Please Help identify this revolver, better photos posted

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OldFotoMan
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:32 pm

Please Help identify this revolver, better photos posted

Post by OldFotoMan » Fri Jun 21, 2019 1:37 pm

Please help me identify this revolver. I'm trying to identify it and determine if it is actually a Remington and not a reproduction. I will attach some photos, unfortunately, they are not as clear as should be. I'll try to get some better ones later. From what I can see, it appears to be an original cartridge gun, not a conversion. I say this due to the loading gate and the lack of any previous loading rod going through the frame. It also appears to have had something else attached to the bottom of the barrel which is now missing; maybe an ejector rod. this gun has been re-blued and the lettering is very thin to nonexistent in places. Also looks like the cylinder pin has been modified and rounded off, probably when something was removed from the bottom of the barrel.
This was sold to me as a "stagecoach gun" and they stated it was for black powder. It looks to me to have been manufactured as a cartridge gun for the reasons I stated. In cleaning it, on the top of the barrel, I can see some lettering like a makers name or address. It says "E. REM" then it fades out where it was polished down to re-blue, then "W YORK. U.S.A.". The entire line is about 1 1/2 inch long. (With a strong magnifying glass, it appears to say "E. Remington and Sons Ilion, New York. U.S.A.) It has a serial number under the barrel right in front of the frame, with matching numbers inside the back of the trigger guard, and inside the left grip. Also has a "B" stamped in the top left rear of the brass trigger guard. Barrel is 7 3/8 inch, 13 inches overall, 5 inches tall, bore measures .36 inches, and it is a center fire. A 38 spl. and a 357 mag. both fit nicely into the cylinder; however, the cylinder is bored straight through. All modern cylinders I know of are bored to the length of the intended cartridge, then slightly reduce so that the cartridge rim seats against the rear of the cylinder and the front seats against the reduced bore in the cylinder. I see no other marks or stamps. Every reproduction I have seen has proof marks stamped in them as required by law throughout Europe. Most are made in Italy and imported by different companies and sold under different brand names. When I combine the lack of proof marks and the lettering for the name, the only conclusion I can come up with is that this is an actual Remington of some sort. I've never seen a reproduction that used the proper E. Remington name or that did not have proof marks. From the bore being .36, I would assume it to be a "Navy" model. The grip looks just like the 1858 models, rounded instead of straight cut like the 1875 models. But the fact that it was obviously originally made as a cartridge gun throws me off completely. Any ideas or help would be greatly appreciated. I'm willing to listen to, check out, or research any reasonable thoughts or ideas.
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Last edited by OldFotoMan on Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

OldFotoMan
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:32 pm

Re: Help identifying a revolver

Post by OldFotoMan » Fri Jun 21, 2019 1:44 pm

Here are a few more photos if they will help.
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aardq
Posts: 151
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 1:02 pm

Re: Help identifying a revolver

Post by aardq » Wed Jun 26, 2019 7:06 pm

Hi Old foto,

It appears to be a New Model Navy. If the serial is 28684, it was made in July of 1864. The single letters stamped on some parts are inspector's mark which means that this gun was martially used. The serial will also be on the tab of the trigger gun. There should be an oval cartouche with 2 or 3 letters in the oval near the bottom of the left grip, but I don't see one, so the grip may be a replacement.

The original cylinder was replaced with a cartridge cylinder, and as you observed, it is bored straight through. Originally it was meant to fire 38 Colt (black powder). The recoil shield has been milled and a loading gate installed. The loading lever was removed, the loading lever latch removed, and possibly the stub piece of the rear of the loading lever was used to hold the cylinder pin in place.

