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questions about buffalo guns

Old 01-18-2022, 05:03 PM
  #1  
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Question questions about buffalo guns

When I was five, my family was at a drive-in movie theater in the family car. It was about 1969, a long spell ago. We were watching some cowboy film, name unknown. A dude in a cowboy hat was pointing a two-barreled long gun that looked like a double-barrel shotgun either at some big game out in the desert or some other men, I can't remember which. I asked my father (dad RIP, bless his soul) what that funny gun was. He said it was a "buffalo gun".

Were there any side-by-side buffalo guns back in the American Old West? Were there any side-by-side guns back then used to actually kill American buffalo? I know short side-by-side shotguns were carried by the guy riding shotgun on stagecoaches for security but there had to have been some two-barred gun shooting rifle bullets for buff if there ever really was such a two-barreled buffalo gun. I know a Sharps .45-70 was a rifle common to shoot buff in early cowboy times but that only had one barrel.

Was it just a coach gun, like a Stoeger, as a film prop that my father mistook for a "buffalo gun"? I know big-bore rifles with two barrels (elephant guns) were once used in Africa (and still may be used in Africa) to shoot Cape buffalo. Maybe my father had such gun in mind when he said BUFFALO GUN in regard to a two-barrel long gun out in the American desert in an old west film scene. But what would an elephant gun be doing out in the Old American West?

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Old 01-19-2022, 06:29 AM
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Were there any side-by-side buffalo guns back in the American Old West? Were there any side-by-side guns back then used to actually kill American buffalo?
No particular models that I know of.

Without a doubt, though, somebody along the way would have used a double barrel shotgun with a round ball on a buffalo. If noting else, a native American who managed to acquire shotgun would be able to use it just as he would a bow and arrow on horseback.
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Old 01-19-2022, 08:40 AM
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I also do not know of any double barrel rifles at the time you asked about. A couple rilfe company's here in Montana worth checking out, and if you ever get to Big Timber, MT make sure to stop in, they both have showrooms worth visiting. Legendary Sharps Rifles | C. Sharps Arms, Inc. (csharpsarms.com) Rifles (shilohrifle.com)
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Old 01-19-2022, 11:38 AM
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I think the prop gun in that old unknown cowboy movie my family saw back in 1969 might have just been a double-barrel shotgun of some unknown make and model. Why my father referred to it as a "buffalo gun" I will never know but I don't loose sleep over it.

As for BUFFALO GUNS in modern times, I think they are whatever is lawful and ethical to hunt American buffalo. Certainly any gun fit to kill an African buffalo is fit to kill an American buffalo as well. There are expensive two-barrel rifles made in Europe for killing Cape buff and other dangerous game. I think of those as the classic elephant gun.
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Old 01-19-2022, 12:10 PM
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I never heard of nor saw any photos of a double rifle called a Buffalo gun. There were during the period of the old west plenty of double rifles in Europe which were used mainly for African Safaris. Most big rifles of the time in America used for Buffalo and called Buffalo guns were single shot rifles.
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Old 01-19-2022, 01:38 PM
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There were plenty of double rifles back then but they were mostly in the hands of the British in India and Africa and I seriously doubt any were used by the hide hunters. Most of those guys used either a Sharps or a Rem Rolling Block in something like a 45-70, 45-90 or 50-110. The biggest they used was the 50-140 but by the time those came out most of the herds were already about done for

Last edited by flags; 01-19-2022 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 01-19-2022, 05:58 PM
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Where my father came up with the term "buffalo gun" for a side-by-side looking thing in a cowboy flick is somewhat of a mystery. He was born in 1935 and raised in rural Georga with a family of five boys and one girl. He hunted rabbit with a 22 in boyhood. My dad never hunted in Africa but may have known a person that did. Dad was in the navy and travelled around the world. He also was in the air force later on. He was in Germany with the air force. My mother and he bought my grandfather a new present while in Germany: a Husqvarna Model 3000 Crown Grade bolt action rifle in 1962. Being over in Europe, the exchange gun store may have had a number of those fancy double-barrel rifles in stock at that time. The signage on one or more of them might have been labeled "buffalo gun" and that might have caught my father's attention and the term stuck in his head. Sometimes those two-barrel contraptions were called "elephant guns" back in the day too. Who knows.

Last edited by jonmyrlebailey; 01-19-2022 at 08:23 PM.
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Old 01-19-2022, 08:31 PM
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Here is an elephant gun:

Steam Workshop::Elephant Gun .470 Nitro Express (steamcommunity.com)

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