Author Topic: Did they reload?  (Read 14596 times)

Offline Abilene

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Re: Did they reload?
« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2019, 11:46:50 AM »
1875 Winchester catalog lists prices for a large number of rimfire and centerfire cartridges.  45 Colt was $24 per 1000 cartridges.  2.4 cents each.  Now, that is buying in quantity, but still...

44 W.C.F. was 2 cents.  22 Short were the cheapest at 0.6 cents each in quantity.

Offline Delmonico

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Re: Did they reload?
« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2019, 05:56:16 PM »
Well this is an interesting thread, humm, most cowboys worked 7 days a week, got paid basically $1 a day, but can afford to pay 84% of a days wages for a box of ammo to practice?

That's kinda funny since a lot of cowboys didn't handguns or even a rifle or shotgun, many ranchers didn't allow their workers to be armed.

Besides what were they practicing for, them new fangled moving pictures that were about to come out showing a very distorted story of how cowboys lived.

And no, few people reloaded their own ammo, although one famous ranch owner did, rumors that probably could not be confirmed either way says he did actually load ammo
In that big white mansion at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in the District of Columbia. 
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Offline Montana Slim

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Re: Did they reload?
« Reply #22 on: August 25, 2019, 09:51:03 AM »
Common practice for ordinary folks to load their own shotshells for those new breech loaders. First with all brass shells. This can be seen with the vast number of individual tools & a few complete kits I've seen at estate sales & auctions. Likely that many ordinary folks reloaded rifle cartridges as well, especially if they had powder & primers on hand for shotshells.

Anyone previously familiar with a percussion revolver was likely still "reloading? them as well.

Gunslingers, outlaws & lawmen? Not hardly....at least during their professional career days.

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Offline Delmonico

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Re: Did they reload?
« Reply #23 on: August 25, 2019, 11:02:16 AM »
Actually the paper shell pre-dated the brass shell. 

Also most don't realize that factory paper shot shells were sold loaded, but with out shot till the late 1880' to early 90's. 

This is mostly due to the fact that the industry had not settled on a standard shotsize.

The industry settled on the Tatum  sizing as used by the shot tower of that name out of St Louis.  This is the same system used in the US today.

Same as rifles, few people other than market hunters reloaded.
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Offline Rye Miles

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Re: Did they reload?
« Reply #24 on: August 25, 2019, 07:15:14 PM »
Well this is an interesting thread, humm, most cowboys worked 7 days a week, got paid basically $1 a day, but can afford to pay 84% of a days wages for a box of ammo to practice?

That's kinda funny since a lot of cowboys didn't handguns or even a rifle or shotgun, many ranchers didn't allow their workers to be armed.

Besides what were they practicing for, them new fangled moving pictures that were about to come out showing a very distorted story of how cowboys lived.

And no, few people reloaded their own ammo, although one famous ranch owner did, rumors that probably could not be confirmed either way says he did actually load ammo
In that big white mansion at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in the District of Columbia.

Well they wouldn't have bought a box every day! They probably spent more than that on booze and hookers! LOL
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Re: Did they reload?
« Reply #25 on: Today at 09:06:44 AM »

Offline Delmonico

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Re: Did they reload?
« Reply #25 on: August 25, 2019, 10:33:45 PM »
Probably bought a box every couple years or so.

In a Andy Adam's book Log of a Cowboy, he tells about them spotting a bear and them all gathering their guns and many having to borrow ammo to load  up with.

The average cowboy shot very little and of course didn't reload.

I have read a lot of books with first hand accounts of life in the era and the only accounts of anyone reloading ammo who weren't market hunters of some type was the period the army made companies reload practice ammo, a dismal failure also. 

The other was Maria Sandoz's accounts in her book Old Jules, of her dad reloading ammo.

Very unusual, but Jules Sandoz practiced a lot, something few had the time or money for.



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Offline Chance

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Re: Did they reload?
« Reply #26 on: August 26, 2019, 11:43:39 AM »
If reloading wasn't common, why were there so many reloading tools available and who bought them?

Chance

Offline Delmonico

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Re: Did they reload?
« Reply #27 on: August 26, 2019, 03:34:38 PM »
Many not common tools survive because they were durable and expensive.

