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View Poll Results: Cabela's 1851 Navy .36 or Cabela's Remington 1858 .44
1851 Navy .36 6 37.50%
Remington 1858 .44 10 62.50%
Voters: 16. You may not vote on this poll

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Old December 1, 2005, 01:54 AM   #1
The Interceptor
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First BP Revolver 1851 Navy .36 or 1858 New Army .44

I'm new to BP shooting and I'd like to order a pistol from Cabela's but I can't decide on the Colt Navy or the Remington new army.

The colt is such a classic.



But the Remington appears to be superior in design.



Any opinions as to which would be a better piece to get first?

Any feedback will be much appreciated.

Last edited by The Interceptor; December 2, 2005 at 03:29 PM.
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Old December 1, 2005, 02:22 AM   #2
MPP1423
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Interceptor,
The 1858 Is The Better Of The Two.the Remington Is Made Stronger And More Accurate.i Personal Dont Have Anything Against The 1860 Army(colt Model) But The Rem Is My Choice As It Is For Most On This Forum I Think.the Cabelas Guns I Beleive Are Pietta Made.
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Old December 1, 2005, 02:22 AM   #3
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Interceptor,
The 1858 Is The Better Of The Two.the Remington Is Made Stronger And More Accurate.i Personal Dont Have Anything Against The 1860 Army(colt Model) But The Rem Is My Choice As It Is For Most On This Forum I Think.the Cabelas Guns I Beleive Are Pietta Made.
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Old December 1, 2005, 02:30 AM   #4
ren219
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ren219

I just bought an 1858 from Cabelas. It is an excellent firearm. Made by Pietta. My brother bought an 1860 from Navy Arms on the recomendation of the local gun dealer. They said it is better quality than the Cabelas guns. Guess what, it's made by pietta. He paid about 100 dollars more. My 1858 is very accurate and reliable. I've had it for about 6 months. Fired probably over 300 rounds. I shoot it every chance I get, and I own a lot of guns. The fun factor with this gun is about a 10 for me. BP is a blast! (no pun intended As for the decision between the 1858 and the colt navy, if it were me and I wasn't going to shoot it I would get the colt navy. I'm actually considering getting one within the next month or two. The Cabelas one with the pearl grips looks great! JMHO. Sorry for the long post, but I would have liked this info when I first bought mine.
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Old December 1, 2005, 02:46 AM   #5
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MPP1423,
Hope you don't mind, I'd just like to say thanks for all the info you share on this forum. Been reading them for a long time. Also, and more importantly, thanks for your service as a police officer. I have the utmost respect for your profession.
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Old December 1, 2005, 02:47 AM   #6
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Interceptor,
Let us know what you decide and how it shoots!
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Old December 1, 2005, 02:52 AM   #7
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Thanks Ren,
Its A Thankless Job Thats For Sure.we Had 4 People Found In A House Fire Tonight And All 4 Had Been Shot 1st.its Getting Bad In Nashville.the Murder Rate Is Over 100 For The Year Now With A Month To Go.welcome Aboard.the Guys Here Are Great And Dont Mind Sharing Info.
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Old December 1, 2005, 05:52 AM   #8
Low Key
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Interceptor,
I agree with MPP1423 and ren219, the 1858 is the better choice of the 2 and you may get hooked on shooting it like some of the rest of us are!
I have 2 of the 58's, one I bought almost 5 years ago (target version from cabelas) and the other I got just a couple of months ago (standard notch sights from cabelas) they are both made by pietta and both are good quality pistols.
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Old December 1, 2005, 08:37 AM   #9
Old Dragoon
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I too would vote for the '58 Rem. I just bought two in the last couple months and have not shot the newer on yet but it will Sat Morning, I'm sure it will shoot better than I can hold right now.
You're Right, BP is a hoot. I have converted both to fire 44 Rem loaded Colt (.451 Dia outside lubed 248 Grn bullet over 30 Grn's Elephant BP in 44 Colt Brass) the first one shoots almost the same as the BP cylinder.....but I can get 40 Grns BP behind the ball that way and what a hoot to shoot!!
I use Kirst 44 Rem Konverters and can switch out as easily as changing BP cylinders. This is where the Rem has it over the Colts. ALA The last Gunfight scene in Pale Rider. Actually I can switch the Konverter out quicker than the BP cyinders due to the machining on the back of the recoil Shield/Ring. (milled to pass the hand)

