1851 modifications


May 10, 2012, 01:09 PM
I have some questions that maybe some of you might know the answers to.
1. I was wondering if anyone has switched frames on a 1851 or 1860 colt replica? So taken all the internals out of one gun and reinstall them on a separate frame. I'm thinking that the timing will be thrown off if one was to attempt it.
2. Do 1851 and 1860 44 caliber frames interchange?
3. Where's the best place to find part guns, guns you won't feel bad about taking apart?
4. Does anyone have guns there parting out?

So I was thinking about all the brass frame guns out there and I was trying to find out. If one was to have both a steel framed gun as well as a brass frame gun. Could you take parts (hammer, bolt, hand, trigger) out of the brasser and install them in the steel framed gun without much tuning?

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May 10, 2012, 02:54 PM
To answer your first two questions....

1. Since the .44 caliber frames are identical, in theory swapping parts should work within the same brand. There can always be some minor manufacturing tolerances though.

2. As was mentioned above, they are the SAME frame.

Brass frame or steel frame the above still applies.

May 10, 2012, 04:18 PM
I'm not sure you answered his first question. True, the .44 cal 1851 pattern frame is the same as the 1860 Army frame, but strictly speaking the 1851 Navy is a .36 and it's frame is not interchangeable with the 1860 Army frame.

Speaking to the intent of the question, the internal parts of the .36 cal 1851 Navy, .44 cal 1851 Navy pattern and the .44 cal 1860 Army are designed the same and in theory interchangeable. However, as you said, some fitting is to be expected, even when matching parts from the same manufacturer and model.

May 10, 2012, 04:56 PM
The grip frames on the '51 Navy and the 1860 Army are different lengths (Army longer) but will "bolt up" to either frame. The edges on frame and trigerguard/backstrap may not match as these are finished after assembly in manufacturing. The frame itself while similar is slightly different on the two models: the Army frame is slightly relieved to allow for the installation of the Army's rebated cylinder which is slightly larger at the muzzle end. Basically, you can fit the Navy cylinder on an Army frame but not the other way around. Having had an early '51 Navy brass frame replica that had the cylinder arbor strip out of its frame, I successfully installed the barrel and cylinder on my 1860 Army frame to make a "switch-caliber" pistol. It took a lot of fitting to get this to work and wasn't really worth the effort. Internals need to be hand fitted regardless of which frame they are used on.

May 10, 2012, 05:27 PM

The OP was asking about the .44 cal. frames, so YES I did correctly answer is question.

May 10, 2012, 05:30 PM

My Pietta .44 cylinder actually fits and works on my Pietta .36 frame. It must be due to 'tolerances'.

May 11, 2012, 09:27 AM
Mine will interchange as well, its very close but does cycle perfectly.

May 14, 2012, 05:35 PM
So I guess you guys answered my question. I want to buy another BP gun and I was having a hard time deciding between a remmy or another colt. The only reason I was going to get another colt is so I could use my brass framed gun as an parts gun. I guess I should just sell the brasser. Do you think I could get $80 for a brass framed 44 cal. 1851 peitta?

Skinny 1950
May 15, 2012, 03:04 AM
Is your gun still working or is it "shot-out" which the brass frame .44 cal. Navy is supposedly susceptible to with full loads (recommended load being 25 grains). If it is shot out then make a wall hanger out of it and sell it for $100.

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