Smoothbore and Mountain Men?

Discussion in 'Smoothbore' started by Amikee, Aug 26, 2011.

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  1. Jan 21, 2020 #61

    Zonie

    Zonie

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    People tend to look at the mountain men trappers as the only ones there but in the larger camps, there were also cooks and others who hunted for their daily food.
    I have no doubt whatsoever that smoothbore guns were popular in these camps for getting small game for the daily meals.
     
  2. Jan 21, 2020 #62

    tenngun

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    And let’s not forget they were trapping beaver. Although there was a market for Fox, mink, otter, weasel, Buffalo, ect, the MM were there to take beaver.
    When trapping they had little need to hunt. It looks like avarage takes were in the range of two to four hundred beaver per trapper per year. That’s a lot of meat, without a shot fired.
     
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  3. Jan 21, 2020 #63

    longcruise

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    Yes I've read of them and apparently the bottom of the totem pole was the "camp keeper" who often had no firearm at all.
     
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  4. Jan 23, 2020 #64

    Lonesome Charley

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    A question I have is this, if the smoothbore was not wanted by either the MM or tribes, why were the Northwest Trade Guns still being made and sold into the 1860s by HBC?
     
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  5. Jan 23, 2020 #65

    Pukka Bundook

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    Light m-loading guns were sold by Hudson Bay at least into the early 20th century. I Think it was the 1930's actually.

    In the time period you mention Charley, I'd say buffalo running was one common use, but for native trappers, the trade -gun still made sense.
    Trapping at that time meant beaver, and cover along rivers and streams held game which could be hunted well with a smooth bore.
    Out easts of where we live, it's flat enough in places to see the curve of the world, and it can be very hard there to get close to plains game out there.
    Along the river coulees and such, range wouldn't be the same problem.
     
  6. Jan 23, 2020 #66

    Lonesome Charley

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    That was my thought. I know that they sold them in Africa into the 20th century. Thanks for the history lesson. By the early 1880s most of the big herds of buffalo we gone down here. I've never heard about the northern herds in Canada.
    I read someone question that pronghorn could be taken with a spear in open country by primitive hunters. Those primitive hunters knew the game they were hunting. I drew in a prairie goat to within 20 yards with a bandanna tied to a staff. In the coulilies you mention the critters get out of the wind. It's where any hunter would look.

    Thanks for the history. I really appreciate it
    LC
     
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  7. Jan 23, 2020 #67

    Va.Manuf.06

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    Hudson Bays sales of trade guns continued in Canada until at least the 1930's if not later, I have read that some were still available on trading post shelves until the 1950's.
     
  8. Jan 23, 2020 #68

    Lonesome Charley

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    I had no idea that they sold them so late. I have seen one from the 1920s....Great to know. I am looking at building a TVM Fowler..Anyone have an opinion on these guns?
     
  9. Jan 24, 2020 #69

    longcruise

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    So, if you built one an exact copy of one sold by HBC in 1930 would that be acceptable on the forum? :)
     
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  10. Jan 24, 2020 #70

    Lonesome Charley

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    Not that I would, but why wouldn’t they be? Were the ones from the 1930s any different from the 1830s? Looks like they figured they had a good thing going for them.
     
  11. Jan 24, 2020 #71

    tenngun

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    They had a stock that looked more like a rifled musket look instead of the ‘English’ style stock used during the MM era.
     
  12. Jan 24, 2020 #72

    Dphar1950

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    The native population was the primary customer for the trade gun both East and West.
     
  13. Jan 24, 2020 #73

    Zonie

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    The idea behind what is acceptable or not acceptable is not based on everything being an exact copy of the guns that were used prior to 1865.
    If the copies of the HBC guns in 1930 were different in their stock configuration or the trigger guards, butt plates etc from the guns sold in 1830 they would still be allowed on the forum. After all they are muzzleloaders that were like the ones that were used before 1865.

    Think of it this way: A modern longrifle that is somewhat based on a rifle made by John Moll is perfectly acceptable on the forum even if it doesn't look like one of the guns Moll made in 1775.
     
  14. Jan 24, 2020 #74

    Pukka Bundook

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    A light trade gun would still work for the kind of job it was given then, as well as now.
    After all, They weren't shooting driven pheasants. :)
     
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  15. Jan 24, 2020 #75

    Lonesome Charley

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    Here's a question for the Western MM Would a fowler, not a NW Trade gun, be acceptable for a western Rendezvous?

    LC
     
  16. Jan 24, 2020 #76

    tenngun

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    Most men that went trapping got their gun from the company. So most common would have been the trade rifle the company decided.
    Had a man his own gun that’s what he took, and a fowling gun or smooth rifle may have been his gun.
    Rendezvous is generally ‘old timie’ and gear and clothing may be a little out of time or place. Few would look askance at a fowler that’s seventy years out of time.
    Then not all men who went west were trappers or worked for the fur companies. The Santa Fe trail was active at this time. The folks there right out of st Lou and more likely supplied their own gun along with a stake in the trade.
     
  17. Jan 24, 2020 #77

    Pukka Bundook

    Pukka Bundook

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    Charlie,

    British gunmakers made heavier and stronger guns for "The Colonies" and such a gun wouldn't be as out of place as a fine sporting gun, which may or may not survive the fall from a horse.
     
  18. Jan 27, 2020 #78

    Lonesome Charley

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    I just picked up a Green River Forge NW trade gun. Anyone here have any thoughts or experience with Frank Straights guns? This one is unusual in that it is blued instead of browned. But it is nice looking tight gun...
     
  19. Jan 27, 2020 #79

    tenngun

    tenngun

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    The original NWG were blued , most browned over the years.
    I don’t know anything about this maker.
     
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  20. Jan 27, 2020 #80

    Lonesome Charley

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    Thank you..good to know. Apparently Green River Forge was started in the 70s. Changed hands a couple of times before it closed up shop. I will post a picture of the gun when it shows up.
     
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