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Account of Buffalo running.

1105 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  zimmerstutzen
I know most of you are into modern single shots, I prefer the old 1800's cartridge guns. Frank Mayer dictated a book about his days as a Buff Runner. It is a very interesting read. He discusses cartridges, loading cleaning, even rifling.

"It's common for modern riflemen to look down their noses at these old rifles of ours, dub them "smokesticks" and believe no accuracy is possible without a military type rifle and modern smokeless powder ammunition. I guess it doesn't do them any harm to believe in fairy tales, but let me tell you something: no rifles made could match these old Remingtons and Sharps we runners used.

Prove it? Sure. Why not? With carefully handloaded ammunition and perfectly adjusted telescope sights, we could make full possibles at any range from fifty to 500 yards. We could do it in the face of heavy wind, straight on, fishtail, or full cross currents. At distances above 500 and up to 1,000 yards, the .45-120-550 Sharps with patched bullets is absolutely unsurpassed by any weapon known to man. In these performances there are never any unaccountables with Sharps: the rifleman knows why the missles went wrong and can instantly call them. Can this be done with any modern so-called "super-gun"? It cannot.

I have seen the .45-120-550 Sharps lay down 200 buffalo with just 200 shots, most of them at distances ranging from 300 to 600 yards. Is there any modern rifle, even the magnums, which could do that? Show it to me if you find it, will you?"

To read an excerpt ....Poke here:
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You can get this book from Dixie Gun Works. It is a good read of the "olde dys".

But while I like the old cartridges and rifles, most of his pokes at modern days guns is just "off the wall". this book was published after his death in 1958 (he died in '54 at the age of 104).

Not to put an old guy down or disparage the dead, but me thinks he was bragging and had a memory like Al Gore who invented the Internet.

The 45-70/90-110 are all good guns. So are the sharps rifles. But when he says "modern" he is talking about 30-30 or thru his hat. At 104 years old I'm not sure he ever shot a modern magnum cartridge. A decent '06 will out shoot them . I like heavy slow moving cartridges for deer. Tough to beat a 38-55 win high wall for deer in PA(with a scope). My eyes are now shot, but I loved those tang sight with a small aperature.

I agree that buffalo are stupid, but they are always dangerous IF you under estimate them and their speed.

Still a good "old West" reading book.
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Also should mention the big advantage of the 500+ grain bullets fired at buffalo; they were using BP and were SUB SONIC. So at that range the muzzle blast was not loud if even heard by animals. If you have been shot at from long rang or worked in mil pits pulling target, you will know the sonic boom is what you hear along with the bullet strike.

So a miss with a 500 grain BP shot did not even startle a buffalo grazing, a super sonic '06 might on a miss.
I have been to the sillywet matches at Shippensburg, shooting to 500 meters with my Trapdoor and open sights. 65 grains of ffg and a 500 grain bullet, I was knocking them down regularly off the cross sticks. That was back in 1988&1989. Sure confirmed for me the range of those big bullets.
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