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... Engineer BILL's Review of ...
"Shooting Buffalo Rifles of the Old West"
by Mike Venturino
Shooting Buffalo Rifles of the Old West
by Mike Venturino
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 of resources.

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:
Trapdoor Springfield
Winchester single shots
Modern reproductions

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 rifles today.

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 5!

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.