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Old January 12, 2020, 08:31 PM   #1
Aguila Blanca
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Guns of the Hollywood west

A couple of days ago I stumbled across the first episode of Have Gun Will Travel on Youtube. In this episode, Paladin describes his gun:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwvVjjhck8o

Fast forward to about 06:15. Paladin says the trigger responds to a pressure of one ounce. And he says that rifled barrels are "a rarity in a handgun." I guess somebody forgot to mention that to Sam Colt back in the 1840s ...
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Old January 13, 2020, 02:51 AM   #2
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It's Hollywood. Nothing is what it is, it's just a fancy lie with good lighting.
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Old January 13, 2020, 03:08 AM   #3
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Hollyweird has come a long way since the 50's. They're still not perfect but at least they seem to be trying now.
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Old January 13, 2020, 10:28 AM   #4
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Thanks. I grew up on S.F.'s Paciific street. Tthe Barbary Coast (all gone by the time I came around) was on Pacific but further down.
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Old January 14, 2020, 07:12 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Hawg View Post
Hollyweird has come a long way since the 50's. They're still not perfect but at least they seem to be trying now.
And 1950's TV Westerns were a lot worse than 1950's Hollywood films .

Yesterday while watching an episode of the Rifleman (Chuck Conners ) someone in the show (Mark I think ) said the year was 1881...1881? (The story was set between 1870's and 1880's0 but Lucas McCain's rifle is a 1892 Winchester ? How did that happen.
Lucas should have been packing a Winchester 73 (1873) but it's Hollywood/TV should we expect the truth...I guess not , we would just be splitin hairs boss !
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Old January 14, 2020, 07:58 PM   #6
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I think some of the movies took a turn for the best when John Milius came on the scene. Most of Selleck's and Elliot's movies used period correct arms. And there was a made-for-TV "Gunsmoke" movie that featured a Merwin and Hulbert 1st Model during the opening credits. It shows the bad guy opening the revolver to make sure it was loaded.

It wasn't:



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Old January 15, 2020, 09:51 AM   #7
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The books available were not as numerous today. Only serious collectors knew what to look for in the fifties and even sixties.

Red Badge of Courage with Audie Murphy & Bill Mauldin (the cartoonist) - Trapdoor Springfields
Shenandoah with Jimmy Stewart - Trapdoor Springfield
Daniel Boone (TV series with Fess Parker) - sometimes a modified Trapdoor to look like a flintlock

More modernly - Sergio Leone's The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly with centerfire metallic cartridge revolvers in the Civil War. As I kid in the '60s I didn't know.
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Old January 15, 2020, 10:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Yesterday while watching an episode of the Rifleman (Chuck Conners ) someone in the show (Mark I think ) said the year was 1881...1881? (The story was set between 1870's and 1880's0 but Lucas McCain's rifle is a 1892 Winchester ? How did that happen.
Lucas should have been packing a Winchester 73 (1873) but it's Hollywood/TV should we expect the truth...I guess not , we would just be splitin hairs boss !
Gary
John Wayne always carried a 92 Winchester and a 73 Colt. In the opening scene Lucas McCain fired 11 rounds out of a 10 round rifle.
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Old January 15, 2020, 10:38 AM   #9
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As for Lucas' rifle,,,
They knew it was out of period but had to improvise.

There was something about the Winchester 73 action not locking soon enough,,,
For the doo-hickey on the lever to fire the rifle.

Aarond

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Old January 15, 2020, 01:20 PM   #10
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I don't think anyone could do a worse job of weapon curator than the guy that did the first season of "Hell On Wheels". Calling a brass-framed 1860 Army a "Griswold" was bad enough, but they had flintlock blunderbusses on the trans-continental railroad!

They got a bit better in later seasons.
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Old January 15, 2020, 08:46 PM   #11
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merwin and hubert, please uberti make that gun. i would buy it in a instant. well made and the best of the west. i see it in a netfixs western also. if again, uberti or someone makes a repoduction, im buying it.
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Old January 15, 2020, 10:38 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Catman42 View Post
merwin and hubert, please uberti make that gun. i would buy it in a instant. well made and the best of the west. i see it in a netfixs western also. if again, uberti or someone makes a repoduction, im buying it.
This!

& please, out of nitrided stainless, so that when I used BP it isn't a disaster if I can't clean it until the next day...
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Old January 15, 2020, 11:38 PM   #13
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In the opening scene Lucas McCain fired 11 rounds out of a 10 round rifle.
That's funny. My 44-40 1892 Winchester holds 12 or 13 rounds in the magazine. Don't remember exactly how many now, but I know it is more than 10.






