By Louis A. Garavaglia
In 1803 Lewis and Clark set out on their epic excursion around the American desolate tract west of the Mississippi, armed with the common weapon in their day, the single-shot muzzle-loading rifle. by means of 1865, numerous breech-loading and repeating palms have been invented, there have been either more uncomplicated to exploit and extra exact. This encyclopaedic research, half one in every of a two-part booklet, lines the improvement and makes use of of firearms at the frontier in the course of that interval, drawing on fundamental assets corresponding to correspondence and diaries, newspaper bills, executive stories, and patent fabrics. Then, as now, lots of the advances in weaponry have been made according to the military's wishes, turning into to be had slightly later to civilians, after which to Indians. The authors completely hide the refinements and diversifications of guns for hire by way of those 3 teams and by means of explorers and trappers, describing intimately every one gun, its transformations, operations, and makes use of. in lots of methods the historical past of firearms at the frontier parallels the background of the advance of the West.
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Additional info for Firearms of the American West, 1803-1865
Garavaglia, Charles G. Worman. p. cm. Originally published: Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press, c 1984-c1985. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-87081-483-4 (hardcover : alk. paper) 1. )History. I. , 1933- II. Title. 4'00978'09034dc2197-44138 CIP 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Page v To Karen, who not only put up with all this, but unwaveringly supported it. G. To Carol, Liz, Paul, and Rob for their patience and support. W. Page vii CONTENTS Preface xi Acknowledgments xiii Part I: The Explorers: Military Arms, 1803-20 3 Chapter 1: Rifles 5 The Kentucky Rifle, the Model 1803 Prototype, and the Air GunMore Kentuckies, the Model 1803, and AmmunitionNew Production ofthe Model 1803, the Contract Models of 1814 and 1817, and the Hall Breechloader Chapter 2: Smoothbores 15 Loading Techniques and AmmunitionEuropean Predecessors and the Model 1795Shotguns and BlunderbussesThe Contract Musket of 1808 and the Models of 1812 and 1816 Chapter 3: Pistols 21 Nondescript Arms and the Models of 1799 and 1805The North Models of 1811, 1813, 1816, and 1819 Part II: Trappers and Traders: Civilian Arms, 1803-48 29 Chapter 4: Rifles 33 Kentucky and Tennessee Rifles and the Mountain or Plains RifleEastern Rifles for the West: The Henry and OthersSt.
Hall of Portland, Maine, the new breechloader was comparatively simple, as it had to be to compete successfully with a muzzle-loader. " A heavy screw running transversely through both straps and through an elongated hole near the rear of the block kept the block in place and also formed a loose pivot point; for loading, the front of the block swung upward to expose the chamber, a blind hole bored longitudinally into its front face. After seating powder and ball in the chamber with his thumb, the shooter pushed the front of the block down until the chamber was aligned with the bore, whereupon a spring catch locked the block in place.
W. Co. " 3 At about this time War Department officials decided that the government should make its own rifles, which would be more uniform than those purchased from outside sources, but exactly what form the new rifle should follow was a matter of controversy. A month after Lewis wrote to Jefferson, Henry Dearborn again wrote to Joseph Perkins: I have had such convincing proof of the advantage of short rifles over the long ones (commonly used) in actual service as to have no doubt in my mind of preferring the short rifle, with larger calibers than the long ones usually have and with stiff steel ramrods instead of wooden ones.
Firearms of the American West, 1803-1865 by Louis A. Garavaglia