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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was reading Wikipedia's account of the Second Battle of Adobe Walls and noted this:

Forensic archaeologists have discovered several Richards' Colt conversions, some Smith & Wesson Americans, and at least one Colt .45 (then new on the frontier) pistol, along with numerous rifles (in calibers .50-70, .50-90, .44-77, .44 Henry Flat, and at least one .45-70, also very new) were in use at Adobe Walls
This took place on June 27, 1874, when the Colt SAA was very new. Also there was no Army presence at the time, all arms belonging to the buffalo hunters who had holed up there. Two notables present were a young Bat Masterson, and Billy Dixon. It was Dixon who was credited with killing a Comanche with nearly a one-mile shot.

Adobe Walls is up near Amarillo, Texas.

Bob Wright
 

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Colt sold SAA's to the public BEFORE the Military adopted it. That's why. Famed gunslinger Johnny Ringo had #222. As well, Colt sold to civilians during the 1st Military run. Colt was shipping SAA's to England in early 1874 and the Texas Frontier was a Helluva lot closer than England for sure. Most likely the one at Adobe Walls was sold by Zimmerman's in Dodge City who bought it from J.P. Moore's in NYC:

Extremely Rare Documented Early Production Colt "Pinched Frame" Single Action Army Revolver Serial Number 37 from Mel Torme Collection


P.S. Most historians discount the "long shot" as total BS for several reasons.


It was never mentioned until 1927 when Dixon's widow conveniently mentioned it in his biography, 14 yrs. after his death.
A letter written shortly after the battle by a survivor has no mention of it either. As well, the famous Collier's Magazine article after the turn of the century merely mentions Dixon taking a shot at an Indian at around 800 yds. and nothing more.


 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

P.S. Most historians discount the "long shot" as total BS for several reasons.


It was never mentioned until 1927 when Dixon's widow conveniently mentioned it in his biography, 14 yrs. after his death.
A letter written shortly after the battle by a survivor has no mention of it either. As well, the famous Collier's Magazine article after the turn of the century merely mentions Dixon taking a shot at an Indian at around 800 yds. and nothing more.


Maybe so. But if I'd have been there, I would have done it. With my Colt .45!


​Bob Wright
 

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Bob, the quotation from Wikipedia about forensic archaeologists recovering a pile of revolvers and rifles likely is referring instead to cartridge cases. (OK, I just reread that quote and realize it ISN'T talking about the weapons but instead about cartridge cases.)

As for Billy Dixon's supposed shot, east of the stores' site lie a mesa and a slightly taller hill, both with rocks scattered down the slope--attractive targets for someone with a rifle. The mix of rough fellows, whiskey, guns, and time to kill must have encouraged some target practice, as confirmed by flattened slugs having been recovered on the facing slopes of those rises about 600 to 1500 yards away.

Regarding Dixon's vagueness about the shot, whether he made it or not a discreet silence would have been advisable back then, for he was living in the heart of Kiowa/Comanche land, and plenty of his neighbors had dads, uncles, and grandpas who had been there.

Regards, Thos
 

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WHOA, HOLD THE PHONE HERE; The indians later said it did happen, knocked the man ass-over-teakettle right off his horse, but it did not kill him. Quanah Parker was not a lier not given to tall tales.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
WHOA, HOLD THE PHONE HERE; The indians later said it did happen, knocked the man ass-over-teakettle right off his horse, but it did not kill him. Quanah Parker was not a lier not given to tall tales.
The story I heard when I was in the area was that a brave, sitting on his horse at what he considered a safe distance, taunted the buff hunters by turning his rear end toward the hunters and sort of patted his rear end. Sort of saying "Nyah, nyah! You can't touch me!" Next thing he knew he was on the ground.

I heard this while at Palo Duro Canyon years ago.

Bob Wright
 

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A 1 mile hit by a skilled rifle shot at the time would not be that extraordinary. The 45-70 Army Springfield was sighted at 800 yards using standard military rifle Loads and was effective at longer distances. Custom Loaded big caliber Sharps could effectively approach a mile or more as effective weapons.

The SAA was available to civilians starting in 1873, both from promotional gifts and sales. However through 1874, of the approximately 15,000 SAA's made only around 2,030 were in the hands of U.S. residing civilians. So they were not commonly owned, especially in the west. While Colt factory records show shipments to dealers such as J.P. Moore's, it is the sales records of those dealers I would like to see to determine the actual number of SAA's were actually shipped to end sellers in the west. As of now we can only conjecture.
 

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A 1 mile hit by a skilled rifle shot at the time would not be that extraordinary. The 45-70 Army Springfield was sighted at 800 yards using standard military rifle Loads and was effective at longer distances. Custom Loaded big caliber Sharps could effectively approach a mile or more as effective weapons.
Not that extraordinary? With black powder, lead bullets, and open sights that were not any better than that on a Winchester 1894 .30WCF ? A 1 mile shot not extraordinary??? I used to shoot a BPCR at a long range match (100 to 800 yrds) where nothing was allowed that wasn't of the "Buffler Runner" time period (circa 1874-1880). Making a 800 yrd shot from shooting sticks is not as easy as you may think. And a 1 mile shot would not only be extraordinary, but practically impossible. Imagine what a human body looks like at 1 mile....even on a horse the front sight would blank out most of a mountain at 1 mile :cool:

P.S.:
I won that match 1n 1987 against 245 other Buffler Runners. 1st time the traveling trophy left Montana.
 

