Remington 1861 Army with a late address

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karu
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2019 9:03 am

Remington 1861 Army with a late address

Post by karu » Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:07 am

Hello Everybody,
I am a new member here and this is my first post.

I bought this Remington Army revolver recently but I'am still waiting for it.
The seller annonced a New Model Army # 147548.

The gun show the acceptances marks, except for the barrel.
The left grip doesn't have a cartouche but there is some Ordnance inspector's initials on the bottom of the grip panels.

The barrel have the #147548, frame and cylinder #2610.
I don't know yet for the trigger guard tab but I think and hope it does have the low serial number.

As you can see, it's not a NMA but a Elliot model.
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My concern is for the barrel address.
The address on the barrel is not the standard NMA address but the one that was used in early 1870 (with the double patents).
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Could you please help me to find a logical solution ?
#2610 should have a 1861 barrel adress and,
#147458 should have a standard New Model barrel adress in two lines.

The first was manufactured in august 1862 and issued in september 1862 for the first military contract.
The second was manufactured in march 1865 and issued in april 1865 for the fourth and last military contract.

Hypothesis
I/ Revolver #2610 was issued as a 1861 Army and accepted for military service in 1862.
It was refinished early in 1870 by the Remington factory and sold for the civilian market as « new ».
During that process, the barrel was changed with the #147548 and the «standard» NMA adress on it was wiped out and replaced for a modern and commercial adress.

II/ Revolver #2610 was returned to Remington's factory after the Elliot system have failed.
It was kept into storage until 1865 who it was modified and newly numbered #147458 (only the barrel) to fulfill the last contract.
It was refinished early in 1870 by the Remington factory and the barrel was only stamped with a more actual adress.

Manufacture of the Army model stop in 1865 shortly after the war ended.
So how could a gun (bbl) manufactured and issued in 1862 or 1865 could have a this later adress..?
Thank you for your reply and help.
Karu

billt
Posts: 194
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2003 6:42 pm

Re: Remington 1861 Army with a late address

Post by billt » Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:50 am

Hello Karu,
After thinking about a possible scenario about the origin of your revolver I have some thoughts about it.

The frame and grips on your revolver are from an Elliot revolver and were inspected as evidenced by the acceptance marks. The barrel and front sight are from a New Model Army with the barrel having the 1870’s barrel address and no inspection marks. The hammer is a New Model Army hammer. An Elliot revolver with a 26xx serial number would have had the high spur Beals hammer unless of course it was changed. The loading lever is an Elliot loading lever.

Your first hypothesis presents the following problems: If the revolver was accepted for military service in 1862 it would have been shipped to the Ordnance Department and immediately issued to soldiers in the field since at that time the Army was short of all small arms. Also, it is highly unlikely that Remington would have bought back a used percussion revolver from the Army in 1870 to refurbish it since at that time the Rollin White patent had expired and they were busy converting their own unsold percussion inventory to metallic cartridge revolvers. They also probably would not have bothered to change the barrel address to sell it to the trade.

Your second hypothesis problems: According to Don Ware the army did not send the defective Elliot revolvers back to the factory. Because of the shortage of small arm he believed the revolvers were sent to Army Arsenals to have the fillister screw installed. The manufacture of New Model Armies ended when the war ended in April of 1865. At that time the last wartime barrel address was the three line address found on most New Model Armies. Don wrote that the two patent date address was not used until 1870 and can be found on New Model cartridge Navies well into the 1870’s. This means that there should have been no New Model Army revolver barrels with that patent date in inventory.

Based on your information about the revolver, if I were a betting man I would bet your revolver is a put together aka “lunch box special” which was assembled sometime around 1870 or later. Remington’s practice of disassembling revolvers, which did not pass final approval from the Ordnance Department, in order to use the good parts from the failed guns on later guns to be manufactured means there were bins of disassembled parts in inventory. The Elliot frame, loading lever and grips could have been left over from the Elliot manufacturing run and likewise the barrel and hammer from the New Model Army manufacturing run. Since there are no acceptance marks on the barrel it may have failed inspection after the serial number but before the barrel address was stamped on it. I am not familiar enough with the manufacturing process to know when the barrel address was stamped on the barrel. It would have been easy to stamp the two patent date address on the barrel since the die was being used on New Model Navy cartridge revolvers at the time. It could have then been blued and assembled along with the Navy revolvers.

Of course this only one of many possible scenarios. I am sure there are others.

Bill

karu
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2019 9:03 am

Re: Remington 1861 Army with a late address

Post by karu » Thu Nov 28, 2019 11:27 am

Hello Bill,
Thank you very much for your help.
I knew my hypothesis were a bit shaky.
You're right the hammer and front sight are not originals.
I don't know yet if the loading lever have the fillister screw installed or have been modified.
I will tell you and will send you more pictures when received.

