Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>1874 Am. buffalo hunter
Subject: buffalo hunter, army scout
Culture: frontier American
Setting: buffalo trade, Great Plains 1868-1889
Object: guns

* Frontier Texas!
"Sharps 'Big Fifty' Rifle  
The most popular weapon of the buffalo hunter, the Sharps Model 1874 rifle was the most deadly and accurate.  Introduced in 1871, the rifle typically fired .50-70 and .50-90 cartridges.  It weighs 16 pounds unloaded."

"Strychnine 'Bite'  
Buffalo hunters often found themselves in great danger and vulnerable to Indian attacks.  Some hunters, fearing being tortured to death, carried vials of fast-acting poison -- usually strychnine -- to use as a last resort if surrounded by Indians."

Bullets for the buffalo guns were made of lead. They were fastened into a 'hull' -- the brass part of the cartridge that contains the powder and primer.  Once the gun's hammer hit the primer, the powder exploded, sending the bullet down the rifle barrel and on to its target."

Buffalo hunters preferred .45 and .50 caliber bullets, with cartridges loaded with 70 or 90 grains of gunpowder.  For the Sharps 'Big Fifty,' hunters most often used a .50-.90 cartridge (.50 caliber bullet, with 90 grains of gunpowder).  Within cartridges, the bullet was usually paper-wrapped, to achieve a straighter trajectory when fired."

"Bullet Mold Shells and Bullets" ...

* Fort Worth Museum of Science and History > 150 Years of Fort Worth
"Sharps Old Reliable buffalo rifle, .44 caliber, double set triggers, United States, c. 1875."
"Buffalo hide scales used to weigh stacked hides, manufactured by Imhoft and Lange, c. 1870."
"Leather cuffs, brass trimmed, United States, c. 1880."