Author Topic: Cimarron's new American model!  (Read 26171 times)

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: Cimarron's new American model!
« Reply #50 on: December 21, 2018, 09:33:08 am »

Well Golly Gosh Dave T., 

Authenticity is such a fickle mistriss.  If the Smith Replicants were dead authentic, then the unwashed masses would all be complaining because they weren't being made in 45 Colt, not 44-40 and why wasn't Uberti making them with an extended cylinder.  Nobody is ever satisfied.  What's wrong with "Don't worry ..... Be Happy".  After all, maybe Cimarron won't introduce the thing, and Uberti won't make the thing for retail on this side of the pond.

Offline Drydock

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Re: Cimarron's new American model!
« Reply #51 on: December 21, 2018, 09:48:39 am »
I also have a Uberti Schofield, a 5" .45, and using Big Lube bullets (I have the 250 grain PRS mold) with the S&W case it runs just fine with OE 3f Black.  Fine combination with my .45 Henry.  (lube is olive oil and old church candle stubs)

Just an observation: the continuous popularity of the .45 Colt round was one of the contributing factors in the creation of CAS and the modern cowboy shooting genre.  Even should CAS completely die off it will still be a popular seller.  It simply makes no economic sense to create a large frame vintage reproduction that does not accommodate this round.   We are a Niche market, and compromises must be made and accepted.

Or you'll get nothing, and like it!

(FWIW, my shaved 1915 Webley MK V loves BP in a .45 ACP/Auto Rim case.)
« Last Edit: December 21, 2018, 09:52:02 am by Drydock »
Civilize them with a Krag . . .

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: Cimarron's new American model!
« Reply #52 on: December 21, 2018, 10:08:04 am »

I fear, were I to set foot inna church to abscond with the candle Stubbs, I would suddenly find myself with a profusion of well seasoned ceiling beams.  Not I.  Nope.  Perhaps is some kindly soul were to bring them out ............  ::)

Offline Drydock

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Re: Cimarron's new American model!
« Reply #53 on: December 21, 2018, 10:44:28 am »
It helps if ya volenteers to help clean said church.  There's always a box of stubs to be thrown away.  An at least fer us Catholics, they have to be beeswax.  (Church law says they has to be of "natural" materials)

Perhaps if you was to make friends with some well meaning if naieve church lady . . .
« Last Edit: December 21, 2018, 10:48:28 am by Drydock »
Civilize them with a Krag . . .

Offline Trailrider

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Re: Cimarron's new American model!
« Reply #54 on: December 21, 2018, 11:53:21 am »
I don't believe the Model 3 was ever chambered for the 44 WCF, for the same reason the Schofield wasn't chambered for the 45 Colt. The cylinder was too short. and that resulted from the original No3 being chambered for the 44 Russian cartridge, the shorter older brother to the 44 Special.

If this new gun (or figment of Uberti's imagination) is chambered for the 44 Special it is no more authentic than their Schofield, in that they both have longer cylinders than the originals.

Dave
The New Model #3 was chambered in .44-40 and .38-40, with the cylinder and IIRC the frame lengthened accordingly. I saw an original in .44-40 BLOWN UP!!! by a shooter who was using smokeless reloads from a "friend".  :o :'(  Unfortunately, I was not permitted to examine his remaining loads or the gun, so can't say what caused the damage.  It has been quite a few years ago, but I seem to recall he fired two rounds that impacted about 10 feet in front of the muzzle.  It could have been a double charge or "premature shot-start", a phenomenon where insufficient crimp and case tension on the bullet allows the slug to jump into the forcing cone before the smokeless powder is burning stably (5,000-7,000 psi). When the bullet stops, the pressures increase exponentially until the case ruptures, allowing flame to cut through the cylinder walls!  Regardless, it was a real shame that a fairly rare gun (on a few thousand NM#3's were made in the longer rounds) was ruined.  :(
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Offline Dave T

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Re: Cimarron's new American model!
« Reply #55 on: December 21, 2018, 04:50:25 pm »
Trailrider,

I stand (or in this case set)  corrected. I did not know that. All the originals I've seen were the shorter cylinder models.

