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Thread: Interesting how many small and underpowered cartridges have been used over the years

  1. #61
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    During the time of the Civil War, weapon design was changing rapidly. I suspect many guns were made and discarded because a new design came out that was better than what was made even just short years or months before.
    As was suggested, a lot may have depended on location. News of new developments and the manufacture and transportation of such would be problematic and take considerable time and resources. Even now, many people use what is available rather than wait for"the perfect weapon".
    I many cases, all a particular weapon had to be was available and at least marginally adequate, with the emphasis on available. Like has been said many times on this site, the weapon you carry is far better than the perfect weapon sitting in the safe at home.
    Wars tend to force development of weapons. This is often why civilians tend to buy weapons that the militaries have used. They must have been considered adequate since the army was using them. They also tend to be available.
    That said, there is always a push for something new. Maybe the next super small weapon will be the deadliest thing ever created.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlie b View Post
    Yes, there were .36's used by some on both sides. Why? Don't know. Maybe it was what was available to the common person or to the South who tended to buy up anything they could get. Remember that a lot of militia's relied on locals to arm their companies. So, would they choose a caliber of pistol based on caliber, availability or cost? Or did the people who had a .36 in the closet take it with them rather than be only armed with a musket. Did they choose the .36 over a .44 or did they use it cause it was all they could get?
    Cost and availability. Lots of soldiers could not afford a revolver of any type. Calvary carried as many as they could afford. I have read accounts of some having as many as 8.

    http://www.civilwar.com/history/weap...rms-94493.html
    Last edited by M-Tecs; 01-08-2020 at 11:11 PM.
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlie b View Post
    The Army then bought some Schofields in .45 Schofield. Then the SAA .45LC. If the .36 had performed well enough to be a 'standard' then why did they not contract for .36's or .38's for the SAA or Schofield? The Army did enter 1900 issued with the .38spl revolver. There was quite a bit of conflict over that decision and IIRC it came down to having a reliable double action revolver over the caliber. That ended when it performed poorly against the Moro's. Then back to .45's for a long time.
    Some misperceptions here. "The Army then bought some Schofields in .45 Schofield. Then the SAA .45LC". Actually, the other way around. The 1873 SAA in .45 Colt came first, followed by the Smith & Wesson firing the shorter .45 Schofield round. And, "The Army did enter 1900 issued with the .38spl revolver". Uh, no, in 1892 the Army adopted the Colt New Army M1892 Revolver in .38 Long Colt. It was this revolver in .38 Long Colt cartridge that failed miserably against the Moro's in the Philippines.

    Don
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  4. #64
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks for the corrections. My point remains the same. Did you find any other reason why the Army went with the .38 revolvers?

  5. #65
    Boolit Buddy JoeJames's Avatar
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    From my reading over the years, it looks a though even going back to the era of single shot muzzle loading pistols, the three main calibers were - 30/32, 36/38, and 44/45. IIRC the Colt Patterson was in @ 32 caliber (this is without double checking so I am prepared to be corrected also), the the Walker 44/45 caliber, and in 1851 the 36 caliber Navy Colt. Those categories continued of course. I think that just as at present (45acp vs. 9mm, or 10mmm vs. 40 caliber) the military was caught between the idea of a perfect man-stopper and a lower caliber round that new and perhaps smaller recruits could handle and be accurate with. I figure based on that the US Military went with the weak 38 Long Colt prior to the Spanish American War, and the resultant Philippine insurrection - and during which they ordered up a slew of 45's.
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  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlie b View Post
    Did you find any other reason why the Army went with the .38 revolvers?
    Must have been the great grandfathers of the army guys who replaced the .45 ACP with the 9mm.

    Don
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  7. #67
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    What was used in "the good old days" is interesting but immaterial. If what they had was so darn effective, why did they change?

    If those guys in the late 1800's had our current choices, none of them would keep what they were using...well none of the smart ones.

    We can use numbers and data to support almost any conclusion we want. Yes, the .22 (or whatever small caliber you choose) has killed thousands...if that works for you, go for it. No amount of data will change my opinion of its effectiveness. With the right bullet, bigger is always better if you can handle it.

