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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  Colt Firearms (Moderator: St. George)  |  Topic: Hi! New here, and to Cap&Ball pistols. 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Hi! New here, and to Cap&Ball pistols.  (Read 3484 times)
Capt Quirk
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« on: May 13, 2017, 12:58:43 pm »


Hi! As it says in the title, I'm new to percussion pistols, and could use some help id'ing a pistol. It is a Colt Navy, in .44 caliber. It has the serial number 145799, and something that looks like EAT or FAT. Since it is .44, I know it isn't an original piece, since the Navy was chambered in .36. I went to the Colt site, did the look up, but found only more confusion. Any idea what it really is?
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Coffinmaker
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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2017, 02:53:01 pm »

Sure.  Easy Peasy.

You have either a Pietta or an ASM.  I'd need to see the rest of the roll marks to be sure Pietta or ASM ..... BUT .. Pietta and ASM are the manufacturers who currently make a 44 Navy (Pietta) and who years ago (ASM) made a .44 Navy.  Armi San Marco (ASM) are now long out of business.  Pietta are very much alive and well.

Coffinmaker
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Capt Quirk
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2017, 03:08:07 pm »

I don't have the pistol, it is in a local pawn shop. They are asking $125 for it, because it looks like it was in the Civil War... and lost. I don't mind an ugly gun, as long as it works well. The finish is rough, the wedge looks like it has been hammered hard, but the action feels good. It is NOT a new gun.

Any ideas on what the lettering is?
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Major 2
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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2017, 05:56:20 pm »

Could it be F I E ?

@ $125 just entering the realm of too much, based on the condition you offer...
if is Brass Frame.....WAYYYYY to much
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Coffinmaker
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2017, 07:43:52 pm »

PLUS ONE to Major 2.  With a Caveat.  BIG CAVEAT.  If it is as rough as you describe, and you have no practical experience with Cap Guns (Percussion) to include their set up and maintenance ......... While carefully protecting your wallet, back slowly out the door and back to the sidewalk.  Turn carefully up or down the street,  then RUN!!

Coffinmaker
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Capt Quirk
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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2017, 09:01:50 pm »

This is why I'm trying to find out WHAT it is. I'm not sure if the first letter is an E or an F, but the other two are definitely AT. If it is an old piece, I could talk them down to $100. I found a 1928 August Menz .25 cal Liliput there, also for $100. Not too bad a shape, and while it isn't the greatest little gun, it is a nice piece of history. Of course, they had no idea what it was until I started researching it either.

This Navy model isn't new and shiny, but the worst part is the wedge. I have an old Winchester 30-30 that is ugly, but I put 3 rds into a pack of cigs at 100yds with the stock iron sights. It won't win any beauty contests, but it does what it is supposed to, and THAT is what matters... right?

Depending on the pedigree of this pistol, I would take it to a gunsmith before even thinking about trying to load it.
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Major 2
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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2017, 06:25:08 am »

As Coffin Maker alluded...

I mean no disrespect .... but just reading your posts

I get the idea you have $100 -125 burning a hole in your pocket ... Smiley forgive me if I read it wrong  (August Menz .25 cal Liliput there, also for $100)

Pawn Shops are in for the PROFIT. my guess that Navy, based only on your description , was under $50 to the Pawnee ( no disrespect to the Native persons )
They have a hang tag of $125 , you think they'll take $100 ....they have less than 1/2 that in it or they paid to much !

The WEDGE is BIG deal ....if it is beat , so is the gun ...IMHO

EAT & FAT not with standing   and the Serial Number will not help with the year of manufactory  that is found in date code

if the 3 letters are in Diamond  < FAP >  that means Pietta  or ( DAP ) Davide A Petersoli  your  E or an F, but the other two are definitely AT  seem to rule that out.

There were some Importers that used initials  as I mentioned   F I E in Miami Fla.  that's out too it would seem.

So that is scratching the surface....You have not mentioned if it is Steel Framed of Brass ...

My best suggestion is put the $100 back in a safe place ....and walk out briskly,  if it is a BRASS FRAME ... RUN OUT  

Put the $100 toward new 51 Navy ,  and look for a sale at Cabela's .

If you do this, you will experience a more harmonic outcome ....

Friends don't let Friends buy beater guns from Pawn shops  Smiley  


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Major 2
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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2017, 06:30:32 am »

by the way  


you may find the date code in a square  [  ]   example  [AD]  = 1978

I offer you this to help

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LuuLgBC2LI

and

Italian date stamps
Note! The stamp is not a part in the serial numbers, and it is normally found on Frame in [ ] brackets

