Favorite Small Arms anyone!?!

Joined
May 29, 2017
Messages
216
Location
Pe Ell, Washington
#41
If yall could have one ACW weapon to "modernize" what would it be? Mine would be the LeMat Revolver in .44 Magnum with a .410 chambered in 3" barrel underneath
That would be something to see, but any manufacturer would be extremely hard pressed to produce a breechloading .44 Mag 9-shot cylinder (originals were .42 caliber) along with a breechloading .410 bore shotgun barrel, loaded from the rear of the pistol to look anything close to a LeMat. I assume it would have to be made with the same operation as, say, the S&W .44 American or the .44 Schofield with a similar top latching mechanism necessitating no "open-top" configuration.

I would bet a lot of good money that any of the Italian manufacturers would totally balk at that because it would entail an entirely new gun while trying to make it "look" like an ACW era LeMat. Conversion cylinders are available for low power loads in .45 Colt (1860 Army/1848 Dragoon/1847 Walker) but those are not even close to .44 Mag pressures. The .410 barrel (acting as the cylinder "pin") is smaller than the original barrel (~19 gauge) so there is probably enough metal there to do that with 2.5" shells. This all assumes top of the line metallurgical steels to be used in construction, and I highly doubt the Italians would do this.

If anyone would attempt to produce one, I would bet that the price point would be no less than $2500 and probably much more, and only if there was a market for it.

Pietta LeMat:

LEMAT-CAVALRY-44.jpg


In the last few years I have repeatedly tried to contact and convince Pietta to create a .36 caliber J.H. Dance and Brothers revolver, as opposed to the .44 caliber Dance they now produce. Their Dance is based upon a lowered 1851 Navy frame and a cylinder that is larger in diameter than a .36 cylinder.

Pietta-Dance-44-Cyl.jpg


To create one, all they have to do is mill the recoil shields from the standard 1851 Navy frame before case colors are applied. Very easy, very cheap. Their reply was that their marketing folks did not think they would sell.

Go figure.

Regards,

Jim
 

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Joined
Apr 25, 2019
Messages
12
Location
Gonzales, Louisiana
#42
That would be something to see, but any manufacturer would be extremely hard pressed to produce a breechloading .44 Mag 9-shot cylinder (originals were .42 caliber) along with a breechloading .410 bore shotgun barrel, loaded from the rear of the pistol to look anything close to a LeMat. I assume it would have to be made with the same operation as, say, the S&W .44 American or the .44 Schofield with a similar top latching mechanism necessitating no "open-top" configuration.

I would bet a lot of good money that any of the Italian manufacturers would totally balk at that because it would entail an entirely new gun while trying to make it "look" like an ACW era LeMat. Conversion cylinders are available for low power loads in .45 Colt (1860 Army/1848 Dragoon/1847 Walker) but those are not even close to .44 Mag pressures. The .410 barrel (acting as the cylinder "pin") is smaller than the original barrel (~19 gauge) so there is probably enough metal there to do that with 2.5" shells. This all assumes top of the line metallurgical steels to be used in construction, and I highly doubt the Italians would do this.

If anyone would attempt to produce one, I would bet that the price point would be no less than $2500 and probably much more, and only if there was a market for it.

Pietta LeMat:

View attachment 306202

In the last few years I have repeatedly tried to contact and convince Pietta to create a .36 caliber J.H. Dance and Brothers revolver, as opposed to the .44 caliber Dance they now produce. Their Dance is based upon a lowered 1851 Navy frame and a cylinder that is larger in diameter than a .36 cylinder.

View attachment 306203

To create one, all they have to do is mill the recoil shields from the standard 1851 Navy frame before case colors are applied. Very easy, very cheap. Their reply was that their marketing folks did not think they would sell.

Go figure.

Regards,

Jim
okay then how about a Le Mat in my favorite revolver cartridge of all time, the .44-40 WCF, and with a .410 barrel??
 

DixieRifles

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 22, 2009
Messages
4,730
Location
Collierville, TN
#43
Just wondering what everyones favorite small arms of the ACW are!!
I love the balance and feel of the Colt Model 1861 Navy. Loved shooting my replica but it didn't seem to have much of a punch. I can't see why anyone would want to use that in battle, not even the Navy.
Note, though, there are some replicas that have a different shape to the grip which I just don't like.
 
Joined
May 29, 2017
Messages
216
Location
Pe Ell, Washington
#46
okay then how about a Le Mat in my favorite revolver cartridge of all time, the .44-40 WCF, and with a .410 barrel??
Same configuration problems, maybe more as the .44-40 is not a straight-walled case. In addition, the .44-40 bullet is much closer to a true .44" than the .44 Mag which is .429"

Regards,

Jim
 
Joined
May 29, 2017
Messages
216
Location
Pe Ell, Washington
#48
I love the balance and feel of the Colt Model 1861 Navy. Loved shooting my replica but it didn't seem to have much of a punch. I can't see why anyone would want to use that in battle, not even the Navy.
Note, though, there are some replicas that have a different shape to the grip which I just don't like.
Just my $.02 worth.

General Robert E. Lee (Army Of Northern Virginia) carried a Colt 1851 Navy .36 throughout the war. The gun is in a museum dedicated to him. Although I think he probably never fired it in anger, if he was concerned about the capabilities of a Navy .36 he could have easily opted for a captured Union 1860 Colt .44, of which there were many in Confederate hands, especially early in the War.

Post-war, James Butler Hickok killed Davis Tutt with one shot through the heart at a reputed 75 yards with an 1851 Navy .36 .

