Why do some scare people away from Brass Frames?


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Rogue Coder
April 25, 2012, 03:38 PM
I could not tell you how many times I have read, either on forums or on YouTube, comments where people are looking for advice on their first DARK gun and they get to read "stay away from brass and get a real gun".

I hear about frame stretching, cracking, warping, "anemic loads only", etc....

I have a Brass Frame Remington. I load 30 grains of powder and use .451 round ball. I know that it will never be a magnum revolver. If I wanted one I would have bought one. I wanted a cheaper (price not quality) gun. Brass is PERFECT to get started with in the dark arts. Already I am looking at a traditional percussion rifle or another Brass Frame Remington. Heck I might even buy a brass-frame 1851. Sorry guys I'm ranting. What are you honest thoughts on both brass frames and the issue with people trying to get others to shy away from brass?

:fire::cuss::fire::cuss:

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Donny
April 25, 2012, 04:21 PM
I like my brass framed guns too. I load them down a bit but not a lot. In my .44 brassers I load 25 grains of Pyrodex P. Some still think thats too much but it hasn't damaged them yet. The only brasser I have that I'm careful about is an 1861 Pony Express colt in .36. I was loading 20 grains of Pyro P and it was battering the recoil shield a bit. I've backed off to 18 grains with round ball and 15 grains with a conical and all looks to be fine. Brassers are (used to be)an inexpensive way to get into cap and ball revolvers. Why spend a lot for something that you might not like?

Don

Driftwood Johnson
April 25, 2012, 05:23 PM
Howdy

Come over to my house sometime and I will show you my brass framed 44 caliber Navy with its stretched frame. Barrel permanently points up a few degrees now. Shoots about a foot high at 30 feet.

Just a wall hanger now, too many 30 grain loads over the years.

junkman_01
April 25, 2012, 05:28 PM
Rogue Coder,

It's obvious you have NOT been around these C&B revolvers very long. You'll learn! :banghead:

TheRodDoc
April 25, 2012, 10:42 PM
The frame itself does not stretch. The force is between the forcing cone area of the barrel and the threads of the arbor. What can happen is that the very poor fitting threads they use can pull some and the arbor can then loosen. Also the recoil pad can get wore back some where the cylinder sets on it. And both these things can be fixed very easily before it happens by simply removing the arbor on a new gun and coating all the threads with a retaining compound and reassemble. Also reducing the barrel gap and last reducing the hand spring tension to almost none. Then you can shoot full loads as much as you would like without hurting a thing.

reducing the hand spring tension helps stop the cyl. from being pushed up against the barrel before firing so it doesn't have to slam back against the brass when firing. Also eliminates 1/2 to 2/3 's of the binding of cyl. from fouling. (the rest being at the arbor)

Reducing the barrel gap shortens the distance the cyl. can slide which also saves the hammering of recoil pad at back of cylinder.

Driftwood, Someone must have drove over that gun to do that. For the barrel to tip up it would have to have it's lower frame member stretch and that can't happen from shooting it. There is even some compression on the lower frame from the barrel when fired.

bluethunder1962
April 25, 2012, 10:47 PM
I would love to see so pics of some. I have always wanted one just for the looks.

junkman_01
April 25, 2012, 10:57 PM
Hey RodDoc,

Your dissertation doesn't address a stretched brass framed Remington! :neener:

Busyhands94
April 25, 2012, 11:04 PM
I have put at least 1500 rounds through my brass framed Remington, you still can barely get a piece of paper in the cylinder gap. I usually use about 30 grains and a ball as my plinking load. No complaints here. I do want to get a steel framed one so I can load it nice and hot, just for those "cram a bunch of triple seven into the cylinder and shove a round ball on top" moments. I of course don't do that with my brass framed gun, but I'd like a steel framed one for that exact purpose.

Levi

icanthitabarn
April 25, 2012, 11:19 PM
I had one, years ago, and the cylinder rod thing got stripped out in the hole. It was the brass hole not the steel rod. assuming the hole did not have a steel nut in there.

hawkeye74
April 26, 2012, 01:17 AM
If you are into brass, go ahead and shoot them to your hearts content. Long term, they tend to get loose and, in extreme cases, dangerous. Don't over load it and watch to make sure it stays safe. I would recommend a further reduced load though. Most of the folks talking bad about brass frame guns have had bad experiences with them. This is usually because they have exceeded max recommended loads. Just know what you are getting.


The thing that gets my ire up is calling a gun something it is not. The Italians are bad about making a weapon and calling it a reproduction when no such weapon exsisted. The easiest to point out is a "1851 Navy Colt" when it is in 44 caliber! Such a gun NEVER EXSISTED!!!!! Since a 1851 Colt Navy exsisted in 36 caliber, don't steal its name for an Italian b@#$rd. It causes too much confussion. Also, a great historically significant gun should not loose its identity to what are usually POS!

Hellgate
April 26, 2012, 02:22 AM
I have not yet read any posts of a brass Remingtoon getting shot loose, only the Colt designs. The brasser Remmies remind me of a nice blonde among the brunettes. They are attractive guns and strong enough.

junkman_01
April 26, 2012, 08:44 AM
Well now you can say you have! I have a brass Remington (a PR) AB date(1976) that started out with a barrel cylinder gap of about .006 and now (I just measured it) is at .020. The frame HAS stretched through the years!

andrewstorm
April 26, 2012, 10:18 AM
well you see the alloy nowadays (IS THAT A WORD)? it has to be stronger than 100% brass and new guns would be a stronger? shoot 25 grains or less,very accurate,as wild bill once said 'speed is fine but accuracy is everything'

Carl N. Brown
April 26, 2012, 10:32 AM
I suppose a true brass frame would be rather soft and malleable. True "gun metal" as was used with the Winchester 1866 "Yellow Boy" was more like bronze than brass.

When Confederate armories made "brass" frame revolvers they recycled old church bell metal (Wikipedia: "Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc..." whereas "Bell metal is a hard alloy used for making bells. It is a form of bronze, usually approximately 4:1 ratio of copper to tin (78% copper, 22% tin)." and "Gunmetal, also known as red brass in the United States, is a type of bronze an alloy of copper, tin, and zinc."

In the cheaper, lower end of cap'n'ball replicas, the steel frames are usually better than the "brass" frames.

arcticap
April 26, 2012, 11:53 AM
I have not yet read any posts of a brass Remingtoon getting shot loose, only the Colt designs.

There was a thread about installing steel bushings in a brass frame Remington if the cylinder pin holes that are in the frame become oval over time.

In addition there's a steel washer fix to reinforce the recoil shield of the brass Colts, as well as fixing the arbor if that becomes loose.

I'm not sure if some of the complaints about the brass frame guns are as much of a result of frame stretch which could actually be more about frame battering and wear on certain surfaces and contact points.

Some makers probably used better brass and had better build quality and longevity than others.

BCRider
April 26, 2012, 12:35 PM
I've got one brassie 1851 in .36. While working on it I found that the arbor has a very sloppy fit in the threading of the frame. The locating pin is almost the only thing holding it in place. I can see this one becoming unshootable over time.

What is needed for such a gun is an interference thread fit so that the parts screw together only with some effort. The proper taps and dies for such work are not that uncommon from major makers and when intended for production work where the special order cost isn't a problem. With that sort of fit there would still be the issue of brass and bronze being less than ideal as a spring medium but with the lower energy of the usual size charge and lower recoil from the light .36cal balls I doubt if the gun would shoot itself out of shape.

On the other hand I don't see much good or a long life for a gun shooting .44cal balls with 30'ish grains.

Driftwood Johnson
April 26, 2012, 12:53 PM
Here is a photo of my brass framed Navy that now shoots too high. It is difficult to see in this photo, but when the barrel is snugged up so the barrel/cylinder gap is what it should be, the barrel points up a few degrees. Hits about 12' high at 20 feet. Did not do that when I first bought it in 1968.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Driftwood_Johnson/FirstPistol.jpg

Nice to hear this stuff about reinforcing the threads, but that was not common knowledge in 1968. We just loaded them up with 30 grains, stuffed in a ball and smeared Crisco over the top. No, it was not run over by a truck, just too many heavy loads for the brass frame.

