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 Posted: Tue Nov 27th, 2012 11:59 am
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Johan Steele
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Larry Romano makes the Spencer repop that counts.



 Posted: Sat Dec 8th, 2012 03:10 pm
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BHR62
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Custer Michigan troops had Spencer Carbines at Gettysburg.... why the hell didn't he at the Little Big Horn?



 Posted: Sat Dec 8th, 2012 03:51 pm
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BHR62-

  This might interest you:

CAGB Guns at LBH



 Posted: Mon Dec 10th, 2012 11:30 am
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Very good link TD...thanks! It surprised me that the 1873 Trapdoor Springfield gave them a higher rate of fire over the Spencer Carbine over the course of a battle. It must have taken some time reloading the Spencer Carbines magazine.

I can understand patrolling the plains you would want a longer range rifle than the Spencer's 300 yd range. From what I'm reading the Trapdoor had almost twice that range. From what I've read Custer's troops were the last to be equipped with the Trapdoor rifles. That some of the rifles they were issued were rejects from other regiments who found them to be defective....nice. Plus something about the grains in the cartridges were too high and it contributed to fouling up the rifle.



 Posted: Mon Dec 10th, 2012 11:28 pm
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Johan Steele
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BHR62 wrote: Custer Michigan troops had Spencer Carbines at Gettysburg.... why the hell didn't he at the Little Big Horn?

Custer's men at Gettysburg had Spencer Rifles, there weren't any carbines available yet, while there were some civilian models in existance I'm unaware of any in military hands.

There were Spencers at the Little Big Horn, shooting at the 7th Cav.  As well as examples of Sharps, Henry, Winchester etc.  Everything under the sun that couild send rounds down rane as well as a few arrows launched by young warriors who had yet to get their paws on a firearm.

The Trapdoor Springfield was a considerably harder hitting round than the Spencer & it was also considerably more accurate.  What it lacked was the rate of fire of the Spencer.  FWIW I don't think Spencers would have made a difference to Custer on that day.  Custer met his match in Crazy Horse & the 7th Cav met the full fledged fighting power of the Lakota & Cheyenne nations.

As a note the .45-70 w/ a heavy bullet has almost identical ballistics to the ACW Whitworth rifle.



 Posted: Wed Dec 12th, 2012 02:10 pm
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True...it was rifles at Gettysburg. It seems like the Indians were better armed than the 7th Cavalry. I guess I'm just curious why the army didn't follow through on the repeating rifle concept in the post war by improving their range of fire and accuracy. 

Last edited on Wed Dec 12th, 2012 02:55 pm by BHR62



 Posted: Wed Dec 12th, 2012 06:00 pm
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BHR62, the answer is MONEY. The War Department had a damn near unlimited budget during the war. Afterwards, the budget was cut back to barely what it was before the war. The department didn't have the money for R&D and the higher-ups were still convinced that the enlisted soldier would shoot too much ammo too quickly if they let him.

Interestingly, I would point out that the War Department was not entirely wrong on the last point. As an example, think of the M16. The M16A1 had a full automatic selector. When the M16A2 was introduced, the full automatic selector was removed and replaced with a 3 round burst option. But even today soldiers are taught never to use the 3 round burst because it ruins your accuracy and you shoot away your ammo extremely quickly.

Mark

Last edited on Wed Dec 12th, 2012 08:50 pm by Mark



 Posted: Wed Dec 12th, 2012 10:09 pm
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As a note it wasn't until John Browning linked up w/ Winchester that a lever action repeater was produced firing anything more than carbine ammo... they just weren't strong enough to handle the heavier recoil & pressures of the .50-70, .50-100 etc.

The .45-70 Trapdoor Springfield was a superbly accurate arm for the day, likely the most accurate off the shelf black powder arm adopted by any military. The Spencer was about a 300 yard rifle w/ the Carbine a 200 yarder... the Trapdoor rifle in .45-70 an 800 yarder w/ the carbine being a very good 400 yarder. On the plains or the desert of the SW accurate long range fire was a very real advantage. The reality of western Europe calls/called for considerably less than that. In both WW1 & WW2 the major warring nations had 6-800 yard rifles as their primary arm. Combat experiance showed all involved that was more gun than was really needed as most combat took place at well under 400 yards. The Russians loved their SMG's & none of those were ever really intended for combat at more than 100 yards...

In some ways the Lakota & Cheyenne were better armed than Custers men but that was largely negated by the practices of the typical plains warrior. Maint & care for the arm could be. at best, called benign neglect. Accurate shooting at much more than arms length wasn't really a favored tactic of the Lakota or Cheyenne, they favored up close & personal. hey often cut down their arms & I do mean cut down. They typically favored carbine length arms due to their handiness on horseback and buckshotloads were an absolute favorite. Combat at under 50 yards was their favored method... that isn't to say there weren't Lakota or Cheyenne that could shoot as there clearly were. Reno's men were handled roughly by a straight shooting Lakota warrior w/ a Sharps buffalo gun at 4-500 yards range. And in the SW some Apache had a rep for excellent long range shooting.

