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Custom 1858 'Brasser'

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Michael Tinker Pearce, Mar 24, 2019.

  1. Michael Tinker Pearce

    Michael Tinker Pearce Member

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    A few weeks ago someone handed me an 1858 Brass-frame Remington kit. All the bits were aas-cast, the barrel wasn't secured and a couple of screws were missing.
    AhrKAp8.jpg ZKwxvo9.jpg
    I spent some time mulling over what to do with it and decided to go a little 'out there.' I turned the barrel down to round, cut and crowned it at 3-1/4", then removed the loading-lever and cut back the front of the frame. I bored a chunk of brass for the barrel and a long cylinder-pin I made, then made a steel plug that fit the loading-lever plunger hole and mounted it to the brass piece with a screw. I mounted and dapped the barrel, then silver-soldered the brass extension on over the barrel. Once that was done I shaped it to match the frame. I also silver-soldered an extension on the grip-frame and cut a 'pinky-notch' in the front of the frame.
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    I also brought the frame to a proper finish, mostly using increasing grits of wet-dry sandpaper.

    I made a set of Spalted Maple grips, then went to work on the mechanism. The hand (which moves the cylinder) was some kind of trash metal and was chewed up, so I replaced it with a new one fabricated from 5160 spring-steel. I also needed to replace the mainspring with a stronger one. I had a cylinder for a .44 Colt conversion on-hand, so I made a new breech-plate with a rebounding firing-pin and timed it so that it can be swapped in to replace the percussion cylinder. I didn't cut a reloading port; either cylinder must be removed for reloading. With the cartridge cylinder the cylinder pin can be used to punch out the empties.

    I made and mounted a new front-sight, and the gun was essentially complete.
    gDjxn9x.jpg
    The screw in front of the cylinder can be turned 180 degrees with my fingers, which releases the cylinder pin and allows removal of the cylinder. It's labelled 'L' for locked and 'U' for unlocked.

    As part of a previous deal I had been given a glass-topped case for a n 1858, so I stripped the interior and fitted it to hold the gun, the extra cylinder and some accessories. I made a cover-piece to fit inside the glass and hold everything securely in place. The interior is lined in green felt.
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    The tools include a cleaning-rod, a screw-driver, a ball-setting tool and a bespoke powder flask that throws the correct charge for this revolver. There is room for a tin of percussion-caps, balls and wads as well as fifteen rounds of .44 Colt ammunition.

    Some details of the gun- the breech-plate for the cartridge cylinder follows the contour of the blast-shield, allowing you to easily determine if the cylinder is loaded.
    8s8XOPx.jpg r1wfLwP.jpg
    The rear-sight trough is deep and wide, and actually provides an excellent sight picture for a gun of this type. The gun is very comfortable for my hand and the gun points quite naturally. I'm really looking forward to getting this to the range and shooting it, both as a percussion gun and with cartridges. It will be interesting to see if it hits anywhere near point of aim...

    Oh, for display purposes the internal cover can be removed so that the gun can be seen through the glass.
    YSyHdey.jpg
    This is one of my more elaborate builds, and I am quite happy with the way it has come out.
     
    chicharrones, Spug, robhof and 12 others like this.
  2. entropy

    entropy Member

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    WOW! Nice looking build, Michael! Beautiful case set for it, too; Puts my uncles 1860 build for his Dad (My Grandpa, whos' namesake, and mine was in the Civil War, though I found out after my uncle built this, he was issued an 1858, not an 1860) to shame:

    1860.jpg
    The top and bottom are redwood; why he chose pressboard for the middle, and left it as is, I don't know. There is a length of belt running around it, and the buckle is my gr-gr Grandpa's issue buckle, he was a SGT, in the 2nd MN Light Artillery (Volunteer).
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2019
  3. LoneGoose

    LoneGoose Member

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    Wow. I really enjoy seeing these creations on THR.
     
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  4. Michael Tinker Pearce

    Michael Tinker Pearce Member

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    That's actually really cool! You could always line it with some lightweight velvet.
     
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  5. Boarhunter

    Boarhunter Member

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    Tinker,

    I think I speak for all in saying you do wonderful work, Sir.

    BOARHUNTER
     
  6. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    That's very cool and innovative. I wonder if you could get a brass looking finish on the cylinders.
     
  7. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    Workmanship is crazy good. Not my taste, but to each his own. Where’s the conversion cylinder?
     
  8. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    In the pics...
     
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  9. Michael Tinker Pearce

    Michael Tinker Pearce Member

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    It's in the gun in the box. The percussion cylinder is behind the hammer in the box.
     
  10. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Tinker

    I really like this one, a lot! Great job with your whole reworking of the gun and it's conversion cylinder! Love the look of the brass frame and the display case with everything that goes with it!

    Another "Very Well Done Sir"!
     
    Michael Tinker Pearce likes this.
  11. DWFan

    DWFan Member

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    Very well done, Sir. I've always heard that the conversion cylinders shouldn't be used in brass framed guns. I assume you are using BP loads?
     
  12. Pat Riot

    Pat Riot Member

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    Nice Job, MTP. Very nice.
     
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  13. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    GORGEOUS! :)
     
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  14. Michael Tinker Pearce

    Michael Tinker Pearce Member

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    The issue with brass frames isn't pressure as such; it's recoil. The two effects of this are to hammer the cylinder into the brass breech or to stretch the frame. With the percussion cylinder you can moderate this by using an appropriate load. With cartridges the steel breech-ring distributed the load much better, but it's still best to stick to low-powered cartridges with light to moderate loads. Smokeless loads are actually less hard on the frame than a BP load at the same velocity as they generate less recoil- as long as the cylinder can withstand the pressure you are actually better off using smokeless.
     
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  15. Boarhunter

    Boarhunter Member

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    Tinker,

    Have you considered opening a "museum" of sorts to display all your various creations?

    BOARHUNTER
     
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  16. Michael Tinker Pearce

    Michael Tinker Pearce Member

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    Maybe I should add a gallery page to my blog...
     
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  17. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    Words fail me, but consider me fully impressed again, MTP!

    :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
     
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