Either way I use these they are a hoot. I'm working on the grouping now.
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Old December 1, 2005, 10:28 AM   #10
mec
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best bet. get the one that appeals to you. Both can be very accurate.





Last edited by mec; August 28, 2010 at 09:22 PM.
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Old December 1, 2005, 10:28 AM   #11
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I chose the 1858 Remington, made by Pietta, because I wanted the option of filing a dovetail in the top strap to install a rear sight should I have to go that route to zero the gun in. An open topped Colt replica won't permit that sort of thing. I have had very good luck with mine, shoots good groups but did require a little tweaking with the front sight to bring it to zero.
Every report I hear about the Pietta made revolvers is favorable. If the 1851 navy you are considering is made by them it should be a good one. I believe Pietta has the chamber/land and groove diameters which tend to make their revolvers more accurate, generally, than some of the others. If you get a Dixie Gun Works catalog and shop around in there, you can see that a lot of replicas have a chamber diameter 6 or 7 thousands of an inch smaller than the groove diameter of the barrel. I can't see how an undersized ball can work as well as a bore-sized one. I ordered mine from Dixie just for that reason. I wanted to see those measurements before I ordered a gun. Cabela's prices may be a little cheaper than Dixie's and since Pietta is the brand Cabela's apparently handles, I'd go with cheaper if I could.
If you don't intend to hunt or shoot much, why don't you just take the money you are saving in ammo costs and hunting licenses, etc., and just get both? I think I could squeeze up a case to justify it to the little woman so she would feel it was a real bargain!

Steve
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Old December 1, 2005, 02:26 PM   #12
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Anyone new to this black smoke stuff would do well to start out with a Remington .44 . The one's that Cabelas sells is in the Pietta model and a damn good one at that plus Cabelas stands behind everything they sell 100% and they take care of there customers.
The Navy Colt would be my next best and will be soon It's a little more work to tune and and that's one of the reasons for starting out with the Remington. Easy to tune and lot's of info and advice on them here and on other sites and books.
Whatever you get don't be afraid to ask questions on here and it's a good idea to ask before you try anything your not sure of. We may not know it all but we will help in any way we can and help you do it safely. Now if I had as much money as the other guy's on this site I would own lot's of fancy BP revolvers but I'm just a poor dumb old man that these guy's like to pick on Just kidding!! Good guy's on here and they are all willing to help , just ask.
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Old December 1, 2005, 03:01 PM   #13
The Interceptor
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Ordered The Remington 1858 New Army .44!

Thanks for all of your replies. So far everyone has recomended the 1858. I was leaning toward the Remington anyway because of the full frame design. Plus it still has the cool old fashioned styling. At $160 I think they're a great deal.



I ordered one from Cabela's today along with a pair of their western style holsters and a pair of matching gunbelts. The holsters are a single loop design that are cut to fit the 1858. I like the single loop design over the Slim Jim or flap styles. Plus the belts and holsters are only $16 each so I ordered a left handed rig and a right handed rig. Now I just need to save some extra cash for the second shootin' iron!






Last edited by The Interceptor; December 2, 2005 at 02:38 PM.
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Old December 1, 2005, 06:59 PM   #14
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Points in favor of the Remington:

Stronger

Better sights. Even with the fixed-sight models. The rear sight on the Colt is a notch in the tip of the hammer. If you want real accuracy you can get a target-sighted Remington for a little extra. I might go this way if I were planning to use the thing for hunting or, obviously, for competitive target work, but for just blasting for fun, probably not.

