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Old February 15, 2011, 10:14 AM   #51
Hardcase
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Here's my son's .32RF suicide special that has the name "Hard Pan" on the barrel.
I love the names on these things - it's like a skinny, five foot tall guy being named "Brutus".

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If you're relying on a .38 S&W against a cougar you'd be cat foot any which way!
Well, at least you could claim that you went out with a fight...sort of.
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Old February 15, 2011, 01:04 PM   #52
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What is "cat foot"?
Oh, I meant cat foodddd.
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Old February 15, 2011, 01:18 PM   #53
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My question is where do you get your information?

My grandfather left home when he was 12 (acctually he was run off by his mother because she couldnt handle him) to work on the ranches in Neberaska and Colorado. His father gave him this Smith Model #3 in 44 Russian. He carried it as a cowboy, prospector and miner until he gave it to my father, and it will go to my oldest son.

Yeap cowboys carried guns, (but mostly in their saddle bags) they did in the late 1900s and they still do today (around here anyway).

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Old February 15, 2011, 01:20 PM   #54
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Oh, I meant cat foodddd.
As an off and on remedial English teacher at the community college, it struck me as prose of the highest quality!
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Old February 15, 2011, 05:05 PM   #55
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i don,t know how many people owned firearms or carried them,but i do know they knew how to use them, if the james and youngers were alive today they would tell you just how well they knew how to use them. eastbank.
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Old February 15, 2011, 06:44 PM   #56
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As I said I'm a 4th generation Westerner who is now in Florida. It has always been my understanding anyone on the open range carried a large caliber revolver while on horseback. Maybe its regional, my family was from W. NE-E. WY and what kraigwy said is the same stuff I was told.
When branding calves, etc- totally different thing- you are in a safe area and no one wore a hogleg while doing that type of work. We also have to look at a time frame- are we talking about the cattle drive era or the latter fenced in ranch era?
There's some BIG ranches in Florida. One is 400,000 acres. Yep, 400K- it's chopped up into different tracts but that's the over all size. I bought a beat up Colt from a guy working on one of the ranches. $150- good price but the gun was REALLY in bad shape. He used it as a hammer to fix fences- no kidding- I always thought that stunt was pure Hollywood.
In any event the available evidence seems to suggest big revolvers were pretty common- as already stated by someone else- there are many tales of all the Texas cowboys going up to the Kansas cow towns- they all loved their revolvers, a lot of towns had them check the guns. I realize there's some wiggle room to all this but there seems to be more historical evidence carrying guns was common as opposed to historical evidence that carrying guns was uncommon. I can't recall anything of that nature.
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Old February 16, 2011, 09:57 AM   #57
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East and West.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 3c04167u_e.jpg (67.3 KB, 36 views)
File Type: jpg natlove_e.JPG (69.2 KB, 39 views)
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Old February 16, 2011, 10:04 AM   #58
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Uh, that first picture looks a lot more like a grizzled 49er from the California Gold Rush...

The second is a studio photograph. Problem with studio photographs is that they often kept props around for the subjects to use to add interest to the photograph, items like knives, guns, tools, etc.
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Old February 16, 2011, 10:21 AM   #59
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First is Daniel Freeman, The "first homesteader", who settled in Beatrice, Neb. 1863.
The second is Nat Love, a real guy, a real cowboy who did happen to have his picture taken in a studio wearing his own clothes and carrying his own iron.
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Old February 16, 2011, 10:23 AM   #60
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I knew the second guy looked familiar.

When I was a kid my Parents invested in the Time Life series of books on The Old West, and his picture is in it.

Looks like he's not carrying a handgun at all. The belt seems to be a cartridge belt for his rifle rounds.

Judging by the rifle and the cartridges in the belt, it looks like a Winchester model 1894.
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Old February 16, 2011, 10:33 AM   #61
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Definitely a '94, Mike. The sharp angle at the bottom front of the receiver is distinctive.

He's got huge hands!
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Old February 16, 2011, 10:55 AM   #62
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That must have been taken near the end of his working career as a cowboy.
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Old February 16, 2011, 11:04 AM   #63
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Not that I'm any expert, but Nat Love also appears to have a Thunderer or Lightning stuck in his belt in cross-draw fashion. I can't see the grip very well (which would tell me for sure if it was on of these early DA revolvers), but the trigger guard looks like it's one of those. IMHO anyhoo.....
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Old February 16, 2011, 12:02 PM   #64
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Wow.

I had to look at that photo for a good minute or more to even see the handgun there.
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Old February 16, 2011, 06:32 PM   #65
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Another thought......if we get back to the Texas cowboys heading up to Kansas on the trail drives, although they didn't get paid much- it all came in at the end of the trail. It must have been a fair amount of cash because of all the gamblers, dance hall girls, and other souls in various states of grace that showed up in such places to rid the cowhands of their hard earned pay. In any event it seems that they must have had enough cash to buy a nice revolver if they wanted to. Some revolvers had better grips, engraving, etc- probably more for the trail boss, etc.
I think the same can be said about the famous "$100 saddle on a $20 horse". The cowpokes were likely pretty easy with the cash when they got their hands on it.
I think both Colt and S & W have company historians. You send them $10 or whatever it is these days and they tell you Grandfather's Colt or S & W with serial number XYZ was shipped to Smith's hardware, Silver Cliff WY Terr 18XX.
In any event the amount of guns shipped West versus the population in the West could probably be compiled to get an accurate count on how many guns per person were in the area.
In the 1900-1910 period even my Grandmother went around with a small handgun for self defense. I think it was pretty common in those days.

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Old February 16, 2011, 07:16 PM   #66
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In any event the amount of guns shipped West versus the population in the West could probably be compiled to get an accurate count on how many guns per person were in the area.
And you could add a pretty fair number of eastern and mid-"western" addresses to those as well. The settlers and cowhands had to come from somewhere, and they likely planned ahead.

P.S. Colt factory letters on SAAs run $100+ these days.
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Old February 16, 2011, 08:29 PM   #67
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well i come from a long line of farmers and ranchers (my family was in western Nebraska before 1880) and it seems logical that most westerners would have had working guns. Its already been pointed out a couple times but the possibility of getting thrown from a horse and having a foot stuck in the stirrup is a very real event. In fact i grew up on a ranch in northern Wyoming and i know for a fact that at least one man was drug to death in one of the pastures as late as the 1950s. Now the practicality of being able to draw a pistol and shoot the horse while being drug would be extremely difficult but people have done more extreme things when its life or death. I also now several people who use guns to work difficult cattle, my dad used a 22lr with shot shells regularly to work the bulls and ive heard other stories of sawed off .410 shotguns to work problem cattle. However my grandpa owns several rifles and a couple of shotguns but he no longer owns any pistols (he used to have wore out broken revolver that must have got lost along the way). I am no historian but from growing up in the ranch lifestyle it makes sense to me that a lot of cowboys would have had a rifle for hunting and a pistol for emergencies. Now that being said i doubt that there where many large caliber guns. In fact most of my grandpas guns are 22lr that they shot 22 shorts in because it didn't tear up rabbits as bad.
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