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Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by ZigZagZeke, May 29, 2013.

  1. ZigZagZeke

    Curmudgeon Silver Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    Here are a few facts about the firearms used in the mini-series "Lonesome Dove":

    Augustus McCrae's (Robert Duvall) pistol in the film is a Colt Walker 1847 revolver with a conversion to fire metallic cartridges. Cartridge conversions are commonly done to percussion revolvers in films because firing black powder is potentially dangerous and using metallic blank cartridges is both safer and cheaper to use. While cartridge conversions were popular in the actual old west, they typically allowed the guns to be easier reloaded, while guns used in films try to make them less noticeable to fool the audience into thinking they ARE percussion guns.

    The following famous "Old West" firearms are used in the film: Gus McCrae - Colt Walker (in the novel, Gus actually carries a Colt Dragoon, an improvement on the Walker design, and it is Deets who carries the Walker); Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call - 1860 Henry rifle; Jake Spoon - 1875 Remington with a pearl grip; July Johnson, Blue Duck, and various Hat Creek hands - 1873 Colt Single Action Army, aka "Peacemaker"; Blue Duck - 1859 Sharps cavalry carbine; Dan Suggs - 1875 Remington revolver carbine; Roscoe Brown - 1851 Colt Navy with 1872 cartridge conversion; Dog Face (Blue Duck's sharpshooter) - 1859 Sharps buffalo rifle; Jim (the smaller of the two robbers who attack Roscoe) - "Buntline Special", a version of the Peacemaker with a 12 inch barrel; Various - 1873 Winchester rifle.

    The 1847 Walker Colt carried by Gus in the film is as ubiquitously iconic as the Texas Rangers. It was designed by Samuel Colt and produced at his Paterson, NJ, factory at the behest of Texas Ranger and militia Capt. Samuel Walker. The pistol is enormous--16 inches long with a nine-inch barrel and when loaded weighs almost five pounds. It owes this size to its intended use as a heavy cavalry pistol, meant not to be worn on the belt but carried in a saddle-mounted holster and powerful enough at short range to have one-shot stopping power against both man and horse. The long cylinder holds a .44-cal. bullet on top of 60 grains of black powder, making it the most powerful black-powder revolver ever made. Modern tests have shown the Walker to have stopping power at least equal to the metal-cartridge .357 Magnum. However, the cylinders issued with the Walker initially were not strong enough to handle the combination of such a large powder charge, and improper loading of conical rounds caused the guns to acquire a reputation for its cylinders exploding during firing. The later Colt Dragoon pistol received improvements in its design, with a slight downsizing of the gun overall and it being equipped with thicker-walled cylinders. Only about 1100 Walkers were produced, 1000 for Capt. Walker's order and another 100 added by Sam Colt for special gift and promotional guns.
    tiggers97 and (deleted member) like this.
  2. Sling Blade

    Sling Blade
    Yamhill County
    Well-Known Member

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    Good stuff - thanks!

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