View Full Version : Old Timers

H.W. French
February 4, 2009, 01:28 PM
This came about while drooling over a friends Colt Bisley (circa 1904, I think) that regularly gets play. I know there's more than one of you CAS guys and others who enjoy pulling out their classics and giving them a rip every now and then. My question: Is there any one out there that has an original cap and ball that still gets dusted off every once in a while? If so how do they compare to the reproductions. Just trying to get an idea if there are any shooters that go back that far. Heck, let's go ahead and include the shell shuckers as well. If it's an oldie but a goodie, I'd like to hear about it.

February 4, 2009, 03:11 PM
I have three originals that I have fired (once each) and plan to fire some more when the weather breaks.
I have a Savage & North .36 Navy that I took out once. I wish someone would make a repro of this gun because it is a great shooter, and interesting, too.
I have an original Whitney .36 that also went out once. It's in great condition and not much different from a Remington .36 or my Spiller & Burr repro. There are repro Whitneys out there but I've never fired one.
I also have a Belgian rifle that was made in 1859, then in 1868, when these rifles were being converted to cartridge guns, the barrel on mine was swapped with one from an 1841 rifle. The rifling was bored out to make it a smoothbore/shotgun. I fired it once and plan to make it a regular shooter this spring.
Someday, an original Colt.

Here's the Whitney being fired:

February 4, 2009, 03:25 PM
I had an 1858 Remington and a couple of pocket pistols. Pockets weren't much fun. 58 was pretty rough externally but a good shooter. Shooting it was about the same as shooting a modern repro. I have a .577 Enfield dated 1861 and a repro. No comparison. The repro is a damn fine shooter but nothing compared to the original. I don't shoot the original very often and never have at long range but at close range it's all over the repro.

February 4, 2009, 06:27 PM
I'll tell you a little about this Colt of mine built in 1863. I shoot it as much as I can, which is never often enough:o It may not be the prettiest Colt 1860 you've seen, but it shoots great at 25 meters st the usual precision target we use. Think I've gotten 4-5-6 inchers with this onehanded. Plus the balance of the 1860 is great. I know some people don't shoot their originals, but I think that as long they aren't in pristine condition, why NOT? I take it apart fully after every 2nd session or so. Shoot about 30 gr Pyrodex RS under a .457 ball + a 1075 RWS cap. Works great, never misfires.

I first started in 1999 shooting modern weapons, and last year I got into BP shooting. No need to say which one I'd choose if I had to. Great fun :D

// Daniel.

H.W. French
February 6, 2009, 10:34 AM
Thanks for your input, fellas. Gives me hope of one day puttin my hands on such a thing.

February 6, 2009, 01:42 PM
It's a shame these fine old weapons are so expensive as originals. If we didn't have to have a license for the repros I would get those instead maybe. But the originals have what I'd like to call ''spirit'' .

Just picked up an original R&S today, seems like a good weapon.

// Daniel.

February 6, 2009, 07:37 PM
Ive got a original 1860 Colt and holster that has been handed down through my familly since the war between the states.Belonged to my great,great,great grandfather who carried it throughout 3 years of service in the 48th Tennessee.My great great grandfather later carried it as a constable.So the revolver and holster has seen alot of use and shows it.The holster is getting a bit brittle so I dont handle it too much anymore.Darn cool thing to look at and think about its history.
The revolver would probably still fire just fine,I just feel it has too much history to risk it.
As far as how does the replicas compare to the original...I'd say they are pretty darn close overall.Strip the blue off and ding the grips a little and it would fool any average person.But IMHO the quality of the replicas is somewhat lower than the original especially with materials and fine fit of the parts.The orginal also has much harder steel than what I see in the easy to ding replicas....believe it or not.

4V50 Gary
February 6, 2009, 08:27 PM
Blankwaffe - join Footnotes.com and get your 48th Tenn relative's service record from it. It's cheaper than writing the National Archives for a copy. Also check to see if he has a pension from Tenn. Keep those papers with the gun.

February 6, 2009, 11:51 PM
4V50 Gary,
Yeah I had all that research done with the familly tree a few years ago.
Got service and payment vouchers,federal military prison records in Louisville and Ohio,oath of release from Camp Chase in May 1865.He started out in the 1st Tennessee and ended up consolidated in the 48th along with his brother and cousins.Kinda hard to nail down exactly what company,where and how long in each due to the amount of consolidation related to losses in the companies.
The 1860 Colt and other affects were sent home with the others before surrender/capture outside of Nashville following the Battle of Franklin.
Darn interesting stuff to me anyway.