1858 remington or 1860 colt?


oklahoma caveman
February 23, 2010, 10:52 AM
ok guys i am ready to buy my first blackpowder revolver and i need some advice. what are the pros and cons of each? which do you prefer? which would be better, safer, for a newb in the blackpowder revolver area?

If you enjoyed reading about "1858 remington or 1860 colt?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
February 23, 2010, 11:06 AM
which would be better, safer,
Neither. Each has it's own traits, so 'better' is in the eye of the beholder, and safety is in the hand of the same guy.
which do you prefer?
Personally, the 1860 Colt, but that's of no value to you.
what are the pros and cons of each?
Staying away from personal things, like how it fits my hand, etc. I'd say the Remington is easier to change (remove/install) cylinders with, but it tends to bind up with fouling quicker. The Colt is better balanced but shoots high.

And no matter what anyone tells you, the Remington is NOT 'stronger' than the Colt. Both are capable of safely firing full chamber loads all day long. The apparent 'strength' advantage of the Remington top strap is entirely offset by the much larger arbor in the Colt.

Really, you need to handle both and decide which fits your hand better. And eventually, buy one of each.

February 23, 2010, 11:06 AM
Can't comment on the Colt - but I've had great luck with my Uberti '58 remmy. (it was my first black powder..)

February 23, 2010, 11:19 AM
If you plan on doing any gunfightin buy the Colt

oklahoma caveman
February 23, 2010, 11:31 AM
The Colt is better balanced but shoots high
why does it shoot high?

Really, you need to handle both and decide which fits your hand better. And eventually, buy one of each

this would be my plan but there really are not many places around to try them, and very few people own them.

If you could only have one of the two which would it be?

February 23, 2010, 11:32 AM
I sure like my Pietta Remington 1858 New Model Army .44's a lot. Absolutely no complaints, but I also agree fully with Mr. MyKeal when he state's that the Remington is no stronger than the Colt. Both of them are plenty strong enough to get the job done in a highly satisfactory manner. I chose the Pietta's because of the larger grips, over-all balance of the piece, ease and speed in changing cylinders,etc etc....

February 23, 2010, 11:43 AM
You really can't lose either way. I've always preferred the top-strapless style of the Colt, but my 1858 Uberti New Army conversion (.45LC) is a GREAT pistol. So is my .36 cal 1858 police BP revolver. Either one you select will shoot well and give you long service.

February 23, 2010, 11:59 AM
For a newb...I'd recommend an Uberti 1858. The front site can be adjusted with a drift and a mallet....on the Pietta you can't. Also, with the 1858 you don't have to fool around with tapping a wedge in or out to remove the cylinder. In fact, no tools are needed. For your second BP revolver (yes, you WILL get another) get a Colt design. Either an 1851 or an 1861. Then for your third get a Walker. :D

p.s. stay away from brass frames.

February 23, 2010, 12:56 PM
The Colt is better balanced but shoots high

why does it shoot high?

The Colt hammer serves as the rear sight and out of the box they're often sighted in for about a 75 yard zero which is combat fighting distance for hitting a human torso with it.
Generally a notch needs to be filed deeper into the hammer or a new higher front sight added to lower the point of aim.
This is due to the Colt not having a frame with a topstrap to be able to mount an adjustable rear sight on or to have a groove in the topstrap to serve as a rear sight.
The Pietta 1858 Target Model has an adjustable rear sight as does the Euroarms Rogers & Spencer Target Model.

February 23, 2010, 03:33 PM
It was no contest for me. The 1858 just didn’t fit my hand very well:
So I went for the 1860 instead::)

February 23, 2010, 06:11 PM
I can't tell you much about the 1860 Colt. but judging from what I've read on these posts, it's a great gun. I would like to say though that I have an 1858 Pietta Remington New Model Army 44 as my first BP gun and I really like it. I don't think you will go wrong with either one.
Why don't you just flip a coin........or just get one of each:D

February 23, 2010, 06:21 PM
I have an 1860 Colt 'Uberti' and it is a very nice Revolver in every way.

