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Old August 13, 2012, 10:10 PM   #1
bushmaster65
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movie trivia-PALE RIDER

OK, I saw a clip of the final duel in pale rider. It looks like Eastwood is removing the cylinder from a Remington BP. Then obtaining a new one from a cylinder holster and placing it back in the weapon. A close look shows what I think are brass cartridges. OK, movie buffs, what is it he has? Is this historically correct? etc...
BTW- you can see this scene on utube if you want reference.

Last edited by bushmaster65; August 13, 2012 at 10:12 PM. Reason: unfinished
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Old August 13, 2012, 10:56 PM   #2
Willie Sutton
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It's an 1858 Remington, and it's been well documented in a variety of places that the movie prop gun that he used was modified to accept brass cartridge blanks. The original Remmies were, obviously, cap and ball revolvers. The small revolver he uses to shoot the final shot it also a Remington.

He must have practiced a bit, as the cylinder exchange was flawless.

It's a classic scene.



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Old August 13, 2012, 11:59 PM   #3
MJN77
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It's a 1863 Remington new model army conversion. As in converted into a cartridge gun.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/joelogon/5778840128/
http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2...1858-revolver/
Some original remington conversions were made so that you had to remove the cylinder to reload. Sort of like an R&D conversion cylinder.
http://www.taylorsfirearms.com/cartr...cylinders.html
Clint just used extra cylinders.

Last edited by MJN77; August 14, 2012 at 12:39 AM.
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Old August 14, 2012, 06:40 AM   #4
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that is one of the coolest scenes ever..if i can ever buy one of those guns ill have to have it....i always wondered exactly what that gun was..thanks
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Old August 14, 2012, 08:34 AM   #5
Hawg Haggen
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Cylinder swapping isn't historically correct. Cylinders back then didn't fit just any gun.
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Old August 14, 2012, 08:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Cylinder swapping isn't historically correct. Cylinders back then didn't fit just any gun.
Is that why those Army purchase lists that accompanied each shipment of firearms never listed spare cylinders with the rest of the tools and supplies?

But in the novel "Bright Starry Banner" by Alden R. Carter, one of the Yankee officers had several "capped and charged" cylinders for his Colt 1860.
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Old August 14, 2012, 09:02 AM   #7
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It's an ok movie but it was an obvious plagiarization (?!) of Shane.
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Old August 14, 2012, 09:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
But in the novel "Bright Starry Banner" by Alden R. Carter, one of the Yankee officers had several "capped and charged" cylinders for his Colt 1860.
Don't believe everything you read, specially when it's fiction.
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Old August 14, 2012, 09:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Cylinder swapping isn't historically correct. Cylinders back then didn't fit just any gun.
Hawg is correct. I have seen no evidence of the use of spare cylinders historically. Cylinders would have had to be hand fitted to that particular gun. In my way of thinking, the use of an extra cylinder in a cartridge gun seems a bit redundant.
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Old August 14, 2012, 09:41 AM   #10
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No eye witness accounts, no written record, no pictoral record, no cylinder pouches in pics or museums.
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Old August 14, 2012, 10:12 AM   #11
arcticap
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawg Haggen
No eye witness accounts, no written record, no pictoral record, no cylinder pouches in pics or museums.
The documention for these items have been mentioned on this forum before and "De Nile" isn't just a river in Egypt.
There has been some documentation mentioned on this site for extra cylinders with cased sets, that a Navy spare cylinder pouch existed and there's photos of a museum quality 1851 holster rig that belonged to a civil war officer.
Gee whiz, all over movie trivia....

Original 1851 Navy and holster rig - must see

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...+documentation

Quote:
Originally Posted by bedbugbilly
The U.S. Navy issued a spare cylinder box very similar to this one only it had a wood block in the bottom with a shallow blind hole the diameter of the cylinder. They were placed in the box with the nipples in the up position - just as this box illustrates. The navy box held two cylinders and there was no divider of any kind between the cylinders.
carrying spare cylinders-dangerous ?

