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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 4/30/2002 10:50:07 AM EDT
I found it while surfing last night and watched 2 episodes. Show concept is to take 3 families, give them a short course on frontier life, then plop them down on 160 acres in Montana and live like it is the 1880's for about 5 months. They have only food and tools of the day that could have been brought on a wagon, a milk cow, and a couple of horses. (They had them travel about 2 days by horse and wagon.) Looked like a contender for a good reality show, but they screwed it up. They let them have a shotgun only, for protection and pest control. NO HUNTING !!! (The commentator says nothing is in season during filming.) 5 months in Montana with nothing in season ?? Would the West have been won without the rifle ?? Nope. So as of the second episode I watched last night they are getting hungry, but can't supplement their rations. An American Indian comes to the rescue, as these are the only people that can legally hunt without regard to season. And of course with the mule deer comes a lecture on the Bad White Man who ran them out of the valley....
Link Posted: 4/30/2002 10:52:52 AM EDT
Nope
Link Posted: 4/30/2002 10:56:21 AM EDT
I heard it advertised on the radio this morning, with a clip about running out of food. I immediately thought it was going to show how inept urban/suburban yuppies would be at basic survival. However, if they hamstring them and do not allow them to hunt, it is, as you say, a pretty unrealistic recreation. Instead of PBS, it sounds like PCBS
Link Posted: 4/30/2002 11:11:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2002 11:26:23 AM EDT by Renamed]
NO HUNTING !!! (The commentator says nothing is in season during filming.)
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I don't think game seasons were an issue in 1880. [;)] I watched a little and knew they were in trouble as soon as I saw that one of the families was from Kalifornia.
Link Posted: 4/30/2002 11:17:08 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2002 12:49:25 PM EDT by illinois]
I watched it. Thought it was quite funny how the Clune family (I think I spelled their name right)is having a hard time dealing with the situation. He's some wealthy guy that as he put it hires outside help for common chores in real life and now his whole family is just bitchn about how bad everything is. Kinda funny to watch how this family reacts to actually having to do some work. I'm gonna watch it again tonight. I want to see how long they will last before they quit.
Link Posted: 4/30/2002 11:19:00 AM EDT
This show is more like "Survivor" than the original "1800's House" series done in England. Whiny yuppies make me sick. At the risk of starting an argument, I'll state that the shotgun was a better choice, followed by the rifle. Shotgun was the gun that tamed the west, not the Winchester lever action. I'm glad that these "city slickers" have not been let loose to shoot whatever they came across in hopes of supplementing their meager diet. Although, I must admit that the very real possibility of them shooting each other would have made for high entertainment. Anyone notice how the "brothers" got the worst deal?
Link Posted: 4/30/2002 11:28:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2002 11:30:45 AM EDT by realist]
[url]http://www.pbs.org[/url] I caught the last hour of the show last night.. The clunes have some good looking woman in the family. It is entertaining and thought provoking... I enjoyed what I saw.. it's on for two hours tonight and then tomorrow again.. Looking forward to watching the rest of it.. [url]http://www.shop.pbs.org[/url]
Link Posted: 4/30/2002 11:33:45 AM EDT
far better than everything else on the tube. one thing it amply demonstrates, our ancestors were not wimps.
Link Posted: 4/30/2002 11:35:51 AM EDT
Originally Posted By FatMan: At the risk of starting an argument, I'll state that the shotgun was a better choice, followed by the rifle. Shotgun was the gun that tamed the west, not the Winchester lever action.
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Not looking for an argument either, but a likely frontier firearm for this period would have been a Trapdoor, or other long range .45-70 type rifle. They would have been looking for large game at long distances, where one kill, dressed out and salted down would have lasted a family quite a while. A fowling piece, while a nice backup, would not have been a primary hunting arm. A lever action would have served well as a defensive weapon.
Link Posted: 4/30/2002 12:44:41 PM EDT
Originally Posted By FatMan: This show is more like "Survivor" than the original "1800's House" series done in England. Whiny yuppies make me sick.
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Fatman, you mean 1900 House? I heard that series was even better than frontier house..
