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1851 Navy: Square or round trigger guard?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Mossyrock, Sep 11, 2006.

  1. Mossyrock

    Mossyrock Well-Known Member

    I have always loved the Colt 1851 Navy, but have never gotten around to ordering one. My favorite is the earlier model with the square-backed trigger guard. Aside from looks, does either trigger guard offer an advantage over the other? Also, just out of curiosity, who currently has the best price on a '51 Navy?
  2. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Well-Known Member

    I have a Uberti Navy with the squareback. It sort of looks nicer, a little more unusual. I'm not sure if I'd say there's any advantage to it. I can move my middle finger against it and raise the barrel, making the gun easier to cock...but so what?
    I have a Uberti Navy LONDON with a round steel trigger guard (blued, not brass) and it also is fine. I received a Pietta navy '51 with a round guard, and that's also very nice.
    Cabela's has some nice prices, but I have never seen a squareback in their catalog. Dixiegunworks is where I got mine, and it's in the $250 range.
    To be frank, I don't know if Pietta makes squareback 51's or not....?
  3. Smokin_Gun

    Smokin_Gun Well-Known Member

    Three Uberti Navy Models

    I don't know if Pietta makes a Squareback either...gotta check that out.
    But Taylors now has all three 1851 Navy Models... the "First Model" was the Squareback, then the 1851 Navy, and the London steel frame. Here's a link: http://www.taylorsfirearms.com/products/bpArmyNavy.tpl

    I have the Uberti 1851 Navy round guard real nice Rev. Wouldn't mind havin' all three though...LoL!
  4. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

  5. Smokin_Gun

    Smokin_Gun Well-Known Member

  6. Mossyrock

    Mossyrock Well-Known Member

    OK...I guess we pretty much agree that the squareback Navy is about the most attractive handgun ever produced...:D But, does one of the two have a larger trigger guard for porky fingers?
  7. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    Trigger guards on the original 1851 Navy's were:

    1. The squareback design, which was small.

    2. The first oval pattern, which was also small.

    3. The second oval pattern, which was larger, and similar to the one used in later S.A.A. 1873 revolvers. This is used on most 1851 Navy reproductions with brass or iron straps..

    I believe the reproduction "steel-strapped" or "London" Navies use the same backstrap and trigger guard found on the maker's Single Action clones.
  8. Mossyrock

    Mossyrock Well-Known Member

    Let's say I buy a brace of squarebacked '51s and find the triggerguard to be too small.... It should be a simple matter of buying two new gripstraps and replacing them, right?
  9. Smokin_Gun

    Smokin_Gun Well-Known Member

    Nope... the Navy models with brass or steel grip straps and seperate triggerguards are the same in size and particular Mfg. Ubertis fit Ubertis and Piettas fit Piettas.
    I don't know about the London navy but I think they are three piece frame, grip, and triggerguard too. Check at VTI for parts info on them.

    Old Fluff was 100% right the London and the 1873 are the same steel backstrap, grip, and trigger guard as the 1873 model....

    1851 Navy .36s are made shorter and smaller by Colt design, just how they were made. Pietta does offer an 1851 Navy or Civilian in .44 cal that's the same size as the Larger 1860 frame. Although not historically correct a good shooter, bigger and looks like the 1851.
    Hope this helps...
  10. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    The 1851 Navy and 1860 Army revolver frames (original and reproduction) are the same, except the 1860 frame is slightly modified by milling a cut toward the front so that a rebated (smaller at the back, but stepped up at the front) cylinder that will hold six .45 chambers can be used. Thus the larger 1860 Army backstrap and trigger guard will fit on a 1851 Navy frame (for those with big hands) or also on a model 1873 Single Action Army cartridge revolver. On the other hand if you want to go the other way, you can fit a set of 1851 Navy or 1873 straps on an 1860 Army frame. Such fun! :D

    Or to go hog wild, you can buy a set of round-butt straps, made for some Single Action models, and fit them on your 1851 Navy, or 1860 Army. But as Smokin_Gun noted, the parts must come from the same manufacturer.
  11. pv74

    pv74 Active Member

    I believe the original square backed trigger guards were silver plated...

    I have only seen this on the Colt reproductions (manufactured by Uberti IIRC)
  12. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    Regarding the original Colt's - all brass straps on commercial guns were silver plated. Those on military orders generally were not. Besides some Uberti models, the reproductions made by Colt (or under their brand name) were sailver plated.

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