Remington SoCal, April 16, 2016
By Mike Strietbeck
Well, here we are, sharing notes on the April 16, 2016 quarterly meeting of the RSA SoCal group. This meeting was attended by 12 RSA members and 2 guests. As is the norm, it’s a Saturday morning and we filled the parking lot at Carole Watson’s Orange County Auctions in Irvine. When the doors opened at 9:00 am, it was like a parade. A slow somewhat limping parade, but still a parade, of proud, kings of the jungle, all carrying firearms, and sporting blond manes. No one dare call them grey manes. Not sure but I don’t think this group of armed guys walking thru the parking lot put much fear in anyone else who spotted them. At least the local SWAT team didn’t show up during our meeting. Their absence meant that during the meeting, the donuts (furnished by Joe Poyer), and coffee (furnished by Carole Watson), were safe from investigation (confiscation) by the law enforcement folks.
After spending the first hour viewing some of the inventory coming up for auction at Carole Watson’s next sale, we started our meeting by introducing members and guests. Both guests attending were invited by RSA member Ed Cote. They were Patti Cote, and antique arms aficionado, Bill Coppock. Bill had recently acquired his first Remington, a nice example of a Model 1875 Frontier Revolver, chambered in .45 Gov’t, and bearing a nice factory blue finish, with strong markings and very good wood grips with the caliber marking (.45) standing proud on the left grip. I was fortunate to be able to spend a good amount of time talking with Bill about his revolver and I committed to gathering information from my files and sending that to Bill. You never know, we may have a future new member in the works.
After taking care of introductions and attendance rosters, the meeting started with Ed Hull at the helm and opening the floor for any new RSA business. RSA Director, Jeff Veselenak, gave a brief update on an ongoing discussion among RSA Leaders concerning their efforts to increase membership and exposure among collectors, as well as Jeff’s thoughts about trying to consolidate RSA members tables at gun shows into a “Remington Corner” concept. To me, it sounds interesting and desirable and I look forward to future news on this front. Ed Hull noted that the notes from last quarter’s meeting had been finalized and posted on the RSA website, in the “RSA Members” link. Ed also reminded us of this year’s RSA Seminar to be held in September in Springfield, MO, and the need to get our reservations and checks in the mail to Chip Kloos as soon as possible.
I informed the group of an ongoing discussion I was having with past RSA Director Dan Pozarek concerning research by RSA members Bill Thielen and Phil Boulton, and many others, relative to the Remington New Model Army revolvers bearing the markings “C.A.” and “CCP”, and asked if any members present had any information they would share. If any of you have any information to answer the question of who applied the markings and what they stand for, please forward it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can share it with the researchers. Dan had received a 10 page write up prepared by Bill Thielen and at the time of this writing a copy is enroute to me. I look forward to reading and sharing in the future, any additional information we can gather for Bill. Who knows, maybe a long standing research question can finally be answered and shared in the RSA Journal.
With no other new RSA business to discuss, the floor was opened for the show and tell portion. Ed Hull started by showing his recent acquisition from Poulin Auction Co. — a Rolling Block Shotgun chambered to use either a 16 ga. brass or a 20 ga. paper shell. The focus of admiration seemed to center on the shotgun and deservedly so for it was n fine condition. Ed dated the shotgun at 1879 or later. Our next presenter was Jim Howat who requested and was granted a waiver of the long standing rule of never mentioning the somewhat competitor “C…” during a Remington meeting under penalty of $5.00 per occurrance. Jim brought in to discuss, two different items, not produced by, but related to Remington in one fashion or another. The first was a Whitney Improved Rolling Block 2nd Model rifle, chambered in .43 Spanish and in the 36xxx serial number range, made post 1882.
Jim’s second item was a Model 1894, “C…” Army Service Revolver, chambered in .38 Long “C…”, bearing inspection stamps of “LEB” (Leroy E. Biggs), and “EEC” (Edmund E. Chapman). The association with Remington Arms Co. was explained by Jim and further detailed on the “Antique Arms” website in the following manner…When the US entered WW1 in 1917, the Army contracted with Colt to have approx. 19,500 of its DA revolvers (Models 1892 through 1903) repaired and refinished. Unfortunately, Colt was too busy building 1911 Autos to perform extra work so the contract was awarded to Remington Arms-UMC which carried out the work at their Bridgeport plant in 1918. In Robert Best’s book, A Study of Colt’s New Army and Navy Pattern DA Revolvers 1889-1908, the author points out that these revolvers were not upgraded, simply refinished and repaired if necessary. The Ordnance Dept. assigned Captain Leroy E. Briggs to inspect the work until August 1918. If you look closely on the left side of the frame, you will see Captain Briggs’ inspection mark, “LEB” just above the left grip panel. Interestingly enough, nearly all of the revolvers refurbished in this contract were sent to the US Navy.
Next in line for the show and tell is yours truly and I brought a Remington Military Rolling Block Rifle, chambered in .43 Egyptian and asked for assistance in describing the rifle and accoutrements. The rifle belongs to one of my son’s customers and somehow he got the idea that we knew something about Remingtons. It seems that in our group of RSA members there are quite a few who do know a great deal about these rifles and in no time at all, I had more information than I could ever research at home.
Following me to the microphone was an impromptu discussion about the Irish Fenian army invasion of Canada in 1866. I haven’t done so, but was led to believe that if you Google “St. Albans” you should be able to see how this invasion took place and its relationship to E. Remington and Sons. After this discussion, Jeff Veselenak shared an 1863 Dahlgren Knife bayonet with scabbard. This beautiful bayonet fits the Whitney Navy Model of 1861 (AKA “Plymouth”) rifle. After the Civil War, Schuyler, Harltey & Graham obtained a large number of these muskets, which they had converted to shotguns, while SH&G converted the saber bayonets to knife bayonets, reducing the muzzle ring to fit the Remington rifle.
Jim also brought in a Model 1-1/2 Rolling block, chambered in .22 cal., with a heavy barrel and a Schnable forend. A beautiful rifle for sure.
The final presenter was Ron Covey, who brought in a Model 12-C, .22 Long Rifle, s/n in the 44xxx range (and I owe him a production date). He also shared a Model 25 with round barrel, chambered in 25-20, and a Model 700 Mountain Rifle, chambered in .280 — which prompted a loud discussion on how hard that .280 is on the shooter’s shoulder. We then closed out the meeting so we could view the upcoming auction items, then break for lunch.
In closing, let me remind you members: if you arrange a quarterly meeting in your neck of the woods, have somebody take notes to share with the rest of us. Remember that the meeting doesn’t have to be an inside, sit down meeting, it could be a shoot and talk session of any type. We are just thinking that any type of a get together builds a bonding friendship and is pleasant to read about.
Till next time,