Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

Welcome to Glock Forum at

Why should YOU join our forums?

  • Reason #1
  • Reason #2
  • Reason #3

Site Description

S&P...for cowboys in the late 1800s

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by jdavionic, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. jdavionic

    jdavionic NRA Member

    May 1, 2008
  2. glockin-45


    Feb 24, 2009
    North Carolina
    jd, have you ever visited the SASS site? Single Action Shooting Society. Look um up, and have fun.:wavey:

  3. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo Ancient Member Millennium Member

    Nov 7, 1999
    Free Republic of Tejas
    SASS bears no resemblance to the working cowpuncher of the trail era. It's just dress-up playing cowboy with guns, no more, no less.

    My great-grandfather was a railroad man of that era and his entire set of posessions fit in a modest sized gladstone bag. Nope, he didn't even own a gun, though the railroad provided a double-barrel 12 ga. He was a station foreman who worked back and forth across the Indian Territory and into the Texas Panhandle. No gunfights or robberies, just maintaining the track and making sure the trains ran on time.

    Itenerant cowpunchers would work the railroads a bit in return for food, a ride or a place to sleep in the bunkhouse. Once the railroads moved northward the cattle drive days were pretty much over. Cattlemen ended up working on large spreads or else took up a new trade and worked in town.

    I heard all about this as a small child from my dad and his granddaddy.

  4. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    Looks like the majority of a Cowboy's kit was his clothing.

    Funny how little attention we pay to clothing now. You'll get forumites writing book-length posts about which gun is superior, but seldom does the topic of clothing come up much.
  5. jdavionic

    jdavionic NRA Member

    May 1, 2008
    Everything seems very practical in nature. These people were venturing out on their own and had to fend for themselves. While we often focus on guns and ammo, they are focused on clothing and other gear.
  6. kirgi08

    kirgi08 Watcher. Silver Member

    Jun 4, 2007
    Acme proving grounds.
  7. pmwglock19


    Oct 10, 2008
    Interesting to note that the rifle/carbine was not a weapon carried after the Indian uprising by the cowboys. The revolver was the weapon of carry.

    Here we were told the winchester leveraction won the west.
  8. jdavionic

    jdavionic NRA Member

    May 1, 2008
    I found that interesting for a different reason. I don't see where the article contradicts your latter statement. They specifically state that most of the 'uprising' was over.

    However I thought it was still interesting that wouldn't want a rifle given the other challenges of the time.
  9. kirgi08

    kirgi08 Watcher. Silver Member

    Jun 4, 2007
    Acme proving grounds.
    May have been a cost Issue.'08.
  10. It did win the west, then it wasn't routinely needed.

    Want, need, and afford are very different things.

    A revolver was expensive enough, but at least it was portable and concealable and useful for self defense.
    Some things haven't changed.
  11. Ruble Noon

    Ruble Noon "Cracker"

    Feb 18, 2009
    Proper clothing is just as important today as it was then for people who spend the majority of their time outside. I live surrounded by towns that these cowboys drove their cattle to, places like Elsworth, Wichita, Newton, Abilene, Hays and Dodge City and I can attest to the variety of weather one can encounter out here on the plains. I have seen severe thunderstorms and blizzards strike the same area in the same day.
    From about October till May I keep coveralls, a heavy coat, gloves and rain gear in my truck. Some mornings it seems that you are wearing everything that you own and by that afternoon you are down to your shirtsleeves.
  12. RWBlue


    Jan 24, 2004
    That was Winchester marketing.

    In truth, the west was probably won with single shot, shotguns, because there was one in every wagon that went west.
  13. jdavionic

    jdavionic NRA Member

    May 1, 2008
    That's the interesting part about history. 130 years later and what's important...durable and practical clothes, protection from the elements specific to the area, water (although it appears they relied on the wagon barrel), a good sturdy knife or two, etc.

