Author Topic: Remington NMA 1858 and 1863 What's the difference  (Read 9748 times)

44caliberkid

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Remington NMA 1858 and 1863 What's the difference
« on: September 08, 2009, 08:14:55 PM »
Most (if not all) replica Remington c&b's are called 1858 NMA's.  However, there was an 1863 NMA.  What changes were made between the two models?

Offline hellgate

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Re: Remington NMA 1858 and 1863 What's the difference
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2009, 09:11:59 PM »
The Remington 1863 NMA came out in 1863 but had a patent date of 1858 stamped on the barrel. The importers of the guns started referring them as 1858s due to the date on the barrel. Here's a brief history as relayed to CAS shooters on the subject of authenticity of dovetailed front sights being adjustible. The article is  by the late Tom Ball premier gunsmith to many in the N-SSA:

Posted by SECESH #11483 on July 01, 1999 at 21:49:42:

In Reply to: Are dovetail front sights "traditional" or "modern" posted
by Hellgate Tye #3302 on July 01, 1999 at 00:04:47:

OK fellows, I'll give a short "primer" on cap and ball revolvers,
Remington's in particular..........colts in general. The first large
framed revolvers made by E. Remington & sons were based on "Beals" 1858
patent, these first revolvers are called by collecters "Beals" models,
and about 2,000 were made in the army model, and slightly more in the
"Navy" model, the army was .44 cal, 8" barrel the navy .36 cal 7 3/8"
barrel, they differed quite a bit from the "new model 1858 remington
repros we commonally see today, they All had several differences, first
the loading lever was more squared off, and the round part longer, the
"web" portion bering shorter, the hammers had higher "spurs", the metal
on top of the frame just behind the hammer was about a quarter inch l
onger, the frame came all the way back to the end of the barrel, i.e. no
threads showing, they all also had german silver cone shaped dovetailed
front sights, they did not have "safety notches" in the cylinder, other
wise, looked very simular to the modern repros. Now Remington decided to
improve upon the design, and came out with the Mod 1861, this did not
happen overnite, as there was many "extra " parts, and guns transended
into the 61 modell, basically, on the earliest 61's, the only difference
was the loading lever, and cylinder pin, they were made so that the
cylinder pin could be withdrawn without lowering the the lever, Certain
goverment officals didn,t think that that was such a good idea, as only
a tiny flat spring up under the barrel at the frame held the pin in,
almost all were returned to the factory, and a screw was inserted into
the loading lever to block the withdrawal of the pin unless the lever
was lowered, I happen to own a real minty one, very early that this
modification was NOT preformed, so there may be more out there like it,
during the year of 1861/62 other changes were being made also, the
hammer was given a shorter spur so a person with a small hand could cock
it easier, the frame was cut out in the rear near the face of the
cylinder, exposing barrel threads, I presume to help overcome the
effects of fouling, the safety notches were added to the rear of the
cylinder, and the 61 style of loading lever was done away with. Again
all these changes were not done over nite, so many guns are encountered
with some changes and not others, Sometime during the run of 61 models
they even changed the direction of twist in the barrel, early guns had
left hand twist, so the interina of the bullet going down the tube
tended to unscrew the barrel, I know it's happened to me, so they kept
exactly the same style of rifling, i.e. five groove gain twist, but
reversed direction so that the internia of the bullet tended to tighten
the barrel. One of the last things to go was the dovetail front sight,
as by the time all these changes were made, they actually had a "new"
gun, so therefore, they called it the New Model 1858, reverting back to
the original "Beals" Patten, some of the early new model 1858's had the
dovetail cone type sight from the factory, so the last real change was
the steel blade that screwed in. About 100,000 of the new models were
made, and around total of 30,000 Beals, and 61 models, this includes
Navies of all types. Now, Colts on the other hand, never came with
dovetail front sights unless requested, as many variations of Colts
exhist, as Colt did a lot of "custon" work for people with individual
ideas.........and one of the usual additions was a silver or brass blade
front sight set in a small dovetail on the Navy and Army sized guns,
usually these are seen on presentation pieces, or guns with engraving, I
have photos of nice Navies and Armies, silver plated and engraved with
factory dovetail front sights........ so my friends, to rule that a
modern repro with a dovetail front sight as "modern" is silly, it is NOT
adjustable, unless a drift pin and hammer is also attached to the gun on
a chain to "adjust" it with........then well maybe....I know I've run on
and on, but this is a subject near and dear to my heart, an I feel the
need to try and explain some things that many may not be aware
of,,,,,,,,,,,thanks y'all SECESH

"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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44caliberkid

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Re: Remington NMA 1858 and 1863 What's the difference
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2009, 09:40:59 PM »
Gracias Hellgate.  That answers my question.  I was looking at a book with very nice photos of antique guns and they refered to what we know as the 1858 NMA as an 1863.  I couldn't visually detect a difference, so I was curious.  Also nice to know that custom dovetail sights are period correct.  Thanks again.

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Re: Remington NMA 1858 and 1863 What's the difference
« Reply #3 on: Today at 12:45:21 PM »

Offline Montana Slim

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Re: Remington NMA 1858 and 1863 What's the difference
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2009, 11:00:55 PM »
Kid, the quick & dirty method is to look at the hreaded end of the barrel. Visible, protruding threads are the giveaway that it is a New Model. Go back to the book with pictures and see if this helps.

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Offline James Hunt

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Re: Remington NMA 1858 and 1863 What's the difference
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2009, 07:16:45 PM »
A little late to the table but...



hope that helps.
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Offline James Hunt

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Re: Remington NMA 1858 and 1863 What's the difference
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2009, 10:17:26 PM »
Appalacchain Ed: Incorrect, look a little closer. The top is a new model army, below it is a new model Navy and at the bottom is a Rem. Beals predecessor of the old and new model.

Below is an old model. Look at where the cylinder pin can slide out so that the cylinder can be removed without dropping the loading lever.



Further below, This is a Rogers and Spencer


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