Thursday, February 23, 2006

Odds n' ends

I did get to go the relic show earlier this month, once again I came home with an armload of books. I didn't really see a lot there to catch my eye except for this nice display of Colt boat anchors horse pistols.
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Nice collection huh? I have no idea if they were for sale or not, but the Walker alone (top) would fetch several thousand dollars, possibly as much as ten. I have no idee because I don't keep up with such things, but the last time I saw one for sale was 15 years ago and I think it was priced at 8k then.

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A nice pair of Third model Dragoons. These were so nice and clean looking, I first thought they were repops.

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A better shot of the Walker (top) and a decent looking First Model Dragoon. The Walker/Dragoon revolvers were Colt's first truly successful pistols. The earlier Patterson pistols were too light in caliber, difficult to load (the early ones had to have the barrel removed to load) and too complicated and finicky to stand up to a lot of abuse.

And here is something you don't see every day.
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A Blakeslee quick-loader for the Spencer Rifle/Carbine. Yankee ingenuity at its best. This thing holds seven tubes full of .56 cartridges. Carrying these could give a single company of yankee cavalrymen nearly the firepower of a Confederate Infantry Regiment.

Although that sounds like an exaggeration, it isn't. Assuming the rifle or carbine is already loaded, each trooper has 56 shots he can fire before having to resort to loading individual rounds from his cartridge box. In five minutes time an 80 man company could fire nearly five thousand shots. A eight hundred man regiment armed with muskets (figuring three rounds a minute) could fire twelve thousand rounds in the same period of time. One tenth the manpower to fire nearly half as many rounds in the same time. Is it any wonder we lost the war? If the War department had been more interested in these new-fangled contraptions there's no doubt the war would've ended sooner, but the death toll would've likely been the same or worse.

I am finished spouting opinions now.

Last but not least, just because I thought it was pretty nifty.
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I've never seen an over-and-under double barreled pistol before.