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Old May 18, 2011, 01:42 AM   #1
marksman8351
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My Free Gun. What is it

I was told it was a .36 cal and FIE thats all i got so far anyone know what type of gun this is lol or who makes it? I had a hundred bucks in store credit for an old broken rifle i traded in and figured i was worth the 50 bucks i paid for it. The store didnt really know much about it they really only sell evil black guns







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Old May 18, 2011, 02:01 AM   #2
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any information is nice like atleast what is the frame type or style any info would help
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Old May 18, 2011, 02:09 AM   #3
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A more or less copy of a Colt 1851 Navy. I'm rusty on my proofmarks but it was obviously from one of the Italian makers.
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Old May 18, 2011, 02:35 AM   #4
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thanks i guess i really cant complain for what i paid which was pretty much nothing
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Old May 18, 2011, 03:48 AM   #5
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It's a brass frame clone of a Colt 51 Navy. It was made in 1971 and imported by FIE but I'm not familiar with the manufacturers logo.
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Old May 18, 2011, 08:21 AM   #6
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Good answers. It is one of many similar that have been imported by the boat load for over forty years. Not a quality piece. But, it can be a fun shooter or wall hanger.
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Old May 18, 2011, 09:30 AM   #7
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Looks like a Brecia proof mark to me, but I'm not expert.
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Old May 18, 2011, 09:42 AM   #8
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For $50 that's a nice looking brassy. The proof mark of XX7 is as stated above 1971 so it's been around a while.

Take her out and give her some excercise, I think you'll really enjoy it. When the times comes, you will undoubtedly get your money back out of it.
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Old May 18, 2011, 10:00 AM   #9
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The Italian gunsmithing outfit that built that revolver is probably on the following list of registered Italian gunsmiths 1945-1980.
However, someone would need to be able to associate the maker's mark with a specific name or else it would only be a guess based on the maker's initials and/or a hunch.
The importer might know the maker if it were still in business or an employee who worked for them.
And some folks in Italy may be familiar with maker's marks but there isn't any known reference to definitively match the marks up with.
Even if we could identify the gunsmith, that still wouldn't identify who made the parts. They may have been purchased already in completed form from one of the major manufacturers and then simply assembled and fine tuned like a kit gun would be.
Or the guns could have been purchased already assembled and then simply marked by the Italian exporter.
No one really knows because there doesn't seem to be any written records that are available to the public, only the list of registered Italian gunsmiths who were apparently licensed to build guns, and the year of registration for some of them.

http://www.earmi.it/armi/database/armieri.htm

http://www.powderhombre.com/mbpproofmarks.pdf

Last edited by arcticap; May 19, 2011 at 01:11 AM.
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Old May 18, 2011, 11:50 AM   #10
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thanks everyone i figured it would be a lost cause to find the makers but as i said this was pretty much free so i figured why not
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Old May 18, 2011, 12:06 PM   #11
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FWIW Colt never made a brass frame revolver. The Confederacy made several brass frames in .36 so basically you have a clone of a Schneider and Glassic.
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Old May 18, 2011, 02:18 PM   #12
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MM8351

I have an FIE very much similar to your revolver. I am at work and it is at the house, but when I gets home I will double check the pistol for date. The fit and finish on mine is similar to yours.
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Old May 18, 2011, 04:29 PM   #13
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thanks doc and everyone else for the info i was shooting it this morning with minimal loads ive been using 777 but im looking for some black powder so i can really make a smokey mess
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Old May 18, 2011, 11:10 PM   #14
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Marksman,
Be careful with that 777 as you can overload it and shoot it loose. If overloaded, the cylinder pin gets pulled out of the soft brass frame and you get a large cylinder gap or the cylinder migrates forward and you don't get reliable ignition. I wouldn't use more than a 15gr BP spout with the 777 in it. In my brasser 44 Navy I do not shoot over 20grs BP in it so it will last.
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Old May 19, 2011, 06:59 AM   #15
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Italian FIE Wall Hanger



As Hellgate aptly explained don't over load it. I have an FIE and an Armi San Paolo brassie replicas of an 1851 Colt Navy. They were on duty as wall hangers until last year up in Ohio. I bought them dirt cheap, cleaned them up and they have been sitting around in the safe ever since.

No range trip planned for them. They just aren't that well made. They may just wind up on the wall again.
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Old May 19, 2011, 07:53 AM   #16
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FIE was a Florida based importer, they specialized in low cost entry level revolvers. Most are pretty rough out of the box but can be cleaned up and made to be OK shooters. With the brass frame keep the powder charge under 18grs and you should be fine.
This would be a good base for a defarb to a Confederate Colt clone like the Leech & Rigdon, Griswold & Gunnison or Schneider & Glassick.
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Old May 19, 2011, 07:59 AM   #17
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Ummm Leech & Rigdon was a steel frame and Griswold & Gunnison was a round barrel.
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Old May 19, 2011, 12:00 PM   #18
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Maker was GB; whoever that was. Thus far, no one has been able to positively identify who or what GB was. I've got a pair of FIE imported GB '51 Navies, one with a bad hammer and trigger. Uberti, Euroarms, ASP, ASM, and Pietta parts do not fit it. My only recourse is to find a $50 brasser like yours to use for repair parts. I'll give you $75 for yours.
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Old May 19, 2011, 03:03 PM   #19
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Again, I'm not an expert, but I'll pass on the stuff I've heard.

I've heard that some of FIE's guns were made by Tanfoglio. Tanfoglio is located in the Gardone and Brescia area of Italy.....sound like a link to the "GB?"

I do know that one of the pics shows a proof mark for a Gardone & Brescia blackpowder gun.

Maybe, since there are several manufacturers in that particular region (or so I've heard), they each produced some (either complete guns or parts which were assembled at another shop) and they combined to "create" the GB gun?

I don't know.....just some thought.

Oh, and Fingers, I did some internet hunting to try to firm up the stuff I found, and although I didn't confirm or deny any of it, I did see a reference which stated that Numrich carried FIE parts.....FWIW.
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Old May 19, 2011, 03:56 PM   #20
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Quote:
I did see a reference which stated that Numrich carried FIE parts....
I know they carry parts for some cartridge guns imported by FIE.
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Old May 19, 2011, 07:02 PM   #21
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Numrich doesn't carry parts for repro C&Bs imported by FIE. The FIE parts are for cartridge guns and shotguns that were made by Tanfoglio and others.

Gardone & Brescia is the location in Italy where repros are made; not a manufacturer. Armi San Marco, Pietta, Uberti, Berretta, and other manufacturers are/were all located in that same area.
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Old May 20, 2011, 04:29 AM   #22
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Some additional blurb....

....Mine has the date code AD for 78 and is marked PR.

Other than that it is exactly like yours but not in as good condition.
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Old May 20, 2011, 10:18 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fingers McGee
Gardone & Brescia is the location in Italy where repros are made; not a manufacturer.
Yeah, I knew it was a "place" and not a "thing." What I didn't realize is that that all of those manufacturers you listed were in that same area. I knew Baretta was and Tanfoglio, but not the rest of those. Kinda crowded....
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