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Attention cavalry collectors!

* One of the most colorful and exciting areas of interest in the black powder sport is the living history recreation of the 19th century U.S. (and Confederate) Cavalry. Depending on the period represented, a variety of firearms and equipment can be used, ranging from flint horse pistols and percussion muzzle-loaders to metallic cartridge revolvers and breechloading carbines. Also, uniforming, insignia, and other equipment--including saddlery for the many mounted units--are as varied as the muzzle-loading sport itself.

For many years, I commanded a recreated 1880s mounted troop of U.S. cavalry, and although I'm not presently active with any organization, I still enjoy collecting cavalry arms and gear, and occasionally will portray a horse soldier for special historical programs. I suppose I'll always have "horsesweat" in my veins, for whenever I hear the strains of "Garry Owen," or watch a column of cavalrymen gallop across a TV or movie screen, like an old warhorse, I'm ready to answer the call of "Boots and Saddles," strap on my pistol and saber, and follow the guidon!

For those of you fellow cavalry buffs who share this love of America's most colorful branch of the military, here is a listing of some dealers that I heartily recommend as suppliers of original and/or reproduction gun parts, cavalry uniforming, insignia, hardware, horse equipment and other necessary items for the modern-day trooper (they carry gear for infantry, artillery and other branches of the military, too). I've dealt with each of these firms through the years, and have always been satisfied with their service, integrity and products. They are listed here in alphabetical order, along with a brief rundown of some of the items each company offers. Whether you are a lone collector, a member of a recreated cavalry troop, a shooter, a horseman, or all of these, as many of us are, I'm sure you'll find these sources as valuable as I have.

Walter Budd, Dept. GA, 3109 Eubanks Road, Durham, NC 27707 (telephone 919-489-4659). Partially illustrated catalog price: $2 per issue or $5 for quarterly subscription. Deals in original items, specializing in McClellan saddles and related horse equipment. Also sells antique firearms and sabers, uniforming, insignia, hats, holsters, prairie belts, cartridge boxes, books, manuals and more.

F. Burgess & Company Military Goods, Dept. GA, 96 Hillcrest Avenue, Meriden, CT 06450. Fully illustrated catalog price: $2. Primarily a replica dealer with a wide assortment of headgear, saber belts, horse equipment and early military items including reproductions of the 1839 Dragoon belt plate (with double-stud back), Model 1859 cavalry spurs (Civil War style with exposed rowels), 1812 Dragoon helmet plate, Model 1851 enlisted man's shoulder scales, Jefferson shoes, Civil War period cavalry saddle blanket (blue with orange stripe), and reprints of several old cavalry manuals and tactics books. Burgess also offers a small listing of original insignia.

J. DeChristopher, Dept. GA, P.O. Box 457, Feasterville, PA 19047. Fully illustrated catalog price: $5. Dealer in original items, primarily antique and early 20th century gun parts for issue arms such as U.S. Model 1842 musket, Model 1873 Springfield .45-70 rifle and carbine, .30-40 caliber Krag rifle and carbine, U.S. Model 1841 "Mississippi" rifle, and more. They also carry an assortment of old military gun tools and miscellaneous canvas and leather gear.

El Paso Saddlery, Dept. GA, P.O. Box 27194, El Paso, TX 79926 (telephone 915-544-2233). Fully illustrated catalog price: $1. El Paso Saddlery's line of cavalry equipment involves reproductions only. These include full-flap and half-flap holsters, 1870s period Dyer and McKeever model cartridge boxes, eagle head officer's spurs and other replica gear.

N. Flayderman & Co., Inc., Dept. GA, R.D. 2, New Milford, CT 06776 (telephone 203-354-5567). Partially illustrated catalog price: $3 for a two-year subscription. Flayderman deals strictly in original collector's items. Each catalog contains around 2,000-plus relics of all types--many are U.S. Cavalry related.

Hayes Otoupalik, Dept. GA, Route 2 Evaro Road, Missoula, MT 59802 (telephone 406-549-4817). Non-illustrated, list-type catalog price: $2, or $6 per year for a quarterly subscription. Hayes Otoupalik deals in strictly original items, including hard-to-find items like a Civil War era Blakeslee "Quick Loader" 10-tube Spencer cartridge box, Civil War and Indian Wars period cavalry carbine slings, pre-1887 full dress helmet horsehair plumes (lemon yellow variety), 1860s cavalry curry comb, U.S. Model 1880 hunting knife, knapsacks, insignia and lots more. Each catalog contains over 1,000 items for sale.

Pony Express Sport Shop, Inc., Dept. GA, 16606 Schoenborn St., Sepulveda, CA 91343 (telephone 818-895-1231). No catalog available. Pony Express has a nice selection of 19th century canteens, haversacks, chevrons, cap insignia, assorted cavalry belt gear, 19th century firearms and edged weapons, along with other miscellaneous antique military equipment.

Red River, Dept. GA, 8348 Foothill Blvd., Sunland, CA 91040 (telephone 818-352-0177). Fully illustrated catalog $3. Red River's selection of reproduction-only cavalry gear includes the Model 1883 blue wool campaign shirt, Civil War hat cords, half-flap and full-flap holsters, Civil War and Indian Wars period saber knots.

S&S Firearms, Dept. GA, 74-11 Myrtle Avenue, Glendale, NY 11385 (telephone 718-497-1100). Fully illustrated catalog price: $3. Specializing in original and replica gun parts for such arms as the 1873-1889 Springfield .45-70s, Sharps, Spencer, 1819-1836 U.S. pistols, Krag, Remington rolling block and others. They also have a good selection of insignia, Civil War-era cartridge box tins (replica), soldier's issue gun tools, uniform buttons, replica headgear, reprints of manuals, belt plates, various hardware items and much more.

Although I realize there are other companies around the country that deal in such gear, this column is too limited in space for a complete listing. Therefore, I have included only those firms with which I have had personal dealings. I will include other businesses as I deal with them in order to keep you informed of sources.
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Author:Spangenberger, Phil
Publication:Guns & Ammo
Date:Jun 1, 1985
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