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Prairie Hunters in Mexico (Präriejäger in Mexiko)

From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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Prairie Hunters in Mexico
(Präriejäger in Mexiko)
Prariejager in Mexiko DVD.jpg
DVD Cover
Country GDR.jpg East Germany
Directed by Hans Knötzsch
Release Date 1988
Language German
Studio DEFA
Fernsehen der DDR
Main Cast
Character Actor
Black Gérard Kolio Donchev
Vulture Beak Djoko Rosic
Bear Eye Gojko Mitic
Benito Juarez Helmut Schellhardt
Pablo Cortejo Leon Niemczyk
Josefa Cortejo Anna Maria Petrova
Little André Andreas Schmidt-Schaller
Lord Lindsay Heinz Schröder
Col. Lamarel Giso Weißbach

Prairie Hunters in Mexico (Präriejäger in Mexiko) is a 1988 East German two-part made for TV Western ("Red Western") movie directed by Hans Knötzsch and based on several novels (notably "Waldroschen") by Karl May. The story is set in 1865-1867 during the French-Mexican war. Adventurers Black Gérard (Kolio Donchev) and Vulture Beak (Djoko Rosic), teaming with the chief of the Mixtec Indians Bear Eye (Gojko Mitic), help the Mexican leader Benito Juarez to get the transport of weapons and counter plans of Pablo Cortejo who wants to seize the power of President Juarez.

This is the last appearance of Gojko Mitic in DEFA Westerns, started in 1966 in The Sons of Great Bear (but not last his appearance in Western genre).

The movie was mostly filmed in USSR and Bulgaria that affects the choice of screen weapons. Most of screen guns doesn't match the time of French-Mexican war.

The following weapons were used in the film Prairie Hunters in Mexico (Präriejäger in Mexiko):


Smith & Wesson No.3 Russian 3rd Model

Most revolvers in the movie are Smith & Wesson No.3 Russian Model, 3rd Model (some appear to be of 2nd Model, see below).

Note: see additional images on talk page.

Smith & Wesson No 3 Russian Model - .44 Russian
Settlers, stopped by Mexican bandits, surrender their revolvers. A revolver at the foreground seems to have longer barrel and can be 2nd Model while others are supposed to be 3rd Model.
A bandit draws his revolver.
Vulture Beak (Djoko Rosic) draws his revolver.
Vulture Beak hands his gun to Lord Lindsay (Heinz Schröder).
Pablo Cortejo (Leon Niemczyk) holds a Smith & Wesson. It appears to be 3rd Model.
Pablo Cortejo holds a Smith & Wesson.
Little André (Andreas Schmidt-Schaller) holds his revolver during the liberation of Mexicans, sentenced to death.
Black Gérard takes the revolver from Porter and hands it back to Vulture Beak.
Cortejo fires his revolver.

Smith & Wesson No.3 Russian 2rd Model

Some Smith & Wesson Russian Model revolvers seem to have longer barrel, like Russian 2nd Model.

Smith & Wesson No 3 Russian Model, 2nd Pattern - .44 Russian. 2nd Pattern has longer barrel (7 inch vs 6.5 inch on 3rd Pattern) and different front sight.
Settlers, stopped by Mexican bandits, surrender their revolvers. A revolver at the foreground seems to have longer barrel and can be 2nd Model.
Cortejo's henchman Passo (Jan Spitzer) holds a Smith & Wesson. This revolver seems to have longer barrel and can be 2nd Model.
Another view of Passo's Smith & Wesson.
The captain (Pedro Hebenstreit) of the steamer, delivering weapons, holds a Smith & Wesson. This revolver seems to have longer barrel and can be 2nd Model.
The captain fires at Cortejo's henchmen who try to board the ship.
Cortejo's henchman Lalo (Günter Schubert) holds a Smith & Wesson.
Another view of Lalo's revolver. It seems to have longer barrel and can be 2nd Model.
Prariejager in Mexiko-SWMod3-20.jpg
One of Cortejo's henchmen confronts Porter. This revolver seems to have longer barrel and can be 2nd Model.