Link Posted: 4/30/2002 1:22:40 PM EDT
Yep, I thought it was a cool challenge. Everything is a high priority, building the log house, putting in a garden, taking care of animals, and on and on. I know I'll go to hell for this, but the Klune's 15 yr old daughter and her 15 yr old cousin would be looking mighty good after about a month out there... (The daughter figured out she could take a piss standing up if she didn't wear underwear)
Link Posted: 4/30/2002 6:37:08 PM EDT
I like it! DaMan
Link Posted: 4/30/2002 6:51:18 PM EDT
Anyone notice how the "brothers" got the worst deal?
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They did, but so far they've done what was needed without a bunch of whining. They've got the best work ethic & the most tolerance of any of them. SoCal yuppies should hang their collective heads in shame--good example of how a lot of money screws up a family. Old man went on & on about buying his son a "rifle just like a boy would have had in the 1880's". Horse manure. Be interesting to see if yuppies burn out by bitching about their surroundings, or if the other couple burns out about bitching about the yuppies. Dad & son from Boston have it together, so far. -hanko
Link Posted: 4/30/2002 7:29:46 PM EDT
I watched both shows this evening very informative.. The only reason they didn't allow the rifle was they chose to follow modern day hunting law. At least that is what I was told. I think that is bogus... I tell you what, that little boy was getting the learning experience of a lifetime. Ben
Link Posted: 4/30/2002 7:40:08 PM EDT
A single barrel shotgun was the firearm most used on the frontier. A lever action rifle or a pistol would be much, much more expensive.
Link Posted: 4/30/2002 7:56:15 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Malpaso: Not looking for an argument either, but a likely frontier firearm for this period would have been a Trapdoor, or other long range .45-70 type rifle. They would have been looking for large game at long distances, where one kill, dressed out and salted down would have lasted a family quite a while. A fowling piece, while a nice backup, would not have been a primary hunting arm. A lever action would have served well as a defensive weapon.
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Nope. Shotguns were the primary weapon of the settlers. Professional buffalo hunters used the big single shots. People who had bucks to spend had revolvers and Winchester rifles. I can't remember the book now (I read it a good while ago), but in it was quoted the gun sales of various gun makers of the late 19th century. The type of weapon that consistently outsold everything else was the shotgun. Why? Shotguns were very cheap and were multi-purpose. Incidentally, buffalo are pretty stupid. You really don't have to shot at them from a long distance. Walking up with a shotgun loaded with deer slugs and popping it in the head at close range will kill it just as dead as a Sharps or Low-Wall.
Link Posted: 4/30/2002 8:16:37 PM EDT
I too would have wished they had allowed hunting. I think true homesteader would have got at least 50% of their protein from wild game. That said, I am really impressed with how well these soft 21st century people are doing. They are whining a lot, but I would be too. Farmers have complained since Cain & Abel. The Blacks are doing the best. I like when the father said he had grown up in similar conditions.
Link Posted: 4/30/2002 8:43:46 PM EDT
Yeah I love that black guy, he seems perfectly suited to his environment. He is doing everything the others do, and he also Built his own log cabin and he has an outstanding attitude. He is also fairly sharp.. The Clunes are comming along and they are carrying more mental baggage then the others. Mr. Clune is comming along better. I think Financially the Clunes will end up doing better financially with the advent of their Moonshine. hahaha. That is funny they are making whiskey without a license but they don't get to hunt??? That is contradictory to say the least... If they had gotten to hunt they would have saved some money... I understand about loosing weight and not knowing what the hell for. When I was working 12+ hours a day I and stressed at the same time , I started loosing weight. Dehydration is a very hard to recognize thing, because you are not always thirsty. It doesn't help matters if you have a very high intake of diurectics (coffee, or just Caffiene based products in general)and I lost a bunch of weight, and didn't start feeling better until I got my water intake up quite a bit... Water is more important even then food, but both are totally necessary... Fascinating. I wonder if they are going to do this again next fall?? Ben
Link Posted: 4/30/2002 10:34:09 PM EDT
I was also suprised that they didnt allow hunting. But To tell the truth I was more suprised they let them have shotguns. This seems to be a fairly PC station. but hey if they want the could hunt the other peoples animals I suppose. The guy with the custom built moonshine still is a real laugh. He bitches but he is all about the whole family being in the moonshine busness. The kids drinkin and everything. My guess is the next batch will be siezed and there goes his still. Also the worse people had it the better there attitudes were. the 2 guys had nothing but they went complaing that the other people got free cabins. they also use some logic when thinking about stock. sometimes less is more. Well damn I sholudnt of bought all them animals if I thought I would have to feed em through the winter! and those two 15 yr olds are gettin hotter all the time
Link Posted: 4/30/2002 11:44:24 PM EDT
If I was around back then, I would have made sure of a telegraph connection with ----* *---- *---- on auto key.
