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cohoskip
September 23, 2010, 04:56 PM
I watched this old movie again the other day. I'm no expert on wheel guns, and I wonder what it was that Clint was carrying in that movie. When reloading, he replaced the whole cylinder...

Jo6pak
September 23, 2010, 04:58 PM
I believe he carries a Colt 1851 Army. but it's been awhile since I saw that movie. so I could be mistaken.

4runnerman
September 23, 2010, 05:06 PM
No idea here either,But what a great Movie...

gwnorth
September 23, 2010, 05:23 PM
http://www.imfdb.org/index.php?title=The_Outlaw_Josey_Wales

Colt walkers apparently as his pair of primary holster guns.

jaydubya
September 23, 2010, 05:25 PM
In the movie "Gettysburg" the actor playing Colonel Chamberlain of the 20th Maine (Jeff Daniels) did the same thing -- and did it with some skill at that. I had no idea it could be done, and checked with the black powder site guys. And yes, that was the quickest way to reload a percussion revolver, but you have to know what you are doing or it will cause lots of problems. Most people of that era preferred to carry several revolvers. During Texas's independence, Texas Rangers often had five or six of them on themselves and their horses.

By the way, Samuel Colt called his invention a revolving pistol. I consider his opinion to be definitive: a revolver is a pistol.

Cordially, Jack

rickyjames
September 23, 2010, 05:39 PM
i'm wondering if you actually mean josey wales or do you mean pale rider. i don't remember him replacing the cylinders in josey wales. in pale rider he used a 1858 remington which was designed to be able to change cylinders quickly. the colt type guns actually need to have a wedge removed that holds the barrel to the frame so you can remove the barrel and the remove the cylinder. the remington cylinder can be remove and a new one installed in a matter of seconds.

mdemetz
September 23, 2010, 05:43 PM
He does it also in Pale Rider (http://www.imfdb.org/index.php/Pale_Rider) with the Remington 1858 New Army(cartridge conversion).

ice monkey
September 23, 2010, 05:53 PM
Great Flick! Ought to buy that one!

amprecon
September 23, 2010, 05:57 PM
I'm a fan of that one, one of my favs, made me wanna go out and buy a couple of bp revolvers myself :)

DAnjet500
September 23, 2010, 06:47 PM
Recently went to the Camp Perry matches and the NRA had some of Clint's movie guns on display. Glare is from the glass case.

These two Colt Walker reproductions were used in "Josey Wales" and also in "True Grit".
http://i212.photobucket.com/albums/cc240/DansCobra/Clint001.jpg

Remington New Model Army used in "Pale Rider".
http://i212.photobucket.com/albums/cc240/DansCobra/Clint003.jpg

And of course, the most famous of all movie guns. The emblem on the grip is to John Milius, who wrote some of the famous lines in "Dirty Harry".
http://i212.photobucket.com/albums/cc240/DansCobra/Clint002.jpg

Dfariswheel
September 23, 2010, 07:01 PM
There is a hazard with carrying loaded black powder cylinders.

It does give you a faster reload, but you better not fumble it and drop the cylinder. If it lands on a percussion cap, the cylinder will fire a round with enough force to easily kill.

Manco
September 23, 2010, 07:11 PM
in pale rider he used a 1858 remington which was designed to be able to change cylinders quickly. the colt type guns actually need to have a wedge removed that holds the barrel to the frame so you can remove the barrel and the remove the cylinder. the remington cylinder can be remove and a new one installed in a matter of seconds.

