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Rough Riders

From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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Rough Riders
Country Flag of the United States.jpg United States
Language English
Channel TNT
Creator John Milius
Genre Military
Broadcast 1997
No. of Seasons 1
No. of Episodes 2
Main Cast
Character Actor
Theodore Roosevelt Tom Berenger
Bucky O'Neil Sam Elliott
Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler Gary Busey
Henry Nash Brad Johnson
Brig Gen. Leonard Wood Dale Dye
Hamilton Fish Holt McCallany
Craig Wadsworth Chris Noth
Eli Geoffrey Lewis
Rafael Castillo Francesco Quinn
Stephen Crane Adam Storke

Rough Riders is a 1997 TNT biographical miniseries directed by John Milius and starring Tom Berenger as Lt. Col. Teddy Roosevelt. The miniseries depicts Roosevelt's days as commander of the 1st US Voluntary Cavalry Regiment, better known as "The Rough Riders", and highlights the Regiment's military actions during the Spanish-American War in 1898. The cast includes Gary Busey, Sam Elliott, and Brad Johnson.

The following weapons can be seen in the miniseries Rough Riders:



Colt Single Action Army

The Single Action Army is used by Lt. Colonel Teddy Roosevelt (Tom Berenger) and other U.S. Army officers. Historically speaking, Roosevelt used a .38 caliber Colt M1892 that had been recovered from the U.S.S. Maine in Havana Harbor after it was sunk. But John Milius, the director, wanted him to carry the Peacemaker since Roosevelt is considered to be the "Cowboy President".

Colt Single Action Army w/ 5" barrel known as the "Artillery" model. The most common of the SAA revolvers as it is just the right length - .45 Long Colt

Bisley Colt Single Action Army

Henry Nash (Brad Johnson) carries a nickel plated Bisley Colt Single Action Army with ivory grips throughout the miniseries.

Bisley model Colt Single Action Army w/ 7.5" barrel - 45 Colt
Henry Nash (Brad Johnson) brandishes his Bisley Colt Single Action Army during the stagecoach robbery at the beginning of the miniseries.
At one point during the Cuban campaign, Nash (Brad Johnson) breaks ranks and runs. He accidentally comes across a group of Spanish troops and precedes to engage them with his Bisley Colt Single Action Army.

Colt 1878 Double Action

A Colt 1878 Double Action is carried by Major General "Fighting" Joe Wheeler (Gary Busey).

Colt 1878 with 5.5" barrel - .44-40 WCF

Colt New Army & Navy

War correspondent Edward Marshall (William Katt) carries and uses a Colt New Army & Navy. At one one point he also uses a Krag-Jorgensen M1896 Carbine. Obviously, the definition of "Non-Combatant" has changed over the past 124 years.

Colt New Army & Navy - .38 Colt
Marshall on the right (William Katt) with a holstered Colt New Army & Navy revolver while conversing with Stephen Crane (Adam Storke).

Merwin-Hulbert Frontier

A Merwin Hulbert Frontier is carried by George Neville (Buck Taylor), Henry Nash's partner, while robbing a stagecoach with Nash (Brad Johnson) at the beginning of the movie.

Actual Hero Merwin-Hulbert revolver used by Buck Taylor in Rough Riders - .45 Long Colt. Courtesy of NRA National Firearms Museum.
Neville (Buck Taylor) orders the stagecoach crew to throw down the money box.
Neville (Buck Taylor) orders the passengers to hand over their valuables. That is Henry Nash (Brad Johnson) on his right.

Smith & Wesson No.3 Russian Model

Major Frederick Funston (Pablo Espinosa) pulls out a nickel-plated Smith & Wesson No.3 Russian Model when asked by General Wheeler (Gary Busey) about the Cuban artillery corps.

Smith & Wesson No.3 Russian Model - .44 Russian
Major Funston (Pablo Espinosa) displays the Cuban "artillery" to General Wheeler (Gary Busey). Note the rather anachronistic trigger discipline.
Major Funston (Pablo Espinosa) during a more tense moment.

Mauser C96

A Mauser C96 is used by German military advisers to the Spanish Army, Spanish officers and Henry Nash (Brad Johnson) during the Battle of Kettle and San Juan Hills.

Pre-War dated Mauser C96 "Broomhandle" commercial version - 7.63x25mm Mauser
Nash (Brad Johnson) captures a German military adviser and commandeers the German's Mauser C96.
Nash (Brad Johnson) uses the Mauser C96 to force the German to explain how the Maxim works to Col. Roosevelt (Tom Berenger).
A Spanish officer advances against Col. Roosevelt (Tom Berenger) right at the end of the Battle of San Juan Hill.
Roosevelt (Tom Berenger) stops him with his Colt revolver.
After the battle is finished Nash (Brad Johnson) greets a fellow soldier from the 10th U.S. Cavalry, the famed "Buffalo Soldiers". For a brief moment both men forget that it is 1898 and they are white and black. They're just both glad to be alive.