Safety notches between the chambers. It is probably safest and best, if you're going to carry any BP revolver loaded, to have the hammer down on an empty cylinder. But they did have a safety mechanism intended to allow you to carry them fully loaded. On the Remington these are notches in the rear of the cylinder, between the chambers; you're supposed to lower the hammer CAREFULLY after loading, and put its nose into one of these notches. The Colt mechanism is a small pin between the chambers. This is tiny, easy to break, easy to wear out, and easier for the hammer to slip off of than it is for the hammer to slip out of the Remington's notches. I'm not sure i recommend using EITHER of these devices, but of the two the Remington's is somewhat more likely to work.

(Incidently, I've heard tell that you can use this same trick with Colt single actions and clones, by lowering the firing pin between the rims of the cartridges. I've never tried it and therefore I can't recommend it. This would be for centerfires only-- putting the firing pin down between two rimfire cartridges would be just as bad as lowering it onto a live cartridge, the priming compound of a rimfire being at the cartridge rim (duh) and all.)

Advantages of the Colt:

Looks swoopy. It's a very handsome piece.

Historical importance. They made a lot more of these for the Civil War than they did Remingtons, I think-- but don't quote me on that.

Less prone to clogging up with fouling-- the open top design, while weaker than a solid frame, DOES allow more of the fouling to blast free rather than accumulating.

Perhaps less prone to jam from mashed caps, but I'm not sure.

Easy to clean well. You can take the barrel right off and look down it, end to end, to make sure.

Personally, I'd take the Remington, but the Colts were prized in their day too.
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Old December 3, 2005, 12:18 AM   #15
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From a nostagia standpoint, Bill Hickock shot a .36 58' Colt. The Rem. however seems to be the better buy and the most verstile of the two.
Heck, buy both!
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Old December 3, 2005, 12:45 AM   #16
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That's the best reccomendation yet, buy both.

I bought an 1860, then an 1851, THEN an 1858. Love the '60, love the '58, still ain't shot the '51 because it need 380 ball, just got them.

The '60 is a pleasure to shoot, the '58, because it's tighter, seems to shoot the same load harder, same charge. The '58 has more room in the chambers to stuff powder, will hold a bigger charge than the Army. Will shoot harder. Doesn't feel like it, just gives a bigger boom.. Might weigh a little more, so explains a little of it.

Actually, if you had a stick with a pipe tied to it, powder and ball in the pipe, a hole to touch off the powder with a lucifer, think you would be hooked. Not too many come to these places who don't have at least some love of shooting, and preferally Black Powder.

Hope you have a ton of fun.

Cheers,

George
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Old December 3, 2005, 01:23 AM   #17
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Big Cabin,
I think you meant '51 instead of '58. Hickock carried a pair of 36 Cal '51 Navies among other pistols he was known to own.
I like the '51 Navy too. I have a small hand and they just fit and the balance is just the best. They are on the wish list too.
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Old December 3, 2005, 02:44 AM   #18
MPP1423
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dragoon,
got my parts kit today and no screws.just thought i'd let you know.it has the hammer,hand,cylinder stop,trigger and spring,and main spring.
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Old December 3, 2005, 07:09 PM   #19
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For the first-time user, I'd suggest a stainless steel Remington in .44 caliber.
Here are my reasons:

1. Stainless steel will rust over time. I had it happen to a Ruger Security Six .357 Magnum years ago. But it takes quite a bit to rust stainless steel and it's more forgiving to those who put off cleaning their revolver. Old-timers like me (been shooting cap and balls since about 1970) tend to clean right away but newcomers to the sport often neglect this requirement.

