The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The North Corral > Black Powder and Cowboy Action Shooting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old August 5, 2002, 10:13 AM   #26
4V50 Gary
Staff
 
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 17,006
Don't know of a battle that was won exclusively by men armed with the Spencer lever action rifle. But I do know that a company or two of the 66th Ohio who were armed with that "damned Yankee rifle you load on Sunday and shoot all week" - Henry lever action - (Birge's Western Sharpshooters) did hold off the Georgia Militia when they (Sherman's Army) went on the "Great Picnic." Supposedly they dropped over 750 Georgians. Have to check with the Official Records to see what it says about that battle (and the O.R. isn't necessarily the fountain of truth either).

Returning to Booth's Deringer, I like it because of its historical significance. In battle, it would be good for putting oneself out of their misery. BTW, the bullet that killed Abe is suppose to be on display at the Army Medical School in Washington. The gun itself is at Ford's Theatre. Saw it myself two years ago when I was in Washington.

So yes, Darth44, for battle I would stick with the 4 LeMats.
__________________
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old August 5, 2002, 01:14 PM   #27
Cap n ball
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 17, 2000
Posts: 247
Four Lemat revolvers would weigh a little over sixteen pounds. Add another half pound for ball and shot along with powder. The main disadvantage to the Lemat was it's extra weight (they tend to be a little front heavy) and the complicated innards that almost require special tools to break the gun down. I have one and I certainly would want it in a last ditch deal but on horseback I want light and accurate . A brace of .36/.44 caliber Remingtons or Colts weigh half as much and wouldn't tire me out so quick. They would also be more serviceable out in the field. Don't misunderstand please, I love the Lemat. Being completely honest with myself I know that I just don't have the strength to hold one at arms length and shoot straight for more than ten minutes whilst on a galloping horse with the reigns between my teeth dodging bullets. You have to remember the fatigue factor. It didn't always hold true but most engagements between heavily armed combatants in the days before modern warfare were short and alot of the casualties occured in the closing moments when everyone was near exhaustion. Try swinging an ax or a broadsword for a half an hour sometime.

Last edited by Cap n ball; August 5, 2002 at 02:21 PM.
Cap n ball is offline  
Old August 5, 2002, 06:49 PM   #28
DARTH 44
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 25, 2002
Location: Europe
Posts: 138
Oh yes,oh YES! more excellent input.Thanks
There`s no doubt about it,the Savage revolver is a really freak-looking gun,and its ergonomics must have been horrible.
Talk about recoil control!
Surprisingly this 36cal. six shooter ranks as the fourth in production figures with around 12000 units sold under contract.

Chainfire in the Spencer rifle?
The Civil War Spencers fired 56-56 Spencer rimfire round.
Cartridges in the magazine were nose-to-center casehead position. How could they be ignited if the priming compound was situated within the rims?

DIXIE LINCOLN DERRINGER
Cal.41
Barrel. 2'' 8 lands 8 grooves
Weight. 7oz
Length.5,5'' overall
Stock. Walnut finish,checkered
Features. Authentic copy of the ''Lincoln Derringer''
Shoots .400'' patched ball.German silver furniture includes
trigger guard with pineaple finial,wedge plates,nose,wrist
side and teardrop inlays.All furniture,lockplate,hammer and
breech plug engraved.
From:Gun Digest 1995
IT `S SO SWEEEEEET!! But the Dixie Screw Barrel looks cool too.
The bullet that killed Abe is in Army Medical School in Washington?I wish I could watch it
Do they have there the 6,5mm Carcano bullet that killed JFK?
(I suppose the bullets fired by the ''unknown rest of the JFK assasins'' are still missing )

We didn`t talk much about the STARR DA revolver.AFAIK it was of
break open design,where the upper frame was secured by a detachable screw.I suppose the Starr could also be reloaded by
a cylinder swap.Did the Starr have any weak points?
__________________
"Americans have the right and advantages of being armed,unlike the citizens of the countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms" JAMES MADISON - The Federalist Papers
DARTH 44 is offline  
Old August 6, 2002, 09:49 AM   #29
Cap n ball
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 17, 2000
Posts: 247
The only things I've noticed about Starr revolvers is that many times when I've seen them for sale the most common fault is a weak main spring. I don't know if this was an engineered fault or if it is the result of the steel used in the 19th century. They are a little more complicated than most and have more small parts but I've never heard anyone say that the Starr wasn't a fine firearm. It was popular for it's reliability and the fact that it could be easily loaded with prepared cartidges or with cap and ball.