    There is a thread currently about killing deer with a cast bullet out of a handgun. Seems the poor fellow nearly lost the deer after making a decent shot. Lots of good stuff in that thread. Yes, a deer is a lot tougher, more tenacious, and has a greater will to live than most thugs we need to worry about. But when Bambi can run 25-100 yards after a good hit, it makes me wonder if my 9mm is enough gun.
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  8. #68
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    I remember reading in the American Rifleman's "Armed Citizen" column over 25 years ago where a bad guy was shot through the heart with a .357 mag and ran over a hundred yards before he fell down. What if he had been coming at the shooter with a gun in his hand? Of course back then the round was probably either a round nose or a SWC, not a current whiz bang HP.

    As far as the historical use of the 1851 .36 and its period clones, one must consider the availability of the guns and ammo components, as well as what people earned then and how much income it took to buy the gun. At the start of the Civil War that pistol was only 10 years old and probably hard to find in many rural areas. How many people right now could find ammo for a .327 or even .44 special? GF

  9. #69
    Boolit Master
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    this is without double checking so I am prepared to be corrected
    Alrighty then. I'll bite. The Colt PaTerson was in .36.

  10. #70
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    If you want to talk about deer running a long ways when shot well, listen to this. I shot a spike buck with a bow and arrow. Broadhead went through the heart and lungs leaving a three cornered hole an inch and one half wide(1.5") through everything and exited on the other side.
    The deer bled out within 70 yards but didn't stop running until it was 100 yards away.
    Animals and humans are capable of doing remarkable things under the right circumstances. No matter what you are using, if you don't stop the nervous system on the first shot, the animal or man may continue to function long enough to do you damage.
    Even with those old, small, and underpowered weapons, lots of people were killed during various wars and other fighting.
    Even our current round, the 5.56, wasn't designed as a killer. It was designed to wound and therefore take more men off the field of battle than if it had killed. The fact that it does kill isn't due to it's superiority over any other round or anything special about it.
    People often die from the shock of a wound rather than the damage done by the projectile. Much depends on the individual.

  11. #71
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battis View Post
    Alrighty then. I'll bite. The Colt PaTerson was in .36.
    This from Wikipedia,,,,,,
    The Colt Paterson is a revolver. It was the first commercial repeating firearm employing a revolving cylinder with multiple chambers aligned with a single, stationary barrel. Its design was patented by Samuel Colt on February 25, 1836, in the United States, France, and England, and it derived its name from being produced in Paterson, New Jersey. Initially this 5-shot revolver was produced in .28 caliber, with a .36 caliber model following a year later. As originally designed and produced, no loading lever was included with the revolver; a user had to disassemble the revolver partially to re-load it. Starting in 1839, however, a reloading lever and a capping window were incorporated into the design, allowing reloading without requiring partial disassembly of the revolver. This loading lever and capping window design change was also incorporated after the fact into most Colt Paterson revolvers that had been produced from 1836 until 1839.[1] Unlike later revolvers, a folding trigger was incorporated into the Colt Paterson. The trigger became visible only upon cocking the hammer.

    A subsequent patent renewal in 1849, and aggressive litigation against infringements, gave Colt a domestic monopoly on revolver development until the middle 1850s.

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battis View Post
    Alrighty then. I'll bite. The Colt PaTerson was in .36.
    Actually, Colt Patersons came in 28, 31, and 36 calibers. The Autry Museum has several on display. They have a sort of un-finished, “Rube Goldberg” look to them, with the folding trigger.
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  13. #73
    Boolit Master
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    Well, dang, I put it on the table and it got slapped. But, actually, I was correct in saying that it was .36. I never said exclusively .36. I just neglected to say that it also came in .28 and .31. Never .32.
    Damn, I sound like a liberal.

  14. #74
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    Another theory I have is that from the mid to late 1860's to 1900 or so the United State's was unique in the world on it's doctrine regarding handguns. In the United State's, especially for mounted troops, the handgun was an OFFENSIVE weapon. That is a weapon to take the fight to the enemy. Elsewhere in the world handguns were badges of rank or a last ditch weapon for officers. If anyone has additional information on this I would be interested. So a handgun adopted by the U.S. military in this period would have been bigger than a DEFENSIVE handgun. The old joke about the Texas ranger carrying a Colt .45 because Colt didn't make a .46 comes to mind.

