In many images of LBH, Custer is usually seen using a pistol, or 2 pistols, or a pistol in one hand and sword in the other, or just a sword. Has there been any showing him firing his rifle, or even holding his rifle in one hand whilst firing a pistol in the other ?
I know of two Last Stands with Custer rifles by the great Civil War sketch artist Alfred R. Waud, who knew Custer and who rode with him on the Charlottesville Raid.
The first was one of the earliest Last Stands. It was one of the illustrations done for the Whittaker biography. It is often reproduced. Titled "Custer's Last Fight," Custer is surrounded by six soldiers, dead, dying and fighting, while mounted Indians, some carrying captured guidons, ride past, and dismounted Indians close in. Custer, wearing moccasins or leggings, is aiming a pistol in his right hand and holding the barrel of a rifle in his left.
Waud did another version, titled "The Last Battle," that appears to correct the earlier version. In this Custer holds his rifle at the ready; there are fewer Indians all on foot; Custer and his men are on a hill; and a dead horse is in the foregound. Custer wears boots but also wears a saber.
Neither version matches the quality of Waud's Civil War sketches, perhaps because of the process by which pictures were reproduced for printing often sucked out the life. I don't think Waud's original sketches for the Last Stands have ever been published, if they even exist.
"The Last Command," by Kirk Stirnweiss, has a kneeling and wounded Custer aiming his pistol while holding his rifle by the front stock.
Thankyou for your very detailed answer. Also, the only filmed occasion where I seen an actor portraying Custer using a rifle at Little Bighorn was in The Wild West: Custer's Last Stand drama-documentary. When I saw that, I found it quite unusual, as I had never seen this depicted before in any other films or programmes.