.... January 2010 ~~~~ Editor:  Cliff Hanger ~~~~
Double R Bar Drawing to raise money in Old Scout's name has had some changed happen.

Due to very poor ticket sales, just over $1100, for items worth in excess of $3500, the people who donated the prizes have gotten together and made some changes. At first they were going to cancel the drawing completely. Then it was decided to hold the drawing at a later date giving time to raise more money. They did draw one ticket for the pair of Navy 51. Cross Draw Mike was the winner.

Remember 100% of ticket sales goes to Happy Trails Kids. 

End of the Era Match - a Proposal by Prof Fuller Bullspit.

Cowboy Action Shooting is fun. Or at least it should be! Fun is why we put on the annual Brimstone Pistoleros Thunder Valley black powder match. The basis for that match is a more retro style all black powder match with some categories that hark back to an earlier period in the cowboy era. But something I have noticed is that the Monte Walsh category, which requires a
big bore lever rifle is always popular. Part of the reason seems to be that the Monte Walsh category gives folks a chance to shoot a gun that they don't get to use much in regular SASS categories.

That got me to thinking, which is always dangerous. You see, I have a few cowboy era, or near cowboy era guns that I just don't get to shoot enough! Since Thunder Valley is an all black powder shoot that is set more towards the beginning of the Cowboy era, what about a shoot that is more towards the end of the Cowboy era? 

The purpose of this article is to introduce an idea for this type of match to see if there is sufficient interest to give it a try. 

The spirit of this match is 1890-1900. The cowboy era is passing and the Spanish American War (1898) is in the news. There are still cowboys to be sure, but there are a lot more cowboys than cowboy jobs to be had. These tough men of the Cowboy era are aging, but still up for a fight or a hunt, joining Theodore Roosevelt in his Cuba campaign or whatever else comes their

Here is what I have in mind: A fun shoot that features the use of just one handgun and one rifle. I want to keep it simple so let's have only a few categories:

Category 1: Rough Rider
Requires one single action handgun and 1 pistol caliber lever action. This is the category for your regular main match cowboy guns. 

Category 2: Top Hand
Requires one single action handgun and 1 big bore rifle caliber lever gun. This is the same as Monte Walsh at Thunder Valley minus the shotgun. The lever gun needs to be in .38-55 or larger rifle caliber. Here is where you will shoot your straight wall big bore caliber lever guns.

Category 3: Sharpshooter
Requires one revolver and 1 rifle. This is the category for your 1894 Winchesters in rifle calibers like the .30-30, the 1895 Winchesters, 1899 Savage lever guns, Krags, 03 Springfields, Mausers or even your .351 Winchester self loader. Note that this category doesn't require a single action revolver. To be sure you can use a single action, but the idea here is to also allow some of the early double action revolvers like the various top breaks, Merwin Hulberts, Colt Lightning or Thunderer (if you can keep them working!), Webleys, or even Nagants (only loaded with 5 rounds of course). And yes, you can shoot your double action gun in the double action mode if you want.

. Lead bullets only. 
. Gas checks allowed on rifle caliber bullets.
. Keep your rifle velocity below 1500 fps to be kind to the steel.
. Maximum of 40 of rifle shells.
. Maximum of 50 pistol rounds. 

. Revolvers must be loaded with 5 rounds and the hammer must be down on an empty chamber.
. Revolvers may be holstered or staged per the shooters preference.
. Rifles will staged with the magazine loaded but the chamber will be empty until the stage begins.
. All rifles must use iron sights.
. An extra gun might be shot as part of some stages. The gun and ammo would be provided. 

Remember, the time frame is 1890-1900. You can get by with a pair of jeans or even overalls and a cotton shirt along with a pair of leather work boots and a wool stocking cap. A kilt is always appropriate. Of course a full cowboy outfit would work too. Or you could sport dress pants, black shoes, ascot and beret for a more artistic look. Just leave the ball caps and tennis
shoes at home. Anyone daring to wear a derby had better be darn good looking, charming and rich enough to get away with it.

Course of fire
Stages will be set up similar to a cowboy shoot, minus the shotgun.  The emphasis won't be so much on speed as most cowboy shoots, but this isn't really a true long range accuracy event either. Rifle targets will be set from 30 to 100 yards with any targets closer than 50 yards most likely being paper or a clay bird or something similar, again, to preserve the steel. Pistol shots will range from 5 yards out to 40 yards. Expect a range of sizes, heights and distances. You aren't likely to find a stage with a single dump target! You can expect some non-shooting action on the clock. 

Final Thoughts
As with Thunder Valley this match would allow you to shoot in two different categories if you want. I expect we would be happy to provide a ladies category option in any of the categories listed above. Black powder is certainly permitted, but not required, keeping in mind the time-frame this match is aiming for. 

Now you may be wondering why no auto loading pistols and no shotguns? The reason for no auto loading pistols is simple, just to make some room between the concept of this match and the Wild Bunch matches that are already around. As for shotguns, you need to save all your shotgun shells for the all shotgun match that Cliff Hanger is going to run!

