View Full Version : Selling CVA 1851 Navy Colt .36cal and .44cal
February 8, 2011, 12:17 AM
This is my 1st post.
Both were made in 1985 and have never been fired. Both are in orginal boxes. $425.00 shipped. I will post pictures once i get a lower MP camera or
PM me for photos.
Both are brass frames.
February 10, 2011, 02:15 PM
Welcome to the forum, Jake. I'm fairly new myself.
I don't want to put you off or anything, but I hope you realize that Cabela's is selling (on sale for some time now) Pietta-made versions of these same pistols, in brass frames, for around $150. Read some of the other threads and you'll see where other posters are talking about buying them. Heck, I've got my eye on a steel frame myself for $199.
I'm sure you've got some great pistols, but it really isn't a "seller's market" right now. Good Luck to ya!
February 12, 2011, 02:46 PM
I know I'm new to this forum and posted a question about nitrated paper, but I would like to pass on what I know about this particular subject. Unless looking for historical accuracy, I would avoid brass frame revolvers. Perhaps, in re-enacting only firing blanks, they're OK and, on the plus side, the brass won't corrode as quickly on the frame if forgotten to get cleaned after an event. If you plan to use for 'live firing' (shooting bullets) some of these brass frame revolvers will actually beat themselves up from the recoil/pressure from shootings balls/bullets. Some manufacturers use softer brass than others which only accelerates the problem. The problem is the recoil slams the cylinder back against the frame and, over time, will cause enough 'slop' in the fit of the cylinder to frame that the gap increases between the cylinder and barrel to make jump fires a real problem. Before all you owners of brass frame revolvers desend upon me, I own a brass-frame Pietta '51 Navy that, with some machinework, I converted to a Dance Brothers revolver, which I use ONLY with blanks at events. I 'live fire' my steel-frame '60 Colt .44s and '59 Remingtons only, which I also use at events with blanks. I also try to clean them after every battle, if possible, or as soon as I get home. Buy what you want, or can afford, but remember if you want to 'live fire' a brass frame, it can ruin your pistol in the long run.
February 12, 2011, 02:56 PM
I own a brass-frame Pietta '51 Navy that, with some machinework, I converted to a Dance Brothers revolver,
You do realize from a historical standpoint a Dance was a steel frame with a round barrel?
February 12, 2011, 07:24 PM
If you plan to use for 'live firing' (shooting bullets) some of these brass frame revolvers will actually beat themselves up from the recoil/pressure from shootings balls/bullets. Some manufacturers use softer brass than others which only accelerates the problem. The problem is the recoil slams the cylinder back against the frame and, over time, will cause enough 'slop' in the fit of the cylinder to frame that the gap increases between the cylinder and barrel to make jump fires a real problem.
I only own one brass frame revolver, a Spiller and Burr which was, of course, an original brass frame. I don't have any Colt or Remington brass frames, so I find myself in a bit of a strange place 'defending' them. But I really can't let the above indictment go without some comment.
Look, the simple fact of the matter is that any gun will, over time, break down if abused. The only difference between a brass frame and a steel frame percussion revolver is the load necessary to cause that abuse. There is a great deal of anecdotal evidence in this and other bp forums that say keeping your powder charges in the moderate to light range (25 gr and below) will NOT cause damage over the long term on a brass frame revolver.
And what in the world is a 'jump fire'?
February 12, 2011, 07:31 PM
There is a great deal of anecdotal evidence in this and other bp forums that say keeping your powder charges in the moderate to light range (25 gr and below) will NOT cause damage over the long term on a brass frame revolver.
I used to be of the same mindset until I got this FIE 36 Navy. This was after 18 rounds of 25 gr. loads. So far no real damage but it wouldn't have taken many more to cause serious damage.
February 12, 2011, 07:38 PM
Do I understand correctly that you had an unfired FIE 1851 Navy and your 18 rounds were the only ones it experienced?
February 12, 2011, 07:40 PM
No it wasn't unfired but the recoil shield wasn't imprinted until my 18 rounds. That's the first thing I looked for when I got it. It's a 61 Remington Navy.
February 12, 2011, 08:01 PM
That leads me to wonder if all brass is equal? :rolleyes:
February 12, 2011, 10:22 PM
I had an original gunnison back in the 70's. From what I can remember the brass was hard and brown and still shot after 125+ years. Now I'm not a metalurgist or whatever but the new brass guns are made w/copper and zinc. Maybe and most probably the ratio back then was a stronger metal than what Italy is putting out now. I guess as long as the pin don't wobble out and it keeps lining up right, they are ok. I guess:confused:
February 12, 2011, 11:02 PM
Originals were a form of bronze with a high copper content. They would probably stand up to full loads in a .36 but not a .44 I imagine thats why they never made any brass framed .44's
February 13, 2011, 08:39 AM
One can only conclude that there is a significant variation in malleability of the brass being used today. My brother-in-law owns one bp revolver, a brass framed .44 1851 style Colt, and it shows no deformations after at least 500 rounds in 5 to 6 years. I cosmetically restored it for him 2 years ago and found no damage anywhere. BIL shoots varying charges: 15-25 grains, depending on his mood. I can't generalize from his experience alone, but including it with my impression of other's results posted on this and other forums tells me brass framed guns can be made to last.