Link Posted: 5/1/2002 4:28:58 AM EDT
I wonder if they are going to do this again next fall??
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The next series will be "Ranch House", in which families try to survive in a 1970s-style house with a black and white TV, a rotary dial phone, no air conditioning and no computers. [;)]
Link Posted: 5/1/2002 4:41:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/1/2002 4:47:35 AM EDT by blkbeard]
I'm with rn45 on this one, the outlaw life looks like the way to go. I won't give the ending away incase you haven't seen the it, but their final grades they get are right on the money. Would have been interesting to see how a farm family with 4H kids would have done on the show.
Link Posted: 5/1/2002 4:43:27 AM EDT
The pioneers drank considerable. They practiced "dramming" which was basically drinking a double shot every hour or so during the day. This was a common practice dating back to the colonial period. When there was no such thing as aspirin, doctors bled people, and infections were commonplace it was a good way to keep your personal morale up. So, the people on this show should practice dramming as well. It would be more realistic as well as helping to keep their minds off how miserable they are.
Link Posted: 5/1/2002 4:52:08 AM EDT
Originally Posted By realist:
Originally Posted By FatMan: This show is more like "Survivor" than the original "1800's House" series done in England. Whiny yuppies make me sick.
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Fatman, you mean 1900 House? I heard that series was even better than frontier house..
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Sorry, you're right. Now THAT was a great series.
Link Posted: 5/1/2002 9:56:47 AM EDT
It just dawned on me last night, when they were putting up the fences for the cattle drive. They have ~160 acres each (I think that is what I heard), I thought that hunting on private land was allowed. So if an animal wonders on to their land, can't they take it? I liked the previews of the Clune's being sent home. Looks like the sponcers of the show came out and check to see if they have enough to make it through the winter, and the Clune's didn't quite prepare. Also I can't wait for the Glenn's to have a knock-down-drag-out-fight on camera and have the husband pack up and leave. Personally I think that the Brook's will make it through with the least whining.
Link Posted: 5/1/2002 10:06:35 AM EDT
It just dawned on me last night, when they were putting up the fences for the cattle drive. They have ~160 acres each (I think that is what I heard), I thought that hunting on private land was allowed. So if an animal wonders on to their land, can't they take it?
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I wonder about that myself. Granted the rights are with the Cattlemen but once the property is fenced and then a Bull or Cow gets in??? I don't know how that would fall.. But those ranchers can be pretty rough... It would be best to offer the cow back, less troublesome.. Ben
Link Posted: 5/1/2002 10:16:19 AM EDT
I have a 160 acre homestead in Colorado and I still have to follow the hunting laws. We automatically get two elk permits a year if we want them, but we still have to follow the seasons and pay for them. Hunting would also help them get through the winter, one Buffalo or Elk cow would feed a family for many months.
Link Posted: 5/1/2002 2:48:36 PM EDT
It really pisses me off that they can't hunt. I would think they could get some kind of special permission from the Montana game commision to hunt being that they are tring to simulate living in the 1880's and it is an educational show.
Link Posted: 5/2/2002 8:08:41 AM EDT
Let's see if anyone else agreed with me...I watched the program and was constantly thinking "that is not right"----first shelter, then water, then food, I do not want to be in a tent in 9 inches of snow, water was provided, food..they were surrounded by green plants and I am sure the stream had crawfish or fish in it. And the three meals a day crap....cook one big one and go help out....stew for breakfast or a big pot of beans. Just many popints where I would have done it differently. I guess a country boy can survive.....and I had no idea how much I actually knew and remember from years of reading.
Link Posted: 5/2/2002 9:13:30 AM EDT
I thought it was interesting that the men were all choked up about leaving and the women were saying "get me out of here." I had more respect for the Clunes when I saw at the end of the show that they are FILTHY rich (huge house overlooking the Ocean in Malibu). Coming from luxury to such hard work and basic living conditions took some guts, especially with your kids. No way they would have made it through the winter, however. If the idea was to see if a 21st Century family could make it, I think it would have been a little more realistic to see if an experienced farm family could do it, rather then people with no (or little) agricultural expericence at all. Real Montana homesteaders in 1880 would have had agricultural experience and not have been plucked out of a city. The hunting thing bothered me too. I suspect game was a pretty big suppliment to their diet. Aren't there any rabbits in Mont.? I didn't see anyone even try to hunt rabbits or do any serious fishing.
