Author Topic: Valdez is Coming  (Read 926 times)

Offline Bruce W Sims

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Valdez is Coming
« on: March 04, 2019, 09:15:02 am »
Hi Folks:

This movie gets a lot of props for its gritty representations. I wonder if any of the experienced
Reloaders have comments on the scenes where Valdez reloads his Sharps in the field to
make the well known 1000yd shot. There are so many reloading dos and don'ts but I'm thinking most
Hunters would have had to reload in the field......or did they just leave brass in the chamber and
use the muzzle? Thoughts?

Best Wishes,

Bruce
Best Wishes,

Bruce

Online Coal Creek Griff

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Re: Valdez is Coming
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2019, 09:44:48 am »
I'd say that it was Hollywood, but it was filmed in Europe.  I believe that the point the film makers were trying to get across was that Valdez was an expert with his weapons.  He later says to the impressed "El Segundo" that he used "my own loads".  It looked to me like he pulled the bullets, then added powder, probably to show that he needed more powerful loads for the long-range shots.  Of course that makes no real sense.  This is all speculation, of course.

Of note is that Burt Lancaster can be seen reloading ammunition in the film, "The Unforgiven" (1960).  In that brief scene, he is melting down lead soldiers to cast bullets during a siege.  He then uses them to load the ammo.  The scene closely follows the book.  There are plenty of (original) Sharps rifles used in that movie.

CC Griff
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Offline Professor Marvel

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Re: Valdez is Coming
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2019, 04:30:14 am »
Hi Folks:

This movie gets a lot of props for its gritty representations. I wonder if any of the experienced
Reloaders have comments on the scenes where Valdez reloads his Sharps in the field to
make the well known 1000yd shot. There are so many reloading dos and don'ts but I'm thinking most
Hunters would have had to reload in the field......or did they just leave brass in the chamber and
use the muzzle? Thoughts?

Best Wishes,

Bruce

Greetings My Dear Bruce -

it is well documented that the hundreds of commercial buffalo hunters reloaded in the field as many surviving bills of sale
list  selling rifles, commercial cartrdiges, empty brass, primers, powder, pigs of lead, molds, etc etc.

examples:
-----------------
"Of his Sharps rifles, Mooar preferred the smaller one.  “I killed 6,500 buffaloes with my fourteen-pound gun,” he estimated, “and 14,000 with the eleven-pounder.  The barrel was octagonal half way up from the breech, then it was round.”  The brass shells, some of them bottlenecked, were three inches long.  Many hunters, including Mooar, preferred to load their own shells with black gunpowder.
   Wright Mooar, who bought bullets by the thousands and powder in twenty-five pound kegs, used to wrap a piece of paper around each bullet before he put in the shell.  Wrapping the bullets instead of greasing them, he explained, kept the interior of the rifle barrel from becoming coated with lead.  “The bullets were made with a concave butt.  When the barrels of our guns became so hot that they began swelling, the bullets with the concave butt would be expanded when shot by the charge of powder, thus filling the barrel and making it true.”

---------------------------------
In  "Encyclopedia of Buffalo Hunters and Skinners" By Gilbert, Remiger and Cunningham

they have a number of outfits shopping lists and I could only find a couple that even mention wads of any kind, what struck me was how few new empty cases those old boys would buy, even new outfits would seldom buy more then 100 empty cases, 25 pds of powder, 100 pds of lead, 1500 primers, and 40 sheets of patch paper was a typical order.
--------------------------------
EXCERPT FROM Part II.--The Extermination
                                            II. Methods of slaughter
                                                 1. The "still hunt"
 
"During the winters of 1880 and 1881 Mr. McNaney had served in Maxwell's outfit as a hunter, working by the month, but his success in killing was such that he decided to work the third year on his own account. Although at that time only seventeen years of age, he took an elder brother as a partner, and purchased an outfit in Miles City, of which the following were the principal items:
Two wagons,
 2 four-horse teams,
 2 saddle-horses,
 2 wall-tents,
1 cook-stove with pipe,
 1 40-90 Sharp's rifle (breech-loading),
 1 45-70 Sharps rifle (breech-loading),
 1 45-120 Sharps rifle (breech-loading),
 50 pounds gunpowder,
 550 pounds lead,
 4,500 primers,
 600 brass shells,
 4 sheets patch-paper,
 60 Wilson skinning knives,
 3 butcher's steels,
1 portable grindstone, flour, bacon, baking-powder coffee, sugar, molasses, dried apples,
 canned vegetables, beans, etc., in quantity."

