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Old 02-03-2011, 12:23 PM
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Default Buffalo Bill Cody and Lucretia Borgia

I didn't want to hijack one of the other forums on the picture of Buffalo Bill Cody, so I posted this picture here. It is the only known picture of Cody with his favorite gun, an 1863 Springfield that was converted to fire .50-70 cartridges. Cody named the gun "Lucretia Borgia" after a beautiful and murderous woman in a Victor Hugo play. It was with this gun that Cody earned the name Buffalo Bill. What is left of Lucretia Borgia is on display in the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. The buttstock broke length wise so there is little left. Cody is seated on the right, and you get a feel for just how long Lucretia Borgia was.

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Old 02-03-2011, 04:33 PM
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It's in the museum in..dut,dudda DUH, Cody, Wyoming. I was there in '88 and there it was minus the butt part of the stock. Anyone even remotely interested in old west guns MUST go there. Especially if you'r into winchesters.
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Old 02-03-2011, 04:43 PM
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Not positive, but I belive that is the czars son, grand duke alexis and his bodyguard with buffalo bill. Doing my genelogy I have read several accounts of my gr, gr grandfather was a guard to the czar, but I dont know which one or how far back. I have also seen a picture of custer with them. They were here in I belive 1872 along with general sheridan on a big buffalo hunt.

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Old 02-03-2011, 04:44 PM
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Been to the museum and loved the gun collection, I believe at the time (1998) it was the largest private firearms museum in the U.S.
I also enjoyed the Plains Indians Museum that was located in the same building. There was also an exhibit of bird paintings that were done by the artist John James Audubon.
"Life is short, hunt hard"
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Old 02-03-2011, 04:58 PM
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I believe that Lucretia Borgia was also a real historical figure. She was noted for poisoning people. One might also want to Search for her or Cesare Borgia.

Cody certainly had a number of guns. One was a percussion .44 Remington that he gave to a friend, noting that it had given him good service.

It's interesting that he favored what was basically a military rifle, not a big sporting Sharp's. I noted the Sharp's carbine in the photo. It's interestng that all the men in the photo are wearing their revovers butt forward.

The rifle in the Antiques section is probably a Winchester M-73. It looks too small to be a M-76.

There was also an exhibit of bird paintings that were done by the artist John James Audubon

The Men's rooms where I work have Audubon prints. He was a remarkable pioneer wildlife artist.


Last edited by Texas Star; 02-03-2011 at 05:25 PM.
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Old 02-03-2011, 05:39 PM
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I grew up near Cody and had a lot of relatives there, so I spent a great deal of time there as a kid. My grandmother had lived in Cody since about 1910 and knew Buffalo Bill in his later years though she never liked him much. She always thought he was pretty much full of wind. Back in those days, the museum was the "Buffalo Bill Museum." It was housed in the little log building that is now the Chamber of Commerce building across the street from the present museum complex. Even in the late '50's I used to love going to the museum, but we could never get Grandma to go. I believe admission was around 50 cents at the time. When we asked her to go to the museum with us, she would always say that she never liked Buffalo Bill and she "wasn't going to pay 50 cents to see his stuff!" I'd bet I've seen Lucretia Borgia at least a hundred times.

Even then it was a fun place to go, and it has since grown up into a true world-class museum. If you have any interest at all in western history or art, in firearms of all types or in natural history, you owe yourself a trip to Cody. Take a couple of days, at least, to take it all in. Believe me, you won't regret it.
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Old 02-03-2011, 05:57 PM
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"Lucretia" would probably be a 2nd Allin conversion of the Civil War muzzleloaders known as the 1866 Springfield. The first Allin conversion was a .58 rimfire. The '66s used a sleeved barrel to reduce the caliber to .50, and used the .50/70 centerfire cartridge. I have one of these, and have shot it from time to time. It certainly was a good Bison cartridge in its day. By the way, I think the picture is reversed; it apparently shows the hammer and lockplate on the left side of the rifle, and I'm pretty sure no left-handed versions were made!

By the way, "Buffalo Bill" never shot a buffalo in his life. Bisons, yes, Buffaloes, no.

- Cogito, ergo armatum sum -

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Old 02-03-2011, 06:33 PM
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Lucretia Borgia (1480-1519) has the reputation of being a seductress, a poisoner, a femme fatale. The Borgias had a very unsavory reputation, hence her name conjures up images of "deadlier than the male".
I read Buffalo Bill's autobiography years ago, he refers to his "needle gun"
which I always found confusing, as to me the "needle gun" is the Prussian Dreyse.
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Old 02-03-2011, 10:41 PM
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If I can find the time, I just might drive down the street to the BBHC and take a look at it............

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bodyguard, carbine, cartridge, military, remington, rimfire, springfield, winchester

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