I've fired a Savage revolver and while it looks ungainly and awkward it's really not bad. The revolvers that I would like to fire just once are mostly side-hammers like the Pettengill, Butterfield, Allen & Wheelock and so-on.
Cap n ball is offline  
Old August 6, 2002, 10:14 AM   #30
faraway
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 21, 2001
Location: ne montana
Posts: 437
Bad day for the Spencer. Part of the problem on Spencers and the magazine problems may have been the cartridge cases. During that period, self contained cartridges tended to be balloon (sp) headed construction-a fairly weak setup. This made the case bases very, very thin (which they had to be for a rimfire anyway)-and these might bend enough to somehow impact the priming compound in the rims-especially if a rough,bent magazine tube was in the mix. So not quite like a modern day Winchester, where the bullet noses rested on a fairly solid cartridge base-with a center primer. Also, much of the equipage of the late 1860's was civil war leftovers...and during the war some suppliers didn't exactly take due care. Partially profitering (sp), partially (in the case of brass rifle cartridges) a new technology and wartime manufacturing pressures. Plus general wear and tear...most of the Spencers in the late 60's were either wartime takehomes/reissues or condemned government stores sold as surplus. Spencer Rifle co. really did themselves a postwar shot in the foot...their own wartime production cut demand for any potential peacetime sales.
faraway is offline  
Old August 6, 2002, 04:04 PM   #31
Alex Johnson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 16, 2000
Location: Grand Forks, ND
Posts: 805
I bought one of the Dixie Lincoln Derringer kits awhile ago and haven't had a chance to build it yet. The metalwork on the kit is acceptable, however the stock that was provided was basically ruined by poor machine inletting, would have been far better if they had just sent a roughed out blank of wood which is what I'll start with when I build the gun. In any event it should be a nice additon to my collection, I'll post pics when it's done.
__________________
I thoroughly disapprove of duels. I consider them unwise and I know they are dangerous. Also, sinful. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet retired spot and kill him.
- Mark Twain
Alex Johnson is offline  
Old August 7, 2002, 10:56 AM   #32
DARTH 44
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 25, 2002
Location: Europe
Posts: 138
As Cap n Ball mentioned Allen & Wheelock in his post I recalled I had seen that gun before.
Here it is!
March `99 issue of GUNS & AMMO magazine,article ''Civil War Revolver RARITIES'' by Phil Spangenberger.
The Allen&Wheelock shown there is a 44cal.SA with centrally located hammer and a loadding lever that alco forms the triggerguard.7,5''long barrel is part-round,part-octagonal. WOW! I like it.The gun seems to be built like a fortress.
Hmm...Did I say 4 revolvers,not 6 or 7?

I looked closely at the Colt Dragoon and found something what made me scratch my head and think hard.
Well,the Colt`s barrel is held to the frame by a wedge that passes through the cylinder axis pin.which is screwed into the rear of the standing breech.
Now,the Dragoon burns 50 grains of FFFg with every shot.(almost a musket load!)
The recoil forces will bear on the wedge,and repeated firings tend to compress it to such an extent that it will loosen and result in
the barrel and frame moving apart.
After this, things get out of line and accuracy and performance will start to suffer.The solution here is to either replace the offending item(if you have a spare) or flatten it out(if your friend is a blacksmith,lives nearby and IS home )
But what if the slot in the cylinder axis pin gets deformed?
A spare wedge will not be much of a help in that case.Result:the gun is loose and unsafe to fire or in one word-useless.
No doubt,shooting reduced loads would slow wear,but it is
RANGE and POWER what made me put the Dragoon on the list in my original post.
I`m very curious of your comments of that problem.

Down with anti-gun laws!
__________________
"Americans have the right and advantages of being armed,unlike the citizens of the countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms" JAMES MADISON - The Federalist Papers
DARTH 44 is offline  
Old August 7, 2002, 11:15 AM   #33
DARTH 44
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 25, 2002
Location: Europe
Posts: 138
Forgot to ask...

