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Special Interests - Groups & Societies => The American Plainsmen Society => Topic started by: Tsalagidave on March 25, 2019, 07:29:06 pm

Title: There's no such thing as an "1858 Remington" Pistol
Post by: Tsalagidave on March 25, 2019, 07:29:06 pm
I was speaking with a Frontier Historian by the name of Garrett Roberts and he brought up an excellent point; there's no such thing as an 1858 Remington Pistol. I'd love to take credit for this discussion but he's the one who came out with it before I did so the credit goes to him.  There are a lot of reenactorisms in this hobby and they really should be dispelled one-by-one. Here are a few other nonsensical quotes about firearms of our period that need to be done away with.

* Civil War casualties were high because the technology of Minie Rifles outpaced Military Tactics - False!
* Colt Revolving Rifles were unusually dangerous to handle and wounded the shooter's hands all the time - False!
* The first American Weapon to carry the name "American Minie Rifle" was the m.1855 Harper's Ferry Model - False!
* You should grease the loaded chambers on your Colt's Revolver - False!


...but today, we are talking the "1858 Remington". It's the wrong name and was never officially called that until after its heyday, well into the 20th century.

Although patented in 1858, Remington's early model of the iconic pistol was regularly produced in both .36 & .44 from 1861-1862.  It was known as the Remington Beals Revolver.
The best known variant (also commonly produced in .36 & .44) is called the New Model Remington and was made from 1863-75.

Have a look at the picture below of both models.  At first they look alike, but have a closer look. There are major differences in the front sight; the loading levers are entirely different; the handle on the cylinder pin is a shorter nub on the early model; the frame is markedly different and the cylinder on the Remington Beals model lacks the safety stops between the nipples for the hammer to rest in.

Sometimes, it's the little things but I'd like the members to chime in on historic firearm misnomers that grind their gears in the way that it only would affect a dedicated historian.

-Dave
Title: Re: There's no such thing as an "1858 Remington" Pistol
Post by: Abilene on March 25, 2019, 10:08:26 pm
Well, sure.  It's like Remington "Outlaw" revolvers and .45 "Long Colt".  Nobody called it that back then, but everybody knows what that means now.  There are a small minority of people who know the difference with the ".58's" but the makers will never change to the proper nomenclature because it would confuse too many people.  :)
Title: Re: There's no such thing as an "1858 Remington" Pistol
Post by: Tsalagidave on March 26, 2019, 12:41:24 am
I completely agree Abilene.  Now that it's well branded, why scrap a perfectly good marketing campaign and start over from scratch?

You brought up excellent examples of period weapons and ammunition that have been completely rebadged into vernacular that would have been foreign to the people of back then. Excellent examples.

-Dave
Title: Re: There's no such thing as an "1858 Remington" Pistol
Post by: Niederlander on March 26, 2019, 07:06:09 pm
There are lots of this type of thing:  .30-30 instead of .30 W.C.F, .30-40 Krag instead of .30 Army, "Steel Jacketed" bullets (almost always false), "Progressive" instead of Communist, and the list goes on...??.
Title: Re: There's no such thing as an "1858 Remington" Pistol
Post by: Tsalagidave on March 26, 2019, 10:31:54 pm
LOL! I was nodding along reading until I reached the last part and thought..."That's right! my buddy here is a deplorable free-market economist, bacon-eating, pistol-packing, vet-loving, horse riding, trail-blazing believer in God, Guns, Guts, and America!...Just like me.

-Dave
Title: Re: There's no such thing as an "1858 Remington" Pistol
Post by: LonesomePigeon on March 27, 2019, 09:13:30 pm
Nice comparasion of the Beals vs New Model Army. It doesn't really bother me that the repros are called "1858 Remington's", some of them don't really qualify as a Beal's or a NMA anyway, since they contain a mixture of features. 
Title: Re: There's no such thing as an "1858 Remington" Pistol
Post by: Tascosa Joe on March 28, 2019, 08:11:41 am
I guess the real difference between a progressive and a communist is access to a firing squad.
Title: Re: There's no such thing as an "1858 Remington" Pistol
Post by: Tsalagidave on March 28, 2019, 11:19:34 am
I guess the real difference between a progressive and a communist is access to a firing squad.

