Late period ML persona, say 1865ish

Discussion in 'General Reenacting Discussions' started by jime444, Apr 5, 2019.

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  1. Apr 5, 2019 #1

    jime444

    jime444

    jime444

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    A friend of mine who is fairly new to ML reenactments and had(what I think) is a interesting question/point.
    Most event revolve pre-1840; fur trade based ronde’s, I guess. Though, the ML era continued for 30 or so, more years, sometimes even further in the western US for the general population. That’s his persona time frame interest, just before or during the transition to cartridge period. Originally, from Montana he’s looking for a persona. My suggestion was a European aristocrat, hunting for buffalo/big game in the wild, wild western US. Or, a former Confererate officer, heading west for a new start. Any other suggestions for that approximate time frame?
    Thx
     
  2. Apr 5, 2019 #2

    Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave

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    Well cartridges showed up in the ACW which would've been of course 1861-1865. The Henry, the Spencer, the Burnside, and the Sharps. He's right, the caplocks and even flintlocks didn't suddenly disappear in a poof of smoke.

    I know as late as 1867 dangerous game hunters overseas were using caplock 8 bore and 4 bore rifles. See The Sporting Rifle and Its Projectiles by J. Forsyth

    The British Army adopted the Snyder conversion of the 1853 Enfield in 1866. But if you check the reference that I listed, the sportsmen didn't like the bullet performance in the military muskets vs. large game, and so were still using very large, patched round ball on large and dangerous game. The problem then is the British aristocrat would have British guns, in rather large calibers.:confused: A very cool persona..., and very pricey to say the least. (You might get away with a SxS rifle in .72 caliber. :cool:)

    A Confederate, well maybe. Most of the long arms were confiscated at the end of the ACW. I wonder if he might have gone up into the Dakotas, and then up into Canada, to get out of the USA, finding his way to Winnipeg, a huge fur trading center. He might have come back South in 1869 to avoid the Red River Rebellion, in Winnipeg and might have brought back with him an 1853 Enfield rifle in .58???

    Maybe he participated in the rebellion and had to split back to the USA to avoid British authorities ???

    LD
     
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  3. Apr 5, 2019 #3

    Kansas Jake

    Kansas Jake

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    There are many options. Some depend on where the friend is located now and if he or she has a family heritage they are interested in portraying. Here in Kansas, the years shortly before the ACW or early years after one could be a homesteader, a free stater, a guide on the Oregon trail, buffalo hunter, scout for the army, Sante Fe Trail trader. These would just be a few.
     
  4. Apr 5, 2019 #4

    Nativearizonan

    Nativearizonan

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    A buffalo hunter immediately after the ACW might well have been armed with a Hawken rifle and a percussion revolver. Most repeaters were still underpowered for buffalo, and the army was not quick to sell off their .58 rifled muskets as surplus. A heavy barreled plains rifle that took a heavy charge was still a viable choice. Although conversion revolvers were coming into use, the ammo was still not as easy to obtain as caps, powder, and lead, so not everybody would have thought them the best choice. People change their ways much more slowly than availability of newer technology would suggest. A hunter, after the war, might well be armed very similarly to before the war. The real change to cartridge guns started happening in the 1870s.
     
  5. Apr 6, 2019 #5

    tenngun

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    Then there is the south Appalachian. SMR continued to be built and shot well past the beginning of cartridge era and not much change between early nineteenth century and first third of the twentieth.
    Ned Roberts tell about hunting bear as a early teen with his grandfather and grandpa’s double gun that out preformed Roberts .44-40.
    We see plenty of photos from the 60s 70s and 80s of westerners with mls. A man turning forty in 1870 May have only shot ml all his and had no reason to change
     
  6. Apr 6, 2019 #6

    Einsiedler

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    For me, in that timeperiod, I’d be a sharecropper. Fit perfect in my neck of the woods in the reconstruction south. Get me a eye hoe and an old wore out percussion shotgun and have at them old hares.
     
  7. Apr 6, 2019 #7

    Brokennock

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    Elmer Keith was born in 1890 and I seem to recall his 1st shotgun being a muzzleloader. And I think he writes of a few older folks he knew growing up that only had a m.l. or 2 for firearms.
    If one hasn't read it, "Hell I was There," is a great read and even though the later parts of the book/his life deals with cartridge guns, one might glean some insight into late period m.l. use in Missouri and Idaho from the earlier parts of that book and "Shotguns by Keith."
     
  8. Apr 7, 2019 #8

    Nativearizonan

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    My grandfather was born about the same time frame as Elmer Keith, and his first gun was a full stock smooth bore muzzle loader, when growing up in Alabama. There would be a big difference, though, between a kid's first gun and a professional hunter's gun; or the gun of someone who thought they might have to defend their life with it. A typical farmer, though, who only needed to shoot skunks or put down a lame horse, probably wouldn't see the need to spend the money on a late model firearm.

    I'm guessing it was smokeless powder, and the subsequent need for less cleaning, that really ended the use of muzzleloaders for most all main stream uses. That and the passing of a generation that grew up without ever even knowing of cartridge guns. A lot of them probably died of old age still thinking these new-fangled contraptions were somehow less reliable than they way they did it.
     
  9. Apr 8, 2019 #9

    tenngun

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    My fist ml rifle was purchased at a gun shop in Farmington New Mexico. This was in ‘75 and the owner was looking in his late sixties or early seventies. He said that as a boy he and his brother hunted with a ml. He remembered being so happy to get a breech loader as a teen. Approximately 1920 I would guess. He couldn’t believe people would be buying new made ml to shoot. Told me I would get tired of loading and cleaning pretty quick
     
  10. Apr 11, 2019 #10

    Samuel

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    I think finding a group of guys and gals that wanted to do the 1865-1870 time period would be great.
    Just the regular folks, or I would be a teamster hauling goods with Mules and Wagon. or a Farmer wanting to relocate. A civil war vet looking for a change. Blacksmith always in demand. or Leather worker. For Firearms I would use my Mississippi rifle and 51 Navy Revolver. But many rifled muskets. and or cap and ball revolvers of your choice, actually just about any muzzle loader would fit in. or Sharps paper cartridge breach loader even. Wow I think I'd better stop now. LOL
     
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  11. Apr 16, 2019 at 3:51 PM #11

    Rifleman1776

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    I had a good friend, now gone, who was heavily into reenacting the gold rush 49-ers. Most of his outfits were suits. Firearms could be c&b revolver, double shotguns, etc. I once borrowed his clothes for a documentary movie I was cast in set in Arkansas in a slightly earlier era. Many clothes did not change style dramatically over the years.
     
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