Bill, when you said « The Elliot frame, loading lever and grips could have been left over from the Elliot manufacturing run and likewise the barrel and hammer from the New Model Army manufacturing run. » why in this case there is some acceptances marks on the frame and loading lever.
I think we can find a solution with the acceptances marks ;
Revolver 1861 Army around #2600 should have the same initials, or
Revolver 1863 NMA around #147500 should have the same initials.

A revolver who failed the military inspection process will show no acceptances marks and the flawed parts were stamped « C » for condamned.
The first Remington's revolvers who were inspected and accepted have a dual sub-inspector's marks.
The later ones have a single stamp.

The stamping of the bbl address and serial number was the penultimate step before the gun was blued. It was the case for the Colt's Company.
The bleuing process was the last step before the gun was put in sale.

A gun was numbered shortly after it was assembled and this was for the all gun, not the spare sparts. A single bbl can not be numbered alone.

I am agree with you, this one was refurbished somewhere in 1870 by the Remington's Company.
There still a mystery, how a gun that belongs to the US Army, as the acceptances marks suggests, could be refurbished by Remington's workmen (the two patent date address on the barrel with a different serial number)?
The last and less plausible explanation, is that there is an error with the serial number reached in 1865??
I will call this one « Enigma »..
Thanks again for your help and have a good afternoon.
Karu

aardq
Posts: 170
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 1:02 pm

Re: Remington 1861 Army with a late address

Post by aardq » Thu Nov 28, 2019 3:43 pm

Hi Karu,

Another possibility is that as the gun traveled through the years, the bbl was damaged, and a replacement was found and installed. Even today individual parts can be found for the Beals, the Elliot, and the NMA. Mismatched numbers would not raise any questions after the replacement, except for collectors.

As Bill said, there are a lot of possibilities. The army surplussed the gun after the war, and a purchaser down the line could have sent to gun back to Rem for bbl replacement, because of some now unknown reason.

Heck, for all we know, the bbl could have been replaced in the last 20-30 years, or even last year.

For sure, it is a mystery, but mysteries make collecting fun, and challenging.

Enjoy the gun for what it is.

Dan

karu
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2019 9:03 am

Re: Remington 1861 Army with a late address

Post by karu » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:29 pm

Hello Dan,
Sorry for my late reply and thank you for your help!
I think you & Bill are both right, there is too many possibilities.
I don't think I'll be able to know the reason for the barrel replacement..

I received the revolver this morning.
The trigger guard is #2610 and there is a cartouche on the left grip.
The loading lever have a fillister screw and the little spring under the barrel (in fact in the frame)
is absent..
The barrel is like unfired and the chambers are very very nice.. :mrgreen:

I still think that there is a way to determine when the gun was accepted for service.
The acceptances marks will help to identify.
This revolver should have the same initials located on the same spots than others inspected and accepted for service in the same time.
I'll make a research :)
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Thank you once again.
Karu

Patbar
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2016 4:14 am

Re: Remington 1861 Army with a late address

Post by Patbar » Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:32 am

Did the handguns shortage problem still exist in March, 1863 ? I'm asking this question because I have a Remington Navy (serial 21240 with matching numbers on frame, barrel and trigger-guard) which has the new model frame and cylinder with the old model barrel and loading lever.

The gun has apparently never been fired and was sold to France in 1870 during the French-Prussian war. So, it seems that at the beginning of 1863, there were no more shortage problems and that guns were left in stock at the Remington factory.
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karu
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2019 9:03 am

Re: Remington 1861 Army with a late address

Post by karu » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:22 am

Hello Patbar,
Are you from France? Ça sera plus facile..
I don't understand the meaning of your question?
Your revolver is a transitionnal model.
Do you have the mention "New Model" stamped on the barrel?
Does the "New Model" stamp is a bit separated from the address?

What is the link between the fact that the gun is unfired and is a transitionnal model with Remington shortage problem??

Nice gun anyway.

karu

Patbar
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2016 4:14 am

Re: Remington 1861 Army with a late address

Post by Patbar » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:46 am

Hello Karu,

Yes, I'm from France and I asked if there still were shortage problems at the beginning of 1863 because Billt wrote that "If the revolver (yours) was accepted for military service in 1862 it would have been shipped to the Ordnance Department and immediately issued to soldiers in the field since at that time the Army was short of all small arms."

Since my gun has a mint bore and chambers and no inspector marks, it means that it saw no action during the civil war before being sold to France in 1870 and I deduce from this that the shortage problems were ended in March, 1863. Also, I know that it is a transitional model with the two lines address of the 1861 model on the barrel, and a cone front sight.

karu
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2019 9:03 am

Re: Remington 1861 Army with a late address

Post by karu » Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:29 pm

Salut Patbar,
Ok I see what you mean.
I don't know much about the Navy model and I think you will have a better answer than mine.

To answer to that question ; Yes Remington was in a hurry to deliver revolvers during the war.
For almost every military contracts with the Army, Remington asked for an extension.
So it was trully the case, revolvers who were accepted, were immediately issued to soldiers.

Are you sure your Navy was sold to france in 1870?
I have a Starr 1863 Army "sold to France" but as you know there is no record on the subject.
They were not identified or repertoried before being issued to our soldiers..
The only link, for my Starr, is that the gun was put in a white as it was the use at that time.