Comfortable, good balance, powerful, probably as reliable as an Anvil.

The 1858 Remington I can not comment on since I have never owned or fired one, but, I know they are very popular and well liked also.

Flip a Coin!

Either way you win!

If it has not been mentioned yet - if you are figuring to shoot much, and or with full Powder Loads, you should elect a Steel Frame, and not a Brass Frame, for whichever Model you end up choosing.

February 23, 2010, 06:47 PM
Calibre44, what IS that thing? I want one!:)

February 23, 2010, 07:14 PM
If you like Calibre44's, then you'll want to buy NAA's "The Earl" which is an actual working model. My local gunshop has one on display.


NAA also makes the 4 inch Mini-Master without a loading lever:


February 23, 2010, 07:31 PM
I like the Remmies, but practical reasons really shouldn't apply to black powder. Which one do you think LOOKS the neatest? That's probably the most important. :D My opinion is of little use in your decision.

February 23, 2010, 09:19 PM
Well I have aan 1851 Colt and an 1858 remmie. They both function fine. they both shoot pretty darn well for cap n ball pistols.

I personally like the looks of the 1858 better. That being said, I LOVE the feel of the 1851. I don't know how to describe it other than its like an extension of my own arm. It handles better, it points faster. It just plain feels better in my hand. I shoot with both eyes open and quick target aquisition and sight picture and accurate shot placement are easier for me with the 1851 Colt. It just feels right.

Thats why you should buy both. Don't feel bad as thats why I have 2. I suspect we're not alone either. Its a sickness I tell you.

February 24, 2010, 12:41 AM
As I mentioned in an earlier thread, I recently purchased the 5 1/2" 1858 remmie from Cabelas since they are on sale. It's a Pietta, and I'm totally in love with this thing!
The shorter barrel balances it really well, it feels great in my hand and just got my 45LC conversion cylinder for it. Shoots like a champ.

I also have an 1860 Army from Pietta, and it also feels good in my hand. It's quite different from the 1858 in terms of 'feel' though.

They're both excellent guns, so in the end it really comes down to aesthetics.

February 24, 2010, 08:42 AM
I would recommend a 1858 NMA Remington as the first bp revolver. You don't have to deal with the wedge. If you find bp to your liking then you can add a open top. One leads to many.

February 24, 2010, 09:17 AM
Flip a coin ....or buy both ... one set of possibles and 2 pistols ...never split a pair .

Rock Island
February 24, 2010, 09:30 AM
I like my Remingtons, but I love my '60 Uberti Colt. Fits my hand well, hits whatever I want to hit, I am better with it than my modern shooters, it's best at longer ranges 65-75 yards has it dead on. The Rem is OK, I just never seem to do as well with them, they just never sound just right to my ear when I cock them, but they are easier to drop a cylinder out of for a quick reload, and the design is stronger with the top strap.
Just get the both of them.

Foto Joe
February 24, 2010, 10:05 AM
Good Lord man do you realize that by asking this question you quite possibly could crash the server??? One thing that yer gonna learn REAL quick with BP shooting is: ask anyone who shoots BP his opinion and be prepared to LEARN A LOT!! This is because we all are addicted to these things and believe everybody else should be too.

Buy what talks to you. But beware of picking up Dragoons or Walkers though, they have the uncanny ablity to follow you out of the store whether you need one or not. Once they come home with you they will eat you out of powder quickly!!

Strap or strapless is of no consequence, it's what makes your mouth water that counts.

Have FUN and welcome to the sickness.


February 24, 2010, 10:32 AM
Remmies rule. I started with the Colt Navy in 1974,and have had many colt types since. One screw [trigger guard] to get at the guts for a remmie,six to get inside a Colt. The two next to the hammer,the two next to the trigger, the one at the ''heel'' of the grip, and the trigger guard.

