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 Thinking about a 1851 or 1860 Colt, maybe a remington 1858????
Sumoj275  [Member]
4/20/2011 11:47:24 AM
Seeing how the American Civil War started 150 yrs ago this year I have thought about doing something in a revolver that would commemorate the event. I know all three of these revolvers were used in the Civil War, and I would like ideas as to which company would have the best quality. I plan on shooting it, maybe even carrying it in the field from time to time. Any thoughts?
Thanks
Casper507  [Member]
4/20/2011 1:37:54 PM
Uberti makes the best replicas.
Also used in the civil war were the 3rd model Dragoon, Baby Dragoons, 1861 Navy, Starr, LeMatt.
You can get cartridge conversions for a number of them. 1861 Navy conversion drop in uses 38 wadcutters loaded short. Put them in upside down for added effect. You can get a drop in 45 cylinder for the Remington and the grip has more room behind trigger.
The LeMatt was 9 shots with shotgun barrel in center of cylinder. It was also feels amazing in the hand compared to how ungainly it looks in a picture. I'd get one of these if the only gun I could have was a muzzle loader. The Starr has both single and double action.
DakotaFAL  [Member]
4/20/2011 3:03:57 PM
It depends:

1. 1851s showed up on both sides to a greater degree than 1858's or 1860's, so if you want one pistol to represent both sides, the 1851 makes more sense.
2. 1858's are a lot stronger and are better shooters in my opinion, so if you want a shooter, the 1858 makes the most sense.
3. 1860's speak for the northern cause like no other, so if you are dyed in the wool yankee, then get an 1860.
4. I love the 2nd and 3rd model dragoons, but they were not what you'd call "common" compared to the three mentioned above.
GRMGR1  [Member]
4/20/2011 5:19:16 PM
The Uberti's are the nicest overall. I currently own one of their third model Dragoons. It's a beautiful revolver, but it's a big heavy beast. You won't be packing one of those around very far. I used to own an 1858 and liked it pretty well, but it just wasn't visually appealing to me. They're practical, but ugly. I'd go 1860 or 1851.
HellifIknow  [Team Member]
4/20/2011 9:24:24 PM
Any of the three are historically correct.

Ballistically the 1858 Remmie and 1860 Colt are same same. Both use a .45 caliber ball. Max charge in the Colt is about 30grs with the Remmie a touch more.
Max velocities will be about 700-750fps..
The '51 uses a .375 ball at about the same velocity so it isn't as "powerful".
You can do more shooting with the '51 because it uses less powder and lead per shot.

Uberti makes the nicest reproductions currently.
Pietta are pretty close.
Avoid Palmetto, CVA, Euroarms.

At blackpowder pressures the open top '51 and '60 Colt's are fine.

If you really want to up the power get a Dragoon or Walker clone.
Dragoons allow up to about 50gr powder loads.
The Walker will allow a 60gr powder load. Pushing a 45 caliber ball right up around 1000fps it isn't a slouch of a gun.
Heavy biotches tho.
IMO, the 3rd Model Dragoon is best of both worlds.
Sumoj275  [Member]
4/22/2011 2:32:30 AM
Thanks guys. SO really i need to get a '51 and a '60. Third Model Dragoon, need to read on that one.
Tomtbo  [Life Member]
4/22/2011 8:32:02 AM
Have Pietta replica 1858 Rem and 1860 Colt. Beware!!! Your next step will be holsters, then belts, then cartridge pouches, uniforms .............
Alazakla  [Team Member]
4/22/2011 10:03:09 AM
If you plan to do a lot of shooting, go with the '58 Remmy with spare cylinders.
Remember "The Outlaw Josey Wales"? The '58 Remmy has the advantage of swapping empty cylinders for loaded ones very easily.

Whichever you get, replace the stock nipples with Treso nipples for better cap fit (i.e. - consistent ignition), and longer life. Stock nipple flash holes are not always the same size. Also.... NO DRY FIRING with these guns! This WILL mushroom the nipples and "open" the hammer-to-nipple gap, causing the caps NOT to pop.

Good cap fit and proper sized projectiles (a thin lead ring should be shaved off when rammed in the chamber) are the keys to reliable shooting and no chainfires. (Lube over the projectiles is to keep the fouling soft so the gun runs longer).

