In his book, Colt Sixguns, Mr. Severn DOES show photo's of spare cylinder pouches, and explains why it was that so few are around today. When the Cartridge guns became more readily available, the need for a fully loaded spare cylinder no longer existed, so the spare cylinder pouches, were then tossed onto a shelf in the barn, where they soon became Mouse & Rat chewed. However evidence DOES exist that SOME people did carry spare cylinders! There is a quote from Pony Bob Haslem, an early Pony Express rider, who in telling of his first ride for that legendary operation, wrote that he saddled his horse , put his carbine in the saddle scabbard, and strapped his Colt revolver on with two spare cylinders.
Now I have never said that ALL persons who carried pistols carried Spare Cylinders! But I have no doubt, that man being an inventive creature, SOME classes of people, Law enforcement Officers, Teamsters, Scouts for either Wagon Trains or the Army, and SOME isolated Cavalrymen, (At their own expense!) carried spare cylinders. I wrote several postings on this subject a few months ago, and even Hawg admitted that it was possible. In Severn's book, there was even a photo of a spare cylinder pouch for a revolving Rifle. Possibly a Root model of 1855! Back in the 1990's, when I was carrying Betsy & Clementine, I often used to practice changing cylinders on horseback. I had a pair of Pommel Bags I made for myself, and After a trial period to get Dear Old Hank used to the explosions off his back, I found that he WOULD co-operate. I'd bring him to a halt, and growl, "Now Stand You Old Bastard!" Then slip out the empty and drop in into the pommel bag, then unsnap one of the pouches I kept on the belt, remove the fresh cylinder, insert it into the gun, and reholster, then fasten the Doofer on the pommel bag. Then had Hank behaved himself, I'd pat his neck and tell him he was a,"Good Boy!" I guess I could do all this in about 20 seconds. Now indoors, I could change cylinders on the Remington's in 7 or 8 seconds, I owned at that time a Colt Walker, and even with all the tools laid out on the table, I NEVER was able to remove, and re-install the cylinder on that gun in under 45 seconds! It was not possible to remove the wedge on that Walker with bare fingers! So I had a screwdriver and a pair of pliers laid out on the table in case! I quite frequently shot off as many as four cylinders while riding Hank around that Rainbow Valley area of Buckeye, Az. I never dropped a cylinder, largely because Hank was SUCH a Good Boy! I REALLY loved that horse, and miss him still! Once he got it into his head, what it was you wanted, he'd do it for you willingly!
So, to sum up, SOME people whose professions took them,"Into harms way," undoubtedly DID carry spare cylinders for their revolvers, whether they be Colt or Remington. I have never said that I believed that ALL revolver Owners carried them! Just the men whose jobs put them in situations, where a spare cylinder could have possibly save their lives! I know very well that had I been born in 1836, instead of 1936, I MOST DEFINITELY would have carried a few. Just look at the members of this forum, and you will find that the MAJORITY do NOT have spare cylinders. ( Whereas Odd Balls, Like myself, have thirteenl of them!) At heart, I am a Gunman, and often wish that
some of my problems in the past could have been settled with a gun. But as John Wayne said in the movie, "Big Jake," near the end, when he
was talking to the Indian, "Times Change!" Another 19th. Century Author, whose name temporarily escapes me, wrote a history of the Pony Express, and said, (This is not word for word!) that in the beginning, the riders carried a carbine and two six-shooters, However the pony Express never was a money making business, and Russel, Majors, & Waddel soon forbade the carrying of the carbine. (Because of the weight factor!) and for the same reason, also frowned on the second revolver. Toward the end of the Pony Express, (It only ran for about 18 months!)
Rider's carried one revolver, and the Company even frowned on the extra cylinder. However, regardless of all this, the Remington Revolver was hands Down the more efficient when it came to, "Handiness," and speed of reloading. No IF's, BUT's, or Maybe's! The design of the Remington, with it's solid fame. and the ease with which it could be reloaded with a fresh loaded cylinder, makes the Colt Design look like one
of those fanciful comic designs that used to appear from time to time in newspapers and Magazines! My honest opinion of the Colt design, was that it is a piece of JUNK, when compared to the Remington! To those of you who cherish your Colts, I say, "Well good luck to you!" However I'll wager long odds, that if you ever had to face a situation where you were being shot at, and had to fire back, when it came to reload that Colt, you'd wish for a Remington! (Or TWO of them!)