You can also read Mike Venturino's book Shooting Lever Guns of the Old West. He relates the story of a brass framed Henry that he was going to buy. Before he got the chance to buy it, the owner put some heavy 44-40 reloads through it, ruining the head space. In this case, the brass of the frame surrounding the toggle links got compressed, so the head space got stretched.

Call it whatever you like, brass is not a good idea with heavy loads. That's why the makers of conversion cylinders recommend not installing them in brass framed revolvers. A steel frame does not cost that much more, it is worth the extra money.

TheRodDoc
April 26, 2012, 03:10 PM
I'd say there is nothing at all wrong with the brass frame on that gun. That is if the arbor is still tight and not much visible wear on recoil pad from back of the cylinder.
It was from the start and still is poor barrel fitment. The wedge should not be able to close the gap. It is NOT an adjustment feature. The arbor is too short and not seating in bottom of barrel hole at the propper position. The gap probably was large when new. And now you are setting it closer with the wedge which tips up the barrel. It would be fairly simple to right the problrm.

Rogue Coder
April 26, 2012, 03:23 PM
Driftwood you bought that gun in when 1968 you said? Metallurgy has changed DRASTICALLY in the last 44 years. Brass alloys are stronger as well as steel. I honestly think that the things we hear about brass guns being so inferior is because #1 you have some "Tim Taylor wannabe" that wants more power and #2 the continued belief from something that started decades ago. I completely agree that brass is a softer allow than steel. What I AM saying, however, is that anyone who wants to start in the dark arts should not fear in starting with a brass-framed revolver. I didn't. I will never put more than 30 grains in my 1858 Remington because I asked lots of questions before making my purchase. Quite honestly I PREFER the look of it over the steel version.

Driftwood Johnson
April 26, 2012, 03:39 PM
As I said earlier, when I first bought it in 1968 it was not shooting so high. It started doing so progressively over the years. As I also said, it is difficult to see the upward tilt of the barrel in a photograph, but it is there. Originally, when the wedge was driven into the proper place, the barrel/cylinder gap was only a few thousandths. Now, when the wedge is driven into the same spot, the gap is about .015 thousandths. Driving the wedge in further closes the gap up, but draws the barrel up. Yes, I know the wedge is not supposed to be an adjustment device, I did not just fall off the turnip truck yesterday. But in actuality, driving the wedge in further does close the barrel gap.

As far as the alloy is concerned, the alloys used in Italian brass frame guns have not changed hardly at all in the last 40 years. High strength steels, yes. Cheap Italian reproductions, no.

Bottom line is, shoot enough heavy loads and you will distort something with a brass frame. Of course, in the 19th Century all the brass framed revolvers were 36 caliber, not 44 like mine. But what did I know as a kid? Like everybody else, I went for inexpensive. It cost $40 in 1968. If I had bought a steel frame, it would still be shooting straight. These are some of the things you learn messing with Black Powder for 40 years or so.

Rogue Coder
April 26, 2012, 03:58 PM
Driftwood I could learn a lot from you I'm sure, as I have only been in the dark arts for just shy of a year. ;)

Yeah I agree that if one overloads a brass frame it will become a wallhanger. Because the the Remington's design, I feel safe firing 30 grain loads with a 451 RB. I would dare never try that out of a 44 Colt Brasser. (Of course I also read the warnings about max loads, etc)

Personally I think Brassers are a great economical way to get started into the dark arts, provided that people understand to NEVER hot-rod their weapon.

junkman_01
April 26, 2012, 04:00 PM
DJ,

Is the arbor still tight in the frame? If it is, your problem is most likely the wedge has deformed a bit. Sounds like a new wedge is in order (and a proper arbor fitting).

Noz
April 26, 2012, 04:17 PM
Driftwood bought the gun in 1968. He has been shooting at least since then. Don't you think he just might have learned something in that period of time?
:banghead:

junkman_01
April 26, 2012, 04:36 PM
If, in all that time, he hasn't fixed the arbor length, then I'm not so sure he truly understands the Colt system.

Noz
April 26, 2012, 04:37 PM
This has become too stupid to continue!

junkman_01
April 26, 2012, 04:47 PM
That's your opinion, and you are entitled to it. I happen to disagree.

fdf
April 26, 2012, 06:11 PM
"I could not tell you how many times I have read, either on forums or on YouTube, comments where people are looking for advice on their first DARK gun and they get to read "stay away from brass and get a real gun".

What is a "DARK" gun???? I checked TOW and they do not list a "DARK" gun for sale.

I have shot a lot of line pistol matches at the National Level and have never seen a brass framed revolver used for competition. If they are equal to steel framed revolvers, why are they not used???

Seems like a simple question and observation.

crazyjennyblack
April 26, 2012, 06:34 PM
For what it's worth, I started out in blackpowder shooting maybe 6 or 7 years ago with a brass frame Colt Navy and a couple of brass frame Remmy's. I've always loaded the Remingtons with 35 grains or as much as I could stuff in them, and loaded the Colt with about as much as it could hold, with a roundball on top. I've put an estimated 500 rounds through the Remingtons (each), and probably put close to 900 or 1,000 rounds through the Colt before I sold it. All of these guns are Pietta manufacture.

As far as I could eyeball and measure, non of the guns had any warping, cracking, stretching, etc.... in spite of the fact that my loads were fairly heavy.

Now, I don't believe that a brass gun is as good as a steel one. Yes, I'm certain they will wear out faster. How much faster is the question. Honestly, how many people will put 1,000 or more rounds through a brass frame gun before they pick up the next new toy? Brass is just fine to start with, use and enjoy occasionally.

Honestly, my biggest problem with brass frame revolvers is how they look. Gold-ish just isnt the right color for a gun :neener:

MCgunner
April 26, 2012, 07:35 PM
I shot an old Navy .44 brasser loose. I loaded it full tilt, didn't know better.

I have probably 3 or 400 rounds through my new .44 navy brasser, load only up to 25 grains FFF or equivalent pyrodex or 20 grain equivs of 777 in the gun, corn meal filler and .454 ball. It's a fun gun, neat as heck 5" barrel, I like it and expect it to last a lot longer than my old one did by short loading it. Hell, it only cost me $119 from Cabelas on sale, I couldn't turn it down. I wanted the short barrel if nothing else, can fit it on a steel frame some day if I want. Barrels costs what I paid for the gun, or nearly so.

I have a steel Remmy and a Ruger Old Army if I wanna load hot. I don't worry much about my brass Remmy .31 pocket model, either, not a lot of charge in it to begin with, though the frame is small. I've loaded it hot testing, but shoot it light. It only shoots around 750 fps using a full charge of Pyrodex P, not very stressful. I've owned it 20 years and it's still tight as ever, though the round count is still under 1K, probably 100 rounds loaded hot with 777 and conicals. I don't shoot it THAT much, but even with the hot loads through it, it's still tight as a fiddle string. The 777 pushes a 60 grain conical to 900 fps in the gun, pretty hot. The gun cost me 60 bucks, already got that out of it.

BTW, my steel frame Remmy was only 179 on sale. I mean, even THAT is no bank breaker. :D That's one reason I love cap and ball, though certainly not the only reason. To top THAT off, I gave 97.50 for my ROA in excellent condition used from an LGS selling out of black powder. Even the expensive stuff can be found cheap on occasion. Hard to find an ROA for that now days, though.

Driftwood Johnson
April 26, 2012, 07:37 PM
Thanks Noz

Yes, I understand the Colt system just fine. I simply don't care enough to repair the old brass Navy. I have four other steel framed C&B revolvers, two 1860 Colts and two 1858 Remingtons, if I want to shoot C&B. I am perfectly happy to keep it as a wall hanger.

The original question was what are our thoughts about brass framed revolvers. I answered what my thoughts are. Whether the frame stretches, or the arbor pulls loose, what ever form the deformation takes, shoot a brass framed revolver long enough with heavy enough loads and it will go south on you.

