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Opinions on Brass Frame Remington 1858 Buffalo 12" revolver

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by zaboomafoozarg, Feb 20, 2010.

  1. zaboomafoozarg

    zaboomafoozarg Active Member

    Anyone own one of these Remington 12" Buffalo .44 caliber revolvers in brass frame?

    Do you have any problems with the brass frame being too weak for this pistol? And how would you say the accuracy compares to, say, a 10" .50 cal single shot?

    I had originally planned to purchase a single shot Kentucky in kit form, but I went to cabelas today and felt one of these and it felt quite nice :D So that changes everything, and now I just can't decide!! But either way I'm going to buy something next week.

    I also read that you can use shot in a BP revolver vs. a single shot if need be so that would be an added bonus.

    Any input on buying this gun in complete assembled form vs. buying it in kit form too would be appreciated. I'm going to get a kit if I go with the single shot but I don't know if revolver kits are much more difficult or not.

    Thanks for the helpfulness as always, guys. ;)
  2. SixShootinSam

    SixShootinSam member

    All I can recommend is stay away from the brass frames. You will probably regret getting it over a steel frame down the road. Sure it costs a bit more, but you also get to have the knowledge that its a strong piece of hardware and good for a long long time.
  3. arcticap

    arcticap Well-Known Member

    Buying a brass verses steel frame revolver largely depends on whether you'll want to enjoy shooting stout loads with it once in a while.
    It's possible that the brass frame Remington can develop some looseness over time where the cylinder pin mates with the frame simply because the brass holes in the frame can wear more easily.
    The longer barrel and target sights of the Buffalo revolver are only slightly more accurate than the steel version with an 8 inch barrel. And the steel frame target model Remington is regularly offered at a sale price at Cabela's. So you would be giving up the ability to shoot stout loads at longer distances for very little gain in accuracy and cost benefit.
    The single shot pistol is another type of beast. It can shoot an even wider range of projectiles, more potent loads than either revolver and it's not as difficult to clean or maintain. But then it's not a repeater.
    The small shot loads that the revolvers are able to shoot are by and large only very short range snake loads. :)
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2010
  4. txapacheguy

    txapacheguy Active Member

    I have three brass frame 1851 Navy replicas... I love all three of them and shoot them whenever I have the chance, but my Pietta 1858 STEEL framed replica is a much better gun.

    If you check Cabela's website continually for a few months, you can probably find a nice '58 or 1860 steel frame replica for the same price or less what they wanted at the retail store for that Buffalo Brass pistol. Right now the basic 1858 replica is the same price as the Buffalo Brass model. A revolver with the target sights, the model I own, will run you a few dollars more.

    I have to agree with you though about the look of the Buffalo Brass pistol with the ridiculously long barrel. I like it too and almost bought one awhile back!!!
  5. Hawkeye748

    Hawkeye748 Well-Known Member

    Not a fan of Brass frame guns. If this matters to you, Historically, this gun didn't exist.
  6. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Well-Known Member

    If you use the appropriate loads with a brass frame revolver you should have no problems.
    This is a nickle plated brass frame Buffalo 58, been shooting .44 loads for thirteen years.


    This Spiller&Burr has been shooting .36 loads for thirty plus years and just starting to get a witness mark on the recoil shield.


    I have an old Uberti G&G brasser from the sixties that is still tight and one of the newer Pietta .44 navies brassers that has digested several hundred rounds with no sign of wear.


    There are open top and top strap brass frame revolvers from the 1860's that are still in shootable condition.

    If you keep your powder charge at or under half the caliber size you well be fine. If you go above those levels all bets are off.
  7. oldpuppymax

    oldpuppymax Well-Known Member

    I've been shooting my brass framed Cabelas cheapie for some time now and as long as you keep the load at 20 grains or so, you'll get plenty of wear from it.
  8. Al LaVodka

    Al LaVodka member

    Bought one years ago, put it in a big BP loading stand as art, and never shot it and it has never left the house other than on various Remington "variation" displays as a conversation piece. Brass is generally fine but not up to the highest loads for long I believe. I didn't know these were still made but some might want one due to hunting regs in their area...
  9. Gatofeo

    Gatofeo Well-Known Member

    Generally speaking, the brass-framed revolvers are not as finely made or finished as their steel-framed counterparts. They're made cheaper, cranked out quickly.
    It's the difference between the cheapest Chevy pickup and the high-end model. Both are pickups, but the high-end has the attention to detail that the other lacks.
  10. Foto Joe

    Foto Joe Well-Known Member

    Brass worked in battle

    Although some of the brass frame replica calibers out there didn't exist in the 19th century, it's more a part of marketing than historical accuracy.

    Having said that: If you ask steel frame shooters you're gonna hear that brass is worthless regardless of historical accuracy. If you ask someone who shoots and likes their Confederate Navy (even if they didn't make them in .44 back then) like me you'll get a different answer.

    It's to each his own. I've been trying to wear out my Confederate Navy since Christmas without any luck. I'm quite sure that this gun will NEVER see 5k rounds through it without wearing out but then again guns of the 19th century weren't designed to shoot 5,000 rounds through them either!!

    Shooting brass guns is more about the history of why they were made that way in the first place. They were not near as powerful as steel could be but...wounding an enemy in battle was and is far more preferable to killing them. A wounded soldier takes at least two others out of the fight to care for him.