Rifles and Carbines

Winchester Model 1895 Rifle

A sporting configuration Winchester Model 1895 is used by Col. Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt (Tom Berenger) and a small number of other U.S. Army officers throughout much of the fighting on Cuba. He gives it to one of his soldiers during the attack up Kettle Hill after that soldier breaks his Krag-Jorgensen butt stroking a Spanish soldier. The assumption is that the rifle is chambered in .30-40 Krag. In reality, the Winchester Model 1895 rifle used in the filming is the personal property of director John Milius (a fan of the Winchester Model 1895) and chambered in .35 Winchester. Roosevelt also gave his Winchester 1895 to one of his soldiers before the regiment departed Florida for Cuba.

Sporting version of the 1895. Similar to the model carried by Tom Berenger.
Colonel Roosevelt (Tom Berenger) with his Winchester Model 1895 and war correspondent Edward Marshall (William Katt) armed with a Krag-Jorgensen M1896 Carbine assault a Spanish position.

Winchester Model 1895 Carbine

A Winchester Model 1895 Carbine is used by several of the regiment's officers, including Bucky O'Neill (Sam Elliott). After O'Neill (Sam Elliott) is killed, his Winchester is used by Henry Nash (Brad Johnson) during the Battle of Kettle and San Juan Hills. The pair of carbines used in the series are chambered in .30-40 Krag and were supplied by Ellis Mercantile.

Winchester Model 1895 carbine .30 Cal - Commercial. Among the various calibers the 1895 was chambered for was the .30-40 Krag.

Winchester Model 1892

Bucky O'Neill (Sam Elliott) and several of his companions can be seen with full-length Winchester Model 1892 rifles with octagonal barrels when joining the Arizona volunteers for the Rough Riders. He soon switches it out for a Model 1895 Saddle Ring Carbine.

Winchester Model 1892 rifle - .44-40, .38-40 & .32-20

Winchester Model 1886

The famous painter Frederick Remington (Nick Chinlund) is shown accompanying the U.S. expedition to Cuba as a war correspondent/artist. There is a scene where he is painting the battle as it is occurring. Sitting next to him as he is working is a Winchester Model 1886 with what is known as a short magazine. Some refer to this configuration as a "Sporter" Model 1886. It was lighter with the shortened magazine. Therefore easier to carry and quicker to the shoulder, which is important when hunting game.

Winchester Model 1886 Sporter Model
Frederick Remington (Nick Chinlund) busily painting while the battle rages about him. Within close reach is his Winchester 1886 "Sporter".

Winchester Model 1873

The Winchester Model 1873 is carried by several Rough Riders when first reporting for duty, and by Major Frederick Funston (Pablo Espinosa).

Winchester 1873 Carbine - .44-40
Major Fredrick Funston (Pablo Espinosa) leads General Wheeler and another American officer on a scouting patrol.

Model 1896 Krag-Jørgensen Carbine

The Krag-Jørgensen M1896 Carbine is used by most of the 1st Volunteer U.S. Cavalry soldiers in the movie. A few use the Winchester Model 1895 and the regimental cook Eli (Geoffrey Lewis) opts for a double barrel shotgun.

Model 1896 Krag-Jørgensen Carbine - .30-40 Krag
Sgt. Farnsworth (Freddie Joe Farnsworth) gives the 1st Volunteer U.S. Cavalry its first training session for the Model 1896 Krag-Jørgensen carbine.
The instructor demonstrates the accuracy of the carbine.
The Rough Riders begin their basic rifle training with the M1896 Krag-Jørgensen carbine.
One of the regiment's officers takes aim during the unit's first firefight.
Nash (Brad Johnson) with his Krag-Jørgensen carbine.
One of the regiment's troopers uses an improvised monopod during a firefight.
Lt. Castillo (Francesco Quinn) advances under Spanish fire during the Battle of Kettle Hill. Note the bolt handle and magazine are on the left handed side of the rifle, indicating this is a film reversal.
A Rough Rider provides cover fire near the climax of the Battle of San Juan Hill.
Goodrich (Titus Welliver) stares briefly at a Spanish soldier that he just shot.
Craig Wadsworth (Chris Noth) with his Krag-Jørgensen at the end of the Battle of San Juan Hill.

1895 Chilean Mauser

The production was supplied with Chilean Mauser rifles in 7x57mm by both Stembridge Gun Rentals and Ellis Mercantile, standing in for the more historically accurate 1893 Spanish Mauser used by the Spanish Army during the war.

Mauser 1895 Rifle - 7x57mm Mauser
Spanish soldiers fire at the Rough Riders during a meeting engagement.
One of the Spanish soldiers goes down hard.
U.S. cavalry advance against a Spanish position.
Colonel Leonard Wood (Dale Dye) examines a captured Spanish Mauser.
Colonel Leonard Wood (Dale Dye) uses the same Mauser to dispatch a Spanish sniper.
Spanish soldiers at the redoubt near the climax of the Battle of San Juan Hill.

