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Max Online: 16728 @ 03/25/12 08:51 AM
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#7006949 - 12/22/17 08:42 AM Friday Discussion Topic-Billy Dixon and the unlucky indian
txtrophy85 Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 08/12/05
Posts: 23464
Read about the Battle of Adobe Walls and you will read about Sharpshooter Billy Dixon, who using a borrowed .50-90 sharps rifle, knocked an Comanche off his horse at a distance of 1 mile on his 3rd shot.

Even Dixon admitted it was a luck shot.



Discussion for the Day.....


Do you believe that these ranges talked about of "up to and including one mile" were accurate? Not doubting the indian was shot and killed as there were several witnesses on both sides, but do you believe the ranges were really as they were? If you have not ever been to the flat country, ranges that appear to be long are often not really are not as long as they appear. I ranged a deer the other day that I would have bet money was 500 yards....pulled the rangefinder out, it was 384. in a land before rangefinders and yardage sticks, is it more probable that when talked about hitting targets a mile away, this was an approximation of it "being a great distance" and not actually 1760 yards?


my doubt to these yardage claims are they were shooting slow, black poweder rounds that had trajectories that were slightly better than a thrown rock, at unconfirmed distances prior to the shot. Practice was not feasible for most due to the scarcity and cost of ammo. even a misjudgement of 50 yards would mean a miss.

my guesstimation that often times these claimed distances were 1/3-1/2 the actual distance


_________________________
Originally Posted By: Nogalus Prairie
I think the deer hunting shows and "Bro' Country" are going to be the downfall of this once-great nation.

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#7006969 - 12/22/17 08:50 AM Re: Friday Discussion Topic-Billy Dixon and the unlucky indian [Re: txtrophy85]
gary roberson Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 1538
Great post. I have read accounts of this amazing feat and often wondered about the accuracy of distance. I think it would be difficult to prove or disprove at this point in time so I have decided that it must have been a really long shot and greatly impressed all who witnessed it.
Adios,
Gary

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#7006998 - 12/22/17 09:01 AM Re: Friday Discussion Topic-Billy Dixon and the unlucky indian [Re: txtrophy85]
maximus_flavius Offline
Tracker

Registered: 04/24/13
Posts: 870
What an amazing fight that took place there. Bat Mastererson was 1 of the Buffalo hunters, & (as I read it) Quanah Parker was wounded (shot thru a buffalo carcass while hiding behind it).

I read that after the fight, people paced off the difference at about 1,500 yds. There's a museum in Borger that covers Adobe Walls I've been meaning to go see.

Now read about the Buffalo Wallow fight. Billy Dixon & Amos Chapman were bad azzez. 2 of only a handful of civilians who were awarded the Medal of Honor.

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#7007108 - 12/22/17 09:46 AM Re: Friday Discussion Topic-Billy Dixon and the unlucky indian [Re: txtrophy85]
SherpaPhil Online   content
Woodsman

Registered: 04/09/12
Posts: 161
Loc: Dallas
I think it is possible that he was able to judge the distance well enough to make the shot. With a ton of practice, modern snipers can get very, very good at estimating distances. No reason to think he couldn't have developed the same skill. That being said, I have personally witnessed a couple of amazingly long shots that were very impressive. One of them was nearly as long as the shooter later claimed wink

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#7007180 - 12/22/17 10:18 AM Re: Friday Discussion Topic-Billy Dixon and the unlucky indian [Re: txtrophy85]
Jimbo Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 4955
Loc: The last LF ranch in S. Texas
Back then did they even measure miles?
Most of the time they referred to distance as "it's a days ride from here!"

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#7007377 - 12/22/17 12:23 PM Re: Friday Discussion Topic-Billy Dixon and the unlucky indian [Re: txtrophy85]
Red Cloud Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 09/04/09
Posts: 1941
Loc: Weatherford, Texas
I read that an Army survey team measured the distance at a later date to verify the claim and found it accurate. Wether this is true or not that was one smokin shot! texas cowboy

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#7007678 - 12/22/17 04:03 PM Re: Friday Discussion Topic-Billy Dixon and the unlucky indian [Re: txtrophy85]
Buck25-06 Offline
Tracker

Registered: 11/25/16
Posts: 641
Loc: Hunt county Texas.
Great story and awsome shot
_________________________
I know allot about everything-Everything about nothing!!!!