I've seen a lot of amputation sets for sale, don't think that means a lot of people bought and used them.

If you can find the information that says a lot of people owned guns and reloaded, then we would be glad to see it.
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Offline Rye Miles

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Re: Did they reload?
« Reply #28 on: August 26, 2019, 07:37:38 PM »
Probably bought a box every couple years or so.

In a Andy Adam's book Log of a Cowboy, he tells about them spotting a bear and them all gathering their guns and many having to borrow ammo to load  up with.

The average cowboy shot very little and of course didn't reload.

I have read a lot of books with first hand accounts of life in the era and the only accounts of anyone reloading ammo who weren't market hunters of some type was the period the army made companies reload practice ammo, a dismal failure also. 

The other was Maria Sandoz's accounts in her book Old Jules, of her dad reloading ammo.

Very unusual, but Jules Sandoz practiced a lot, something few had the time or money for.

The cowboys didn't shoot much I agree but I'm sure the lawman and bad guys bought more than a box in a couple years. Probably more like a box a month I would guess and maybe more. The bad guys probably had more money and could afford to buy or even steal more ammo than that. ;D
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Offline Delmonico

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Re: Did they reload?
« Reply #29 on: August 26, 2019, 09:01:26 PM »
The cowboys didn't shoot much I agree but I'm sure the lawman and bad guys bought more than a box in a couple years. Probably more like a box a month I would guess and maybe more. The bad guys probably had more money and could afford to buy or even steal more ammo than that. ;D

Guessing ain't proof, documentation is proof and I've spend a lot of  hours researching in and I am convinced that the only people who did reloading were almost all market hunters of some form and Target shooters, which was a big money sport in both prizes and being able to afford the equipment. 

But if you have documentation that I haven't seen, I'm open minded enough to change.😉
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Re: Did they reload?
« Reply #30 on: Today at 09:06:44 AM »

Offline Rye Miles

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Re: Did they reload?
« Reply #30 on: August 28, 2019, 07:36:56 AM »
Guessing ain't proof, documentation is proof and I've spend a lot of  hours researching in and I am convinced that the only people who did reloading were almost all market hunters of some form and Target shooters, which was a big money sport in both prizes and being able to afford the equipment. 

But if you have documentation that I haven't seen, I'm open minded enough to change.😉

I have no documentation, I'm just using common sense. Lawman and outlaws had more money than the average person and I assume they had more ammo too! Just MHO
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Offline Professor Marvel

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Re: Did they reload?
« Reply #31 on: August 29, 2019, 01:43:42 AM »
I have no documentation, I'm just using common sense. Lawman and outlaws had more money than the average person and I assume they had more ammo too! Just MHO

Greetings My Good Monsieur Miles -

Firstly I have to point out that if a lawman had more spendable income, he also had more responsibilities and bills... like a house and family,
"office expenses" and the fact that many had to supply their own equipment, horses, tack, guns and ammunition at their own expense ... and some even had to
feed prisoners out of their own pocket! Thus trying to discern what any one fellow would spend his money on back then is literally a guessing game.

Secondly, With all respect, "common sense" is ok for casual chat in a modern setting, but here we are in the CAS City Historical Society Subforum....

To dicsuss History seriously, We  deal in provable facts, otherwise we are no better than the Stoopid Movies who throw actual history to wind for the sake of a story.

so, for Actual History, unfortunately, documentation and confirmed provenance  are absolute requirements.

Otherwise we are merely speculating based upon our moderns ways and thoughts , not very different form "blowing smoke".
It's no different than the boys who use 2 part epoxy for historically accurate repairs, claiming "if they had it they woulda used it"

But "they didn't have it" , they used hide glue.

Speculation, Assumption, and attributing "modern thought" to people in the distant past have led many a scholar down the garden path
to being Utterly and Embarasingly Wrong.... :-)

A stunning example is the utter lack of basic hygiene. ACTUAL SURGEONS wore the same stiff and bloody leather aprons without cleaning
every time they cut open a patient, or performed amputations. They operated without even washing their hands and actually prided themselves
on how bloody their surgical apron was. It was not until ~1870 that Dr Joseph Lister ( yes, the Listerene guy) proved over and over that
washing hands, instrumants, and the patient's wounds in diluted carbolic acid virtually stopped all infections.

