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Old August 22, 2011, 08:30 AM   #1
Skans
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Remington 1858 - authenticity question

I'm trying to do some research to find out if a particular Remington 1858 percussion revolver is authentic, partially authentic or a good fake. I am familiar with all of the modern 1858 made revolvers - we aren't talking about one of those. Is there any book or website out there that can discusses the various markings on an 1858 (actually 1862 44 percussion)?

I have one 1858 .44 that I know is absolutely authentic, except for the cylinder pin (reproduction) and the cylinder pin screw. I have compared it to the 1858 in question and there are some very slight differences - too slight to even describe in a general way. The gun is in very nice condition, mostly has a brown patina, but has a little bluing or possibly case hardening on parts of the frame. I've never seen this on an 1858....but, then again, I've never seen any really nice examples of Remington 1858 percussion revolvers.

I will try to get some pictures to post, but for now don't have any.
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Old August 22, 2011, 09:40 AM   #2
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There's three different models of the 58. The beals, a transition model and the 63 New Model Army. The Navies follow the same pattern with a couple of minor differences. This mostly is about the Navies but it should tell you what you need to know.

http://armscollectors.com/mgs/an_arm...avies_pt_3.htm
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Old August 22, 2011, 01:57 PM   #3
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On the parts and most of the features, the repros are good, and it can be difficult to tell the difference except that a repro may "look too good to be true." But people who fake guns know that and make sure the gun doesn't look too good.

If bluing is present, it should be a hard black blue, not a typical modern tank blue. The Remingtons had the same finish as Colts, so anyone familiar with any of the revolvers of that period will know what I mean.

Check the fonts of the numbers. This is where a lot of parts guns are detected; the replaced part is numbered in a different font or in a different way than the original parts. Look at the rifling. Most repros have a different rifling than the originals, especially Colts.

Look at the wood. Wood that is too good for the condition of the gun or, conversely, wood that is badly worn on a gun with a nice finish should raise suspicions.

The only case-hardened part on Remingtons was the hammer; the rest of the gun was blued.

HTH

Jim
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Old August 22, 2011, 02:45 PM   #4
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James, thanks for that information. I'm going to try to take pictures, post them and see what folks think.
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Old August 22, 2011, 11:00 PM   #5
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Jim, I don't know if it's true or not but I read somewhere(can't remember where)that some of the later ones were color case hardened.
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Old August 23, 2011, 11:41 AM   #6
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Could be, Hawg. I have never seen anything but blued (other than hammers) but there is always something new to learn. I pity future collectors trying to sort out all the repros and sort-of repros (brass frame Navys in .44 caliber!!) on the market from the originals. I saw an "1851 Navy" a while back on another site; it was a Navy Arms repro with fake barrel markings. Not bad, but wrong font, not quite even, and wrong by some other checks as well. Not surprisingly, some of the folks thought it was good, and I got the usual beating about the ears, something I am immune to by now.

The owner had paid big bucks for his "near mint antique", so of course he informed me that he was an "expert" and that I was wrong. (I wasn't.)

Jim
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Old August 23, 2011, 12:19 PM   #7
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Think I saw that one too. I thought it was real at first but was in awfully good shape for a real one. That's what made me question it
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Old August 23, 2011, 03:57 PM   #8
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Another thing to look at on Colts is the serial number marking on the barrel, frame and trigger guard. They actually held the number stamps between thumb and forefinger to stamp the guns, and the numbers curve just as you would expect. If the numbers are too straight, or curve the wrong way, that is cause for closer scrutiny.

Jim
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Old August 23, 2011, 05:01 PM   #9
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Does anyone know what the letter stamp, on the left side of the frame, just under the bottom of the hammer (for example "M") designates?
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Old August 23, 2011, 11:47 PM   #10
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Inspectors stamp. There should be one on all major parts.
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Old August 27, 2011, 10:15 AM   #11
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Here are some pictures of the gun that I'm wondering about authenticity. For reference, In a couple of the pictures, I've also included pictures of parts from my Remington 1858, which is mostly all original except for the cylinder pin and a couple of the screws.