when I can dig my books out of where-ever-they-are I see if I can find more examples, as I specifically remember
some detailed invoices from the Freund & Bros gunshops ....

yhs
prof marvel
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Offline Blair

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Re: Valdez is Coming
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2019, 12:39:35 pm »
Bruce,
If you get a chance to watch the movie "The Last Hunt" you will get a pretty good idea of a Buff hunt being set up and them loading and shooting Buff (very late within the Buff hunting time period).

My understanding is that most Hunters would shoot one cartridge case, reloading it on the spot, from supplies they brought to the stand. Pre cast bullets that were also pre patched, primers, Powder, and powder measure. Re loading that case until it spilt, then go to a new preloaded round. Extra pre loaded round would be carried by the hunter in case of trouble with the Natives.
There was no need to kill more Buff in a Stand than your Skinners could shuck. Because the hides would start turning green and lose value.
I hope this helps.
My best,
 Blair
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God and the soldier we adore.
But in times of peace and all things right,
God is forgotten and the soldier slighted"
by Rudyard Kipling.
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Offline Dave T

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Re: Valdez is Coming
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2019, 05:27:02 pm »
Like so many of us interested in the settling of the West, I had my time admiring the buffalo hunters. I had a reproduction Sharps, a reproduction RB "Creedmore" target rifle, and eventually a real heavy barrel No 1 Sporting rifle in 44/77. I shot in a couple BPCMS matches and longed to go to Raton for the big shoot.

Time and life happened and those rifles are all gone, but the interest in the West lived on. I've read a whole lot more about the economics of those days, and the politics. I've also read a good bit about what cattle and agriculture have done to the Great Plains eco-system. It's all hind-sight but killing off the buffalo was not the best use of the land. Our ancestors did indeed rape the land: the Plains; the forests; and the animals.

I still find the rifles interesting, just as I do most of the firearms of the era. I just don't admire the buffalo hunter as much as I once did.

YMMV,
Dave

PS: My apologies to the forum. Got a little of track with this one. Stuff's been on my mind of late.

Offline FriscoCounty

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Re: Valdez is Coming
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2019, 05:51:41 pm »
I once did some calculations based on a sales brochure from the period.  I made the most sense to buy some loaded cartridges (for the brass), enough for 2 days of shooting.  Then lead, powder, and primers for the rest of the trip.  The amount of lead would depend on expected recovery rates.
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Offline Bruce W Sims

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Re: Valdez is Coming
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2019, 12:20:56 pm »
Ok, then. How about we take this to the next level.

I have a picture of a Buffalo Hunter with his firearm of choice having to reload in the field...as it were.
A.) Is the bullet paper patch or does he used Buffalo tallow....or do without?
B.) How does the powder get compensed?
C.) Does he bother to crimp?
D.) With so many rounds does he use a rubber tube to a DC dress powder buildup?
E..) What efforts are made to deal with the I evitable lead builldup?

Alternate thought. I know there are locations (see: Cody Museum,WY) that have items associated with Buffalo Hunters.
Has anyone done an examination ation to see how well they were cared after a d how this was accomplished?

Anyone have any thoughts about this line ofinvestigation?

Best Wishes,

Bruce
Best Wishes,

Bruce

Offline Professor Marvel

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Re: Valdez is Coming
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2019, 08:36:34 pm »
Q:  A.) Is the bullet paper patch or does he used Buffalo tallow.


Paper patching bullets is a tad more fussy to do than lubing bullets. It requires either precut papers
or a nice table & equipment out of the wind. The best long range work was/is done with paper patched bullets,
but out to 75-300 yards (typical ranges) lubed lead bullets will do just fine.

Buffalo do not have much fat, and the fat that is there (called washi in Lahkota) is highly prized by anyone with a brain.  
Hunters could buy bullet lube or tallow at the same time as their other supplies.


