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Dances With Wolves

From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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Dances with Wolves
Theatrical Poster
Country Flag of the United States.jpg United States
Directed by Kevin Costner
Release Date 1990
Studio Tig Productions
Distributor Orion Pictures
Main Cast
Character Actor
Lt. John J. Dunbar/Dances with Wolves Kevin Costner
Christine Gunther/Stands with a Fist Mary McDonnell
Wind in His Hair Rodney A. Grant
Kicking Bird Graham Greene
Smiles a Lot Nathan Lee Chasing His Horse
Chief Ten Bears Floyd Red Crow Westerman
Toughest Pawnee Wes Studi

Dances with Wolves is a 1990 historical drama directed by and starring Kevin Costner, based on the 1988 novel of the same name by Michael Blake.

In the aftermath of the American Civil War, US Army lieutenant John J. Dunbar requests a posting at a distant outpost in the undiscovered West, seeking solitude and a chance to see the frontier before civilization eventually arrives. After finding the outpost abandoned, Dunbar befriends the Sioux tribes in the land and soon learns about their ways. The film would subsequently be nominated for twelve Academy Awards and would receive seven, including the Awards for Best Picture and Best Director for Costner (in his directorial debut).

All the guns in this film were supplied by Aldo Uberti Inc. of Italy.

The following weapons were used in the film Dances With Wolves:



Colt 1851 Navy

Lt. John J. Dunbar (Kevin Costner) keeps a Colt 1851 Navy as his sidearm throughout the film. It is also seen in the hands of some high-ranking Union officers. Dunbar's revolver is actually converted to fire metallic cartridges, which is safer then using blanks on a percussion revolver. After a conversation with Dunbar, Major Fambrough (Maury Chaykin) puts a Colt 1851 Navy revolver to his head. Also John Dunbar's revolver could be considered as slightly anachronistic due to its model type, as metallic cartridge-firing revolvers would only come into common use in the 1870s. This particular revolver was built in London, England due to its appearance being a steel frame with black iron backstrap and black steel barrel. As only around 2,000 units were produced at the London Colt factory, making it highly unlikely that John would come by one.

Colt 1851 Navy with a cartridge conversion. This is a reproduction of the gun used by Eli Wallach in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly and imported by Cimarron Arms.
A drunk Major Fambrough (Maury Chaykin) puts a Colt 1851 Navy revolver to his head.
Lt. John Dunbar (Kevin Costner) points his Colt 1851 Navy at Timmons (Robert Pastorelli) when he refuses to help him unload his stuff.
Dunbar points his 1851 Navy at Wind in His Hair (Rodney A. Grant) when he confronts him.
Dunbar fires his 1851 Navy at the attacking Pawnees, although Costner fakes the recoil a little too much.
Dunbar struggles to shoot a Pawnee with his 1851 Navy when he attacks him. It can be seen that the cylinder is one that houses metallic cartridges, but the rest of the revolver is untouched, to make the Colt look like a genuine Colt 1851 Navy from the Civil War period. Also can be seen the black iron backstrap and steel frame, indicating it to be a London produced Colt Navy
Dunbar fires his 1851 Navy at the Pawnees while on horseback. He then tosses it away when empty.
A Confederate soldier on the far right with the brass frame revolver.

Remington 1858 New Army

Both Union and Confederate soldiers are seen with Remington 1858 New Army revolvers.

Remington 1858 New Army - .44 caliber
A Confederate cavalryman armed with a Remington 1858 New Army.
Lt. Elgin (Charles Rocket) points his .36 caliber Remington 1858 Navy model, distinguishable by its smaller cylinder, size at Spivey (Tony Pierce) and orders him to stop kicking Dunbar.
Edwards (Kirk Baltz) runs while armed with the revolver.
Sergeant Major Bauer (Larry Joshua) armed with a Remington 1858. Later, in an apparent continuity error, it switches to a Colt 1860 Army.

Colt 1860 Army

Several soldiers of the US Cavalry are seen armed with Colt 1860 Army revolvers as their sidearms. In what appears to be a continuity error, Sergeant Major Bauer (Larry Joshua) is seen trying to use a Colt Army revolver instead of the Remington he was holding earlier.

Colt 1860 Army - .44 caliber
Spivey (Tony Pierce) fires his Colt 1860 Army at Two Socks. Based on the divots in the cylinder, this appears to be a zinc replica.
During a confrontation with Smiles A Lot (Nathan Lee Chasing His Horse), Sergeant Major Bauer (Larry Joshua) tries to use the Colt 1860 Army, but the powder appears to be too wet from him crawling in the river. It changed from a Remington 1858 revolver, which he was actually seen crawling through the river with.
Bauer with the revolver, now clearly not the Remington he had been holding earlier.