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...ntation&page=3

Quote:
Originally Posted by madcratebuilder
I have two books that reprint much of the Colt sales records, extra cylinders are very rarely mentioned and then only with cased sets.

Last edited by arcticap; August 14, 2012 at 10:24 AM.
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Old August 14, 2012, 11:19 AM   #12
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Supposedly the reason for the cartridge cylinder being used is that Eastwood was goosey about the capped cylinders and didn't want to use them.
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Old August 14, 2012, 12:41 PM   #13
Hawg Haggen
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There were some in cased sets but few and far between. The photos of the 51 belt rig shows a standard cartridge box with the liner missing. Cylinders in the day had to be matched to the gun. It was a lot easier to time a gun to a cylinder than a cylinder to a gun. Just wasn't done.
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Old August 14, 2012, 01:07 PM   #14
OutlawJoseyWales
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There has been tons written about this, there are entire messge boards just on Clint Eastwood movies. Here's one: http://www.clinteastwood.org/forums/index.php

Something I read lately, might have even been here, that Clint was involved somehow in a chainfire during the Spaghetti-Western days and made a decision not to have Percussion revolver around.

While this is a movie, real life historical records show no (or at least not enought to write about) evidence that anyone carried extra cylinders primed and capped. It's also very important to remember that revolvers were not the primary weapon of the armies, they were more often than not, considered a liability.

Except for the bands of guarillas, who were armed to the teeth with as many revolvers as they could beg, borrow, or steal and put them everywhere. Since there IS much written about this process, and none written of the carring extra cylinders...well, how much more evidence do we need?

Then lastly, Pale Rider was the only movie that I know of, where a cylinder change was promoted. This should also tell us somthing about the use of extra cylinders. Since this was the 1st time it was actually done in a movie and now we are debating "If was regularly done in war." The evidence is in-it wasn't.

But, we can still talk about it and have fun with the idea.
I have two '58's and 6 cylinders. All JUST FOR FUN.
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Old August 14, 2012, 01:31 PM   #15
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It does make good cinema.
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Old August 14, 2012, 07:20 PM   #16
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Quote:
Gee whiz, all over movie trivia....
You're the only one that seems to be getting their panties in a twist, fella.

On your 51 navy rig, the tin lined box is an ammo box for rifle/carbine ammo. It even has the tin liner like most variations of the era. You see, that other box on that belt is a military ammo box made specifically to carry packaged paper or foil cartridges for revolvers.
http://www.yankeecollector.com/catal...55/8633750.htm
As OJW pointed out, the revolver was not the primary weapon. Just because a cylinder fits into the box, doesn't mean that's what it was made for. You know what they say about ass-umptions. As for cased sets with spare cylinders, as Hawg said few and far between. Most cased sets with extra cylinders that I have seen were Colt Paterson revolvers. How many "regular" cowboys, shop owners, lawmen etc. do you think carried (or could afford) a cased set revolver? These were mainly presentation grade guns. Given to heads of state, military officers, entertainers etc. Most were engraved and/or had custom grips. These were not the guns of the "working man". And few had "spare" cylinders. If as you say, spare cylinders were used during the civil war, westward expansion etc., why do you not see dug up relic "spare" cylinders in civil war museums alongside the dug up relic revolvers? Just something to think about.

Last edited by MJN77; August 15, 2012 at 11:45 AM.
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Old August 14, 2012, 09:26 PM   #17
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One of my favorite movie firearms. Historically correct or not!

http://www.nramuseum.com/the-museum/...281985%29.aspx



TK
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Old August 14, 2012, 10:12 PM   #18
bushmaster65
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It's as I suspected then. It is pure Hollywood and nothing else. If anyone did carry a spare cylinder back in the day, they would likely be the equivalent of a modern day "show off" or "dumb ass". Very interesting responses though, as well as pics , etc.

