1858 with an interesting story to tell

Topics related to Pre - 1898 Remington Pistols
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JT2020
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2021 3:57 pm

1858 with an interesting story to tell

Post by JT2020 »

I just joined the 1858 club by accident. My wife actually saw just a hint of metal sticking out of the ground and tugged on it to find it was the very bottom of the grip of a revolver. The revolver was completely packed with dirt but a little brushing revealed this 1858 with at least two rounds fired but 3 loaded chambers ready for use. Cant tell if there is one in the chamber at the barrel. After carefully knocking out some of the dirt, I can get a wooden dowel about halfway into that chamber. So not sure if the chamber is just packed with dirt or if the bullet got forced down on a partial load of powder. Based on the rust and the fact that the wooden handles had apparently completely rotted off, I suspect this revolver has been sitting there for well over 100 years.

So someone was walking in the forest fired 3 rounds and then dropped the gun for some reason.

Serial number is 99893 I believe. Hard to read any of the writing on the barrel but it is there under the rust. Can anyone help me fill in this firearm’s story? And how can I make this safe to display without wrecking the story?
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aardq
Posts: 285
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 1:02 pm

Re: 1858 with an interesting story to tell

Post by aardq »

Hi JT,

Welcome to the club! Your gun was made in Sept, 1864. Can't tell if there are any inspector's marks, so know way to know if is was military or civilian. These guns were in all 50 states, most of the Territories and many countries, so it may have an interesting story, but it will remain a mystery.

The gun is safe without any percussion caps on the nipples. If you want to make it completely safe, then use a wire pick, a skinny nail, or a small drill to poke through the nipples into the powder charge. Then drip WD-40, Kroil, or any penetrating oil into the nipple. Let the gun sit barrel down for a few days to let the oil penetrate the powder. That will neutralize he powder.

To check the cylinder in line with the barrel, Angle cut the dowel you have, stick it down the barrel and rotate it. If it is just dirt, a lot, or most of it will come out. If it's a lead ball, it won't do anything. You can also measure the depth the dowel goes into the chamber, and measure it against the outside of the barrel, and it will tell you if the chamber is loaded.

You may not want to do any more than just brush the gun to get all the dirt and loose rust off. Rusted relics make for interesting displays.

have fun,
Daniel
JT2020
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2021 3:57 pm

Re: 1858 with an interesting story to tell

Post by JT2020 »

Thanks for the input and info Daniel!

The three loaded chambers that are visible do have intact percussion caps on them. Not sure how functional they will be after all this time. Will try the angle cut dowel to see if I can dig any more dirt out of the cylinder aligned with the barrel. Currently the dowel goes into the cylinder a little more than halfway compared to the empty cylinders.

There is a D stamped on the trigger guard. Not sure if you can see in the photo but there is also a 5 on the grip frame and prominent I shape set in there as well.

Another interesting point of where I found it is that someone had cut some branches for fire wood likely 2 or 3 decades ago and had to have walked all around it. May have even stepped on the barrel causing the grip to stick out of the dirt just enough to be seen by my wife all this time later. The small branches on the cut trees were still in decent shape. Things take a long time to rot in the SW. But the wooden grips were totally gone though I was able to find the bolt that used to hold them together by using a magnet in the gravelly soil.
Cloverleaf
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun May 24, 2020 3:59 pm

Re: 1858 with an interesting story to tell

Post by Cloverleaf »

A fine relic.
Don't mess with too much. just my opinion
JT2020
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2021 3:57 pm

Re: 1858 with an interesting story to tell

Post by JT2020 »

Definitely don’t want to mess with it aside from making it completely safe for display and slowing any further deterioration.

Not sure if I should add grips or not. But would want to find some authentic and appropriately weathered ones if I did.
aardq
Posts: 285
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 1:02 pm

Re: 1858 with an interesting story to tell

Post by aardq »

Hi Again,

As to the grips, my 2 cents worth is to leave the gun as is. Relics almost never have grips. Anyone that might have have had a relic, old, cracked, damaged grip or two, would have thrown them away because there isn't any market for them. I have a double relic, mounted, derringer, display, with no grips. All I did was brush them vigorously with a dish brush, and that just to remove loose or loosening dirt and rust particles. Then they were mounted in a frame. I have seen displays of nothing but relics, and can' remember seeing both grips on any one gun, and any grips there were chipped, cracked, missing a piece(s).

Good luck with what ever you decide.

Daniel
aardq
Posts: 285
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 1:02 pm

Re: 1858 with an interesting story to tell

Post by aardq »

Hi JT,

My suggestions on deactivating this gun was based on being able to remove the cylinder. If the cylinder won't come out, then don't worry, you wouldn't be able to get caps on the nipples to enable it to fire. The nipples are probably corroded so bad that cap won't fit on them. Problem solved. Just enjoy it for what it is.

Daniel
JT2020
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2021 3:57 pm

Re: 1858 with an interesting story to tell

Post by JT2020 »

Definitely can’t move or remove the cylinder without significant risk of damage. My only concern with display would be in the hopefully unlikely event of a house fire setting off the old powder in the loaded cylinders and the even more unlikely event a fireman would be standing in my back yard trying to put out the fire when it happened. Pretty sure the cylinder aligned with the barrel is empty. Not sure how much force could be generated with 100+ year old powder pushing a bullet from one of the other cylinders?

Will keep it all as is.

Thanks again for the input!
aardq
Posts: 285
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 1:02 pm

Re: 1858 with an interesting story to tell

Post by aardq »

Hi JT,

In the photos it's hard to tell that the cap may still be on some chambers. I wouldn't worry about any kind of a discharge. In a worst case scenario, if the powder did ignite from heat in a fire, it wouldn't "launch" the bullet. The most likely effect would be that the bullet is barely pushed out of the chamber, traveling maybe a few feet at very low velocity.

I have no idea if the caps would even come off. You can try to pry them off without any fear of them going off. My guess is that if they did move, they would come out in a few pieces.

Enjoy it for what it is, without any fear of discharge.

Daniel
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