    As for me, I WILL be adding more brass to my family eventually but I will go for a historically accurate caliber next time. Big holes in the end of the barrel are cool but...realistically the thirty-ish calibers were extremely popular with the public and in my view actually more unique.

  11. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    I wore out a brass .44 navy in 6 years and not that much shooting. I will go with a brass frame if it has a top strap and shoot light stuff in it. That Navy might still be shooting in .36 caliber and except for the fact that the only way I knew to load it was fill the hole full of FFFG and top it with a 220 Lee conical. :rolleyes: I was young and it was my first BP. I was in college and it was 50 bucks. :D
  12. pohill

    pohill Well-Known Member

    Brass can be good, if you treat it well.

    High Standard Griswold & Gunnison and an unknown Spiller & Burr.
    The High Standard is top quality.
    The Spiller & Burr is old.

    And let's not forget the A.S.T.C. HERO. It's brass under zinc. I actually fired this off a few weeks ago, using about 7 grs of BP and an O buckshot ball.
  13. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Well-Known Member

    OK,I can't stand it any longer.My first handgun of any type was a brass framed Navy Sheriff's model .36,bough at a Coast to Coast hardware store in Healdsburg California in 1974 and built by me and my dad.I had no clue about how much powder to put in the thing,and back in those days,the kits came with ZERO information.I just filled the cylinder up with 3f to the gunnels,and crammed some .375 round balls down on top.Some of the balls still interfered with the cylinder turning,so I cut the tops of the balls off with my knife.pulled the trigger,and the thing blew up in my hand.no lube over the balls,ill fitting caps...I'd experienced my first chain fire.Back to the drawing board.I picked up the barrel and cylinder,went home,and had my dad craft me a new wedge.Never did find the old one .settled down to a 20 grain charge,useing a .38 S&W case for a measure.Used Crisco as a lube,and never had another chain fire. I shot the crud out of that thing for fifteen years,before it started to strech.I then converted it to.38 S&W cartridge,and shot it for another coupla years before it was stolen. my point is,yes they'll stretch,but my gawd people,they made it through four years of the worst war this nation ever saw,and you don't think they'll stand up to a little week end shooting?And brassers are made cheap and quick? Really? You think Alessandro Pietta has his boys make the brass framed guns on his assembly lines any different than his steel framed ones? I don't.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2010
  14. zaboomafoozarg

    zaboomafoozarg Active Member

    BHP FAN, thanks for the honest input

    Im not sure, and I dont mean to insult anyone, but i get the feeling from reading many different threads about this, that people who insist steel frames are the only way to go are kind of like the people who insist on buying only new cars.

    Clearly I would not expect a pistol to last forever. But I just wanted to know how bad the stretching issue is. for example, if a pistol costs $250 and then stretches at 500 shots.. well heck, that's 50 cents per shot and not a good deal at all.

    I have one question: is it possible to buy replacement brass frames for brass framed revolvers? in case your current one stretches out?
  15. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Well-Known Member

    I have heard that VTI carries the frames for Piettas, but I don't see them on their site..perhaps if you call them?
    A friend of mine was writeing an article for one of the gun magazines,and the article was about brass frame durability.To this end, he bought two Cabela's Pietta .44 round barrel ''Navy''s [More of a Tucker and Sherrard, or Griswald and Gunnison, if you ask me,but you know the ones] and shot them every shooting outing for four years,with 20 gr 3f charges,and .454 round ball.He never did finish his article,because they never stretched.Oh well,he's got a nice brace of pistolas.
  16. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Well-Known Member

    In well over thirty years of black powder shooting, I HAVE seen TWO ''loose'' brass framed revolvers, one [I'm not proud to say] I abused,but it still worked even after being converted to .38 S&W,and one that was a manufacturing defect,an early 70's brass framed Navy that had too long of a slot in the arbor,or cylinder pin.That's it,in thirty + years.I won't say it's a myth,because it has happened, I'VE done it...but it is ''statistically insignificant''.
  17. pohill

    pohill Well-Known Member

    You need more than one revolver to shoot - that way, no gun gets overused. Does anyone on this forum own only one BP revolver? I kinda doubt it.
    Brass if fine, if you don't abuse it. This is what the recoil shield of my Spiller & Burr looked like when I bought it -I still shoot it, but not alot.
  18. DrLaw

    DrLaw Well-Known Member

    Oh Madcratebuilder, you poor deluded fool! Don't you know that even now your brass-framed guns are as limp as an overcooked spaghetti noodle! They are literally melting in your hands.


    This subject has been done to death, but I sense a newbie in the force, who has not yet learned the ways of the Jedi - or the search function.

    Zaboom. Don't pour in powder to the end of the chamber and cram in a bullet and brass-framed guns will do fine. Steel can take the higher pressure beating but the amount of powder it takes to shoot accurately will not bother the guns.

    The Doc is out now. :cool:
  19. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Well-Known Member

    Wow, Pohill. Still shoots too, I bet.well, of course, you just said so. Seriously, someone, Oyeboten, I think, [ no,it was madcratebuilder] said ''half the caliber'' as a powder charge.that was pretty good advice. Brass framed revolvers when used sensibly [not like I did] and loaded moderately , should last a lifetime.
  20. zaboomafoozarg

    zaboomafoozarg Active Member

    Haha DrLaw, appreciate the advice. I am indeed a newbie but I have worn the search button out! :D The only reason I posted this was asking for input specifically on the Buffalo Remington.

    the brass frame vs. steel thing just kind of went off on a rabbit trail. but its still good info

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