HellifIknow  [Team Member]
4/22/2011 10:19:27 PM
Originally Posted By Sumoj275:
Thanks guys. SO really i need to get a '51 and a '60. Third Model Dragoon, need to read on that one.


In the best of ARF tradition: Get all THREE!

and post up AAR or we all come over, tie you down, and drop that new Dragoon on your toe!

DakotaFAL  [Member]
4/24/2011 7:25:00 PM
The walker colt, and first thru third model dragoons are horse pistols that were really intended to be carried in pommel holster carried on the saddle. So... the accessory progression will ultimately end with you buying a horse and a McClelland saddle.

––––––-

In the outlaw Josey wales he used walker colts - one of them with a dragoon style retainer for the loading lever. I have seen Clint swap cylinders on a bp pistol howwever, I just can't recall where.

raf  [Site Staff]
4/24/2011 7:56:44 PM
Originally Posted By Alazakla:
If you plan to do a lot of shooting, go with the '58 Remmy with spare cylinders.
Remember "The Outlaw Josey Wales"? The '58 Remmy has the advantage of swapping empty cylinders for loaded ones very easily.

Whichever you get, replace the stock nipples with Treso nipples for better cap fit (i.e. - consistent ignition), and longer life. Stock nipple flash holes are not always the same size. Also.... NO DRY FIRING with these guns! This WILL mushroom the nipples and "open" the hammer-to-nipple gap, causing the caps NOT to pop.

Good cap fit and proper sized projectiles (a thin lead ring should be shaved off when rammed in the chamber) are the keys to reliable shooting and no chainfires. (Lube over the projectiles is to keep the fouling soft so the gun runs longer).



What he says is the truth. Having been a CivWar re-enactor for while, I had the opportunity to see all the usual––and some unusual pistols ––being fired with blank loads, and most of them with ball. The Remmy is far and away the best.

One thing, though. With black powder, Stainless steel is your friend. Nor appropriate for re-enacting, although SS can easily be over-painted.

Couple more points: The Remmy is very quickly reloaded with pre-loaded cylinders. See the street scene near the end of the Clint Eastwood movie "Pale Rider". It's that quick with a little bit of practice. The Remmy has a rear sight track in the top of the receiver, while the Colt has a so-called rear sight notch in the cocked hammer. If you can drift your front sight in a dovetail on the Remmy, and file-down the FS blade, you will be GTG, and not really need an adjustable rear sight. FWIW, the Remmy has intermediate safety notches on the cylinder, which allow full-loading of cylinders, unlike the Colt.

If you buy a Remmy, make sure to buy spare cylinders for it from the same vendor, and at the same time. That way they will fit properly, and function right.

CivWar suppliers have all sorts of holsters, belts, and so forth. You get what you pay for, for the most part. The period-correct full-flapped holsters help protect the pistol against rain, and with black powder, that is important.

I have a SS Remmy with drift-adjustable FS, and two spare cylinders. It's stronger than any Colt made, easier to care for, and FAR easier to reload quickly. I figure it's worth, to me, at least 3 Colts. YMMV.

FlDiveCop71  [Team Member]
4/25/2011 5:27:03 AM
Originally Posted By DakotaFAL:
I have seen Clint swap cylinders on a bp pistol howwever, I just can't recall where.


As mentioned above, "Pale Rider" was one such film............... though it was using a bp cartridge-converted 1858 Remmy.

Sumoj275  [Member]
4/25/2011 1:29:25 PM
Thanks guys. A local dealer has a 3rd Model Dragoon for about 375, it is not new, but looks new. I looked for a makers mark or name and all I could find is some Italian proof mark stamps. On the cylinder it has cowboys and Indians. I know there is a naval scene on one of the Colts but this has me wondering?
HellifIknow  [Team Member]
4/25/2011 2:03:45 PM
http://www.ssfirearms.com/images/2011%20Catalog/2011%20Catalog%20Repro%20Firearms.pdf
hot link

Link to S & S Firearms. New Ubertis at mucho better price.
Combat_Diver  [Team Member]
4/27/2011 10:17:16 AM
The naval gun battle is one the 1851 Navy. I've got two cap and ball revolvers, a 1851 and 1862 Pocket Police both .36 cal. If you like the 1873 Peacemaker then go with the Navy has that were Colt copied the grip frame from. The 1862 was the 51 frame with the lines and better rammer of the 60'. I haven't shoot mine much this past decade do to deployments but they sure make a wonderful afternoon. I also cast my own .375 round balls. This Italian copies do have safety notches between the nipples to carry all cylinders loaded.

