Time got away from me last week and I didn't post, but I didn't just do nothing... And the nothing I didn't do...er, the something I did do...was to start a bibliography page, in which I'll keep an annotated list of the sources I find useful as I continue to research the history and weaponry... Continue Reading →


A great article comparing the Springfield "trapdoor" rifle carried by Custer's troops to the 1866 Winchester "Yellow Boy" lever-action carried by the Indians that defeated them.

Ultimate badassery

What's more badass than a classic lever-action rifle? If you answered "nothing," you get partial credit. That would have been my answer too. But apparently, this exists. Yes, lever-action rifles have been made -- and presumably, somewhere, also used -- with bayonets. Check it out. According to the auction site, this rifle was manufactured and... Continue Reading →

Truth from Machiavelli

When you disarm the people, you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred. -- Niccolo Machiavelli

Old West prescription shades

Did you know that people in the Old West actually wore sunglasses? It was a surprise to me. I've been thinking about guns, horses, clothes, provisions, even eyeglasses...but sunglasses never occurred to me. While doing research on the Allen Pepperbox gun, I stumbled across a dramatic part the gun played in early Mormon history and... Continue Reading →

Allen & Thurber Pepperbox

I stumbled across a fun new addition to the FAR System armory a few days ago: the Allen & Thurber Pepperbox pistol. Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) described a friend's Allen pepperbox this way: Simply drawing the trigger back, the hammer would begin to rise and the barrel to turn over, and presently down would drop the... Continue Reading →

Rolling your own rimfires

Have you ever considered reloading rimfire cartridges? Probably not...but people back in the days of the Old West did it all the time. And with the right materials, anybody can do it. Wikipedia says it can't be done...but Wikipedia is wrong. You could buy a Rimfire Reloader kit right now for $80 and start reloading used .22 Long... Continue Reading →

Christmas at the sawmill – A true story of the Old West

The growing settlements in the mountain valleys of Utah needed lumber, and it was Benjamin Franklin Johnson's job to provide it. More than a job -- a mission. The Mormon church's Council of the Twelve had asked him to do it, so he regarded the task as a sacred duty. The sawmill had been sited... Continue Reading →

The Colt 1861 Navy: A piece of history


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