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Messages - cigar joe

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Powder sticks, Black Powder in rolled cardboard, like firecreackers, used the same way drill holes in a mine shaft then ram the sticks into the hole the last one with a fuse (which was hollow cord filled with black powder too) all they had before dynomite  :)

Clint Eastwood Westerns / Re:NAME THAT QUOTE
« on: March 01, 2003, 01:08:42 PM »
This was from a topic on the Leone Board.

It was about conversion colts, converted from cap & ball to catrridge and when they became avaiable....  

I've known gunsmiths that can do just about anything, for example a side by side shotgun was coverted to rifle and by looking at it you couldn't tell.

Here is some info off the net, you are right about production colts, but I'm sure inventive gunsmiths made their own conversions.  


Paper cartridges with a re-usable metal base were made in 1812 by Samuel Pauly, a Swiss gunsmith, in a form common still today. Metal cartridges seem to have been developed during the American civil war, whereby the casing of the cartridge became the missile itself. In 1857, Smith & Wesson were granted a patent for the .22 rimfire cartridge, having already bought the 1855 patent held by Rollin White covering a revolver with 'drilled through' chambers i.e. open at both ends. Rifling was introduced to extend the accuracy of the projectile some 90%.

This is the story of those years, the story of Smith & Wesson.

In the small town of Norwich, Connecticut, Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson opened up their first factory and began producing the lever action pistol that was nicknamed "The Volcanic" by Scientific American because of its incredible firepower and its rapid-fire capability. This pistol and this factory, were the beginning of Smith & Wesson.

In 1854, the company had unfortunate financial problems. When the company started to reorganize itself, an investor, Oliver Winchester provided funding to the company in order for it to keep producing the "Volcanic." The factory moved to New Haven, Connecticut, where Winchester had some of his holdings.

The company name changed that year to "Volcanic Repeating Arms Company." Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson sold their majority interest in the company, and while Smith returned to Springfield, Massachusetts, Wesson remained at the Winchester plant, working as the plant supervisor. While there, Wesson designed a small revolver that could shoot the cartridge that he and Smith had patented earlier in that year.

In 1856, the two men met up in Springfield and renewed their partnership. The revolver that Wesson had designed, called the Model 1 and the cartridge, called "Number One Cartridge" gained immediate popularity due to the advantages the new cartridge. The revolver/cartridge combination was so popular that by 1859 the demand for the handguns was so great that original factory couldn't keep up with the demand. A new factory had to be built. The new factory was built on Stockbridge Street, in Springfield, MA, close to the United States Armory.

The year of 1861 ushered in new era of high demand for Smith & Wesson firearms with the arrival of the Civil War. This demand quickly proved to be more than the new Stockbridge Street factory could handle.