Maybe, however the "Progressive" NDSAP seemed to not have a shortage of execution details whenever they needed it.

-Dave
Title: Re: There's no such thing as an "1858 Remington" Pistol
Post by: Tsalagidave on March 28, 2019, 12:17:01 pm
Nice comparasion of the Beals vs New Model Army. It doesn't really bother me that the repros are called "1858 Remington's", some of them don't really qualify as a Beal's or a NMA anyway, since they contain a mixture of features.
True, the little inaccuracies in overall design are another one of my pet hates. A modern remake can come real close to an original without being an all-out counterfeit (I'm thinking Colt Black Powder Series.)

That said, if we are forsaking modern technology for a more primitive technology, I prefer to preserve the correct nomenclature of the period as well.

For example, when using my 1850's era Colt pistols, I never call it an "1851 Navy" or "1849 pocket" etc. Instead, I will say

* .44 - Colt's Dragoon Pistol, Dragoon Repeating Pistol, Dragoon Revolving Pistol, Colt's Saddle Pistol, Colt "Battery"
* .36 - Colt's Navy Pistol, Colt's Belt Revolver, Navy Repeating Pistol, "Navy Six"[/li][/list]
* .31 (.28) - Colt's Pocket Pistol, Colt's Pocket Revolver[/li][/list]


Just because I feel this way doesn't mean I expect others to do so as well but many folks out there hold the same opine and this is just a nod to the purists of period vernacular.

Thanks

-Dave
Title: Re: There's no such thing as an "1858 Remington" Pistol
Post by: Kent Shootwell on March 28, 2019, 01:14:05 pm
Even worse is when the original manufacturers dubbed their product in a confusing manner. What is called a 1874 Sharps came out in 1871! Yet when Sharps came up with the hammerless Borchart they call it a 1878 and began calling their hammer model the 1874.  ???
Title: Re: There's no such thing as an "1858 Remington" Pistol
Post by: Mogorilla on March 28, 2019, 03:18:40 pm
Ha!  Hey no jokes about communism unless everyone gets them.

Primarily only shooting cap and ball, I do refer to mine shorthanded as Navy, Army, Dance, Pepperbox, and Knucklebumper (I.E. Remington).   
Title: Re: There's no such thing as an "1858 Remington" Pistol
Post by: Coffinmaker on March 28, 2019, 04:41:07 pm

I'm with Mogo.  "Period" anything bugs me.  I have expressed in the past, the cryptic term "Period Correct" should be erased from the lexicon of English usage.

Especially since I champion the cause of "Never Never Land."  Most ALL of my Cap Guns are built on Pietta frames.  I believe I have mentioned once or twice in the past, I have a strong distaste for Uberti.  Most of my guns are Never Never.  Pietta .44 Cal 1851s.  Pietta .44 51s because I like .44s and octagonal barrels.  Ergo, I get real excited when some rube says   Hey!!  Never was, and shouldn't be."

Dave likes to use the "olde" descriptors for Colt's repeating Revolvers.  Atz cool.  He doesn't jump up and yell .... hey that ain't right 'cause somebody else doesn't.  There is Plenty of room for everybody in this "FANTASY" game we play.  EVERYBODY!!

Of course, I would tend to point out, the "Colt Black Powder Series" were only "just close" 'cause they was built from Uberti parts.

The most annoying of all though are the scribes.  Self proclaimed know it all's whom scribble out their drivel, in magazines, month after month, without actually learning anything themselves about the subject matter at hand.  Just as annoying are the PARROTS.  Repeat anything.  No matter how silly.  Where was I, oh yea

Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming.  (I hate the wurd "Clone")
Title: Re: There's no such thing as an "1858 Remington" Pistol
Post by: Tsalagidave on March 28, 2019, 07:32:41 pm
I think you made some good points there Coffinmaker. People do "costumed" or "Cos-play" hobbies for many reasons.  Some do the "Never Never" impressions and others focus on replicating historic authenticity as close as reasonably possible. That said, I would think it's silly for me to look down my nose at someone just because I thought that I was better at playing "dress-up" than they were. Their goals in this hobby are just different from mine.

