In the movies you always see the hero being chased by outlaws. The outlaws will invariably miss and never reload. What is the distance and accuracy for different guns? What is the probability of a miss while riding? Who do you think was the best shot?
LOL Charley...I learned after my experience with the 12 gauge that I should lean into the gun with my shoulder to brace myself. I did not try the 12 again only a 20 gauge...that was big enough for me!
Thanks for the funny story! I guess the smart outlaw or sheriff would lay in wait in the brush for their prey. If you tried to shoot dinner from the saddle you would probably end up hungry unless the horse was hard of hearing.
Great Photo! This is before the shots were fired, I wonder if after the shots if they were still seated? Who knows it might have been dinner they were shooting at...rabbit stew?
What we are missing here is the training of some horses. I have had more than one horse through the years that I trained to hunt off of. Some times it worked, sometimes it did not. But I always knew before hand how the horse should act, not that they always did.
I had a great old gelding for many years that you could shoot anything off of. He would just stand there. He also packed dead animals very well, which many horses shy away from.
If a horse is properly trained, shooting off his back is possible. Think about how the army trained their animals, though many times the training turned out to be not as good as expected or hoped for.
However, I would imagine the average cow pony did not make a very solid shooting platform.
Ed Lemmon in "Cow Boss" talks about carrying his revolver in his saddle bags and stopping and dismounting before using the gun.
I guess it all depended on the man, the horse, and the situation.
I had a lineback dun gelding who was as steady a horse as I ever rode in my life. I shot off him with everything from a 22 to a 12 ga & he never gave me any trouble. What I didn't do was shoot psst his neck or close to his ears. I'd already learned not to do that.
Incidentally, in 1 of the serials I watched in the '50s--it starred Clayton Moore, who was later TV's Lone Ranger--I counted 19 rounds out of a Colt sixshooter & never saw a reload.
I have seen the shows with the unlimited ammo for guns that held only 6 shots. I often wondered if their saddlebags contained only bullets that miraculously jumped into their guns when needed. They did however have great chase scenes with music that did not have to slow for reloading.
Right on, Stan. A whole branch of warfare was based on men firing from horseback---the cavalry, and that includes American Indian warriors. Their horses must have been trained not to get spooked by the blast, fire and smoke.
The 1st US martial pistol you could fire forward from the saddle was the M1911 Colt. The guy who figured that out was a cavalry 1/LT named George Smith Patton, Jr. He found it out during a gunfight with bandits during Pershing's punitive expedition in Mexico.
True I have forgotten the great paintings by Remington and of course our own Bob Boze Bell! I would love to see a few more old photos perhaps of the cavalry, cowboys and warriors with their weapons on horseback. I still miss the trick riding/ shooting events at rodeos.
This brings to mind all of the trick riders who ride and shoot targets. They had to stay on their horse and hit the target. Do they still have any rodeos that include trick riders or shooters from horse back. If your life depended on your horse it would probably have to be trained to hold during certain maneuvers. Shooting game for dinner might be one of these maneuvers.
I counted 19 rounds out of a Colt sixshooter & never saw a reload.
We used to call those "John Wayne Colt's"
Up until the mid 1970s most Single Action revolvers were not realy 6 shooters even though they had six chambers. If you loaded all six then the firing pin and hammer are resting on a live round. If you give the hammer a rap that round is likely to fire. Therefore, only load 5 and put the hammer down on the empty. In the mid 70s a transfer bar was mandated so that the trigger must be pulled thereby keeping the transfer bar in place. THe hammer hits the bar which carries the impact to the firing pin.
This is not the case with many of the percussion models in common use up until the mid 1870s. The hammer could be rested in between the chambers or percussion caps.
There were also two makers (I'm not going to look it up right now) who sold 9 shot cartridge revolvers or, following the logic above, 8 shots.