Even in 1873 the  the medical journal The Lancet warned the entire medical profession against his progressive ideas, and he was openly
mocked as late as 1890.

It would be "common sense" from our perspective that any doctor "ought to have" at least washed his hands.... But documentation shows us
that none of them did!

No disrespect intended, merely attempting to shed some light on the matter.

So without any sunstantiated doco, no one can really say if a lawman reloaded or bought ammuntion or how much he shot or practised.

We DO Know that back in Washington the Generals considered live fire practice (and repating firearms) a waste of money and proveded little
funds for it.  how do we know this?

from  https://armyhistory.org/the-springfield-model-1873-rifle/
" most soldiers in the decades following the Civil War did not receive any significant marksmanship training.  Most soldiers were only given ten cartridges a month with which to practice, and some units did not even receive that much.  In 1877, Lieutenant Stephen Mills stated that ?target practice was practically unknown.  I think the allowance of ammunition was twenty rounds a year.?  By 1878, the state of marksmanship training had become so bad that the Department of the Pacific ordered .58 caliber muzzle-loading rifle-muskets to be taken out of storage so that troops could practice shooting."

and

from "The U.S. Army in the West, 1870-1880: Uniforms, Weapons, and Equipment  By Douglas C. McChristian"
"The Springfield breechloader's power, accuracy, and sustained rate of fire made it an effective weapon for such conditions.
Of course, this was based on the premise that the troops would be trained as capable combat marksmen. In reality, most soldiers
serving in the 1870's were not good marksmen because of the lack of formal training and because of the severe restrictions placed
on the amount of ammunition used for target practice. "

Today, "Common Sense" would make it obvious that a soldier needed
1) an ammunition allotment
2) training
3) time for practice

Back Then the thinking was that all the above was a waste of money.

We DO know that there were pistol and rifle shooting clubs back east and in California, we have their records and newspaper stories.
We DO know that market hunters reloaded and engaged in casual competition from the news paper account and bills and recipets.
We don't know "how much" the average guy or Law Enforcement type practiced

The New York City police Department did not have mandatory pistol practice until 1895 when Teddy Roosevelt took over
           see http://nychistory.blogspot.com/2007/02/theodore-roosevelt-and-nyc.html

BTW over here
https://libraryguides.missouri.edu/pricesandwages/1880-1889

is the single best documented source of prices and wages I have ever found. Research Librarians are your Friends! Use Them Wisely!

I will do some esoteric looking and see if I can find anything useful to contribute

yhs
prof marvel
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Offline Rye Miles

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Re: Did they reload?
« Reply #32 on: August 29, 2019, 07:59:20 AM »
Greetings My Good Monsieur Miles -

Firstly I have to point out that if a lawman had more spendable income, he also had more responsibilities and bills... like a house and family,
"office expenses" and the fact that many had to supply their own equipment, horses, tack, guns and ammunition at their own expense ... and some even had to
feed prisoners out of their own pocket! Thus trying to discern what any one fellow would spend his money on back then is literally a guessing game.

Secondly, With all respect, "common sense" is ok for casual chat in a modern setting, but here we are in the CAS City Historical Society Subforum....

To dicsuss History seriously, We  deal in provable facts, otherwise we are no better than the Stoopid Movies who throw actual history to wind for the sake of a story.

so, for Actual History, unfortunately, documentation and confirmed provenance  are absolute requirements.

Otherwise we are merely speculating based upon our moderns ways and thoughts , not very different form "blowing smoke".
It's no different than the boys who use 2 part epoxy for historically accurate repairs, claiming "if they had it they woulda used it"

But "they didn't have it" , they used hide glue.

Speculation, Assumption, and attributing "modern thought" to people in the distant past have led many a scholar down the garden path
to being Utterly and Embarasingly Wrong.... :-)

A stunning example is the utter lack of basic hygiene. ACTUAL SURGEONS wore the same stiff and bloody leather aprons without cleaning
every time they cut open a patient, or performed amputations. They operated without even washing their hands and actually prided themselves
on how bloody their surgical apron was. It was not until ~1870 that Dr Joseph Lister ( yes, the Listerene guy) proved over and over that
washing hands, instrumants, and the patient's wounds in diluted carbolic acid virtually stopped all infections.

