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Old January 27, 2011, 01:44 AM   #1
Join Date: September 19, 2010
Posts: 13
Need a question answered...

I can't find anything on the net and can't get a straight answer so I'll ask you guys, does the Colt 1851 Navy .36 and .44 take the same size frame and arbor? I appreciate it, Thank you.
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Old January 27, 2011, 02:07 AM   #2
Ideal Tool
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Hello, ironmace. While Colt never made a .44 navy answer your question..yes they are the same size. The 1860 army, was built on the 1851 frame, which was milled out for clearance in front, & the army's cylinder was enlarged at that point for the larger caliber charge holes.
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Old January 27, 2011, 01:37 PM   #3
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Ideal Tool is "right on" with his answer but I'm going to take it a step further and hang my neck out here - as he stated, Colt never made a '51 Navy in 44 for production. I have a feeling you are asking in regards to "repros" - if I'm wrong in my next comment - somebody please correct me. While technically the Colts were the same frame size - just remember that in "repros" - the actual dimensions may vary depending upon the manufacturer, date of manufacturer, etc. In other words - a frame or cylinder arbor from say a ASM '51 Navy in 36 caliber may not necessarily be interchangeable with the frame and cylinder arbor of a Pietta '51 Navy that is 44 caliber. It sounds like you might possibly have a "project" you are working on and if you have specific questions about manufacturers and whether parts will interchange, I'd suggest you drop Doc Hoy a pm - he's worked on a lot of different makes and models or perhaps someone else as well can answer your question and maybe help prevent some added expense in regards to obtaining wrong parts that won't fit. And like I said, if my remarks are "off base" - just ignore them - most folks ignore me anyway! Good luck!
If a pair of '51 Navies were good enough for Billy Hickok, then a single Navy on my right hip is good enough for me . . . besides . . . I'm probably only half as good as he was anyways. Hiram's Rangers Badge #63
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Old January 27, 2011, 02:36 PM   #4
Fingers McGee
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BBB is correct. Frames/arbors are generally the same size within the same manufacturers product line. There may be some dimensional difference trying to swap parts from pistols made in different decades though, and some minor fitting may be required regardless of when made.

Fingers (Show Me MO smoke) McGee - AKA Man of Many Colts - Alter ego of Diabolical Ken; SASS Regulator 28564-L-TG; Rangemaster and stage writer extraordinaire; Frontiersman, Pistoleer, NRA Endowment Life, NMLRA, SAF, CCRKBA, STORM 327, SV115; Charter member, Central Ozarks Western Shooters
Cynic: A blackguard whose faulty vision see things as they are, not as they should be. Ambrose Bierce
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Old January 27, 2011, 05:29 PM   #5
Join Date: September 19, 2010
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My aim was to replace a brass frame on a repro 1851 .44 with a steel frame. It's a Pietta, and it's not bad, but I wanted a case hardened frame and a squareback triggerguard. Finding the frame has been problematic, and I was reluctant to buy a frame because I didn't know if the .44 and the .36 were the same frame and arbor, just a different bore. I have a frame for sale that I bought, but it's way too small. It's for a 1862 pocket police. Maybe I'll just get a steel frame pistol this spring.
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Old January 27, 2011, 06:47 PM   #6
Bill Akins
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If you want a squareback trigger guard, you may find this info helpful.

This below quote is from another site:....

"The square back trigger guards were on the first model (SN 1-1250) and second model (SN 1251-4200) 51 Navies. 1st Model Navies also had the wedge screw under the wedge instead of over it. The small rounded triggerguards were on the Early, Middle and Late 3rd Model Navies, and the large rounded trigger guards were on the Late 3rd Model, and all the fourth Model Navies. The rounded trigger guards were either brass, plated, or blued iron. The London model Navy triggerguards also came in brass, plated or blued iron. The early London Models had brass small rounded triggerguards (SN 1-2000). The London-Londons had blued iron triggerguards (SN 2000 to approx 40000). and the Hartford-Londons had a mix of brass & iron triggerguards (SN approx 40000-43000). And a little additional trivia. The 2nd Generation 1851 Navies all have square back triggerguards, except the 5000 Robert E. Lee comemmoratives. The square backed 2nd Gen Navies start with serial number 4201. Right where Col Colt left off in 1851."

Taylor's and company have the squareback trigger guard 1851 Go to this link and scroll down until you see #006 1st model 1851 that is listed with a squareback trigger guard....

I have seen some squareback trigger guard repro models called "The London model" by some sellers at auction, even though that may not be historically correct.

Cimarron also has the 1851 squareback trigger guard models at this link:...


Last edited by Bill Akins; January 27, 2011 at 07:08 PM.
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