Q:
B.) How does the powder get compensed?
C.) Does he bother to crimp?
D.) With so many rounds does he use a rubber tube to a DC dress powder buildup?
--------------------------------------------

In 1874 Sharps sold paper patched lead bullets for between $8.75 to $12.75 per thousand.
Or he could melt lead and cast his own, and lube with fat or other tallow.

Blow tubes were used to keep fouling soft, but the smart shooterr would not shoot more buff than his team
could process at one time.

loading would have been accomplished manually with a Tong Tool.



in most cases it was not necessary to resize the case, as you would be shooting it in the same rifle
but some kits included sizing dies.

method:
deprime case with tong tool
seat new primer with tong tool
measure powder
dump into primed case
seat bullet with fingers
compress & crimp with tong tool


here is an original "portable kit".




This rifle was pictured on the front cover of the September, 1981 issue of Gun Report magazine.
It is accompanied by an extensive provenance file and factory letter stating rifle was shipped to a Gideon Burgess on May 29, 1873. File also includes a copy of the original 1873 dated sales invoice.

Rifle is contained in associated period oak and walnut travel case together with the following accessories:

1) Pair of buffalo fur gauntlets;

2) original hunter's black leather cartridge belt with 32 cartridge loops and shoulder harness

3) Full unopened box of Sharps cartridges with label reading:
   10 Metallic/Centre Fire Cartridges,/50/100 Calibre.
   Put up expressly for Sharp's Improved Rifle.
   from Shells susceptible of being reloaded many times,
   By Sharps' Rifle Manufacturing Co.,
   Hartford, Conn.

4) Original period buffalo skinner's knife belt and harness with two skinning knives,
   one marked: Geo. W. Hamm and the other: Russell/Green River Wo??.

5) Knife steel.

6) Cast iron ladle for melting lead for shot.

7) "Vinegar" horn with belt hook, used when sharpening knives. With carved legend 1846.

8) Two bullet molds, one for ball and one for the .50 caliber bullet. The ball mold marked: "Hall's Rifle".

9) Empty DoPont gunpowder can with illustrated label reading: Indian Rifle Gunpowder.

10) Period spring tension game scale by H. Boker, Germany.

11) Leather-Covered Wood Case for Long Range Sharps Rifle Sights Black leather-covered wood case with
    blind tooling, including "SHARPS RIFLE CO./BRIDGEPORT CONN." on lid;
    interior lined with purple satin and velvet.

All contained in a custom-crafted oak and walnut case with locking hasps.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
taken from here https://www.collectorebooks.com/gregg01/usantique/Lot-121.htm

here are some articles for you:

http://www.gunsandammo.com/editorial/scientific-buffalo-hunter/247855

http://www.pbs.org/weta/thewest/resources/archives/five/buffalo.htm

https://books.google.com/books?id=YAuOtMgfmC0C&pg=PA199&lpg=PA199&dq=buffalo+hunters+reloading+kit&source=bl&ots=7rdUYs_m7H&sig=ACfU3U2XnLUsVNo9CuOGihsaBNS6OkVl9A&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj11tXb8vjgAhUB04MKHVGRDQ8Q6AEwDXoECAEQAQ#v=onepage&q=buffalo%20hunters%20reloading%20kit&f=false


Try searching the forum for articles and threads on buffalo hunters.

Dixie Gun Works and Track of the Wolf have some exxcellent books on the topic.

Mr Google is your friend, as is your local public librarian. Real Librarians love to help folks research
well-thought-out projects. It is literally what they trained for ( as opposed to sticking books in shelves).

have fun.

prof marvel

E..) What efforts are made to deal with the I evitable lead builldup?
« Last Edit: March 10, 2019, 08:50:23 pm by Professor Marvel »
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Offline Bruce W Sims

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Re: Valdez is Coming
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2019, 09:38:57 am »
Fantastic!

If I have any other questions now, they ain't worth askin.

Thanks so very much for al the info. It's exactly what I needed.

Best Wishes,

Bruce
Best Wishes,

Bruce

Offline Professor Marvel

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Re: Valdez is Coming
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2019, 05:45:17 pm »
happy I could help a bit bruce
good luck on your journey

yhs
prf mvl
Your Humble Servant
~~~~~Professor Algernon Horatio Ubiquitous Marvel The First~~~~~~
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