Frame picture:


Grip picture:



Underside of barrel:


Top of barrel:


Frame with cylinder removed:


A little bit about this next picture: cylinder on left is from gun in question. Cylinder in middle is a cylinder that I purchased for my 1858 sight unseen, but represented as being authentic Remington - however, I think it's a reproduction. The cylinder on the right is from my 1858. The gun on top of the cylinders is the gun in question.



Tops of cylinders: Left is from my 1858; middle is from gun in question; Right is the one that was represented as "authentic" but looks too new to be authentic and I believe is a reproduction.

I have other pictures, but figured I'd start with these.

Last edited by Skans; August 27, 2011 at 10:25 AM.
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Old August 27, 2011, 10:21 AM   #12
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Some additional pictures:

Tops of the 3 cylinders: Left is from my 1858; middle is from gun in question; right is from cylinder that was represented as authentic, but looks too new to me to be authentic.



Underside of both guns - one on bottom is mine (looks like screw might have been replaced); one on top is the one in question.


Last edited by Skans; August 27, 2011 at 10:30 AM.
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Old August 27, 2011, 01:36 PM   #13
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The top and bottom barrel pics don't look like the same barrel. There should be inspectors stamps on the barrel, frame, cylinder, loading lever and trigger guard. The webbing between the chambers looks too big but these guns underwent several changes between 61 and 63 so that may be the reason for it but I seriously doubt it. I'd like to see a good clear closeup of the right side of the frame. Honestly, I think it's a fake.
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Old August 29, 2011, 08:45 AM   #14
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Quote:
The webbing between the chambers looks too big but these guns underwent several changes between 61 and 63 so that may be the reason for it but I seriously doubt it. I'd like to see a good clear closeup of the right side of the frame. Honestly, I think it's a fake.
That was my thought - I'll see if I can get a photo of the right side of the frame and post it. Even if the loading lever and cylinder are late productions, the real question is the frame. Do the modern 1858's have serial numbers on the frames? If so, where would you typically find them?
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Old August 29, 2011, 03:23 PM   #15
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If you identified the cylinders correctly, there is no way that cylinder is original to the pictured frame. The frame shows wear and use, and there is almost no wear on the cylinder ratchet (compare with the one you say is from an authentic 1858). The nipples are brand new, of the modern style. The honest replacement of nipples for shooting is one thing, but those don't look like caps were ever put on them. And of course, new nipples indicate someone has worked on that gun.

Further, we have a cylinder with considerable rust on the sides but no corrosion or rust around the nipples, or around the chambers in the front. That can only happen if a new cylinder was artificially rusted, then installed. So at the very least, we have a new cylinder, with new nipples, installed and aged to look old, a sure sign of a fake.

The chamber wall dimensions are greater in the questionable cylinder than in the authentic one; that might mean only wear on the old cylinder, but check the chamber dimensions and the cylinder diameters. It might be educational to pull the nipples from a couple of chambers and look down the barrel while shining a light through the rear of the frame. I think the chambers might not line up with the barrel in the vertical direction.

Note also the hammer and trigger screws, which are modern replacements.

So, here, FWIW, is my take. An original frame and barrel, cleaned, filed to remove pits and rust, then cold blued. Maybe original parts, also cleaned, some replaced with aged parts. A cylinder too bad to fix, so replaced with a repro cylinder, also aged.

Jim
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Old August 29, 2011, 05:47 PM   #16
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Do the modern 1858's have serial numbers on the frames? If so, where would you typically find them?

They have one on the butt. My thinking is that repros have proof marks and date codes on the right side of the frame. If these are removed it usually shows as a shallow spot. Sometimes they try to hide them with pits or dings.
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Old August 29, 2011, 10:22 PM   #17
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"... sometimes they try to hide them (signs of removal) with pits or dings."

Or sometimes not. I recall a "genuine, original, Leech and Rigdon", at an auction, complete with Civil War documents showing ownership by a CS officer. It had "BLACK POWDER ONLY" on the frame. I guess Gorgas was ahead of his time.

Jim
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