The gun has been heavily buffed, so much so that the corners are rounded. It has no collector value, but makes an interesting display piece, or a possibly a fun shooter it you use ONLY black powder 38 Colt loads.
Dan

OldFotoMan
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:32 pm

Re: Help identifying a revolver

Post by OldFotoMan » Sun Jun 30, 2019 11:10 am

I certainly appreciate your reply and post, especially since you're the only reply so far, but I must respectfully disagree with most of it. I just replaced the photos with some better, clearer, shots of this gun. I can not believe this was ever anything but a cartridge revolver. I do agree that it was chambered for 38 Colt, especially since there is only .002" difference diameter between 38 Colt and 38 Special; which seems to fit perfectly. Things like the hammer, firing pin built into the frame, lack of any type of slotting or bore through the frame for a ram rod, along with the way the loading gate is made; all make me believe this is not a conversion to cartridge from muzzle loading style. It would have been extensive work to modify an original 1858 style this much. Please take a look at these newer photos and give me your opinion. I have been collecting and trading guns for about 50 years now, and will be the first to admit that I'm not as well educated on the Remington as I am on Colt, but I have owned several of the 1858 models in their original and the "New Army", as well as several reproductions. I have had a couple of 1860 Colt Army models that have been converted to cartridge, and I would assume the Remington conversions would be similar. As I said in my original post, I think the pin (or rod) that holds the cylinder in place has been modified or replaced, but aside from that, it appears to be original parts that have been heavily buffed in spots before it was re-blued. Looks like there was something attached to the bottom of the barrel at some time, but does not appear to have ever had an ejector rod going through the side of the frame like the 1875 models had. Could have been one that attaches on the outside. The name on the barrel and the matching numbers, along with their locations, lead me to think this is an original Remington of some type. Maybe even a prototype or pre-production model. I'm hoping that some of the experts on here will chime in since I know many of them have a much more extensive knowledge about Remington than I posses.

dieNusse1
Posts: 312
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:12 pm
Location: Peoria Heights, IL

Re: Please Help identify this revolver, better photos posted

Post by dieNusse1 » Sun Jul 07, 2019 4:25 am

If, as you insist, this is not a conversion, why did Remington retain the frame loading cutout?

OldFotoMan
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:32 pm

Re: Please Help identify this revolver, better photos posted

Post by OldFotoMan » Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:51 am

The lack of any signs of having a loading lever and the solid rear frame construction, along with the firing pin built into the frame; made it seem to me that this gun could not be a conversion, but must have been originally made for cartridges. However, after some closer examination, I was certainly wrong and both of you are correct. What appeared to be some holster rash is actually where the plate which was added at the rear of the cylinder is welded onto the frame. This gun is a conversion.
This does bring up a few more questions for me though. First and foremost; have any of you seen or do you know of any other conversions done like this, or even in a very similar manner? The conversions I'm familiar with were mostly done in the 1860's or 70's and had a plate added to the rear area for the cylinder, and the hammer still went through the frame, so you could use the cartridge cylinder or still use the original percussion cylinder. Most were for 38 rim fire, but many were center fire with a modified hammer containing the center fire firing pin. The other main style seems to be the 2 piece cylinders with the firing pin built into the rear piece of the cylinder so the hammer didn't require modification. I've never seen one like this where the plate was welded (or gap filled in) and the loading lever removed and space or slot for it filled in, then the area milled down to much thinner and smoother width. And I never saw any with a firing pin built into the frame like this. I do understand that there were a couple of common conversion styles or types including the factory conversions, and an uncountable number of individual gunsmiths who did their own process of conversion. I'd just like to get an idea if any of you have seen something similar.
Also, since it has no true collector value due in it's condition, would it make a good and fun shooter? Just a plinker, not real concerned with accuracy. If so, what rounds could it take safely? I know 38 long and short Colt should work. Could some 38 special cases loaded with modern powder, to lower pressures and lighter bullets be safe? Or what about some of the CCI 38/357 shotshells. I can't find any pressures for them, but logically, the much lighter shot loads would simply get an increase in velocity instead of building too much pressure. Or am I correct in this thought?
I bought this at a fair price for a plinker or a reproduction to have fun with. Knowing it probably had little to no value as a collectible. But now that I examined it and feel sure it is an actual Remington, I may consider sending it to someone like Turnbull for a restoration. I know restorations don't have the same value as an original condition gun, but it would certainly be much more than I paid or it is worth in it's current condition. Unless the restoration cost more than the value, it could be worth doing.
Any and all thoughts would be appreciated. Also thought you folks might enjoy a few photos of my only other Remington handgun that's not a reproduction, so here they are.
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billt
Posts: 185
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2003 6:42 pm

