nickeled BP open top


January 16, 2011, 01:12 PM
I'm new to BP but have been avidly teaching myself with all the online resource that are available to me.
(I'd bet it amounts to 20 hr.s plus of reading in the past week)
My interest was piqued when I came across an old kit gun that my Dad put together 40? years ago but never shot.
All though it is a brass 1851 .36, I still feel that I will get away with using this gun because I have inspected it pretty close and I think it really is fairly high quality for a reproduction kit gun. I found the manufacturer mark A.S.M hidden under the loading lever. It was marketed by CVA during the 70's.

While checking local stores for supplies and accessories (damn tuff on BP handguns) I found one that has an 1860? Sheriff? Traditions open top .36 that he offered to me at a reasonable? price.
I asked, and he told me that it is a steel frame. This gun is nickled finish and he tells me the previous owner only fired (2) chambers from new using the Hodgdon 777 that sat in the case beside it. I suspect that this gun wasn't cleaned afterward, but I read here and at another BP friendly forum that the substitutes don't wreck a gun with lax post-operative clean up like authentic BP will.
The revolver really didn't look bad from my cursory inspection, I honestly really didn't expect that I would consider buying because I wasn't carrying any funds to speak of, but now that I have been thinking about it, I'm willing to call him back and tell him I'm interested.
(Is this BP revolver bug contagious? I'm afraid that I might have something that is virulent if not overwhelmingly dangerous to marriages or relationships, -whew- glad I don't have that to worry about. My case of Beretta Cougar fever took care of that for me. heh-heh . )

Who among you would venture a guess as to the true manufacture of the gun with just the little info I have been able to provide?
I know - I know , NOT ENOUGH INFORMATION, but, can we take a stab at it when considering a gun that looked to be VERY recently manufactured?
Why? do I say that? Well for one, the barrel has the tell-tale dictionary of stamped info ( -Traditions- yadayada), and two, the nickel finish isn't chipped -or- worn -or- discolored *AT ALL*.
Yeah, coulda been a safe queen ,but, I'm willing to bet that this thing never had as many as 5 birthdays.
I wish I would have paid closer attention while I was there.
Is anyone willing to be adamantly insistant that this series of BP revolvers is not worth the trouble?
I'm asking because I would like to go back later this week with the money and a magnet, maybe enough stuff to pull the wedge and eyeball the thing a bit better , and I would likely avoid if I experience a lot of "caution" from the likes of "expert" advice that I may get via this and (Firing Line) other BP forums.

Sorry about the long winded / somewhat fractious thread , I hope to carry it much further and draw some knowledge from the members here.
If the revolver purchase pans out I would expect that it will be USED to lessen wear and tear on the aforementioned brass framed 1851 and hopefully, gut my 16 year old intererested enough that he will pick it up and learn the art and good times associated with BP firearms ownership.

Thanks in advance,

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January 16, 2011, 02:13 PM
Ok first of all Welcome to THR. I would highly recomend that you check out Black Powder essentials the first post on the main black powder listings. This has a lot of information about shooting black powder. Your ASM is Armi San Marco they made the guns for CVA back in the day. now for that gun if you pull back the hammer and its chamber lines up with the barrel and locks into battery then i would say its good to go. Do not dry fire it all. In fact i would probably just throw away the nipples and purchase a new set. You can get a new set from Deer Creek Products. The reason i say this is that 40 plus years ago the gun was made. You dont think anything of it but im sure it has probably had a couple hundred dry firings on the nipples. Making them a tad rounder on the end. You may not be able to see it but when you go to put on a cap you will notice them not seating all the way. Or you may pull the trigger to nothing then turn the cylinder to that same chamber pulling back the hammer and on the second or third pull the cap goes off. This is a sign of wrong caps or bad nipples. I would not be afraid of firing the 1851 they are very fun to shoot and are very accurate. Black powder shooting is very addictive. now i know your interested in purchasing another gun. You need to first decide if you want to shoot your current gun. If you do go try that one out first master it a little before purchasing another.

January 16, 2011, 03:41 PM
Go inspect that Traditions Sheriff model. It was made by Pietta and is a good quality gun. I read that you will be bringing a magnet. I guess you want to see if it is a steel frame under the nickel. Be advised that nickle is also a ferrous metal , but will not pull attract the magnet as much. You will have to judge the attraction to determine if the frame beneath the nickel plating is steel or brass. In my experience with these C&B revolvers, it's the brass framed ones that seem to get nickel plated finishes more often than steel framed ones.

January 16, 2011, 05:10 PM
Yeah, I was told by the shop keeper that it was a steel frame, but I will still check a lot closer.
I would go so far as to say that he doesn't KNOW. That was just what he said when I asked if it was steel or brass.
I don't intend on over stressing it with excessive charges but from all my studying I have learned that you can stretch these brass frames about as much by leaning on the loading levers too hard / too many times / just through normal use over time.
I'd lke to say that I will be using a cylinder loading stand always, but I don't have one and don't know when I will get my hands on one.
Hell, He has offered it AND the almost full bottle of 777 for $110.00, so I think that if he will let me pull the wedge so that I can inspect for corrosion or abuse I will probably just go ahead and buy it.
It would be alot more fun shooting with my boy if we both had a hogleg to use . What do you think?

January 16, 2011, 05:13 PM
I'd buy it without any undue hesitation, for that price....heck, I've seen non firing replicas go for more. If it were my wallet, I'd be slapping leather like a Texan.

January 16, 2011, 06:08 PM
For that price, I'd buy it too in a heartbeat.

January 17, 2011, 04:15 PM
If it is brass framed it is merely a fair price. Use the magnet and if it's brass, off him $75 or $80 for it. If steel, then it's a good price if he's throwing in the powder.

As to the ASM nipples: I have two "Navy" 44 ASMs I bought in 1994 or 5 and they still have the original nipples. I've probably put a thousand or two rounds through them both and they work great. They like the Remington #10 caps.

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