Coffinmaker,

You took me way to seriously. I was trying to answer a question (to which it turns out I had the wrong information) and simply making an observation. Perhaps you need to stay off the strong coffee for a while (smile)

Dave

Offline Fox Creek Kid

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Re: Cimarron's new American model!
« Reply #56 on: December 21, 2018, 11:59:06 pm »
Having shot two actual REAL American Models I can assure you that no one will be "gaming" in CAS with one. They are a rather large revolver and ungainly for fast cocking. Most buyers will be buying one either for historical reasons and get one chambered in .44 Russian as there were Old Old Model Russians (collector nomenclature) chambered in that round and I have a friend who has a 2nd Model American chambered in .44 Russian!! We figure it was a factory cleanout using an excess Russian cylinder. The second set of buyers will be those who just simply want one and will want one in their favorite chambering, e.g., .45 Colt & 44-40. They will probably not shoot it much just for the reason I listed in my second sentence above. It was a novel breakthrough at the time, but fast shootin' it ain't.  ;)

Offline Blair

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Re: Cimarron's new American model!
« Reply #57 on: December 22, 2018, 01:03:03 pm »
S&W produces several of the long cylinder variations of their revolver. All are within the New Model #3's or the DA variation sometime after 1881 when the DA was introduced.
Non of the earlier models of the "New Model's" (types) were produced with the long cylinder. These earlier models were chambered in .44 Henry rim fire, .44 S&W (American) or .44 Russian.
"New Model" (types including the DA's and "Target Models" will be chambered in .32-44 and 38-44 "Target", .38-40 and .44-40 (WCF) in both the SA and DA revolvers.
So why not the .45 Colt in either the S&W or Winchester? They could have!
It was because of the small rim dia. of the older style cartridge cases of the .45 Colt. Extracting a fired case was simply not reliable!
My best,
 Blair
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Online nativeshootist

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Re: Cimarron's new American model!
« Reply #58 on: December 24, 2018, 09:04:53 pm »
The new model 3 was chambered in 44wcf, a lot of these repros cant be authentic since a lot of the ammo they were originally chambered for aren't around no more. So if the cylinder is a little bit lengthen, so what?

Offline Fox Creek Kid

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Re: Cimarron's new American model!
« Reply #59 on: December 24, 2018, 11:13:23 pm »
...So if the cylinder is a little bit lengthen, so what?

Because they will probably do just what ASM & Uberti did with the Schofield in lengthening the cylinder for .45 Colt:  eliminate the gas collar that is so desperately needed to fire real BP. S&W lengthened their gas collar THREE times during Model 3 manufacture in the 1800's for that very reason, i.e., fouling issues.

Offline Driftwood Johnson

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Re: Cimarron's new American model!
« Reply #60 on: January 02, 2019, 11:42:31 pm »
Howdy

I can tell you that since the new American Model is advertised as being chambered for 44-40 and 45 Colt, it will probably suffer the same problems as the other replica S&W #3 Top Breaks. In order to fit the longer cylinder for those cartridges into a non-lengthened frame, the gas bushing at the front of the cylinder had to be shortened.

Some shooters may get away with BP in their replica S&W Top Breaks, but generally speaking they tend to bind up after not too many shots.

Perhaps this would be a good time for a bit of an explanation of the five distinct Top Break S&W revolvers that were all built on the #3 sized frame.

This is the one that started it all, the one Cimarron is going to introduce, the American Model.

To me the identifying features are the almost straight up and down grip shape, and the long extractor housing under the barrel.






The history is that the Rollin White patent, which patented the idea of boring a chamber completely through a cylinder so that cartridges could be fired, was about to expire. S&W had an exclusive licensing agreement with Rollin White, no other American manufacturer could legally produce a revolver that had the chambers bored straight through for cartridges. Starting in 1857 S&W began producing small Tip Up revolvers using bored through chambers. These small revolvers were only chambered for 22 and 32 rimfire cartridges. The first one produced, was called the No. 1. It was a tiny seven shot revolver firing what we would call today the 22 Short cartridge. In 1861 S&W made a larger 32 Rimfire Tip Up and called it the No. 2. It had six chambers and fired a 32 Rimfire cartridge. While not as powerful as the percussion revolvers of the day, it had the advantage of being much quicker to reload. In 1865 S&W made a slightly smaller five shot 32 Rimfire Tip Up that could be more easily concealed than the No. 2. Since the numbers 1 and 2 were already taken, S&W decided to call the new version the No. 1 1/2.

