JOHN GRAY AND THE FIGHT WITH THE FIVE GRIZZLY BEARS -- SKETCHED ON THE SCENE BY FATHER NICOLAS POINT, S.J.,  1841 ON THE PRESENT BORDER OF IDAHO AND WYOMING

For Gray family activism in the Far Western fur trade, see http://www.hunterbear.org/GRAY%20LANDS%20AND%20GRAY%20GHOSTS.htm

 

NOTES BY ME -- HUNTERBEAR -- TO A FRIEND ON MY CURRENT FIREARMS AND RELATED MATTERS [AUGUST 2002 / MARCH 2003]

To Issodhos [August 2002]

As you've gathered from previous comments of mine, my drift in firearms is
pretty traditional -- reactionary in some eyes -- involving a half dozen
Western-style lever action big bore rifles and one 10 gauge magnum single
barrel. As I've indicated previously, the rifles are two 45/70s [one Marlin
and one high grade Browning replica of the 1886 Winchester], one .444
Marlin, one 30/06 Browning replica of the 1895 Winchester [this is a "One in
One Thousand" super-high grade], a Rossi [Brazilian] .357 Magnum replica of
Winchester 1892 and a Rossi .44 Magnum replica of the Winchester 1892. For
brush shooting, I prefer the 45/70s -- and, for the longer range stuff, of
course, the 30/06. For plinking and possible self-defense, the .357 suits
me just fine -- nice little carbine, light in weight -- and the .444 Marlin,
which of course is great in brush shooting, is also seen by me as a solid
self-defense weapon. I haven't yet fired the Rossi .44 magnum '92
Winchester replica.

The ten gauge magnum [shotgun, for those not well versed in this
nomenclature] is a fine, solid New England Firearms creation.

The Browning replicas [no longer manufactured as far as I know], are
extremely well done, utilizing the highest grade contemporary steel -- and
featuring fine wood and truly excellent gold engravings of appropriate large
Western animals. I especially like the Great Bears. Nothing unusual [as you
of course know ] about the Browning Company "replicating" Winchesters --
since all of those Winchester patents [and much more] were the inspired and
enduring work of the late John Browning of Northern Utah. The Rossi
replicas, I should add, are sturdy and utilitarian -- and I'm especially
fond of their black Brazilian hardwood stocks.

Although I've done some hand-loading in the past -- neither bold nor
unusual -- I'm now using standard commercial loads.

If the Anti-Gun crowd ever subdues me [highly, highly unlikely] and, in an
effort to destroy me psychologically [a creative Darkness at Noon
psychiatrically lethal approach probably beyond most of them], tells me that
I can select two -- and only two -- of my firearms forevermore, what would I
do?

In this extraordinarily painful situation, I would bite a .405 grain 45/70
bullet and, steeling myself by bringing forth my genuinely great reserves of
"nerve" and inner-strength, and maintaining my smooth poker-face, I'd take
my Browning [Winchester] 1895 30/06 and the "little" Rossi [Winchester] 1892
in .357 mag.

I should add that I've never seen an albino deer. Around here, of course,
it's all mule deer country [but albinos are theoretically possible.]

Saw a fine rattlesnake buddy yesterday early a.m. Excellent Great Basin
type. We visited, after he stopped rattling, and then I eventually wandered
on. He and I are both Ishmaelites -- and I can only wish him well. [More
on him at a later point.]

All Best -
 

Hunter Gray  [Hunterbear]
www.hunterbear.org
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
and Ohkwari'

In our Gray Hole, the ghosts often dance in the junipers and sage, on the
game trails, in the tributary canyons with the thick red maples, and on the
high windy ridges -- and they dance from within the very essence of our own
inner being. They do this especially when the bright night moon shines down
on the clean white snow that covers the valley and its surroundings.  Then
it is as bright as day -- but in an always soft and mysterious and
remembering way. [Hunterbear]

MORE GUN AND RELATED NOTES [HUNTERBEAR  MARCH 6, 2003]
 

Issodhos [on ASDnet] writes in part with respect to my Grand Lands and Gray
Ghosts piece:

"I am familiar with the type of country you write about. You do it justice.
Yours,
Issodhos "

Thanks very much for the good word, Issodhos, on my Gray Lands [expanded]
piece. You know the land and can appreciate the issues. It's been well
received -- and much so via the Native lists which put it out immediately to
the Four Directions.

