Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

36 cal. leathal at 75 yards

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Pancho, Oct 31, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Pancho

    Pancho Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,874
    Location:
    Southwestern, Ohio out in the country about 40 mil
    History Channel through their 'Tales of the gun' related a story about Wild Bill Hickock killing a man at 75 yards with a 36 cal. navy colt. That sounds a little far fetched. Any comments?
     
  2. Pancho

    Pancho Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,874
    Location:
    Southwestern, Ohio out in the country about 40 mil
    I reelly meen lethal
     
  3. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    23,908
    Location:
    Arizona
    Happen to have the original newspaper story. The shooting occured in Springfield, MO. with the shooters standing in corners on the city's Plaza. Hence the distance is known.

    An ordinary .38 Special is lethal at over 100 yards, and a Navy Colt can match it.
     
  4. Dithsoer

    Dithsoer Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Messages:
    196
    I've seen two deer killed at fifty-some yards with an 1851 Navy ( two different deer on two different occasions, mind you). One ran about a hundred yards before falling down. As the hunter approached it got up and went another twenty yards or so then dropped. The other one was a lucky shot that went straight into the does chest and she didn't go very far. During butchering/autopsy it was found that the bullet had passed through the lower tip of the heart.
    Heck, at 75 yards a round ball or conical from a .36 Navy would probably have about as much energy as a .32 long at the muzzle, not to mention some of the various small-caliber loadings used in a number of military pistols as used by different European nations in the earlier 20th. century. The .32 long at one time enjoyed a great deal of popularity in law enforcement circles, especially among detectives and plains-clothes officers.
    Who knows? Some men have died from a single shot from a .22 short while others have taken several rounds from a .357 magnum.
    Oh, and for those would-be scoffers of a Navy killing a deer at 50 yards, do a little research on what the most popular cartridge is for deer poaching. That's right, it's the "lowly" old .22 rimfire.
     
  5. Pancho

    Pancho Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,874
    Location:
    Southwestern, Ohio out in the country about 40 mil
    I've been trying to make up my mind whether to buy navy 36 or an army 44.I think you answers have tipped the scales toward the navy
     
  6. Bezoar

    Bezoar member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,616
    you have to remember something. The good old bp revolvers were made in a day when it had to work. Those factory sights were set to hit a guy at 75 yards, and you knew it would do the job for you.
    Contrary to many of the european military handguns with 30 caliber barrels, 5 inch barrels and sights calibrated to 1200 meters. like the mauser pistols for example, lugers to for that matter.
     
  7. BobMcG

    BobMcG Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Messages:
    560
    Look at it from another perspective and ask yourself this...
    Do you really think you'd survive a shooting (yes at you) while standing only 75yds away from a real pistoleer the likes of Bill holding his pair of .36 pistols intent on killing you if he feels the need to? :scrutiny:

    I own a pair myself and although I'm a far cry from Wild Bill I still know I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of them. :)
     
  8. dwave

    dwave Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,046
    Location:
    The wonderful United States
    I was able to hit a target 4 out of 6 shots at 75 yards (best, usally 3 out of 6) using my Pietta 51 Navy. The target was 18"x18".
     
  9. plexreticle

    plexreticle Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    Messages:
    1,240
    Mr. Hickok was an expert pistol shot and he probably worked up his loads and tested them. I don't think 75 yards would be a huge stretch for someone with his skill.
     
  10. FSCJedi

    FSCJedi Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2003
    Messages:
    283
    Location:
    The mountains in the East
    Yeah, I'm a big fan of the .36 cal Navy. There's a reason real gunmen kept on using it after other's came along. :)

    Also, if I'm not mistaken, Wild Bill was using a "plane jane" cap-and-ball '51 Navy when he made that long shot, not a cartridge conversion.
     
  11. Pancho

    Pancho Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,874
    Location:
    Southwestern, Ohio out in the country about 40 mil
    It was also said that no matter what Wild Bill would empty his guns every morning clean and reload them
     
  12. Pancho

    Pancho Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,874
    Location:
    Southwestern, Ohio out in the country about 40 mil
    Are the navies smaller than the armies?
     
  13. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    23,908
    Location:
    Arizona
    Both are built on the same frame, although the Army's is slightly modified to accept a .44 cylinder. In addition the handle on the Army is about 1/8" longer and the barrel is 1/2" longer then a Navy's (8" v. 7 1/2").

    You might want to look into a 1861 Navy - same size and caliber as an 1851 model, but looks like an Army.
     
  14. Malamute

    Malamute Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    3,125
    Location:
    Rocky Mts
    I have no doubt the Colts Navy would be plenty lethal at 75 yards.