    Outdoor Hub mobile, the outdoor information engine
  14. RWBlue


    Jan 24, 2004
    If someone has time, I would love to see a cowboy kit in spreadsheet format.
  15. garyjandfamily


    Dec 11, 2007
    I ran into this article years ago, and found it again on "The Firearms Forum". Enjoy!

    Major Wolcott's List - Guns Used by the Johnson County Invaders

    Bill Hockett
    Revised November 4, 2005

    The Johnson County War took place in Wyoming in April of 1892. In essence, a group of powerful Wyoming cattlemen created a "Death List" of small ranchers, cowboys and others they considered a hindrance to large scale ranching interests. These cattlemen belonged to the "Cheyenne Club" and included the political, social and economic elite of Wyoming. They included the governor, United States senators, judges, powerful business men, newspaper owners, etc. This was not a group any small rancher or cowboy would want to buck heads against. In early April 1892 these cattlemen staged an invasion of Johnson County and started to look for men on the Death List. They hired Texas gunmen, travelled on a special train, and outfitted in Cheyenne and Casper. Then they moved north into Johnson County. They managed to surround and kill Nick Ray and Nate Champion at the KC Ranch. They then headed toward Buffalo, where many other men on the Death List were known to reside. The men in the county were alerted by this time, however, and the invaders were themselves besieged at the TA Ranch, near Buffalo. They were pinned down for two days until the invaders friends got President Benjamin Harrison to declare a state of insurrection in Johnson County and have the Army put a stop to the fighting. As part of the surrender, the invaders turned in all their arms and equipment to the Army. Major Wolcott, as unofficial leader of the group made a list of these arms and provided it to the government.

    Arms used by the "rustlers" and the Johnson County Sheriff's posse are a bit vague. It is known that at least one Sharps rifle, caliber .45 2 7/8 inch (noted as an 18 pound Sharps) was used by "Old Dan Boone" (real name was Herman Fraker) to fire at the invaders besieged in the TA Ranch. Also, Sheriff Red Angus' Colt SAA is in the collection of the Wyoming State Museum. Few other guns with provenance to the "rustlers" are known. On the other hand, the arms used by the invaders are very well documented for us modern-day historians and collectors thanks to Major Walcott's List. Major Walcott was the self-appointed leader of the invaders. He was a former Union Army officer from Kentucky. When the invaders surrendered to the U.S. Army, Major Walcott presented a list of all firearms belonging to each man. The list shows make, caliber and serial number of each man's arms as well as cartridges, and cartridge belts. The serial number or make is missing from some entries. This is probably the most complete list of firearms that can be documented as used in western gun fights. In some cases, there are questions to which model of Colt revolver some of the men carried, as the serial numbers could be for the Single Action Army (SAA or Peacemaker), the Model 1877 Lightning (.38 Long Colt) or Thunderer (.41 Long Colt), or the Model 1878 Double Action Frontier. The Models of 1877 and 1878 are both double action revolvers. Some of the serial numbers for these revolvers duplicates that of the Single Action Army of the same period, as each type was numbered as a separate series. In other words, there may be an SAA, an 1877 and an 1878 with serial number 11697. If the actual revolver model is not listed (in Major Wolcott's list this serial number is just shown as a Colt in .45 caliber) than it could be an SAA or a Model 1878. Further research by obtaining factory letters would benefit historians.

