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Thread: Looking at buying a pistol but need help.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Central Kentucky
    Posts
    37

    Default Looking at buying a pistol but need help.

    I'm interested in buying a pistol. Not for my impression yet as I'm only a corporal but for show and tell and later use it at reenactments. I'm interested in which type to get the 1860 Colt or 1858 Remington. Which one is best? I guess I'm asking for like a pros and cons list. Also a good place to buy them would help. Thanks!
    Jacob Dunn
    Western Federal Blues

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill, FL
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    3,939

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    The best pistol for a corporal, unless Cavalry, is none. Seeing that you're with the Western Federal Blues by your signature line, there is a plethora of experienced NCO's and officers in their ranks. Rather than fish for answers on a forum to justify a piece of weaponry that history shows just didn't occur very much past the first few months of the war for corporals, just get with the experienced personnel of the WFB and get their advice. Forums are great for a lot of things, but nothing replaces the "real" experience of unit members. Asking for "what is the best pistol" is like asking today "what is the best car". On this forum you'll receive as many answers for the first question as the latter, each with varying degrees of right and wrong....
    Ross L. Lamoreaux
    Tampa Bay History Center
    www.tampabayhistorycenter.org
    On Facebook at: Tampa Bay History Center Living History Programs

    "The simplest things, done well, can carry a huge impact" - Karin Timour, 2012

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Huntsville
    Posts
    605

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    What Ross said.

    From what I have read, the Remington New Model Army in period was considered inferior to the Colt Army. I have read that it was said to be more prone to fouling problems. One reason for this may have been the huge arbor on the Colt, with grooves that can hold grease. One problem with the Colt is that the spacing between the cylinder face and the barrel can vary depending on how tightly you drive in the wedge that holds the gun together. Of course the Remington's cylinder can be easily removed and replaced whereas the Colt must be disassembled to do this.

    Some people dislike the Colt because the rear sight notch is in the hammer - the site disappears when you pull the trigger. However on the Remington, even though the rear sight notch is in the frame, it gets hidden when the hammer drops! Personally I find it hard to believe that it makes any difference one way or the other but there you go.

    Modernly, also, most people tend to favor the Remington for actual shooting because the gun goes back together in a mechanically repeatable fashion, which, along with its stiff rigid frame, should allow for more consistent accuracy.

    If you're not actually going to shoot it, though, none of that matters.

    Personally I like the look of the Colt best. I bought the Remy for shooting.

    Steve
    Steve Sheldon

  4. #4

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    Hallo!

    The larger issue was "cost."

    Colt had gotten a bit "greedy" and was selling their M1860 Army to the Government at $14 each. Remington came out with the M1863 (incorrectly called by collectors, vendors, and reenactors the "M1858") at $12.

    Shortly after the last of the Colt deliveries came in, in November of 1863, Ramsay enterd into a contract with Remington for 64,900 M1863 Army revolvers to begin in January of 1864. By the end of 1864, 57,003 had been delivered. Remington received their last contract in October of 1864 for 20,000 more which were delivered by March of 1865. (But was kind of a sweet deal as the $12 price was adjusted from $11.82 to $15.50 for war-time "inflation."

    Remington continued making the M1863 through 1875 for the civilian market. Also it was a candidate for various conversions to metallic cartridge through the 1870's.

    Colt did really well with their whole range of "open top" model designs, but with the advent of the metallic cartridge, went with the solid frame with the M1873 Single Action Army.

    Remington M1863 New Model Army's date from Janaury 1864 on, but becasue of the misnomer of 'M1858" many reenactors used them for all of 1861-1865.

    Curt
    In gleichem Schritt und Tritt, Curt Schmidt

    Not a real Civil War reenactor, I only portray one on boards and fora.
    I do not portray a Civil War soldier, I merely interpret one.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Central Va
    Posts
    250

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    Of course many have varying degrees of opinions and personal preferences for different reasons. Have had owned and used several models of the Colt, and also a Remington in past years. I prefered the handling and balance of the Colt. The Remington I had was prone to multi-cylinder ignitions, and the spent caps would frequently drop and jam between the cylinder and frame. The Colts a bit less so in my experience. Granted I would rather have a Starr or Adams... but no one makes repros of those that Im aware of...

    As others have mentioned unless your portraying cavalry or some ranking officer, the pistol is just an added expense, and attempting to push the envelope to justify one in any other application will be difficult. Also at many reenactment events your arent allowed to carry anyway, less your one of those folks. Even when a field officer I only carry it occasionally, depending on the role/impression. Havent loaded blanks in it (or anything) in over 15 years or more. If your only seeking one for your own personal entertainment and playtime not at an event, thats something else.
    Just an opinion and observation...
    Lieut Frederick Sineth
    14th Virginia Infantry Regt Co.I
    - 106th Penna Vol Co.F

    - Pegrams Va Artillery
    - 150th Sailors Creek

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    231

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    Curt,

    What model Remington was in use before the New Model? I've seen records of Confederate cavalry units being issued "captured Remington Pistols" in 1863.

