1860 Army Rotated to the Top


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mec
November 4, 2006, 02:38 PM
It was the Army's turn today. Been a while as there is such a thing as too many guns.
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=47317&stc=1&d=1162665186

Was equipped with .457 wads, pyrodex and both the 1/8" and doublethick BigIron wads with Gatofeo lube. Charge of 30 grains produced about 50 fps more velocity with these wads than a similar load on a different day. this may or may not be significant and the differences shown below for the small count averages may or may not mean anything either.
http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-2/949073/gatwad.jpg
Barrel went uncleaned throughout a morning's shoot with no accumulation of fouling in the bore. The visible residue wipes out with one sweep of a cleaning patch.
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=47319&stc=1&d=1162665186

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Ferret
November 4, 2006, 02:57 PM
Nice revolver... nice grouping... nice wads.

What make is that 1860... the cylinder looks a little strange.

mec
November 4, 2006, 03:58 PM
When the army first came out they used these fluetted cylinders to make them lighter. They were proud of a new mass produced steel they called " silver spring steel." ( there is still a basic steel called silver steel). Pretty soon, these revolvers started coming back with the cylinder's blown and that's when they went back to the standard type. Cimarron advertises them in antique finish and calls them McCullough Colts. The story is that Ben McCollough, a famous Texas Ranger, ordered a thousand of them for the Rangers. this was after secession but before the war broke out. Five hundred made it to texas through the union blockades.

Shawnee
November 4, 2006, 04:35 PM
Hi MEC...

Another nice piece and target(s) from you!

I've noticed no one seems to make the 1861 Navy in .44 - only in .36 caliber. Did Colt never make the 1861 in .44? Maybe they thought if people wanted a .44 they could just get their 1860 Army?
What's the learned scoop on that?:confused:

Tommygunn
November 4, 2006, 04:41 PM
I've noticed no one seems to make the 1861 Navy in .44 - only in .36 caliber. Did Colt never make the 1861 in .44?

I remember seeing adds for repro 61s in .44. I never bought one. They would be like the 1860's. I believe the ones I saw were Armi San Marco.

Colt never made .44 caliber versions of the 1851 or 61. The .44 repros you see of the 1851 are only a modern "twist on a theme" so to speak.

mec
November 4, 2006, 05:10 PM
Right. the .44 Navies marked now are a lot like some sub varieties and prototypes of the army revolver but they never made either a 51 or post 60 navy in anything but .36. What colt did do in 1861 was come out with a Navy along the same lines as the 60 army -with the round barrel and creeping loading lever but in 36. From RL Wilson, it appears that about 100 of them had the same funcky fluetted cylinder as seen on my Army. No problem with strength on a smaller bore.

Shawnee
November 4, 2006, 05:41 PM
Aha !!!

Well that helps explain a number of things, including why the .36 caliber retained as much popularity as it did right to the end of the 1800s. Maybe even the same for the .31 in the more carry-able, concealable "Sheriff" and "Police" models!

mec
November 4, 2006, 05:57 PM
the 31s were the largest sellers at about 350,000. the .36 51 navy was next in line. Both were in circulation from 1850 giving them a long head start on the others. I'm not sure the .36 sheriffs model ever existed. Not by that name at least. the shorter guns besides the 31s were the 1862 police and the pocket navy from the same year. (19,000and 20,000 units)

These were both on the 31 frame with frame and cylinder rebated so that the larger 36 caliber cylinder would fit.

Shawnee
November 4, 2006, 06:17 PM
Hmmm. Pretty interesting that the smaller .31s were the biggest sellers.
I wonder what the sale figures on the .31 replicas are. Hmmm. Do re-enacters commonly buy the smaller .31s?
I would guess that was to chiefly the civilian market and reflects their "portability" advantage for civilians.
Come to think of it, the mid and late 1800s were (I think) the heyday of the derringer and a "Sheriff" or "Police" would certainly have been less tricky to handle than a derringer but still not as cumbersome as one of the bigger, heavier Army/Navy genre.
Mucho interesting !!! :)

mec
November 4, 2006, 06:26 PM
31 replicas are not well suited to the cowboy games played with the navies, armies and remingtons. In the past, it has been just about impossible to keep them working as suppliers weren't willing to keep spare parts on hand. this has changed in the last few year with VTI, and cimarron stocking parts for the ubertis and several piettas.

Shawnee
November 4, 2006, 06:41 PM
Hi MEC....