Even in 1873 the  the medical journal The Lancet warned the entire medical profession against his progressive ideas, and he was openly
mocked as late as 1890.

It would be "common sense" from our perspective that any doctor "ought to have" at least washed his hands.... But documentation shows us
that none of them did!

No disrespect intended, merely attempting to shed some light on the matter.

So without any sunstantiated doco, no one can really say if a lawman reloaded or bought ammuntion or how much he shot or practised.

We DO Know that back in Washington the Generals considered live fire practice (and repating firearms) a waste of money and proveded little
funds for it.  how do we know this?

from  https://armyhistory.org/the-springfield-model-1873-rifle/
" most soldiers in the decades following the Civil War did not receive any significant marksmanship training.  Most soldiers were only given ten cartridges a month with which to practice, and some units did not even receive that much.  In 1877, Lieutenant Stephen Mills stated that ?target practice was practically unknown.  I think the allowance of ammunition was twenty rounds a year.?  By 1878, the state of marksmanship training had become so bad that the Department of the Pacific ordered .58 caliber muzzle-loading rifle-muskets to be taken out of storage so that troops could practice shooting."

and

from "The U.S. Army in the West, 1870-1880: Uniforms, Weapons, and Equipment  By Douglas C. McChristian"
"The Springfield breechloader's power, accuracy, and sustained rate of fire made it an effective weapon for such conditions.
Of course, this was based on the premise that the troops would be trained as capable combat marksmen. In reality, most soldiers
serving in the 1870's were not good marksmen because of the lack of formal training and because of the severe restrictions placed
on the amount of ammunition used for target practice. "

Today, "Common Sense" would make it obvious that a soldier needed
1) an ammunition allotment
2) training
3) time for practice

Back Then the thinking was that all the above was a waste of money.

We DO know that there were pistol and rifle shooting clubs back east and in California, we have their records and newspaper stories.
We DO know that market hunters reloaded and engaged in casual competition from the news paper account and bills and recipets.
We don't know "how much" the average guy or Law Enforcement type practiced

The New York City police Department did not have mandatory pistol practice until 1895 when Teddy Roosevelt took over
           see http://nychistory.blogspot.com/2007/02/theodore-roosevelt-and-nyc.html

BTW over here
https://libraryguides.missouri.edu/pricesandwages/1880-1889

is the single best documented source of prices and wages I have ever found. Research Librarians are your Friends! Use Them Wisely!

I will do some esoteric looking and see if I can find anything useful to contribute

yhs
prof marvel


Sorry that I expressed an opinion of mine, I guess that's not wanted here! Fine, I'll never bother you again! ::)
Northeast Ohio

God created man, Sam Colt made them equal

Offline Professor Marvel

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Re: Did they reload?
« Reply #33 on: August 29, 2019, 02:14:38 PM »

Sorry that I expressed an opinion of mine, I guess that's not wanted here! Fine, I'll never bother you again! ::)

We value opinions, just in the right place. In a fact-based discussion forum of actual history one must be careful of opinions.

One can have opinions about established events or people, with supporting evidence such as
"It is my opinion that Gen Custer was a poor stradegist and tactician, and egotistical to boot,  based on xyz,"

However In discussions of Actual History itself  we deal only in facts backed up by supportable documentation.
Anything else is literally fiction or falsehood.

We can have opinions about the source of a story or doco, in which case multiple sources are key.

