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Old February 15, 2012, 07:18 AM   #1
mikthestick
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Who is Geronimo?

I thought some of you might like to see this picture. I found it interesting because they wear cartridge belts but no holsters to carry pistols. Perhaps this is an insight into their mentality or lifestyle rather than what they can get their hands on. Yes it's the old guy. Reminds me of a bit in a Terry Pratchet Novel "TO BE THAT OLD YOU HAVE TO BE VERY GOOD. None of my friends have ever made the right choice.
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Old February 15, 2012, 07:31 AM   #2
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Well, those rifles could very well be chambered for pistol cartridges, so a cartridge belt full of say .38-40 or .44-40 would be perfectly appropriate.
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Old February 15, 2012, 07:44 AM   #3
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The .44-40 and .38-40 actually were rifle cartridges that revolvers were later chambered for.
Someone acutally built a revolver that chambers .45-70 ammo, but that does not make the .45-70 a "pistol round".
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Old February 15, 2012, 11:15 AM   #4
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You say tomato, I say tomato.

Strictly speaking you are, of course, correct. In terms of the discussion, it works a little better the way I said it.

Tomato.

"Someone acutally built a revolver that chambers .45-70 ammo, but that does not make the .45-70 a "pistol round"."

Uhm.... yeah, it does.

Rutabaga.

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Old February 15, 2012, 02:19 PM   #5
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Didn't alot of folks just push their pistols into their belts/sashes instead of holsters at one time? I know I've seen it, just not positive on the prevelance of the action.
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Old February 15, 2012, 02:21 PM   #6
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Perhaps I speak out of turn, but I think Mike's point was that these gents weren't (and maybe DIDN'T) carry[ing] sidearms.


BTW Mike, where'd the photo come from? Interesting stuff for sure..
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Old February 15, 2012, 02:40 PM   #7
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This part of the world abounds with old pictures of Apaches. I don't think I have ever seen one with an Apache carring a side arm. Rifles and if anything a war Axe.
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Old February 15, 2012, 02:46 PM   #8
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2 1866s, a Spencers and a muzzleloading musket.
Pistol cartridges would be appropriate for the 1866s(probably 44 rimfires, 56-50 for the Spencer and whatever for the musket)
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Old February 15, 2012, 05:17 PM   #9
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Ahhh - "white" folks took these photographs - you have to remember that while this gun leather MAY have belonged to him - it was not uncommon for the photographer to use "props" in his photographs - it was commonly done.

I collect WW I photos and I have two real photo postcards of different soldiers , both in sitting half views -both are holding an 1840 model "Old Wristbreaker" cavalry saber. The same phtographer took both photos. I have another which is a "full pose" of a soldier standing and he is holding a cap and ball Remington revolver. These items were basically Civil War "relics" that the photobgrapher had his subject hold - it made them look more "war like".

The photographers of the time period that you are looking at often carried "props" with them. These photographs were not made for the Chief or tribe - they were made for a variety of reasons. Some photographers wanted to honestly preserve history - others wanted to produce these photographs for sale to the masses back east who ate up this type of thing - they wanted to see the "savages" that were talked about in the newspapers and pulp fiction of the time. After reading and hearing about the Indians and their wars on the whites, etc. - they expected to see them with weapons and accouterments of war - that's what helped sell these photographs.

My response is not intended to affend anyone of Native American heritage. Let's face it - the whites broke every treaty that they ever made with the Native Americans. Some individuals and photographers were serious in their attempts to preserve the history and culture of the Native Americans through photographs, sketches, paintings, etc. They realized that those cultures were fast disappearing due to the genocide policy that was being undertaken at the time. Others saw it as a means to make money, something which the government and many of the general population of the time had no problems in doing at the expense of the various tribes.
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Old February 15, 2012, 06:00 PM   #10
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who is Geronimo?

I agree on the props being used in Native American photos. I saw a photo of Geronimo with a rifle and a Dance and Brothers .44 cal percussion pistol. As rare as Dance and Brothers pistols were (500 made) I find it hard to believe that Geronimo had one for his sidearm.
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Old February 15, 2012, 06:16 PM   #11
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The above picture was taken in 1886. It is the property of the Arizona Historical Society. Geronimo was captured in 1886. So it is undoubtedly a completely staged photograph.

