What doesn't he use?!
He carries about 10 pistols, so you really have asked a loaded question there!
I think they dragged out every black powder gun in the prop room for that movie!
If you are talking about the big horse pistols in the posters, they are Dragoons, he also carried Remingtons, Colt Navy, Colt Army in both .44 and .36, A sheriffs special, some pocket pistols, usually in .31, ect.
At one point they were even using a revolving rifle.
That's a rifle with a cylinder that revolves like a pistol!
In one version of the movie, he pulls out a pepper box of unknown make and hands it to one of the women!
(pepper box: a pistol with multipule revolving barrels)
Just a little bit of everything!
'Josey Whales' was what they called an 'Irregular' or 'Guerrilla' soldier... If there is any such thing.
As a retired military man, I don't view 'Soldiers' and 'Guerrilla' in the same format, and the two don't overlap.
But my opinion doesn't count in movie land!
A Guerrilla fighter would have used what ever he could lay hands on,
Civilian market, black market, battle field pickup, issued military... Whatever they could beg, borrow or steal.
Some history about brass frames.
Brass was often used because it was cheaper and easier to work into firearms than steel.
Until our 'War Between The States' (nothing civil about it) Steel was hard to get a hold of and only produced in very small quantities.
Quality control was virtually non existent.
Brass was much cheaper, more consistent, and could be smelted by about any small blacksmiths shop.
The Confederacy used many brass frame copies of Union firearms simply because they didn't have the facilities or resources to make or work steel.
When you see an orignal pistol from the war that is a brass frame, you can bet even money that it was made in the Confederacy.
Now, I know these aren't the movie guns, but I accumulate brass frame firearms around here...
1. The top pistol has a top strap above the cylidner, so this one is a Remington type in .44 Cal.
2. The next one down is a Navy Colt type in .44 Cal.
3. Is the Colt type New Model Army in ..44 Cal. Notice the formed and rounded barrel and under barrel lug.
4. Is the Colt Navy type in .36 Cal.
5. Is a 4 barrel 'Pepper Box' in .31 Cal.
There were 'Pepper Boxes' made with up to 12 barrels, but I sure wouldn't want to shoot one!
Pepper Box barrels were rotated by hand, one shot at a time, but sometimes the things would 'Chain Fire', and a bunch, if not all, barrels would fire at once or right behind the other like a machine gun!