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BuffaloChip

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Registered: 02/01/08
Posts: 943
Reply with quote  #1 
http://www.cascity.com/forumhall/index.php/topic,35524.0.html

Been watching this link for a while as  am interested in these historic firearms.
I have read that Tom Horn used a 1894 in 30WCF for most of his work, then this 1876 turned up on the site, I would be interested in any more info on his firearms.
I use to have the book on his life and may be i need to get a copy again.

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Mackin

Registered: 31/08/11
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Reply with quote  #2 

Tom Horn used a 30-30 Winchester Model 1894.  Steve McQueen (sp?) used a a 1876, which, unlike any I've owned, blew big branches clean off of trees.  He used his 30-30 on two men in this county, Matt Rash and Isam Dart.  Though it is possible his friend, Bob Meldrum, may have actually killed either.  Mackin

BuffaloChip

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Reply with quote  #3 
I have read they found 30WCF cases at the site of the shooting of the boy, who's name escapes me.

The gun used in the move was an original in 45-75, but I am interested in the actual guns. Move guns are a separate subject.
http://www.longmountain.com/just-for-fun/movie-guns/TomHorn/

I have a 1898 '94 in 30WCF and a uberti 76 in 45-60 and I know which one I would use. The 94 in 30WCF, especially at long rang. 

The other subject I am interested to look into is the Meat hunters of the 1890-1900. Lot of photo's of Winchesters used. We may start a new thread on this one.

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Reply with quote  #4 

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Tom Horn’s Rifles

by D.L. Staley

(note: links in the article lead to photos and other information)

Tom Horn, legendary Indian fighter, tracker, Pinkerton man, stock detective, and some say child-killer, is believed to have used in the last few years of his life, a 1894 Winchester rifle serial #82,667 (1897 receiver) with a half magazine (also known as a button magazine) and a standard round barrel in 30WCF. This was at the time he was working for the Swan Land and Cattle Company as a stock detective, owned by John C. Coble, Horn’s close friend and employer.

The rifle was left to Tom’s friends, the Irwin brothers, Frank and Charlie, who sang “Keep Your Hand Upon the Throttle and Your Eye Upon the Rail” at Horn’s hanging. It was one day shy of his 43rd birthday, November 20, 1903. The Winchester is in very good condition with the exception of the bore, which is in a very poor state. Tom reportedly practiced constantly with this rifle, which I tend to believe, if you consider it being shipped on 6/19/1900, and Tom being arrested for the murder of Willie Nickell on January 13, 1902. That’s not a great deal of time to shoot out a barrel, even with corrosive ammunition but, who can say how the rifle was treated after Horn’s death.

Over the years Tom’s Winchester has resided at the Old West Museum in Lions Park, Cheyenne Wyoming. The last I heard, the rifle was back in the possession of Frank and Charlie’s heirs, whether this is in fact true, I cannot say for certain.

Lost in the mists of time, are the number of $600 man-killings this Winchester performed, if any.

Tom’s Winchester was one of two rifles shipped in order number 61994, from the Winchester warehouse on June 19, 1900, to a distributor in Denver. The second Winchester, serial #84,540 (1897 receiver) 30WCF, special order ½ octagon barrel and half-magazine, is believed by its current owner, to have been the property of Tom Horn also. He does have some very good circumstantial evidence, but he freely admits not having any irrefutable proof. Personally, I truly hope this gentleman finds that proof for a number of reasons.

1. It would give us Horn buffs something else to research, and
2. He spent a great deal of time and effort tracking down this second rifle.  He finally located it in Fort Collins, CO. which is not too terribly far from Boulder, where Tom’s brother Charles took his body for burial.
3. The owner was gracious enough to give me copies of both Cody-Winchester letters, just because I’m a Tom Horn buff.

Fast Forward 90 Years (1903 to 1993)

1902, Cheyenne, Wyoming. A jury found him guilty of murdering a child, and he was hanged by the neck on the water gallows designed in 1892 by Cheyenne architect James P. Julian. A reprieve finally came to Tom Horn in 1993 when forensic crime scene investigators and Amnesty International “staged” a retrial in which real attorneys, jurors, and judge were used. Horn was found not guilty - just less than a century too late to actually do him any good.

Over the years that I’ve been looking into the life of Mr. Horn, I have had the great fortune to correspond with a number of Horn experts. Two of which are, Mr. Chip Carlson, author of two books on Tom, and one on Joe LeFors, and the other is Mr. Don Patterson.

Don is a retired LEO, and owner of Chiefly Books in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He was also one of the forensic crime scene investigators. For those of you with an interest in Tom Horn, you may find the following interesting, it’s just a snippet of a telephone conversation that I had with Don a year or so ago… 

"Willie was probably shot at the gateas he was dismounted and closing it, with his horse on the other side. This is indicated by the blood splatter right at the gatepost. He then ran about 70 ft. up the road and collapsed and died from massive torso wounds. His father (Kels Nickell) placed a circle of stones around the body and the stones are still in place today. Several years ago the University of Wyoming also placed a permanent concrete marker on the spot of the circle of stone." (You might check with Chip on the measurements as I can’t find my notes and don't recall the measurements of the shots exactly, but Chip might.)

"No slugs were in the body, and none were recovered at the scene. I led a group of people up to redo the crime scene under the sponsorship of Chip Carlson and the Kick and Growl. The group included Cheyenne Police officers, the Cheyenne City attorney, the Laramie County attorney, several federal lawmen (FBI and Postal Inspectors) and lawmen from Goshen County, and other places in Wyoming. I'm probably forgetting someone.

