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London 1851 .36

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Shultzhaus, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. Shultzhaus

    Shultzhaus Well-Known Member

    Ref. Cabela's latest "shooting" catalog. Offered is a London 1851 .36, and also their ongoing 1851 .36 Navy. The London is $50 more than the Navy. Question is: what is the difference other than price, and a brass trigger guard? Must be something special about the London?
  2. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    Nope. The difference then and now is that the London-made 1851's had steel backstraps and trigger guards, while in most (but not all) U.S. production those parts were made of brass which on commercial models was silver plated. Then of course the markings on the top of the barrel were (and are) different.

    Today some shooters prefer steel over brass because they don't like the way black powder fouling discolors the brass. It's up to the buyer to deside if this is important enough to justify the extra cost to get blued steel.
  3. Smokepole14

    Smokepole14 Well-Known Member

    Does the 1851 colt navy have a brass backstrap or is it like the remmy and just have a brass triggerguard. I've seen pics of the 1860 model and its backstrap looks blued. If the backstrap is brass would that make the frame weaker than the colt London mentioned above.
  4. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    The military model 1860 Army had a steel backstrap because a shoulder stock could be mounted to it. Also most if not all 1851 Navies made at Hartford, CT. had "iron straps" if they were set up to take a shoulder stock, which was less common. However the Army did buy some iron-strapped 1851's that weren't designed to take a stock, and these were supposedly made from surplus parts brough back from London after Colt closed his Armory there.

    In Colt catalogs and price sheets, the word "straps," refers to the backstrap and trigger guard. On most percussion models, excluding the Walker and Dragoon's the straps were made from cast brass. Those sold to the military services were usually plain brass, while commercial products were silver plated - which looked good when the revolver was new but quickly wore off with use except in protected areas.

    Another exception was the U.S. Navy, which bought many iron strapped Navies, later had them converted to metallic cartridge (.38 Long Colt) and kept them in service until 1888.

    So far as strength is concerned, Colt used brass for a long time with apparently no problems, but when the 1872 "open-top" .44 cartridge revolver came along, shortly followed by the 1873 Single Action Army, they changed to steel and didn't look back.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2011
  5. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Well-Known Member

    The extra $$ is probably because the steel BS & TG cost more to make. I have the same catalog and the new Pietta looks nice.
    I have the Uberti version of the London, and a Pietta 1851 with silver plated straps....don't know if I want this new Pietta.
    But that 1860 with the crossed sabers is calling my name .......

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