    There were, according to wikipedia, 215,000 1851 Colt navy revolvers produced in the U.S. with more made in London. That would seem to indicate that they were pretty popular and well known. It also stands to reason that a cartridge handgun with similar power would be a known quantity. Elmer mentioned in Sixguns that a cap and ball .36 loaded with roundballs was considered on a par with a .38 special.

    Note I am not a fan of .36 cap and ball pistols or colt cap and ball pistols. My personal opinion is that the Remington Beals, 1863 Remington or a .45 Adams would beat the socks off any cap and ball colt as a combat handgun. Had I been a grunt in the 1860's I would have grabbed onto a .44 Remington if humanly possible.
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  15. #75
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    I think you may be right in very limited times and venues. And cavalry went away about the same time automatic weapons came to be. During WWI and WWII you also saw a change in small unit officer arms. Many went to battle rifles, carbines or submachineguns rather than pistols when they were involved in front line fighting.

    Why did the Army stick with the 1911 for so long when it was not a primary fighting weapon and it was so difficult for some to shoot? Probably cause when they really needed it, like the tunnel rats, they wanted as much gun as they could get. Kinda the same reason some in the US military are reverting back to the .45.

    But, I still remember a conversation with an ex-SAS one day. When asked he said next to his bed he still had his Fairbairn Sykes knife. He did not want the bad guys to know where he was before he killed them. When asked about the 9mm he said he still liked the Browning High Power but admitted that he was trained to use multiple shots on an opponent.

  16. #76
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    The Remington’s had a reputation for crudding up, but were much cheaper than the Colts were. The 44 Colts were higher cost, but were reported to go longer between cleanings. It is interesting to note that while Colt made some 200,000 1860 44’s, during the same time frame they made 250,000 + 36 cal navy pistols, but 325,000 31 cal Baby Dragoon’s and 1849 pocket revolvers. Small, light, easy to carry fire arms had a following 150 years ago, just as they have today.
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  17. #77
    Boolit Master

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    No matter what your opinion is on low powered handguns are, even a 22 short will take some of the starch out of a person and dissuade them in some cases from further action.
    If not, you'll either have to fight them or try to our run them.
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  18. #78
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    Skeeter mentioned, in one of his articles, that in the old west strapping on a full sized holster gun was telling the world you were ready to face trouble head on. (bad paraphrase. if I could write like Skeeter I would have a different job) where as other folks shop keepers, business people , townsfolk, etc. preferred a smaller gun that was not displayed. Seems logical to me.

    Remingtons did crud up a bit but then Colts often had cap fragments jam up the innards. By the end of the war Colt had dropped the price on the
    army model. There were a lot of Remingtons made in a fairly sort time and then Colt had a fire at the factory which cost them production. I regard the solid topstrap with better sight as a big plus as well as not having to fiddle with that wedge but that's just my opinion.
    You'll go far providin' you ain't burnt alive or scalped."

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  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by 26Charlie View Post
    My favorite story was a pawn broker(?) victimized by two thugs. He pulled out his .25 ACP and shot both in the heart at a range of about 6 inches. Both DRT.
    OTOH a pair of brothers of the lumberjack variety living not too far from me were having an argument after consuming an excessive amount of adult beverage. One pulled out a 25 auto and shot the other.. who became so enraged at that insult he took the gun away from his brother and nearly beat him to death with it. Gotta love those good old boys!

    Froggie

    PS If you can't shoot him with a 44, just shoot him twice with your 22!
    "It aint easy being green!"

  20. #80
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    One of the things you get taught in certain martial arts classes is how long a certain wound takes to incapacitate or kill someone.
    For instance, getting stabbed or shot in the heart doesn't necessarily kill you immediately. You may have a few seconds of function giving you enough time to do some damage if you have enough willpower. Granted that it won't be long but it doesn't take long to pull a trigger of your own.
    People have been killed with black powder guns long before cartridge guns were invented and with spears, arrows, clubs, and rocks before that.
    You don't necessarily need the newest whizzbang gun to get the job done. I will grant that it makes the job easier.

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