1863 Remington New Army .44 with grip notches

Topics related to Pre - 1898 Remington Pistols
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jduley2001
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:26 am

1863 Remington New Army .44 with grip notches

Post by jduley2001 »

Early in 2020 I purchased four Civil War revolvers from a third generation owner of a local gun shop. He had found these four revolvers in a drawer and had no idea if his father or grandfather took them in. They were dust covered from sitting in the gun shop. Two were .44 New Army models, one of which had the German silver front sight post. One was a Navy .36 caliber and the last was a Manhattan Navy .36 Caliber.

All were taken apart and cleaned well and while doing so I discovered that one of the New Army revolvers had six notches cut into the inside of the grips when they were removed. The notches could represent anything from war use to shooting tin cans, but the logic of putting notches on the inside of grips is notable. If you were taken prisoner of war and you had six notches on the exterior of your revolver, then you might well be the seventh notch. This revolver maintains approximately 60% of it's original bluing, and appears to have been well taken care of. The serial number of the revolver are written in pencil on both inside halves of the grips. The revolver is 100% matching.

I have shot three of the four revolvers with the New Army talked about above to be the last to be shot.

Has anyone ever encountered notches on the grips of their Civil War revolvers? :?:
dieNusse1
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Location: Mishawaka, IN

Re: 1863 Remington New Army .44 with grip notches

Post by dieNusse1 »

The first question is whether or not they have military inspection/acceptance marks. Photos and S/Ns would be helpful.
jduley2001
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:26 am

Re: 1863 Remington New Army .44 with grip notches

Post by jduley2001 »

The acceptance cartouche is on the left grip, faint. S/N 46686 See attached photographs.
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aardq
Posts: 436
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 1:02 pm

Re: 1863 Remington New Army .44 with grip notches

Post by aardq »

Hi jdudley,

No idea about the 3 lines, they can mean what ever you want them to mean. Never heard of notches on the inside of the grips, and notches usually aren't that long. That requires removing the grips and risk loosing the screw. The screw head doesn't look like it's been messed with so maybe a correct screwdriver was used?

Your serial was made in April of 1864. Send the serials of the other Rems and I'll look up the dates. The "pinched" front sights started in late 63 at the Ordnance Dept.'s request.

That is a nice gun, enjoy it.

Daniel
Cloverleaf
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun May 24, 2020 3:59 pm

Re: 1863 Remington New Army .44 with grip notches

Post by Cloverleaf »

Nice gun +1
nice gun +1
Nice gun +1
+1
Mattmatt61720
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2021 5:12 pm

Re: 1863 Remington New Army .44 with grip notches

Post by Mattmatt61720 »

She’s certainly a beaut... I would surmise that the grip notches or lines inside the grips were for a common soldier, who may not know how to read or write, let alone recognize numbers to indicate that it was, his gun. “hey man, take off the grips, I’ve got three lines inside mine” purely speculation... That being said if I was a type of guy who notched his handgun for kills, I would want it to show it and be asked the question. Again, purely speculation. I have a Colt 1850 that has three notches on the grips it’s a civilian model, I assume they are Indian kills, based on the time and location of the gun as well and some writings from the original owner. He was a 49er who actually discovered golden, and had five generations of mines. I was smart enough to acquire this piece out of pure dumb luck ! Sorry Daniel, I had to mention Colts at least once on this forum….
aardq
Posts: 436
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 1:02 pm

Re: 1863 Remington New Army .44 with grip notches

Post by aardq »

Well Matt,

There is a $5 fine for using the "C" word in this forum. For each and every use! Send your $10 fine money to the RSA Treasurer. Be warned, if you persist in using the "C" word, the fine will be increased!! ; )

Daniel
FredNovy40
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Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2023 1:32 pm

Re: 1863 Remington New Army .44 with grip notches

Post by FredNovy40 »

.

31 Aug 2023
Mattmatt61720

Sorry that you did not say where the local gun shop was located.? that might have helped or perhaps not.....?
In any event, I have studied many WAR arms and in particular: 1841 rifles, 1842 muskets and 1842 pistols from that ""WAR""...!!!
and I can say that it is my personal opinion (and it is worth exactly that.!), these simple marks were used during that ""WAR""
by Southern Armory Workers to simply keep track of parts, while they were cleaning or repairing arms for the Southern Cause.!!!
You will often see such marks on barrels and in the adjacent barrel channels which visibly show those items are MATCHING and belong together......!!!!
So look for more such marks ""///"" s elsewhere.......as they were simply matching worker marks.....!
If you stop to think about the South in those years, they had no supply of number stamps at all... or any other stamps for that matter as those items would have come from the North, (Harpers Ferry) or from Europe......!
They had only items at hand......
So, they could cut Roman Numeral-like marks rather easily with their simple tools that were on their work benches and have accomplished the needed result...... i.e. keeping track of those parts for later reassembly.!
I rest my case, Sir,
Yours sincerely,
Fred Novy
ASAC & RSA