That's right, all of the parts in the Remington except for the cylinder are captive, and no tools are required to remove the cylinder. The theory is that you can swap cylinders about as quickly as most people can use a modern speedloader (and faster than portrayed in "Pale Rider"), and this certainly can be demonstrated with both the real vintage pistols and modern reproductions, as shown in the following video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3rj89cqQQ8

However, in actual practice even after one or two cylinders have been fired, it can become a lot harder and slower to swap cylinders, and the gun being hot doesn't make it any easier, as hickok45 shows in the following video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KK6Qr7qmSvY#t=17m11s

shepherddogs
September 23, 2010, 07:55 PM
Dfaris wheel is correct. And dying aint much of a livin.

deputy fife
September 23, 2010, 07:57 PM
After you take those six shots with a revolver, I would like to see someone try and reload a bp cylinder in combat. They normally had multiple cylinders with them. To go into a fight with one cylinder, a handful of balls, some lose primers and powder would be like bring six rounds, and a reloading press into battle with nowhere to bolt the press down. And the cylinders pop right out (mine takes a little work and the persuasion of a thick stick).

steelbird
September 23, 2010, 08:56 PM
In some cases, there were paper cartridges available for pistol rounds - at least, I've been informed of this. This would take care of the issue of pouring powder and then loading the ball, as the paper was soaked in nitrate and dried before being used to make the cartridge. Just smash the whole thing in the chamber with the loading lever. If the paper didn't break too easily, exposing the powder directly to the cap, then the cap should have ignited the paper, and thus, the powder. I don't know how common the paper cartridges for the revolvers were. This still leaves the issue of getting the caps on, though - it's tricky enough to get the things on one at a time without a capper. I can't imagine it was easy to get those little things on each nipple while guys are either shooting at you our charging with bayonets, knives, musket butts, fists, and sheer determination to kill the hell out of you......

44 AMP
September 23, 2010, 09:02 PM
And I don't think it was used at all, or only rarely back in the cap and ball days. If swapping the cylinders were common, it would be a much more featured item in both the real and fictional histories.

Having and using a second gun was much, much more common, and much more likely.

The historical accounts indicate that, other than a very small number of "experts" (like Hickok) "two gun" gunslingers carried and used the second one as a fast reload, instead of both at once.

teumessian_fox
September 23, 2010, 09:42 PM
"two gun" gunslingers carried and used the second one as a fast reload, instead of both at once.


Hence the one armed deputy in "Unforgiven." "Clyde, you've only got one arm. Why do you need all those guns?" "Cause I don't want to get shot for lack of shooting back."

Sound wisdom.

rickyjames
September 23, 2010, 09:59 PM
i think in "pale rider" the 1858 remington was a cartridge conversion and not a cap and ball revolver. you can still do a cartridge conversion on todays replicas.

Jimmy10mm
September 23, 2010, 10:28 PM
Here is a pic of a young Jesse James 'armed to the teeth' when he rode with Quantrill's Raiders. In more than one bio I've read on Jesse and other 'bushwhackers' it was not uncommon to carry multiple revolvers as well as some fastened to the pommel of the saddle.

http://i126.photobucket.com/albums/p120/jimmytat2/JesseJames.jpg

bamaranger
September 24, 2010, 02:07 AM
Hey, in D-jet500 photo, I'm pretty sure that the revolver on the left is a version of one of the Dragoon model, note the loading lever lock and the different shaped and sized bolt notches, sort of an improved Walker, which is indeed, I believe what the rev on the right represents (Walker). They sure aren't identical.

therealdeal
September 24, 2010, 02:47 AM
on ice

madcratebuilder
September 24, 2010, 06:59 AM
And I don't think it was used at all, or only rarely back in the cap and ball days. If swapping the cylinders were common, it would be a much more featured item in both the real and fictional histories.

Having and using a second gun was much, much more common, and much more likely.

This is correct. If you check the records from Colt and what few survive from Remington you well see that very few 'extra' cylinders were sold. Most of the ones that were sold ended up in cased sets.

Swapping cylinders in a cap and ball revolver is a 'Hollywood' phenomenon. It was common practice to carry as many revolvers as you could if you thought you needed the fire power.

Don P
September 24, 2010, 07:45 AM
As the photos show the only way to swap out cylinders on the Colt Walkers would be to remove the barrel and frame as like in a open top. had to be the wrong movie Pale rider is the cylinder swap

Rifleman1776
September 24, 2010, 08:08 AM
There is a hazard with carrying loaded black powder cylinders.

