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Old January 25, 2010, 08:07 PM   #1
Darkyle6
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1851 navy brass vs 1860 army steel

So I want to get into shooting black powder revolvers and Cabela's has a couple on sale that I'm interested in. Do I get the brass framed 1851 navy for $120 or do I spend the extra money and get the steel framed 1860 Army for $190
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Old January 25, 2010, 08:26 PM   #2
Hawg
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Steel 1860, you'll be glad you did.
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Old January 25, 2010, 08:44 PM   #3
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One of each!
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Old January 25, 2010, 08:51 PM   #4
SigP6Carry
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I'd suggest spending the extra money on the Army. I personally have the brass navy (in .44, which actually an Army, so I guess it's technically going to be called a Brass Framed 1851 Army... maybe?). It was actually a hand me down from my grandfather, so I didn't have much choice, but my next BP is either going to be the 1860 or an 1858.

The steel frame, especially in the open top design, is going to be a more durable gun and hold up to heavier loads longer than the brass frame will. It will also be more historically accurate, as the 1860 was a .44 Army revolver.

I used to prefer to looks of the 1851, but the looks of the 1860 are growing on me. I used to hate the weird "rounded, amorphous look," but now I've grown to appreciate the curves and lines of the 1860 Army.

The grip on the 1860 is slightly different from that of the 1851. I prefer the 1851 grip, myself, and it is actually more similar to what you'll find on an 1873 than the grips on the 1860. I've heard that the Pietta (the Brass Frame 1851 .44) grip isn't accurate, either. So, you might want to take that into account, too.

There's a lot to weigh out, but it really comes down to: what do you want?
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Old January 26, 2010, 06:16 AM   #5
mykeal
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If you want a .44, get the 1860 Army.

The 1851 Navy is a great gun, but to fully appreciate it, you need the .36 cal, as it was designed. Sam was a terrible businessman but a genius gun designer.

Beyond that, nobody can possibly predict what gun is best for you; a gun is very much like a woman - only you know what 'floats your boat'.
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Old January 26, 2010, 09:58 AM   #6
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Just depends whether you want a .36 or .44. Brass framed .36's will hold up just fine.

(I refuse to even acknowledge a ".44 cal 1851")
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Old January 26, 2010, 01:09 PM   #7
ClemBert
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Brass looks pretty and to have a complete collection of BP firearms you'd want some CSA style brassers but for your first BP firearm go for steel. I think you are going to want to top it off with GOEX from time to time without worrying about stretching the brass of that 1851. JMHO.
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Old January 26, 2010, 04:43 PM   #8
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I wouldn't worry about the brass stretching. BP revolvers are cheap enough to replace if necessary.
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Old January 26, 2010, 06:41 PM   #9
Darkyle6
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thanks for the input guys, I think I'm going to go for the 1860 army
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Old January 26, 2010, 07:54 PM   #10
Fingers McGee
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Quote:
thanks for the input guys, I think I'm going to go for the 1860 army
You might as well get two while you're at it. Once you try one out, one isn't enough.

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Old January 27, 2010, 12:38 PM   #11
SigP6Carry
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Quote:
(I refuse to even acknowledge a ".44 cal 1851")
my, aren't we high and mighty....

In anycase, getting a pair isn't necessary, but if you do get a pair: you can start doing CAS all the faster. You'll just be short a rifle and shotgun.
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Old January 27, 2010, 12:49 PM   #12
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I'm into authenticity, and a .44 cal 1851 Navy never existed.
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Old January 27, 2010, 12:52 PM   #13
SigP6Carry
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nor did .357 1873s or .38special 1893s, but people find them perfectly acceptable at CAS matches.

Refusing to believe that a gun I own exists because it's not "authentic" to the source material is pretty harsh.

edit: also, I believe Pietta, the company that makes the Brass Framed 1851 .44 calls it something like "1851 Confederacy Navy .44" which doesn't work because a Navy is in .36 and an Army is .44. But... they're the company MAKING THEM so they can call them whatever they want.

Darkyle, make sure to let us know how it shoots and ask us if you have any questions regarding proper use and the likes.
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Old January 27, 2010, 12:57 PM   #14
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Shoot what you like, but your argument cannot possibly convince me to use such guns in a match.
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Old January 27, 2010, 01:01 PM   #15
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So, I have a question about authenticity then.... how was the caliber of the .36 Navy or the .44 Army measured originally? I was surprised to learn when I bought my .44 caliber "Navy" Pietta repro that Europe measures caliber from land to land in the barrel so it shoots a .451 to .454 ball. On the American continent, caliber is measured from groove to groove so a .44 caliber would shoot like a .441 to .444 ball?

So, what was the measurement of the original? For those interested in true authenticity, wouldn't that make a difference?

Last edited by NavyLT; January 27, 2010 at 01:07 PM.
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Old January 27, 2010, 01:21 PM   #16
Jbar4Ranch
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If I'm not mistaken, the caliber, .36, was the caliber of the barrel before it was rifled...?

Whatever that would have to do with me ever shooting a ".44 cal 1851 Navy".
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Old January 27, 2010, 01:22 PM   #17
SigP6Carry
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(beaten to it!) Actually, I believe the .451-.454 in the .44's is accurate historically and the .36's fire .375-.38 or so and are accurate.

Edit, what NavyLT was asking was:
how accurate are modern reproductions, truly? Are the odd barrel sizes accurate, historically? If not, then you can't really nix any of the guns for firing an incorrect caliber.

I believe he was thinking that the .36 C&B was actually around .357 and the .44 was around .441 instead of the .375 and .454 that they in fact are.

Jbar, here's my issue here: you're essentially telling anyone that owns that certain gun that you don't respect their gun, thereby insinuating that we made a bad choice and that you don't respect those of us that actually own the Pietta in .44. Pretty rude to myself and countless others who own the gun.
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Old January 27, 2010, 02:26 PM   #18
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To NavyLT

Doesn't it bother you when you read of a revolver being referred to as a "gun"?!

(Navy Warrant)

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Old January 27, 2010, 02:32 PM   #19
NavyLT
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HAHA! Well, I was on submarines when enlisted.

On BOATS, we didn't have GUNS, we had TORPEDOES!
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Old January 27, 2010, 02:41 PM   #20
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Yup!

Chuckle + 1
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Old January 27, 2010, 03:18 PM   #21
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It's all good - us surface Navy guys know that you call it a ship when it can carry a boat

(Navy E6)

Oh yeah...get the steel-framed .44. It's a hoot - and although I have never personally seen a brass-framed revolver wear out, the price difference isn't so much that it isn't worth the extra for the steel.

Let's see...isn't...isn't...two negatives equals a positive, so...yeah, I think that's what I mean. I think...
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Old January 27, 2010, 07:34 PM   #22
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I'm with Jbar on this one.
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Old January 27, 2010, 07:42 PM   #23
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I trend to agree with Jbar two . Uh-Oh........... does that mean I have to get rid of my .44 caliber, 5 inch octagonal barreled, navy gripped, engraved Army revolvers . Mayhaps I should rethink this

FM
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Old January 28, 2010, 06:30 AM   #24
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Fingers

What's in a name?
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Old January 28, 2010, 08:36 AM   #25
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Several letters and maybe a punctuation mark or two.
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