View Full Version : FIE black powder pistol

August 22, 2010, 01:28 PM
My husband and I got our first black powder pistol FIE made in Italy patent n L4182 is all the info on the gun. Does anyone know any history or where I can search the serial number?

August 22, 2010, 01:39 PM

August 22, 2010, 01:42 PM
FIE is not the maker that stands for Firearms Import Export. There should be other markings on the gun that will indicate the maker also there will be a square box on the frame with two letters in it. Those are the proof codes and will indicate the date of manufacture.

August 22, 2010, 10:38 PM
FIE's imports are often found to not have the usual Italian maker's marks or proof date marks. I think it will be unusual if her gun has them.

The patent number is a reproduction of Colt's original patent marking, so it provides no information as to the gun's heredity.

August 22, 2010, 10:49 PM
Yes, I think that we've been down this path with FIE-marked guns - somebody was trying to track down manufacturers a while back and I believe that we discovered that there wasn't much information to be found.

Try a search on FIE and you should be able to come up with a thread or two on the subject.

August 22, 2010, 11:39 PM
Hmmm! You learn something new every day. I wasn't aware of the lack of markings on FIE products. Makes me wonder if they are a case of having parts manufactured in Italy and shipped here for assembly that would explain the lack of proof marks and makers marks. I can't imagine an Italian gunmaking firm exporting complete firearms without proofing. The European countries seem to be pretty serious about those laws.
What do you guys think? Any speculation.

August 22, 2010, 11:41 PM

Look under the lever beneath the barrel. If it's a black powder revolver.

Doc Hoy
August 23, 2010, 02:30 AM
Welcome to the forum.

Could you post some photos of the pistol?

August 23, 2010, 03:10 AM
hi all
As you may remember, we did posted some thread about FIE and there are some info to read on the search board of the forum...
I remember that FIE is an old Importer of Italians replica manufacturer (but i don't know who is it or are they - I guess they are less 3 or 4) around 1970 to 1975 and provide some Colt model (1848, 1851) & Texas Remignton at this periode, specially for the U.S market consumer. Sometime, marks are not completly engraved on the revolver, but always the Italian proof are stamped. There are few models with barrel provided by specialist as Orion.
Many FIE revolver are stamped PR, and that may be mean : "Assuming that the marks are Italian, my guess is that PR may represent either "PATRO di Palama Roberto - Verdello 1976" or "Pierino Ruschetta" " or also a code to import gun with approuved test.
The FIE revolver are cheap and i guess these are not a realy fine replica as Uberti, Pietta, Euroarms, ASM, or Palmetto.
FIE was buy by EIG in early 1980 and become TITAN and didn't keep the C&B market, to provide only modern semi auto pistol.


Doc Hoy
August 23, 2010, 05:46 AM
These photos completely agree with Sebou's comments.



This is an 1851 Navy pattern in .44 cal brass frame. I have shot this pistol but not very much. I bought it at a gun show not working. It needed a trigger/bolt spring. A spring from DGW worked.

August 23, 2010, 06:30 AM
Denster: Just a clarification: I did not mean to imply that FIE guns did not have Italian proof house marks. It's the proof date code that is often, but not always, missing.

FIE was based in Florida and was only an importer. They specified no manufacturer's marks on the guns, a practice that was often followed by EMF in California and still is by other importers for special orders.

Doc Hoy
August 23, 2010, 07:16 AM

The only FIE that I own does not appear to have any serial numbers

They would have to be marked internally as I am able to see no SN on the pistol. Does this comport with your experience?

August 23, 2010, 01:08 PM
Doc, Yes it does, but frankly I wouldn't be surprised at any markings, or lack of markings, on any gun with the FIE brand. There doesn't seem to be any real 'rule' one can count on, except perhaps the lack of a manufacturer's logo.

Doc Hoy
August 23, 2010, 01:38 PM
I know that FIE does not have a great reputation for quality but the one I have is really not all that bad. Finish is pretty good. Action inspires confidense. Parts fit together. I thought that I had shot this thing a coupla times but now I can't say for sure. I know I have never had it apart which says to me that I have never shot it. Most of the time, if I shoot something I take it down to parade rest to clean it.

So I don't know how it shoots. Is the FIE negative reputation supported by you observations?

August 23, 2010, 07:09 PM
I have a brass framed Remington Navy with PR and FIE on the butt, along with the serial number 591 and a large G just above it and to the right. It also has made in Italy on the butt. It has the standard Italian proof marks and date code (AD). It has black powder only on one of the lower barrel flats but is stamped upside down. The gun is a good shooter but the hammer comes down solid on the nipples, enough that the hammer isn't fully down. The hammer also wont engage the safety notches(too wide). The rear sight groove is really wide and deep. I would post pics but my desktop died and my laptop isn't fast enough on dialup to upload pics.

August 23, 2010, 08:54 PM
I have a baby dragoon with the same FIE marks as on the butt in the picture above. Crappiest replica I have. All kinds of cosmetic birth defects. Shoots good though !!

August 24, 2010, 06:42 AM
Doc, The 3 FIE guns I've handled (I don't personally own one) were all used and not fine examples of the gunmaker's art. I'd say they were decent working guns, not barbecue guns. Very hard to say if they were originally nice guns that had been used hard or poor quality that had seen limited use, so I don't really have an opinion about the quality of the marque.

Doc Hoy
August 24, 2010, 09:10 AM

Mine is not great original quality but it is used very little.

I am going to examine it more closely but I would not characterise it the way that noelf presents his. I agree that I would not go out and look for another FIE so in that was it is at the very low end of my own pistols.

