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Old 03-06-2017, 03:13 PM   #1
Apollonian
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Early Victorian guns?

I'm tinkering with a campaign set in 1850, and I'm looking to add some more options for the group's resident gun-bunny. I already have High-Tech: Adventure Guns, which has a few options, but I'm having trouble finding any more weapons suitable for the game. Can anyone provide examples, or sources I can ransack?
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Old 03-06-2017, 03:56 PM   #2
fredtheobviouspseudonym
 
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Default Re: Early Victorian guns?

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Originally Posted by Apollonian View Post
I'm tinkering with a campaign set in 1850, and I'm looking to add some more options for the group's resident gun-bunny. I already have High-Tech: Adventure Guns, which has a few options, but I'm having trouble finding any more weapons suitable for the game. Can anyone provide examples, or sources I can ransack?
Lots of options . . .

IIRC it was in 1850 that Colt started producing many of his famous revolvers -- the Navy (despite its 1851 model number) the First Model Dragoon, and the Baby Dragoon. Walkers were produced earlier but having a production run of 500 there weren't a lot out there. And most, IIRC, went to the Texas Rangers who might consider the possession of same by a non-Ranger an offense . . .

A copy of Flayderman's Guide to American Firearms will give you a pretty good idea of at least when the major US firearms were around -- you have a lot of plains rifles (of which the Hawken is most famous), buggy rifles (for more sedate areas of the US in which your chance of meeting an unhappy bear is pretty low) and one- or two-barreled fowling pieces.

"The complete encyclopedia of antique firearms : an expert guide to firearms and their development, A.E. Hartink" is not in my opinion quite up to its title but does offer a wide selection of early 19th century firearms, including German, French, and Belgian military and some civilian weapons. It has stats for length & weight of such.

Should guve you some ideas.
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Old 03-06-2017, 04:27 PM   #3
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Early Victorian guns?

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I'm tinkering with a campaign set in 1850
Where? Early American West, England, African explorers, the Taiping Rebellion?

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it was in 1850 that Colt started producing many of his famous revolvers ... the First Model Dragoon, and the Baby Dragoon.
The Dragoons were 1848, weren't they? A little earlier than the Navy.
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Old 03-06-2017, 05:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: Early Victorian guns?

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Originally Posted by Apollonian View Post
I'm tinkering with a campaign set in 1850, and I'm looking to add some more options for the group's resident gun-bunny. I already have High-Tech: Adventure Guns, which has a few options, but I'm having trouble finding any more weapons suitable for the game. Can anyone provide examples, or sources I can ransack?
Let us know what you've looked at, already. Have you looked in High Tech or Old West? What do you want that you don't see in High Tech?
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Old 03-06-2017, 06:59 PM   #5
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Default Re: Early Victorian guns?

I should have been more specific. The campaign is set in London, starting in 1850. I have High Tech, but not Old West. Mostly, then, I'm looking to see what sorts of small arms civilians of all social strata might have available. High tech and Adventure guns have, between them, about... 6? handguns suitable for undercover work in the city. (I'm away from my books at the moment.)
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Old 03-06-2017, 08:31 PM   #6
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Early Victorian guns?

Here's a list of items in the collection of Museums Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, featuring a lot of (Australian) gold-rush era weapons. Looks like mainly cap-and-ball revolvers or pepperbox-style weapons, along with single-shot derringers. Names to look for would include Birmingham Small Arms (BSA), Hollis & Sheath, or I. Hollis & Sons, Tranter. Webley & Scott was still P. Webley & Sons at this point, but I'm not certain they were manufacturing revolvers by 1850, as opposed to long arms. The early Colts were also apparently popular.
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Old 03-06-2017, 08:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: Early Victorian guns?

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Originally Posted by Apollonian View Post
I should have been more specific. The campaign is set in London, starting in 1850. I have High Tech, but not Old West. Mostly, then, I'm looking to see what sorts of small arms civilians of all social strata might have available. High tech and Adventure guns have, between them, about... 6? handguns suitable for undercover work in the city. (I'm away from my books at the moment.)
The chambers of cap and ball revolvers had to be loaded individually with powder and shot, with percussion caps added to the backs, struck by a pin attached to the hammer. There are only so many ways that can work, mechanically, and Samuel Colt and Eli Remington (IIRC) held the patents. It wasn't until the creation of brass cartridges that the number of available options expanded rapidly.

One of the most popular pistols in Great Britain, in the 1850s, was the Colt Navy revolver, and some version of that Colt made up the bulk of the weapons sold. There weren't very many more varieties created, at that time, except in small batches by master armorers. You can base most of those on what appears in High Tech and other existing sources.

The most popular British-made revolver was the Webley .455, which used brass cartridges, and that wasn't invented until the mid-1880s. A lot of people started to make pistols of all sorts, then, and it was a lot easier to do because industrialization had spread throughout Europe and most of North America.

Until industrialization had spread throughout most of the Western world, the quantity and variety of goods of all sorts, including pistols, remained pretty limited.
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Last edited by tshiggins; 03-06-2017 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 03-06-2017, 11:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: Early Victorian guns?

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Originally Posted by Apollonian View Post
I should have been more specific. The campaign is set in London, starting in 1850. I have High Tech, but not Old West. Mostly, then, I'm looking to see what sorts of small arms civilians of all social strata might have available. High tech and Adventure guns have, between them, about... 6? handguns suitable for undercover work in the city. (I'm away from my books at the moment.)
I imagine gentlemen would still have dueling pistols and sword-canes. Lower class people would have knives, cudgels, quarterstaffs, etc. Probably most of the stuff known in the London street in the eighteenth century would have been available for several decades after. I don't know about revolvers. That may be a bit overkill for thugs, though it would certainly come as a big surprise.

Remember you are in a city at peace not a war zone. Normal instruments of urban mayhem would be available. But the first revolvers were military grade in their day.
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Old 03-07-2017, 12:51 AM   #9
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Default Re: Early Victorian guns?

Didn't the Colts get quite popular during the Indian Rebellion? A bit late for the campaign start, though.
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Old 03-07-2017, 01:31 AM   #10
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Default Re: Early Victorian guns?

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Didn't the Colts get quite popular during the Indian Rebellion? A bit late for the campaign start, though.
"Rebellion" isn't the word, as the Commanche were sovereign at the time and one of the most powerful groups in the area. And of course there was never any rebellion or any war involving every single Indian tribe in the continent so there was no Indian rebellion any more then there was a rebellion at the time . But yeah. The Colt was able to turn the tide between the Texans and the Commanche. Before pistols had been an afterthought to horsemen as once fired they can only be thrown. The ability to have six shots compensated for the Comanche equestrian talent.

If you mean the Great Mutiny, or Sepoy Rebellion only a small minority(as is common enough really) of the Indian population declared for the Mogul most being neutralist, and some factions had bad blood with the Mogul too making it not "Indian" either. Regiments from those ethnic and religious groups often took the British side on the "enemies, enemy" principle and some regiments stayed loyal for the sake of military honor. Most of the hostility centered around the Company army so the term "mutiny" is accurate and of course if all of India was in rebellion or even a large portion the British would not have won.

You may be right about the revolvers. I do remember the new rifles turned the tide for the infantry. Indian cavalry were greatly feared by English and having a revolver would have been as much a boon to them as to the Texans.
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