Year Mark Year Mark     Year Mark   Year Mark   Year Mark   Year Mark  Year  Mark
1940        1953 IX       1966 XXII    1979 AE    1992 BB     2005 BZ     2018  CT
1941        1954 X        1967 XXIII   1980 AF    1993 BC    2006 CA     2019  CU
1942        1955 XI       1968 XXIV   1981 AH    1994 BD    2007 CB      2020  CZ
1943        1956 XII      1969 XXV    1982 AI     1995 BF    2008 CC      2021  DA
1944        1957 XIII     1970 XXVI   1983 AL    1996 BH    2009 CD      2022  DB
1945 I      1958 XIV     1971 XXVII  1984 AM   1997 BI     2010 CF       2023 DC
1946 II     1959 XV      1972 XXVIII 1985 AN   1998 BL     2011 CH      2024  DD
1947 III    1960 XVI     1973 XXIX   1986 AP    1999 BM    2012 CI       2025  DE
1948 IV    1961 XVII    1974 XXX    1987 AS    2000 BN    2013 CL      2026  DF
1949 V     1962 XVIII   1975 AA     1988 AT    2001 BP    2014 CM      2027  DH
1950 VI    1963 XIX     1976 AB      1989 AU    2002 BS    2015 CN      2028  DI
1951 VII   1964 XX      1977 AC      1990 AZ    2003 BT    2016 CP      2029  DL
1952 VIII  1965 XXI     1978 AD      1991 BA    2004 BU    2017 CS      2030  DM
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Major 2
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« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2017, 06:59:39 am »

For example:

 Cabela's
Pietta 1851 Navy "Yank" Steel .44-Cal. Black-Powder Revolver
 4.0 out of 5(1)
Steel frame with case-hardened finish
Walnut grips
Easily removable, replaceable cylinders
Item: IK-219611
 
$249.99  currently 

but a Sale or a Bargain Cave find  you may find 10% -20% off

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Capt Quirk
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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2017, 08:11:43 am »

No offense taken Major. First of all, I'd like to thank y'all for your time, patience, and assistance. You guys know a ton more than I do, which is why I'm asking.

I understand how pawn shops work, been screwed by them before. But, this shop is pretty reasonable, and have always treated me pretty well. They love my holster work, and have referred a lot of people my way... and bought my leather work themselves. So, we have more than just a casual relationship.

The pistol in question was bought by one of the owner's son, sold to his Dad, and now... it's looking for a new home. That is all the history that is known. It does have a brass strap. There are no logos on it that I could see, BLACK POWDER ONLY on the barrel, and COLT NAVY. The three letters are in a fancier font, scrunched together a little. The first letter LOOKS like an E, but the bottom cross line is shorter than the top two, which could be a fancy F. The serial number 145799 is followed by three numbers 799 underneath.

As far as having money to burn... that ain't what it is at all. I don't have any money to burn, and towards the end of the week I usually have to scramble to get gas for the generator (We live off grid). I love old stuff. You just can't buy history new in a box. You look around my place, and you'll find books from as far back as the 1800's. Kitchen table from the 1930's. Dining table from the 1940's.  Artifacts from the Roman Empire, Vintage furniture, Antique Wife... oops. Don't tell her I said that!

Anyways, I don't need the gun, I have guns. But, it might have some history, and that is a cool vibe in itself. If it was manufactured in the 20's, that is almost 100 years of "What has it seen? Who has it shot?" That isn't something that you'll find at Cabella's. If it was made in 1983, then yeah, it was just really abused, and not worth thinking twice about. I am only positive that it is NOT a Civil War relic, and not likely to be a daily shooter. And that is cool too, as I have plenty that are. The Liliput I mentioned? I have seen these Liliputs go as high as $500. It sits next to my bed beside my Uberti SAA, and is loaded. It will shoot, but I don't use it. Sort of a last ditch effort thing.

So, as you can see, I don't NEED to have it. But, it might be of interest, and I wouldn't mind having a Navy either. Otherwise, I agree with you, it is likely junk. The provinance will determine that.
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Major 2
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« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2017, 09:02:46 am »

Well it's not from the 1920's  that you can be assured of

145799 serial number ?  799  is just last 3#'s repeated on other assembled parts  look for the  [ Date Code in the square ]

Back strap is brass OK and the TG as well....the frame is Steel  Huh  

I hope you looked at the U tube I attached, Mike B. chalks up some helpful info on the Markings....

Here are some yard sale finds ....one of these had a wooden wedge  Shocked
they're maybe $50 -$60,  one was given me...

2 are Euroarms (middle)  , one a Pietta (top)  , and one an ASM  (bottom, best of the lot )

Note: the  Pietta Grip shape (flared tail ) top revolver,  it in fact not a 51 Navy its a replica Griswold & Gunnison

# 3 Euroarms is the only 44 cal. in the lot ( gun that never was nor did Colt make brass frame 51 Navy )

if you can post a photo, (perhaps the marks as well ) We might learn more


* Yard sale finds 2 .jpg (230.88 KB, 797x449 - viewed 64 times.)
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Capt Quirk
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« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2017, 09:11:58 am »

Sorry, but the wife gets real upset when I use all her data watching videos, so no youtube for me. You see, part of living off grid means giving up those little things like lots of data and fast speeds.