Quote:
Ahhh - "white" folks took these photographs - you have to remember that while this gun leather MAY have belonged to him - it was not uncommon for the photographer to use "props" in his photographs - it was commonly done.
Yes, and this practice was ongoing from at least the days of the Civil War if not before. Soldiers had studio shot made often with weapons they would never have owned or carried, but are depicted with in photographs.
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Old February 15, 2012, 07:16 PM   #12
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Even the battlefield dead were staged.
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Old February 15, 2012, 09:03 PM   #13
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What I would have really found interesting is if they had rifle scabbards on their belts to holster their side arms.
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Old February 15, 2012, 10:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Even the battlefield dead were staged.
Well, when it take 15 minutes to prep the camera, you have to spend that time doing something.
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Old February 16, 2012, 12:21 AM   #15
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Not to argue the staging of photos. Because It was done, But that photo (with others) was taken in 1886 when Geronimo was surrendering to General Cook. I was always told these were were the only photos taken of hostile Indians in the field under arms.

There were lots of photos taken during this surrender so I doubt all were staged. But that is neither here nor there... The mail point of writing is that Geronimo was packing a pistol at the time of surrender.. A SAA
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Old February 16, 2012, 07:19 AM   #16
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Most pictures were staged at this time simply because the "film" (glass or metal plates, mostly) were difficult to handle and prepare, the cameras were very bulky, and exposure times were typically fairly long.

Live action photography was pretty much non existent. There are some, such as the only known picture of an actual old west style gunfight (found in the Time Life series of books on the old west, the Gunslingers volumn, I believe), but the figures are generally blury as hell because of the movement.
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Old February 16, 2012, 09:17 AM   #17
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Well I guess there needs to be a definition of what is a staged photo


One that is set up to take into account the problems of early Photography.. OK Just stand there, don't move, assume a pose type staging...


Or Here are some fake guns, lets add some blood, lets spice up the background, etc etc


I would tend to call photos under the second condition staged.. In the first because of the limitations of the media those photos at least tried to be as accurate as possible
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Old February 16, 2012, 10:49 AM   #18
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The picture was purportedly taken in Mexico in 1886, probably at, or very close to, his negotiated surrender to/through 1st Lieutenant Charles Gatewood. Geronimo's rifle, as well as the one in the hands of the man to his right, appear to be percussion guns, as you can clearly see the drum bolsters and nipples. This seems a bit odd at this point, as cartridge repeaters had been around for a quarter of a century by now, and, being in many scuffles during this period, it seems almost a dead certainty Geronimo would have managed to arm himself with a repeater. Both men are wearing belts, but it can't be definitively seen in the picture if they are indeed cartridge belts.
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Old February 16, 2012, 01:08 PM   #19
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Actually, the picture was copyrighted by C.S. Fly in Tombstone, AZ in 1886.
http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwor...mo-in-pictures I can't find any provenance beyond northern Mexico for it. The vegetation in the image does match that for the Chihuahuan desert (which does include southern New Mexico)and for Skeleton Canyon where his surrendered in AZ.

In 1876, he surrendered and did have a Winchester 1876. At his surrender in 1877, he was using a Springfield trapdoor.

While repeaters may have been around, it doesn't necessarily mean that they would have been what he was carrying at any given time. Keep in mind that repeaters had been a round for quite a while before Custer and his group were killed at Little Bighorn and they didn't have repeaters.

I definitely think those are cartridge belts. Do you have another explanation for what they are?
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Old February 16, 2012, 04:17 PM   #20
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Quote:
Geronimo's rifle, as well as the one in the hands of the man to his right, appear to be percussion guns, as you can clearly see the drum bolsters and nipples
Take a closer look. They are trapdoor springfields. Geronimo has an infantry rifle, the fellow next to him has a cavalry carbine. The "drum bolsters and nipples" are the latch that opens the trapdoor.

At the time, these were current issue military guns. Also, the two other guys (Geronimo's nephew,on the left and son) are holding 1873 winchester carbines. Not 1866 carbines. Look at the recievers and you can see the sideplates. This pic along with several others were taken by C. S. Fly in northern Mexico in 1886 during negotiations between Geronimo and General George Crook, for Geronimo's surrender. The apache are in fact "enemies in the field" in these photos. They are not "staged" with prop guns,etc. As for revolvers, most indians, not just apaches, didn't carry them. They didn't need them. Their rifles were all they needed for defense as well as hunting. Pistols were unnecessary weight. The apache were notorious for traveling light. Some did carry them (like Geronimo) but not that many.
This is a replica of Geronimo's gunbelt, holster and knife from Chislom's trail old west leathers. http://www.westernleatherholster.com...ical-holsters/


This is the real one.



