Sunday, December 1, 2013
A little more about Duke, our handgun expert in Japan
Duke's article--Old Gun Shot!--told about the black powder guns he shot and analyzed out in the desert south of Las Vegas.
He states with pride that "I took a trip to the Western Writers of America conference. I went last year as well, and as an expert on weapons of the period, I was accepted as a full member, the only Japanese member in the entire organization."
This time, however, he's concentrating on a Spenser carbine, a Model 1848 Dragoon, and an SAA Third-Generation Colt. Duke says, "To a historical gun freak like me, it looked like Treasure Island."
First, he says, we have the Spencer Repeating Carbine, developed by Christian Spencer. It was the world's first repeating rifle. Its M1860 was used in the Civil War from 1861 to 1866 (sic) in .56-56 caliber. According to existing records, the Union bought a total of 94,196 rifles and carbines in M1860. When M1865 came out, it was .56-50 and more than 200,000 were produced. Furthermore, these repeating rifles came into Japan at the end of the feudal period.
Spencer .56-56 M1860s used a Spencer rimfire cartridge, and fired seven cartridges with its repeating lever action before needing to be reloaded. Spencers are loaded through the butt with a tube magazine that accepts a follower spring to push the loads forward. Lever action incorporating the trigger guard made the carbines easy to load and fire.
Duke goes into more detail that I will leave to your imagination, but one thing he does mention is that Arnold Schwarzenegger uses and M1887 Spencer repeating shotgun in the movie Terminator II.
The Colt SAA available that day was a Colt Original 3rd Generation 4.75-inch .45 caliber weapon firing .45 long Colt ammunition. Says Duke, "I've fired many Colt SAA weapons in my career, but guns made by Colt seem to have dependable quality and fire straight and true. I continue to be impressed by their quality.
We spent a good day in the sand dunes south of Las Vegas, and WWA, Western novels, and Western weapons received an excellent explanation and portrayal from Duke Hiroi.