Did anybody read what I had to say about Mike Venturio's report about ruining the headspacing on a brass framed Navy?

MCgunner
April 26, 2012, 07:39 PM
Did anybody read what I had to say about Mike Venturio's report about ruining the headspacing on a brass framed Navy?

My old one did that, got so loose it wouldn't fire anymore.

Jim Watson
April 26, 2012, 07:41 PM
I recall Turner Kirkland warning against brass framed revolvers for regular use, and he SOLD the fool things.

junkman_01
April 26, 2012, 07:47 PM
DJ wrote
I simply don't care enough to repair the old brass Navy.

Well that right there explains a lot.

arcticap
April 26, 2012, 09:53 PM
I have shot a lot of line pistol matches at the National Level and have never seen a brass framed revolver used for competition. If they are equal to steel framed revolvers, why are they not used???

No one seems to be saying that the brass frame C&B's are as good as steel in every way, only that they are useful and practical enough to consider buying.
There are some folks that want a Confederate model or one that looks similar, and some folks like brassers even if it's only for their looks, extra heft and balance or lower cost.
It's entirely possible for someone to show up with a brasser and win a line match. Just because no one here has witnessed it happen doesn't mean that it hasn't or can't be done. ;)

Donny
April 26, 2012, 10:58 PM
There are two cap and ball revolvers I'd like to get. One is the Starr single action and the other is the Spiller and Burr. The S&B has a very hefty brass frame that should hold up better than most brassers. I still don't plan on feeding it full loads but I'll baby it less than the brassers I own now.

Don

Skinny 1950
April 27, 2012, 04:03 AM
I was looking for a Colt 1860 Army .44 on another site and there was an advertisement for an 1861 Navy .36 so I thought close enough and bought it and this is what showed up:

http://i989.photobucket.com/albums/af11/Skinny1950/1851Brassframenew010.jpg
http://i989.photobucket.com/albums/af11/Skinny1950/1851Brassframenew003.jpg

Problem is now I have two brass frame 1851 .36 cal. revolvers.
Going to learn to love these brass frame guns.

Busyhands94
April 27, 2012, 12:09 PM
Problem is now I have two brass frame 1851 .36 cal. revolvers.
Going to learn to love these brass frame guns.

Problem? More like a solution, you now have one for each hand! :evil: You can go around shooting stuff like Josey Wales. And the .36 was like the original .38 Special. :D

Rogue Coder
April 27, 2012, 03:02 PM
I have to agree with BusyHands94. How exactly is that a problem? :)

BHP FAN
April 27, 2012, 05:44 PM
I have to laugh.I stretched the frame on a .357 magnum Cattleman SAA. It was steel, ''color case hardened'' [color, anyways, probably just chemical] and stupidly hot loads [I]can stretch anything. That being said, black powder is a lot less likely to ''stretch'' a gun, and with sane loads your brasser should last a lifetime.

rbertalotto
April 27, 2012, 05:57 PM
BIG difference in strength between a brass frame Remington 1858 and any of the open tops.

But if you keep the open tops shooting relatively mild loads, I'll bet they will hold up quite well. I would wager pulling them apart to clean so often if shot a lot will do more damage to the mating surfaces than shooting them........

junkman_01
April 27, 2012, 06:14 PM
The only one I have had stretch IS a brass framed 1858 Remington! :what:

mykeal
April 27, 2012, 07:18 PM
BIG difference in strength between a brass frame Remington 1858 and any of the open tops.
Nope. Show me the numbers.

Hellgate
April 27, 2012, 10:37 PM
Another stress is ramming balls HARD and ramming HARD balls (wheel weight or hard bullet alloy).

MCgunner
April 27, 2012, 10:45 PM
I load with a cheap little traditions ball press to avoid this problem. I plan on getting a better one.

arcticap
April 28, 2012, 02:58 AM
edit

zimmerstutzen
April 28, 2012, 12:12 PM
there has been a lot of change in the manufacturing of these guns. Better alloys, etc. the stuff on the market 50 years ago was a different animal in many respects.

What alloy was used, was the brass annealed, are cheaper brass alloys more subject to stretching. Can it change over time with the multiple hammerings of shots fired.

I had an early brass frame remmie in 36 caliber that lasted about 400 shots before it developed all kinds of problems. I swapped it to a machinist who thought he could fix it. Never heard if he was able to do anything with it. The gap between cylinder face and barrel had grown to about a 16th of an inch.

I bought it at a discount store brand new for $29.00 about 1968 and it was old stock then. Were chambers out of line causing additional stress? I don't know or care. The small difference in cost from a steel frame is only worth the difference if it is a seldom used display piece. My Ruger OA has has close to 5 thousand rounds fired. No problems. As many as a 200 in a day.

Why worry

Donny
April 28, 2012, 12:51 PM
I am sure of one thing, had it not been for that first inexpensive brass framed revolver I wouldn't have the 10 revolvers I own now. Many are steel including a ROA I recently picked up. I load my steel ones hot when I feel the need but I still shoot my brassers and carry them on the occasional hike or fishing trip. A brasser got me hooked and that lead to bigger and better things. I baby my brassers just a little bit and I know some day they may malfunction because of wear but thats fine cause I can then replace them with others and the wife can't say "you have enough already".:D

Don

junkman_01
April 28, 2012, 01:56 PM
I'm not going to say that chamfering is necessarily a problem because it doesn't have to be a problem. But how well the chamfering is performed could be a problem.
For instance, if the chamfering isn't done concentric to the center of each chamber, then chamfering may not be advantageous.
Locating the center of the chamber and then being able to execute the perfect chamfer is not unlike making a perfect crown. Since an imperfect crown can affect accuracy, then perhaps an imperfect chamfer can make for a less perfectly loaded ball compared to a non-chamfered chamber.
Folks can have their opinions for and against chamfering just as they can have opinions about certain types of crowns.
Another example would be coning a barrel. Some folks claim that coning a barrel using a coning kit does not negatively affect accuracy and only makes loading easier. While others may not be absolutely convinced about the accuracy results after a muzzle is coned. While a coning job may not necessarily come out badly, I think that there's the potential for it to come out badly.
A small amount of chamfering to eliminate burrs may be a positive change, but at what point if any, does excessive chamfering negatively affect the angle of the ball while being loaded and negatively impact its shape? :rolleyes:
arcticap,

I think you posted this in the wrong thread.

frontiergander
April 28, 2012, 07:14 PM
You'd be scared of brass frames to if you ever had one come apart in your hand and then the next 3 replacements all being junk right out of the box.

Foto Joe
April 29, 2012, 02:17 PM
What are your honest thoughts on both brass frames and the issue with people trying to get others to shy away from brass?

Well, it's been a while since I've ruffled any feathers and I'm really not writing this to do so but...

I think enough has been posted on your question "thoughts on brass frames" as far as the negative is concerned. The self-proclaimed "experts" that don't like brass frames have spoken, ad infinum, ad nauseum.

Personally, I really don't put much credence in advice that I get from somebody who pretty much thinks they know all, few of us really do. Granted there are those out there who have destroyed brass guns either through igorance or just plain lack of caring. On the other hand I'd be willing to bet that there are more folks out there who have either introduced themselves or been introduced to the realm of Black Powder with the help of a brass gun than those who have ruined them. I happen to be one of the latter.

Brass framed guns aren't for everybody but for the un-initiated they can be an inexpensive gateway to a pastime that is rich in history and tradition, a step back in time to a simpler universe and a tougher life than most of us live now. (How's that for a rant?)

I was given back my love of shooting and history when my wife gave me a "Fake" Navy for Christmas a few years back. Since then it's been "game on" when it comes to learning everything I can about Colt's pattern guns and the history of how they were used. That in and of itself has been well worth the $129 for a "Fantasy Gun" in my opinion.

Rogue Coder,

If your desire is to help share the experience of Black Powder revolver shooting with others by introducing them to a brass frame gun then there is nothing wrong with it. By now you already understand the concept of informing someone who choses to shoot brassy's that filling the chamber probably isn't a good idea. By the way, few if any of my guns shoot well with heavy loads anyway so why waste the powder?