Nor does mine have the two hammer problems that Hawg mentioned.

Maybe if I would shoot it I would feel differently.

August 24, 2010, 08:38 PM
I've seen other FIEs that were much better finished than mine. I'm not trying to present them all as poorly finished. I had a problem with the wedge and the arbor a year or two ago, but managed to get that worked out. Even so, I still like it and have had it for 32 years (my first BP revolver). Popped rabbits with it when I was teenager.

Doc Hoy
August 25, 2010, 04:58 AM
Yes, I think our feelings on the issue are essentially the same. What I can say about mine is that it hasn't embarrassed me yet.;)

November 2, 2010, 01:37 PM
Does anyone know what size nipples for a 36 cal FIE Remington revolver?

November 3, 2010, 12:27 PM
Does anyone know what size nipples for a 36 cal FIE Remington revolver?

You can try to measure the dimensions yourself to try to match them up. Mykeal listed the common nipple sizes in the following post:


And if no one else can provide a definitive answer then you might try giving one of the following outfits a call.

Bloomquist Percussion Works is a very helpful & reputable outfit that makes custom nipples and offers them in "revolver nipple kits". They also have a toll free phone number: 1-800-337-1243

The Blomquist website is currently down but they invite phone inquiries and are willing to share their knowledge and experience:


Or ask these other pistol parts specialists:


For Army San Marco pistols: Deer Creek Products 765-525-6181

Doc Hoy
November 3, 2010, 01:10 PM
Welcome to the congregation, revwar. You came to the right place.

November 6, 2010, 09:14 AM
Here's some info on mine:

Brass frame
Squareback trigger guard
Serial number on frame and barrel
.31 cal.
Stagecoach robbery scene on cylinder filled in with gold paint
Barrel and cylinder look to be painted then lacquered over
Date code AC (1977)
5 5/8" barrel
Interlaced PR, FIE and Italy on butt
Proof marks on barrel and frame

Metal to metal fit on this is very good but a lot of sanding marks not polished out. Front sight crooked. As my wife would say "a little rough around the edges". It shoots well, doesn't misfire and is fairly accurate. Mechanically sound although the loading lever is fairly loose. I don't think it had ever been fired before.

Doc Hoy
November 6, 2010, 01:22 PM
You came to the right place.

Loose loading lever is not uncommon.

The fact that the metal was not properly finished before bluing is disappointing. It is a shortcut that was taken by some of the Italian manufacturers. I doubt that it saved that much time but it really makes the pistol look less than optimal.

November 6, 2010, 04:29 PM
Thanks for the welcome, Doc.
Am thinking about stripping the gun, polishing the metal and
browning it. Might look a bit better.

Doc Hoy
November 6, 2010, 07:30 PM
The choice of finish is a matter of personal preference.

As it happens I just came up from the shop where I was working on a barrel I will be putting a finish on. This barrel will be either blued or left white and polished. I have always been partial to white steel and have never seen a browned revolver that I truly admired.

But as I say, it is a very personal opinion.

If your barrel is as poorly finished as mine was, you have a distance to go. I made a jig to hold a barrel in the lathe and then used 100 grit paper to put a good cross hatch on the barrel just like you would do when honing a cylinder of an engine. (The barrel I am working on is from a Leech and Rigdon and therefore is mostly round so putting it in a lathe works.) If you hold the paper still it only makes the barrel worse.

The tool marks in the barrel I am working on are so deep that taking them off required cutting so deep with the paper that it made the barrel markings look bad. So I decided to defarb the barrel completely. I think I am about half finished.

November 7, 2010, 09:17 AM

That sounds like a good idea. I stripped my Spiller and Burr and left it in the white and really like the look of it.

Doc Hoy
November 7, 2010, 09:19 AM
I just posted photos of the jig I made up on the "Smithy" forum which I am using in the lathe to smooth the barrel.

Obviously it has very limited value for an octagon barrel, but it sure works good on a round barrel.

November 17, 2010, 02:50 PM
I posted this same information on a thread that Fingers started but it seems to be appropriate here as well.

That GB marking is one that I have also have been trying to identify for many years. Along with the PR marking it is one of the most elusive markings around. Several have speculated what it is but no actual documentation.

I recently picked up an 1851 Army (Navy but .44cal.) with steel case hardened frame on Gun Broker with three different length barrels, 12”, 7 ½”, and 5”. The barrels all have the same serial number as the revolver. EMF sold these back in the early 1980’s as a set. I have a copy of their ad for this revolver set from an old Gun List, November, 1980. It has the Italian proof marks and the “PR” marking on the butt and that is all. This indicates to me that “PR” was an Italian manufacturer and not an importer/distributor marking.

A while back I ask Boyd Davis, founder of EMF, about this set. He did not remember having it in their inventory but wasn’t surprised that EMF may have offered it. It was part of the “one up man ship" game that all the importers/distributors were involved in, in order to compete in the late 1970’s-80’s. It was EMF and Navy Arms who also offered the 3rd Model Dragoon with the 18” barrel, shoulder stock, and holster.

I had this three barrel set on a list that I keep of items known to exist but did not expect to ever see because of its’ uniqueness and rarity. I thought this of the 18” barrel Dragoons as well but have since run across only five of these in 17yrs. RPRCA has three of these in its collection. Who knows how long it may be before another three barrel set, completely in tact may again appear.

Doc Hoy
November 17, 2010, 03:04 PM
Nice to read your name on the board once more.

Also, I wonder if that DG is actually DGG that was on the ASPs for a while. I never personally examined the authentic marking. Do I remember correctly that in that case, it refered to Gordone (SP?) who I assume was a principle in the manufacturing operation?