This photo shows the comparative sizes of, bottom to top, a No. 1 Tip Up, a No. 1 1/2 Tip Up, a No. 2 Tip Up, and a Number 3 Top Break Russian model.






So that's where the number 3 came from. I should hasten to add that there were five separate and distinct models built on the #3 size frame. When somebody says to me they have a Number 3, I always ask them exactly which model they are taking about. Roy Jinks, the official S&W historian once said that when the Clint Eastwood movie The Unforgiven came out, with its emphasis on the Schofield Model, he got a lot of calls from people who thought they had a Schofield. Many of them did not.

Back to the history for a moment. The White patent was due to expire in 1869. White tried to get it renewed, but failed. Daniel Wesson was convinced all the other revolver makers were waiting with baited breath for the patent to expire so they could hit the market with their own revolvers with cylinders bored through for cartridges. So he (or maybe the designers he employed) went to work to come up with something completely new. It was the American Model. Unlike the Colt and Remington cartridge conversions, which were basically simple updates of the earlier percussion models, the concept of a Top Break was it could be broken open, rotating the barrel down, and the empty cartridges could be automatically ejected. Then while the gun was still broken open, it could be reloaded. A very innovative idea.

As it turned out, Colt did not bring out the Single Action Army until 1873, and Remington did not bring out their Model 1875 until, well 1875. So S&W pretty much had the large frame cartridge revolver market all to themselves for a few years.

The American Model was the first cartridge revolver purchased by the US Army. In 1870 1000 were delivered to the Army.

A word here about the length of the cylinder on Top Break Smiths. A few American Models were chambered for the 44 Henry Rimfire cartridge. However most were chambered for the 44 S&W American cartridge, a round using a heeled bullet. This cartridge was pretty much a centerfire version of the Henry round. A relatively short round, it turned out that a cylinder 1 7/16" long was a perfect match for the 44 S&W American round. Although I do not have an American Top Break revolver in my collection (yet) whose bore I can slug, I have a couple of the cartridges. The bullets run about .430 in diameter, and are the same diameter as the case, being a heeled bullet.




In 1871 Russian Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich (son of the Czar) made a grand tour of the United States. He went on a hunting expedition with the likes of Buffalo Bill and General Custer. At some point he became enthralled with the S&W Top Break American model. The Russian government was looking for a modern revolver for their Army and concluded a contract with S&W for 2000 revolvers. These revolvers looked exactly the same as the American Model, except they were chambered for a new cartridge. Unlike the 44 S&W American, the new cartridge used a bullet that was the same diameter as the inside of the case. This new cartridge became known as the 44 Russian cartridge.

Smith and Wesson eventually built over 150,000 revolvers for the Russian government. The later two versions featured the distinctive hump on the grip as well as the spur on the trigger guard.

This is a 2nd Model Russian. It features the big hump on the grip, and the spur on the trigger guard. Notice the extractor housing is slightly shorter than the extractor housing of the American Model. The cylinders on the Russian models were also 1 7/16" long, still perfect for the 44 Russian cartridge. I can state from experience that the big hump on the grip frame makes it very awkward to cock and fire this revolver one handed.






The Russian model had a new feature on the latch. There was a shelf on the underside of the latch. There was a mating relief in the hammer. With the hammer all the way forward, the cylinder remained locked in position, and the cut in the hammer for the shelf on the latch prevented the latch from being opened.






With the hammer at half cock, the cylinder was free to rotate and the latch could be opened for loading.







The Schofield Model. Easily identified by the completely rounded grip shape, the shorter still  extractor housing, and of course, the frame mounted latch.





