Text & Drawings by Floyd D.P. Oydegaard

The Tools of the Trade

The variety of pistols and calibers can stagger the imagination. From single action to double action, Cap & Ball to cartridge, you have to decide on the one that bests suits your character. Most Pistoleros choose their guns on the run, eventually having favorites that stick with them to the end. The Cap & Ball pistol became popular during the War Between The States and was used up to the 1890's. It allows the user to load his cylinder with the ramrod attached. Cartridges could be bought and reloaded faster. Even these came in an assortment that varied greatly. Buckskin Frank Leslie carried his Peacemaker attached by a stud to a slotted plate on his belt. There was no holster to slow down his draw. Sometimes trigger guards were cut away for faster firing. Jessie W. James carried his two S&W Schofields in shoulder holsters.

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