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View Poll Results: Colt replicas, brass or steel frame cap and ball revolvers, which do you prefer and i
brass 7 12.73%
steel 48 87.27%
Voters: 55. You may not vote on this poll

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Old September 9, 2009, 07:40 AM   #26
sundance44s
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Remember the CSA was useing some melted down church bells to make those yellow metal pistols ..they were haveing a shortage of iron at the time .
Brass church bells had a high bronze content ..brass is too soft for bells they would not ring made of brass only.
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Old September 9, 2009, 09:19 AM   #27
Hawg
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Bronze is typically stronger than brass. I have to wonder if the old Confederate bronze frame sixguns were actually stronger than our modern brass framed replicas???
I would think so, even with the high copper content it seems to me they would have been stronger. Remember tho that other than a few prototypes there were no brass/bronze .44's so they must have known the limitations of the metals they were working with
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Old September 10, 2009, 03:36 AM   #28
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The C.S. manufacturers used brass because they had to; the state of the Southern industry was not up to using cast or wrought iron. In fact, steel at the time was not in use for revolver frames, it was too rare and expensive.
According to this source, the Confederate .36 & .44 Dance revolvers did have steel frames.

Quote:
Like so many other Confederate revolvers, the Dance are made on the Colt Navy pattern. The .44 and .36 calibres are identical in all respects, except for their dimensions.

The most remarkable characteristic of these revolvers is the lack of a recoil shield on most of them. A lot of speculations circulate about that matter, but one of the simplest explanations would be that the available steel cakes for casting the frames were not thick enough to allow shields to be made.

Yet a part of the production has been provided with recoil shields, and there is even one known specimen that shows evidently that it was first made with shields, but that the shields were cut away afterwards.

http://www.littlegun.be/arme%20ameri...dance%20gb.htm
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Old September 10, 2009, 10:13 AM   #29
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Steel is the only way to go. It even looks better.
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Old September 10, 2009, 04:34 PM   #30
CraigC
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Brass church bells had a high bronze content
FYI, it's either or, not both. Both are alloys whose principal metal is copper. The Bronze Age was a direct result of the discovery and prolific use of copper in tools, weapons and jewelry. It was eventually alloyed with tin to produce bronze. A much superior metal for use in weapons and tools. Found later to be viable for use in cannons.

Brass is copper and zinc.
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Old September 11, 2009, 09:26 AM   #31
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The C.S. manufacturers used brass because they had to; the state of the Southern industry was not up to using cast or wrought iron.
The CSA made many iron and steel framed revolvers. Dance Bros, Leech & Rigdon, Tucker, even some of the Griswold's had iron frames. They were only limited by the materials on hand.

What impresses me is they continued to produce revolvers while they moved the factories as the Union troops advanced in to the South.
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Old September 13, 2009, 10:31 AM   #32
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Point vs Counter Point

I'm new to Black Powder, and I'm getting discouraged before I even start. I like the looks of the replicas, and the history behind them. So, I bought 4 of them in the last 18 months or so.

I have 2 new Pietta revolvers, an 1861 Colt, .36 steel frame, and an 1858 Remington police, .36, with a steel frame.

In addition, I have an unfired 1860 Colt Signature Series, .44, with the fluted barrel. Also, I have a well used 1851 Confederate, with the brass frame, I don't know who made it, but it's about 40 years old.

I was enthusiastic when I bought these guns, but now I'm not so sure. People on various forums claim that the steel used in the replicas is "soft", and the guns are poor quality, and won't hold up to ordinary use. I even see my Colt Signature series bad mouthed for poor quality.

Well, if the people owning these type of guns are dissatisfied, then what is the point in owning any of them, and how do the dealers get $300.00, give or take a few dollars, for them from us?
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Old September 13, 2009, 10:35 AM   #33
Hawg
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People on various forums claim that the steel used in the replicas is "soft", and the guns are poor quality, and won't hold up to ordinary use. I even see my Colt Signature series bad mouthed for poor quality.