Of all the guns that I own, both smokeless and ones that shoot real gunpowder, my "Fake" Navy is by far my favorite. This Pietta "Confederate" sic Navy has spit out well north of 1,000 .454 round balls with 16gr of 3f behind them. Does it have a little more cylinder gap than when it came out of the box? I'm sure it does. Will it still shoot very tidy groups at ten to twenty yards? You bet. Okay they may not be exactly where I'm aiming but a little Kentucky Windage means an Orange at twenty yards has a limited lifespan, although golf balls are pretty safe from damage.

I'm just about ready to step down off my soap box but before I do...

Folks, if somebody on this forum asks an intelligent question (and I regard the OP as such), please keep in mind that it is not your job to change/force the person to YOUR way of thinking either through rhetoric or supposed facts. Try to keep in mind that not everybody has your experience(s) nor do they desire to. The sniping between certain factions on this forum has driven more than one valued member to walk away. It's not your job or place to try and save someone from themselves, that's the governments job after all isn't it? If you're going to try to "one up" each other why not do it through PM's so the rest of us don't have to endure your petty dis-agreements.

'Nuf said,

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=155598&d=1325170142
Defarbed, browned and still just a Fantasy Gun!!

junkman_01
April 29, 2012, 02:53 PM
I think that the original question was truly and honestly answered. You and others may not like the answers received, but they answered the question. So no ranting is warranted.

mykeal
April 29, 2012, 04:43 PM
I don't like brass frames on revolvers. I also don't like Chevrolets. However, if you happen to like them, more power to you. I'll shoot alongside you, not say a word and enjoy it just as much. I don't own one myself, but my brother-in-law, a fine, intelligent fellow, does, and he likes it. In fact, I restored it for him several years ago; it was dirty, scratched and rusty when he bought it out of a garage sale and now it's pretty (in his eyes) and shoots as well as any 1851 pattern gun I know. Up to now this is all a matter of personal choice, and I cannot imagine how either way that choice goes could be thought to be 'wrong'.

The disagreements come about when people say brass frames are, or are not, more susceptible to damage than steel frames. The answer to that is found in simple mettalurgy - yes, they are. But, they don't just fall apart; it takes some pretty serious abuse to inflict significant damage. And you know, come to think of it, steel frames can be damaged when subjected to serious abuse (like consistent overloading) also.

So treat all your guns with respect and learn to live with the other guy's choice.

Foto Joe
April 29, 2012, 05:20 PM
mykeal,

Well said, folks who own Chevy's have always puzzled me.

Driftwood Johnson
April 29, 2012, 07:31 PM
Foto Joe

No question a brass framed C&B revolver is a more affordable way to get into Cap & Ball shooting. That's why I originally bought my brass framed 44 cal 'Navy' a bazillion years ago. If I recall correctly, it only cost $40. A sizable amount for a teenager in 1968, but you are completely correct, it allowed me to start shooting C&B and I probably would not have if I had to wait to save the additional scratch for a steel frame.

Also, make note that my 'Navy' is 44 caliber. We all know that the real Navies were never made in 44 caliber, but what did I know as a teenager. To me, 44 caliber naturally seemed better than 36. Probably a significant factor in why my gun is now a wall hanger. A kid is naturally going to put more powder in a 44 cal chamber than a 36 caliber chamber.

Mind you, back then I read all the gun magazines, and I don't remember anybody cautioning about not overloading a brass framed gun. They may have been, but I sure don't remember it. Don't forget, Val Forgett had only been producing his Navy revolvers for about 10 years at that point. We were pretty much blazing new territory back then. Or rediscovering old territory anyway. So I settled on 30 grains as a reasonable load.

All I am saying is if you put a lot of powder in a brass framed gun, particularly a heavier caliber than the original guns were, eventually something has to give. Whether it is the frame stretching, the arbor moving, or the wedge pounding the slot out of shape, put in too much powder over time and something is going to give.

Brass frames are pretty, but I will take a steel frame every time. My Henry has an iron (actually steel) frame. I don't doubt the brass framed Henry rifles will hold up over time if they are not fed overly hot ammo, but personally, I prefer blue to yellow guns. Probably at least partially because of my experience with my brass framed 'Navy'.

unknwn
April 30, 2012, 12:15 AM
I want to shoot my virgin mid '70s CVA brassie ASM '51. It is in perfect condition, the only problem I found was two stuck nipples when I was checking it out & studying up/learning about it.
Short of not shooting it (not) -or- keeping my loads somewhere in the 13-15 gr. limit for a .36 caliber, what should I be doing?
I have a pair of ROAs, so the temptation to abuse it is non-existant.
I'm considering getting a cylinder loading press for my C&B cylinders since light loads are supposedly problematic with unmodified rammers, and it could only lengthen the life of the gun frames.
Could someone point me to an instruction set for remounting the arbor?

mykeal
April 30, 2012, 07:31 AM
True, the frame won't rust on a brass framed gun. But the cylinder and barrel will, and I'm pretty sure that's what rusted on your steel framed gun, not the frame. If your friend doesn't clean his brass framed gun it will also be ruined. They have to be cleaned, too.

unknwn = you can shoot that gun with 20 grains of real black powder for many years without fear of loosening the arbor, and you don't need a cylinder loading stand to charge with 20 grains.

Foto Joe
April 30, 2012, 11:49 AM
unknwn = you can shoot that gun with 20 grains of real black powder for many years without fear of loosening the arbor, and you don't need a cylinder loading stand to charge with 20 grains.

If you're afraid that you won't be able to seat the ball all the way down with a light load, simply add some filler on top of the powder i.e. cornmeal, cream-of-wheat or (and this one still has me scratching my head as to why somebody would do this) cocoa-puffs.

As far as a cylinder loading stand is concerned, since I don't have any Remmies I've never considered it. Pulling the barrel on a Colt's pattern gun to get the cylinder off to load it is more fiddling around than I want to do. I typically can re-load on the gun in less than two minutes, less if I'm using paper cartridges of course.

All I am saying is if you put a lot of powder in a brass framed gun, particularly a heavier caliber than the original guns were, eventually something has to give. Whether it is the frame stretching, the arbor moving, or the wedge pounding the slot out of shape, put in too much powder over time and something is going to give.

You will get absolutely NO arguement from me on this, physics works and nobody can violate the laws of physics without consequences. My issue is with folks being so vocal in their protests that brass frames are a bad idea that they actually scare off the people like you and I that started out with brass frame guns simply because of the inexpensive investment. Personally I wouldn't want to dump $300 on a '60 Army not knowing a thing about Black Powder revolver shooting, but $129 on a brass Fantasy Gun, now that I could take a risk on.

The High Road forum is without a doubt the best Black Powder forum that I have ever found, here's why I think so...The majority of the folks on this forum are truly interested in helping those with absolutely NO experience in what we do. They realize that by helping others to discover the pasttime they are helping ensure that they themselves will continue to have access to the guns we've chosen to shoot because the manufacturers need NEW customers!! On the other hand, from time to time some folks will tend to get on "Their High Horse" and forget why most of us are here. I'm not saying I'm immune from this by the way. There are certain topics which lend themselves to this, Brass Frames, Black Powder for Self Defense and even the dreaded Crisco threads.

All I'm saying is that if a particular practice isn't dangerous and it will help get somebody interested then let's try to help instead of berating each other when we happen to disagree.

arcticap
April 30, 2012, 02:11 PM
Why do some scare people away from Brass Frames?