I keep reading about spare parts availability for the BP revolvers. Is that indicative that they are somewhat fragile and require spare parts often or maybe ony that way if used a lot as in a lot of cowboy action shooting?
How well do the replicas stand up to more or less casual target shooting?:confused:

Old Fuff
November 4, 2006, 07:06 PM
Colt made prototype 1851 Navy's with 5 1/2 and 6 1/2 inch barrels, but the company never marketed them. The also made at least one prototype 1851 Navy in .40 caliber - I once handled serial number 1... :eek: :)

The first prototypes of what became the 1860 Army had 1851 Navy stocks, but the Army requested a longer grip, perhaps thinking about their experience with the Dragoon series, and Colt complied.

I have examined a number of original Colt Single Actions where someone put on a set of 1860 Army straps, and stocks. Makes an interesting gun for those that complain that the regular configuration of the SAA doesn't leave any room for the little finger.

Old Fuff
November 4, 2006, 07:13 PM
Shawnee:

About the only thing that breaks in both original and replica guns is springs - in particular the trigger & bolt spring, and the hand spring. That and an occasional trigger. These parts are inexpensive, and can usually be replaced without gunsmithing. If the original guns had been excessively fragile they wouldn't have been as popular as they were. Some were still in regular use during the early years of the 20th century.

Shawnee
November 4, 2006, 07:31 PM
Thanks OF!

Interesting stuff!!!!!

I know what you mean about the length of the Navy/Army grips. The Navy leaves my little finger hanging on for Dear Life but, with the Army, the grip is long enough but I have to move the gun in my grip slightly to cock the hammer with my shooting hand thumb... which is most of the reason the Navy "feels better" to me in action.

I've never held a Dragoon. What are you referencing when you say "...but the Army requested a longer grip, perhaps thinking about their experience with the Dragoon series".
??? Were/are the Dragoons unbalanced due to the grip ???

dwave
November 4, 2006, 07:56 PM
I never handled the Dragoon either, but if the grip is like the 51 then it is small. The grips are kinda small especially for a person with large hands like me. I can still use it, but the grips on the 1860 are better for me.

Old Fuff
November 4, 2006, 08:58 PM
The Dragoon series of .44 revolvers were larger then either the 1851 Navy or '60 Army and preceeded both. Or maybe it should be put the other way, as both the 1851 and 1860 models were downsized from the Dragoons. But anyway, some in the U.S. Army found the Dragoon grip too be to large, while the 1851 Navy was too small. Colt lengthened the 1851 handle and came up with a size that was in the middle, and most everybody was happy. I suspect that "dwave" would find the Dragoon sized grip to be his cup of tea. If you ever handle a Dragoon (original or replica) you'll find that it is a BIG revolver, intended to be carried in saddle holsters - hence the name "Dragoon." They were well balanced, but very heavy.

I may be the only member that's ever shot an ORIGINAL Dragoon... :eek: ;)

mec
November 4, 2006, 10:03 PM
Here's a dragoon above a pocket model:
[ http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-2/949073/dragoonfargo.jpg

and a dragoon above one of those free targets America Offline sends out
http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-2/949073/Dragoonaol.jpg

sjohns
November 5, 2006, 12:30 AM
I like that last pic mec!

mcneill
November 5, 2006, 01:11 PM
"...there is such a thing as too many guns."

mec - bite your tounge. It's a well-known fact that there is no such thing as too many guns.:D


Jim

mec
November 5, 2006, 01:37 PM
"It's a well-known fact that there is no such thing as too many guns. "

True. Having a glut of them keeps you from wearing them out quite so fast and also provides variety.

Plink
November 5, 2006, 07:02 PM
True. Having a glut of them keeps you from wearing them out quite so fast and also provides variety.

Collecting them also helps keep things such as money from cluttering up your life. Afterall, bank accounts need exercise too. I'm proud to say that my bank account is lean and trim! :rolleyes:

dwave
November 5, 2006, 08:02 PM
If the Dragoon grips are larger than the 1860 Army I believe that they would be my cup of tea! I have large hands, and though firing the 51 is not a problem (I just tuck my pinky under the handle) I find larger grips nice.

BigG
November 6, 2006, 10:10 AM
The Dragoon has larger grips, yes, but the whole dang thing is larger, also. About like a Ruger Super Redhawk or so. A massive piece of iron.

It would be nice if you would post a pic of the 1860 and the Dragoon together to emphasize the size difference.

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