February 13, 2011, 10:38 AM
I don't know who made the FIE either. It's one of those unknown makers. I do know it's not a quality piece. Timing and fire-ability are fine and it looks ok but it needs some work to be anywhere near where it needs to be.
February 13, 2011, 09:31 PM
You guys mean to say they really make revolvers with brass frames? :D
I had a brass frame Navy Arms short round barrel .36 for a number of years. I looked like a short barreled Griswold & Gunnison. Like anything else, if you trat 'em right and use common sensem you shouldn't have a problem. I shot mine quite a bit - usually used about 18 - 20 grains of FFG - it never showed any signs of recoil shield problems. I traded it off earlier this summer on a new fangled cartridge gun. Years ago, in the early 60s when I was learning to shoot BP, the first revolver I shot belonged to a friend of mine. It was a 58 Remy brass frame made by Richland Arms. He fired it in NSSA competition as well as a lot of target practice - with no ill effects on the recoil shield. When he passed away, his wife gave it to me as a keepsake. Unfortunately, his son had removed the loading lever and lost it so I am on the "look out" for a Richland Arms loading lever. I also have a brass framed '62 Colt Pocket Police. I haven't shot it yet but plan to . . with loads that won't put such a strain on it. If I had my druthers, I'd have only steel frames. But, when something comes along at a price you can't turn down, historically correct or not, I usually pick it up. Primarily because I like to shoot. My brass frames that I have or have had experience with were made prior to 1982. I'm not a metallurgist not do I claim to be - I haven't had any experience with the brass frames that are sold today - is there a possibility that there is a difference in the brass or "alloy" from the ones made in the 1960s, 70s & 80s compared to what is being marketed today? I don't know. But, as I said, if you use some common sense and judgement in regards to the powder charge, you shouldn't have a problem. It's when some yahoo, either through ignorance or trying to push the envelope uses a heavier charge than necessary that the problems seem to show up. It's no different than those who feel that they have to have a "hotter load" so they try to use a P+ or P++ in a vintage handgun that was designed to shoot standard 38 spl. cartridges. When I was a kid in the early 60s, I had a gunsmith friend who was in his 80s that was a mentor to me. He'd shot muzzleloaders all of his life - mainly rifles. He always told me (in rifles) to start out with 1 grain of powder per caliber - i.e. - 36 grains for a 36 caliber. He always told me - "never use more powder than is necessary to get the job done". I've never forgotten that advice as it has always held true whether it be target shooting, plinking or squirrel hunting. Of course, in pistols and revolvers, we don't follow that rule as we use much less powder. But, it still applies. Just because you can cram a bunch of powder in a cylinder chamber and still get the ball seated, doesn't mean that it is the proper load - unfortunately, there are lots of folks out there that believe that, even when it comes to brass frame revolvers. The steel versus brass controversy will always be around and keep popping up. Everyone has their preferences - some have to be "historically correct", others have to shoot a specific caliber, and on and on and that is fine if those things are important to you. What it boils down to though, is that brass frame revolvers do have their place. They are less expensive (usually) than steel frames and they allow a person to get their feet wet in the hobby and see how they like BP revolver shooting. I'm not being critical of anyone here when I say the following. I really think we as hobbyists/shooters, spend too much time debating the issue when we should be focusing on teaching those who are new to shoot safely and use prudent loads based on what they firearm is that they are shooting. Brass or steel, Chevy or Mercedes - if you drive either one of them on pot holed streets, never service them or basically beat the heck out of them - neigther one of them are going to hold up. Just my 2 cents worth which ain't worth a plug nickel. . . . :)
February 13, 2011, 09:46 PM
....because I see the value in brass frame reolvers as much as I do steel.
But I will say this. You are all pretty well aware that I like to scarf up clunkers. (By the way, I am in the market for a coupla more.) In about a half dozen brass frame revolvers and one steel frame, three out of six of the brass frames had loose arbors. Two of the brass frames had imprints of the cylinder ratchet on the recoil shield (Both Colt clones).
I do not have any idea what the original or previous owner did with the revolvers but I can tell you those three frames were whipped. I was able to tighten up one of them. I have yet to begin work on the second and the third arbor was stripped out so bad the ardor came out with little effort. I have a new arbor, but the threads in the frame are stripped. This revolver will be a training aid.
I am of the opinion that, when loading with the lever, a lot of force must be applied which of course is almost all applied as tension on the arbor. If you are trying to decide whether or not to use a press, I would say that shooting brass frame revolvers is a good reason to shift over.
February 13, 2011, 10:03 PM
I haven't had any experience with the brass frames that are sold today - is there a possibility that there is a difference in the brass or "alloy" from the ones made in the 1960s, 70s & 80s compared to what is being marketed today
Mine was made in the 70's. Don't feel like getting it out right now to see exactly when.:D
February 15, 2011, 07:32 PM
Sold the revolvers today... Thanks everyone.
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