The lively debate does amplify the reasons about why people want to warn other folks about the potential pitfalls concerning buying brass frame C&B guns.
Some folks have read enough to have learned about some of the problems with buying them while others haven't.
If someone buys a brass frame gun without knowing much about it in advance, then that can turn them off to C&B shooting entirely as being a waste of money, or by not truly meeting their expectations.
Folks here don't want to scare anyone away but I believe that they do want them to be as honestly informed as possible.
If someone asks about whether they should buy a used 20 year old brass frame .44 Colt that's for sale on Gunbroker, then folks here will tend to let him know that it's "buyer beware". Obtaining practical advice would often be the reason for a person to post that question to begin with.
Not everyone realizes before they visit here that a brass frame gun shouldn't always be loaded to 100% capacity if they care about how long that it's going to last.
The new brassers have become more expensive too which relates to the difference in their frame strength, longevity and the safest loads for it.
If a brass gun loses it timing because of frame issues then that's not good for the promotion of the C&B shooting sports.
No one is saying that they're junk or trying to "scare" anyone away from buying them. I think that most folks are trying to let folks know that while new ones may cost 22% less than a steel frame model, they should only be loaded to 62% - 75% capacity or else they may have an even disproportionately shorter lifespan.
I don't think that the reason for mentioning it is primarily to "scare" potential buyers, but to simply let the buyer be made aware.
Alot of folks enjoy the brassers and have fun with them, but they should be aware of their potential limitations before buying one.
Each gun is different and some brassers will last longer than others and will be able to withstand more abuse and heavier loads.
It's mostly an economics issue but IMO, mentioning all of the other legitimate reasons to warn folks isn't the same as trying to "scare" them off. Warn them yes but to "scare" them no.
Asking Why do some scare people away from Brass Frames? is really a loaded question because it asserts that some folks are scaring other people away from them when I don't think that's the case at all. By and large everyone here takes the high road by simply posting honest reports to the best of their ability, and the threads are usually always quite balanced. Lively debate is how all of the competing and contradictory information can be transmitted so that folks can make up their own mind and form their own opinion based on facts and the informed opinions of others, and not fictions. :)

Zerstoerer
April 30, 2012, 10:05 PM
15 to 20 grs of FFFg is plenty for accuracy in a .36 Cal.

Why push it?

If you really need the energy, shoot nitro.

SleazyRider
April 30, 2012, 10:51 PM
Being raised on traditional revolvers with a top strap, I accepted this as the "standard" for revolver design, the straps being akin to a chain link that encompasses the cylinder---seems like a sturdy, time-proven design to me. So when I fell in love with the Spiller and Burr and its history, I felt that the use of brass was forgivable because of its "chain link" design:

http://i459.photobucket.com/albums/qq315/Magnageek/IMG_1745.jpg

My first exposure to the Colt design came much later, and I thought it at a large disadvantage design-wise because it was missing the top strap that completes the "link," in fact, I was somewhat taken aback by what seemed to me a poor structural design. But who am I to second guess Colt's designers? I couldn't resist the deal I got on this Sheriff's model, however. It's a brass frame but plated in nickel (or possibly chrome?). I find the plating garish to say the least, but I haven't got the stones---not to mention the time or inclination---to defarb it. I'll probably sell it and buy a "proper" 1851 Navy some day. (By the way, in the Evil Empire State of New York, these are listed on my concealed carry permit just like a Glock.)


http://i459.photobucket.com/albums/qq315/Magnageek/IMG_3074.jpg

arcticap
April 30, 2012, 11:25 PM
15 to 20 grs of FFFg is plenty for accuracy in a .36 Cal.

Why push it?

If you really need the energy, shoot nitro.

Or simply buy a steel frame .36 C&B to begin with and enjoy loading it up to its full potential.

This thread has plenty of velocity figures for a variety of loads:

Questions about .36 cal revolvers

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=5665565#post5665565

Gatofeo
May 1, 2012, 01:37 AM
Frame stretching, metallurgy and related topics aside; I have almost always found brass-framed revolvers to be poorer fit and finished than their steel-framed counterparts.
There's a reason they sell for less than steel-framed guns: they are made to a lesser degree of quality.
Not all, mind you, and in 40-plus years of shooting cap and ball revolvers I've seen a few brass-framed cap and ball revolvers that were very finely made. But these are not the norm.
I know, I started with an Italian-made 1851 Navy .44 with a brass frame, about 1970. It was okay as a starter gun, but didn't last long. After the third incidence of multiple ignition ("chainfire"), it was damaged beyond repair.
In retrospect, I wish I'd purchased a steel-framed revolver to begin with. The quality would have been better. My brass-framed gun was never very accurate, because the bore was not polished before the rifling was cut, so it had a bore rougher than a corn cob.
It gathered lead like a bureaucrat's butt.
The Confederates manufactured some brass-framed revolvers during the Civil War, but only out of necessity not preference. The South lacked iron ore and the technology of modern gun making.
Buy a brass-framed revolver if you wish, but be aware that you will likely get a revolver of poorer quality and certainly less strength. If these factors don't bother you, have at it.

BHP FAN
May 1, 2012, 02:52 AM
Plenty of Southern revolvers were made with iron frames, and the south had enough iron ore to make cannons. The main reason for the brass frames is that they could be cast, rather than milled, saving a lot of milling and speeding the whole manufacturing process along.Not saying they weren't being carefull with thier strategic metals, but the idea that all Confederate revolvers were made from the melted church bells of Macon Georgia has been a bit over stated.

hawkeye74
May 1, 2012, 10:10 PM
Donny

Stay away from the Starr. The design was a POS in 1860 and still is today. Beautiful gun but does not hold up under fire.

A US ARmy officer during the CW said this:

Whoever forced the Starr Revolver on the US Army should be tried for treason!!!:what::what:

Hellgate
May 1, 2012, 10:32 PM
Hawkeye,
Was the Army officer talking about the double action Starr that was first issued or the single action that was issued later after complaints from the army?

Glen
May 2, 2012, 11:47 AM
I have a brass framed 1858 Pietta and a steel framed 1858 Uberti. I use 28 gr of Pyrodex in the brass gun and I have not had any problems over the five years of shooting. There is still good power with that load and lots of smoke and it is accurate. I actually shoot the brass framed gun more because it is my "beater" gun. I take it when I go camping because I don't worry about it so much. I don't abuse it but I don't over worry about it because it was bought on sale cheap. I love it. The Uberti is too nice to be treated with such comfortable disrespect. LOL.

pohill
May 2, 2012, 12:58 PM
Older Spiller & Burr
http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m217/pohill/S4020010.jpg

brushhippie
May 2, 2012, 02:28 PM
Now THAT is a battered recoil shield.

Rogue Coder
May 2, 2012, 03:03 PM
Holy crap that's a lot of abuse!

Donny
May 2, 2012, 03:47 PM
Hawkeye,

I've heard bad things about the Starr too. Duelist1954 has a video on youtube on the Starr and he admits he's had nothing but trouble with the double action but his single action Starr has faired well. The single action has its issues as well but they seem more manageable. The Starr is something I'll probably never end up buying. Its cool and I like it but they are also high priced and I don't want to lay down a pile of money on something that isn't trouble free out of the box. The Spiller and Burr is just as cool as the Starr and has a lower price tag and fewer mechanical issues. Yes its brass but I'll treat it right so it lasts.

Don

Hellgate
May 2, 2012, 04:05 PM
I'd think you could machine down and solder a steel plate onto the recoil shield to correct or prevent it (battering).

pohill
May 2, 2012, 05:24 PM
I bought the abused Spiller & Burr that way. There's no way to tell how old it is, or who made it. The only markings on it are CSA on the right side of the frame and the number 82 in several places (including handwritten on the inside of the grips).
I'd say someone used loads that were a little stout.

hawkeye74
May 2, 2012, 07:31 PM
Donny and Hellgate,

Actually, the primary problem is the basic design so it is both single and double action, though it appears worse in the Double action. One problem is the cylinder consistently falls out of alignment with the forcing cone. This leads to lead being shaved off and embedding in people next to you.

Because of my personal experience, I refuse to be on the line if a Starr is close by. Occasionally, I still get a piece of lead working its way to the surface on my arms neck and face. At first, I thought it was powder spray, then the blood appeared. :fire::cuss::cuss::cuss: That was over 2 years ago.

There are other problems but that is my personal experience with a Starr single action.

Two pistol smiths who I respect now refuse to work on Starr's. They both guarantee their work and they have not found a permanent solution to the Starr's design so they just don't work on them.

