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Iconic Firearms - what do you think?


Brian Wolfe
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Iconic
Firearms

I thought it might be fun to start a thread
where the members could post their opinions of what they think are iconic
firearms. As you can see from what I
think is “fun” that I don’t get out much.

There are objects in the world that the very
sight of them on the television or in magazines says everything. For example if you see the Eiffel Tower you
might automatically think, “Paris” or at least “France”. Of course if you were an aluminum siding sales
person you might wonder when they are going to finish it and offer to give the
French Government an estimate.


Visual objects are such a powerful statement
that any movie to do with extraterrestrial invasions always shows these
buildings. One must ask why it is that
every flying saucer seems to crash into the dome of the American Congress
building or tips over the Eiffel Tower.
Seriously, no offence to the French people or their country but you have
to admit that according to the movies alien visitors do seem to have a problems
with avoiding it.


What I am asking you to post are those
firearms that you consider iconic, that remind you of some era, event or
place. In fact let’s expand on this and
say any of your favourite firearms. There is no correct or wrong answer; it is
your opinion. This can be from your
collection or even a photo out of a book.
If you use a photo from a book please give the title and author’s name so
we don’t get into trouble with the copyright people.


Just for the “gunners” in our midst, Irish or
otherwise, let’s add the really big guns and include artillery pieces.


I’ll kick this section off with my next post,
let’s see what we can come up with to rival the medal guys.


In addition to the item in my next post there
is a bit of a quiz that goes with it for those of you who are up for some
historical sleuthing, so good luck.


Regards


Brian









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Remington
Derringer Mod.95


To me nothing screams frontier gambler like a
derringer. Whether on the riverboats
plying their trade along the mighty Mississippi or in a smoke filled saloon of
a dusty frontier town the professional gambler would not be far away. There is nothing like a good game of five
card draw poker or a turn at craps to put some life in a cowpoke’s break from
the drudgery of a cattle drive while in town for the night. Not too far away would be the gambler’s
friend, his trusty derringer, to persuade a cowhand that the loss of his hard
earned wages was secondary to the risk of the loss of his life; if he
questioned the honesty of the game.


Actually these were sold more to the ladies than to
gamblers. One of these secreted away in
a purse, the folds of a dress or in the furry hand warmer was just the ticket
to make life outside of the home a little safer. The hand warmers were referred to as a “muff”
therefore the term often applied to a small concealable pistol was a “muff gun”.
Gentlemen also carried these pocket pistols for protection so even though they
remind me of the frontier gambler their use was more often by the upper class
ladies and gentlemen.


This particular example is the Remington Model 95
double-barreled pocket pistol, or derringer, in .41 cal. rim-fire. Remington made derringers for around 70 years
starting in 1866. This specimen has a
cartridge extractor which is a feature added in 1869 and the inscription on the
barrel rib reads “REMINGTON ARMS CO.
ILION N.Y.”
which first appeared in 1888 and then changed in 1910. Therefore this specimen would have been made,
by my reckoning, sometime between 1888 and 1910.


Now for the question, keeping in mind that to me these
are iconic of the old west saloon gambling table, what is the down card in the
photo? I’ll start the clock now to see
who gets the answer first. Good luck.


Regards


Brian













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"Now for the question, keeping in mind that to me these are iconic of the old west saloon gambling table, what is the down card in the photo?"

Black aces and eights. The Dead Man's Hand. Actually, Wild Bill Hickok's hole card is supposedly unknown. Historical displays like to display it as a card from the suit of Diamonds - a five, nine or a jack - even a joker. Deadwood likes the Queen of Clubs. But it doesn't really matter - because Hickok was shot before playing out the hand.

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I'll stick to Brian's time-period for my first iconic submission... The Colt Single Action Army - the Colt .45 or the Peacemaker... The iconic firearm carried by the cavalry (including Custer's 7th Cav and Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders) and the gunfighters (like Wyatt Earp - I've read that Hickok actually carried Navy 1851s). There was a later model chambered in .44-40 Winchester - the Colt Six-Shooter - so a cowboy needed only one type ammunition for his revolver and his Winchester 73 rifle (another iconic weapon - The Gun that Won the West).

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Edited by IrishGunner
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"Now for the question, keeping in mind that to me these are iconic of the old west saloon gambling table, what is the down card in the photo?"

Black aces and eights. The Dead Man's Hand. Actually, Wild Bill Hickok's hole card is supposedly unknown. Historical displays like to display it as a card from the suit of Diamonds - a five, nine or a jack - even a joker. Deadwood likes the Queen of Clubs. But it doesn't really matter - because Hickok was shot before playing out the hand.

Hi Irish,

I had a feeling that you would be the one to answer the question. I didn't expect that you would answer the hole card so completely. :cheers:

I'm going to go with Deadwood and say it was the Queen of Clubs.

Well done.

Regards

Brian

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You could not have picked more iconic firearms to represent the Old West than the Colt 45 "Peacemaker" and the Winchester 73. They were "the best of the west". I hope someone will show the Navy Colt as well.

This is already a post that generates dreams for me of future collecting conquests.

Your comment about being a time when it was alright to shoot the badguy is spot on. Back when I was a kid and all of the Western movies were in black and white it seemed that the world was indeed more "black and white" regarding what was right and what was wrong. Now almost all movies are shot in colour and the world is "gray".

Thanks for posting a couple of firearm greats.

Regards

Brian

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Y

This is already a post that generates dreams for me of future collecting conquests.

Regards

Brian

Yea, I know what you mean. I started "dreaming" when I learned that there is an artillery version of the Single Action Army. :whistle:

Edited by IrishGunner
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Yep, the Brown Bess. Couldn't hit the inside of a barn but with several thousand, aiming low, there was gonna be some damage.

I once saw a potty Professor giving a lecture at Nottingham University on explosives in the 70s. He set light to massive tubes of hydrogen, liquid oxygen and those sort of mundane things. He also showed what a Brown Bess could do when firing a candle at a barn door (he didn't actually use a flintlock but a percussion cap smooth bore), blimey, it was just like an R1 shooting a wall.

I tried to find anything similar on google and found a video with him on it! Here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orO3PxLPiKU

Edited by Spasm
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Excellent video, many thanks for posting it.

The weapon fired was a Model 1853 Three Band rifle musket, I believe. Not that it matters as the priciple is the same.

One point (a personal opinion) is that the weapon should only be at half cock when the percussion cap is placed on the nipple. To carry out this action at full cock, as in the demonstration, is inviting an accidental discharge, as these were not equiped with a safety device, except for the half cock position.

I just checked my own M1853 and the half cock position allows the precussion cap to be installed with no problems, in case anyone was wondering. A soldier would then raise the musket to his shoulder while engaging the hammer to the full cock position and fire the weapon.

One would not want to blow the sergeant's head off "accidently" by carrying out this proceedure at full cock. ;)

Regards

Brian

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