    Major Wolcott's list was originally published in an article called "The Arms of Wyoming's Cattle War" by Robert A. Murray in the July 1967 issue of Shooting Times magazine. Murray discovered the list in the U.S. Army records located in the National Archves. The list had each man's name, his arms and extra equipment such as cartridge belts. This makes sense, but is somewhat difficult for a collector interested in Winchester Model 1873 rifles. I have listed the guns with each man's name, by type, and then in serial number order. This is to assist collectors and historians to easily see all the Winchester Model 1873 rifles, or Colt revolvers, etc. I have also identified the role of each of the invaders and provided any other information I have found. As you will see from the list, the predominant handguns were Colt's and the predominant rifles were Winchesters. This should be no surprise to collectors and historians of the old west period. Note that no Marlin rifles are in evidence. Also, most of the rifles used by cattlemen were "big bore" types such as the Winchester models 1876 and 1886. Conversely, most of the Texans, who were hired as professional gunfighters favored the Winchester Model 1873 rifles, many of which were in caliber .38 WCF (today known as .38-40). Even more surprising, only a few of these men considered it a requirement to have the six shooter and rifle in the same caliber. Young D.E. Booke, known as "The Texas Kid" was the invader reputed to have fired the first shot that hit Nick Ray after he emerged from the cabin at the KC Ranch. The Kid was using a Winchester Model 1873 in .38 WCF. Note also that four cattlemen used the Martini single shot rifle. Two men used the "Old Reliable" Sharps single shot rifle in .40 caliber. Serial numbers are inconsistent for these two Sharps and may be incorrect. Seventeen of the long guns are the veritable Winchester Model 1886 rifle, already very popular only five years after it's market debut. The most popular chambering among the invaders in the 1886 is the .45-90.

    The detectives in the expedition were all veterans of numerous skirmishes, both inside and outside the law. The Winchester Model 1886 was used by five of them, with a sixth opting for the old standby Sharps single shot, and the seventh (W.H. Tabor) probably used an 1876. The other Sharps was carried by Elias Whitcomb, who was the oldest member of the invaders. W.C. Irvine's rifle may be an 1876. The caliber information in the list is partially illegible. It just shows .45. He did not carry a handgun. Some .45-75 shell casings were found in the TA Ranch barn.

    I highly recommend The War on Powder River by Helena Huntington Smith, 1966, McGraw-Hill Book Company for a full account of the invasion.

    Name Manufacturer Model Serial Number Caliber Year Made Other Info. Extras Role
    J.N. Tisdale Smith & Wesson ? 15897 .44 S & W - - Cattleman