Argentine Model 1891 Mauser

William Randolph Hearst (George Hamilton) carries an Argentine Model 1891 Mauser in 7.65x53mm with a silver presentation plate on the butt.

Mauser 1891 - 7.65x53mm
William Randolph Hearst (George Hamilton) with his Argentine Mauser 1891.

Springfield 1879 Trapdoor

The Springfield 1879 Trapdoor is used by both the Cuban rebels and many of the U.S. Army units. This is not incorrect. Most of the National Guard units did not have Krag-Jørgensen rifles at this time.

Springfield Trapdoor 1879 - .45-70 Government
A soldier of the 71st New York Infantry Regiment (New York Army National Guard).
Cuban rebels meet with General Wheeler (Gary Busey).
One of the Cuban rebels in a firefight.


Remington Model 1889

The regiment's cook Eli (Geoffrey Lewis) carries a cut down Remington Model 1889 double barrel shotgun. Appears to be either 12 gauge or 10 gauge. The 1889 was available in either gauge.

Remington Model 1889 - 12 gauge

Eli (Geoffrey Lewis) advances with his unit.
During his first firefight, Eli trips and falls on his rear end. He empties both barrels and is now hurrying to reload.
Hamilton Fish (Holt McCallany) provides cover fire while Eli (Geoffrey Lewis) struggles to reload under Spanish fire. The strained expression is a nice touch.
While advancing up Kettle Hill, Eli (Geoffrey Lewis) takes out a Spanish soldier.
Eli (Geoffrey Lewis) looks stressed. A nice touch of realism.

Machine Guns

Model 1895 Gatling Gun

The Model 1895 Gatling Gun is used by the U.S. Army during the Battle of San Juan Hill.

Colt M1874 (similar to the M1895) Gatling Gun with Bruce Feed Guide - .45-70 Government
Gatling Guns being deployed. Historically, four M1895 guns were used at San Juan Hill.
The Gatling in action. While the M1895 Gatling itself is similar to the older M1874, note the distinctive M1895 mount and carriage.
Closeup of the barrels. Note the operator trying to aim through the missing sight which is supposed to be mounted on the right side of the gun.

Colt Model 1895 Automatic Machine Gun

Two Colt Model 1895 Machine Guns are used by the Rough Riders for fire support. The script states that the two Model 1895s are a gift from Charles Lewis Tiffany. It is unknown if this is factual. The pair used in the series are actually Model 1914s made by Marlin, chambered in 7.62x54mmR and supplied by Stembridge Gun Rentals.

Colt 1895 machine gun - .30-40 Krag
While still in training, the Rough Riders try out their new Colt 1895 Machine Guns
The Colt machine gun in action for the first time in Cuba.
One of the Colts guarding the perimeter while the commander of the Rough Riders, Col. Leonard Wood (Dale Dye) scans with his binoculars.
One of the Colts in action during the Battle of Kettle Hill.
Both of the Colts and a captured German Maxim machine gun (manned by Craig Wadsworth and Chris Noth) are used to provide fire support from Kettle Hill against the Spanish fortifications on San Juan Hill during the American attack on the hill.
William Tiffany (James Parks) mans one of the Colts.

1895 Argentine Maxim Machine Gun

Though historically inaccurate, a Maxim Gun is used for dramatic effect and to foreshadow World War I. The machine gun (in the film supposedly provided by German Advisers to the Spanish Army) was supposed to be an 1884 Maxim prototype machine gun (the type distributed by Hiram Maxim to warring parties in conflicts like the Transvaal Boer War), but there is little proof that Maxims were used by the Spaniards in the war. After taking Kettle Hill, the Rough Riders use the Maxim along with their Colt machine guns to fire on San Juan Hill.

Maxim 1895 on tripod - 7.92x57mm Mauser
Spanish troops fire at the advancing American forces
The Maxim in action.
Wadsworth (Chris Noth) mans the captured Maxim Gun.


Multiple artillery pieces are used by both the Spanish and American forces during the Battle of San Juan Hill. According to the August 1997 issue of Guns & Ammo, the artillery pieces are two breech loaded 1891 2.5 inch Krupp field guns, an altered French 75mm gun (the steel splinter shield was removed), a two pounder Hotchkiss mountain gun, and a Hotchkiss revolving cannon.

Spanish troops ready a 1891 2.5 inch Krupp field gun.
American troops bring up a French Canon de 75 modèle 1897 (sans shield).
A Hotchkiss revolving cannon is loaded...
...and fired at Spanish fortifications.
A Hotchkiss mountain gun is fired.


Group Photos

The survivors gather on top of San Juan Hill after the battle is over. Included is a recreation of the famous photo of Roosevelt and the Rough Riders.


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