Billy Dixon and the Battle of Adobe Walls


4v50 Gary
January 3, 2003, 03:04 AM
I'd like to learn more about Billy Dixon's amazing shot. Anybody read any books on it that you can recommend? I'm looking for first hand accounts or books with first hand eyewitness accounts. Thanks.

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January 3, 2003, 03:41 AM
I read a biography of his. If I recall correctly it was his wife who wrote it. The Amazing Life of Billy Dixon, I think it was called, but this was some time ago.

January 3, 2003, 06:21 AM
Gary, the book titled Precision Shooting at 1000 Yards did an indepth article on the shot, with a recreation of the shot itself. I think it covers all the info you need.

January 3, 2003, 07:31 AM
was also covered in the book 'The Buffalo Hunters', I beleive by Mari Santos (or Sandoz) in good detail.

January 3, 2003, 07:33 AM\mari.htm

January 3, 2003, 08:08 AM
Billy Dixon's wife was Olive Dixon & she wrote at least two books about him. One was titled Adobe Wall's Bride & I'm not sure about the other, but a search at amazon or ebay should help you out.
Just for what it is worth , I live about 150 miles from adobe walls & have been to that site there is a stone set up there commemorating that fight . Gees , that was one looooooong shot!:what:

4v50 Gary
January 3, 2003, 01:59 PM
Thanks guys!

January 3, 2003, 04:02 PM
that lives in Texas...sez there's a festival and competitive shoot every year

locals (and I guess others) try to make the 1582 (?) yard shot

OK...I far was it???

Still Learning
January 3, 2003, 07:24 PM
Somewhere in my western history book collection is a decent account of the battle of Adobe Walls. Some of those books are still in boxes so I'm not darned sure if I can find it. I'll look later this weekend.

The thing I remember most was Dixon's comment about being surprised he actually made the shot!

Lone Star
January 3, 2003, 07:29 PM
Mike Venturino and some friends tried the long range (1538 yards) Dixon shot. They found it was quite possible; it just amounts to getting the elevation right with the old Sharps!

By the way, they researched the site at Adobe Walls and determined which guns/cartridges were used in the close up phase of the battle, before the Comanche withdrew initially.

Mike has a whole chapter on this Adobe Walls thing in his, "Shooting Buffalo Rifles of the Old West", available from MLV Enterprises, P.O. Box 914, Livingston, MT 59047. Price is about $30 and worth it. All of his books are excellent; ask for a list and prices.

Lone Star

January 3, 2003, 07:36 PM
Didn't some govt. folks investigate that and prove the shot was possible? I think I heard something about it being tested at the Aberdeen Proving Ground or somewhere similar.

Lone Star
January 3, 2003, 07:41 PM
Yes! See my above post. Venturino was one of the shooters in the tests. They had access to Adobe Walls.

The Custer battleground was also investigated to determine which guns were used and what quantity.

Lone Star

Pappy John
January 3, 2003, 08:00 PM
There was a three part series by Bob Glodt on the battle published in the Black Powder Cartridge News, edited by Steve Garbe. It ran from the summer '98 issue through the winter '98 issue. (Quarterly publication)

Jim V
January 3, 2003, 08:00 PM
I remember seeing a video on the shot, lots of computer generated graphics showing elevation, etc. I'll be framfrizzled if I can remember the title however.

January 3, 2003, 10:49 PM
Bullet drop sumpin like 80 FEET, IIRC.

January 3, 2003, 11:17 PM
Yup, one hell of a shot.


January 3, 2003, 11:42 PM
Lone Star, Triad, I've also read that article by Mike Venturino - still have a copy, in fact. It was published in Shotgun News. IIRC, they needed only about a five-degree elevation to achieve the same range as Dixon, and at that range the bullet was penetrating several sheets of plywood quite comfortably. The longest range they achieved (at a much greater elevation, of course) was something like 3,500 yards!!! :eek: Says a lot for the momentum of a very heavy bullet at moderate velocities...

Jim V
January 4, 2003, 04:57 PM
Was there any indication of the winds that day when Billy made the shot? Did he get the target he was shooting at or did the wind drift take the slug into a very unlucky Chief?

Pappy John
January 4, 2003, 06:34 PM
Supposedly a group of 15, or possibly more, Indians atop the bluff east of Adobe Walls, discussing what to do next in the attack. So, if he got the range right and was aiming at the middle of the group the wind would only determine which one got hit.

Lone Star
January 4, 2003, 06:47 PM
Venturino does sometimes write different accounts of his book content as magazine articles. That's what was in, "Shotgun News".

Dixon never claimed to aim at any particular Indian. He just wanted to see if he could hit one and shake them up; encourage them to stay away.

If Mike V. mentioned the wind, I don't recall it. Dixon and his lot may not have ever commented on it, but it was surely a factor at that distance.

Lone Star

Jim Watson
January 4, 2003, 07:46 PM
While you are reading, look up Jack Bean. He hit the man he was aiming at. Range estimates vary but not less than 1300 yards. But then he had a scope sight on his Sharps.

January 4, 2003, 07:49 PM
Reminds me of a shot I took at a line of about 7 ducks at about 50 yds one time. They were flying in a line overhead. I took what I figured as the correct lead, doubled it and let fly at the lead duck. The fourth one in line dropped like a rock! Just like I planned

January 4, 2003, 09:11 PM

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