Link Posted: 5/2/2002 10:06:21 AM EDT
I'll bet that Prarie Dogs and Coyotes are in season all year long. That "No Hunting" rule is bogus and stupid. Of course, if I were on Survivor, I'd get kicked out for killing and eating animals nearly every day.
Link Posted: 5/2/2002 10:08:13 AM EDT
I would like to see how families with more farming/outdoor experience would have faired. Still it's an interesting show! DaMan
Link Posted: 5/2/2002 11:10:12 AM EDT
If the show did nothing else, it made the families realize how shallow and fast-paced modern life is. Both families said they got to know their kids much better and could relate to them. And the kids seemed more confident and prepared for whatever life brings their way. That Mr. Clune was a trip !!! Guy is living in a million dollar house on the beach, but when he finds out the "experts" say they wouldn't have made it through the winter, he goes to the freezer and pulls out 3 rabbits his sons have shot in the 2 months since they got back. Biggest problem for everyone was firewood. The expert told them to cut wood every free second they had, and they didn't...
Link Posted: 5/2/2002 12:15:51 PM EDT
Originally Posted By slefelar: If the idea was to see if a 21st Century family could make it, I think it would have been a little more realistic to see if an experienced farm family could do it, rather then people with no (or little) agricultural expericence at all. Real Montana homesteaders in 1880 would have had agricultural experience and not have been plucked out of a city. One of the points they emphasized early on is many of the original homesteaders, perhaps 50% came from urban areas of the time period. So the 21st century families were a lot like the 19th century ones. The hunting thing bothered me too. I suspect game was a pretty big suppliment to their diet. Aren't there any rabbits in Mont.? I didn't see anyone even try to hunt rabbits or do any serious fishing.
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Link Posted: 5/2/2002 1:30:16 PM EDT
There were a bunch of niggling problems with the show. One is that all the families had a STEEP learning curve to ascend. They all did exceptionally well considering that they had to learn how to use and maintain hand tools, build structures from scratch, plant and maintain gardens, raise animals, etc. all while preparing for their first winter. Problems: No Hunting? WTF? They would have been hunting and trapping constantly. School????? In the first year???? You don't waste that labor pool on school when you need to prepare for your first winter. They can go to school next year after you secure your homestead title and get through the winter. In the mean time, their labor goes toward haying, and routine chores while dad cuts and brings in firewood. Fairs and feasts. Again, BS. BS, BS, BS. They wouldn't waste resources on a fair before their first winter. That Pig was WAAAAY too small. That sucker should have been a couple hundred pounds after that amount of time, what were they doing, starving it? No Hunting???? WTF???? That bear would have ended up smoked and wrapped up in the root cellar. The Clunes wasted a lot of effort on BS. A lot of their stuff LOOKED good, but the first year, you don't waste time on looks, you build a sturdy house, plant your garden, tend your critters and cut wood. You concentrate on the essentials and realize that you can spend time on home beautification and comfort projects over the winter (when you are also getting in firewood for the NEXT winter.) Clune also failed to split his firewood, which is necessary for faster drying. However, it is possible to oversplit firewood. You can split it so small that while it is easy to handle and starts fast, it burns too fast. Leaving a supply of wood that is larger and will burn more slowly is an efficient plan. The Brooks household did a far better job getting in wood than anyone else, but having two men available in the beginning to do a lot of that grunt work gives a leg up. I can't say how well or poorly their garden turned out or how well their animals fared. The Glens seemed to be okay, but the marital tension was pretty rough. They would probably have gotten into some real humdingers over the winter. Their son was into the life, but couldn't get over the concept of killing livestock for food. Lesson, NEVER name the livestock. Sewing circles? WTF? Wasted effort at that stage, sew in the winter. Get in wood and hay! Clune's cut the bulk of their hay too late, they needed to be haying while the hay was still green and had some nutritional value for the livestock. Again, lots of wasted effort. But again, they all did incredibly well considering the difficulties of going from a 21st century pre-packaged lifestyle to doing EVERYTHING yourself.