George Schofield was a cavalry officer who liked the American model, but he was able to modify the latch on one so that a mounted soldier could break one open and reload with one hand while riding. Breaking open the earlier Top Breaks was pretty much a two handed operation. One hand held the frame while the other hand operated the latch with the thumb and rotated the barrel down to load. With Schofield's serpentine shaped latch on the frame, the mounted rider could pop the latch with his thumb and brush the barrel open against his leg. Then he could shift the gun to his reins hand and reload. I don't know one end of a horse from the other, but I can load a Schofield that way, although I would probably sweep everybody at the loading table if I tried it at a CAS match.






Schofield was clever enough to patent his latch mechanism, and crafty old Daniel Wesson set his engineers to finding a way around Schofield's patent, so he would not have to pay any royalties. They did not succeed and Wesson could not get around Schofield's patent. The Schofield model was only in production from 1875 until 1877. There were two models, there were a little over 3000 of the first models made, and about 6,000 of the second models made. The chief difference was in the shape of the latch. The Schofield pictured above is a 1st Model.

Colt had landed a contract for 8,000 Single Action revolvers in 1874, and S&W did not want to be left out. The Army specified they wanted a 45 caliber cartridge for any new revolvers, not 44. Opening up the chambers and bore of their Top Breaks slightly to 45 caliber was not a problem, but a 1 7/16" long cylinder could not accommodate the 45 Colt cartridge. With lucrative foreign contracts for the Russian model, S&W was not going to change the tooling for a longer cylinder. Instead they proposed the shorter 45 caliber cartridge that eventually became the 45 Schofield cartridge.




The New Model Number Three.

In 1878, S&W cataloged what I believe to be their finest Top Break #3 revolver, the New Model Number Three.

Eventually chambered for 17 different cartridges, this model also had a 1 7/16" long cylinder. The most common chambering was 44 Russian. Easily recognized by the very short extractor housing, and the slight hump on the grip. Some of these, particularly for export to Japan had a trigger guard spur like the Russian model, but those produced for domestic consumption usually did not.






In 1885 a version with a 1 9/16" long cylinder was created specifically for the longer 44-40 cartridge. S&W also lengthened the frame by 1/8" so the very important gas collar at the front of the cylinder did not need to be shortened. S&W knew how to design a revolver that would fire Black Powder cartridges with out any problems. This model was given the specific model name of New Model Number Three Frontier. There were only 2072 of this model made, and 786 were converted to 44 Russian for sale to Japan.

There were also 74 New Model Number Threes made with the 1 9/16" cylinder chambered for 38-40. These are usually known as the New Model Number Three .38 Winchester. They are very rare.




The 44 Double Action.

The fifth type of S&W No. 3 Top Break was the 44 Double Action. This was the only double action Top Break S&W built on the #3 sized frame. Easily recognized because it is a double action. The most common chambering for this model was again 44 Russian, with a 1 7/16" long cylinder. The trigger guard and trigger are very distinctly shaped too. This one is a target model with a target front sight and a windage adjustable rear sight.






There were about 15,000 of these made chambered for 44-40, with a 1 9/16" long cylinder and the lengthened frame.

There were also 276 made chambered for 38-40, with the 1 9/16" cylinder and lengthened frame.




Gas Bushings

Since I have blabbed this long, indulge me a moment more for some photos of gas bushings on S&W Top Break cylinders.

This is a Schofield cylinder. The part protruding from the front of the cylinder is the gas collar or bushing. It is a separate piece pressed into the cylinder. The bushing sits about .180 proud of the front face of the cylinder. The extractor rod and extractor spring run the full length of the cylinder, inside the bushing.







In this photo I have lined up the cylinder with the cylinder arbor. Notice the helical groove cut around the arbor.






In this photo I have slid the cylinder partially onto the arbor. The bushing rides outside the arbor, while the extractor rod and spring ride inside the arbor.






