Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Weaponry used within the Five Points Riots (19th century)? Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Richard Jao





Joined: 15 Jun 2010

Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sun 04 Jul, 2010 10:44 pm    Post subject: Weaponry used within the Five Points Riots (19th century)?         Reply with quote

After watching Gangs of New York, I started to wonder exactly what kind of weaponry was actually used during those riots. As cool as the film looked, I'm fairly certain that Martin Scorcese took a good number of liberties with the materials.

Would anybody know what kind of melee weapons and firearms would've been used at the time? Or to be more general, what kind of weaponry would've been around New York during the 19th century?
View user's profile Send private message
A. Spanjer




Location: USA
Joined: 26 Apr 2009

Posts: 242

PostPosted: Tue 06 Jul, 2010 6:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This isn't really my main area of interest, but I'll give it a shot...

Having never seen the movie, I looked it up on Wikipedia, the article mentioned Shillaghs. That's probably pretty accurate, as there were a lot of poor, Irish immigrants at that time, and the Shillelagh would have been a weapon they knew how to make. There probably would have also been all sorts of knives, homemade clubs, and of course firearms. Probably mostly percussion cap pistols, but there may have been some long arms as well, probably even a few flintlocks.

Other Victorian weapons (such as sword canes) may have also been in New York at the time, but probably only in the hands of the wealthier Gentlemen.

Hope that helps!

Na sir 's na seachain an cath.
View user's profile Send private message
Sean Flynt
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Joined: 21 Aug 2003
Likes: 10 pages
Reading list: 13 books

Spotlight topics: 7
Posts: 5,935

PostPosted: Tue 06 Jul, 2010 7:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd say the weapons were pretty reasonable, given the fact that so many trades required the use of large knives, hatchets, etc. Also consider the popularity of bowies and the general tendency of men in that period to carry knives of all kinds.

Check this search result:
http://books.google.com/books?id=ceY_ISKGRIsC...mp;f=false

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
P. L. Gross




Location: Adirondacks, NY
Joined: 11 Jun 2009
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 17

PostPosted: Wed 07 Jul, 2010 5:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hatchets and large knives were the most common edged weapons available, as virtually every household had them. Any swords that showed up would most likely have been antiquated military models like sabers, not the broadsword the Priest was carrying. Clubs/shillelaghs, canes, staffs, and prybars were also widely available as impact weapons. Probably the most common of all, at least in a riot situation, were good old paving stones and bricks. Most firearms were well out of most immigrant's price range, but small single shot derringers were a possibility as they were fairly cheap. During the actual gang riot the movie was based on, if I recall correctly, there were a total of six fatalities, and it lasted a couple of days.
From his weapons on the open road no man should step one pace away; you don't know for certain when you're on the open road when you might have need of your spear.
-Havamal
View user's profile Send private message
Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,924

PostPosted: Wed 07 Jul, 2010 5:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ignore the movie entirely and look at the histories and timelines.

Quote:
used during those riots


Which riots? What timeline?

GC

Google Images New York Draft Riots
View user's profile Send private message
Gert-Jan Beukers




Location: Voorhout, The Netherlands
Joined: 02 Mar 2009

Posts: 30

PostPosted: Thu 08 Jul, 2010 1:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You guys all forget the good ol' broken beerbottle! Beerbottles were (almost) everywhere available, and it was a very nasty weapon.
Correct me if I'm wrong.... I'm dutch
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
MB Tharp




Location: IN
Joined: 02 Feb 2008

Posts: 15

PostPosted: Fri 09 Jul, 2010 7:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dennis Miles was the smith making those blades

http://www.doubleedgeforge.com/

You can't take the Sky from Me!
View user's profile Send private message
Adam D. Kent-Isaac




Location: Indiana
Joined: 21 Apr 2009
Reading list: 2 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 297

PostPosted: Fri 09 Jul, 2010 10:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some of them probably used baseball bats; baseball was extremely popular at that time especially in New York. I'm not sure how much historical accuracy those "nailbats" have that you sometimes see - baseball bats with nails hammered through them - but it would not surprise me at all if people used to make them back then. Another effective weapon would probably be a baseball bat soaked in glue and rolled in broken glass, although that is completely my imagination talking and I have no idea if it was actually common.
Pastime With Good Company
View user's profile Send private message
Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Sun 11 Jul, 2010 6:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Read the original Gangs of New York book--the one published in the late 1920s/early 1930s. A new edition of sorts was released to tie in with the movie, so you shouldn't have that much difficulty finding the book (at least in the new paperback form) in large bookstores or particularly well-stocked used-book shops. Just from memory--since I lent the book to a friend and hasn't got it back--the text mentions a very large variety of weapons from brickbats to brass knuckles, blackjacks, and firearms in use during the Draft Riots.
View user's profile Send private message
Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
Joined: 19 Feb 2004
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,576

PostPosted: Sun 11 Jul, 2010 11:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, on the side of Order™, the New York times fielded three brand new M1962 Gatling guns to defend the freedom of the press...
"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
David Sutton




Location: Bolton, UK
Joined: 06 Mar 2007
Likes: 15 pages
Reading list: 39 books

Posts: 230

PostPosted: Sun 11 Jul, 2010 2:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Adam D. Kent-Isaac wrote:
Some of them probably used baseball bats; baseball was extremely popular at that time especially in New York...


There might also have been a few cricket bats used too.

Suprisingly until around the 1850's, when baseball began to take over, cricket was a fairly popular game in the US. The first international cricket match was played in 1844 between the USA and Canada.

'Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all'

'To teach superstitions as truth is a most terrible thing'

Hypatia of Alexandria, c400AD
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Weaponry used within the Five Points Riots (19th century)?
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2020 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum