My name is Francis. I was a member of the 61st NY Infantry many years ago. I surely do miss the hobby and all the great people I had met. Since that time, I had switched my interests over to advanced equestrian training and horsemanship. If I had the means of transporting my horse, I would rejoin the ranks but as a trooper.
I have read a few threads on the forum about the different methods of loading the pistol to fire blanks while on horseback. Though I am not reenacting, I will be firing as I ride my horse. Yes, he is pistol trained. If I may, is there a trooper here that could provide a step by step?
Here is what I understand: a. pour the appropriate amount of 3F BP into the cylinder. b. add a top layer of cream of wheat. c. ram it tight d. apply Crisco to avoid a chain fire
This is seems like a great deal of work while on top of your mount. I read about paper cartridges but I was uncertain about making sure the load was packed to avoid spillage and if grease was need to avoid chain fire.
Any suggestions you may provide will be greatly appreciated.
Off topic question: What is the authentic way? Left or right hip hostler for a mounted trooper. I am right handed and neck-rein with my left hand.
You have the basics, but don't forget the caps (darn thing just won't fire without them). It is a lot to do from horsback. Many people prepare paper cartridges and they are much easier in the saddle. I use cigarette papers or hair curling papers, some use nitrated paper (burns better). Find a dowel rod just smaller than the .44 caliber and role the paper around this. Fold and glue one end so that the paper creates a container for the powder. Pour the appropriate amount of powder in followed by COW. Some will tie the end before adding the COW so that the powder and COW don't mix while bouncing around. Tie the end and you have a cartridge. I don't use the Crisco over the end and have never had a chain fire (did have one in live fire once, WOW!). Now on horseback, you can tear open the paper and pour the contents down the cylinder, then ram. Some will simple put the cartridge down the cylinder, then ram. (Don't forget the caps). It is still a bunch to do on horseback. Easier method is to use a remington and load spare cylinders.
I thank you for your reply. Yes. I forgot to mention caps but I am aware ;-)
I was just about to ask, "What is COW? The thing my horse loves to chase or? Ha-ha!". Cream of Wheat. Got ya!
Question: Are you only using powder and COW? Nothing more to pack? Foam? Question: No need to grease except for when firing live rounds? Question: I just returned form the local gun shop. They only sell the soft lead round ball and not the cone shaped. Are they OK to use for when firing live?
Some folks put cream of wheat (COW) on top of the BP, some do not. If you do, you can discard the paper after pouring the contents into the cylinder (be sure to pour BP first). If you do not use cow, put the entire cartridge in the cylinder (paper will compress and hold the powder in).
I do not use grease in the paper cartridge nor with cream of wheat in general. When I am live firing, I do use some type of grease to minimize fouling.
I spent the weekend killing balloons along our riding trails. Not live rounds of course ;-) I made cartridges using cig paper with BP and a small amount of COW to top it off. Though my horse is trained to not move off without being told, I found myself just ramming the entire cartridge as it is easier then pouring while mounted. I can understand now that there really is no need for the COW when ramming the paper. In any case, all went well and as I excepted, my 7 year old AQH never so much as flinched with each passing round. That is an amazing feeling as I am sure you know. I hope your weekend was enjoyable and I thank you for the reply.
Fantastic! The rush is a bit more when a cannon goes off within yards of you. I usually ride with 1st Tennessee Cavalry (Union volunteers). If you ever attend a reenactment, feel free to join us. We usually ride in the Tennessee and should be in Bridgeport Alabama this weekend. Good shooting. Be sure to clean the weathingy after a day out. Black powder will do a number on them.
As I said, if I had the means to transport I would strongly consider re-joining the ranks as a Trooper this time around and not Infantry. Here is the unit I was with for about 8 years during the early 90's.
I saw your other post as well. Yes, we are union and here is our current website; www.1sttennesseecavalry.com/ I am on the buckskin on the opening page. You'll have to get rid of that Clinton hat and get yourself something more appropriate. I've thought about Clinton Anderson type of training for some time (see him each week on RFD tv), but I've not started yet. One horse is 17 years, the other 21. How long did it take to get to level 3?
I have contacted someone from New York and as soon as he gets back to me, I'll get you some names to get you involved. If you have done infantry before, you'll fit right in. The drill is basically the same, Cav counts to 4 instead of 2...
The unit we portray started as union infantry and very quickly were transformed into a cavalry group. So I know ex-infantry can make it as cavalry, especially if you have a well trained horse. I would not buy anything until you find a unit as they may have some loaner material and have specific suggestions. A McClellan saddle is pretty basic, but look for one that is rawhide covered rather than leather.
Ha! You like that Clinton hat? The wife digs it ;-)
CA training is the best there is IMO. If you don't have all the time in the world and want results fast - he's methods are the best. I have researched many other trainers and though they are all get results, the black and white with no shades of grey via CA works best for me and my horse.
I reached level 3 just shy of 3 years working 3 days a week. Maybe 2 hours a day. Keep in my that I did ground work and saddle. That's about 30 DVDs worth of training. I would highly recommend ground work for respect vol. 1. So many issues many have with their horses tend to work out on there own once you have control of their feet and their respect. What you see on RFDTV is just a taste. His DVDs are always broken into steps per exercise.
1. The why 2. The how 3. Common horse problems. 4. Common rider problems.
Something as complicated as getting your horse to side pass off of your body language while on the ground is broken down so well that you just cannot fail. Now, your horses are older of course but his training will work well for them as well. It's all about "stages of pressure" and he always breaks it deeper to give examples of the hot/nervous vs. that of the cold/lazy type horses and not only how to adapt his methods for each but how each will respond/gain from it.
EDIT: An add-on about how long? Of course it depends on many things but one road block you may encounter with the older horse is that he/she may be set in their ways an old habits are not only hard to break but even harder to create, savvy? That's not a discouragement just a heads-up.
Thanks so much about getting in touch with some of the NY boys!!
Mike, I had heard of the coco-puff but had not tried it yet. If memory serves, weren't there two sizes (one for the .36 and one for the .44)? seems like I read about the coco-puffs and something else being used for this purpose. And, if you use them, do you tie a thread around them or just put in the paper cylinder? Sgt Scott
I don't tie them (although that would look more period) as I dump the powder, place the "puff" and discard the paper (due to my thinking that the paper would cause a cross fire). I think it was David M. that said the paper wasn't a problem for him, but I haven't tried it myself.
If you spread out some coca puffs, they run small to large, so it's not hard sort the Navy from the Army.
To tell you the truth, I don't load from horse-back much. The Critters hardly ever shoot pistols. When (I always say the last time will be the last time, but...) I'm "farb-a-cating" with the Florida Cav. Gals & Guys on paints, with endurance saddles, bad hats, animal parts, 1885 carbine boots, revolver carbines and the list goes on.... why bother trying to reload period correct for a 30 minute farb fest?
Last Edit: Mar 27, 2009 9:00:09 GMT -5 by fltrooper