The Never-Never guns that you an other shooters buy help keep the vendors who cater to all our hobbies in business. I want more people buying their various wares so that we all can have greater access to a broader selection of gear. For what it's worth, I used to have a brass-framed Remington revolver. It is not historically authentic at all but I had a lot of fun shooting it and learned the basics of black powder shooting from the time I had it.

Good discussion everyone, keep it coming.

-Dave
Title: Re: There's no such thing as an "1858 Remington" Pistol
Post by: Tsalagidave on March 28, 2019, 07:39:33 pm
On a related note, since SASS includes everything from historic reenactment to fantasy Cos-play, I have always wondered if it's okay to just do an event as a modern rancher.

I always wanted to show up in a work hat, Cavender's shirt, Wranglers, and my Ariat rancher's boots with a 20th century Arvo Ojala rig. Just the modern living version of a culture that never died.

-Dave
Title: Re: There's no such thing as an "1858 Remington" Pistol
Post by: LonesomePigeon on March 28, 2019, 08:09:14 pm
A few weeks ago I saw a guy at the grocery store wearing a buckskin jacket with fringes and everything. He said he made it himself. He didn't seem to know anything at all about mountain men, just likes making stuff out of buckskin.
Title: Re: There's no such thing as an "1858 Remington" Pistol
Post by: Books OToole on March 29, 2019, 10:20:39 am
There is no such thing as a Smith & Wesson "lemon squeezer" either.

Books
Title: Re: There's no such thing as an "1858 Remington" Pistol
Post by: Tsalagidave on March 29, 2019, 11:44:29 am
LOL! Honestly, I have no idea how far back the "Lemon Squeezer" nickname goes back. Never saw the research but I am certain, it was never coined by the S&W marketing team.

-Dave
Title: Re: There's no such thing as an "1858 Remington" Pistol
Post by: Niederlander on March 29, 2019, 05:31:37 pm
One more political thing and then I'm done:  "The Congress Person from New York" instead of "The Village Idiot"...??.Now back to regular programming!
Title: Re: There's no such thing as an "1858 Remington" Pistol
Post by: Tsalagidave on March 29, 2019, 06:57:49 pm
One more political thing and then I'm done:  "The Congress Person from New York" instead of "The Village Idiot"...??.Now back to regular programming!
Noted.  I left the village idiots behind in California for the common sense of Arizona. We'll have plenty to discuss at the next campfire.

-Dave
Title: Re: There's no such thing as an "1858 Remington" Pistol
Post by: Oregon Bill on April 04, 2019, 05:45:55 pm
I want to hear more about how the Colt revolving rifles were safe to use. Randolph Marcy sure recommended them for cross-Plains travel.
Title: Re: There's no such thing as an "1858 Remington" Pistol
Post by: Tsalagidave on April 04, 2019, 06:39:11 pm
I love that topic too Bill.  I discovered the US Army manual for the Colt's Revolving Rifle in a University Archive search and it was completely mislabeled. I'm digitally remastering them to be made into a brochure as they were originally.

For those who haven't already seen it, I did a thread on this.  The whole idea that the M.1855 routinely blew off the fingers of the soldiers using them is a total myth. Much has been written concerning the possibility of it happening but very little was written on it actually happening. The operations manual instructed on proper handling and after firing off the first shot, even the most inept shooter will taste the sting of powder flakes and lead shards hitting their hands and ruining their cuffs. After that, the shooter will correct their posture.

-Dave
Title: Re: There's no such thing as an "1858 Remington" Pistol
Post by: greyhawk on April 04, 2019, 07:10:38 pm
Noted.  I left the village idiots behind in California for the common sense of Arizona. We'll have plenty to discuss at the next campfire.