February 24, 2010, 01:36 PM
Armed Bear wrote: Calibre44, what IS that thing? I want one!
Hi ArmedBear
My Father bought it for me about 40 years ago. It used to cock, cycle the cylinder and fire those red plastic caps. Heres a better pic of it:
I like to hold it, drink from a miniture bottle of whiskey and pretend I'm a giant:)

February 24, 2010, 02:11 PM
If thats not bad enough here's more grist for your mill. Brass, blued, or stainless? If you've the coin go with stainless, they clean up the easiest. As for what flavor, I favor the spare cylinder, so my nod goes to the remmie 58.

Old Cannonballs
February 24, 2010, 02:51 PM
I notice no one has mentioned the 1851 Navy...

oklahoma caveman
February 24, 2010, 03:28 PM
I notice no one has mentioned the 1851 Navy...

You are right sir. Please fill me in on this model as well.

February 24, 2010, 03:54 PM
No one built Navys better than Colt
Less powder ... less lead... kills targets just as dead
Never split a pair .

February 24, 2010, 04:01 PM
Oh for Pete's sake just get all 3!

oklahoma caveman
February 24, 2010, 04:05 PM
Oh for Pete's sake just get all 3!

That is something that I fully intend to do, but on a college students salary (which is paying in to the system, not getting back from) all 3 at this point in time would be an impossibility.

February 24, 2010, 04:13 PM
I purchased a Uberti Remington M1858 Revolver

To shoot it required .454 bullets and #11 percussion caps

This revolver showed excellent bluing and polishing. Trigger pull was crisp and light at 2 ½ pounds.

The revolver did not shoot to point of aim, as received, it shot low and to the left at 25 yards. It is much better to have one of these shoot low as you can file the front sight down. Which I did. It shot left because the barrel had not been perfectly turned to center, and the front sight was just slightly right. While this is a defect, I have never seen a replica blackpowder pistol where the sights were mounted correctly. Most are grossly off center. I have a Armi San Palo M1858 that I have never fired because the front sight is pointing at 10 OC. Because the front sight is in a dovetail, I was able to drift it to correct the windage. I was able able to file the front sight to shoot to point of aim at 25 yards.

Colt replicas are the often the worst for not shooting to point of aim and are not correctable for wind age. Often they shoot extraordinary high, like three feet high at 25 yards. This can only be corrected with a taller front sight blade, and I don’t know a source.

I miked the chamber mouths and found that five measured 0.449” and one measured 0.450”. I used .0454” soft lead round balls and did not have any major difficulties ramming the balls. With these front loader revolvers I believe you need to have just a little ring of lead removed from the ball as it is rammed. A tight fit and no any air gaps reduces the chance of flash over ignition.

The pistol shot best with 3F powder. I used a 32 grain nozzle on my flask, and I placed Ox-Yoke wads under the bullet. Ox-Yoke wads do an excellent job in removing powder fouling from the barrel. I highly recommend them. I used to use Crisco over the ball; Crisco will keep the powder fouling moist, but it will make the pistol and the shooter slick with vegetable oil.

The pistol shot accurately, not match accuracy, because the sights are tiny and hard to use, with more careful loading and better sights it may be capable of approaching match accuracy. No one should think that it is a blunderbuss as it shoots as accurately as my Colt factory Series 80 M1911.

The following is a comment on the Remington design. It is clearly superior to any Colt caplock. Firstly most Colts have 12 visible screws. The Remington has six. To access the inner lock works on a Colt you have to remove six screws, three trigger guard screws, one mainspring tension screw, and two back strap screws. On a Remington you have to remove one guard screw, one grip screw, and one mainspring tension screw. The Remington only uses two side plate screws to hold in lock works, the Colt uses three. There is one tiny screw on the Remington cylinder hand that I had to unscrew to remove the hammer and the hand. Maybe there is a trick that I have not figured out yet. Unfortunately, something that is true for all replica actions, most screws are unique, and a couple will be so very similar that it is easy to start them in the incorrect hole.

The cylinder in the Remington design is easily removed by dropping the ramrod and pulling out the cylinder pin. The parts fit is tight and requires jiggling, but it is far better than the Colt. The Colt requires an involved process: First, removal of the barrel wedge. This entails loosening of the wedge screw, and then driving the cylinder wedge out to the side. For me I need a drift in addition to a rawhide mallet. The barrel is usually tight on the cylinder pin, I use the rammer against the cylinder face for leverage. Considering the loss of coordination under stress, the number of hand movements, the number of loose parts involved, it is hard to believe that soldiers in battle exchanged cylinders for a quick reload. I wonder if this is some sort of a myth.

