The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The North Corral > Black Powder and Cowboy Action Shooting

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 28, 2011, 10:46 AM   #1
couldbeanyone
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 139
Most durable lockwork, Remington or Colt?

Which has the most durable lockwork, an 1858 Remington or an 1860 Colt army. Which parts are most likely to fail in each? I'm not concerned with strength for max loads, just which would be most likely to have a failure in its lockwork if you tried to fire 50,000 rounds through each of them. Thanks in advance for your input.
couldbeanyone is offline  
Old June 28, 2011, 11:25 AM   #2
Hawg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 15,333
About the same. The hand springs are supposedly bad about breaking but the only one I ever had break was in a revolver that was 40 years old. Might happen tomorrow. Ya never know.
Hawg is offline  
Old June 28, 2011, 12:17 PM   #3
MJN77
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 27, 2009
Location: on a hill in West Virginia
Posts: 789
As Hawg said, both are about the same. The hand spring and bolt spring are the two "problem" areas. Both are easy to replace.
MJN77 is offline  
Old June 28, 2011, 08:10 PM   #4
pvt.Long
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 7, 2009
Posts: 433
both are the same. These days it doesn't matter Colt or Remington...about 150 years ago it did but now its the company that reproduces them.
pvt.Long is offline  
Old June 30, 2011, 12:27 AM   #5
HisSoldier
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 9, 2007
Location: Oregoncoast
Posts: 1,754
I read somewhere recently that during and after the Civil war soldiers would get rid of their Colts and secure a Remington if at all possible because they were considered superior. I wonder if it was just a perception of superiority or if it was based on experience with breakage or other failures. One obvious advantage of the Remmy is the dedicated fixed rear sight, though in practice it wouldn't seem to be that big of a deal breaker to use the notch on the hammer for the sight.
Beyond that the stronger frame design and the way the barrel is more securely attached to the frame would seem to be glaring advantages, and the fact is that Colt eventually admitted it was better when they ended up with the same design.
I'm really not trying to start arguments about this, just wondering if what was said was true and if so whether or not the advantages were that substantial.

The Remington frame is such a natural design it seems odd that Colt even came up with the idea of hanging everything on the cylinder pin like he did.
__________________
CNC produced 416 stainless triggers to replace the plastic triggers on Colt Mustangs, Mustang Plus II's, MK IV Government .380's and Sig P238's and P938's. Plus Colt Mustang hardened 416 guide rods, and Llama .32 and .380 recoil spring buttons, checkered nicely and blued.
HisSoldier is offline  
Old June 30, 2011, 01:00 AM   #6
Model-P
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 24, 2009
Posts: 727
Quote:
Beyond that the stronger frame design and the way the barrel is more securely attached to the frame would seem to be glaring advantages, and the fact is that Colt eventually admitted it was better when they ended up with the same design.
That, and the Remington is far easier to assemble/disassemble, especially regarding cylinder removal and access to the internal mechanism (with fewer parts, too).

BUT, the Colt had the advantage of having a wide gap between the barrel "frame" and cylinder face at the pin, preventing seizure due to fouling. The fouling from the barrel/cylinder gap of the Remington goes right onto the narrow space between the frame and cylinder face, causing earlier cylinder seizure than in the Colt design.
Model-P is offline  
Old June 30, 2011, 01:58 AM   #7
DG45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 5, 2009
Posts: 904
The biggest advantage the Remington revolver had over the Colt Army model was that it was easier to change cylinders in because it broke down into just two pieces, 1. a cylinder, and 2. everything else, unlike a Colt, which broke down into four pieces, 1. a barrel; 2. a cylinder; 3. a tiny wedge; and 4. everything else (handle frame, etc.). You needed a lot of hands to change cylinders in a Colt, but a good rider could change a Remington cylinder on horseback.

Soldiers did carry loaded extra cylinders too. Think about it. Who carried revolvers in battle? People who could afford an extra cylinder. Officers, and cavalrymen who generally came from the "gentry" ,at least they did in the south.


