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what replicas arent accurate reproductions,and how to spot a fake?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by andrewstorm, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. andrewstorm

    andrewstorm member

    Can anybody school me on italian and other replicas and the most common means of spotting defarbed modern b p replicas?
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  2. mb3

    mb3 Well-Known Member

    I am certainly no expert but from what I have read none of the Italian reproduction could be confused with an original musket. Their lock dimensions are off as well as the thickness of their barrels. In addition, a good give away for an original is the condition of the wood. It is hard to duplicate naturally aged 172 year old wood.
  3. SleazyRider

    SleazyRider Well-Known Member

    Aren't the Italian reproductions also threaded in metric as opposed to English threads on the genuine article?
  4. andrewstorm

    andrewstorm member

    metric thread

    good point sle z.......:D also the steel is carbonized,
  5. mykeal

    mykeal Well-Known Member

    Well, there are bad fakes, good fakes and really, really good fakes. Bad fakes are probably easy: tool marks, poor stamps in the wrong size and font, wrong screws, missing stamps.

    Good fakes are going to be the real problem. It'll come down to a 'suspicion', caused by coloration that's 'too good', or maybe the wrong screws, or a serial number you can't quite authenticate. The serial numbers are probably the hardest thing to fix; they're usually deeply stamped and hard to change. Also look for mismatched numbers under the grips or on the cylinder.

    Really, really good fakes - you can't tell. They require an expert appraiser familiar not only with guns but with the specific manufacturer and model.
  6. Pulp

    Pulp Well-Known Member

    Neither Pietta or Uberti make exact, parts interchangeable, replicas of Colts or Remington revolvers. They are fairly close, but not exact. One example is the grip shape of the Pietta 1851 Navy. Another example is the brass framed .44 caliber Navy. Colt never made a brass framed '51, and never made the Navy in .44 caliber. Now Cabela's and BassPro will tell you that the Confederates "reverse engineered" the Navy to produce what they now sell. Whether that's true or not, I don't know. It's not totally impossible that it didn't happen, but most likely didn't happen. Folks in the Confederacy did make some brass framed revolvers, but they weren't exactly like Colts or Remingtons. Better students of Civil War firearms can tell you all the names, but Dance is one that comes to mind.
  7. andrewstorm

    andrewstorm member


    Does anyone own or have photos of a real antique ,and a similar reproduction,side by side?.......or know of any books on the subject?
  8. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Well-Known Member

    Pulp, IMO the Confederacy did copy the Colt design in their Augusta, and other "open top" style revolvers. I don't think the term "reverse engineering" existed back then and one can argue how precisely they "copied" the Colt design. It's striking to me the internals are all pretty similar to Colt even with minor differences in the barrel configuration (ie., round barrel versus octagonal).
    BTW the south wasn't the only entity that "copied" revolvers, a northern company called "Manhattan Revolver Co." made "copies of the Colt except made theirs double action.
  9. Tallship

    Tallship Well-Known Member

    The easiest way to spot a really good fake:

    Take out one of the screws and look at it with a jeweler's loup. Old time screw making machinery made screws with a rounded top on the thread. Modern machinery makes a rather sharp angle at the top of the thread.
  10. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Well-Known Member

    Tallship is spot-on, and IF the faker knows of this distinction, they often use a standard sized screw even if they do it in an English thread pitch, when you pull the screw, pull several of them, check them with the loop, and then check them with a screw gauge..., if they are all uniform, and of a modern standard size = probably faked.

  11. andrewstorm

    andrewstorm member

    Im learning

    when purchasing a real antique ,look at the screws as not to get screwed.also Its a very good point that confederate period copys are also considered replicas,just not modern replicas or (exact replicas,)if such a thing actually exists,take for instance the lemat pistol real ones Ive seen look very different than recent reproductions,and naa,s 1860 cap and ball.......what that looks like i havent the clue?
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  12. oxide80

    oxide80 Well-Known Member

    Top revolver is an original Colt 1860 Army produced in 1863, the bottom is Pietta 1860 Army produced in 2011. Angles of the grips are different, the lines of the barrel taper are different, scroll scene is similar but not the same, trigger and hammer profiles are different, hammer. At a glance they look the same but thats it.

    Attached Files:

  13. Noz

    Noz Well-Known Member

    Not all of the Italian guns are metric threaded.
    Pietta nipples are, Ubertis are not.

    My impression is that the italian guns are rarely used to make a fake. More likel;y woould be a 2nd or 3rd gen Colt faked to 1st gen.
  14. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    Concerning Colt's percussion models:

    The barrels were rifled with a gain twist, which means that the lands and grooves start out straight, but then begain to twist. None of the reproductions - including those made in modern times by Colt - have gain twist rifiling. They turn from back to front. :uhoh:
  15. Gaucho Gringo

    Gaucho Gringo Well-Known Member

    Tallship, the threads you describe are rolled threads as opposed to modern threads which are cut threads. My father in law who is now deceased used to own a big machine shop and he told me about the different types of threads.
  16. Mike OTDP

    Mike OTDP Well-Known Member

    Things I look for include rifling (gain twist was used not only in Colts, but in Remingtons as well), and shape. The Italian repros are often off in shape, sometimes deliberately.
  17. Pulp

    Pulp Well-Known Member

    A feller that shot 1875 Remingtons in CAS told me the internals were exactly like a Colt SAA. I don't know that for a fact, but I do know they had a 4 click hammer pull.

    And really, when you think about it, just how many ways are there to produce a single action firearm? You've got to have a hammer spring, a trigger spring, a bolt spring, a hand and spring etc etc.
  18. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Well-Known Member

    I thought the Remington design had the bolt & trigger on the same screw while the Colt had each on it's own. I know that that may not mean too much in terms of how the gun works, overall, but it is a difference ... atleast for those of us who are experienced at picking nits.:rolleyes:
  19. Pulp

    Pulp Well-Known Member

    "I thought the Remington design had the bolt & trigger on the same screw"

    Tommy, I know that's true on the percussion Remingtons, but have no idea about the 1875. I had no reason to question the feller that told me that, just took his word he knew what he was talking about.

    I just did a google, and the 1875 does just have one screw, just like the percussions.
  20. Mike OTDP

    Mike OTDP Well-Known Member

    IIRC, the 1875 is identical internally with the 1858.

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