An excellent example is the so-called Biography of Wyatt Earp by Frank Waters, "The Earp Brothers of Tombstone" (1960)
Waters was a 20th century novelist and opted for a fiction-based smear of the Earps, some called it  historical fraud.
detailed info can be found at  http://www.tombstonehistoryarchives.com/?page_id=110

Anything else is like trying to argue an opinion that "gravity is a myth" or "the moon is made of green cheese".

no offense meant, just that this forum is all about provable facts.

hope this helps
Prof Marvel
Your Humble Servant
~~~~~Professor Algernon Horatio Ubiquitous Marvel The First~~~~~~
President, CEO, Chairman,  and Chief Bottle Washer of
Professor Marvel's
Traveling Apothecary
and
Fortune Telling Emporium


Acclaimed By The Crowned Heads of Europe
Purveyor of Patent Remedies, Snake Oil, Powder, Percussion Caps, Cleaning Supplies, Dry Goods,
and
Picture Postcards

Offering Unwanted Advice for All Occasions
and
Providing Useless Items to the Gentry
Since 1822
[
Available by Appointment for Lectures on Any Topic

Offline Will Ketchum

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Re: Did they reload?
« Reply #34 on: August 29, 2019, 03:40:40 PM »

Sorry that I expressed an opinion of mine, I guess that's not wanted here! Fine, I'll never bother you again! ::)

Rye, that would be your loss. The good professor was trying to be helpful. He meant no disrespect. If you remain here, in this particular forum you will learn a lot. I have degrees in history and still often learn things here.
Don't be thin skinned. Historians can't afford that.
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Offline Rye Miles

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Re: Did they reload?
« Reply #35 on: August 29, 2019, 07:14:39 PM »
We value opinions, just in the right place. In a fact-based discussion forum of actual history one must be careful of opinions.

One can have opinions about established events or people, with supporting evidence such as
"It is my opinion that Gen Custer was a poor stradegist and tactician, and egotistical to boot,  based on xyz,"

However In discussions of Actual History itself  we deal only in facts backed up by supportable documentation.
Anything else is literally fiction or falsehood.

We can have opinions about the source of a story or doco, in which case multiple sources are key.

An excellent example is the so-called Biography of Wyatt Earp by Frank Waters, "The Earp Brothers of Tombstone" (1960)
Waters was a 20th century novelist and opted for a fiction-based smear of the Earps, some called it  historical fraud.
detailed info can be found at  http://www.tombstonehistoryarchives.com/?page_id=110

Anything else is like trying to argue an opinion that "gravity is a myth" or "the moon is made of green cheese".

no offense meant, just that this forum is all about provable facts.

hope this helps
Prof Marvel

Professor, you haven't shown me one bit of "fact" that would counter what I'm saying. There are no facts from people about how much ammo they bought or if they reloaded. Papers didn't write about people's personal purchases such as ammo or shovels or grain etc. This whole post is based on the premise that people may or may NOT reloaded. As a matter of fact it is a question open to discussion. I figured it WAS open to discussion and no one has shown me anything factual at all about the original question. The only thing factual was what I put on that a box of .45Colt cartridges cost $.84 according to the 1897 Sears catalog which I used as an argument against someone that said a .45 Colt round cost .25cents!

If you go back and re-read the comments, everyone was giving their opinion without any historical fact to back it up. Someone said they read many books on this subject, I asked who the authors were and what books they were. No response. I feel like I was singled out because I was going "against the grain" and not agreeing with everyone. Talk about thin skinned as someone said, it certainly isn't me!
Northeast Ohio

God created man, Sam Colt made them equal

Offline Black River Smith

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Re: Did they reload?
« Reply #36 on: August 29, 2019, 07:47:42 PM »
Ok, I have come back in, to this discussions with just one new piece of info from one of the 70+ books that I own.  This is I think the only reloading box and tools directly owned by a ranch hand, that according to the authors.  The photo can be found in Cowboys & the Trappings of the Old West.  The photo is on page 102 at the bottom of the page and consists of an 1882 pattern Win tong tool; a Win early bullet mold(no wood handles); fired brass; tins of primers; and a box of molded bullets.

The authors text associated to this photo states "Ammunition was expensive in the Old West, and many revolvers took unusual cartridges that were not easily available.  Cowboys often had plenty of time in the winter to reload their own bullets.  Inexpensive hand-held pliers-like reloading tools were popular.  These kits only cost about $2 during the early 1880s.  This one was used on a ranch in Lincoln, New Mexico, during the 1880s." 

