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Avenging Angels

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by JohnnyCremains, Mar 21, 2012.

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  1. JohnnyCremains

    JohnnyCremains Member

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    I was asked to cut a couple of revolvers down for a guy recently. He sent me a Pietta 1851 .36 cal Navy Colt replica and a Cimarron 1860 .44 cal Army revolver for conversions. I just finished the 1851 which is pictured below. I am currently working on the 1860. He wanted the finish distressed as well. It doesn't look like 150 year old distress but I think it does look like a gun that was used back in the day and then cut down. The kind of wear the gun might have had back in the 1860s. What do you think?

    Here's the before pic:

    [​IMG]

    And after. I also rounded the sharp edges on the butt:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. 1858remington

    1858remington Member

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    that looks great.
     
  3. Pancho

    Pancho Member

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    Great Work! Wasn't the Avenging Angels the bodyguards of the head of the Mormon church? Just checking my memory.
     
  4. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    I don't think they were bodyguards exactly. I believe they were Mormons relieved of their pledge of non violence to allow them to protect any Mormon or group of Mormons who were threatened. I vaguely remember that at one point some of their number commited the same types of attacks on others that they were supposed to protect their church members from.
     
  5. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

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    Porter Rockwell being the most famous, I believe
     
  6. kBob

    kBob Member

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    Porter Rockwell grew up just down the road from Joseph Smith and was a bit younger than he. He was an early convert and was a bodyguard to Joseph Smith. He rowed THe Prophet back across the river when the Prophet decided to turn himself in for the arrest that lead to his death.

    Rockwell was later a body guard for Brigham Young and served as a lawman of sorts before the US Army occupied Salt Lake City and the area and brought it into the nation.

    Once Deseret became Utah Rockwell was appointed a US Deputy Marshal.

    I do not beleive any of the body guards were implicated in the Mountain Meadows Incident. WHether any had been Dannites before the trek who knows. Joseph Smith broke up the Dannites as they were acting without his authority.

    Atleast one of the body guards of Brigham Young did appeqarently step off into the deep end without his water wings. "Wild Bill" was a rustler and some think murderer that was basically shunned by the other old bodyguards. In his bitterness he wrote a book shall we say critical of the church leaders. He is likely the cause of much of the anti Mormon fellings in the late 1800's.

    Do keep in mind that the Church members were subject to an extermination order from the Governor of Missouri that basically gave folks the right to hunt Church members like vermin. As a result the bodyguards had to be something of a rough group.

    At any rate Porter was widely known to carry several cut down pistols and spare cylinders. I have often wondered if the work was done by the father of John Moses Browning who was a convert that had made the trek and set up shop in Ogden

    WHether the Bodyguards did extract vengence or not, tales of it likely reduced the amount of anti Mormon violence in the west

    -kBob
     
  7. JohnnyCremains

    JohnnyCremains Member

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    kbob,

    Thanks for the history. I'm going to have to do some more reading on this. It's interesting stuff.
     
  8. Noz

    Noz Member

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    My sources, which are a bit vague because I lost interest in the research, say that Colt did the modifications on a short run of 1860s for the group. The pistols themselves were also known as Avenging Angels.
     
  9. JohnnyCremains

    JohnnyCremains Member

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    That's pretty interesting as well. To bad there's no way for the factory to authenticate this with a letter.
     
  10. AJumbo

    AJumbo Member

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    I imagine that most "Avenging Avenging" snubbies were hacksaw-and-file jobs. No sense going nuts about a perfect muzzle crown on a belly gun.
     
  11. ZVP

    ZVP Member

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    The frame is a natural cut-off point but I wonder if there were Avenging Angles with some sort of barrel left on them?
    They say a 4" barrel is no harder to hide than a 2 2/3" is...
    With some barrel, you'd also gain some FPS and power.
    ZVP
     
  12. AJumbo

    AJumbo Member

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    I don't know if it's a matter of hiding the piece, but rather how quickly one can get it into action.
     
  13. Pancho

    Pancho Member

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    Johnnycremains, would it proper to ask what you charged to make the Avenging Angle?
     
  14. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Member

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    mine...
    [​IMG]
     
  15. JohnnyCremains

    JohnnyCremains Member

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    Pancho, since I had never done this type of work for anyone else before I had no idea what to charge so I told him "how does $150 sound for doing both revolvers"
    I'm pretty sure that was a good deal since I've got quite a bit of time into them (I'm still not finished with the 1860). But he also sent along 3 boxes of vintage .41 Long Colt ammo because he knows I have a .41 so it turned out to be a very good deal for me.
    If I was to do a single revolver for another customer I think I would have to charge around $85
     
  16. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    Looking at these, makes me wonder who I can get to round butt this.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    jeepnik, order the parts and do it yourself. VTI among others have what is needed.
     
  18. JohnnyCremains

    JohnnyCremains Member

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    Strawhat,

    Could you post a link to any companies that have these round butt kits?
    I assume these will screw right on to an 1860 correct?
    Thats the only thing I don't care for in an 1860 snub nose. That ridiculously long grip. The one I'm working on right now I'm going to round off as much as I can but in the future I'd like to have a source for a birds head.
    Thank you!
     
  19. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    +1 on any links
     
  20. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Go to:

    www.vitgunparts.com
    www.dixiegunworks.com

    Be sure to order parts made by the same manufacturer that made the revolver because parts made by different ones don't always interchange.

    Usually the round-butt/birdshead backstraps match up to the 1851 Navy size trigger guard, and not the longer 1860 Army.

    Also look under 1873 Single Action to find various "rounded" backstraps, trigger guards and stocks. Be aware they don't always come cheap.

    It is wise to call and explain what your project is before buying parts. You will find that both companies mentioned above have a lot of expertise.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
  21. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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  22. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Member

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    Mine was made with an Uberti VTI Thunderer grip and grip frame, and a Pietta ''1862 Police'' factory made snubby. Actually it's not a ''Police Model'' at all, but rather an 1861 Navy. The police was a five shot built on a '49 Pocket Model frame, whereas the '61 Navy was built on a six shot .36 Navy frame.
     
  23. Dutterer

    Dutterer Member

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    I built one... Use it as my boot pistol when I'm reenacting. There's always one person who didn't get the hint that everyone receiving the charge is out of powder and that they should retreat or "die".... So.... Thus the boot gun. Perfect for a Partisan. :)
     
  24. JohnnyCremains

    JohnnyCremains Member

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    Got the 1860 done. The barrel is even shorter on this one at 1 1/2". I used a silver dime for the front sight and peened and silver soldered it in. Here's before and after:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And both together:

    [​IMG]
     
  25. Malachi Leviticus Blue

    Malachi Leviticus Blue Member

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    Nice, I've thought about doing something similar. For what it's worth, I personally like the looks of your first one much more than the second. Thanks for sharing.
     
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