I've been on some federal property where carry pistols are forbidden except during hunting season. Talking to the LEAs there they did not consider BP guns as firearms and allowed me to pack my 51' when hiking/camping.



CD
Dave_Markowitz  [Team Member]
5/16/2011 1:52:05 PM

Originally Posted By Combat_Diver:
The naval gun battle is one the 1851 Navy. I've got two cap and ball revolvers, a 1851 and 1862 Pocket Police both .36 cal. If you like the 1873 Peacemaker then go with the Navy has that were Colt copied the grip frame from. The 1862 was the 51 frame with the lines and better rammer of the 60'. I haven't shoot mine much this past decade do to deployments but they sure make a wonderful afternoon. I also cast my own .375 round balls. This Italian copies do have safety notches between the nipples to carry all cylinders loaded.

I've been on some federal property where carry pistols are forbidden except during hunting season. Talking to the LEAs there they did not consider BP guns as firearms and allowed me to pack my 51' when hiking/camping.

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/medium/P1280006.JPG

CD

Slight correction here. The 1861 Navy has the same frame as the 1851 Navy, but using a barrel and rammer similar to the one on the 1860 Army.

The 1862 Pocket Police was built on the .31 size frame of the 1849 Pocket Models, with a creeping rammer and round barrel. The 1862 Pocket Navy was the equivalent with the older style rammer.

Note that Pietta currently sells an "1862 Police" which is really a shortened 1861 Navy with a semi-fluted cylinder.


Combat_Diver  [Team Member]
5/16/2011 3:12:43 PM
Originally Posted By Dave_Markowitz:

Originally Posted By Combat_Diver:
The naval gun battle is one the 1851 Navy. I've got two cap and ball revolvers, a 1851 and 1862 Pocket Police both .36 cal. If you like the 1873 Peacemaker then go with the Navy has that were Colt copied the grip frame from. The 1862 was the 51 frame with the lines and better rammer of the 60'. I haven't shoot mine much this past decade do to deployments but they sure make a wonderful afternoon. I also cast my own .375 round balls. This Italian copies do have safety notches between the nipples to carry all cylinders loaded.

I've been on some federal property where carry pistols are forbidden except during hunting season. Talking to the LEAs there they did not consider BP guns as firearms and allowed me to pack my 51' when hiking/camping.

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/medium/P1280006.JPG

CD

Slight correction here. The 1861 Navy has the same frame as the 1851 Navy, but using a barrel and rammer similar to the one on the 1860 Army.

The 1862 Pocket Police was built on the .31 size frame of the 1849 Pocket Models, with a creeping rammer and round barrel. The 1862 Pocket Navy was the equivalent with the older style rammer.

Note that Pietta currently sells an "1862 Police" which is really a shortened 1861 Navy with a semi-fluted cylinder.




Thanks for the correction, get typing to fast and don't always proof read. I've got back many times to re-edit something but not in these case.

CD

Tim_the_enchanter  [Team Member]
5/18/2011 5:05:10 AM
I have a Traditions 1851 Colt. It's a .44, which bothers me a bit.
raf  [Site Staff]
5/18/2011 5:17:53 PM
All I can add is that among my friends who are re-enactors, and who bought blued Colt replicas, durn near all of them have told me that they wished they had at least bought a blued Remmy, and a good many have said that buying a stainless Remmy, and painting it would have saved them untold effort and hassle.

The Remmy can be reloaded with pre-loaded cylinders almost as fast as a modern revolver using a speed loader. I can guarantee that I can reload my BP Remmy faster than a guy using a modern revolver without speed loaders. I won a bet on that once, and the loser was pissed, to say the least. I just bet him that I could fire 18 shots faster than he could, with all shots on the paper. I forgot to mention I had two (visible) spare 6-shot cylinders on my belt, and he lost the bet.