Re: Please Help identify this revolver, better photos posted

Post by billt » Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:53 pm

I have a New Model Army which has a firing pin installed similar to yours. It is a Remington Factory type 1 Kittredge conversion with the five shot 46-rim fire Rollin White marked cylinder. It has been further modified to add a center fire spring-loaded firing pin. The hammer has been milled flat like yours. The only reason I can see for doing this would be if one had another cylinder and wanted to be able to fire center fire ammunition. It could have been modified at the time rim fire ammunition was being phased out in favor of center fire. I have added some photos showing the modification.


Bill
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dieNusse1
Posts: 312
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:12 pm
Location: Peoria Heights, IL

Re: Please Help identify this revolver, better photos posted

Post by dieNusse1 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:19 pm

First, as to ammo I would stick to BP loads.

Restoration? The pistol appears to be in good mechanical condition and safe to fire. I think the cost to restore it would be excessive. I'd enjoy it as is but you may want to consult with Turnbull or others to get an estimate.

Good luck and enjoy!

aardq
Posts: 151
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 1:02 pm

Re: Please Help identify this revolver, better photos posted

Post by aardq » Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:48 am

There were a lot of conversions done by a lot of gunsmiths and I have seen many different ways of converting Rem revolvers. In fact, I collect unusual conversions of Rem revolvers. I have 2 New Model Armies that have been converted to single shots with a rectangular block used as a chamber. I also have a NMA that was converted to 22LR, with a14" bbl. So all things are possible. It may have even been a factory experiment, but there is no way to know.

No sense in having it restored since the cost would be in the 2K - 3K range, and the gun isn't worth anything close to that. It does have collector value to those that collect conversions, but not as much as a factory conversion.

Have fun with the gun and shoot it, but ONLY with black powder!! That gun is 155 years old, and the metallurgy has changed in all those years. The design is for the pressure of BP, and not for modern smokeless powders, even reduced loads. Off the top of my head I think that you can shorten 38 special cases to make the 38 colt cartridge, but check the dimensions first. I'm out of state right now so no access to my references.

Have fun with your Rem conversion. Please let us know how it shoots.

PS your DD is one of the first few thousand made, and have the bbl markings on the side. Please tell us what the serial number is. Thanks

Dan

OldFotoMan
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:32 pm

Re: Please Help identify this revolver, better photos posted

Post by OldFotoMan » Tue Jul 23, 2019 12:55 pm

Dan, the number on my DD is 493. As you say, it's a very early one. I'm posting it with some pictures in a separate post, so if anyone can provide more info, I would welcome any more info I can find out about it.

AntiqueSledMan
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:25 am

Re: Please Help identify this revolver, better photos posted

Post by AntiqueSledMan » Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:47 am

Hello OldPhotoMan,

Nice piece. If you plan on shooting it please see the following,

https://1858remington.com/index.php?topic=2016.0

Heeled bullets are not that hard to load, some have tried Hollow Base Bullets
but I doubt they work very well. I'd use pure lead.
Also I would recommend shooting Aliant Black MZ powder,
it leaves a residue which makes an excellent bullet lube so no lubing is required.
The 38 Long Colt cases are available, or can be made by trimming 38 Special.
With a heeled bullet you could even get by with 38 Short Colt.
As mentioned earlier, I would not Hot Rod this old revolver.

AntiqueSledMan

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