As to which the officer was refering to, I don't know. The source book is in storage after a recent move. I'll try to find out as soon as I get the books out of storage.

Hellgate
May 2, 2012, 08:04 PM
Hawkeye,
UHH, I guess I don't need one so bad anymore.

Donny
May 2, 2012, 08:52 PM
Yeah, guess I'll save my money for the Spiller and Burr.

Don

Driftwood Johnson
May 3, 2012, 01:32 PM
Plenty of Southern revolvers were made with iron frames, and the south had enough iron ore to make cannons. The main reason for the brass frames is that they could be cast, rather than milled, saving a lot of milling and speeding the whole manufacturing process along.Not saying they weren't being carefull with thier strategic metals, but the idea that all Confederate revolvers were made from the melted church bells of Macon Georgia has been a bit over stated.

Howdy Again

Whether the frame was a hammer forged iron frame or a cast brass frame, it still had to machined to final dimensions. Casting did not achieve the final shape required for a functional revolver frame. Even with my Uberti 44 caliber 'Navy', the brass parts were clearly cast, then machined or ground to final shape. There are parting lines and the coarse imprint left behind from sand casting on the hidden areas of the trigger guard and back strap. The frame itself has had all surfaces machined. One could not get the precision needed to make a working revolver frame with casting alone.

The South could not hope to compete with the industrial might of the North as far as hammer forging of iron frames was concerned. That is why there were so many brass framed revolvers made in the South. In 1864 the Springfield Armory was producing as many as 1000 rifled muskets per day. There were row upon row of hammer forges in operation. Although the Springfield Armory was not producing revolvers, that is the kind of productivity that the South could not hope to match, and that is why they were using brass for revolver frames, and importing as many guns from Europe as they could.

andrewstorm
May 4, 2012, 02:42 PM
Fer lookin.......not shootin..........:rolleyes:

HisSoldier
May 7, 2012, 02:00 AM
The metallurgy is interesting to me. All the talk about improvements in metallurgy mean nothing if the makers are just using some easy casting alloy with additional alloying agents intended only to improve machining or pouring.
We have made some parts of some modern bronze alloys that are difficult enough to machine, with high enough tensile and other properties that I would certainly put it up against any low carbon, and some medium carbon steels with confidence. I can't think of any reason why anyone would make a gun out of them, especially since brass framed revolvers are the economy models. ;)

All that talk lowers expectations throughout the shooting world, and people expect their brass framed revolvers to slowly die.

What was the actual alloy commonly used back in the day? Many bronzes pour well and have good properties. "Bronze" today means something much different than what traditional bronze was throughout history, much less tin is used today typically today. I don't know why they call many of the alloys bronze now.

Again, "Improvements" mean something different to a manufacturer trying to stay in the black. I would not be the least bit surprised to learn that the "brass" framed revolvers of the 1800's were much stronger than those made today.

Driftwood Johnson
May 7, 2012, 10:53 AM
The metallurgy is interesting to me. All the talk about improvements in metallurgy mean nothing if the makers are just using some easy casting alloy with additional alloying agents intended only to improve machining or pouring.
We have made some parts of some modern bronze alloys that are difficult enough to machine, with high enough tensile and other properties that I would certainly put it up against any low carbon, and some medium carbon steels with confidence. I can't think of any reason why anyone would make a gun out of them, especially since brass framed revolvers are the economy models.

All that talk lowers expectations throughout the shooting world, and people expect their brass framed revolvers to slowly die.

What was the actual alloy commonly used back in the day? Many bronzes pour well and have good properties. "Bronze" today means something much different than what traditional bronze was throughout history, much less tin is used today typically today. I don't know why they call many of the alloys bronze now.

Again, "Improvements" mean something different to a manufacturer trying to stay in the black. I would not be the least bit surprised to learn that the "brass" framed revolvers of the 1800's were much stronger than those made today.

Funny you should ask.

I cannot tell you with certainty what the alloy was that was used in Confederate brass framed pistols, but I can tell you quite a bit about the 'brass' framed Henry and Winchester 1866 rifles.

These guns used a metal commonly referred to as Gunmetal. It was actually a bronze alloy, not brass.

Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin. Historically, bronze was easier for early civilizations to produce because of the natural occurrence of copper and the tin bearing ore cassiterite. It was fairly simple to alloy these metals together. That's why the era between the Stone Age and the Iron Age is usually referred to as the Bronze Age. Zinc, required to make brass, does not exist in nature in a pure state, and more advanced methods of refining ore were required to produce zinc for brass. It took centuries before these methods were learned.

The content of the bronze alloy commonly referred to as Gunmetal was 80-88% copper, 10-15% tin, and 2-5% zinc. Small amounts of lead were sometimes added to make it flow better for casting. The frame of a Winchester Model 1866 analyzed with modern techniques revealed the alloy was 80% copper, 14.5% Tin, 2% zinc, and .5% lead. Why are these guns referred to as 'brass framed' when they are actually a type of bronze? Because gunwriters have called them that for decades and it is too late to change it now.

Bronze cannon from the 15th Century were usually copper with 10-15% tin, no zinc.

Cannons were made of bronze rather than iron for a long time until a satisfactory method was found of casting iron to take the pressure of the exploding powder charge. Bronze was simply easier to cast with. Bronze was used for American cannons as late as 1857 with the bronze Napoleons.

Historically, because of the extra effort needed to smelt zinc, brass was more expensive than bronze. Brass was commonly used for furniture on a gun, trigger guards, butt plates, even sword hilts, but frames were usually made from Gunmetal.

As far as what modern manufacturers are using in their brass framed guns, a couple of years ago I had brass from the sideplate of an Uberti Henry analyzed by a process known as X Ray Fluorescent Analysis. The result was 56% copper, 44% zinc. Not a trace of tin. So much for advanced, improved, modern alloys being used today.

toolslinger
May 7, 2012, 03:41 PM
Well that is just weird. It seems like it would still be cheaper for manufacturers to use proper gun metal than brass.
Wonder why they don't. They already machine the same shapes out of steel so ease of working the metal don't make sense.
Any ideas why we get brass framed revolvers as opposed to bronze?

Driftwood Johnson
May 7, 2012, 04:00 PM
Availability of material.

And brass guns are cheaper than steel because it is easier to machine brass. The material is actually more expensive than steel, but the ease of machining brass makes it cheaper in the long run.

zimmerstutzen
May 7, 2012, 05:30 PM
I do not know how true but, The old timer that owned the foundry and made my bronze cannon tube, said bronze will swell before it blows up. Brass blows up. He would make no cannons over 50 caliber out of brass. He made up to three inch bores of bronze. (mine is only 1.25 inch bore)

St8LineGunsmith
May 7, 2012, 06:04 PM
Plenty of Southern revolvers were made with iron frames, and the south had enough iron ore to make cannons. The main reason for the brass frames is that they could be cast, rather than milled, saving a lot of milling and speeding the whole manufacturing process along.Not saying they weren't being carefull with thier strategic metals, but the idea that all Confederate revolvers were made from the melted church bells of Macon Georgia has been a bit over stated.
I live just a few miles from Chickamauga battle field and every confederate cannon out here is bronze if the south made iron cannons they didnt make very many.
the Confederacy did not issue metal frame revolvers the CSA only issued Brass frames, the metal was used for making gun barrels and other mechanical parts
and the only Confederate soldiers carrying metal frame revolvers either bought them or took them from a dead US soldier.

junkman_01
May 10, 2012, 09:39 AM
the Confederacy did not issue metal frame revolvers the CSA only issued Brass frames, the metal was used for making gun barrels and other mechanical parts
and the only Confederate soldiers carrying metal frame revolvers either bought them or took them from a dead US soldier.

What the heck do you think brass is? paper mache'

St8LineGunsmith
May 10, 2012, 07:52 PM
HUH:confused:
I was simply stating a pretty well known fact that the manufacturers building the revolvers for the confederacy built the frames from brass due to the scarcity of metal so what does that have to do with paper mache?:uhoh:

Driftwood Johnson
May 10, 2012, 07:58 PM
I think he has a problem with you using the word metal, when what you really mean is iron or steel. Brass and bronze are both metals.