True. There is also a hazard to fighting a war. And a greater hazard trying to fight a war with an empty gun. There have always been safety comprimises for the sake of firepower when fighting a war.
I don't know how "common" it was to change cylinders but the practice is well documented.

Doc Hoy
September 24, 2010, 08:14 AM
Your post was interesting to me because I have never gotten smooth enough with my Remingtons to change out the cylinder as easily as Eastwood did in Pale Rider. I have practiced at it and I simply can not get the cylinder to go in without a little bit of yutzing.

Others in this forum have said that they are good with changing cylinders on their Remingtons and can do so as Eastwood did on a pistol they use for shooting and not modified. I don't dispute them, I simply can't match them.

It has always been my position that his pistol (the one used in that scene and perhaps only that scene) was modified so that he could do it as he does.

When you said "Remington which was designed to change cylinders quickly" did you mean that you are aware of some modification which was made to the very pistol that Eastwood used, or did you mean that Remingtons cylinder change quickly simply because of the design of the pistol? (Which, of course is true.)

BlueTrain
September 24, 2010, 08:25 AM
Using pre-assembled paper cartridges was the rule (meaning the common method) during the percussion period, as well as earlier. I believe that boxed pistol cartridges were even available for civilian purchase and the museum in Cody, Wyoming, has some on display. These are paper cartridges and came six to a box usually. You still had to deal with loose caps.

For military use I'm certain rifled musket ammunition was only issued out in cartridge form and I think they came in bundles, tied together. From what I have read in army manuals from the period and earlier, they may have sometimes been made up by the units themselves but that would probably not have happened during wartime. Ammunition for practice during peacetime was scarce and a soldier would have been fortunate to have as many as 50 rounds annually of ball ammunition. I also gather from some old sources that the shelf life of paper cartridges was short compared to metallic cartridges. Also, paper cartridges could be color coded to indicate blank ammunition. The same source gave a scale of issue of caps to cartridges of something approaching two to one (don't remember the exact numbers), so there was either an expectation of a lot of ignition failure or a high fumble loss rate with the little things.

Hardcase
September 24, 2010, 10:09 AM
What Doc said a couple of posts ago.

The first time I saw Pale Rider, my jaw about dropped open when I saw Clint Eastwood swap the cylinders in that Remington without looking and without anything getting hung up. Oh, I suppose that there may have been a few takes to get it done right, but I thought that it was a pretty darned amazing feat of prestidigitation!

MJN77
September 24, 2010, 10:19 AM
"I don't know how "common" it was to change cylinders but the practice is well documented."

Please show this documentation. I've studied the civil war for over 20years and have found no such documentation. I would seriously like to see it if you have any. If one reads about the "bushwhackers" during the war, one will find they were known to carry as many as 8 revolvers about their person and mount. In the regular cavalry on both sides, paper cartridges were issued for revolvers. In warfare of the day, pistols were rarely used at all in the regular ranks (not talking about bushwhackers and such) The carbine was the main weapon. Some cavalry units went the whole war without firing their pistols in combat. Cavalrymen carried usually no more than 2 revolvers on them at a time but more often than not only 1, and in some cases none. The military didn't put a lot of focus on pistols because as I said, the rifle and carbine were the main weapons just like nowadays. If extra cylinders were as common as some here claim, why then does one not see them in museums? You often see revolvers, rifles, sabres, personal items, and equipment that have been recovered from the battlefields but no cylinders. Why is that? A cylinder would shurley survive as well as a whole revolver, but you never see them. I would figure that if a soldier in the heat of combat could drop an entire gun, one could also drop a cylinder.

MJN77
September 24, 2010, 10:26 AM
"Hey, in D-jet500 photo, I'm pretty sure that the revolver on the left is a version of one of the Dragoon model, note the loading lever lock and the different shaped and sized bolt notches, sort of an improved Walker, which is indeed, I believe what the rev on the right represents (Walker). They sure aren't identical"

The only thing not identical is the end of the loading lever. The one on the left has a dragoon lever and the lever catch dovetailed into the barrel. This was a common modification done back then to keep the lever up. They are both Walkers.