Quote:
While repeaters may have been around, it doesn't necessarily mean that they would have been what he was carrying at any given time. Keep in mind that repeaters had been a round for quite a while before Custer and his group were killed at Little Bighorn and they didn't have repeaters
No, but the indians did. That's one (of many) reason that Custer lost. The U.S. government, in it's un-erring wisdom, decided to adopt a single shot breech loading rifle/carbine to replace the seven shot Spencer rifle/carbine, to make sure that the soldiers didn't "waste" ammo during a fight. The trapdoor rifles saw use from 1868 through the Spanish-American war in 1898. They were standard issue from 1873 to 1896.

Last edited by MJN77; February 16, 2012 at 05:20 PM.
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Old February 16, 2012, 05:11 PM   #21
MJN77
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Here are two more of C. S. Fly's pics.
The man on the horse next to Geronimo, is Naiche. He was the son of Cochise.


This pic shows General Crook, second from the right, and Geronimo second from the left.

Last edited by MJN77; February 16, 2012 at 06:58 PM.
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Old February 16, 2012, 06:11 PM   #22
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Pretty obvious that they knew "a pistol is just for fighting your way to a rifle".....

The pistol would have been a last ditch weapon and the fighting tribes used a knife in that role.

Regards, HH
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Old February 16, 2012, 10:32 PM   #23
indy1919
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Mucho Thanks MJN77 to taking the time posting the photos

Many thanks for take the time to post the photos..Have always loved the workmanship in Geronimo's gun belt here is a band that is pretty run Ragged to ground and yet still time is taken for ornamentation..

IN Geronimo's case is one of those rare times in history when the actual firearms are documented and saved. I think His trapdoor in on display At West Point and the Side arm is on display in another army Museum.. Fort Ben????

Try to do that with Custers Side arms.. Or Even Billy the Kids side arms..

But Loved the link to that Historical Holsters of Old West site, I have saved that One.. I feel they will be getting some of my money..

And so not kid yourself Custer's troops had the superior weapon to the Winchester, He just needed a better Position.. Heck Look at Reno & Benteen. They Outlasted a lot longer Indian attack then Custer with the same weapons, But they did have a better Position that took advantage of the Greater range of the Springfields

Mucho thanks for the photos....
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Old February 16, 2012, 11:06 PM   #24
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And so not kid yourself Custer's troops had the superior weapon to the Winchester, He just needed a better Position.. Heck Look at Reno & Benteen. They Outlasted a lot longer Indian attack then Custer with the same weapons, But they did have a better Position that took advantage of the Greater range of the Springfields
That is the point. At a distance, the .45-70 springfields were the better rifle. More range, and killing power. But at close range,(less then 150 yards) such as the fight with Custer's group (described as a "running gunfight) and with Reno in the river bottom, and his retreat to the bluffs, the rapid, almost point blank (and in some cases just a few feet) firepower of the repeating rifles (Henry, Winchester, Spencer) were much more effective than the single shot carbines of the 7th cavalry. The Henry and 1866 Winchester rifle held 16 rounds, the 1866 carbine held 12. The 1873 Winchester rifle held 13 , the carbine 10. The only reason Reno's command survived is because Reno was smart (or panicked, depending on source) enough to retreat up to the top of the bluff on the other side of the river. If he had stayed in the timber were he took cover after the failed charge into the villiage, he would've been surrounded and wiped out, as was Custer. The 1873 Springfield carbine/rifle was meant to be used to engage the enemy at long range, not from ten feet. But this is way off topic.

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Old February 16, 2012, 11:19 PM   #25
tnxdshooter
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Originally Posted by mikthestick View Post
I thought some of you might like to see this picture. I found it interesting because they wear cartridge belts but no holsters to carry pistols. Perhaps this is an insight into their mentality or lifestyle rather than what they can get their hands on. Yes it's the old guy. Reminds me of a bit in a Terry Pratchet Novel "TO BE THAT OLD YOU HAVE TO BE VERY GOOD. None of my friends have ever made the right choice.
Geronimo would be the one on the right. Wonder if any of those others is cochise? Geronimo was known to carry a single action army he had gotten off a soldier. Supposedly it was chambered in 44-40 like bis winchester. What i dont get is if the native americans couldnt speak english how did they read on the cartridge to see what caliber it was?
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