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Way OT: Quigley Down Under

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  • Way OT: Quigley Down Under

    I just watched Quigley down under for the 10th time, (at least) and I have a question about when it took place.

    Most of the weapons are muzzle loaders with Colt cap and ball pistols which appears to be about the 1850"s. They are all pre-civil war weapons but Quigleys Sharp rifle has centre fire cartridges, 45/110 which is an out growth of the 45/70 cartridge that didn't show up until after the US civil war. So my guess is that it is somewhere from 1865 to the early 1870"s.The fact that they still use the colt cap and ball pistols is not out of place and the same for the muzzle loading rifles, you don't through away what is still usable. All where used for quite some time after cartridge weapons became available but it seems to me that a vain rich guy (Alan Rickman) that owns the place would convert his guns to cartridge firing (a common post civil war thing) or replace with new ones as soon as he could.

    1. So is it pre-civil war and the Sharps is an anomaly to make the movie work

    2. The producers/writers/director don't know their history and what are the proper period weapons, a common enough thing in movies and on TV.

    3. My guess is right and it is post civil war

    4. Something else

    What say you all???????????????

    Anyway still a great movie.
    The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

    Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

    Southwestern Ontario. Canada

  • #2
    I haven't seen it in a while, but If your basing the cap and ball revolvers on sight alone lots of them were converted to cartridge by various gunsmiths back then. Then there's good old Wild Bill who preferred his cap and ball Navy Colts till the day he died.
    I do remember a a scene in the movie where an old man was helping him reload and he said they could use 45 cal bullets from a British rifle 450 martini? So I'm guessing 1870's 80's

    Comment


    • #3
      It has been a good while since I last saw it, but for reasons I can't recall I always had the impression it was set shortly before the turn of the century.
      I don't think my reasons had anything to do with the weaponry, of which the most captivating feature for me was the adjustable elevation sight and double-set triggers on his rifle..
      I always liked Quigley's line: "I just said 'I never had much use for one (pistol); never said I couldn't use one'..."
      (...well damn! why didn't you tell me that before?)
      Last edited by lynnl; 03-08-2021, 03:11 PM.
      Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

      Comment


      • #4
        The movie was originally written to be set in the 1880s. It was then reset to take place in the 1860s in order to be more historically correct. Even though Quigley's rifle was an 1874 Sharps.
        Hey it's movie right, can't be a critic and still watch movies. LOL
        Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
        Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

        Location: British Columbia

        Comment


        • #5
          I noticed the use of muzzle loading revolvers converted to cartridge firing in the classic "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly".

          Comment


          • #6
            I think they were cap and ball revolvers that were converted, not muzzle loading revolvers.
            Cap and ball revolvers were loaded at the front of the cylinder where the ball was forced into cylinder by use of the under barrel lever. Later single action cartridge revolvers used a somewhat similar looking spring loaded cartridge case ejector under the barrel.
            Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
            Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

            Location: British Columbia

            Comment


            • #7
              I know nuffink about guns, but I saw the film years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was surprised at the fact that for all the ill-treatment he gave his rifle - I seem to remember his swinging his full weight on the middle of the barrel in one scene - it still gave pinpoint accuracy when needed. But as Willy pointed out, hey, it's a film.

              George B.

              Comment


              • #8
                Most fiction requires at least some degree of "willing suspension of disbelief."

                Comment


                • #9
                  This is why I watched it 10 times.



                  DZER

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Willy View Post
                    The movie was originally written to be set in the 1880s. It was then reset to take place in the 1860s in order to be more historically correct. Even though Quigley's rifle was an 1874 Sharps.
                    Hey it's movie right, can't be a critic and still watch movies. LOL
                    You're absolutely correct!
                    How how many people would analyze or nitpick it to that degree?
                    I've seen a number of movies where things don't quite fit the time period. Words, phrases or sayings that just weren't in the English language at the time, even tools!

                    JL.....

