View Full Version : Oopsie Bang!, quick changing cylinders

November 17, 2001, 12:52 AM
Just a history vs us question. In the 19th century, when reloading the extra cylinder (for those that had one) many would knock the barrel wedge on Colt's clear by...tapping on a saddlehorn etc, or in some cases by tapping it clear with the leading edge of the new cylinder. Assuming it's powder fouled, and there was need to reload (Ok maybe hunting small game-or ???) how do would those of you with Colt's do this? I have to admit that a time or two I've used the side of the cylinder (bloody stupid I know) I think it may have been a common practice in the past, many of the origs seem to have marks on the wedges. Any opinions (aside from those about the questionable intelligence of using a loaded cylinder)

Cap n ball
November 19, 2001, 10:57 AM
Alot of the old originals that I've seen that were used by bushwackers, jayhawkers and such had a wooden or bone wedge instead of the steel one. A dangerous thing to do for sure but if you were in need of a quick cylinder change that badly you were already in some pretty dangerous business anyway. I suspect that the wooden/bone wedge was easier to dislodge quickly and could be attached to the trigger guard with a bit of string or wire that would also give you something to pull the wedge out with. Most of the time fellows who were in the shooting from horseback trade carried as many as six revolvers and either put the spent ones in a sack or simply dropped them to be retrieved later if they survived the incident. It sounds crazy to do that but in a desparate situation of chasing or being chased, desparate means were employed. Better to lose a relatively inexpensive gun than to risk getting caught defensless and losing your life.

November 22, 2001, 12:19 AM
What are you doing with the empties?
If you run out of ammo, you couldn throw 'em :p

November 22, 2001, 01:11 AM
Never heard it happen. But the Colt's Dragoon cylinder weighs enough it could knock a dent in somebodys head. Very few of the 19th century gentry had extra guns or cylinders though. Recall one journal where two Kansas argonauts had one army needle gun and about 18 cartridges all told. They held off the other locals (who were understandably displeased with them) by pointing the rifle when the Cheyenne got too close. Even so a caplock Rev. can be loaded fairly quick if one has the cylinder or is on the ground (nitrated cartridges help)