    J.C. Johnson Webley ? ? .44 Cal. - - Texan

    D.R. Tisdale Colt M1877 18766 .41 Colt 1879 Probably M1877 Cattleman

    Frank Canton ? ? 55728 ? - Probably an SAA Detective

    L.H. Parker Colt M1877 17954 .41 Colt 1879 Probably M1877 Cattleman

    W.J. Clark Colt M1877 11926 .38 Cal. 1878 Probably M1877 Cattleman

    A.R. Powers Colt M1877 179? .41 Colt - Probably M1877 Cattleman

    W.S. Davis Colt M1877 14991 .38 Cal. 1879 Probably M1877 Detective

    G.R. Tucker Colt SAA 293 .45 Colt 1873 Possibly M1878 Texan

    F. Hesse Colt SAA 10163 .45 Colt 1874 Possibly M1878 Cattleman

    A.D. Adamson Colt SAA 11697 .45 Colt 1874 Possibly M1878 Cattleman

    G.A. Campbell Colt SAA 17632 .45 Colt 1875 Possibly M1878 Cattleman

    W.H. Tabor Colt SAA 29768 .45 Colt 1877 - Detective

    Ben Morrison Colt SAA 50240 .45 Colt 1879 - Detective

    W.E. Guthrie Colt SAA 63501 .45 Colt 1881 - Cattleman

    Mike Shonsey Colt SAA 97587 .45 Colt 1883 - Detective

    S.S. Tucker Colt SAA 97623 .44 WCF 1883 - Texan

    F.H. Laberteaux Colt SAA 102242 .45 Colt 1884 - Cattleman

    F. DeBillier Colt SAA 103825 .45 Colt 1884 - Cattleman

    L.H. Parker Colt SAA 109305 .45 Colt 1884 - Cattleman

    W.S. Davis Colt SAA 109511 .45 Colt 1884 - Detective

    Alex Hamilton Colt SAA 112878 .45 Colt 1884 - Texan

    K. Pickard Colt SAA 116184 .44 WCF 1885 .44 WCF rifle Texan

    J.C. Johnson Colt SAA 117844 .45 Colt 1886 - Texan

    J.A. Garrett Colt SAA 118765 .45 Colt 1886 - Texan

    D.E. Booke Colt SAA 120241 .45 Colt 1887 The Texas Kid Texan

    B. Wiley Colt SAA 135184 .45 Colt 1890 - Texan

    J.D. Mynett Colt SAA 135929 .45 Colt 1890 - Texan

    J. Barling Colt SAA 139904 .45 Colt 1891 Brother to Bob Texan

    E. Whitcomb Colt SAA 140710 .41 Colt 1891 - Cattleman

    Joe Elliot Colt SAA 141080 .44 WCF 1891 - Detective

    W.A. Wilson Colt SAA 141475 .44 WCF 1891 .44 WCF rifle Texan

    Charles S. Ford Colt SAA 142387 .45 Colt 1891 - Cattleman

    F.M. Benford Colt SAA 142781 .45 Colt 1891 - Texan

    Bob Barling Colt SAA 142792 .45 Colt 1891 Brother to J. Texan

    B.C. Schultz Colt SAA 143314 .45 Colt 1891 - Texan

    William Little Colt SAA 143567 .45 Colt 1891 - Texan

    M.A. McNally Colt SAA 143609 .45 Colt 1891 - Texan

    Phil DuFran Colt SAA 144414 .45 Colt 1892 - Detective

    Will Armstrong Colt SAA 144682 .45 Colt 1892 - Texan

    Buck Garrett Colt SAA 145105 .45 Colt 1892 - Texan

    W.B. Wallace Winchester 1873 54763 .44 WCF 1880 Englishman 1 belt Cattleman

    Buck Garrett Winchester 1873 66960 .44 WCF 1881 - 1 belt, holster Texan

    Alex Hamilton Winchester 1873 179707B .44 WCF 1885 - 1 belt, ctgs. Texan

    A.D. Adamson Winchester 1873 197923 .44 WCF 1886 60 .44 WCF ctgs. 1 belt, ctgs. Cattleman

    K. Pickard Winchester 1873 251649 .44 WCF 1887 .44 WCF revolver 120 ctgs. Texan

    A.B. Clark Winchester 1873 26178?B .44 WCF 1888 150 .44 WCF ctgs. 50 Webley ctgs. Cattleman

    W.A. Wilson Winchester 1873 324793B .44 WCF 1890 .44 WCF revolver 1 belt, scabbard Texan

    J.A. Garrett Winchester 1873 327276B .44 WCF 1890 - 1 belt, carts., scab. Texan

    M.A. McNally Winchester 1873 32733?B .38 WCF 1890 - Texan

    B.C. Schultz Winchester 1873 335042 .44 WCF 1890 27 .44 WCF ctgs. 60 .45 Colt ctgs. Texan

    William Little Winchester 1873 345860 .38 WCF 1890 - 1 belt Texan

    Will Armstrong Winchester 1873 345928B .38 WCF 1890 - 1 belt, holster Texan

    B. Wiley Winchester 1873 362439 .38 WCF 1890 - 1 belt Texan

    F.M. Benford Winchester 1873 362444B .38 WCF 1890 27 .38 WCF ctgs. 20 .45 Colt ctgs. Texan

    W.J. Clark Winchester 1873 363142 .38 WCF 1890 - 1 belt Cattleman

    D.E. Booke Winchester 1873 386977B .38 WCF 1891 The Texas Kid Texan

    F. Hesse Winchester 1876 46257 .45-60 1884 - 1 belt Cattleman

    W.H. Tabor Winchester ? 48917 .45-75 ? 1884 May be an 1886 3 belts, 142 ctgs. Detective

