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Ready for the Little Big Horn, but on which side?


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Before?  The Army.  Both the Trapdoor carbine and the SAA were pretty much Army only at the time.  Deserters were getting big bucks for their pistols on the civilian market because of their scarcity.  The .45-70 was still relatively new and the major draw to it was that you could be sure that Army posts would have ammo- unlike so many of the more esoteric cartridges out at the time- in a pinch.

 

After?  Could go either way.  The Sioux and their allies looted the bodies even after Sitting Bull told them about his vision of what would happen if they did so.

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"The .45-70 was still relatively new and the major draw to it was that you could be sure that Army posts would have ammo- unlike so many of the more esoteric cartridges out at the time- in a pinch."

 

But how would you acquire the .45-70 ammo?  In the first place, most cavalry outfits' ammo was actually .45-55-405, and was not available to citizens (civilians in the parlance of the day).  You might be better off with something in .50-70... the three cavalry companies at Sidney Barracks, while armed with M1873 Trapdoor Carbines, were restricted in how much .45-55 ammo could be used except in combat (Three rounds per man per month for target practice was allowed.) But they had five (5) Sharps Cartridge Conversions and 50K rounds of .50-70 on hand.  (At least one was issued to and later acquired by a civilian teamster employed by the post QM.)

OTOH, about 20-30 percent of the Sioux and Cheyenne at the LBH fight had some kind of rifle, and maybe half of those were Henry or M1866 repeaters!

But definitely a nice collection!

 

Stay well and safe, Pards

 

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