The Guns That Won the West: Firearms on the American Frontier, 1848-1898

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Greenhill Books, 2005 - History - 288 pages
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Covering a wide range of firearms, from the smallest pistol to the rifles of the buffalo hunters used by plainsmen and settlers, gamblers and engineers, Native Americans and the soldiers of the United States Army. Meticulously researched by a foremost authority on firearms, this is an indispensable guide to the opening of the American West. John Walter examines pre-Civil War mass production and technical advances, and the effect of readily available post-war surplus weapons on life in the Midwest. He traces the swift expansion of the West, which led to a perpetual struggle against the Native Americans and brought the United States Army in its wake. John Walter also examines whether law was dispensed at the point of a gun and whether it was the Colt or the Winchester that reigned supreme at the OK Corral. Describing particular Western desperadoes and the most popular Wild West firearms, he goes on to investigate how gun design influenced use and use influenced design. With detailed descriptions and performance evaluations of all the leading firearms, this book is an essential reference guide which cuts away the myth and legend and reveals the truth behind the guns, and the men who used them, in the heyday of the West.

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John Walter is a respected authority on all aspects of weaponry.

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