Link Posted: 5/2/2002 1:30:20 PM EDT
I was wondering who got the wood. I would have been crying if I just cut 5 cords of wood and had had to leave it. The one poor guy built a house and had to just leave it. I wonder if the neighbors thanked them for the stock pile of food and wood.
Link Posted: 5/2/2002 3:58:07 PM EDT
Did anyone else have a problem with the Clune's honesty, and integrity? Am I the only one? I'd have a hard time doing business with a guy like that. Sheesh M4-AK
Link Posted: 5/2/2002 7:31:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/2/2002 7:37:34 PM EDT by ThunderStick]
The Black gentlemen were more successful because of their backgrounds. I thought that the Brooks family was decent, ethical, nice, and hardworking. Rudy Brooks, 68, retired He grew up on his parents farm in the 1940s. His father built their house by hand, and the family lived without electricity or paved roads and had to dig a well for fresh water. Nate Brooks, 27, student events coordinator at Fisher College Nate is an Outward Bound instructor, has medical training as a wilderness first responder, and spent a year living in the rough as a volunteer in Namibia, Africa. Nate also grew up on a self sufficient farm in California, and says that "much of my work ethic, self-confidence, creativity, and values can be traced back to the simple tasks of churning butter, planting corn, spinning wool, and mending fences." Gordon Clune, 41, is a president of Clune Industries, an aerospace manufacturing company He has an MBA from the University of Southern California, and says that he is a workaholic who loves to downhill ski, hunt and fish. He went from building missile launchers to building chicken coops. [url]www.pbs.org[/url]
Link Posted: 5/2/2002 7:43:55 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ThunderStick: The Black gentlemen were more successful because of their backgrounds. I thought that the Brooks family was decent, ethical, nice, and hardworking.
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I agree. Nate and his dad seemed to be by far the best folks on the show. Didn't complain, made the best of it and just did a good job.
Link Posted: 5/2/2002 7:49:42 PM EDT
I think the show explains a lot about why things were the way they were back then. The feminists would like us to think that it was the man beating the woman into the kitchen and making her serve him. In reatlity there is so much heavy work that needed to be done, which a woman isn't strong enough to do. So the man uses his strength where he can and the woman does what she can. It's how things naturally work out and not something ordered by sexist males.
Link Posted: 5/2/2002 9:02:56 PM EDT
does anyone know what happened to thier stuff after the show? I just cant picture leaving behind a house and a stack of wood after livin there for 5 months. Thats alot of work just to see if they could make it through the winter they should have tayed there and stayed through winter. like they said theres no way to know unless you do it.
Link Posted: 5/2/2002 10:17:21 PM EDT
Best "reality" show yet, by far.
But To tell the truth I was more suprised they let them have shotguns.
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You know it's getting pretty bad when [b]NOT EVEN THE PRODUCERS AT PBS[/B] believe Bellesiles!
Link Posted: 5/2/2002 10:34:08 PM EDT
Originally Posted By FatMan: At the risk of starting an argument, I'll state that the shotgun was a better choice, followed by the rifle. Shotgun was the gun that tamed the west, not the Winchester lever action
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No way. It was the Sharps that tamed the West. By killing off the Bison, the Plains Indian's food source.
Link Posted: 5/2/2002 10:44:15 PM EDT
Originally Posted By hanko: SoCal yuppies should hang their collective heads in shame--good example of how a lot of money screws up a family. Old man went on & on about buying his son a "rifle just like a boy would have had in the 1880's". Horse manure.
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My family moved to a homestead in Southern California in the 1870's. When my grandfather went to school in the 1880s, the older boys wore Colt revolvers to school--which several of them used to kill Mexican horse theives.
Link Posted: 5/2/2002 10:54:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/3/2002 8:08:59 AM EDT by DonS]
Originally Posted By Redmanfms: Nope. Shotguns were the primary weapon of the settlers. Professional buffalo hunters used the big single shots. People who had bucks to spend had revolvers and Winchester rifles. I can't remember the book now (I read it a good while ago), but in it was quoted the gun sales of various gun makers of the late 19th century. The type of weapon that consistently outsold everything else was the shotgun. Why? Shotguns were very cheap and were multi-purpose. Incidentally, buffalo are pretty stupid. You really don't have to shot at them from a long distance. Walking up with a shotgun loaded with deer slugs and popping it in the head at close range will kill it just as dead as a Sharps or Low-Wall.