As for the triggers on my Colts, they are all set to about 2 1/2 pounds. Nobody in his right mind would want a 1 ounce trigger on a handgun. That would be a good way to shoot yourself in the leg as you pulled the gun from the holster if your finger accidentally touched the trigger.

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Old January 15, 2020, 11:53 PM   #14
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That's funny. My 44-40 1892 Winchester holds 12 or 13 rounds in the magazine. Don't remember exactly how many now, but I know it is more than 10.
I guess I should have specified carbine lol
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Old January 16, 2020, 12:29 AM   #15
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merwin and hubert, please uberti make that gun. i would buy it in a instant. well made and the best of the west. i see it in a netfixs western also. if again, uberti or someone makes a repoduction, im buying it.
Quote:
& please, out of nitrided stainless, so that when I used BP it isn't a disaster if I can't clean it until the next day...
Howdy Again

I had to start another post about Merwins and Hulberts because this board only allows me to post six photos per post.

Shooting a Merwin Hulbert with Black Powder:



You do not have to run home and clean any revolver that was fired with Black Powder immediately. It will not turn into a pile of rust over night. For one thing, we no longer use corrosive primers, and they were half the reason that BP fouling caused such bad corrosion. No need for Stainless, if you know how to prepare a revolver to be shot with Black Powder you can wait until the next day to clean it. Or even a week later. I will not publish here how long some of my guns have sat before cleaning after being shot with Black Powder, but it has been a heck of a lot more than a week.



This is a 44-40 Merwin Hulbert Pocket Army 2nd Model, made sometime between 1881-1883. The same model pictured in an earlier post but without the engraving. (Notice the spelling and notice there is no 'and' in the name.)






I hear all the time how the Merwin Hulbert was the finest revolver made during the 19th Century. This myth is largely because there is only one authoritative book about Merwin Hulberts. The Story of Merwin Hulbert & Co. Firearms, by Art Phelps. In this book Phelps continually harps on the fine precision needed to make a MH, and how it was the most innovative design of any revolver made during the 19th Century.






What Phelps fails to mention is that although all the empties can be dumped out of a MH by pulling the barrel and cylinder forward and rotating them...






It cannot be reloaded while the mechanism is open. The mechanism has to be closed and fresh rounds have to be loaded one at a time through a loading gate, not much different than a Colt. Because of the way the rounds are captured by the internal extractor ring, it is physically impossible to reload while the gun is open.






Smith and Wesson Top Break revolvers were a better design, the empties were automatically ejected when the gun was opened, and it could be reloaded while the gun was still open. Much faster and more efficient than reloading a MH one round at a time.






Why did Joseph Merwin come up with his radical design for a revolver? Because Smith and Wesson held all the patents that allowed them to make a Top Break. Merwin had to come up with something radically different without infringing on Smiths patents. S&W was well known for aggressively going after patent infringements. The reason for that is another story for another time.

The other thing I hear all the time is how MH was the only company that could produce such a precise mechanism. Complete baloney. I have run out of space to show more photos on this post, but I can tell you that the internals of a Merwin Hulbert were not as well machined as similar parts in a Smith and Wesson Top Break. If S&W wanted to produce a rotary design like the MH, they could have done it easily. But they did not need to because they held the the patents for their Top Breaks.



Uberti make a new revolver with the Merwin Hulbert design? Sorry folks it ain't going to happen. About ten years ago there was a company that attempted to make a replica of the Merwin Hulberts. They were underfunded and never got beyond 3D CAD models and making a few parts that were shown at some of the big gun shows. They eventually ran out of money and the whole project ground to a halt. Don't hold your breath for Uberti to come up with a MH copy, they have their hands full with everything they are making now.


So, now that I have spent all these electrons putting down Merwin Hulberts, don't get me wrong. They are fascinating revolvers, and they are loads of fun to shoot. But the myths that have been attributed to them are mostly just myths.
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Old January 16, 2020, 12:32 AM   #16
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I guess I should have specified carbine lol
You're right! I just watched a video of Chuck Conners as the rifleman, and he was shooting a carbine. Mine is a rifle with a 24" barrel.

But I counted the rounds and I think he got of 12 shots.
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Old January 16, 2020, 12:49 AM   #17
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I watched this video and he works the lever 12 times but it sounds like 13 shots. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Rl-FGETfS4
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Old January 16, 2020, 01:43 AM   #18
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I think the thirteenth is an echo. As the camera zooms out toward the end, you can see the muzzle flashes.
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Old January 16, 2020, 12:25 PM   #19
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Driftwood Johnson could you explain what you mean by preparing a revolver before shooting blackpowder powder in it?
I’ve loaded and shot some in my stainless SBH using 44 magnum cases. And would like to do the same with my blued Bisley SBH in 45 Colt.
Cleaning the stainless SBH wasn’t to bad as I could see things but I’m leery of doing it in the Bisley.
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Old January 16, 2020, 01:42 PM   #20
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The 13th shot in the Rifleman was added afterward because the producers thought it sounded better.

