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Lethal Tools of Our Past-Weapons of the Frontier

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Essay title: Lethal Tools of Our Past-Weapons of the Frontier

Lethal Tools of Our Past-

Weapons of The Frontier

A starving man paves his own highway with the calloused soles of his hunger. Out on the untamed wastelands, forests, and prairies it was the way of the gun, the knife, and the axe for all that managed to survive. And survive these brave men and women did with a sheer will of endurance that the pampered of today's world has not come to know even the shadow of. In our modern comfort we live in what legacy these bold souls carved out of this nation, and much of the thanks we must give is passed to the sweat-hewned implements of their survival, the weapons of the frontier.

Scourging the countryside for this evening's meal or simply keeping wary of impending danger, one often felt naked without a trustworthy gun at their side. A firearm often made one feel invincible, for the power of a bullet could protect the weakest and cowardly from even the strongest and fiercest of animals and people. In it's use it proved to be an action that spoke louder than words, many a quarrel has been put to rest through this instrument, whose music is often not one of good cheer.

The rifle and the coveted shotgun, literally brought home the bacon. With sleek models such as the Winchester .44 in 1873, accurate targeting sights increased a hunter's ability to take down his prey, even from large distances, often exceeding 200 yards. The other weapon of choice, the shotgun, did not boast a straight, clean shot, but had the capacity to tear anything to shreds in a single blast. A short barrel provided the advantage of a wider blast range and easier handling (Trachtman et al 50). In many battles, the shotguns were often preferred for their simplifying features.

In the frequently lawless country that the United States had become, a quicker solution for combat was deemed necessary. It did not take long for such handguns as the 1873 Colt Peacemaker to emerge as the weapon of choice for gunfighter, cowboy, sheriff or civilian. Fighting men everywhere considered the peacemaker's balance and durability superior to that of other revolvers of the day, and they expressed their appreciation by clamoring for a variety of versions – some decorative or modified for a fast draw, others were plain, but all were lethal (Trachtman et al 43). With a growing consideration of violence, many Americans rushed to buy them in large quantities, often through the mail.

Although guns have proved to be very useful in hunting, law enforcement, and the debauchery of crime, Firearms had their downfall. A burdensome muzzle-loading pistol carried the disadvantage of time. When attacked a fighter using one would need to stop, take out his powder horn, fill the charge, load the bullet, and proceed to steady himself before firing so that his aim would be accurate. In the meantime, his attacker could have beaten him to a pulp, stabbed him, or if the assailant happened to be a Native American, he may have been shot by an arrow. Quicker motives were necessary.

Probably the most convenient weapon to have on hand would be a dependable knife. In any primitive living situation, the most important

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