In one of the westerns(''The good,the bad and the ugly''IIRC) I saw a guy field stripping a Navy Colt.He merely pushed the wedge with his fingers and it popped out.Geeez...What kind of barrel-frame fit that Colt must have had!
Correct me if I`m wrong but I`ve always thought the wedge had to be as tight fit as possible to get the best accuracy and performance from the C&B Colts.
And to field strip one,you must use a non-marring malllet,right?
__________________
"Americans have the right and advantages of being armed,unlike the citizens of the countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms" JAMES MADISON - The Federalist Papers
DARTH 44 is offline  
Old August 7, 2002, 07:24 PM   #34
faraway
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 21, 2001
Location: ne montana
Posts: 437
Yes, the cylinder wedge should be a fairly good fit. If the spring of the wedge is weak, or the wedge worn, than the whole barrel assembly moves a little when fired. At those times, than the two holes- pins down at the bottom of the barrel assembly while start to oval out. Tends to be a problem on the cheaper replicas. And on the Colt Dragoons, yes on the lesser quality guns, the wedges are too soft and tend to deform. Doesn't seem to be a problem on the Colt's or the Uberti's, as these are well made (and sometimes the same gun). Actually, the power/durability issue is why the Dragoon was (is) essentially a downgraded Walker. The Walker's took a slightly heavier charge, and on the 19th century guns...Colt's subcontractor had some QC problems. As for taking the wedge loose, use a plastic or leather mallet, it'll keep it prettier. In the old days, the wedges seem to have taken a bit of a beating (from the look of some surviving guns). Usually a tight fitting wedge was knocked clear with a saddle horn, knife handle etc. It seems to have been a fairly common practice to tap it out with the edge of the reload cylinder...wouldn't be in any hurry to do that one. All this stated, in most original uses, probably the only time these wedges were knocked lose was for cleaning. Many didn't seem to have extra cylinders...and some prefered to have 1+2 extra guns about if they had the means to get them. (although for some these cleanings were pretty frequent, needed to keep it in good order-and actually in some of the bigger western cities, there were people who made money carefully cleaning and loading these guns-especially the pocket stuff) And last, on the Dragoons, these seem to do well with rifle powder, since that's a bit harder to light, put a few grains in the cones...not very much or the cones will blow or cap fragments will be everywhere.
faraway is offline  
Old August 9, 2002, 12:36 AM   #35
444
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 20, 2000
Location: Ohio
Posts: 3,727
I have a repo Walker.
Now that, is a lotta gun.
Interesting to read about the potential problems with these repos. I seriously doubt that I will ever shoot mine enough to encounter them though. I probably take mine out once or twice a year each. I only do it when I have planned it ahead of time and have a full day to devote to shooting and cleaning. Afterwards I always tell myself that I shouldn't wait so long to shoot them again, it isn't really that bad.
On my repo Colt 1860 Army, the little screw just above the barrel wedge works it way out every time I shoot it. The last time, it fell out on the ground and I didn't realize it. As I shot, the barrel wedge started working it's way out. One of my shooting buddies had the same problem. So, when I ordered a new screw, I had them send me four.
Of course the ultimate black powder revolver is the Ruger Old Army, but it is not a repo and has no historical significance. I owned one years ago. In fact, it was the first pistol I ever bought myself. I was like 18 or 19 years old and wasn't old enough to purchase a modern handgun, so I bought the Old Army. I sold it because I couldn't get the sight elevation low enough. I certainly would like to have another one though. Having a BP revolver with adjustable sights is really nice, although I guess you could put that in the same catagory as in-line ML rifles.
444 is offline  
Old August 9, 2002, 12:45 PM   #36
Cap n ball
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 17, 2000
Posts: 247
I inherited my great grandpa's Colt navy and his Remington new army. Both have seen a ton of use and I rarely fire either. In fact I've only fired the Colt once. The barrels of both show evidence of them being used to twist wire in the job of mending fences. He must have lost the wedge because instead of the steel piece there is a ivory wedge that is attached to the trigger guard by a leather thong. It has a little pin you push though the far side after it's been inserted through the cylinder pin. It fits very snug. There's no doubt that this is a potentially dangerous modification but I think it might have been a common one. Most fellows didn't fire their revolver more than once or twice unless in a severe situation. Of course a real gun-slinger would have had top notch equipment but my great grandpa was an ordinary sort that kept his guns after the war, hoped he'd never need them again and lived on a farm with ten zillion kids to feed.
Cap n ball is offline  
Old August 9, 2002, 03:13 PM   #37
DARTH 44
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 25, 2002
Location: Europe
Posts: 138
I`m glad to see this thread going on
I didn`t change anything in my 4-BPsixgun battery so far,but
I know a LOT more `bout those guns now
BIG THANKS to everyone who replied!
Now,what are the nominal powder charges per chamber for the following revolvers?Here`s what I know or suppose:
Colt Walker-------60 / 54 grains
Colt Dragoon----50 grains
Remington 1858-40? / 35? grains
Colt 1860 ---------30? grains
LeMat--------------??????????
Starr 1858--------??????????
Allen&Wheelock CenterHammer--??????????

And to be a little off topic: Wouldn`t it be cool to load a 40cal
165grain Gold Dot in a Dixie Lincoln Derringer and see what
penetration and expansion could be achieved with the standard
BP load?
Good shooting
__________________
"Americans have the right and advantages of being armed,unlike the citizens of the countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms" JAMES MADISON - The Federalist Papers
DARTH 44 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:13 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09106 seconds with 7 queries