In this photo, the cylinder is completely seated on the arbor. The front of the bushing is bearing against the bottom of the barrel. This means the barrel/cylinder gap is about .180 horizontally removed from the front of the bushing. When Black Powder fouling is blasted out of the barrel/cylinder gap it is blasted out pretty much in the shape of a disk. The front of the bushing is far enough away from the b/c gap, that the underlying cylinder arbor is shielded from fouling blasted out of the gap. So very little fouling makes its way onto the arbor. BP fouling deposited on the arbor is the chief reason for binding with revolvers fired with Black Powder. Also, the helical groove cut on the arbor provides clearance for any fouling that does make its way onto the arbor, also preventing binding. With Big Lube bullets with huge lube grooves full of a BP compatible bullet lube, and plenty of Ballistol on the arbor, I can shoot my top Break Smiths with Black Powder cartridges all day long without any binding.






Here is a close up of the horizontal separation of the barrel/cylinder gap and bushing on my New Model Number Three.






Compare that with the horizontal separation on this Uberti Schofield. Yes, the cylinder is not seated all the way, but you can see how much of the bushing was stolen away when Uberti lengthened the cylinder for 45 Colt without lengthening the frame a corresponding amount.






There is nothing new about this idea of horizontal separation of the barrel/cylinder gap from the front of a cylinder. Take a look some time at a Colt, and Uberti Cattlleman, or even a Ruger Vaquero. They all have a sizeable bushing on the front of the cylinder and they can all be made to shoot Black Powder well without binding.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2019, 10:45:07 am by Driftwood Johnson »
That’s bad business! How long do you think I’d stay in operation if it cost me money every time I pulled a job? If he’d pay me that much to stop robbing him, I’d stop robbing him.

Ya probably inherited every penny ya got!

Offline Sir Charles deMouton-Black

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Re: Cimarron's new American model!
« Reply #61 on: January 03, 2019, 12:09:58 am »
It helps if ya volenteers to help clean said church.  There's always a box of stubs to be thrown away.  An at least fer us Catholics, they have to be beeswax.  (Church law says they has to be of "natural" materials)

Perhaps if you was to make friends with some well meaning if naieve church lady . . .

My Orthodox church recycles the beeswax candle stubbs. I don't burn candles, but drop a few extra bucks in the collection plate instead. As a former church treasurer, I know how much we spent on those suckers.
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Offline Blair

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Re: Cimarron's new American model!
« Reply #62 on: January 03, 2019, 07:56:48 am »
Driftwood Johnson,

Very well done! Thanks.
My best,
 Blair
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Offline Tornado

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Re: Cimarron's new American model!
« Reply #63 on: January 03, 2019, 10:16:14 am »
Great response from Driftwood!

In a nice coincidence, I just got this email from Cimarron:
Continuing our tradition of re-introducing legendary firearms, Cimarron now offers the Model No. 3 American, First Model, made from an original in the Cimarron Collection. It was a long road in development with Uberti due to tooling delays and required changes. We went through a few prototype iterations, turning down some unacceptable attempts, sending Uberti back to the drawing board. No corners were cut in reproducing this Cimarron replica. It's as close to the original as possible, yet it is capable of handling modern factory smokeless ammunition in such popular cowboy rounds as .45 Colt, .44-40, .44 S&W Russian and .44 Special. Cimarron's Model No.3 American features such details as the early 1st Model frame and grip, the correct-style case colored top latch, trigger guard and hammer. Grips are period, two-piece walnut and the sixgun is offered in blued finish or nickel (both with the color cased parts as described). Civilian or military models are available. Military revolvers are martially marked with the U.S. markings, inspector stamps and a grip cartouche. The detail is perfect.  In the end the Uberti crew came through for Cimarron, producing what may be the finest replica produced, ever, by anyone.

Offline Cholla Hill Tirador

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Re: Cimarron's new American model!
« Reply #64 on: January 03, 2019, 10:31:45 am »
 Good stuff here guys. I wonder if they'll have any safety features on them?

  CHT

Offline The Pathfinder

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Re: Cimarron's new American model!
« Reply #65 on: January 03, 2019, 05:34:28 pm »
CHT, they have to to get them into the States. Just remains to be seen what kind. Dang, now I have to consider a military model as well? This just gets more expensive all the time. Oh well, can't have too much of a good thing. Hmmm, military or civilian nickle first? I wonder if the military will have the oil hole on it?  ;D

Online willy

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Re: Cimarron's new American model!
« Reply #66 on: January 03, 2019, 05:44:02 pm »
Driftwood Johnson

Thanks for the schooling,,
A  tip of the hat to ya. ;)

Offline Abilene

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Re: Cimarron's new American model!
« Reply #67 on: January 03, 2019, 07:57:47 pm »
Driftwood always has the best pics.