Not to mention that the Remmy is inherently a LOT stronger than the open-topped Colt; the Brass-framed
Colts are particularly vulnerable to damage from shooting heavy loads, but all open-topped Colts suffer from this design flaw.

If you are buying a new replica pistol, I can't think of a reason to buy a Colt over a Remmy. Used pistols? Well, I haven't studied the used BP pistol market much, but I suspect that owners of Stainless Steel Remmys don't part with them much. Just a guess..... OTOH, I know of any number of blued Colt owners who are willing to get rid of their pistol. Buyer beware. You will know nothing about the condition of the pistol until after a complete dis-assembly and examination of the internals of the firearm. It is one thing for the outside, visible parts of the BP pistol to be GTG, quite another for the innards to be the same. Again, buyer beware.

FWIW, the best ever mass-produced BP pistol has to be the Ruger New Army. Now, Bill Ruger might hve been politically stupid early-on, but he was always a pretty savvy gun designer. He based the new Army on the Remmy. 'Nuff said.

Stainless Steel, in conjunction with Black Powder, is your friend. Never forget that. Never. Ever.
cougar69  [Member]
5/18/2011 9:22:26 PM
"THE RUGER OLD ARMY"
Dave_Markowitz  [Team Member]
5/19/2011 10:00:06 AM

Originally Posted By raf:
...

FWIW, the best ever mass-produced BP pistol has to be the Ruger New Old Army. Now, Bill Ruger might hve been politically stupid early-on, but he was always a pretty savvy gun designer. He based the new Army on the Remmy. 'Nuff said.

...

The design of Ruger Old Army also owes a lot to the Rogers & Spencer. Specifically, the way the cylinder base pin and loading lever are attached. I never appreciated this until I got a Euroarms Rogers & Spencer replica back in March. The ROA is basically the love child of a Blackhawk (basic mechanism), Remington (cylinder), and the Rogers & Spencer (cylinder base pin and loading lever).

My 1974 ROA:



My Euroarms Rogers & Spencer in "London Gray" finish:



As a shooter, I rate the R&S second only to the ROA. Like the Ruger, it isn't susceptible to cap jams or powder fouling. The Remingtons bind from fouling pretty quickly IME.
Dave_Markowitz  [Team Member]
5/19/2011 10:01:14 AM

Originally Posted By DakotaFAL:
...

In the outlaw Josey wales he used walker colts - one of them with a dragoon style retainer for the loading lever. I have seen Clint swap cylinders on a bp pistol howwever, I just can't recall where.


Pale Rider.

Green_Canoe  [Member]
5/19/2011 12:14:27 PM
I can't argue with any of the negatives listed for Colts. But in my opinion there is nothing sexier than an 1860 Colt:



Hawgleg44  [Team Member]
5/21/2011 4:38:59 AM
My first C&B was a CVA (Armi San Marco) 1858. I shot that so much that the hand/spring assy, trigger and trigger/bolt spring have each been replaced at least 5 times. I've had it since I was 15, and I was just shooting it yesterday, some 20+ years later.

I picked up an Uberti 1858 used that's going to be the base for a cartridge conversion whenever I get around to it.

But, yesterday, I picked up a brass framed 1851 in .44. A friend of mine was shooting it at the club and decided he wanted to sell it then and there for a price I couldn't refuse. I'll shoot light loads with it and use it until it's all worn out, but I don't plan on that happening for several years of heavy use.

If I was only able to own one, I'd get a Remington, either Uberti or Pietta.
Saddler  [Team Member]
5/21/2011 5:38:15 AM
Originally Posted By Green_Canoe:
I can't argue with any of the negatives listed for Colts. But in my opinion there is nothing sexier than an 1860 Colt:



http://www.rebelstatescurrency.com/1860Colt.jpg


...apart from an 1861 Navy!!
raf  [Site Staff]
5/21/2011 7:27:09 PM
Originally Posted By Dave_Markowitz:

Originally Posted By raf:
...

FWIW, the best ever mass-produced BP pistol has to be the Ruger New Old Army. Now, Bill Ruger might hve been politically stupid early-on, but he was always a pretty savvy gun designer. He based the new Army on the Remmy. 'Nuff said.