Smith & Wesson Model 3

Some Smith & Wesson revolver of earlier Model 3 are also seen.

Smith & Wesson Model 3 Russian 1st Model - .44 Russian. The original American Model is identical, only chambered for .44 S&W American.
A settler, survived after bandits' attack, hands a revolver to an aged man (Vsevolod Safonov). The revolver has wide grip and lacks the spur on trigger guard; possibly it's a Russian 1st Model.
Black Gérard (Kolio Donchev) disarms plainclothes French Captain (Roland Seidler) of a Smith & Wesson revolver (seen in Gérard's left hand; in right hand Gérard holds his own Warnant revolver (see below)).

Smith & Wesson .44 Double Action

Smith & Wesson .44 Double Action revolvers (possibly a European produced version) are used by several characters, notably by Vulture Beak (Djoko Rosic). It appears to be a single prop, reused in several scenes.

Smith & Wesson .44 Double Action - .44 Russian
A Mexican bandit (Nartay Begalin) holds a revolver that appears to be a Smith & Wesson Double Action.
A young settler holds the revolver of disarmed bandit.
A French officer (Jörg Kleinau) holds a S&W Double Action revolver. In this scene it is seen that the revolver fires in DA mode.
Vulture Beak, disguised as Lord Lindsay, holds a revolver.
He carries the revolver tucked in his belt.
Another view of the revolver.
Prariejager in Mexiko-SWDA-7.jpg
Vulture Beak holds Lalo at gunpoint.

Warnant Russian Model

Black Gérard's (Kolio Donchev) revolver, used in several scenes, appears to be a Warnant Russian Model revolver.

Warnant Russian Model - .44 Russian
Prariejager in Mexiko-Revolver-1.jpg
Black Gérard aims his revolver at plainclothes French Captain (Roland Seidler).
Another view of Gérard's revolver.
French officer (Jörg Kleinau) carries the revolver, taken from arrested Gérard.
A good view of the revolver. Note the typical "hump" on the back of the frame that allows to differ this revolver from Smith & Wesson models.
Gérard carries the revolver in holster. The grip is seen.

Chamelot-Delvigne Model 1873

French Army Col. Lamarel (Giso Weißbach) carries a Chamelot-Delvigne Model 1873 revolver. What appears to be same model is seen in holster of Mexican President Benito Juarez (Helmut Schellhardt).

Chamelot-Delvigne Mle. 1873 (factory bare finish) - 11x17.8mmR
President Juarez carries a revolver in holster.
Col. Lamarel (in center) carries a revolver in holster.
Bear Eye (Gojko Mitic) with Lamarel's revolver.
The smooth cylinder of the revolver is seen at the background.

Webley Bulldog

A compact revolver of Webley Bulldog family is used by Josefa Cortejo (Anna Maria Petrova), the daughter of Pablo Cortejo. The revolver has folding trigger and while, possibly pearl grips.

A Belgian version of Webley Bulldog with folding trigger - .320
Josefa aims a pocket revolver at Porter.
Prariejager in Mexiko-Bulldog-2.jpg
Treator Lalo shoots Josefa's revolver off her hand. The pearl grip and folding trigger can be seen.
Josefa fires at Black Gérard.


Martini Action Schuetzen Rifle

In several scenes Black Gérard (Kolio Donchev), Bear Eye (Gojko Mitic) and some Indians, Mexican bandits and Juarez' men are armed with single shot Martini action Schuetzen rifles, popular German target and hunting guns.

Note: see additional images on talk page.

German manufactured Martini Action Schuetzen Rifle
Martini-Stahl system Schuetzen Rifle - 8.15x46mm R
A Mexican bandit is shot and drops his rifle. The lever matches Martini-Stahl system.
Bear Eye fires at bandits.
Black Gérard's rifle.
Prariejager in Mexiko-Schuetzen-7.jpg
French Sergeant holds the rifle, taken from arrested Black Gérard.
Bear Eye with rifle.
Gérard with his rifle.
A Mixtec warrior holds a rifle. The lever looks different from other Schuetzen rifles, seen in the movie.