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#7007936 - 12/22/17 06:48 PM Re: Friday Discussion Topic-Billy Dixon and the unlucky indian [Re: txtrophy85]
adobewalls Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 12/17/17
Posts: 5
A couple of things to keep in mind, most of this gathered from reading different accounts over the years since I first ran across the Book Adobe Walls in the TAMU Bookstore some 35 years ago:

1. Billy Dixon was a professional hunter. You read his book and you find out he loved to shoot and hunt, and when most of the other teamsters and buffalo hunters were holed up for the winter in the saloons drinking and doing whatever one did back then to pass the time, Billy was hiring himself out as professional hunter to supply meat to the towns, camps and forts.

2. He describes himself as always shooting, shooting for meat, shooting for pay, shooting for fun. I'll bet that there was more than one wager made between buffalo hunters out on the trail about hitting that "rock, way over yonder..." The bottom line is he probably shot his rifles nearly everyday, at known and unknown distances and probably had a good idea of what he could do.

3. Who says that the shot he made was his first shot? He may have made several shots in that direction as a part of the fight and had a good idea of the elevation needed to get there.

4. As to the scarcity or cost of the rounds, I read that the US Army was in the habit of giving away cases of 45-70 rounds to parties they found out on the Prairies. The Buffalo hunters would then pull the bullets, salvage the powder and melt and recast the lead to reload their Buffalo Rifle cartridges. Additionally Hanrahan(?) had brought stock for his trading post that included rifles and cases of various cartridges for the Buffalo Hunters.

5. I also read that Quannah Parker in an interview later in life said the shot was short, but ricocheted up and hit Coyote ****, knocking him off his horse. Coyote **** was seen as being protected from bullets, so once he was hit and wounded, the rest of the braves figured his "medicine" wasn't that powerful. This lead to many of the braves loosing interest in continuing the fight.

Could a 50-90 travel a mile? I believe it could. I think the Army tested 45-70's out to 3000 yards or something like that.

Could the 50-90 be accurate? I think so, the bullet probably weighed upward of 500 to 600 grains and was probably moving just over 1,000 feet per second. (I think I read that it would have taken 8 seconds for the bullet to travel that distance.) Imagine seeing a puff of smoke from the roof of the trading post. One thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three, one thousand four, one thousand five, one thousand six, one thousand seven, one thousand eight. THUD, sucks to be Coyote ****...

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#7007985 - 12/22/17 07:23 PM Re: Friday Discussion Topic-Billy Dixon and the unlucky indian [Re: adobewalls]
txtrophy85 Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 08/12/05
Posts: 23464
Originally Posted By: adobewalls
A couple of things to keep in mind, most of this gathered from reading different accounts over the years since I first ran across the Book Adobe Walls in the TAMU Bookstore some 35 years ago:

1. Billy Dixon was a professional hunter. You read his book and you find out he loved to shoot and hunt, and when most of the other teamsters and buffalo hunters were holed up for the winter in the saloons drinking and doing whatever one did back then to pass the time, Billy was hiring himself out as professional hunter to supply meat to the towns, camps and forts.

2. He describes himself as always shooting, shooting for meat, shooting for pay, shooting for fun. I'll bet that there was more than one wager made between buffalo hunters out on the trail about hitting that "rock, way over yonder..." The bottom line is he probably shot his rifles nearly everyday, at known and unknown distances and probably had a good idea of what he could do.

3. Who says that the shot he made was his first shot? He may have made several shots in that direction as a part of the fight and had a good idea of the elevation needed to get there.

4. As to the scarcity or cost of the rounds, I read that the US Army was in the habit of giving away cases of 45-70 rounds to parties they found out on the Prairies. The Buffalo hunters would then pull the bullets, salvage the powder and melt and recast the lead to reload their Buffalo Rifle cartridges. Additionally Hanrahan(?) had brought stock for his trading post that included rifles and cases of various cartridges for the Buffalo Hunters.