.
aardq
Posts: 436
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 1:02 pm

Re: 1863 Remington New Army .44 with grip notches

Post by aardq »

Hi Fred,

First off, those are not notches, which are small cuts into the grip. Those are just scribed lines. I'm not into rifles, so I can't comment on them, but I've never seen marks like this on pistol grips, inside or outside. The stocks are already numbered, and I doubt that any illiterate person would have been used to assemble guns since the few important parts were already numbered, and those numbers had to be read. This revolver has the number on the rear of the cylinder, which means that it was hand fitted to the gun. The number on the stocks may also indicate that they were fit to the frame.

I've seen a fair number of Confederate pistols and they all have numbers and makers' names stamped on them, so I doubt there was any shortage of number stamps, and besides, we have no idea if this gun was even ever in Southern hands.

Without written documentation on similar lines being used, any thing that we think they may be, it just a wild guess.
jduley2001
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:26 am

Re: 1863 Remington New Army .44 with grip notches

Post by jduley2001 »

I still own this Civil War revolver. To answer one of the questions asked earlier in a post, the family owned gun shop was located in Connecticut along the shoreline I believe. There were a total of four Civil War revolvers he (gun shop descendent) was selling that he had found together in a drawer.. Two .44 Remington's. One .36 Remington and a .36 cal Manhattan. The other .44 cal had Silver front dome sight post. I initially passed on the .44 we are discussing here because it looked to good for its' age. I revisited the seller weeks later and then bought the .44 that had retained so much of its' original blue. Only upon cleaning did I find the "notches" on the inside of the grips. What they mean is anyone's guess. Six squirrels shot, six tin cans shot or six enemy soldiers shot. We shall never know. What is known is that who ever owned this revolved took great care of it and I believe it might not have been carried by a foot soldier. But, as the notches, this is just a guess. My brother now maintains the other .44 with the silver front sight, the other two have found new owners over the years. This .44 we are questioning now, I still have it.

I have considered selling it over the past two years, but I do not want it to go somewhere where the history is not appreciated. I have no further knowledge on the history of this .44, but I can say there are no other markings inscribed into the metal of the revolver that might indicate a capture firearm by a Confederate soldier. I believe it came out or Connecticut and returned to Connecticut after the war had ended. But, no proof of this exist that I am aware of. The .44 is in great condition for its' age and where it had been in the years after it was built by Remington Firearms in Bridgeport, CT.

It is kept dry and lubricated with all cylinders clear and capable of being loaded and fired with a cap. Every Time
Three of four Civil War revolvers
Three of four Civil War revolvers
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aardq
Posts: 436
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 1:02 pm

Re: 1863 Remington New Army .44 with grip notches

Post by aardq »

Hello again,

I have to ask, what do you mean when you say, "Silver front dome sight post"? The first front sight was a German silver, cone, like the bottom revolver in the photo of three revolvers. The second front sight was a round steel post with the sides at the top milled to make a mini blade. The second sight is called the pinched sight, because it looks like the post was just pinched at the top. This is the sight on the revolver in the photos.

The middle revolver in the photo has a non-factory blade type, front sight.


After the Civil war Remington switched to a German silver blade front sight, which looks like a half moon when seen from the side. This type of front wasn't used on the New Model army revolvers.

Not all NMAs were bought by the government. About 34,000 Army Model revolvers, of all three types, the Beals, the 1861, and New Model were sold on the civilian market. Some soldiers, especially officers, bought pistols on their own in the civilian market, so some "civilian" revolvers were used by soldiers.

Daniel
jduley2001
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:26 am

Re: 1863 Remington New Army .44 with grip notches

Post by jduley2001 »

Since there is no written history on these four Civil War revolvers, we can only speculate if they were used in actual engagements. To speculate the six lines on the inside of the grips meaning will never be answered. I would maintain the original owner of this Remington put them there as a personal record of something important to him. Engagements he was involved in does not seem important enough to remove the grips to record them with a scratch. Servicing the Remington is not important enough to record in scratches. But keeping a record of soldiers who died as the result if this Remingtons’ use, might just be important enough for the owner to record somewhere for his personal history. He might not have been so proud of his actions to display his results on the exterior of the grips. We will never know the true meaning of the notches/scratches inside the grips. We do know that the owner of this Remington took good care of it during and after the Civil War. It has all the appearances of being put away after the war and kept in a safe environment. How four Civil War revolvers found their way into a drawer in a three generational gun shop in Connecticut is another answer we will never have.

This Remington remains well taken care of and in a dry safe. The Remington is now 160 years old and still trying to tell us its’ mysterious story of where it had gone after leaving the Remington Firearms Company so many years ago.
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