| ...Book Review by Engineer Bill...
"Shooting Buffalo Rifles of the Old West" by Mike
2002 MLV Enterprises
Soft cover, 8½ x11, 279 pages
Features: table of contents, text, black and white photos,
modern and period, data tables, scaled drawings, bibliography and appendix
The author, in the introduction, carefully defines exactly
what he’s going to consider a buffalo rifle. Terminology of the buffalo
hunter period and modern terminology is compared to eliminate confusion.
Part l (pages 1-69)
The following buffalo rifles are clearly photographed
and described in detail:
Winchester single shots
Part II (pages 70-167)
Descriptions provided of the basic reloading, testing,
and results, for all the above mentioned rifles’ different cartridges using
cast lead grease groove bullets. Fourteen pages are devoted to paper
patch bullets in .45-70 only. The author shared his own personal
evolution, starting out making smokeless rounds to reproducing the performance
of black powder rounds to eventually shooting black powder only in his
Part III (pages 168-201)
Modern competitions are described: NRA BPCR Silhouette,
NRA Mid-Range, and Long–Range Black Powder Target. The closest range
to some of these targets is 200 meters and can go out to 1000 meters! Of
interest to me is that the author had 5 top champions describe in their
own words all the details involved in crafting 1000 meter rounds.
The impression I got was that this kind of reloading required very, very,
meticulous, regular and immanently repeatable methods and materials.
Part IV (pages 202-276)
A variety of topics are included in this part. One chapter
is on sights, covering the more standard rear sight, the tang sight, and
the telescopic sight, with a page of photographs showing how to read a
vernier sight. Other chapters describe how the buffalo rifles were used,
the lives and times of the buffalo hunters, modern hunting and buffalo
hunts. The book concludes with how the author cleans his rifles and
a review of his personal favorites.
As you can probably tell I particularly enjoyed this book.
The author has a pleasant conversational style, sharing insights and anecdotes.
Material is presented in a logical and orderly fashion, and represents
a wealth of information. This book can be read from a general
interest or highly technical standpoint. If you are interested in
buffalo rifles, I recommend this book highly.
On Bill’s scale of books, 1 to 5, 5 highest, this is a