Posted by mykeal: Spangenberger, like many magazine writers, claims evidence exists but fails to provide a credible citation. A true historian would have provided a bibliography specifying the documentation he claims supports his thesis.
Space and word count limitations, my dear Mr. or Ms. mykeal. A fact of life. How many short magazine articles contain footnotes and bibliographies?
By the way, one only has to read the 5 comments following his editorial (for that's all it is) to see what credibility it lacks.
First, three of the five are written by the same person. One of them states that Spangenberger cited the illustration of the fancy Remingtons as substantiation. He did not. Great picture--probably chosen by the publisher.
I haven't read the work of R.L. Wilson, Roy Marcot, or R. Bruce McDowell on the subject, nor do I recall seeing the photos, but I have seen photos of real and faked Baby Dragoon Colts with extra cylinders which, as I recall, were taken by or for John S. duMont and/or either Lucian Cary or Herb Glass.
The second refers to large caliber, heavy revolvers. They had loading levers, and anyone who could carry one could carry two--better than an extra cylinder.
The third is just an attack on Spangenberger. Says he did not provide documentation. It does not dispute his citations of Wilson, Marcot, or McDowell.
The fourth refers to literacy stats. I'm not a student of the subject, but I have to question the census report of 95% literacy in a nation of new immigrants. Fact is, many cavalry recruits were illiterate. Might there not have been others?
The fifth cites instructions that reportedly came with 1849 Pocket revolvers and 1851 Navy revolvers and that state “The cylinder is not to be taken off when loaded.” Duh! They had loading levers that cannot be used
with the cylinder removed. Doesn't say you cannot remove a loaded cylinder.
The early Patersons, Wells Fargo models, and most Baby Dragoons did not have loading levers. The cylinders were loaded when removed from the firearm.
Uberti and Beretta literature for their replicas state that the Pony Express riders preferred Baby Dragoons.
I read the same thing in 1950.
And then there's Pony Bob's account....
It does make sense that someone who had to weigh less than 120 pounds and who rode fast on a horse carrying mail that bought in revenues of more than a dollar per half ounce in a bag containing a maximum of twenty pounds would choose a very light revolver, and most probably only one, and that an extra cylinder would be desirable.
I personally doubt that carrying extra cylinders was very common among others, but trying to prove a negative is a losing poposition.