Rough Riders

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Rough Riders (1997)

Rough Riders is a 1997 TNT 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 following weapons can be seen in Rough Riders:

Contents



Handguns

Colt Peacemaker

The Colt Peacemaker is used by Lt. Colonel Teddy Roosevelt (Tom Berenger) and other U.S. Army officers. Historically speaking, Roosevelt used a .38 caliber double action Colt revolver that had been recovered from the U.S.S. Maine in Havana Harbor after it was sunk (see Colt 1889). 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
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Colt 1878 Double Action

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

Colt 1878 Double Action - .45 Colt
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Bisley Colt Single Action Army

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

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 mini-series.
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 New Army and Navy Revolver

War correspondent Edward Marshall (William Katt) carries and uses a Colt New Army and Navy Revolver. At one one point he also uses a Krag-Jorgensen M1896 Carbine. Obviously the definition of "Non-Combatant" has changed over the past 112 years.

Colt New Army & Navy (38 LC), US revolver from 1892 until adoption of M1909 New Service variant.
Marshall on the right (William Katt) with holstered Colt New Army and 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. 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.
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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.

Major Funston (Pablo Espinosa) displays the Cuban "artillery" to General Wheeler (Gary Busey)
Major Funston (Pablo Espinosa) during a more tense moment.

Mauser C96 Broomhandle

The C96 Mauser Broomhandle is used by German military advisers to the Spanish Army, Spanish officers and Henry Nash (Brad Johnson) during the Battle for 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 C96 Mauser Broomhandle.
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 for 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. Cav, 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 & 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 1895 Winchester) and chambered in 35 Winchester. Also Roosevelt 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.
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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

Used by several of the regiment's officers to include Bucky O'Neill (Sam Elliott). After O'Neill (Sam Elliott) is killed his Winchester is used by Henry Nash (Brad Johnson) during the Battle for Kettle and San Juan Hills. Like the 1895 rifle the assumption is the carbines are also chambered for 30-40 Krag. The pair on the show was chambered in .30-40 Krag and was supplied by Ellis Mercantile.-Phoenixent

Winchester Model 1895 carbine .30 Cal - Commercial. Among the various calibers the 1895 was chambered for was the 30/40 Krag.
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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".
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Winchester 1873

Winchester Model 1873 Rifles are 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-Jorgensen Carbine

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

1896 U.S.Krag-Jorgensen carbine
Sgt. Farnsworth (Freddie Joe Farnsworth) gives the 1st Volunteer U.S. Cavalry its first training session for the Model 1896 Krag-Jorgensen carbine.
The instructor demonstrates the accuracy of the carbine.
The Rough Riders begin their basic rifle training with the Krag-Jorgensen M1896 carbine.
One of the regiment's officers takes aim during the unit's first firefight.
Nash (Brad Johnson) with his Krag-Jorgensen carbine.
One of the regiment's troopers uses improvised aiming sticks during a firefight.
Lt. Castillo (Francesco Quinn) advances under Spanish fire during the Battle for 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 solider that he just shot.
Craig Wadsworth (Chris Noth) with his Krag-Jorgensen M1896 Carbine at the end of the Battle for San Juan Hill.

Chilean Model 1895 Mauser - 7x57mm

The production was supplied with Chilean 1895 Mauser rifles in 7x57mm by both Stembridge Gun Rentals and Ellis Mercantile.

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 for San Juan Hill.

Argentine Model 1891 Mauser

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

Mauser 1891 - 7.65 x 53mm
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-Jorgensen rifles at this time.

Springfield Trapdoor 1879 - .45-70.
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.

Shotgun

Remington Model 1889 Double Barreled Shotgun

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) is struggling 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

Colt 1873 Gatling Gun

The Colt 1873 Gatling Gun is used by the American Army during the Battle for San Juan Hill.

An 1865 Gatling Gun.
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Colt Model 1895 Automatic Machine Gun

Two Colt Model 1895 Machine Guns are used by the Rough Riders for fire support. The script has that the two 1895's are a gift from Lewis Tiffany. Unknown if this is factual. The pair on the show were actually Model 1914 made by Marlin and chambered in 7.62 x 54mmR Russian and supplied by Stembridge Gun Rentals.

Colt 1895 machine gun in 30-40 Krag
While still in training the Rough Riders tryout 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 for Kettle Hill.
Both of the Colts and a captured German Maxim machine gun (manned by Craig Wadsworth & Chris Noth) are used to provide fire support from Kettle Hill against the Spanish fortifications on San Juan Hill while other American forces are attacking San Juan.
William Tiffany (James Parks) mans one of the Colts.
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1895 Argentine Maxim Machine Gun

Though historically inaccurate a Maxim Gun is used for dramatic effect and to foreshadow World War One. The machine gun (in the film supposedly provided by German Advisers to the Spanish Army) was supposed to be an 1884 Maxim Prototype 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
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Spanish troops fire at the advancing American forces
The Maxim in action.
Wadsworth (Chris Noth) mans the captured Maxim Gun

Artillery

Artillery

There are multiple screencaps of the artillery used by both the Spanish and American forces during the Battle for San Juan Hill. I am unable to identify the various pieces so I will leave it for somebody more familiar with field artillery than I am. I can tell you that according to the August 1997 issue of Guns & Ammo the artillery pieces were two breech loaded 1891 2.5 inch Krupp field guns, an altered French 75mm gun (the steel splinter shield was removed), a two pounder Hotckiss mountain gun and a Hotchkiss revolving cannon.

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Miscellaneous

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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