5. I also read that Quannah Parker in an interview later in life said the shot was short, but ricocheted up and hit Coyote ****, knocking him off his horse. Coyote **** was seen as being protected from bullets, so once he was hit and wounded, the rest of the braves figured his "medicine" wasn't that powerful. This lead to many of the braves loosing interest in continuing the fight.

Could a 50-90 travel a mile? I believe it could. I think the Army tested 45-70's out to 3000 yards or something like that.

Could the 50-90 be accurate? I think so, the bullet probably weighed upward of 500 to 600 grains and was probably moving just over 1,000 feet per second. (I think I read that it would have taken 8 seconds for the bullet to travel that distance.) Imagine seeing a puff of smoke from the roof of the trading post. One thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three, one thousand four, one thousand five, one thousand six, one thousand seven, one thousand eight. THUD, sucks to be Coyote ****...



interesting way to look at it...

no doubt, the guy knew how to handle a Sharps rifle. it has inspired me to look into getting one


I think the story goes as he hit him on the 3rd shot.


and the ricochet story is a twist I have not heard before, but it makes sense
_________________________
Originally Posted By: Nogalus Prairie
I think the deer hunting shows and "Bro' Country" are going to be the downfall of this once-great nation.

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#7008024 - 12/22/17 07:59 PM Re: Friday Discussion Topic-Billy Dixon and the unlucky indian [Re: txtrophy85]
FiremanJG Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 24533
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Good post, adobewalls.

I've shot high BC bullets, with high MV for several years. 3 months ago I connected a shot at a sure enough mile, on steel, with someone else's rifle/scope/ammo, I had never shot. But I had some of the best optics, rifle, powder, and bullets available. Even then, when one translates hold-over of feet, at the target, it was 38 feet above.

For a guy to have less BC, less, MV, and iron sights, his shot is far more impressive than mine.
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#7008073 - 12/22/17 08:22 PM Re: Friday Discussion Topic-Billy Dixon and the unlucky indian [Re: txtrophy85]
Sneaky Online   content
The "Grouch"

Registered: 10/22/12
Posts: 18781
Loc: Winters
With a name like that, he may have been relieved to be killed.
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#7008108 - 12/22/17 08:40 PM Re: Friday Discussion Topic-Billy Dixon and the unlucky indian [Re: txtrophy85]
Flashprism Online   content
Bird Dog

Registered: 11/16/11
Posts: 466
Loc: Corpus & Dickens
I have read the account in several different novels. I must say it has always captured my interest. Some day I will visit the site and hope I can feel some energy from the event. I have been to Wounded Knee, the Black Kettle massacre site and another site in western Kansas where an army contingent with buffalo hunters held off a large group of Sioux. I sure love that era.

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#7008123 - 12/22/17 08:46 PM Re: Friday Discussion Topic-Billy Dixon and the unlucky indian [Re: txtrophy85]
chital_shikari Offline
Minor in training

Registered: 08/03/11
Posts: 12527
I say more like 700-1000yd. Very interesting conversation! TT85, I like this thing you've been doing, great convo and history and info!

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#7008312 - 12/22/17 11:20 PM Re: Friday Discussion Topic-Billy Dixon and the unlucky indian [Re: txtrophy85]
adobewalls Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 12/17/17
Posts: 5
I too would like to visit the site. I bet it would be readily apparent to someone standing there the likely locations for the shot.

I apologize, I distinctly remember reading an interview held with Quanah Parker around the turn of the century where he stated the shot hit short in front of them, but ricocheted. But, I have been googling for an hour and cannot find a link confirming that - so, I'll just have to add that might be hearsay.

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#7008421 - 12/23/17 07:15 AM Re: Friday Discussion Topic-Billy Dixon and the unlucky indian [Re: txtrophy85]
maximus_flavius Offline
Tracker

Registered: 04/24/13
Posts: 870
The site itself is easy to find. It actually pops up on Google maps.

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