As your gun have no acceptance marks, I suppose it was a civilian model or it was refurbished.
As far I can see, yours seems to be in its original finish with a nice patina, so I don't think it was refurbished.
Some military handguns witch go through the civil war, are still found in a good to very good condition.
It depends on how far, the officer who hold it, was from battle line.. :)

A+,
Karu

Patbar
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2016 4:14 am

Re: Remington 1861 Army with a late address

Post by Patbar » Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:24 am

Salut Karu,

The reason which made me think that my Remington Navy was one of those sold to France in 1870 is the same which made you think that it was also the case with your Starr Army : the gun had been put in the white.

Usually, I refuse to do anything on my antique guns, but I just couldn't stand to see that gun with its bare metal. It really shocked me ! That's why I applied a single layer of cold blue to make it look like a patina.

karu
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2019 9:03 am

Re: Remington 1861 Army with a late address

Post by karu » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:45 am

Salut Patbar,
Arrgglll! You kill me :)
Cold Blue should not exist..
Yes it's a shock to see the so nice bleuing wiped out..
The Starr Army is barely found in its original finish here in France, so I 'am used to it.

The "Put in a white" finish is really beautifull but not for the US firearms.
It's almost like a nickel plate finish.

Revolver MAS 1873
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A+,
Karu

Patbar
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2016 4:14 am

Re: Remington 1861 Army with a late address

Post by Patbar » Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:21 am

Hey Karu,

Putting guns in the white is really a French "disease" !

I can understand why it was so up to the beginning of the 19th century because during his inspection, it permitted the sergeant to immediately spot the soldier who didn't take good care of his gun when he saw stains on the white metal (only officer's guns were blued), but the big problem is that it has become a like a tradition, and many French owners of antique guns continue to put them in the white.

I recently bought on the net a Moore teat-fire revolver which had been so well polished by its seller that I thought the gun was entirely nickeled on the photos which illustrated the ad (even the brass frame looked like it was nickeled !). Luckily, the guy did that well, leaving the edges and the markings sharp, but this is not always the case...

I must add that I usually get really mad when I see an antique gun re-blued, but my Remington did look awful in the white, and it took almost a year before I finally decided to commit this "aberration" or "crime de lèse majesté" !

P.S. Your 1873 is really beautiful ! It's pretty rare to see one in such condition !

aardq
Posts: 170
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 1:02 pm

Re: Remington 1861 Army with a late address

Post by aardq » Thu Dec 05, 2019 4:44 am

Hi Patbar,

Without any inspectors' marks, your Navy has to be a civilian model, thus there is no way to know when it was sold, or who it was sold to. Even in the middle of war, guns were made for the civilian market.

It's interesting that you gun was made in March of 63, but has the Old Model bbl and loading lever. It helps you to know the Remington manufacturing practice of using everything. Early parts went into a parts bin, and as new parts were made, they went into the bin on top of the old parts. At some point in the process, the new parts would be gone leaving the old parts to be used. This happened with all Rem products.

This also happened to complete guns. It is possible that this gun was put in a box, and sat on a shelf with newer guns put on top of it. At some point, this gun became the top gun in the pile and was sold. Possibly even after the war. It would be nice to know the history of any gun, but impossible.

You have a nice gun. Enjoy it! ; )
Dan

Patbar
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2016 4:14 am

Re: Remington 1861 Army with a late address

Post by Patbar » Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:54 am

Hi Dan, and thanks for your information.

As I wrote, I'm pretty sure that my gun was sold to France during the French-Prussian war of 1870. France bought a good number of American firearms at the time, but did not put many in service because this war didn't last long.

Here, we usually recognize these guns by the fact that they were all de-blued by the French army, were all the guns issued to the soldiers had their metal in the white so that sergeants could easily spot stains on them during their inspections, which made them deduce that the soldier didn't take good care of his gun.

My Remington Navy was really in mint condition when I bought it, except that it had no blue left, and I also bought a 1860 Spencer carbine in the same practically mint condition.

karu
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2019 9:03 am

Re: Remington 1861 Army with a late address

Post by karu » Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:56 am

Hello Patbar & Dan,
The MAS 1873 is not mine... I took it on the website.
Sorry but I really like this finish even it was a disease for our military guns.
I sold the one I had but I still have several MAS 1874.
I learned one thing about them ; At the start, the cylinder was supposed to be put in the white and the rest of the gun blued but that choice was not retained.
A Moore teat-fire is a good choice even I don't know nothing about them :)
But I like these very small guns... I had a Colt derinnger thuer.. .41 caliber for a very very short cannon (un canon sur pattes).

The one I like is the Smith & Wesson Old Army, N°2.
It is not so small compare to the No.1 but what a nice and beautiful gun..

Smith & Wesson Old Army - No. 2 (this one is mine).
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For my Remington 1861 Army, I found some interesting informations.
I will tell you next time.
Have a good day,
Karu

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