Only two militaries ever adopted a lever action rifle for standard usage. The Turks adopted the Winchester in .44 for their Cav & the Russians LOVED the M1895 Winchester in 7.62 x 54R.

I ramble...



 Posted: Thu Dec 13th, 2012 03:09 pm
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This is all interesting stuff so feel free to ramble. At first I thought why in the hell didn't they stay with the repeating rifles. It seemed like a regression to me in going back to the single shot concept. But I see that the terrain they were patrolling was better suited for the Trapdoor Springfield. Once the Indians worked their way in close at Little Big Horn whatever chance the 7th Cav had of escaping was gone.  Which was pretty quick. The 7th Cav was outnumbered about 5 to 1?

I saw this last night on youtube and I found it pretty interesting. Some of what you mentioned is stated in it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8bDcD81AiY

Last edited on Thu Dec 13th, 2012 03:14 pm by BHR62



 Posted: Thu Dec 13th, 2012 11:34 pm
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My best friends father, Dave Bald Eagle, is a full blooded Lakota whose grandfather was a young warrior at the Little Big Horn. Dave grew up listening to his grandfathers stories and some mirror that youtube video. Dave was born in a teepee on the Cheyenne River near what is today Bridger SD in 1919 +/-. All his mother knew was that it was winter and the great white man war on the other side of the great water was over.

Another friend is a full blooded White Mountain Apache, his GG grandfather rode w/ Cochise and Zac has his 1873 (it may be an 1866 I don't remember for certain) Winchester w/ a rather unique sling... scalps.

Dave was w/ the 82nd in WW2 & badly wounded at St Mere Englese, he has 7 children who have or are serving in the US Army.

Zac's father fought in Italy in WW2. Zac did a stint in the USAF then 20 w/ the DEA.

Those were fighting men of the highest order that took Custer down. There was no quarter given & none asked; a kind of conflict we saw again in the Pacific in WW2. I would much rather have the Apache & Lakota on my side than fighting against me.

"Don't like the fighting here, go join Bobby Lee; fightings easier in Virginny anyway." A Texas Rifle captain to his men and the Commanches & I paraphrase.

"Ever think what it means to surrender to an Apache?" A US Regular in response to a GAR man who said he didn't fight in the ACW.

Rock Island Arsenal in Rock Island Illinois has an outstanding display in regards to the little Big Horn. The Arsenal museum is a priceless visit if you ever get an opportunity.



 Posted: Fri Dec 14th, 2012 10:30 pm
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Rifle sling out of scalps....definitely would make an impression!  Indians were as fierce opponents as we've ever encountered.  They were fighting for their way of life.  One can't help but admire them for their defiance.  Its pretty cool they have served the country since then.  What tribe was it in WW 2 where they used them for communications knowing the Japs wouldn't be able to figure out what they were saying?

I have a smidgin of Cherokee in the family tree that I hope to one day research. 



 Posted: Fri Dec 14th, 2012 10:45 pm
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BHR62-

  The Navajo codetalkers in WW II are the group best known to history. But a number of other tribes (including the Cherokee) were used as codetalkers in WW I as well as WW II. The best known group in WW I were the Choctaws.

Code talker - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



 Posted: Sat Dec 15th, 2012 11:47 am
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Johan Steele
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The codetalkers weren't just used against the Japanese. They also gave the Germans fits. The 82nd had several Lakota, in Sicily those Lakota would pass the scores for ball games across the airwaves. Germans thought it was some sort of new secret code.

There were Lakota, Navajo, Cheyenne etc codetalkers. The benefit of having a language that wasn't written down.



 Posted: Sat Dec 15th, 2012 11:56 am
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I didn't know that Hitler sent linguists out to study the Native American languages in the 1930s when he learned of their role in WW 1.  I need to watch the movie "Windtalkers."  Its an old movie that I've never got around to watching.  Has anybody seen it?



 Posted: Sat Dec 15th, 2012 03:38 pm
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BHR62-

  I have seen the movie. It presents the Native Americans in a positive light, and illustrates some of the prejudice that they had to deal with.

  The movie isn't bad as an action film, but don't expect historical accuracy from it. As always, Hollywood and history don't mix very well. The usual excuse given by directors and producers for taking dramatic license with historical facts is that: "It isn't history. Its entertainment."

Windtalkers - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



 Posted: Sat Dec 15th, 2012 04:56 pm
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BHR62 wrote:
I didn't know that Hitler sent linguists out to study the Native American languages in the 1930s when he learned of their role in WW 1.  I need to watch the movie "Windtalkers."  Its an old movie that I've never got around to watching.  Has anybody seen it?

Good grief, I saw it in the theaters so it can't be OLD! Thanks for depressing me! ;)

Mark



 Posted: Mon Dec 17th, 2012 01:48 pm
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Mark wrote: BHR62 wrote:
I didn't know that Hitler sent linguists out to study the Native American languages in the 1930s when he learned of their role in WW 1.  I need to watch the movie "Windtalkers."  Its an old movie that I've never got around to watching.  Has anybody seen it?

Good grief, I saw it in the theaters so it can't be OLD! Thanks for depressing me! ;)

Mark

Sorry....lol



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