In 1856 the Smith & Wesson Co. invented the world's first metalic cartridge breech loaded revolver. This was a phenomenal breakthrough in firearms. No longer was it necessary to pack powder, wads and balls, and then install caps. Everything was in one package and needed only to be inserted into a gun. Needless to say, at the outbreak of the Civil war, the Smith & Wesson .32 caliber Revolver was in great demand. Orders for this revolutionary gun were so many that Smith & Wesson found their staff of twenty five hopelessly mired in back orders and unable to keep up with demand. At one point they were forced to stop taking new orders.
So why didn't Colt follow suit and also produce a cartridge gun? It's because Smith & Wesson owned the patent. And why didn't the United States supply the Army with this more advanced gun? As mentioned, Smith & Wesson couldn't produce them fast enough. Also, the Colts were less expensive, produced en masse, and the South had nothing better, anyway. So Colt got the contract to supply the Army. Meanwhile, the South was manufacturing their own black powder revolvers produced by Griswold & Gunnison . The frames of these revolvers were made of brass, as the South was limited in its steel resources. As a matter of fact, the good people of Macon, Georgia donated the brass bells from their churches, save one, to be melted down for cannons and guns.
During the same period Remington manufactured a cap & ball revolver which was actually a more practical weapon than the Colt, and those soldiers who could afford a Remington, bought them as their personal combat weapons. What made the Remington more desirable than the Colt was that the Remington had a top strap, making the gun stronger, and the cylinder removal and replacement system was much faster and more efficient than that of the Colt. Reloading a cap & ball pistol is a delicate, time-consuming procedure, virtually impossible under fire. Typically, soldiers armed with revolvers carried several pre-loaded cylinders so that they could replace their spent cylinder with one that was ready to fire. In this respect, the Remington was the gun of choice. Clint Eastwood, in a gun fight scene from the movie Pale Rider, gives an exemplary demonstration of replacing the cylinder on a Remington.
Speaking of the movies, those early Hollywood Westerns crack me up. What is supposed to be taking place during the post-Civil War years depicts everyone running around with Colt "Peacemakers" which weren't produced until 1873. They're also sporting Hollywood gun-slinger type rigs which never existed in the Old West! One of the most accurate representations of what Westerners actually carried is depicted in Crossfire Trail starring Tom Selleck. His side arm is the most advanced and sought-after gun of its day - a Smith & Wesson break-top revolver. I personally got all misty-eyed when, in a gunfight, Selleck pulled out his back-up gun - an old Colt conversion. And do you remember the 50's TV series, Wild Bill Hickok, starring Guy Madison? The only thing historically accurate in that show were the backwards facing guns. Guy Madison packs a pair of shiny, stag-grip 1873 Colts holstered in a fancy rig with backwards left and right holsters. That show also enlightened us with a little known historical fact. Apparently, Wild Bill Hickok palled around with a comedy-relief sidekick named "Jingles" ( Andy Devine). At any rate, the real Wild Bill Hickok carried a matching pair of beautifully engraved 1851 Navy Colts with sculptured ivory handles, which he kept tucked in his belt with the butts facing forward. They were never converted for cartridges.
But I digress. In 1870 Smith & Wesson's patent ran out. Colt immediately began converting their cap & ball revolvers to cartridge guns. Two employees of the Colt Firearms Co., Charles Richards and William Mason, obtained a patent on the means by which a cap & ball revolver could be converted to fire cartridges. The rear end of the cylinder was sawed off and the holes machined to accommodate cartridges. A loading gate was added behind the cylinder, the powder-packing lever was removed, the recess plugged, and a shell ejector added to the side of the barrel. The U.S. Army submitted their weapons for conversion. In 1870, a person could mail his black powder revolver to the Colt Factory and, for five dollars, have it converted. This was the gun that moved out West. To own a Colt Conversion is to own a unique piece of American history

Clint Eastwood Westerns / Fatal Flaws in Clints American Westerns
« on: March 01, 2003, 01:01:14 PM »
I sort of picked up a ball and ran with this in the off topic section Of the Sergio Leone board, but I think it bears more looking into.
Maybe the correct place is here.

Like I said there I like all of Clint's westerns but they never quite matched up to any of Leones, "Unforgiven" was Clints best effort and is close to perfection,  for reasons that I'll get to later or if you can't wait jump To the Sergio Leone board and then down and see under Off Topic Discussions.

I'd really like to hear your thoughts, I'd always leave an early Eastwood western with the feeling that I was getting short changed. With a Leone western it was like getting a full meal. Maybe its that Clint's larger than life persona carries these vehicles over the rough spots and you tend to forget what we lost not having Leone direct them or Morricone score them.

Except for the newbies, I think we all know Leone pretty good, so lets all think like Leone and see if we could have made these movies better than they are.

That said I remember eagerly waiting the premier of "Hang 'em High" Clints first American western upon his leaving Leone.  A great story, Clint (intitially a drover reminicent of his "Rawhide" days) gets hanged by a lynch mob and survives to serve vengeance upon his hangers. It had a great historical back story, though for the life of me I don't know why they changed the names. In the movie the Hanging Judge was Judge Fenton and the town was Ft. Grant, in real life the Judge was Issac Parker and the town was Ft. Smith, Arkansas. The only possible explanation was maybe that "True Grit" had the rights tied up? The historical depictions of the multiple hangings were great.  The movie did have some ok camera camera angles. The scene where Clint confronts Reno is a classic but it goes down hill from there.

The vigilantes for the most part are lightweights, take the two captains, Captain Maddow,  and "The Captain" Alan Hale-Gilligan's Island, come on give me a break. Leone would have had distict memorable baddies maybe even top stars as baddies, each would have had some sort of unique confrontation with Clint. What happend to the Swede, most of that apparently was left on the cutting room floor, only Bruce Dern had a spark of some devious charater. It seems that a lot of the story was truncated,  Leone would have given it the full treatment.  That whole storyline with Inger Stevens was for the most part another melodramatic waste, she should have been played against type and should have been one of the whores. There was also no big shoot out ending, it sort of just fizzled out, Clint rides off to serve more warrents, hummm...  think of how great Leone's version might have been. And to top it all off the music was a joke, they could have used some serious Morricone.

I suppose you could say in fairness that they didn't want to make a carbon copy Leone (which they probably could not do any way being back in the Hollywood picture mill), but, I still think it could have been much better.

Your thoughts?

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