Hawg Haggen
September 24, 2010, 06:20 PM
"I don't know how "common" it was to change cylinders but the practice is well documented."


I'd like to see that too. Just wasn't done.

Hawg Haggen
September 24, 2010, 06:25 PM
I have never gotten smooth enough with my Remingtons to change out the cylinder as easily as Eastwood did in Pale Rider. I have practiced at it and I simply can not get the cylinder to go in without a little bit of yutzing.

Try this, forget about using half cock because the hand interferes. Pull the hammer back just far enough to clear. The hand and bolt will both be retracted and the cylinder will fall in or out from either side.


One thing y'all are forgetting. The west was a drab and boring place. Most people including cowboys didn't wear guns while working or on the range. They didn't expect to get in a gunfight every single day of their lives. They usually only wore them in town. There was no need for the average man to have more than one gun or extra cylinders.

MJN77
September 24, 2010, 06:52 PM
I have even read first hand accounts by some ex-Mosbys rangers about finding safe places to reload their revolvers during a fight. Most of the extrs cylinders made back in the day, were in cased sets as has been mentioned. The plain fact is, there is hardly any evidence at all about spare cylinders used in the 1800s. I have been looking for years. I have studied the "bushwhackers" of the civil war extensively, as these are the men most claimed to have made use of spare cylinders, and have found no mention of them whatsoever. Out of all the many thousands, and thousands of soldiers and civilians that carried and used C&B revolvers in the 1800s I am sure there were a few that used extra cylinders but again, show me the documentation.

Doc Hoy
September 24, 2010, 07:04 PM
I am going to try this. It makes sense.

But in the movie I remember Eastwood operating the cylinder pin with his right hand and slipping the cylinder in place with his left hand. What part of his anatomy was he using the hold the hammer in place, pre-half cock?

I am pretty sure I have the hands right. He put the cylinder into the pistol from the left side.

Hawg Haggen
September 24, 2010, 07:06 PM
I dunno how he did it, been awhile since I've seen it.

Hardy
September 24, 2010, 07:33 PM
Hold on---might be wrong--- but pietta's ad offers the Josey Wales gun that he recovered from the (yankee Red Legs) on his farm after his family was killed and his farm was burned. Um, I too haven't seen this one in awhile, but my recollect was that gun:p was his(Josey's gun) that he had kept hidden and it was either an 1861 n/or 1860 army that was a colt cartridge conversion with tube on right side of barrel w/extractor rod missing. And it was the same gun that the Indian woman snuck up on him and the other indian with. They did not have those during Civil War but maybe 4 or 5 years later! And, he carried 2 Walkers, an 1861 navy, an 1849 pocket and a Sharps throughout movie.

Model-P
September 24, 2010, 09:41 PM
One thing y'all are forgetting. The west was a drab and boring place. Most people including cowboys didn't wear guns while working or on the range. They didn't expect to get in a gunfight every single day of their lives. They usually only wore them in town. There was no need for the average man to have more than one gun or extra cylinders.


They didn't view guns as only good for gunfights. They viewed them as tools. They were used to kill eagles, wolves and coyotes, to obtain camp meat, to shoot wounded animals or their horse if they got hung up in the stirrups of a runaway, etc. There were alot of reasons why the cowboys carried guns, so don't assume all they're good for is gunfights. Sure, rifles and carbines were used more often, but the handgun was an invaluable tool to have on his person when he couldn't reach his longarm.

MJN77
September 24, 2010, 10:48 PM
Actually, Hawg is right. Read about the working cowboy. More often than not, pistols were carried in saddle bags. When working with a rope, a holstered pistol on your hip is just in the way. You, are right about guns being seen as tools, and having many uses. But Hawg said they didn't WEAR them when working, not that they didn't have them. I have to ask, and I am not being sarcastic either, I am sincerly curious, have you ever tried to do manual labor while wearing a loaded sixgun and cartridge belt? I have. I raise cattle. The gun does get in the way and it becomes very uncomfortable quickly. If you read memoirs written by cowboys. Most didn't wear them at work. Also, rifles were mostly left in the wagon or in camp un less there was a reason to have them, wolves in the area, hostile indians in the area, etc...