    Has anyone researched this? I recall reading that Hickok used an 1860 Army in an early shooting, and was thinking it was in Missouri. I'm not sure if this shooting was the one. Will have to look it up when I have time.

    The often recited mantra about Hickok is "He ONLY EVER used 36 Navy Colts,......." He was known to have owned and used several different caliber and model pistols over the years. He is best known for his use of the pair of Navies in later years.
     
  15. Ghost Tracker

    Ghost Tracker Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2006
    Messages:
    1,449
    Location:
    Kentucky Backwoods
    James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok was the Doug Koenig / Ron Leatham of his time (okay, maybe Jerry Miculek). He practiced daily & knew-well his revolvers' capability. If you gave any of these three modern shooters a .36 Colt Navy Revolver at 75 yards...I'm absolutely willing to bet they could drop a man like a hot horseshoe.
     
  16. Harve Curry

    Harve Curry Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Messages:
    1,756
    Location:
    Black Range of New Mexico
    To add to the discussion a .380" pure lead ball weighs 83 grains.
     
  17. Bondo_Red

    Bondo_Red Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Messages:
    114
    Location:
    liberal hellhole massachuesetts
    Wild Bill was one of the greatest pistol shooters ever in my opinion.Most people (and pistols) back then were accustomed to shooting no more 25 yards away.He was hitting guys square in the heart at 75 yards,some of the time with glaucoma.And He was using a cap and ball for that particular shooting I believe.
     
  18. Harve Curry

    Harve Curry Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Messages:
    1,756
    Location:
    Black Range of New Mexico
    Pancho,
    Not all '51 Colt 36cal are the same, like anything else.
    Some take .375" balls, some larger. Check the cylinder chamber mouths to the rifing groove diameter. Forcing cone work has also helped for cap & ball revolvers.
     
  19. Misfire99

    Misfire99 member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Messages:
    332
    If, I'm not mistaken, Wild Bill would ride into a herd of Buffalo and drop five or six with a pistol in each hand and the rains in his mouth. This is no small feet from horse back with pistols inside the herd. My self I think if I found myself on horse back in the middle of a thousand head of wild Buffalo I would be screaming for my mother. I live close to Yellowstone and see Buffalo fairly often. Just one bull is enough to get your attention. They are wild animals that value their space. So you better as well. And their space is were ever they say it is.
     
  20. timothy75

    timothy75 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Messages:
    481
    I'm as big of fan of Wild Bill as anyone but I'm reluctant to take anything mentioned so far as fact. Those who study the old west know theres been a century long tradition of fibbing to the tenderfeet, and never letting truth get in the way of a great story.
     
  21. Jim K

    Jim K Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    17,752
    Well, the .36 is perfectly capable of killing a man at 75 yards, and well beyond. In all respects but bullet weight, it is equivlent to the .38 Special standard load. Penetration and lethality are about the same.

    As to the famed Mr. Hickock's "feats", pardon me while I go find a salt block, as a grain won't be enough. If those marvelous demonstrations of his shooting ability occurred, they must have been on the increasingly rare occasions when he was sober enough to locate his gun.

    Jim
     
  22. BobMcG

    BobMcG Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Messages:
    560
    Stories aside, unless I'm mistaken I believe the OP was taken back by one of two things or both. The two things being one, that a .36 could be accurate and lethal enough to kill a man at 75yds and two, that Bill could accomplish this feat. Even without having any concrete proof, there is little doubt in my mind that the first of these is very feasible and when coupled with the skill and experience of the second is pretty much a done deal. Would you write this line of reasoning off as story time BS too?
     
  23. pohill

    pohill Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2006
    Messages:
    1,853
    The fact that we're still talking about this man, James Butler Hickok, 131 years after his death, leads me to believe that there was a great deal of substance to the stories about him. I believe that he shot a man in the heart, while being shot at, from 75 yards away. Luck? Skill? Both? Doesn't really matter. There are some myths that should not be debunked. It's hard to handle an 1851 .36 Colt Navy and not think about JBH, even today.
     
  24. Misfire99

    Misfire99 member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Messages:
    332
    I'm sorry I confused Wild Bill with Buffalo Bill Cody. I rechecked "Gunfighters of the Western Frontier" and it was Buffalo Bill Cody that rode into the herds of buffalo dropping them with pistols in each hand. My bad.
     
  25. Harve Curry

    Harve Curry Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Messages:
    1,756
    Location:
    Black Range of New Mexico
    hello Misfire99,
    I read Buffalo Bills autobiography and he wrote about a contest he go into, his choice of firearm was Lurcia Borgia(spl?), a 50-70 Springfield. Cody's challenger used a Henry or a '66 and Cody shot more buffalo down from horse back then the officer did. I don't have the book you mention but I don't recall him using 36's in his autobiography.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page