    Will MacDonald

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    84

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    The Remington-Beals revolver was built before the New Model:

    http://relicman.com/weapons/zArchive...nRemington.htm

  8. #8

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    Aw, c'mon, guys: Don't we all have closets full of stuff we don't use everyday, but are fun as heck to have anyway? The man's lookin' for a shootin arn n asked a question:
    OK - I like the Remington because it has a solid frame and a reliable safety. Some feel that the Colt droops over time because of the hinged frame. The Remington won't. I like the Remington safety. Halfway between each chamber on the cylinder, there's a notch. The hammer fits in it. When the hammer is cocked, the cylinder automatically rotates to the next chamber. I think that's cool. (But then again, I'm mezmerized by the "rotate to the right and move forward ballet of the Nagant 1895. Simple minds are easily amused.)
    Now, sometimes when I'm doing an early war scenario, I carry a derringer in my pocket, or shoved bravely in my belt. Single shot pocket guns, pepperboxes and multibarrel guns were pretty common throughout the war. There were a number of Sharps 4-barrells scavenged from the Gettysburg battlefield. Having said that: I would not fire a derringer, pepperbox or Sharps pistol in the reenacting setting. Their safety distance is simply too small. You can find non-firing replicas that look pretty good, are inexpensive and will endanger no one. I use a little Queen Anne pistol when I do 18th c. and it's always suited the living history purposes well.
    Rob Weaver
    Pine River Boys, Co I, 7th Wisconsin
    "We're... Christians, what read the Bible and foller what it says about lovin' your enemies and carin' for them what despitefully use you -- that is, after you've downed 'em good and hard."
    -Si Klegg and His Pard Shorty

  9. #9

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    Hallo!

    "What model Remington was in use before the New Model? I've seen records of Confederate cavalry units being issued "captured Remington Pistols" in 1863."


    A fairly common practice for the Ordnance Department, and copied by the Confederate Ordnance Department was to not refer to arms by the "usual' system of "models" based on year it was adopted (but often introduced years later) by rather simply make them the "New Model" and the older version the "Old Model."
    (Which makes sense, but can get confusing over time).

    The first in the similar line was the Beals-Remington Army and Navy Revolvers (aka Remington-Beals). Fordyce Beals received his patent in September 1858, which Remington jumped on to produce. Its barrel is stamped "BEALS PATENT SEPT 14, 1858/MANUFACTURED BY REMINGTON'S ILION, NEW YORK" in two lines. Beals had been working for Remington making Jenks carbines, and had given them the jump with his two pocket revovlers. Beals' patetn was first tried out on a pocket revovler before he jumped up to teh martial sizes.
    About 1850 Army's were made between 1860 and 1862, with 1,000 going to South Caroloina in 1860 and an additional 850 being bought by the U.S. in March of 1862. While 15,000 NAvy's were made

    There are also a few "transitional" ones that are a mix of Beals Army's and the subsequent Remington M1861 Army's.

    The next in the direct line are the Remington Model 1861 Army's and Navy's. Remington managed to secure the patent from Beals, so the M1861's were stamped "PATENTED DEC. 17, 1861/MANUFACTURED BY REMINGTON'S, ILION, N.Y." in two lines. It took advantage of William Elliot's loading lever patent, which corrected complaints.

    Then comes the M1863's, which get referred to as the "New Model" making the M1861 the "Old Model." The M1863 vcarries a revised stmap "PATENTED SEPT 14, 1858/E. REMINGTON & SONS, ILION, N.Y./NEW MODEL" in three lines.

    Because of the change in stamps, most hobbyists, vendors, and collectors incorrectly refer to the M1863 as the "M1858."

    Curt
    In gleichem Schritt und Tritt, Curt Schmidt

    Not a real Civil War reenactor, I only portray one on boards and fora.
    I do not portray a Civil War soldier, I merely interpret one.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    1,201

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Weaver View Post
    Aw, c'mon, guys: Don't we all have closets full of stuff we don't use everyday, but are fun as heck to have anyway? The man's lookin' for a shootin arn n asked a question:
    OK - I like the Remington because it has a solid frame and a reliable safety. Some feel that the Colt droops over time because of the hinged frame. The Remington won't. I like the Remington safety. Halfway between each chamber on the cylinder, there's a notch. The hammer fits in it. When the hammer is cocked, the cylinder automatically rotates to the next chamber. I think that's cool. (But then again, I'm mezmerized by the "rotate to the right and move forward ballet of the Nagant 1895. Simple minds are easily amused.)
    Now, sometimes when I'm doing an early war scenario, I carry a derringer in my pocket, or shoved bravely in my belt. Single shot pocket guns, pepperboxes and multibarrel guns were pretty common throughout the war. There were a number of Sharps 4-barrells scavenged from the Gettysburg battlefield. Having said that: I would not fire a derringer, pepperbox or Sharps pistol in the reenacting setting. Their safety distance is simply too small. You can find non-firing replicas that look pretty good, are inexpensive and will endanger no one. I use a little Queen Anne pistol when I do 18th c. and it's always suited the living history purposes well.
    If you look at any well made reproduction of a colt it has a safety feature. There is a lower notch on the hammer, and little studs between each chamber. This serves the same purpose as the ntch on the cylinder of the remington. The only reason a colt either brass or steel might stretch is due to over sized powder loads while live firing. the most common problem is for a brass frame to have the cylinder imprinted in the blast shield,. I have never heard of a colt drooping, unless the 2 lower pins get bent. which are replaceable. Also Chain firing can and does occur in any style of Black Powder pistol if not loaded properly. See my avatar for wher the "fire" comes out when shot.
    Cris Westphal
    Civil War Reenactor

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