Thanks to all who found the time to respond.
Now if you will excuse me, I need to order my Uberti walker
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Old August 14, 2012, 10:24 PM   #19
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Excellent choice.... the Walker!
When you get it, be sure to put a pic in The Dragoon Thread!
http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=482798
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Old August 15, 2012, 06:19 AM   #20
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Why ruin a great movie with reality?


Willie

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Old August 15, 2012, 09:09 AM   #21
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"Cylinder swapping isn't historically correct. Cylinders back then didn't fit just any gun."

Fitting a cylinder to particular gun isn't a particularly difficult task, even for someone who isn't a particularly skilled gunsmith.

I have no doubt that even back then people realized that and some took advantage of it.
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Old August 15, 2012, 10:37 AM   #22
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Quote:
No eye witness accounts, no written record, no pictoral record, no cylinder pouches in pics or museums.
How about this:

Quote:
The Longest Ride

In 1907 Pony Bob described his experience on “the longest ride” to author William Lightfoot Visscher: “I had already ridden seventy-five miles [from Friday's Station, near Lake Tahoe]; but to my great astonishment, the other rider refused to go on. The superintendent, W.C. Marley, was at the station, but all his persuasion could not prevail on the rider, Johnson Richardson, to take the road. Turning then to me, Marley said: “‘Bob, I will give you $50 if you will make this ride.’ I replied, ‘I will go at once.’ Within ten minutes, when I had adjusted my Spencer rifle, which was a seven-shooter and my Colt’s revolver, with two cylinders ready for use in case of emergency, I started…I pushed on to Sand Springs, through an alkali bottom and sand hills, thirty miles farther, without a drop of water all along the route.”
And Phil Spangenberger offers this:

Quote:
For irrefutable documentation of the practice, one can refer to a number of studies by respected firearms historians, R.L. Wilson, Roy Marcot and R. Bruce McDowell, who not only write about it, but also show numerous photos of revolvers produced with spare cylinders. The manufacture of revolvers with extra cylinders was not uncommon, with some revolver makers, like Remington, advertising the sale of extra cylinders.
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Old August 15, 2012, 11:11 AM   #23
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OldMarksman -

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. A politician, on the other hand, simply makes a claim and goes on as if it's supported. It's clear which profession Spangenberger belongs to.

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. I'd suggest if you're going to cite his opinion as proof of the thesis that you at least be sure the comments that refute it are not immediately available - it makes you appear, well, as if you hadn't done your homework.
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Old August 15, 2012, 11:44 AM   #24
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Brings up a potentially interesting point for the historians among you

We are treated to reports of revolvers being marketed with extra cylinders which certainly gives credence to the practice of keeping extra loaded cylinders as a viable historical possibility.

On the other hand, in a region in which money was scarce, how likely is it that a person who considered his revolver as one of the many tools he had to carry either on his hip, the saddle, or saddle bags, would find a place to buy a revolver in the set described, and then have the money to invest.

I am reminded of Duvall's comment in Open range about how he acquired his revolver. "I took it from a man who could not afford to pay me for some cows."

That comment does not indicate anything in the way of historical fact in and of itself. It is from a movie (fiction)

We are also treated to some reports that ranch hands were issued firearms by the owner of the ranch and who may not have owned their own personal weapon.

So the question for me is:

For the person who felt the need to acquire and carry a revolver of any consequence, where did he (or she) get it?

Trade for it? Handed down from dad or grand dad? buy it from a private individual? Buy it from a store or shop?

And when he did, how much control did he have over what he got? Did the individual have to be satisfied with some slim pickens, or were there enough revolvers available that he could pick and choose?
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Old August 15, 2012, 11:48 AM   #25
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Oldmarksman, thank you for the Spangenberger link. The comments following the article seem to agree with what I posted earlier. Even the pic of the Remington revolvers were, as I posted above, "presentation grade guns".
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