-Dave

Where ya gonn a go when they (the village idiots) infest Arizona?
I thought New Zealand but they beat me to it
Title: Re: There's no such thing as an "1858 Remington" Pistol
Post by: Tsalagidave on April 04, 2019, 11:09:44 pm
Where ya gonn a go when they (the village idiots) infest Arizona?
I thought New Zealand but they beat me to it
Hopefully the 3rd American Revolution will happen before then.

-Dave
Title: Re: There's no such thing as an "1858 Remington" Pistol
Post by: Oregon Bill on April 06, 2019, 03:08:07 pm
Dave, just saw and read your thread on the Colt Revolving rifle.  Very good information.
I just found Balasz's revised version of his Colt Root Rifle Youtube. Nice that he had access to a very clean original.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cF_JBfXJN8
Title: Re: There's no such thing as an "1858 Remington" Pistol
Post by: Tsalagidave on April 06, 2019, 08:48:47 pm
I love this guy. He has a phenomenal video on how to make ammunition for the Dreyse Needle-Fire Rifles. That is a beautiful m1855. The only folks I can think of who could make something like this is  The Rifle Shoppe http://therifleshoppe.com/catalog_pages/us_arms/(705).htm . That said, they only make a few replacement parts. Making the dies to create the frame, barrel, hammer, etc. would cost a mint. (*Note: I'm not going to go there with Palmetto Arms. Their record of poor quality was so awful, that they have become somewhat of a legend in our world.)

That said, I'd love to have one of my own but the $7000-20000 price is a bit steep for me at the moment.

-Dave

Title: Re: There's no such thing as an "1858 Remington" Pistol
Post by: Oregon Bill on April 07, 2019, 07:15:33 am
Dave, I wonder what it would take to get Pedersoli interested in this rifle. Probably doesn't pencil out as far as demand vs. complexity of fabrication.
Title: Re: There's no such thing as an "1858 Remington" Pistol
Post by: Tsalagidave on April 07, 2019, 10:51:32 am
As a marketing guy, I'd say this about the product; unless there is a readily identifiable demographic of thousands willing to buy at a sustainable price right now, I would not do it. I would also ask the question "Is it safe?" Based on my previous articles, my answer to the second question is "Yes, it's as safe as any cap and ball revolver". The problem with that is there is a huge degree of mythos and negative PR involving the design. This means that the majority of buyers would be experienced shooters who would rely on their knowledge and honed abilities to avoid shooting mishaps.

The original launch of this design by Palmetto Armory was a disaster.  I understand recouping the expenses of tooling and die making but the $1695 price tag was enormously prohibitive. At the time when CW rifle muskets were selling for $600-700, this was selling at a price point that even the most dedicated reenactors and BP enthusiasts would balk at.  Despite the price, the quality was so bad that horror stories across enthusiast websites put out the message loud and clear. Occasionally, I hear someone say "I shot the Palmetto Arms Colt revolving rifle and it worked just fine, but those are at extremely few.

In order to make it work, a massive campaign on brand awareness would have to go out (eg. all BP shooter related websites, magazines, catalogs like Cabelas, Gander Mountain, Dixie Gunworks, etc.) Social media and youtube videos would need to be produced demonstrating the longarm's safety and to spark interest.  Lastly, it would need to hit the market at a more reasonable price ($800-1000) but even with all this, there is a lot of data revealing that only a few purists would truly be interested in buying. Even if I had the money to do this project, I'd even be hesitant.

-Dave
Title: Re: There's no such thing as an "1858 Remington" Pistol
Post by: Oregon Bill on April 08, 2019, 11:51:56 am
Dave, all good points. Flayderman estimates total production of about 13,700 military rifles and carbines from 1856-1864, and maybe another 3,500 of the various sporting model rifles and shotguns. Kind of a dribble compared to, say, the 184,000 Henry and Model 1866 Winchesters produced up to 1898 -- and the nearly 3/4 million Winchester Model 1873s.
Title: Re: There's no such thing as an "1858 Remington" Pistol
Post by: Tsalagidave on April 08, 2019, 08:30:37 pm
Good discussion Bill, I still would love to have a revolving rifle.

-Dave