Remington Rolling Block

Remington Rolling Block rifles are used by adventurer Jimmy Porter (Joachim Siebenschuh), an aged settler (Vsevolod Safonov) and crewmembers of Lord Lindsay's steamer. It is the least anachronistic firearm in the film, with production narrowly overlapping with the very end of the conflict.

Remington Rolling Block Militarized - .45 caliber
Prariejager in Mexiko-RemingtonRB-1.jpg
An aged settler with Remington Rolling Block rifle.
A guard on steamer sleeps with his rifle at hand.
Prariejager in Mexiko-RemingtonRB-4.jpg
Steamer crewmember fires at Cortejo's henchmen, trying to board the ship.
Prariejager in Mexiko-RemingtonRB-6.jpg
Porter holds his rifle. It is seen in darkness but still can be identified as Rolling Block.

Krnka M1869

In one scene Mexicans of Juarez' army use rifles that appear to be Krnka M1869. These antique rifles were used in Bulgaria as late as 1915, and some survived in film studio arsenals even in 1980s. A rifle that also is supposed to be Krnka is used by a crewmember on Lord Lindsay's steamer.

Russian M1869 Krnka Rifle - 15,24x40mmR
Crewmembers of Lord Lindsay's steamer fire at Cortejo's henchmen. A man at the right holds a supposed Krnka.
Mexicans hold rifles.
Prariejager in Mexiko-Krnka-2.jpg
A firing squad prepares to execute French Col. Lamarel.
Prariejager in Mexiko-Krnka-4.jpg
Closer view of a rifle. Note a high profile rear sight, a sign of Riflemen rifle (opposed to Infantry rifle that had flat rear sight).
A barrel is seen.

Chassepot M1866

In several scenes Mexican and French soldiers carry rifles that appear to be Chassepot 1866 (Gras Model 1874 is also possible guess but some detailes allow to tend to Chassepot). Chassepot rifles were also used in Bulgaria, though not for such long time as Krnka. If it is indeed a Chassepot, it would actually be temporarily plausible for the final part of the conflict.

Chassepot Fusil modele 1866 - 11 mm
Mexican soldiers of Juarez' army on guard. Their rifles are fitted with Yataghan bayonet, matching ones used with Chassepot rifles. The position of bottom rifle sling swivel on the buttstock also matches Chassepot.
A French soldier on guard carries Chassepot rifle.
The barrel is seen.
The guard readies his rifle.

Mauser Gewehr 1871

Mauser Gewehr 1871 rifles are also seen in the movie. Jaeger short rifles are used by Little André (Andreas Schmidt-Schaller) and Bear Eye (Gojko Mitic) while full-length rifles are seen in hands of Little André, inn owner Pirnero (Hans Knötzsch) and his daughter Residella (Ulrike Mai).

Mauser Infanterie-Gewehr Modell 1871 - 11.15x60mmR Mauser
Mauser Gewehr 1871 Jaeger - 11x60mmR
Prariejager in Mexiko-Rifle-4.jpg
Little André with full-length Mauser 1871.
Bear Eye hands a rifle to Little André.
Another view of the same scene. The finger rest is seen that is the typical feature of Jaeger model.
The rifle in hands of Little André.
Residella raises the rifle on Cortejo and his men. Note three barrel bands that match full-length Infantry rifle.
The rifle in hands of Pirnero.

Unidentified rifles

One of Cortejo's henchmen is armed with a carbine that resembles short Mauser rifle, fitted with a brass top barrel band in style of 18th - early 19th century muskets.

Cortejo's henchman holds a carbine.
A close view of the muzzle.
Prariejager in Mexiko-Rifle-9.jpg
Another view of the carbine.

In one scene a French soldier carries a rifle, fitted with bayonet that looks very similar to Russian models, issued for Krnka and Berdan rifles.

Prariejager in Mexiko-Rifle-2.jpg
A French soldier, escorting arrested Black Gérard, holds a rifle with Russian-style bayonet.

When crewmembers of Lord Lindsay's steamer fire at Cortejo's henchmen, an unidentified rifle is seen.

A man at the left holds an unidentified rifle. It resembles Remington Rolling Block but still appears to be some different model.

See Also

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