    Frank Wolcott Winchester 1876 52944 .40-60 1884 - Cattleman

    G.R. Tucker Winchester 1876 55201 .40-60 1885 Also had 1886 Texan

    Ben Morrison Winchester 1886 ? .45-90 ? 104 .45-90 ctgs. 34 revolver ctgs. Detective

    W.S. Davis Winchester 1886 8257 .40-82 1887 - Detective

    Bob Barling Winchester 1886 30284 .40-82 1889 Brother to J. 30 ctgs. Texan

    J.D. Mynett Winchester 1886 42164 .45-90 1890 - 1 belt Texan

    Charles S. Ford Winchester 1886 47097 .45-70 1890 shotgun also 1 belt (not full) Cattleman

    W.C. Irvine Winchester 1886 47098 illegible 1890 May be an 1876 cartridges Cattleman

    W.E. Guthrie Winchester 1886 47100 .45-70 1890 - cartridges Cattleman

    S.S. Tucker Winchester 1886 48143 .45-70 1890 - 1 full belt Texan

    Phil DuFran Winchester 1886 49164 .45-90 1890 - 1 belt Detective

    F.H. Laberteaux Winchester 1886 50129 .40-82 1891 - 1 belt, scabbard Cattleman

    Frank Canton Winchester 1886 51980 .38-56 1891 - 2 belts Detective

    Mike Shonsey Winchester 1886 58018 .45-90 1891 - 1 belt, holster, ctgs. Detective

    D.R. Tisdale Winchester 1886 58136 .45-90 1891 - 1 belt, 60 ctgs. Cattleman

    J.N. Tisdale Winchester 1886 58153 .45-90 1891 - 200 cartridges Cattleman

    G.R. Tucker Winchester 1886 59760 .40-82 1891 Also had 1876 107 ctgs. Texan

    J.C. Johnson Winchester 1886 60038 .45-90 1891 - 1 belt, scabbard Texan

    J. Barling Winchester 1886 60504 .45-90 1891 - 1 belt, holster Texan

    L.H. Parker Winchester 1886 62798 .38-56 1891 - 3 belts, holster Cattleman

    A.R. Powers Martini ? ? .44 cal. ? broken stock 1 full belt Cattleman

    C.A. Campbell Martini ? 10805 .38 cal. ? - 1 belt, holster Cattleman

    H. Tesmacher Martini ? 54745 .44 cal. ? - Cattleman

    F. deBillier Martini ? 54763 .44 cal. ? - Cattleman

    E. Whitcomb Sharps 1874 15914? .40 cal. ? 50 Sharps ctgs. 50 .41 Colt ctgs. Cattleman

    Joe Elliot Sharps 1874 162453 ? .40 cal. ? - 1 belt, holster, ctgs. Detective
  16. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    LOL! Right on cue, a book-length post about gun calibers!


    Interesting, though.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012
  17. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    Not sure I understand?

    Have a look at the table of contents of the article ref'd by the OP, and you'll see a list (if not a spreadsheet).
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012
  18. mac66

    mac66 Huge Member Millennium Member

    Oct 28, 1999
    Blue Planet
    Thanks for posting that report, quite interesting.

    About 15 years ago I ran across a set of the Time-Life books on the old west at a garage sale. There was only half of the 20 volumes but it covered cowboys and gunfighters etc, etc and I got those 10 books for $10. Lots of pictures and lots or references about all the equipment mentioned. The report that the OP posted is one of the references. it was interesting to note that the two handed hold for pistols at long distance was mentioned in the report.

    It is also interesting to note that the "cowboy era" only lasted a relatively short time.
  19. RWBlue


    Jan 24, 2004
    That weird. I swear the article didn't have a contents page the first time I brought it up, but this time it does.:dunno:
  20. garyo

    garyo Millennium Member

    Dec 29, 1998
    NC USA
    Very interesting read, thanks for posting this.