On another note, this would be a great match to bring someone who has some shooting experience but isn't equipped for a cowboy match or maybe aren't quite ready to put on cowboy boots and a cowboy hat. Have them bring an old double action revolver and an old iron sighted rifle they have in their gun safe along with lead ammo and they are good to go. This match won't be one that requires a lot of speedy transitions or even a holster. Plus the dress options are easy to meet. 

If you are interested in attending a match like this, or have some suggestions let me know and if enough interest exists I'll work on it.

 Logging and the Sawmills

Around 1845, Louis Vignes needed lumber for sheds and wine kegs for his Los Angeles Vineyard. He established a small sawmill in Mill Creek Canyon, the first in the San Bernardino Mountains.

When the Mormons began their settlement of San Bernardino in 1851, one of their vital needs was for lumber. In April of 1852, all of the men from the fort helped clear a road to the virgin forest at the top of the mountains.

Because of Indian attacks, a small steam engine and boiler had been abandoned at the Armagosa Gold Mine at Salt Springs. In 1852, Charles Crismon and his son hauled this machinery from far out on the desert to Twin Creek Canyon, and set up the first steam sawmill in the area. Many others soon followed, and by 1854 six mills were producing lumber and shingles.

The largest logging operation in these mountains was that of the Brookings Lumber and Box Company at Fredalba, near Running Springs. Beginning in 1892, this company had logged 8000 acres. By 1915 when they moved to Oregon. The company built a road from the mill to their box plant at Highland, below City Creek. The sawmill and logging operation employed about 100 men, and over a period of years, about 30 miles of narrow gauge railroad ran from Heaps Peak on the west to near Green Valley Lake in the east. Motive power consisted of 3 two-truck Shays and about 20 logging cars.

Because Big Bear Valley was so far away from civilization, and hauling costs were prohibitive, this valley was saved from the intensive timber cutting of the Arrowhead-Running Springs forests. Sawmills were in use by 1861 for mining purposes in Holcomb Valley, and in later years several small mills ran in Bear Valley. In 1924 Coy and Lex Brown set up a mill in Poligue Canyon, and Viggo Pederson began producing lumber from his mill at Fawnskin. Closed for years, this old sawmill still exists, and is the last reminder of a once thriving industry in these mountains.

The Discovery and Naming of Big Bear Valley
You'll find the full article here.
Here's and other interesting article  ---- "The History of Big Bear Valley"

"Long Guns Of The West.  Part 2. The "Improved Henry"  by Tom "Forty Rod" Taylor

Enjoying the success of the Henry (about 14,000 made), and recognizing the faults with the first design, the Winchester Repeating Arms Company brought out a new model, the Improved Henry rifle, in 1866.  This was unofficially known as the Model 1866 Winchester, though it was never designated as such by the company.  It was also known by many on the frontiers of the country as  “Yellowboy”.   Many people have attributed this nickname to Indians.

Essentially identical to the Henry internally, the new rifle had several modifications.  While it retained the same .44 rim fire .44 caliber cartridge, it now had separate barrel, and a magazine that was fully enclosed except at the rear.  To accomplish this, the Nelson King patent loading gate had been selected from several candidates.  This was a port in the leading edge of the right side plate closed by a spring-loaded ‘door’.  A simple device was included to keep all the cartridges in the magazine from running back out of the tube.

All of the 1866 models had “brass” frames.  They were produced without significant change throughout their production of about 170,000 thousand guns over 32 years. 

While there were few changes in the frame, other parts got several distinct modifications. There were, for instance both a crescent butt shape (‘rifle butt’) and a flatter, less curved ‘carbine butt’. 

The original barrels were 24 inch octagonal, but soon round barrels were offered…a bit lighter in weight…and eventually barrels were available in lengths from 14” to 32” in 2” increments.  The standard lengths were 24” for rifles (either round or octagonal), 20” round for carbines, and 27” round with a 24” magazine for muskets. Yep!  Muskets!  Not many were produced.  I have found all sorts of conflicting numbers on these rifles in musket form.

Also at this time some Winchester carbines began appearing with saddle rings on the left side of the receiver just below the hammer.

These rifles are occasionally found with brass tacks adorning the front and read stocks and these decorations are usually attributed to the ownership of one American Indian or another, usually unknown.  Be wary… fakes abound.

Modern reproductions of the 1866 are very popular and like the Henry, can be found in various calibers, usually .44-40 with .38/.357 gaining in popularity.  I know of no ’66s chambered in the original caliber.

My own “Yellowboy” is a Uberti/Santa Fe Arms 24” octagonal barreled .44-40, serial number 50xxx.  I bought it from Winston’ when I bought the Henry, and paid $439.99 total for it.

Rowdy did his voodoo on this one.  Russ N. Hound made two of the inlays (A Phoenix bird made by an Apache woman.)  I added the second to the ‘66, but surface mounted it with very small brass nails and used those nails to make patterns on the butt and forearm.  It isn't Indian, but then again, neither am I.

Forty Rod

All articles submitted to the "Brimstone Gazette" are the property of the author, used with their expressed permission. 
The Brimstone Pistoleros are not responsible for any accidents which may occur from use of  loading data, firearms information, or recommendations published on the Brimstone Pistoleros web site.