Author Topic: Back from the Dead  (Read 2141 times)

Offline scrubby2009

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Back from the Dead
« on: September 09, 2018, 11:40:39 pm »
Introduced myself and the old west weapons I caretake several times this year on several boards and groups. Figured i would use this as a place to put the pictures and note about the 1858 Remington I found in Auburn CA this spring. Hanging in the back of a tiny shop, The bare grey metal caught my eye as well as the familiar shape. This pistol came with quite a story, so I asked what they wanted for it. "Probably sold for an ounce of gold when it came out here, how about an ounce for it now?" That's $1300 in California dollars.. I said I'd go $1000, he said "sold". I'm a terrible haggler. Started cleaning and messing around, got on here and some other boards, asking questions and reading.
What I found was that half the alphabet in stamps and matching serial numbers on triggerguard, frame, barrel and cylinder meant I had a complete, as-delivered-to-the-War-Department, original Remington from late 1863. The 52,xxx number is recorded as having been delivered in January of 1864, I assume that assembly would have been in the weeks prior.
-The Story-
Gunshop owner took the gun in 10, maybe 12 years ago as part of a collection to disperse for heirs to an estate of a local man. During construction somewhere in the Auburn area, the pistol was found in an old outhouse pit in the 1950's. Somebody whipped up a quickee set of grips for it, and it was a paperweight on a desk in an office for 50 years. Somebody had tried to "free-up" the action, ruining the hand and twisting the cylinder pin in the frame. The mainspring was gone as well.
Dixie Gun Works supplied a mainspring, and my local shop cut the seized pin, reamed the cylinder slightly and fit an oversized new pin as well as modifying a new Uberti hand and resetting timing/lock-up. Nipples are still the originals, haven't freed any yet and don't really want to drill them out. We will monitor that as time goes by.
I ordered the excellent Eras Gone mold for the 220 gr conical bullet patterned after the Johnston and Dow bullet of 160 years ago. It is superb and I've cast about 400 bullets so far, each batch better than the last. possibly my technique is improving, but the mold takes some heat cycles to get a nice finish inside and sort of break-in, I think.
Responsive, timely, tactically accurate, and strategically precise fire.

Offline Tornado

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Re: Back from the Dead
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2018, 07:15:30 am »
Cool story  :)

Offline scrubby2009

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Re: Back from the Dead
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2018, 09:08:41 am »
As for accuracy, I haven't done a good bench session yet, but over Labor Day, my son and I were handily ringing a 2 foot circle of steel we hung at 40 paces.
Responsive, timely, tactically accurate, and strategically precise fire.

Offline hellgate

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Re: Back from the Dead
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2018, 01:05:21 pm »
Great project! Does the barrel have any rifling in it?
"Frontiersman: the only category where you can shoot your wad and play with your balls while tweeking the nipples on a pair of 44s." Canada Bill

Since I have 14+ guns, I've been called the Imelda Marcos of Cap&Ball. Now, that's a COMPLIMENT!

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Offline scrubby2009

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Re: Back from the Dead
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2018, 11:55:07 pm »
Hellgate, rifling is pretty strong. Just bought an antique mold for my Winchesters, it throws a .434 conical. That bullet won't drop down the muzzle of the Remington freely, but will slip into the cylinder easily, so I'd say the rifling is strong. I don't have any other unearthed remingtons to compare this one to, There is no real pitting of the steel and all the markings on the barrel are clearly legible. I'm guessing to was in the ground long enough to rot the wood and remove any blueing or finish from the metal, but not seriously damage it. 20. 30 years? Who knows?
My Winchester was found in about 1975 or so, buried in a village abandoned in the WWI period. The natives we "relocated" downriver to the nearby Rez so that the mining company could access the river through that location. So the three rifles found at that time had been buried at least 55 years, probably longer. Pitting on the Winchester is severe.
Responsive, timely, tactically accurate, and strategically precise fire.

Offline hellgate

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Re: Back from the Dead
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2018, 12:15:48 am »
The soil must not be that moist or corrosive in your area. It is so wet here in the winter that a gun buried like that would be all flakes in a few years.
"Frontiersman: the only category where you can shoot your wad and play with your balls while tweeking the nipples on a pair of 44s." Canada Bill

Since I have 14+ guns, I've been called the Imelda Marcos of Cap&Ball. Now, that's a COMPLIMENT!

SASS#3302L
REGULATOR
RUCAS#58
Wolverton Mt. Peacekeepers
SCORRS
DGB#29
NRA Life
CASer since 1992

Offline scrubby2009

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Re: Back from the Dead
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2018, 08:48:31 am »
The soil must not be that moist or corrosive in your area. It is so wet here in the winter that a gun buried like that would be all flakes in a few years.
Hellgate, my understanding is that the clay-types we have around here prevent oxygen from getting to the iron, sort of preserving it. I think acidity/alkaline balance in the water also factors. However the chemistry works, I'm grateful the damage was mild. It made the price reasonable enough that a working-stiff like me gets to carry and shoot a genuine relic. I'm very pleased with that!
Responsive, timely, tactically accurate, and strategically precise fire.

Offline scrubby2009

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Re: Back from the Dead
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2018, 12:28:03 am »
Playing with friends on the CivilWarTalk forums, found this little bit of information
"Here is a short list that show Remington serial # below and above the one you sent. What is strange is that there is only 1 a 52. Best Regards Richard aka ucvrelics.com"

51919 043064CO K 7TH MICH VOL CAV
51984 A 02 65CO D 1ST VT VOL CAV
52675 A 09 62CO D 22ND PENNA VOL CAV
 Serial number on mine is 52,623.
Responsive, timely, tactically accurate, and strategically precise fire.

Online Oregon Bill

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Re: Back from the Dead
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2019, 09:13:11 am »
Surely do admire those paper cartridges you made.  :D

Offline treebeard

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Re: Back from the Dead
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2019, 10:58:53 am »
Thanks for sharing this pistol and it’s history with us. A real prize.