Hawg Haggen
September 25, 2010, 06:30 PM
More often than not, pistols were carried in saddle bags.

Exactly. And the thing about the runaway horse. Not saying it couldn't or didn't happen but holsters of the day were a pretty snug fit but not tight enough to hold a gun in if it was held upside down and they didn't have hammer thongs or straps to hold a gun in. If you found yourself being drug by one foot hung in a stirrup I would think your first actions would be trying to keep out from under the hooves and trying to get your foot free. By the time you thought of shooting the horse the gun would most likely be gone. If it stayed in place during the fall to start with.

andrewstorm
September 26, 2010, 05:24 AM
Turn the cylinder grass hopper,will it into place,in a liquid motion,and your foe shall be enlightend by your muzzel flash:cool:

Doc Hoy
September 26, 2010, 05:36 AM
Posting at six on Sunday morning.


You and I need to get out more.:rolleyes:

Its raining here so there goes my trip to the range. :mad:

The way you described is about the only way I know how to put the cylinder into the pistol. Problem is, it is hard to do with ones hands on the pistol as Eastwood was holding his.

Hawg Haggen
September 26, 2010, 05:43 AM
here ya go doc. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=610YsqZCtHc&p=0FE3589741D64D24&playnext=1&index=73

Burrhead51
September 26, 2010, 09:24 PM
The Walker Colt was considered to be the Magnum Revolver of it's day, one of the most powerful of the old cap and ball revolvers wasn't it. Clint was also carrying a pair of 36 caliber Colts in a shoulder holster also.

ClemBert
September 26, 2010, 10:01 PM
Hey, in D-jet500 photo, I'm pretty sure that the revolver on the left is a version of one of the Dragoon model, note the loading lever lock and the different shaped and sized bolt notches, sort of an improved Walker, which is indeed, I believe what the rev on the right represents (Walker). They sure aren't identical.

They both look like Walkers to me. Note the wedges are inserted from the right side instead of the left like a Dragoon. It would appear to me that both Walkers have been converted to shoot cartridges. Note the lack of nipples on the cylinders. Also, the one on the left has the recoil shield ground out to accept loading of cartridges from the rear. Also, regarding the one on the left, it is not unheard of that the loading levers were later modified to include a positive latch system like the Dragoons.

http://i212.photobucket.com/albums/cc240/DansCobra/Clint001.jpg

Hawg Haggen
September 27, 2010, 03:31 AM
It would appear to me that both Walkers have been converted to shoot cartridges.

They were converted to .38 spcl.

Doc Hoy
September 27, 2010, 04:04 AM
I remembered it completely backwards.

Hardy
September 29, 2010, 07:45 PM
the movie outlaw jose wales has been confused w/pale rider here. Was it not a cartridge converter he practiced w/in the beginning? On Jose Wales? And the Civil War was still somewhat still active? The cylinder swap in Pale rider is another debate

Devolver
October 4, 2010, 07:27 PM
If you watch that movie in slow motion, he fakes it, he only takes his his hand near his belt which appears to hold cylinders containing cartridges. The prop dept. apparently was lacking in spare bp cylinders.

Hawg Haggen
October 4, 2010, 07:47 PM
Watch the video you can see the other cylinder in his palm.

ClemBert
October 4, 2010, 08:26 PM
They were converted to .38 spcl.

That's disappointing. 45 Colt would have been already been a step back.

Ideal Tool
October 6, 2010, 10:48 PM
Hello, Concerning the flick, Josey Wales, if you look close, the scene at the bridge where they are all loading up for attack...they are opening loading gates & inserting metalic ctg.'s! C'mon Guys! This is the CIVIL WAR. And while Colt would have loved to be able to pedal a revolver like that (it would have had to be in .44 Henry, as no C.F. ctg. were invented yet for American revolvers), there was the little problem of the Rolin White patent...owned by Smith & Wesson...Which gave them sole mfg. rights to a bored thru cylinder.
I must say that Hollywood is getting better with more authentic weapons.