Weapons of the West

Tools of the Trade

“God did not make all men equal. Colonel Colt did.”

After fighting the Civil War, thousands of frontiersmen used revolvers – handguns that utilize rotating chambers, allowing the firing of multiple rounds.

How accurate is a revolver?

  • An expert shot might consistently hit a stationary figure at 40 yards with a revolver.
  • In the chaos of battle, that distance is reduced by half.

Previous to metallic cartridges, frontiersmen fired home made ammunition; a ball, powder, percussion cap, combination they rolled themselves. Obviously, unless very carefully made, these rounds were highly dangerous, and often misfired.

The most reliable gun ever to be slung in the west was the (ironically named) Peacemaker 1873. Distributed by Cold, the pistol was widely distributed. But, despite the western-movie image of the gunslinger and his pistol, a wise gunslinger always had backup; a rifle or shotgun. The Peacemaker was reliable, but inaccurate because of its short barrel (8 inches or less).

Why carry a rifle?

  • Rifles are accurate at far greater ranges – 200 plus yards.
  • They are simple to operate.
  • The most effective weapon: The sawed-off shotgun was perfect for short range (such as evidenced in the movie Open Range).

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