CraigC
May 10, 2012, 08:13 PM
I don't believe any of the nonsense about brass frame Colt replicas. To prove it wrong, I'm gonna get a .44 Navy and convert it to .454Casull. I show you guys! ;):p:scrutiny:

junkman_01
May 10, 2012, 08:59 PM
I think he has a problem with you using the word metal, when what you really mean is iron or steel. Brass and bronze are both metals.
Right you are!

Dellbert
May 11, 2012, 02:04 AM
I have read every post from page one to the end of page four and all I can tell you is if you want a brass frame Colt model in .44 cal dont let anyone rob you of the joy of getting one and shooting it. They are fun to shoot and are usefull for a first bp pistol to learn with. I bought mine cause I like the look and the feel of the gun. When I seen that little Colt in the gun shop I just had to have it and it dosen't have a thing wrong with it. :neener: I keep my loads at 20 grs and it has held it's own just find. The gun was made by Pietta and I will be keeping it. I take it with me fishing and keep it with me when just walking around in the woods. Just keep them clean and your gun will last a long long time. I still have 10 other steel frame bp revolvers to shoot. A Colt Walker, Colt Dragoon, Colt 51 Navy .36 cal, Colt 61 Navy, Two Colt 60s, three Remmie NA .44s, One Remmie .36 Police. The little brass frame Colt is my fun gun and I'm not one bit sorry I bought it. I want a brass frame 58 but I want the the 12" barrel. As far as bp revolvers go you can't beat the Remington 1858, but I still have a lot of fun with them all. :p

Dell

hawkeye74
May 11, 2012, 02:21 AM
Confederates mfg several steel/iron framed revolvers. What Confederates did was make most of the grip straps from brass to conserve steel/iron.

Iron Frame Confederate Revolvers:

Augusta Machine Works Revolver
Columbus Fire Arms Co. Revolver
Dance & Brothers Revolver
Leech and Rigdon Revolver
Rigdon Ansley Revolver
George Todd Revolver

junkman_01
May 11, 2012, 09:05 AM
Confederates mfg several steel/iron framed revolvers. What Confederates did was make most of the grip straps from brass to conserve steel/iron.

Iron Frame Confederate Revolvers:

Augusta Machine Works Revolver
Columbus Fire Arms Co. Revolver
Dance & Brothers Revolver
Leech and Rigdon Revolver
Rigdon Ansley Revolver
George Todd Revolver
...and NONE were paper mache'

CraigC
May 11, 2012, 03:29 PM
Aren't the new "brass" framed sixguns actually ordnance bronze???

junkman_01
May 11, 2012, 03:43 PM
No.

St8LineGunsmith
May 11, 2012, 04:40 PM
What the heck do you think brass is? paper mache'

I think he has a problem with you using the word metal, when what you really mean is iron or steel. Brass and bronze are both metals.

Ha ha Derr :o yeah you got me on that, I should have been a bit more specific as to which metals I was referring to.

CraigC
May 11, 2012, 04:55 PM
No.
Proof?

EDIT: I misremembered, it was actually the originals I read were made of bronze, rather than brass.

St8LineGunsmith
May 11, 2012, 05:19 PM
Iron ore mines were then and still are non existant in the south.
Yes these manufacturers were in the CS and made steel frame revolvers pre war and started back making steel frames post war however during the war due to the lack of surplus of steel Iron and ore they started forging the frames from brass because the Iron ore quaries and steel foundries who were supplying their "Iron and Steel" and ore from which mostly came from Connecticut stopped supplying the south when war broke out between N and S as well as any other goods that was transported by rail system because the Federal Army stopped all rail lines cold at the mason dixon. Brass supply's were a lot more accessable than steel or iron during that period.

junkman_01
May 11, 2012, 05:45 PM
CraigC,

It's OK. We are all entitled to 'mis-remember' things at times. :-)

CraigC
May 11, 2012, 06:04 PM
Iron ore mines were then and still are non existent in the south.
Might wanna Google the steel/iron industry in Birmingham. ;)

If Birmingham was what it was in the 1900's back in the 1850's, the war might've taken a different turn.

St8LineGunsmith
May 11, 2012, 06:29 PM
Birmingham is full of foundries but what about ore mining.
I think Birmingham was named after Birmingham England because of steel/iron industry.
wilsons raiders destroyed the foundries in 1865 BTW

Kaeto
May 11, 2012, 10:56 PM
There are Iron ore smelting furnaces from the Civil War dotted all over the state of Tennessee.


http://i1156.photobucket.com/albums/p565/kaeto3/DCP00319-1.jpg

hawkeye74
May 12, 2012, 12:40 AM
Stateline Sniper:

The area around B'Ham was and is full of ore, coal, and foundries prior to, during and after the CW. There were iron mines and foundries also in GA, TN, the Carolinas and VA. To this day, Iron ore is there. It is not mined as much, because it is more efficient and cheaper to recycle scrap. There is a small amount of ore also in MS, just not worth mining.

Yes these manufacturers were in the CS and made steel frame revolvers pre war and started back making steel frames post war however during the war due to the lack of surplus of steel Iron and ore they started forging the frames from brass because the Iron ore quaries and steel foundries who were supplying their "Iron and Steel" and ore from which mostly came from Connecticut stopped supplying the south when war broke out between N and S as well as any other goods that was transported by rail system because the Federal Army stopped all rail lines cold at the mason dixon

Wrong on most counts. Most of the Confederate made revolvers were only made during the CW. There are copies of the contracts between the companies and the CSA government or states are in the archives if you wish to look them up. Here are the dates of MFG.

Iron Frame Confederate Revolvers:
Augusta Machine Works Revolver Made from 1861 to 1864.
Columbus Fire Arms Co. Revolver MAde 1862- 1864.
Dance & Brothers Revolver Made from 1862-1865.
Leech and Rigdon Revolver Made 1862-1864. ( fine revolver with case hardened frame)
Rigdon Ansley Revolver Only made from 1864-1865.
George Todd Revolver Made 1857 until 1862.

Many re-enactors have their own agenda and are "changing" history to suit their aim so listen to the campfire talk at re-enactments with a jaded ear. A great deal of what they say as fact is not (particularly when it comes to the weapons). Get a copy of Flayderman's Antique American firearms as a basic weapons bible. Do your own reasearch from proven resources and you will be able to hold your own in discussing things in history.

(BTW There was a brisk trade between N/S during the CW. Grant had a well documented tantrum about this in the Western Theater. Mainly small goods, medicine, and cotton. Grant tried to stop it and couldn't which lead to the anger. Higher ups were getting rich.)

St8LineGunsmith
May 12, 2012, 03:44 AM
:D
so apparently a lot of published text books concerning the CS is and what I have been taught to be fact is wrong?

I realize that there are a lot of smelting furnaces in GA, Tennessee but from what I understand these furnaces were for pot metal and cast iron and blacksmith work.

50 yrs old and still learning:)

CraigC
May 12, 2012, 09:13 AM
so apparently a lot of published text books concerning the CS is and what I have been taught to be fact is wrong?
There is so much misinformation and downright lies taught about the War of Northern Aggression it's sickening.

mykeal
May 12, 2012, 09:29 AM
Map of iron deposits in US in 1904:
http://etc.usf.edu/maps/pages/7100/7192/7192.htm

zimmerstutzen
May 12, 2012, 03:42 PM
Even that map leaves out several important iron mines. The Cornwall ore mine and Codorus Furnace both SE PA made cannons for the rev war.

The area around Birmingham AL was a well known iron producing area.

I would agree that the South was not nearly as industrialized as the north. And the South was certainly behind the 8 ball. But not devoid of iron mines and foundries like many text book jerks so mistakenly preach.