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JoeLee View Post
                      You're absolutely correct!
                      How how many people would analyze or nitpick it to that degree?
                      I've seen a number of movies where things don't quite fit the time period. Words, phrases or sayings that just weren't in the English language at the time, even tools!

                      JL.....
                      Ha Ha Ha!
                      Never mind tire tracks, contrails, even highway traffic in the distance. LOL
                      Hey we've got a budget, we can't keep re-shooting scenes. Who's going to notice?
                      Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                      Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

                      Location: British Columbia

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I thought it was later than 1880. At the end when Quigley tells Marston that "this ain't Dodge City and you ain't Wyatt Earp" Marston had been saying he was born too late to really enjoy the old west. I believe the biggest gunfight in Dodge City was in 1879. This again suggests a post 1880 time frame.
                        JHC Dayton, OH

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by loose nut View Post
                          I just watched Quigley down under for the 10th time, (at least) and I have a question about when it took place.

                          Most of the weapons are muzzle loaders with Colt cap and ball pistols which appears to be about the 1850"s. They are all pre-civil war weapons but Quigleys Sharp rifle has centre fire cartridges, 45/110 which is an out growth of the 45/70 cartridge that didn't show up until after the US civil war. So my guess is that it is somewhere from 1865 to the early 1870"s.The fact that they still use the colt cap and ball pistols is not out of place and the same for the muzzle loading rifles, you don't through away what is still usable. All where used for quite some time after cartridge weapons became available but it seems to me that a vain rich guy (Alan Rickman) that owns the place would convert his guns to cartridge firing (a common post civil war thing) or replace with new ones as soon as he could.

                          1. So is it pre-civil war and the Sharps is an anomaly to make the movie work

                          2. The producers/writers/director don't know their history and what are the proper period weapons, a common enough thing in movies and on TV.

                          3. My guess is right and it is post civil war

                          4. Something else

                          What say you all???????????????

                          Anyway still a great movie.
                          Here is another, if you want to nitpick an old western. The picture speaks for itself.

                          That gun doesn't take the bullets on the belt, but........... they look cool.. some may think. I found it odd, even as a kid when I used to watch this show I could never figure out why they would do something so "incorrect". Any one with a good eye could see that those bullets wouldn't fit through the loading gate.
                          If they did, how many do you think would fit down that short tube? 3 maybe ! Wouldn't want to be caught in a gun fight with that.
                          The loops were full in every show that I could remember.

                          JL..............

                          Click image for larger version  Name:	image.jpg Views:	0 Size:	12.9 KB ID:	1932775
                          Last edited by JoeLee; 03-08-2021, 10:08 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I visited with the maker of Quigley's rifle, Wolfgang Droege, shortly before the movie came out. As I recall, Wolf made three rifles for the movie, one of which differed by having an aluminum barrel. That one was for scenes in which Selleck was just handling the rifle, as a 10-12 lb. rifle is a bit unhandy and doesn't lend itself well to heroic movie scenes. Apparently, the "chin-up" scene, where Selleck bridges the attic entrance with his rifle to pull himself up, was authentic and cringe-inducing back in Big Timber, Montana. Shiloh Rifle Mfg. Co. has been under new ownership since the mid-90s, but they still make expensive, high-end rifles.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JoeLee View Post
                              Here is another, if you want to nitpick an old western. The picture speaks for itself.

                              That gun doesn't take the bullets on the belt, but........... they look cool.. some may think. I found it odd, even as a kid when I used to watch this show I could never figure out why they would do something so "incorrect". Any one with a good eye could see that those bullets wouldn't fit through the loading gate.
                              If they did, how many do you think would fit down that short tube? 3 maybe ! Wouldn't want to be caught in a gun fight with that.
                              The loops were full in every show that I could remember.

                              JL..............

                              Click image for larger version Name:	image.jpg Views:	0 Size:	12.9 KB ID:	1932775
                              I believe the first large cal. Winchester was the 1886 chambered in the brand new 30-30 cartridge, the date might be a bit off. Those look like 45-70's.
                              The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

                              Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

                              Southwestern Ontario. Canada

                              Comment

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