Now this book has items that cover a wide timeframe even into the '30s and maybe '40s movie era.  But this item is supposedly dated to the 1880's.

Now one photo does not mean that eveyone did, like I eluded to earlier, but it is a beginning for doubting that no-one did reload and everyone bought factory.

Rye, with over 70 books I doubt I will find my earlier comments.  My books range from the full leather bound Time Life series; to all of the RL Wilson books; to most of the Rosa book; to first hand account from known gunfighter, Texas rangers, cowboys, buffalo hunters, and well known persons of the western history.  Also, that book count does not include books on specific Western weapons, the Civil War and WWII history.  History is my second education.  Also, I do not have the inclination to look for something, I remember reading, 30 years ago.  I doubt it would change anyone's beliefs.

Del,  I do wish I had some of the personal first hand account books that you made reference too earlier they sound very interesting.  Just never ran into them.  May have to start looking for some of them.

Black River Smith

Offline Rye Miles

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Re: Did they reload?
« Reply #37 on: August 30, 2019, 06:43:19 AM »
Ok, I have come back in, to this discussions with just one new piece of info from one of the 70+ books that I own.  This is I think the only reloading box and tools directly owned by a ranch hand, that according to the authors.  The photo can be found in Cowboys & the Trappings of the Old West.  The photo is on page 102 at the bottom of the page and consists of an 1882 pattern Win tong tool; a Win early bullet mold(no wood handles); fired brass; tins of primers; and a box of molded bullets.

The authors text associated to this photo states "Ammunition was expensive in the Old West, and many revolvers took unusual cartridges that were not easily available.  Cowboys often had plenty of time in the winter to reload their own bullets.  Inexpensive hand-held pliers-like reloading tools were popular.  These kits only cost about $2 during the early 1880s.  This one was used on a ranch in Lincoln, New Mexico, during the 1880s." 

Now this book has items that cover a wide timeframe even into the '30s and maybe '40s movie era.  But this item is supposedly dated to the 1880's.

Now one photo does not mean that eveyone did, like I eluded to earlier, but it is a beginning for doubting that no-one did reload and everyone bought factory.

Rye, with over 70 books I doubt I will find my earlier comments.  My books range from the full leather bound Time Life series; to all of the RL Wilson books; to most of the Rosa book; to first hand account from known gunfighter, Texas rangers, cowboys, buffalo hunters, and well known persons of the western history.  Also, that book count does not include books on specific Western weapons, the Civil War and WWII history.  History is my second education.  Also, I do not have the inclination to look for something, I remember reading, 30 years ago.  I doubt it would change anyone's beliefs.

Del,  I do wish I had some of the personal first hand account books that you made reference too earlier they sound very interesting.  Just never ran into them.  May have to start looking for some of them.

 I have a lot of the same books you've mentioned and I've read countless biographies of lawmen and outlaws. I've been a student of the Old West for as long as I can remember and I'm 72! 8)
Northeast Ohio

God created man, Sam Colt made them equal

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: Did they reload?
« Reply #38 on: August 30, 2019, 04:56:56 PM »

 :D  Personally.  Seriously.  I can't recall a single person .... whom I could ask .... whom was actually there and would have first person knowledge.  The myriad of tomes I have had access to .... were also written by persons without actual timely observation.  Those who were there, mostly didn't write anything down.  Histerakly there isn't a lot of concrete.  Oh .... almost forgot.  I really don't care.  It doesn't really matter.  Those guys had guns.  They bought ammunition.  They shot their guns with that ammunition.  When they ran out of ammunition, they got more.  Or emulated Lester More.

Offline Rye Miles

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Re: Did they reload?
« Reply #39 on: August 30, 2019, 07:11:40 PM »
:D  Personally.  Seriously.  I can't recall a single person .... whom I could ask .... whom was actually there and would have first person knowledge.  The myriad of tomes I have had access to .... were also written by persons without actual timely observation.  Those who were there, mostly didn't write anything down.  Histerakly there isn't a lot of concrete.  Oh .... almost forgot.  I really don't care.  It doesn't really matter.  Those guys had guns.  They bought ammunition.  They shot their guns with that ammunition.  When they ran out of ammunition, they got more.  Or emulated Lester More.

+100000
Northeast Ohio

God created man, Sam Colt made them equal

 

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