Although I have several knives, including a large heavy clasp knife that I got
many decades ago and which fits well pocket-wise despite its size and weight,
I have never been a knife person. As a kid, I did use a knife to drive away an
adult drunk once who was beating my dog. Rifle tech, as you know, changed
rapidly in the 19th century and only a bit more than 30 years after John Gray's
famous battle with the Five GBs -- he had, as you would surmise, muzzle-loading
single shot rifles in addition to his knives -- the Winchester 1873s [lever
action, repeating rifles for those on the List who aren't into this] were
spreading across the West in all quarters [including Natives and Anglos], with
the preferred calibre of 44/40. [And that was preceded, of course, by the Henry
in the latter 1860s.] The Army was using its Springfield breech-loading
single-shot 45/70.

Then, Winchester came out, of course with its succession of more lever actions
-- via the John Browning patents [he a Mormon boy from Northern Utah] -- all
of these being my favorites. In time, Marlin followed with its own lever action
versions -- which are excellent as well and are also favorites of mine.

Geronimo, not at all adverse to posing for photos when time allowed, always
conspicuously held his Winchester 1876 lever action. And, as I've mentioned
earlier, one of our very old friends at Laguna Pueblo in Western New Mexico,
the Hunter for the Eagle Clan, was Juan Carillo, Geronimo's nephew, who had
been raised at Laguna for his own safety when Anglo retaliatory efforts against
Geronimo's kin were rife across much of the Southwest. Juan Carillo always
used a Winchester '73 44/40 with black powder cartridges. His son, Richard [a
major Laguna leader for decades] married Margaret Beardsley [a long-time
excellent teacher] who was the daughter of Eli Beardsley, leader of the most
traditional of the Laguna villages, Seama. Mrs Beardsley, I should add, was a
Seneca [Iroquois] from New York who Eli Beardsley had met at the famous
Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania. Eli Beardsley frequently used the old
Army Springfield breech-loading single-shot 45/70. My father preferred a
Winchester 1886 45/90 but, when those cartridges [obsolete] became very
difficult to get [he wasn't into reloading], he settled and very effectively so
for a conventional Winchester 1894 30/30, the older versions of which I like as
well.

I think for Grizzlies -- and they're never far away -- I'd be inclined to use
one of my 45/70 lever actions [Browning High Grade replica of 1886 Winchester]
or my Marlin 1895 45/70 lever action. My Marlin lever action .444 would do
nicely as well. I also, of course, have my Browning replica of the Winchester
1895 in 30/06 -- but that is "One In One Thousand" and I keep it under wraps,
still unfired. The Browning replicas, of course, are ca 1980s, highest grade
steel and top walnut stocks. Top of the line in everything. And, of course,
they're quite authentic since John Browning did all of those original
Winchester patents.

[Although Issodhos knows my guns from the previous post, I briefly reiterate them 

   for new readers.]

Back to my Gray Lands post. One of the toughest challenges in writing is to
describe the Land -- the Setting -- with only a few deft verbal brushes. Your
compliment, which echoes that of a Kent State activist prof from rural Idaho
who is on some of our lists, joins his in carrying a great deal of welcome
weight with me.

Thanks, amigo -

As Ever, Hunter [Hunterbear]


Hunter Gray [Hunterbear]
www.hunterbear.org
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
and Ohkwari'

In our Gray Hole, the ghosts often dance in the junipers and sage, on the
game trails, in the tributary canyons with the thick red maples, and on the
high windy ridges -- and they dance from within the very essence of our own
inner being. They do this especially when the bright night moon shines down
on the clean white snow that covers the valley and its surroundings. Then
it is as bright as day -- but in an always soft and mysterious and
remembering way. [Hunterbear]


----- Original Message -----
From:
issodhos
To:
asdnet@igc.topica.com
Sent: Wednesday, March 05, 2003 9:51 PM
Subject: Re: [ASDnet] GRAY LANDS AND GRAY GHOSTS: THE TIME OF FLINT [expanded]


Enjoyable read. However, if I were to get into a knife fight with a grizzly,
I would want a double bladed, 3 foot long knife with a center line one quarter
inch thick, strapped securely to a 12 foot pole of no less than 3 inches in
diameter -- and then it must be versatile enough to be used from a speeding
vehicle!:-)

I am familiar with the type of country you write about. You do it justice.
 

Yours,
Issodhos

 

 



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