I didn't personally see any of them carry extra loaded cylinders, and I can't quote an authoritive source to support my contention that they did, and some people say they just carried extra revolvers, but early in my life, and I'm 68 now, I heard my grandad (whose father was in the Civil War) say that the big attraction of the Remington revolver, and its big advantage over the Colts of its day was the comparative ease with which a Civil War cavalryman could change its cylinders. Made sense to me then. Still does.
DG45 is offline  
Old June 30, 2011, 05:56 AM   #8
MJN77
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 27, 2009
Location: on a hill in West Virginia
Posts: 789
Quote:
Soldiers did carry loaded extra cylinders too
Would like to see documentation of this. This has been claimed for years (mainly by Remington enthusiasts) but no one offers any proof. I ask, if extra cylinders were so common, why are there never any on display in Civil War museums? I mean they have complete revolvers that have been dug up at battlefields, why no "spare" cylinders? Remington and Colt sometimes provided extra cylinders with cased revolvers on special order from the factory, but how many "common" men/soldiers would've/could've afforded a cased set? Have you seen documenation of the U.S. or C.S. governments purchasing any "spare" cylinders for issue to troops? Did the soldiers spend their own money on custom order "spare" cylinders for the revolvers they were issued? Who would've fitted them to the guns? Why do you think CW guerillas carried as many as 8-10 revolvers?

Quote:
I heard my grandad (whose father was in the Civil War) say that the big attraction of the Remington revolver, and its big advantage over the Colts of its day was the comparative ease with which a Civil War cavalryman could change its cylinders.
....I once heard my uncle (a WWII vet) talk about using an M2 carbine in Normandy (June 1944), even though M2s weren't even produced until April 1945. Again, I would like to see documentation.

Last edited by MJN77; June 30, 2011 at 06:16 AM.
MJN77 is offline  
Old June 30, 2011, 06:23 AM   #9
madcratebuilder
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 2, 2007
Location: Northern Orygun
Posts: 4,923
Quote:
Originally Posted by HisSoldier
Beyond that the stronger frame design
Sir, can you explain to me why a Remington has a stronger frame design over the Colt? Is it because it has a top strap?
madcratebuilder is offline  
Old June 30, 2011, 07:36 AM   #10
tpelle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 18, 2009
Posts: 120
Exactly! The top strap vs. open top debate has been going on for years. The fact is, at the pressures generated by these pistols when firing black powder loads, either design was adequately strong.

Once the evolution to smokeless powder took place, then yes, the top strap design ultimately won out. Witness the fact that the Army would not approve the purchase of the Colt 1872 open top revolver, and strongly suggested that Colt redesign it with a top strap like the Remington - hence the 1873 Single Action Army.

In my mind though, another factor in favor of Colt's "archaic" design using a wedge through the cylinder arbor is that, in the blackpowder era, you could easily separate the barrel and cylinder - the parts that accumulated the most fouling - from the frame and immerse them in water for a good scrubbing. The frame, which did not get nearly so dirty, could just get a careful wipe down with a wet rag, then a quick re-oiling. You only had to detail-strip the frame for cleaning once or twice a year.

Can't do this so well with a Remington.

Samuel Colt has been derided as of late for sticking with his old fashioned design for too long, when other designers had gone to a window frame design. However, witness the fact that Colt did produce a line of pistols (and even a carbine version), the 1855 side hammers designed by Colt's factory manager Elijah Root, that had a top strap and a removable cylinder base pin (which was screwed into the frame from the rear, hence the side hammer design that was required to clear the base pin). Even though these were perfectly good pistols, they were largely a failure in the marketplace because the public, when buying a Colt pistol, wanted a pistol that had the features of a Colt, which in the perception of the day meant open top and a barrel wedge.
tpelle is offline  
Old June 30, 2011, 07:51 AM   #11
mykeal
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 8, 2006
Location: Northern Michigan
Posts: 2,772
Quote:
Witness the fact that the Army would not approve the purchase of the Colt 1872 open top revolver, and strongly suggested that Colt redesign it with a top strap like the Remington - hence the 1873 Single Action Army.
Which assumes the Army was somehow prescient and expert in weapons design, a concept which has not exactly been proven valid over the years.
mykeal is offline  
Old June 30, 2011, 09:34 AM   #12
Hawg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 15,333
Quote:
Soldiers did carry loaded extra cylinders too.
Like MJN said there's no documentation, battlefield relics or written accounts to back this up. There is documentation and plenty of pictures to back up the fact that they carried anywhere from 4 to 8 revolvers.
Hawg is offline  
Old June 30, 2011, 10:20 AM   #13
tpelle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 18, 2009
Posts: 120
Mykeal, not that they were prescient, but just that they had experience with the Remington percussion revolvers from the Civil War and knew what they wanted.
tpelle is offline  
Old June 30, 2011, 10:29 AM   #14
DG45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 5, 2009
Posts: 904
Never found a cylinder on a battlefield..... Good point..... Pretty hard to argue with that.... Never thought about that..... Hmmm.

