Friday, October 03, 2003

Big bore guys are never satisfied

Lt. Eben Swift in the Journal of the United States Cavalry Association, circa 1887:

"There are no fiercer fighters on earth than these Afghans, Zulus, and Arabs, who, armed with hand weapons entirely, were able to run over well-disciplined troops armed with breech-loading rifles. The officers were earnest in declaring that toy pistols would not do for such service; that there must be no doubt of the ability of the weapon to drop an adversary in his tracks. Many would not trust the caliber .45 and favored the double-barreled pistol caliber .577 and the four-barreled pistol caliber .476 on account of their stopping power."

In 1879 a British Major Edin Baker wrote:

"I saw Captain H. of the Bengal Cavalry, empty five shots from his revolver into the back of a Ghazi, who was running amuck through camp, at less than five yards range, without stopping him....I consider the service revolver should throw a heavy ball of .5 inch to .55 inch diameter.

The revolver they are critiquing is the British blackpowder .455 with its 250 grain lead bullet.

Both quotes from A. C. Gould, Modern American Pistols and Revolvers, 1888.