If you have a steel frame replica (Pietta, Uberti, or other), in this era of litigation the factory recommendation is only 12-15 grains of FFFg black powder, which is a pretty anemic load. In all of my Pietta 1851 Navy steel "type" guns I safely use 23-25 grains of black with a lubricated felt wad under an appropriately sized round ball. Make sure the powder charge is very compacted with the load lever/rammer. Nice kaboom and smoke!

Insofar as the grip shape, it is just a matter of taste and the feel of it in the hand. Original Colt Navies had many styles of grips, so I dare anyone to tell me which one is "correct". If you are referring to Pietta Navies manufactured prior to 2015 (which had the infamous "tail" grip), they are different than the post 2014 grips, which I find to be very blocky in the feel.

Just a sample from Swayze's book:

1851-Colt-Navy-010.jpg


The 1861 Navy .36 is no different than the 1851 Navy .36 other than the round curved barrel and the creeping load lever/rammer.

Regards,

Jim
 

DixieRifles

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 22, 2009
Messages
4,730
Location
Collierville, TN
#50
Insofar as the grip shape, it is just a matter of taste and the feel of it in the hand. Original Colt Navies had many styles of grips, so I dare anyone to tell me which one is "correct". If you are referring to Pietta Navies manufactured prior to 2015 (which had the infamous "tail" grip), they are different than the post 2014 grips, which I find to be very blocky in the feel.

Just a sample from Swayze's book:
I believe the style that I don't like is the first one: the "slim Jim".
 

zburkett

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 21, 2015
Messages
1,599
Location
Orange County, Virginia
#52
DixieRifles, I have a round barrel 1851 with a brass frame that I put together from a kit years ago. The standard load is the cylinder filled with Pyrodex P and a .375 round ball pressed into the cylinder. I keep reading that the brass frame is weaker but over the last few decades I've never had any problems and for some reason I prefer it to my steel frame 1851. As for being anemic, I've read of them killing buffalo with the .36 Colt, always using the round ball
 
Last edited:

Jobe Holiday

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 1, 2010
Messages
2,373
Location
The Perpetually Frozen North
#53
Ah, yes.....hunting Bufalo with a Colt 1851 Navy revolver! The most famous recorded incident of this is when George Armstrong Custer was "Running Buffalo" on the plains riding along the side of the galloping herd and firing at random into the herd. As he swung his Colt to the front to shoot at a Buffalo that had veered in front of him, he accidentally shot his horse in the back of the head killing it instantly! This of course caused the horse to collapse at full gallop, thereby throwing Custer over its head, etc., all of which didn't end well for Custer!
J.
 

DixieRifles

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 22, 2009
Messages
4,730
Location
Collierville, TN
#54
DixieRifles, I have a round barrel 1861 with a brass frame that I put together from a kit years ago. The standard load is the cylinder filled with Pyrodex P and a .375 round ball pressed into the cylinder. I keep reading that the brass frame is weaker but over the last few decades I've never had any problems and for some reason I prefer it to my steel frame 1861. As for being anemic, I've read of them killing buffalo with the .36 Colt, always using the round ball
It has been many years since I fired the Colt Navy so I forget how much powder I used. I had a bullet mold but that took too long. Finally found a 2-holer mold that sped up my production.
I saw a brass frame Colt 1851 Navy in 5-1/2 inch barrel length in a pawn store in Texas. I traded two tires for the pistol but they got the better of the deal. It wasn't a great pistol. And that short rammer was murder on the palm of your hand. I had heard that the brass frame would warp or something. I may be wrong but I don't think the strength is a great concern for the frame.

Photo of my Colt Navy taken back in early 1970's.
Colt Navy.jpg
 

WJC

Brigadier General
Moderator
Thread Medic
Answered the Call for Reinforcements
Joined
Aug 16, 2015
Messages
11,860
#55
For some reason, I've always been attracted to the Kerr pistol and for what's it's worth; it's the only pistol that I have ever regretted selling. View attachment 305234
I feel your pain!
I passed up buying one a while back and almost immediately regretted it. I haven't seen another of the same desirable condition since!
 

WJC

Brigadier General
Moderator
Thread Medic
Answered the Call for Reinforcements
Joined
Aug 16, 2015
Messages
11,860
#56
So many choices, so little time- and money!
I am partial to 1860 Colts, New Model Remington and Starr revolvers, 1863 Springfields and Spencer carbines. I also gravitate to oddballs, like Bacon and Manhattan revolvers, and Gwynn and Cambell Carbines.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 27, 2015
Messages
166
Location
San Antonio, Texas
#57
Golly!

For the Union:
Muzzleloader- Colt, Hartford CT conversion of Model 1841 U.S. Percussion "Mississippi Rifle"
Repeating rifle- Colt-Root model 1855 revolving rifle as rejected by the U.S.S.S. and issued to the 21st O.V.I. at Chickamauga...
Breech loader- 1859 Sharps
Revolver: Hmm. I don't think any more elegant cap-and-ball revolver has been made than the Colt 1861 Navy.

For the CSA:
Muzzleloader: (if we can count prototypes?) G.W. Morse "inside lock" Greenville, SC musket
breech loader--Halls or Keen-Walker?
breech loader to muzzle loader--N.T. Read and J.T. Watson of Danville, VA conversion!
Revolver: I really, really like the Kerr... And the Adams!
 
Joined
Jan 27, 2015
Messages
166
Location
San Antonio, Texas
#58
As for "what I've got" then I'd have to give a nod to an original M1842 Springfield made in 1851, a Model 1841 "Mississoli" being turned into choice a) Union Colt muzzle loader, and a Model 1862 Colt Pocket Police...
 



Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top