On the other hand, cavalry units used most of the revolvers and cavalrymen didn't do much fighting. Gen. Daniel Harvey Hill, a hard boiled Confederate infantry commander once publicly stated that he hoped someday during the war to actually see a dead cavalryman.
DG45 is offline  
Old June 30, 2011, 10:32 AM   #15
Hawg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 15,333
Quote:
cavalry units used most of the revolvers and cavalrymen didn't do much fighting.
Says who?
Hawg is offline  
Old June 30, 2011, 11:23 AM   #16
DG45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 5, 2009
Posts: 904
General Daniel H. Hill, CSA
DG45 is offline  
Old June 30, 2011, 11:45 AM   #17
MJN77
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 27, 2009
Location: on a hill in West Virginia
Posts: 789
D.H. Hill was an infantry commander. It was a common saying among infantrymen, that "you never saw a dead cavalryman". Like the Marines saying they fight more than the Army. Or the Army saying they fight more than the Navy. Do you really think that the cavalry never fought? Seriously!? J.E.B. Stuart, Nathan Bedford Forrest, John Mosby, George Stoneman, George Custer, and Phil Sheridan would probably strongly disagree with you. Read about Brandy Station 1863, Yellow Tavern, East cavalry Field at Gettysburg, etc. Regular cavalrymen were issued ONE revolver (if any at all) one sabre (considered the PRIMARY sidearm) and one carbine (if lucky, sometimes they got an infantry musket or worse a lance). Sometimes they picked up another revolver or two, but it was not common for a REGULAR cavalryman to carry more than one handgun. Contrary to popular beliefs, regular cavalry did not rely on revolvers. 90% of their fighting was done on foot with carbines. The "wild gallant charges into the enemy with guns a blazing" were few and far between. Guerillas/partisan rangers were something else all together.

Last edited by MJN77; June 30, 2011 at 12:02 PM.
MJN77 is offline  
Old June 30, 2011, 02:38 PM   #18
mykeal
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 8, 2006
Location: Northern Michigan
Posts: 2,772
Yeah, the Army is brilliant at weapons procurement. Really, there are lots of good arguments favoring the Remington design, but claiming that it must have been good because the Army bought them isn't one of them.
mykeal is offline  
Old June 30, 2011, 02:52 PM   #19
MrAcheson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 15, 2002
Posts: 442
Quote:
Once the evolution to smokeless powder took place, then yes, the top strap design ultimately won out. Witness the fact that the Army would not approve the purchase of the Colt 1872 open top revolver, and strongly suggested that Colt redesign it with a top strap like the Remington - hence the 1873 Single Action Army.
Really, so the Army required the SAA to have a top strap in the early 1870s because of smokeless powder... when smokeless powders didn't come into use until the 1880s and 90s?
__________________
These views are not representative of those held by the US Army, DoD, or US Government.
Jeffthebaptist.blogspot.com
MrAcheson is offline  
Old June 30, 2011, 03:21 PM   #20
Hawg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 15,333
Quote:
Really, so the Army required the SAA to have a top strap in the early 1870s because of smokeless powder... when smokeless powders didn't come into use until the 1880s and 90s?
That's not what he said. He said the top strap ultimately won out with the advent of smokeless powder. He said the army wouldn't approve the 72 Colt because it had no top strap. Two different occurrences.
Hawg is offline  
Old June 30, 2011, 03:54 PM   #21
DG45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 5, 2009
Posts: 904
MJN77, I didn't say cavalry never fought. I said they didn't fight much, which I think is true. I didn't mean to imply cowardice. It's just that cavalry was basically a recon arm and typically did things like scout, observe enemy movements, report back, etc. Yes, I know there were occasionally serious cavalry battles like Yellow Tavern, and cavalry was also sometimes called upon to skirmish against advancing armies to slow their progress, things like that, and occasionally in desperate situations a cavalry unit might actually be caught in a situation where it was vital for them to hold a particular position at all costs. Such a case happened at Gettysburg when Buford's cavalry did have to hold on until the Army of the Potomac could arrive on the scene in force, and if not for Buford's cavalry holding that ground, that battle may have turned out very much differently than it did. The cavalry arm also did things like ride around armies, rustle up beefsteak, cut telegraph wires, tear up railroad tracks, and attack disorganized retreating enemy, which is exactly what they were supposed to be doing.