2. The Remington has better sights than the Colt. This means more hits on target.

3. The sights are more easily altered to hit to point of aim. If the Remington hits low, file down the front sight a lick at a time. If it shoots to one side or another, drift the front sight in the opposite direction of where you want the ball to strike. Altering the Colt's sights (a notch in the hammer and a brass bead near the muzzle) takes more modification, best done by a gunsmith.

4. Strength? Either the Colt or Remington are plenty strong for black powder and black powder substitute pressures. I consider this argument specious.

5. I suggest .44 caliber because cap and ball sixguns work best with oversize balls of .454 and .457 inch, instead of the oft-recommended .451 inch. If .380 inch lead balls were as readily available, I'd suggest the .36 caliber since it uses less lead. Most sources recommend the .375 inch ball but I find it too small for cap and ball chambers and less accurate.

6. The .44 Remington may be had with modern, adjustable sights. Not so the Colt. While this is not authentic, it can help the plinker and informal target shooter to make more hits, and this breeds confidence. Besides, it's fun hitting what you aim at, eh?

Weaknesses of the Remington design:
1. If you put in too much powder, and can't seat the ball below the chamber mouth, it's a task to rectify the situation. With the Colt, you simply pop off the barrel assembly and fire the ball directly out of the cylinder. I've done it myself, without incident.
2. The Remington doesn't have as much room around the rammer as the 1860 or 1861 Colt. However, the 1851 and earlier Colt models are just as cramped as the Remington. This doesn't make a difference when using balls, but trying to seat a conical bullet can require juggling.
3. The cylinder pin on the Remington is smaller in diameter than the Colt's. It's also smooth, whereas the Colt has rings milled into it, for fouling to migrate into. The Remington's smooth cylinder pin leaves nowhere for fouling to go, consequently it builds up and causes the Remington to drag and foul faster than the Colt.
4. I think everyone will agree that the Remington is nowhere nearly as well balanced as the Colt design. The Colts point and handle very well. Through the years, the Colt 1851 Navy has been hailed as the most perfectly balanced handgun ever invented. The same could be said for its improvement, the Model 1861.
5. The Remington has fewer parts but its mainspring must be compressed for reassembly. I typically gently grab the mainspring with Vice Grips and move it into the frame. The Colt is easily reassembled without any spring compression. However, I must admit that the Colt has more screws likely to be lost.
6. The rammer on the Remington doesn't go as far down into the chamber as the Colt. This means using fillers or felt wads if you use light loads, so the black powder (or substitute) may be properly compressed.
There should NEVER be a space between the ball and powder. This is a dangerous situation that can cause an enormous pressure jump and blow a gun. The Colt reaches down a little farther into the chambers but you often still have to use a filler with the Colt too. I use corn meal or greased felt wads for fillers, between the ball and powder.

I own Colt and Remington designs, in .36 and .44 caliber. I like them both. For the beginner, I suggest the .44 Remington in stainless steel with .454 or .457 inch balls.
If he decides he doesn't like cap and balls, he can sell that revolver without much problem. If he does like shooting cap and balls, he can go on to other models. Yet, that stainless steel Remington .44 is still mighty useful.
If someone made a Remington stainless steel in .36 caliber, and .380 inch balls were readily available off the shelf, I'd suggest that, instead. The .36 uses less powder and lead yet it's just as accurate as the .44 if properly loaded.
Buy a stainless steel Remington. If you like the hobby, get a Colt 1861 Navy in .36 caliber. The 1861 is not as famous as its predecessor the 1851 but it's a better design and it's still authentic. If you wish to stay with .44 caliber, get the 1860 Colt.
Both are good designs in their own right.
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Old December 4, 2005, 10:32 AM   #20
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heheheheh I've them both, and actualy,I asked myself the same question few years ago. I started with the remington 1858, one made by UBERTI with a 5 1/2" barel. A very good revolver. Then I got a 1860 and finally a 1851. Personnaly I shoot the 1851 much better and faster. For me it point much more naturaly than any other... With 23grs BP the .36 caliber can be quiet effective
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