St8LineGunsmith
May 12, 2012, 05:11 PM
Map of iron deposits in US in 1904:
http://etc.usf.edu/maps/pages/7100/7192/7192.htm
I see that map has Pigeon Forge on it I am onnly 90 miles south from there:) it is a big tourist town now thanks to Mayor Dolly:)

hawkeye74
May 13, 2012, 12:25 AM
St8line:

The South made quality iron, as good as any, just not as much, hence the brass frames and grip straps. Actually, if the South had enough brass, they would have made AMMO for henry, spencer and other cartridge guns they had captured. There were decisions made not to do this because of brass, copper, zinc, and other shortages.

Yes, several folks have written books that contain much inaccurate information. If the person writing a book uses primary sources, it is likely accurate. If he relies on secondary sources, he is likely to get it wrong fairly often. Most of the inaccurate info is verbally passed around.

The Southerners Justification for the loss lead to a great deal of misinformation on the CW. It was simply a game of numbers. The South had to win quickly or lose. The North had 2-5 times as much as in Men, Material, and industry and every other area needed for a modern war.

Too much interpretive and re-writen of history going on these days.:(

St8LineGunsmith
May 14, 2012, 09:10 PM
Thanks for the info Hawkeye:)
I would really like to see a thread dedicated to this subject

oldcodger
May 15, 2012, 04:42 PM
first, quoted from a post above:

"The area around Birmingham AL was a well known iron producing area.

I would agree that the South was not nearly as industrialized as the north. And the South was certainly behind the 8 ball. But not devoid of iron mines and foundries like many text book jerks so mistakenly preach."

END QUOTE

Off to wikipedia next - but this from memory:

The Bessemer Converter was considered a revolutionary development in the process of smelting of iron ore.

Bessemer, Alabama is just SW of Birmingham . :neener:

edited for clarity: Bessemer Converter was developed in Sheffield, England during the Crimean War.. NOT in Alabama... but I'd guess the town was named for Mr. B.-

V1ROT8
May 20, 2012, 11:31 AM
Thank you CraigC. Amen and Amen again.

kBob
May 20, 2012, 12:11 PM
Actually according to the US congress "War Between the States"

But War of Northern Aggression works well here in the South.

My favorite bit of miss information was in a Brit book that told of full auto Spencer Carbine/ sub-machineguns being used to quell draft riots in a northern city.

No doubt those were also special brass framed Spencers!

I just like the look of some brass framed guns. As I do not use them to hunt with or with any choice self defense arms the idea of using reduced loads is no big deal for me. Although I did once loose a friendly plate shoot because a brass .44 "1851" lacked the umph to knock down plates not hit on the upper half. Still it was fun.

Also used brassers tend to be cheaper than steel guns, at least at gunshows and face to face in shops. If one likes to tinker messing up a brasser is cheaper than messing up a steel frame.

-kBob

Chase.
May 21, 2012, 06:43 PM
Just to add to this list...

I have a Brass-framed Pietta 1851 Navy in .44 with a cracked frame. I was just using the gun to shoot paper, so I always loaded with 15-20 grains of FFF. On disassembly after the third or fourth outing shooting I disassembled the gun and noticed a crack on the inside of the frame. It may have been there since assembly, or cracked during shooting. I was never able to re-assemble the gun fully though, because the crack was right on the hole... as soon as the screw was out, it wouldn't screw back in. The gun isn't even a decent wall-hanger... because it can't be fully put back together.

Bottom line, brass-frames are like wadding your money up and throwing it away. Generally for $50-100 more you can get a steel frame that won't have these problems. My Pietta 1851 Navy with a steel frame I got as a replacement has not had a single problem and I've taken it out a dozen or so times.

This is just MY experience... obviously others may have had different, but this is why I will never buy another brass-frame.

oldcodger
May 21, 2012, 08:38 PM
pls message me if you have an idea what you'd want for the remnants.. IF you'd consider that...:D

thx,
oc

zimmerstutzen
May 23, 2012, 03:37 PM
Right now the steel framed pietta Remmie is as cheap as the brass at Cabelas. $179 plus tax. Shipping free.

Deltaboy
May 23, 2012, 08:59 PM
Yep the Remmys are on SALE!

St8LineGunsmith
August 30, 2012, 01:01 AM
Stateline Sniper:

The area around B'Ham was and is full of ore, coal, and foundries prior to, during and after the CW. There were iron mines and foundries also in GA, TN, the Carolinas and VA. To this day, Iron ore is there. It is not mined as much, because it is more efficient and cheaper to recycle scrap. There is a small amount of ore also in MS, just not worth mining.



Wrong on most counts. Most of the Confederate made revolvers were only made during the CW. There are copies of the contracts between the companies and the CSA government or states are in the archives if you wish to look them up. Here are the dates of MFG.

Iron Frame Confederate Revolvers:
Augusta Machine Works Revolver Made from 1861 to 1864.
Columbus Fire Arms Co. Revolver MAde 1862- 1864.
Dance & Brothers Revolver Made from 1862-1865.
Leech and Rigdon Revolver Made 1862-1864. ( fine revolver with case hardened frame)
Rigdon Ansley Revolver Only made from 1864-1865.
George Todd Revolver Made 1857 until 1862.

Many re-enactors have their own agenda and are "changing" history to suit their aim so listen to the campfire talk at re-enactments with a jaded ear. A great deal of what they say as fact is not (particularly when it comes to the weapons). Get a copy of Flayderman's Antique American firearms as a basic weapons bible. Do your own reasearch from proven resources and you will be able to hold your own in discussing things in history.

(BTW There was a brisk trade between N/S during the CW. Grant had a well documented tantrum about this in the Western Theater. Mainly small goods, medicine, and cotton. Grant tried to stop it and couldn't which lead to the anger. Higher ups were getting rich.)

I am bumping this back up because I have been doing some research on the companys that madethe iron and steel framed revolvers
i think it is inportant to mention although the CS was manufacturing high quality steel and iron frame frvolvers they were also produced in very low quantitys in compairison to the number of brass frame revolvers produced by spiller and Burr and griswold and Gunnison
spiller and Burr made a total of 1,500 brass frame revolvers
Griswold and Gunnison produced 3,700 brass frame 36 caliber navy copys

Agusta Machine works Aproximately 100 produced
Columbus Firearms estimated between 100 and 500 for the confederacy
Dance and Brothers Estimated 350 produced for the confederacy
Leech and Rigdon more than 1,500 produced for the CS
Rigdon and ashley estimated 1,000 produced for the CS


quite a significant diffrence in quantities in compairison to the amount of iron/steel frame revolvers made by a collective of manufacturers still did not meet the amount of brass framed revolvers produced by Griswold and Gunnison and Spiller and Burr.
I think that information is well worth mentioning.
this excludes any southern manufacturers who may have been producing copies of the 1858 Remington army models for the CS which I am sure was much smaller quantitiesthan any of the colt navy models produced due to the manufacturing process being more complex and time consuming.
which I have come to grips brass frame remingtons produced for the CS is a figment of the italian manufacturers imagination/\.

St8LineGunsmith
August 30, 2012, 01:25 AM
St8line:

The South made quality iron, as good as any, just not as much, hence the brass frames and grip straps. Actually, if the South had enough brass, they would have made AMMO for henry, spencer and other cartridge guns they had captured. There were decisions made not to do this because of brass, copper, zinc, and other shortages.

Yes, several folks have written books that contain much inaccurate information. If the person writing a book uses primary sources, it is likely accurate. If he relies on secondary sources, he is likely to get it wrong fairly often. Most of the inaccurate info is verbally passed around.

The Southerners Justification for the loss lead to a great deal of misinformation on the CW. It was simply a game of numbers. The South had to win quickly or lose. The North had 2-5 times as much as in Men, Material, and industry and every other area needed for a modern war.

Too much interpretive and re-writen of history going on these days.:(
another point I think needs to be brought up concerning making brass cartridges is at the time the south simply did not have the kind of tooling to effectively produce brass cartridges in the quantities that would be required in order for these rifles to be effective not to mention the low numbers of weapons siezed by the south wouldnot have been a very practical thing to make ammo for such a short supply of captured fire arms.

so in reality how inaccurate is this information.
my research has caused me to rethink what I have been told here.
I think a lot of the facts have been left out and replaced with speculation.

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