Don't listen to them. They know not of what they speak. The only one you have to go easy on is the brass frame.
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Old September 13, 2009, 06:19 PM   #34
pvt.Long
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for live shooting i would use steel and for reenacting i would use brass.
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Old September 13, 2009, 06:39 PM   #35
greensteelforge
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Brass serves the same purpose now that it did at the time it was used in the originals. Expediency, and cost are fine reasons for choosing brass in a black powder weapon, but not in any way the equal of good iron or steel. Any gun made of brass will wear and stretch more rapidly, and make catastrophic structural failure more of a possibility. Aesthetically, it's a personal choice. As a hobby machinist, and trained blacksmith, I find the argument that brass frame revolvers could possibly match steel for structural integrity, and maintaining tight tolerances through repeated mechanical stress, explosive shock, and abrasion an irresponsible attempt to justify what has always been an economical choice. Brass requires allot of effort to keep looking good, it will corrode quickly from a wide variety of sources and is hard to seal on working surfaces. The point is, that there really is no debate to be had as to the superiority of brass or steel. Steel is superior in every aspect with the exception of machinability (brass is far softer, and therefore easier to work). Enjoy shooting those brass guns, but treat them as what they are; a weaker, cheaper gun that will need to be checked periodically for indications of work hardening, and cracking, as well as stretching beyond normal tolerances.
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Old September 13, 2009, 09:23 PM   #36
4V50 Gary
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Regarding soft steel, I'm given to believe that the Italian replicas of the '70s were of dubious quality, and I recall a friend's gun whose steel frame cracked, there's been some improvement. Since I don't own any replica revolvers (I get my jollys with the Ruger Old Army), let's hear from the steel frame owners on this.
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Old September 13, 2009, 09:56 PM   #37
Hawg
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I've got a steel frame 58 that was made in 69 and it's literally been through hell and high water and it's still a fine shooter. I've had several other steel frame guns with nary a problem and I don't shoot wussy loads.
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Old September 13, 2009, 11:59 PM   #38
pvt.Long
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steel colt army 1860 and 1845 2nd dragoon. brass looks good but its much softer material and will warp overtime and brass is a whole lot cheaper is bad enough to have a copy of a copy of a bad orginal but i dont think they got the brass compounds correct. They are a weaker gun then the steel. The modern steel is good quality ive only had springs crap out on me not the frames cylenders or barels.
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Old September 14, 2009, 07:21 AM   #39
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People on various forums claim that the steel used in the replicas is "soft", and the guns are poor quality, and won't hold up to ordinary use.
You need start with the assumption that any cap and ball revolver you buy is a uncompleted kit and may or may not need addition fitting. It's important to have a tight barrel gap and on the open tops, a good arbor to barrel fit. If you fire these revolvers with loose parts you beat the heck out of them.

Brass frames can not take the same load levels as the steel frames, use light to moderate loads and you should not have any problems. There are members here you have brassers that are eligible for senior citizen discounts and are still fine.

There have been problems with "soft parts" wearing out, hands, sears, even hammers, but that is pretty much a thing of the past, and is fixable. I have machined many different brands and they are all mild steel and mild steel is more than adequate for black powder. One exception is the Belgian Colts, they use a very hard steel.

Quote:
I even see my Colt Signature series bad mouthed for poor quality.
Some people would bitch if they were hung with a new rope.
While it's possible for any manufacture to have a gun get past quality control that should not have, it rarely happens with the 2nd and 3rd gen Colts. The 3rd gens used the same part suppliers and in most cases the same workers as the 2nd gens. There are two major differences between 2nd and 3rd gens, the bluing and that ugly signature on the back strap.
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Old September 14, 2009, 08:39 AM   #40
CraigC
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Both my Pietta 1860's are soft, or at least their cylinders are. Both exhibit "smearing" at the bolt notch leedes and both are no more than three or four years old. Neither have seen more than a fraction of the "action" that my cartridge guns have.
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Old September 14, 2009, 11:17 AM   #41
madcratebuilder
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[QUOTE]Both my Pietta 1860's are soft, or at least their cylinders are. Both exhibit "smearing" at the bolt notch leedes and both are no more than three or four years old. Neither have seen more than a fraction of the "action" that my cartridge guns have.[/QUOTE

Peening of the cylinder notches is a known issue and can be addresses with proper fitting and timing of the bolt. Some times the bolt spring is has much more tension than it needs. The common fix is the back the bolt spring screw off a turn or two.

This may help.
http://www.theopenrange.net/articles...a_Part_One.pdf
http://www.theopenrange.net/articles...a_Part_Two.pdf
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Old December 18, 2010, 08:42 AM   #42
Estonian
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Italian brass

Hi,
have an Italian Colt Navy brass frame copy. Has a stamp C.O.M. underneath the barrel. Does anyone nhave a clue who made it?
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Old December 18, 2010, 10:44 AM   #43
Hawg
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Hi,
have an Italian Colt Navy brass frame copy. Has a stamp C.O.M. underneath the barrel. Does anyone nhave a clue who made it?
Here we go again. Good luck on your quest. There's plenty here would like to know the answer to that.
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Old December 18, 2010, 10:53 AM   #44
shafter
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I think a brass one would look nice in a display case or hanging on the wall
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Old December 18, 2010, 11:10 AM   #45
Doc Hoy
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C.O.M.

Contrini Officine Meccaniche
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Old December 18, 2010, 01:07 PM   #46
Hawg
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Contrini Officine Meccaniche
Guess I'm behind the times.
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Old December 19, 2010, 12:02 PM   #47
crgator
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I own brass, and really like it's look. I would probably say, though, that I prefer steel, just so I don't have to worry about the brass limitation. (I just couldn't pass on the $129 price, which is why I have brass.

So, although I own brass, I voted steel.
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Old December 19, 2010, 02:56 PM   #48
zippy13
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I just couldn't pass on the $129 price, which is why I have brass.
Ah… an honest man who speaks an often overlooked truth.
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