The papers at the time of the murder always felt the shots were fired from the small rock pile, which is about (50yds?) outside the gate. Boot prints, and the impressions of rifle butt(s) were located there in the original investigation. This site offers a great view of the gate but minimal concealment and no place to hide a horse. As I examined the scene I felt the large rock pile to the rear of the small one was far and away a better spot, It offered excellent concealment and a place for a horse, as well as a great place to shoot from.

Our team did a through search of the area for spent bullets and shell casings. We also conducted test firings from the large rock pile to a box placed where Willie was standing when he was shot. We used a 30WCF that is the same make and model as the one Horn owned, that is now in the old west museum here. (not the Buffalo Bill Museum) Several of us fired the weapon at the box and everyone hit it even though no practice was given and most had never fired that gun before. We found shell casings right in the rock pile where our ejected casings went at the test firing. These were the REM UMC casings that made us so happy, but ended up being at least 10 years too new.

The metal detectors turned up several slugs, and metal slug jackets. (The 30WCFs were always jacketed, it was one of the first rounds that were longer than it was round, and had to be jacketed to keep from disintegrating at firing). The slugs were examined by the Wyoming State Crime Lab and compared to the rifle in the Museum that belonged to Horn. All of the slugs were eliminated as having come from that gun but one. One slug was fired from the same make and model of rifle but could not be matched to the Horn rifle, but neither could it be eliminated. The wear to the barrel of the rifle in the years since the murder had caused too much wear to allow for positive matching."

The search for “el hombre de sombra” (the shadow man) continues.


BuffaloChip

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Reply with quote  #5 
That the article I read a while back.

I think there were pictures of the area included. Same they did not try a 1876 as well as the 1894. I know the 1876 is capable for the shot but as a shooter I would go for the 30WCF. I would have it a guess that a few people have been the the site and had a go at the shot.

My 94 is going for its first outing tomorrow.

Thanks.

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BuffaloChip

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Reply with quote  #6 
http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/l/r/lrailway.htm

Try this link for the music.

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yankcowboy

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Reply with quote  #7 
Seen the area where the crime took place.. if ya ever get to Buffalo, Wyoming there is a lariat that Horn made while in jail before his hanging dispayed at the city museum.  A very interesting area of the country at the foot hills of the Big Horns.  My wifes kin are from that part of the country and lots buried in the cemetery.  So have a chance to get over that way now and again...
SYOTT
yank

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BuffaloChip

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Reply with quote  #8 
I was in Buffalo in 1990 but did not know what was in the area. We drove up to the Little Big Horn and Yellow Stone.

I have no planes to visit the state as your immigration has a non welcome attitude, great shame. I use to visit quite a lot before the BS started.





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Mike
Armadillo

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Reply with quote  #9 

Found this topic very interesting ,I'm not a gun person ( maybe a new topic ) but find the life of Tom Horn very interesting .I love the idea that Tom requested his friend Joe Cahill to be his executioner , amons Westerners at that time no tribute could have been higher.During Toms last moments he joked ???,and his two old time pals sung ..Life is like a Mountain Railway..sung by Charlie n Frank Irwin..The best part for me is ...around Cheyenne at the time the there were rumours that it wasnt Tom that wes hung ..must have been some other poor ole soul ..what a graet story ..a high board fence was errected to hide the gallows from public view..only invited guests to the actuall hanging ...who knows ..the grassy knoll .....Roswell ...BTK..conspirisy theorys I love em...


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Armadillo

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Reply with quote  #10 

sorry about spelling mistakes on the above ..never did a spell check


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BuffaloChip

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Reply with quote  #11 
I think this was the true end of an life style, way of life In America. It is all part of a big change there.

The film when I watched it again many years after seeing it for the first time I got the true meaning of the film.





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Mike
yankcowboy

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Reply with quote  #12 
An interesting read are the transcripts from Horn's trial.  A good insight as to what transpired in the days leading up to the hanging.  Horn an others discribe what they were wearing and what else they had on them and the horse at the time.  Horn also mentions what he ate during the few days while he was checking pastures.  Little insight to little things..but interesting.  I also found it interesting when he went to Denver and got is jaw broken in a saloon fight...
SYOTT
yank

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EnglishBob

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Reply with quote  #13 

 "The 30WCFs were always jacketed, it was one of the first rounds that were longer than it was round, and had to be jacketed to keep from disintegrating at firing. "
 
Eh?
 
It don't go fast enough to 'disintegrate' and to the claim of 'always jacketed'...I'm not sure that's quite correct either...a bit of a sweepng statement to say the least.
 
http://www.leverguns.com/articles/3030history.htm

Nice read all the same.

 




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Mackin

Registered: 31/08/11
Posts: 11
Reply with quote  #14 
Regarding the piece above by Staley, first paragraph. I find no info confirmation that John C. Coble or Tom Horn were ever associated with, much less owned, Swan Land and Cattle Company.  The huge ranch was owned by Alexander swan and a group of British investors, and from March 1st, 1888, was managed by the very famous John Clay, a Scotchman who left a detailed history of the ranch and the Wyoming cattle business in general.  The largest ranch in the state, the main headquarters were at Chugwater.
    John Coble and brother, Robert, both from England, were variously involved in the bosler area.  John managed and had interest in the Iron Mountain Ranch near Bosler.
  He and Horn were recurrent embarrassments to the Wyoming Stock Growers, Coble primarily for shooting up a painting of a Holstein bull in the association's swank headquarters, the Cheyenne Club.  Horn did hang out at Iron Mountain and was close with John Coble,  Both had a close relationship with John Barleycorn, who, let's face it, killed even more Old Westerners than Tom Horn.  Both died sadly, one by suicide and the other by hanging.  Believe what you want, but with caution!  Bill
BuffaloChip

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Reply with quote  #15 
Mackin.
Great in put thanks.

I have to agree about the 30WCF, the projectile would not break up, if it did it would not of been such a success as a hunting round. Reloads would of been lead.



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