Offline Books OToole

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Re: Cimarron's new American model!
« Reply #68 on: January 04, 2019, 08:14:12 am »
An excellent No. 3 tutorial.

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Offline Dave T

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Re: Cimarron's new American model!
« Reply #69 on: January 04, 2019, 08:52:25 am »
An excellent No. 3 tutorial.

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Re: Cimarron's new American model!
« Reply #70 on: January 04, 2019, 09:59:36 am »
Driftwood, I will add my appreciation. If Books approves then you did an outstanding presentation.

Will Ketchum the foremost lover of the New model No. 3
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Offline The Pathfinder

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Re: Cimarron's new American model!
« Reply #71 on: January 04, 2019, 10:28:53 am »
 ??? There must be something wrong with me (yeah, I know). I've always preferred the grips on the American and the Schofield to the New Model. Everyone always tells me how comfortable the New Model grip is, but, to me anyway, it's not. And I don't have large hands either. Guess that's why they make the older models, not all of us are the same.  :-\

Offline Fox Creek Kid

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Re: Cimarron's new American model!
« Reply #72 on: January 06, 2019, 10:45:36 pm »
Driftwood, the myth of the early .44 Russian cartridges having an inside lubed bullet refuses to die even though ammo collectors have stated that they weren't.

In U.S. Cartridges and Their Handguns 1795-1975 by Charles R. Suydam, he states that early .44 Russian factory loads used 275 gr. outside lubed bullets over 23 gr. of black powder. It also states that by about 1888 most factory ammunition had become loaded with inside lubricated bullets of 246 gr. over the same BP load. As well, one can go here & see the early cartridges if you scroll down:

http://www.oldammo.com/september04.htm

The story was that a famous revolver target shooter (W. Bennett or Ira Paine, can't recall offhand) in the 1880's remarked to one of the cartridge cos. about fouling issues with his target .44 and they soon switched over to inside lubed bullets. That was in an early 2000's Handloader magazine history of the cartridge by a renowned collector. I have that issue buried somewhere, but I can't recall the month/year offhand.  ???

One thing the Russian inspectors at the S&W factory insisted upon, and which Colt "borrowed" for their SAA, was the breech face recoil plate due to peening issues. Smart Russkies.  ;)

FWIW, the first inside lubed metallic ctg. was the .50 Springfield Carbine round, better known today as the 56-50 Spencer and that was in 1865 according to Roy Marcot.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2019, 10:47:39 pm by Fox Creek Kid »

Offline Driftwood Johnson

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Re: Cimarron's new American model!
« Reply #73 on: January 07, 2019, 10:22:56 am »
Howdy Fox Creek Kid

I was pretty careful not to mention where the lube was when I wrote about the 44 Russian cartridge. Probably because you had probably corrected me once before.

I have most of a box of Remington (marked REM-UMC) 44 Russians, and a bag full of WRACo 44 Russians, along with a few other singletons picked up along the way.






Sorry this photo is not so well focused. The WRACo round is on the left, the REM-UMC on the right.

Both appear to me to be inside lubricated.

But I'm sure you're correct about the earlier rounds.

There are a couple of fired cases in the Remington box. They are clearly balloon head rounds.

That’s bad business! How long do you think I’d stay in operation if it cost me money every time I pulled a job? If he’d pay me that much to stop robbing him, I’d stop robbing him.

Ya probably inherited every penny ya got!

Offline Cholla Hill Tirador

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Re: Cimarron's new American model!
« Reply #74 on: January 07, 2019, 10:27:06 am »
DJ thanks for all the info here, it's interesting and invaluable. I'd hazard a guess that give the way you deal with these subjects and going over ever tiny details of revolvers and cartridges, you must have an engineering background.

  CHT