I did not see a date square on the gun, and the last 3 numbers were on the same part of the frame, just below the serial #. From what I could tell, the strap and guard was brass, and the rest was steel. I'll have to slip into town tomorrow I'm sure, and try to get a good pic of it. Of course, I'm rockin a 10yo flip phone like a South American Druglord, so I can't guarantee how good it will be.
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Major 2
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« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2017, 09:59:21 am »

The 9 1/2 min. Video might help answer your questions 
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Pettifogger
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« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2017, 07:45:27 pm »

I have read through the posts a few times and maybe I missed it but I have not seenn the OP answer a very basic question.  Is the FRAME brass or steel?  If brass it is a cheap import and in the condition described is probably junk.  If it has a steel frame the price is still high for the condition described but might be made into a shooter.  OP what is it?  Brass = unqualified junk.  Steel =  qualified junk.
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Capt Quirk
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« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2017, 07:49:09 pm »

The frame is steel I believe, with a brass backstrap.
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LonesomePigeon
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« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2017, 03:29:49 am »

Speaking from personal experience I would not recommend buying a used cap n' ball gun unless it's from the actual owner who is trustworthy and tells you it shoots ok and doesn't have any problems. Depending on who made it and how old it is, parts may be hard to find and/or it might take some size of cap that is no longer made.

Cabela's has the steel frame .44 caliber 1858 Remington on sale now for $219 plus $5 shipping. This is an great gun(manufactured with modern CNC machinery) with an excellent chance of performing decently right out of the box. 
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Major 2
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« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2017, 04:29:55 am »

I have read through the posts a few times and maybe I missed it but I have not seenn the OP answer a very basic question.  Is the FRAME brass or steel?  If brass it is a cheap import and in the condition described is probably junk.  If it has a steel frame the price is still high for the condition described but might be made into a shooter.  OP what is it?  Brass = unqualified junk.  Steel =  qualified junk.

In your usual eloquence  Smiley 

Precisely, the point !

as to the Crapper Cappers I have assembled, there is one VERY good reason ...   Wink

They are Rental Inventory PROPS ..... Capitalism 101.... buy low , rent often ... Have Gun will sublet 
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Capt Quirk
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« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2017, 08:07:46 am »

Speaking from personal experience I would not recommend buying a used cap n' ball gun unless it's from the actual owner who is trustworthy and tells you it shoots ok and doesn't have any problems. Depending on who made it and how old it is, parts may be hard to find and/or it might take some size of cap that is no longer made.

Cabela's has the steel frame .44 caliber 1858 Remington on sale now for $219 plus $5 shipping. This is an great gun(manufactured with modern CNC machinery) with an excellent chance of performing decently right out of the box. 
Again, I am not looking at it as a daily shooter. I have several other handguns and rifles for that. I can buy any new gun, and that is all it is... just another gun. But something with history, real or imagined, has more character. I can show somebody my .357 Cattleman, or the wife's S&W .40, and they'll say "Cool". I show them the '38 Liliiput, and that is the one they say is "COOL!"

If this Navy is just a beat up piece, then it can collect dust in the pawn shop. If it has any pedigree and history, I'll get it, even if I never shoot it. The first step, is finding out who made it and when.
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River City John
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« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2017, 10:35:01 am »

If the wedge is battered it is an indication it is poorly fitted and the revolver was an absolute headache to disassemble and clean and try to fit together again.
A clunker is not worth taking to a gunsmith.

There is a reason it ended up in a Pawn shop.


RCJ

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« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2017, 01:25:19 pm »

An update if anybody is interested- I went back today to take some pics and get a better look at this. It is a brass frame after all, not just the strap. So, since everybody says brass frames are just garbage, I guess it is case closed.

But... an interesting discovery. What I thought was a maker's mark EAT or FAT, upon closer inspection looks more like FAP. Wouldn't that be a Pietta?
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Fingers McGee
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« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2017, 02:37:16 pm »

An update if anybody is interested- I went back today to take some pics and get a better look at this. It is a brass frame after all, not just the strap. So, since everybody says brass frames are just garbage, I guess it is case closed.

But... an interesting discovery. What I thought was a maker's mark EAT or FAT, upon closer inspection looks more like FAP. Wouldn't that be a Pietta?

That is Pietta alright.
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« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2017, 03:53:11 pm »

Still junk, right?
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Major 2
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« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2017, 04:11:39 pm »

RIGHT

It's probably pre- Civil War though.......

Syrian Civil War
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Coffinmaker
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« Reply #23 on: May 15, 2017, 04:31:37 pm »

Allow me to PILE ON with Major 2.

A Brass fram Pietta in a Pawn Shop is   JUNQUE.

It has all the value and allure of a FART in a SPACE SUIT!!!

Coffin (mr Subtle) maker
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« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2017, 04:34:41 pm »

Allow me to PILE ON with Major 2.

A Brass fram Pietta in a Pawn Shop is   JUNQUE.

It has all the value and allure of a FART in a SPACE SUIT!!!

Coffin (mr Subtle) maker

At least you'll know for sure whodunnit.  Grin
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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  Colt Firearms (Moderator: St. George)  |  Topic: Hi! New here, and to Cap&Ball pistols. « previous next »
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