next best thing" came along!  I really wonder how many 1860 and 1866s were still in active use after the turn of the century and beyond?  The numbers must have been significant, as the ammo manufacturers produced .44 Rimfire until WW2.

Case in point:

My wife’s uncle Stanley was a true working Cowboy all his life. He worked cattle ranches in the Central Valley of California, and west slopes of the Sierra Nevada, from the 1920s into the 1970s.  He once related to me that his favorite saddle gun when riding heard and working in the mountains at the line shacks was actually an old 1866 Carbine.  He used it to kill deer for camp meat, and to kill mountain lion and wolves that threatened the heard.  He really liked the little rifle, and did not see any need to replace it until .44 rimfire ammunition ceased to be available with the beginning of  WW II.



nativeshootist:
 I agree with what you mean. Im a young man only 23, but the amount of stuff I saw get broke and just replaced is high. I have a 2001 ford ranger thats currently being a pain and I'm working on fixing. I have some friends that tell me that motors done and too go switch it etc. But no, I'm a fix it and keep it going.

Like your uncle stanley,  lots of people used guns for way way longer than what most people think nowadays. My favorite story i heard was from on of my uncles. He told me when him and his cousins were young in the 60s. They went rabbit hunting with a old rifle that ome of his cousins grandpas gave him to hunt with. The grandpa being 80s. He said they never knew what cartridge it used but they could slip a .410 in it. It worked but they laughed when the shot it, the top would always fly open. They close it and reopen it to get the shell out. I thought about it and used my phone too look up a 73 trapdoor and showed him and asked "did it look like this?" , he said, "ohan ohan, thats it, shorter though.", I showed him a rifle, and sounded like they used a carbine. So my uncle and his cousins used a 73 trapdoor carbine to hunt rabbits with in the 60s and used .410 shells in it. I thought that was cool and kinda funny.

Tuolumne Lawman:
Thanks, I love that story!  When I taught high school History, I tried to bring in family stories and histories to make history come alive.  Family legends tell us a lot.  Unfortunately, I had to abandon that technique when they implemented common core and standardized testing, which made me basically teach to the tests and turned History into memorizing the names of dead people and dates....

nativeshootist:
You can always have people tell stories. After. My uncle told me that story, I asked what happened to the rifle. He said when they got older his cousin learned what it was and put it in a bank. I am lakota and so is my uncle and his relatives. So the carbine has a few ways too end up here, the grandpa being 80s or so in the 60s means a birth date of 1880s at least. So that rifle came from somewhere wither dubious or not.

mtmarfield:
      Greetings, NativeShootist!

   Using .410 shotshells in the Springfield .45-70 was apparently a thing. In an old Gun Digest, a Chiricahua fellow wrote an
article about Native Firearms; when he was a kid, it was common to see someone hunting small game with a Springfield
.45-70, and a .410 - 2-1/2" shotshell in the chamber...

                   M.T.M.
 

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