Colt Walker 1847

A Confederate cavalryman (Bill W. Curry) is seen armed with a Colt Walker 1847 revolver.

Colt Walker 1847 - .44 caliber
A Confederate cavalryman (Bill W. Curry) armed with a Colt Walker 1847.


Henry 1860

Lt. John J. Dunbar (Kevin Costner) keeps a polished brass frame Henry 1860, or as the Rebels called it, "that damned Yankee rifle you load on Sunday and shoot all week", as his rifle of choice throughout the film.

Brass-framed Henry 1860 - .44 RF
Lt. John J. Dunbar (Kevin Costner) aims the polished brass frame Henry 1860 rifle at the wolf.
Dunbar looks over at his Henry 1860 when the Sioux confront him.
During the buffalo hunt, Dunbar fires his Henry while on horseback.
Dunbar fires his Henry rifle at the charging Buffalo.
Dunbar racks the lever on his Henry rifle.
Stands With a Fist fires Dunbar's Henry rifle at an attacking Pawnee.
Stands With a Fist (Mary McDonnell) holds Dunbar's Henry rifle.

Springfield 1861/1864

Confederate soldiers both carry Springfield 1861 (and variants) and Enfield 1853 rifles during the opening Civil War battle.

Springfield 1861 - .58 caliber Minié ball
A Confederate soldier fires his Springfield 1864, noticeable from its hammer, much like the Enfield's, although for some reason is missing all its barrel bands (front). Also, Enfield 1853 rifles are fired at Dunbar while he attempts a suicide run.
Union soldiers march, all of them armed with Springfield 1861 rifles.

Enfield 1853

During the film's beginning, Sgt. Pepper (Tom Everett) can be seen loading an Enfield 1853, not a Springfield 1861 as previously thought.

The rifle can be determined due to two factors: the shape of the ramrod end, being cylindrical in shape with a square hole punched through it for a jag cleaning cloth, unlike a more bulbous plain ramrod of the Springfield 1861, and because of the shape of the barrel bands being a more rounded shape from being cast, much unlike the barrel bands of a Springfield 1861 which are produced by being pressed and stamped. When the sergeant loads his Enfield, it appears that he forgets to load a Minié ball before preparing to ram the powder down the barrel.

Confederate soldiers both carry Springfield 1861 and Enfield 1853 rifles during the opening Civil War battle.

Enfield 1853.
Sgt. Pepper (Tom Everett) loads the powder into his Enfield 1853. Note the shape of the ramrod end. It's also interesting that he's preparing to use the ramrod despite the fact that he hasn't loaded a .58 caliber Minié ball in with the powder.
Confederate soldiers fire their Springfield 1861 and Enfield 1853 rifles at Dunbar when he attempts a suicide run.
A Confederate soldier aims his Enfield 1853 at Dunbar.
Captured Confederate soldiers hold their Enfield 1853 rifles upside down.

Sharps 1863

To prepare for the attacking Pawnee Indians, Dunbar gives the Sioux Indians Sharps rifles, which based on the time period are likely 1863 models.

Sharps 1863 Carbine - .52 caliber
A Sioux elder fires what appears to be a Sharps 1863.

Sharps 1863 Saddle Ring Carbine

Dunbar is seen arming many of the Sioux with the Sharps Saddle Ring carbine, also appearing to be the 1863 model. These models are later seen in the hands of the US Cavalry, notably when they takes shots at Dunbar's pet wolf, Two Socks.

Sharps 1863 Saddle Ring carbine - .52 caliber
A Sioux fires a Sharps 1863 Saddle Ring carbine.
Several of the Sioux open fire on the fiercest Pawnee (Wes Studi). In reality, several Sioux probably would have been shot by the ensuing fire.
Bauer with a Sharps 1863 carbine.
Bauer fires his Sharps Carbine at Two Socks.
Edwards (Kirk Baltz) fires his Sharps Carbine at Two Socks.
Spivey (Tony Pierce) smiles as he holds his Sharps.
Edwards fires his Sharps Carbine.


Double Barreled Percussion Shotgun

A Double Barreled Percussion Shotgun is first seen in the hands of Confederate soldiers at the beginning of the film. Timmons (Robert Pastorelli) keeps one at his side while driving Dunbar in his coach. After Timmons is murdered by Pawnee, one of the warriors takes his shotgun. These shotguns are noted as muzzle loaders based on the ramrod slung under the barrels.

Double Barreled Percussion Shotgun - 10 gauge
A Confederate soldier in the center is seen armed with a double barreled muzzle loading shotgun.
Timmons keeps a muzzleloading shotgun at his side on his coach.

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