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My family homesteaded, and they owned rifles, shotguns, and handguns. The teenage boys in my grandfather's school carried revolvers. Probably the most prevalent arm among post Civil War settlers were surplus military rifles--including lots of .50-70 trapdoors and Sharps carbines (conversions of Civil War percussion arms). I'd expect most families to own multiple arms. [b] Edited to add: My family history includes several stories of my greatgrandmother being left alone at the ranch while my greatgrandfather was out and about. In one instance she demonstrated her shooting skill (with a rifle) to a group of "Apaches". In another instance at night, she held a handgun on the door as someone tried to break in. Frontier families [i]needed[/i] multiple firearms. Hunting large game with a shotgun is an iffy prospect, and in a place like Montana in the 1880s a large bore rifle is a must. At a minimum, I'd expect settlers to have rifle-muskets or rifled-muskets. By the 1880's, surplus .50-70 conversion rifles would be very common, pretty much the staple. Percussion revolvers would add firepower. Surplus Spencers and used Henry and Winchester .44 rimfires would provide added firepower for many familes, even those on a budget. And almost every family would have at least one shotgun, too (probably the only gun the family bought new, since surplus rifles and revolvers were common). Cartridge conversion revolves would also be used. New cartridge revolvers like the Colt Peacemaker and new cartridge single shot rifles like the Sharps, and centerfire Winchester repeaters would be for the more succesful familes. Probably the "ultimate" arm to own as a settler in 1883 would be the Marlin model 1881 in .45-70, followed by the Winchester model 1876 in .45-75. [/b]
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 1:08:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/4/2002 1:14:00 PM EDT by SteyrAUG]
Got sucked into this thing ALL DAY TODAY. Been laughing my ass off. Am I the only one who thinks the daughters in the one family are seriously hot?
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 7:43:32 PM EDT
What the hell did you get stuck with ?
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 8:07:53 PM EDT
I watched the show when the boy got too attached to the chicken. When the chicken stopped laying eggs, the father chopped it's head off to have it for dinner. I guess this chicken didn't follow the "you lay you stay" program. I was LMAO [:D].
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 8:33:59 PM EDT
Originally Posted By DonS: My family homesteaded, and they owned rifles, shotguns, and handguns. The teenage boys in my grandfather's school carried revolvers. Probably the most prevalent arm among post Civil War settlers were surplus military rifles--including lots of .50-70 trapdoors and Sharps carbines (conversions of Civil War percussion arms). I'd expect most families to own multiple arms. [b] Edited to add: My family history includes several stories of my greatgrandmother being left alone at the ranch while my greatgrandfather was out and about. In one instance she demonstrated her shooting skill (with a rifle) to a group of "Apaches". In another instance at night, she held a handgun on the door as someone tried to break in. Frontier families [i]needed[/i] multiple firearms. Hunting large game with a shotgun is an iffy prospect, and in a place like Montana in the 1880s a large bore rifle is a must. At a minimum, I'd expect settlers to have rifle-muskets or rifled-muskets. By the 1880's, surplus .50-70 conversion rifles would be very common, pretty much the staple. Percussion revolvers would add firepower. Surplus Spencers and used Henry and Winchester .44 rimfires would provide added firepower for many familes, even those on a budget. And almost every family would have at least one shotgun, too (probably the only gun the family bought new, since surplus rifles and revolvers were common). Cartridge conversion revolves would also be used. New cartridge revolvers like the Colt Peacemaker and new cartridge single shot rifles like the Sharps, and centerfire Winchester repeaters would be for the more succesful familes. Probably the "ultimate" arm to own as a settler in 1883 would be the Marlin model 1881 in .45-70, followed by the Winchester model 1876 in .45-75. [/b]
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Your personal story was very interesting, however, it is simply an anecdote. The empirical evidence suggests that the prevalent arm of the American Western settlement was the shotgun. I've read a few anecdotes about the Army giving (for free!!) surplus rifle-muskets to settlers, but I've not been able to find any reliable information from the Army itself regarding this. Many of the early dagaureotypes I've seen show huge (10-12 people) families with 2-3 firearms displayed. Guns were like cooking pots back then, they were expensive and therefore a status item and would most likely all the guns in a family would be displayed proudly for the photographer. Your edited statement is purely conjecture. It makes a lot of sense coming from the perspective of a firearms enthusiast, but just because it "makes sense" to us, doesn't mean it is factual.
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