...

The design of Ruger Old Army also owes a lot to the Rogers & Spencer. Specifically, the way the cylinder base pin and loading lever are attached. I never appreciated this until I got a Euroarms Rogers & Spencer replica back in March. The ROA is basically the love child of a Blackhawk (basic mechanism), Remington (cylinder), and the Rogers & Spencer (cylinder base pin and loading lever).

My 1974 ROA:

http://flintlock.org/zenphoto/cache/ruger-revolvers/dscn0445_595.jpg

My Euroarms Rogers & Spencer in "London Gray" finish:

http://flintlock.org/zenphoto/cache/rogers-and-spencer-revolver/dscn1452_595.jpg

As a shooter, I rate the R&S second only to the ROA. Like the Ruger, it isn't susceptible to cap jams or powder fouling. The Remingtons bind from fouling pretty quickly IME.


You are correct in not only correcting my erroneous mis-naming of the Ruger revolver, but in adding the other design antecedents to the mix.

However, I would point out that in deviating from the Remmy cylinder pin arrangment, Ruger made it impossible to change cylinders quickly, as can be done with the Remmy. This capability can, on occasion, make a great difference in the practical utility of the two pistols.

Heaven forbid that one should be in a gunfight with a BP pistol, but if you only can have one pistol on-hand, make it an easily reloadable Remmy.

With the correct aftermarket nipples installed, and some judicial buttering of the loaded cylinders, the Remmy has neither jammed nor fouled while shooting three cylinders in rapid fire. Not a lengthy test, but if one can't solve one's problem with 18 shots from a BP revolver, perhaps another firearm was called-for from the start.



Hawgleg44  [Team Member]
5/21/2011 7:56:18 PM
Originally Posted By raf:
However, I would point out that in deviating from the Remmy cylinder pin arrangment, Ruger made it impossible to change cylinders quickly, as can be done with the Remmy.



That's the main reason I never saw the usefulness of the Kirst Konverter to shoot .45 Colt from the Old Army. Why bother when you need tools to reload it?
Green_Canoe  [Member]
5/23/2011 12:18:41 PM
Originally Posted By Saddler:
Originally Posted By Green_Canoe:
I can't argue with any of the negatives listed for Colts. But in my opinion there is nothing sexier than an 1860 Colt:



http://www.rebelstatescurrency.com/1860Colt.jpg


...apart from an 1861 Navy!!


You will get no arguement from me. I just didn't include it since it is so similar to the 1860.

Dave_Markowitz  [Team Member]
5/23/2011 2:04:01 PM

Originally Posted By raf:
Originally Posted By Dave_Markowitz:

Originally Posted By raf:
...

FWIW, the best ever mass-produced BP pistol has to be the Ruger New Old Army. Now, Bill Ruger might hve been politically stupid early-on, but he was always a pretty savvy gun designer. He based the new Army on the Remmy. 'Nuff said.

...

The design of Ruger Old Army also owes a lot to the Rogers & Spencer. Specifically, the way the cylinder base pin and loading lever are attached. I never appreciated this until I got a Euroarms Rogers & Spencer replica back in March. The ROA is basically the love child of a Blackhawk (basic mechanism), Remington (cylinder), and the Rogers & Spencer (cylinder base pin and loading lever).

My 1974 ROA:

http://flintlock.org/zenphoto/cache/ruger-revolvers/dscn0445_595.jpg

My Euroarms Rogers & Spencer in "London Gray" finish:

http://flintlock.org/zenphoto/cache/rogers-and-spencer-revolver/dscn1452_595.jpg

As a shooter, I rate the R&S second only to the ROA. Like the Ruger, it isn't susceptible to cap jams or powder fouling. The Remingtons bind from fouling pretty quickly IME.


You are correct in not only correcting my erroneous mis-naming of the Ruger revolver, but in adding the other design antecedents to the mix.

However, I would point out that in deviating from the Remmy cylinder pin arrangment, Ruger made it impossible to change cylinders quickly, as can be done with the Remmy. This capability can, on occasion, make a great difference in the practical utility of the two pistols.

Heaven forbid that one should be in a gunfight with a BP pistol, but if you only can have one pistol on-hand, make it an easily reloadable Remmy.