Older movies and TV shows were really low budget affairs. They were trying to turn out a lot of shows in as short amount of time as possible and not a lot of attention was paid to historical accuracy. And it involved a lot more than the firearms used. Audiences of the day didn't notice or care when they did.

At the time actual period correct firearms for a lot of these movies simply no longer existed. There were no companies making correct reproductions like we have today. They needed a gun and used what they had.
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Old January 16, 2020, 02:39 PM   #21
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Geezuz, please reduce the size of your pictures. 1,000px × 1,600px is waaaaaay too big.
"...a pressure of one ounce..." That'd be Hollywood BS. Just like everything you see in TV or movies. Just holstering an SAA with a 1 oz. trigger would set it off. So would just dropping the thing.
Nothing in The Rifleman or any other TV show or movie is remotely real. Starting with everybody running around with a Colt revolver. Most people, especially cowboys(at $30 per month if they were lucky and experienced), could not afford a firearm never mind a high priced Colt. Or any hand gun or a horse and saddle.
"...got off 12 shots..." Roy regularly got more than that out of his SAA.
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Old January 16, 2020, 06:13 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by T. O'Heir View Post
Geezuz, please reduce the size of your pictures. 1,000px × 1,600px is waaaaaay too big.
"...a pressure of one ounce..." That'd be Hollywood BS. Just like everything you see in TV or movies. Just holstering an SAA with a 1 oz. trigger would set it off. So would just dropping the thing.
Nothing in The Rifleman or any other TV show or movie is remotely real. Starting with everybody running around with a Colt revolver. Most people, especially cowboys(at $30 per month if they were lucky and experienced), could not afford a firearm never mind a high priced Colt. Or any hand gun or a horse and saddle.
"...got off 12 shots..." Roy regularly got more than that out of his SAA.
See, in a few years, y’all will have broadband and then you’ll enjoy the larger pictures because... you can see more! Of the details of some of the fine firearms others are sharing with us...
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Old January 17, 2020, 08:38 PM   #23
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@Driftwood Johnson

Quote:
I had to start another post about Merwins and Hulberts because this board only allows me to post six photos per post.
Thank you for reposting that here. I don't recall the other forum/board where you did pretty much the same. Very good, and since you had little response, it may have had the same effect as this old joke:

Q: Have you heard the roof joke?

A: It's over your head.

Kudos!

Jim
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Old January 18, 2020, 08:52 AM   #24
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It is amazing how many Colt revolvers and some rifles have no front sights on them in the movies, as well as how many rubber guns they use. I know it's all not a historically correct venue and just entertainment, but they can sure be creative. I recently bought a Hollywood prop gun, fixed it up a little and gave it to my friend. It was a Henry with a brass plated frame and he needed another brass gun over his fireplace. The barrel was simply stuck in the frame and pinned in with a pin through the chamber area. The action actually worked quite well and was a good reproduction of an original...from a Hollywood state of mind ! It's in another state now, I'll see if he can post a pic or two of it.
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Old January 18, 2020, 02:29 PM   #25
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Driftwood Johnson could you explain what you mean by preparing a revolver before shooting blackpowder powder in it?
I’ve loaded and shot some in my stainless SBH using 44 magnum cases. And would like to do the same with my blued Bisley SBH in 45 Colt.
Cleaning the stainless SBH wasn’t to bad as I could see things but I’m leery of doing it in the Bisley.
Howdy

Basically, to prepare a rifle, shotgun, or revolver for Black Powder cartridges, I take it completely apart, or as completely apart as I feel comfortable. Then I strip away all the oils and lubricants already there, bringing everything down to bare metal. I usually use drugstore rubbing alcohol for this. This includes stripping everything out of the bore and cylinders too. Then I liberally relubricate everything with Ballistol before reassembling. That's it. Contrary to popular belief you do not have to strip down a firearm completely to clean it every time you shoot it with Black Powder.

And I always use a Black Powder compatible bullet lube on my bullets. Using standard modern hard bullet lube can result in hard fouling that is difficult to remove. I usually use bullets lubed with SPG. In the past I have also used standard bullets that I melted the lube out of and pan lubed with a mixture of 50%Crisco/50% Beeswax.

For a more detailed explanation with photos, check out post #46 in this thread on The High Road.


https://www.thehighroad.org/index.ph...eaning.859465/
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