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good moring cap--
the rangers traditionally carried two--some accounts of three. that said i can't recall seeing pictures of any with two-but those are fairly new pictures( ealy 20th century).
most carried not for the reasons that lawdogs did and i suspect that one was enough as all carried some type of rifle or shotgun.
if they, ie the ones carrying, were involved in some type of activity which could involve human confrontation then i would suspect they carried two.
blessings
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
To expand a little on what williamlayton said, there is an exhibit at the Texas Ranger Museum in Waco that has an actual horse that has been “taxidermistized”. It has the accoutrements of an early (post-Mexican war but pre-Civil war) Texas Ranger (saddle, canteen, blanket, etc.) and attached on each side of the front of the saddle are holsters for a brace of Colt Walker revolvers. (I've always thought those Walkers were too heavy for belt holster wear ala Gus in Lonesome Dove.) The museum is a great place to visit if you are interested in guns and/or the Texas Rangers.

Listed below are excerpts from some books that indicate packing two handguns wasn’t really uncommon.

“Wild Bill Hickok seldom or never used holsters. He usually carried two pistols in his waistband, their butts pointing inward for a cross-arm draw.”

(Dallas) “Stoudenmire never wore revolver-holsters. He had been presented with two fine silver-plated Colts, caliber .45, by Beneky and Pierce, pioneer hardware men. These he carried in leather-lined hip pockets. He maintained always that he could draw more quickly from his pockets than from holsters.”

“In Evergreen, the tiny community flanking the Austin-Brenham road, Bill Longly was a leading spirit among the younger generation. His size, his courage, his amazing skill with twin Colts, a certain fierce élan which was never to desert him, made him a marked figure among gatherings at the crossroads blacksmith shop and store, under the wide shade of the court house oak—which had served both as justice court and gallows, in its day, ant which still stands a brooding giant over that quiet land.”

“The oldtimers who knew him well used to marvel in my hearing over his skill. They said that his hands, snapping to the butts of the .45s in their cut-down holsters, were like racing snakes streaking into holes. He was a deadly shot with either hand—which was not so usual with gunmen who “pulled” as flashingly as he. Frequently, the man who was “extra-quick on the draw” figured to make up, by the number of shots he fired, for any lack of accuracy in aim. But not Long-Haired Jim Courtright!”

All of the above are excerpted from Eugene Cunningham’s Triggernometry.

“In the spring of 1871 I had my first trip to the frontier of Texas. …Those big, fine frontiersmen, each wearing a pair of revolvers and most of them carrying a Winchester,…”

“He was heavily armed, wearing two six-shooters and carrying a Winchester in front of him.”

These last two are from James B. Gillette’s Six Years with the Texas Rangers 1875 - 1881.
 

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jest a question--how much did that gun weigh? did the advent of the modern carrtridge change the need for two guns because of faster reloading? somewhere in the dark recess of my mind i remember sumthin about saddle scabbards-- a mind is a terrible thing to lose except in my case where one never existed any way.
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just more thought here and perhaps the thought that if they had lived today many of these folks would have been weighted down pretty well.
when looking into your post on dallas stoudenmire i ran across a fellow by the name of cullen baker--when he was killed they found on his corpse the following---4 pistols, 3 derringers, 1 shotgun, and 6 pocketknives.
as a passing thought i wonder what forum he would have been popular too here?
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
williamlayton said
"jest a question--how much did that gun weigh?"
The Walker, with its 9" barrel, weighed in at 4 lbs 9 oz. The follow-on Dragoon, was basically a Walker, but with a 7 1/2" barrel and a cylinder shortened from 2 7/16" to 2 3/16", and weighed 4 lbs 2 oz.

John Taffin, in his book Action Shooting Cowboy Style, has this comment:

"Awsome is definitely the word for the big Walkers. Weighing in at 4-1/2 pounds, these are difinitely two-handed sixguns. Armed with a pair of these, the Cowboy Shooter will be carrying more than 10 pounds around his waist. That is exactly why the Rangers and soldiers of the 1840s carried the Walkers in pairs in pommel holsters. They let the horse carry the weight." Taffin's 10 pound figure obviously includes the belt and holsters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
williamlayton said:
"---cullen baker--when he was killed they found on his corpse the following---4 pistols, 3 derringers, 1 shotgun, and 6 pocketknives."
Sounds like a real "baker's dozen +" to me.
 

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My great-great granpa left Texas to fight with Hood's cavalry in the Civil War and carried two 1860 Army's. I now have one of the two with mold and cap box. It has seen much action and the forcing cone is worn away at least 1/8 inch but some years ago when I was a teen, we loaded and fired it several times. It would easily stay on a Clorox bottle at 20-30 yds. Before his death in 1972, my father did some research in family lore and determined that Grandad carried them over his saddle in plain open top holsters. A year after the war, he killed two outlaws and wounded a third with these pistols near the family farm, which is now near Denton, TX. He enlisted in 1863 and mustered out at the end of the war so I'm sure the pistols saw hard use. We did not determine how many he really carried and if he bought them or picked them up off the battlefield but two were left when he died in the early 1900's. The other one disappeared at a family reunion in the 1950's.

I think two or more guns were often carried because of the slowness to reload and the fact that everyone rode horses so weight was not a big factor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
HWooldridge,

Really appreciate your post and sharing your family lore with us. Hope you'll continue to join in the discussion(s).

Hamp
 

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I have read that Quantrells raiders sometimes carried betwwen horse pistols on the saddle and revolvers on their person as many as 6 or 7 handguns. Of course some may have been baby dragoons but there were probably a couple of 1851's or 1860's on their belt.
Gerald
 

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Prior to the advent of the cartridge revolver, it was pretty common for the horse soldier and outlaw alike to carry more than one pistola. It was quicker to draw a second or third gun than trying to reload a cap and ball pistol at full gallop. Jesse James was know to carry up to six or seven pistols at one time. As the easier to reload certidge revolver came about this practice began to subside, but some of the older pistoleros stuck with their old habits and would carry multiple revolvers. Jesse James was one of these. He was reported to have just removed his belt "with six pistols" prior to his assassination.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hey Holiday,

reckon old Jess used suspenders with that pistol belt? Must have been at least 20+ pounds of guns and leather around his waist.

Hamp
 

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It makes ya wonder, don't it? But from several differant accounts I have read he was known for carrying several pistols at once. I bet suspenders were real handy! :-D
 

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funny how ya can't see the forrest for the trees sometimes--ever since this string has been posted ihave seen a bunch of pictures and paintings with pommel holsters and folks with more than one gun glued to their person--many of these are pictures and paintings i have seen before--just never paid attention i guess.
blessings
 

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old --well -er,ah--jest cause noah ask me fer advice on buildin tha boat don't mean i'm old- in tha passing, tha thang i like about tha forums is ya have arecord of tha convesation so ya can remember whut yer talkin bout. :-D :-D :oops:
 
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