With the correct aftermarket nipples installed, and some judicial buttering of the loaded cylinders, the Remmy has neither jammed nor fouled while shooting three cylinders in rapid fire. Not a lengthy test, but if one can't solve one's problem with 18 shots from a BP revolver, perhaps another firearm was called-for from the start.




I can't disagree with any of that.
Hawgleg44  [Team Member]
5/23/2011 3:31:09 PM
Originally Posted By raf:
................With the correct aftermarket nipples installed.................



I just picked up an 1851 from a friend who only shot it 18 times, but dry fired it, ruining the nipples. I was going to chuck the nipples in a drill press and rework them with a file, but what aftermarket nipples do you recommend? I've only used originals.
Dave_Markowitz  [Team Member]
5/23/2011 4:21:29 PM

Originally Posted By Hawgleg44:
Originally Posted By raf:
................With the correct aftermarket nipples installed.................



I just picked up an 1851 from a friend who only shot it 18 times, but dry fired it, ruining the nipples. I was going to chuck the nipples in a drill press and rework them with a file, but what aftermarket nipples do you recommend? I've only used originals.

Treso AMPCO or stainless nipples. AMPCO is a berryllium/copper alloy that is really hard and lasts a very long time. Track of the Wolf (among others) carries them.




Hawgleg44  [Team Member]
5/24/2011 4:17:01 AM
Originally Posted By Dave_Markowitz:

Originally Posted By Hawgleg44:
Originally Posted By raf:
................With the correct aftermarket nipples installed.................



I just picked up an 1851 from a friend who only shot it 18 times, but dry fired it, ruining the nipples. I was going to chuck the nipples in a drill press and rework them with a file, but what aftermarket nipples do you recommend? I've only used originals.

Treso AMPCO or stainless nipples. AMPCO is a berryllium/copper alloy that is really hard and lasts a very long time. Track of the Wolf (among others) carries them.






Thanks. I'll look into them.

Tomtbo  [Life Member]
5/24/2011 7:52:51 AM
Years ago I bought a cartridge conversion cylinder for my Pietta-Remington; now they cost more than I paid for the revolver! They are great to have; use light loads of smokeless or full blackpowder loads, experiment with different bullet weights, and only dry fire with snap-caps. Don't underestimate the lethality of these cap and ball guns; in 1865 Sgt. Boston Corbett hit John Wilkes Booth with one shot from his 1860 Colt Army, making him a quadriplegic. He died a few hours later.
Hawgleg44  [Team Member]
5/24/2011 1:08:54 PM
Originally Posted By Tomtbo:
Years ago I bought a cartridge conversion cylinder for my Pietta-Remington; now they cost more than I paid for the revolver! They are great to have; use light loads of smokeless or full blackpowder loads, experiment with different bullet weights, and only dry fire with snap-caps. Don't underestimate the lethality of these cap and ball guns; in 1865 Sgt. Boston Corbett hit John Wilkes Booth with one shot from his 1860 Colt Army, making him a quadriplegic. He died a few hours later.


I picked up a used Uberti 1858 that showed some finish wear, but not abuse, a few months ago specifically to do a Kirst conversion with the loading gate. I haven't done it yet, but I plan to as soon as the extra funds allow. I already cast and load for the .45 Colt and I'll use light smokeless loads in it.

The 1860 Army is the sleekest looking BP revolver made. I parted with an old CVA replica years ago but I plan to pick up another.

SHADI  [Team Member]
5/30/2011 12:23:37 PM
if my reading is correct, the north's primary sidearm was the 1860 army .44 cal. The south used more 1851 navy .36's. I think both sides used whatever they could get actually and this was just the way the numbers flowed. Remington had 1858's in service in both 44, and 36 caliber. Most of these were northern guns, I believe there were some with southern service but most of which were captured or battlefield pick ups. According to one article I read, when union calvarymen were given the option to buy their sidearms upon discharge, more Rem 58's sold than the Colt '60. The Remingtons were prized for their quick cylinder swaps, and the fact that they were more durable and a bit more powerful than the Colt. In my opinion the Colt is a better balanced revolver and handles a bit better than the remington, but I still prefer shooting the Remington.