This really ain't the forum for a Civil War argument.

But things had usually gone pretty wrong if a cavalry unit had to fight a pitched battle.

Having said that, I also think there was a great disparity between the casualties suffered by the typical infantry regiment in the Civil War as compared to the casualties suffered by the typical cavalry regiment, and the infantry troops suffered much greater casualties. I think the basic "unfairness" of that, if you want to call it that, was what brought on Gen. D.H. Hill 's bitter comment.

I don't have any statistics at hand to prove my point and if you disagree, so be it, I don't plan to do any research on it, but for anyone who wants to, the casualty statistics for just about every unit can be found.
DG45 is offline  
Old June 30, 2011, 04:00 PM   #22
Rifleman1776
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 25, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 3,309
Of all the replies only a couple address the original question about lock work strength.
I can only surmise with less experience than the first couple responses, both would be about equal.
However, these days, I would certainly explore the overall quality of the revolvers from different overseas manufacturers.
Rifleman1776 is offline  
Old July 1, 2011, 10:49 PM   #23
HisSoldier
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 9, 2007
Location: Oregoncoast
Posts: 1,754
Quote:
can you explain to me why a Remington has a stronger frame design over the Colt? Is it because it has a top strap?
In my opinion the Colt design is stupid, just my opinion there. I work with mechanisms every day and have done a lot of designing over the last 30 years, after a while it gets pretty easy to spot a strong design verses a weak one.

Now, before anyone gets all upset let me state again that this is all just my personal opinion and also (Again) that in practice it probably doesn't matter that much, and the seizure from powder fouling would be a real problem, but that's a problem that could have easily been rectified by making the pin larger in the Remington, or incorporating a baffle that would have stopped the gasses from getting to the pin, so it's not a Germane point. The reason the Colt cylinder axle pin is so large is because it has to be in order to work at all.
Hanging all of it, the barrel, rammer and all, on that cylinder pin is what I would call poor engineering since the Remington design is so natural. Why go that way when the strong way is so obvious?

For another design example; Is the solid frame design obviously stronger than the hinged design of the S&W top break revolvers? Of course it is! Does it matter? Probably not since the trade off accomplished a good purpose, faster loading. But Colt's pioneer design offers no advantage over the solid frame that makes sense to me, and I can hardly understand why Colt did it that way, there was no need for it.
Good designs are copied through long periods of time and design evolution, the Remington design is still being used in modern revolvers, Colt's design is not.

I apologize to anyone offended by the above. I have a lot of weird ideas, for instance, all revolvers were obsolete after 1911,
__________________
CNC produced 416 stainless triggers to replace the plastic triggers on Colt Mustangs, Mustang Plus II's, MK IV Government .380's and Sig P238's and P938's. Plus Colt Mustang hardened 416 guide rods, and Llama .32 and .380 recoil spring buttons, checkered nicely and blued.
HisSoldier is offline  
Old July 1, 2011, 10:53 PM   #24
HisSoldier
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 9, 2007
Location: Oregoncoast
Posts: 1,754
Oh, another question, how would you carry an extra loaded and capped cylinder without worrying about one of the caps hitting something?
__________________
CNC produced 416 stainless triggers to replace the plastic triggers on Colt Mustangs, Mustang Plus II's, MK IV Government .380's and Sig P238's and P938's. Plus Colt Mustang hardened 416 guide rods, and Llama .32 and .380 recoil spring buttons, checkered nicely and blued.
HisSoldier is offline  
Old July 2, 2011, 12:25 AM   #25
DG45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 5, 2009
Posts: 904
You wouldn't. Only a fool would carry a loaded and capped extra cylinder - or maybe a soldier who was willing to risk it because he thought he might need more than six bullets -and might need them awful fast. (See Battle of Little Big Horn)

OOps, they were using cartridges there weren't they? But you get my drift.

Last edited by DG45; July 2, 2011 at 02:51 AM.
DG45 is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:44 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10855 seconds with 8 queries