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Old February 20, 2013, 08:35 PM   #1
parsley.farm
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period correct "brass"

Which original manufacturers actually made "brass" frame revolvers?

I've read that it was not brass at all, that it was 'gun-metal'. Was 'gun-metal' shiny when it was new? or did it look similar to what these old guns look like today?

Is the "brass" used in making modern replicas actually brass, and why don't they make them from 'gun-metal' today?

Also, was the Henry rifle made with the same 'gun-metal'?

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Old February 20, 2013, 08:54 PM   #2
4V50 Gary
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It was during the Civil War when some Confederate manufacturers resorted to making gunframes out of brass.

The only Union brass frame guns I am aware of is the Henry Rifle and the Gatling gun.
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Old February 20, 2013, 09:53 PM   #3
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None of the major manufacturers made brass frames. Nobody made a brass frame .44. Most Confederate revolvers were brass or rather as you stated gunmetal which was often called red brass. It was a bronze alloy that was heavy on copper. Some of the Confederate guns may well have been made from pure brass but the majority were gunmetal or wrought iron. Modern repros use brass which isn't as strong as red brass. I believe an original .36 revolver made from red brass would hold up to heavy loads but a .44 wouldn't which is why I believe nobody made a brass .44, they knew they wouldn't hold up to heavy loads. Modern .36 repros won't hold up to heavy loads. I think modern manufacturers use brass because its cheaper. AFAIK the Henry did use a brass receiver.
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Old February 20, 2013, 10:29 PM   #4
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I should add that most Civil War Henrys were brass frame. There were a handful of iron frame ones too.
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Old February 21, 2013, 12:06 PM   #5
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so with the 1860 henerys...which is actually "stronger" and will last longer? the brass or the "early" type Iron framed? (which I believe on the new reproductions isn't really iron is it? Or does it even really make a difference between the two?
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Old February 21, 2013, 06:26 PM   #6
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I don't think it will make any difference on the new guns but the steel frame would be lighter.
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Old February 22, 2013, 05:16 AM   #7
parsley.farm
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1860/1866

So what you are saying is...the steel frame reproduction 1860 Henry will be lighter than the iron frame original 1860...and both of these will be stronger than the 1866 "brass" framed Yellowboy?

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Old February 22, 2013, 05:28 AM   #8
parsley.farm
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Real/Fantasy

So the original/real Spiller & Burr was a "brass" framed copy of the Eli Whitney iron? framed revolver??? Was there ever an iron?steel? framed Spiller & Burr? Was the Eli Whitney revolver available in Army(.44) and Navy(.36) calibers?

So the original/real Griswold & Gunnison was a "brass" framed "copy" of the Colt 1851 Navy (all except for the round barrel on the Griswold?) Was there ever an iron?/steel? framed Griswold?

I've read a number of "internet experts" that seem to say there are "exact" copies of the Colt 1851 and the Remington New Model (1858) that were made in the South of "Brass". I find no real/original examples of this? Is this just a bunch of hooey?

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Old February 22, 2013, 05:40 AM   #9
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I dunno if the modern steel frame Henry is lighter than the original iron or not. Steel is stronger than brass but with the pressures involved it won't make any difference. The toggles in the action will give out before the frame does.
Whitneys were all .36, no iron frame S&B's, no iron frame G&G's. Schneider & Glassick made a 51 copy in brass but there's only three known and one of them is iron. No brass Remington copies.
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