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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Posts: 3
(10/20/01 5:37:29 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del All Buffalo Gun
Question...if we had a burning desire to dispatch a buffalo (American Bison) with a rifle authentic to the period what brand, model , caliber would we use? From what I've heard and read the .50 caliber Sharps was popular with the market hunters of the mid-late 1800's. True? It is our understanding that Shilo Sharps makes an excellent reproduction if you want to spend the bucks. We also understand they are backordered until way in the future. Even though all we have is time, maybe we could find someone who is tired of the one they have and wants to trade if this is what we need.

How about prior to the market/hide hunters? One would think the old mountain men shot a fair number of buffalo in their travels. What did they use? My guess would be a blackpowder Hawken rifle typical of that period in history, but what caliber?. Any and all suggestions from you folks who know your western history appreciated.

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Posts: 2193
(10/20/01 5:45:45 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: Buffalo Gun
Grizz - calibers varied in that time period. Some used the old .54 caliber flintlocks down to some in .40? never can get that one right.

The variety was quite huge.

I have a .50 cal Hawkins reproduction (made in Italy). However, it was made for a woman so is a shorter version than the norm.

Posts: 1105
(10/20/01 5:54:31 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: Buffalo Gun
Although we tend to think the .50-140 Sharps was the ultimate buffalo cartridge, far more .45 caliber rifles were used with .45/70, .45/90 and .45/110 being the most popular over the span of years. There are many reproductions of the Sharps pattern rifle being offered. They range from EMF "decent" Italian imports at around $650, through Cimarron "excellent" Italian imports at around $1000, all the way to complete custom works of art like Axtell Rifles produces (at more that $3000). Literally, whatever your budget can afford.

Now, as to the Hawken... "Hawken" was a maker of plains-type rifles, but there were many others. Over the years, we have allowed "Hawken" to become synonymous with the plains rifle much as we've allowed "Deringer" to become synonymous with those types of small pistols. Most of the plains rifles used for buffalo would have been .50, .54 or .58 caliber, but I imagine just about any type of rifle imaginable was used to gather meat as the settlers and pioneers moved west.

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Posts: 756
(10/20/01 10:23:18 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: Buffalo Gun
Well said, Doc - well said!!

Heck, some of them 'sports' even used 44 cap & ball revolvers from horseback!
Keep below the ridgeline!
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