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There was an article some years back by writer Rick Hacker in Guns & Ammo I believe, entitled "I Believe You Billy Dixon". He wrote about the battle and the participants and the legenday shot that Dixon made. A surveyor measured the distance from the Adobe Walls structure to the mesa where Quanah Parker was supposedly shot. It was in the mid-1500 yard range if I recall. Not a mile but still a helluva long shot. I don't think it was Hacker, but one of his acquainitances who was a BPCR competitor was able to duplicate the shot with a rifle and caliber similar to what Dixon used, and hit a horse sized target at that distance. Was a lot of luck involved ? Sure. I'll bet Dixon was as surprised as anyone at the hit and probably took the shot at a group of ****** he could see up on the mesa as just a harassing move more than with the expectation that he would hit an individual target. But it could be done.
 

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There was an article some years back by writer Rick Hacker in Guns & Ammo I believe, entitled "I Believe You Billy Dixon". He wrote about the battle and the participants and the legenday shot that Dixon made. A surveyor measured the distance from the Adobe Walls structure to the mesa where Quanah Parker was supposedly shot. It was in the mid-1500 yard range if I recall. Not a mile but still a helluva long shot. I don't think it was Hacker, but one of his acquainitances who was a BPCR competitor was able to duplicate the shot with a rifle and caliber similar to what Dixon used, and hit a horse sized target at that distance. Was a lot of luck involved ? Sure. I'll bet Dixon was as surprised as anyone at the hit and probably took the shot at a group of ****** he could see up on the mesa as just a harassing move more than with the expectation that he would hit an individual target. But it could be done.
PLEASE NOTE: Quanah Parker was NOT the Indian shot off his horse WAY-OUT-YONDER in the Adabe Walls fight. He lived for years after as the high CHIEF of the Comanche and he told the story of the fight several times to writers, newspapers etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
PLEASE NOTE: Quanah Parker was NOT the Indian shot off his horse WAY-OUT-YONDER in the Adabe Walls fight. He lived for years after as the high CHIEF of the Comanche and he told the story of the fight several times to writers, newspapers etc.
Quanah Parker was wounded during the battle. This was a sign of bad medicine and one reason why the Indians quit the seige. Quanah Parker was captured in Palo Duro Canyon and sent to the Reservation in Indian Trritory, now Oklahoma. Supposedly Parker went to school and embraced the Christain religion, and became somewhat wealthy in his latter years.

His mother was rescued and sent to a hospital but never again embraced the "white man's life."

Again, stories I've heard over the years.

Bob Wright
 

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It was my understanding that some of those rocks had been painted, and ranges determined.

Could it be done?

Sure - and in the same way that the warning on a .22LR end flap states that the round is dangerous over one mile.

An experienced rifle shot 'could' effectively launch a round, and expect it to hit reasonably close to the target or targets.

Likely it was a shot of 'defiance', more than anything - and a goodly dose of 'Luck' that guided the round's flight.

One thing's sure - we'll never know, because we weren't there - but I'm getting tired of 'revisionist historians' attempting to de-bunk every damned thing our forebears did.
 

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Big50. Despite the antagonistic tone of your post, which I'll assume did not intend, I standby my statements. By the way congratulations on your 1987 win, I admire your skill. I agree with everything you say about the weapons and ballistics of the time and respect that it is based on your first hand experience. However, I don't agree with everything you say I said. I did not say the shot would not be extraordinary. I said it would not be "that" extraordinary as in extraordinary in the extreme. I referred to a shot by a skilled shooter using custom loads in a state of the art rifle of the time, including sights. I also did not say the shot would need to be repeatable at a high rate, only that one should not as a matter of course assume that it could not be made. My point was to respond to an implication in a prior post that the claim of such a shot might be ridiculously on its face.
 

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I'm sure he hit him. 1500 yards isn't that far, the standard Creedmore match was 1,000 yards, shooting Sharps and Rolling blocks. I also used to shoot a Sharps at BPCR in Raton at the Nationals. The 600 yard Rams were surprisingly easy, nowadays they commonly run the entire bank without a miss.

Once when my poky friend was sighting in his 7mm Mag a few days before an elk hunt, I got tired of waiting for him to take his shot. We'd walked a beer can out 100 yards. He fired and missed, took 5 min and fired again and missed. He was from the Wyoming frontier, and liked to save ammo. I pulled my Ruger MKII .22 out of the truck, and before he could take his third shot I rested on the roof of my truck, held over about 2 cans, and plinked it into the air! He was looking through the scope and didn't know I was about to fire, and just looked at me confused, "what happened?" I said, I'm tired of waiting on you, so I hit it ....with my .22!

It's the same with Dixon I'm sure, he took a chance shot, got a hit, and didn't offer to repeat it!
 
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