I shoot an 1873 sporting rifle in 45 Colt at the cowboy matches. I can get 10 rounds off in 10-12 seconds on a good day. When I am a little off, add another 3-5 seconds. If we assume the NDNs using the 1866 and 1873 models could get off 10 rounds in 20 seconds or 25 seconds, you can easily see how they have superior firepower at close range over the springfield, which takes generally 5-7 seconds per shot when having to pull the next round out of a belt carrier.
The springfield shooters I referenced that can get shots off in 5-7 seconds are guys who speed shoot all the time, have well-maintained weapons, are very well practiced with their rifles, and they shoot modern ammo and don't have extractor problems. Now the 7th cavalry trooper will not be as proficient with his rifle as these modern shooters, may not have the best maintained rifle in the regiment, and has to contend with extractor problems when the rifle gets hot. Add to all of that the noise, confusion, and excitement of battle as they saw it at LBH, and it's no wonder that the range advantage of the springfield disappeared very quickly, giving the decisive advantage to the NDNs using lever-action rifles. It also didn't help in that the 7th was heavily outmanned.
Post by Dark Cloud on Jun 15, 2014 13:46:55 GMT -5
The issues with the carbine have been on this board for years and various experts in print and here said the issues were not a big deal in the outcome. Apparently few to nobody noted this issue during those exhausting and prolonged practice sessions that made the 7th such a great shooting outfit. By which I mean they stunk and did not practice near at all, couldn't hit much anyway.
Second, cases not appropriate for the Henrys and/or Winchesters were found to have been fired from them, meaning they were rendered single shot, reload (if able), as well. They were not in any number to over affect the battle which is often concurrently claimed to have been at long range muting any advantage of rapid fire. There's the fascinating theory of Henryville, where we're led to believe those warriors fortunate enough to have these weapons fought near as a unit at one location. That's a tactic mentioned nowhere in their accounts. Not once. Not previously. Not after. Only when 'science' appeared and found evidence of their presence. But when? In whose hands?
Rate of fire is a non issue. By all accounts, most Indian firearms were old, they didn't have tons of ammo to practice, but at the LBH it didn't matter.
".. all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed...." T.Jefferson, Declaration of Independence
Chris, you are correct when we spoke, I was sure changes were made to the rifle. The cartridge was the issue. Changes were made to the rifle in what became the 1884 Springfield, not issued until 1886, for the most part. Sorry to misrepresent. Good catch.
The cartridge cases for a while in those days were made of copper, not brass. They had a tendency to be softer and when the extractor tried to remove the spent casing, the rim let go, leaving a case stuck in the chamber. Without a tool like a cleaning rod to push it out, they used a knife to try and pry the case out. There is evidence the 7th had to do this on the 25th (bent, broken knife blades, etc.).
A cleaning rod works well with a stuck case that has the head on it. Not sure it works as well with the head ripped off. They made a stuck shell extractor for removing a case with no head. I think it if my memory is correct it was available in 1876. The time to use it would not be in close quarter battle.
“ A Mounted Officer's first duty is to his horses.”
I will not be wronged, I will not be insulted and I won't be laid a hand upon.