In the seventy rounds I fired, I did not have one exploded cap jam the action. This shows the intelligent design of the Remington. The closed frame prevents a cap from getting between the hammer and the frame. It is not unusual in six shots to have one or more exploded caps come off a Colt nipple and fall in between the hammer and the frame. If a cap falls into the lock works, sometimes it takes needle nosed pliers to clear the debris. If you fire a Colt enough, you will learn to flick your wrist as you cock it, in an attempt to toss the busted cap clear of the revolver.

The Remington nipples are slightly angled outward, making it easier to push a cap on. The Colt nipples are perpendicular to the cylinder. There are notches next to the nipple which are just the right size to clear a capping tool. Depending on the colt replica, you do not have safety notches between the cylinder. The Remington has them.

If you look at your history books, the Remington design carried over to cartridge revolvers with very little changes. The open top Colt went in the ash heap of history.

February 24, 2010, 04:14 PM
Oh I understand completely Caveman, took me a while as well to get mine. 3 years I believe.

February 25, 2010, 09:18 PM
Whatever you like, Slamfire. The Remington is good. I have one. But the old Colts are just beautiful. Wild Bill stuck with his 1851s long after the cap and ball was obsolete.

February 25, 2010, 10:29 PM
I think that I bought 'em in the right order over the last 33 years. The '58 Remington was a good intro, the '51 Colt was a good addition, the ROA made for a fun digression, and the Walker is great for pushing the edge. More will follow, of course, but I haven't come close to wearing the fun out of any of the ones that I already have.

February 26, 2010, 07:24 AM
Next should be a Rogers & Spencer.

Old Cannonballs
February 26, 2010, 03:06 PM
I notice no one has mentioned the 1851 Navy...

You are right sir. Please fill me in on this model as well.

It is the belief of many that the .36 caliber 1851 Colt Navy (it was only ever made in .36 caliber, although there are nowadays .44 caliber versions also available) was the best balanced hand gun ever made. People describe it as being like an extension of their arm, and having very intuitive "pointability." If you ever pick one up in your hand, you'll see what they're talking about. It was Wild Bill Hickock's favorite pistol.

August 31, 2010, 11:36 PM
bump, I had to, it is like watching a 9mm vs 45ACP fight.

September 1, 2010, 04:36 AM
Give me an 1851 Navy or 1861 Navy for ergonomics and economy of shooting. My Ubertis shoot very close to point of aim. My experience with Remingtons is that they foul-up quickly and the cylinder becomes very difficult to remove. This was a complaint in the time frame that folks who used these guns for serious business made also.

September 1, 2010, 04:15 PM
I like the Remington for precision accuracy, not so much for one hand shooting. The 1860 Colt is much more practical for me when it comes to point (instinctive) and shoot, it just seems to be a much more balanced natural for that task.

September 1, 2010, 05:03 PM

'51 Navy is a .36 Caliber...and suited for small Hands...and is a different League.

'60 Colt, and the ( always mis-named ) '58 Remington, are .44 Caliber...and suited for medium to medium large Hands.

The '51 is too small a grip for me...while, the '60 Colt and '58 Remington are fine.

If I had to choose between the 1860 Colt, and, the 1858 Remington, it would be a hard choice. Though different from eachother, both are excellent Revolver designs, comfortable, easy to use and manage, and good looking.

September 2, 2010, 02:07 AM
I just want to know a little bit more about what this "or" term is all about. I don't remember ever hearing about any "or" when discussing the accumulation of classic BP clone revolvers. Only ever seen "and" or "soon".

Seriously, if you like BP handguns then you NEED at least one of each. I got a brace of Remington clones first but the Colt 1861 is different enough a feel while shooting and looks different enough to fully justify having examples of both in your BP gun collection.

If you enjoyed reading about "1858 remington or 1860 colt?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!