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Old April 11, 2011, 10:14 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: April 18, 2009
Location: mountains of colorado
Posts: 977
Needle gun help requested

I read many old original accounts of western history, and on a few occasions the author talks about trading to the indians, a needle rifle. I am aware of only four types of needle rifles, the Dreyse, the Doersch - von Bumbgartner, the Carl and the Carcano. All of these are early foriegn military arms. I have real doubts that any of these made to our shore and out west in sufficent quantity to be often mentioned. In fact in my 45 years of haunting pawn shops, gun shows, museums, and personal collections I have never seen one. So my question is what gun could these authors be talking about? Remember these arent Loius La More type books I am reading. I am reading old diaries, and memoirs. At present I am reading " Tough Trip Through Paradise" by Andrew Garcia. It is the actual memouirs of a young man in 1876 Montana. He set up a trading company for the Indians in the Judith gap area. He had purchased from his suppliers 13 used " needle guns and cartridges" in which to sell to the indians. His price was 8 buffalo robes per rifle and 2 robes per box of 20 cartridges, or 2 robes for a box of 50 Winchester 44 carbine ammo. I would assume that the needle guns mentioned would be some kind of US surplus rifles. If I recall correctly in the early portion of this book he stated they were 50 caliber. Anybody out there that can enlighten me it would be appreciated.
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