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Old July 2, 2011, 05:23 AM   #26
Hawg
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Infantry soldiers didn't carry any more than they had to. Many were issued revolvers at the beginning of the war only to throw them away along with bayonets and other useless items. Cavalry didn't carry spare cylinders. Yeah they had cartridges at the Little Big Horn.
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Old July 2, 2011, 07:17 AM   #27
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If you've ever done any relic hunting with metal detectors you will know , at least in Virginia that if you find a campsite or a good stopping point that 10-50 roundballs or minies would be dumped in a hole and covered up by the soldiers. These guys didn't haul around anymore than they had to. Back in the early eighties when I was relic hunting it was fairly common to find dumped and buried bullets but NEVER a cylinder. And I've never heard of a loose cylinder being found.
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Old July 2, 2011, 07:26 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by HisSoldier
In my opinion the Colt design is stupid, just my opinion there.
So that is why you think the top strap revolver is stronger? What was the most powerful revolver until S&W introduced the .357 magnum? Was it a top strap design?

Not really a fair question as the Walker wins by it's massive chamber volume of nearly 60grs.


No one carried extra cylinders until Josy Wales did in 1976. The surviving manufacturer sales records show very few extra cylinders were sold. Must extra cylinders went with cased sets as presentation models.
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Old July 2, 2011, 11:30 AM   #29
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In my opinion the Colt design is stupid, just my opinion there
Why? For the powders used at the time, the open top design was plenty strong enough. Plus, when the wedge is removed, the revolver easily comes apart for cleaning. That was a big plus, over the single shot muzzleloading pistols that came before it. As has been pointed out earlier, the top strap only makes for a stronger gun when smokeless powder is used. Not attacking your opinion, just pointing out the other side of the coin.
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Old July 2, 2011, 11:58 AM   #30
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Stupid is as stupid does.
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Old July 2, 2011, 02:39 PM   #31
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Lemee see if I got this straight.

1. During the Civil War, Colt and Remington made tens of thousands of revolvers that no one carried.

2. Cavalrymen preferred sabers to revolvers.

3. Soldiers buried bullets to save weight.

4. Soldiers had no idea that they could increase their firepower many-fold by changing cylinders in a Remington revolver until 1976 when The Outlaw Josey Wales made that discovery. "You can just take one out and put another one in", he said. "Whodda thunk it?"

5. The reason for the Remington guns strange popularity among the soldiers who didn't use revolvers is still a mystery today because tRemington's were no better than Colts other than in the ease with which you could swap cylinders in them, but no one knew that til Josey Wales came along in 1976.
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Old July 2, 2011, 04:01 PM   #32
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Quote:
1. During the Civil War, Colt and Remington made tens of thousands of revolvers that no one carried.
Who said that?

Quote:
2. Cavalrymen preferred sabers to revolvers.
Didn't say they were preferred, but as far as the cavalry regulations were concerned, the sabre was considered the primary sidearm.

Quote:
3. Soldiers buried bullets to save weight
Some infantrymen were known to discard bullets from cartridges that became broken in their cartridge boxes, when they were able to get resupplied.

Quote:
4. Soldiers had no idea that they could increase their firepower many-fold by changing cylinders in a Remington revolver until 1976 when The Outlaw Josey Wales made that discovery. "You can just take one out and put another one in", he said. "Whodda thunk it?"
An extra cylinder was extra weight that not many people cared to deal with. They were also a special order item (and considerable cost) from the factory, that needed to be hand fitted to the weapon they were to be used in. One could not be used in different guns. They were also not needed. You seem to think that revolvers were used all the time, when in fact they were not. Some union cavalry units weren't even issued revolvers at all. Major Leonidas Scranton of the 2nd Michigan Cavalry wrote, "Pistols are useless. I have known regiments that have been in the field over two years that have never used their pistols. At a charge, the SABRE is the weapon."

Quote:
5. The reason for the Remington guns strange popularity among the soldiers who didn't use revolvers is still a mystery today because tRemington's were no better than Colts other than in the ease with which you could swap cylinders in them, but no one knew that til Josey Wales came along in 1976.
The Remington's popularity was based on the fact that they were considered more accurate and easier to disassemble than the Colt revolvers. Also some said that they "hit harder" (Frank James) than the Colt. Getting a "spare" cylinder "back then" wasn't like it is today. You didn't go to Cabela's and pick up a few. They would've been specal ordered from the factory, and would've taken weeks/months to be recieved (no FedEx/UPS, ya' know). They would've also, as I have already said, had to be hand fitted to your specific gun. How feasible and cost effective do you think this would've been. Show me an historic account about changing cylinders in the war, or after, instead of one account that you remember from your childhood, from someone long after the war. You make a lot of claims without evidence to back them up, sir.

Last edited by MJN77; July 2, 2011 at 04:46 PM.
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Old July 2, 2011, 05:06 PM   #33
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I don't know about burying bullets to save weight. I've dug campsites from Ms. to S.C.and never found a hoard of buried bullets. I do know that during a retreat they'd bury whatever they couldn't carry, including ditching cannons in the nearest body of water. I know where (kinda/sorta) two confederate cannons are buried. One is public knowledge and has been hunted for years. It was dumped in a river and the river has now silted over. It would take an excavator to find it now. I'm probably one of only two people that know where the other one is and I ain't talking.
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Old July 2, 2011, 05:08 PM   #34
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Re: MJN77's last post:

and you seem to have trouble recognizing tongue-in-cheek when you see it sir, or perhaps my post was not quite as cute as I thought it was.
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Old July 2, 2011, 05:34 PM   #35
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No, it didn't come off cute at all.
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Old July 2, 2011, 05:36 PM   #36
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Quote:
or perhaps my post was not quite as cute as I thought it was.
It wasn't. Sarcasm dosn't tanslate well over the computer.
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Old July 2, 2011, 08:06 PM   #37
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Maybe I was just frustrated by the ever changing story.
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Old July 2, 2011, 10:07 PM   #38
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DG45,

I thought it was cute!
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Old July 3, 2011, 08:21 AM   #39
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Quote:
2. Cavalrymen preferred sabers to revolvers.
The saber was considered the primary weapon. In reality they used what ever their commanding officer used, if he drew his saber they all drew sabers, like wise if he drew a revolver.


Quote:
4. Soldiers had no idea that they could increase their firepower many-fold by changing cylinders in a Remington revolver until 1976 when The Outlaw Josey Wales made that discovery. "You can just take one out and put another one in", he said. "Whodda thunk it?"
They carried extra revolvers if they could afford to buy them. Changing cylinders is Hollywood romance.
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Old July 3, 2011, 08:22 AM   #40
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Southern cavalry discarded the saber in favor of a sawed off shotgun.
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Old July 3, 2011, 01:16 PM   #41
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madcratebuilder, sorry, I can't buy it. I don't think the average joe could afford a second cylinder, and I don't think there was a lot of cylinder swaping due to cost, but there were lots of independently wealthy officers who could afford it and I'm sure some did. I think that the officers who could aford to do so were probably exactly the same people who pushed the Army to start buying Remington revolvers.

As far as changing cylinders being a recent romantic movie thing, it isn't. The first time a soldier cleaned his Remington revolver he would have discovered that its cylinder could be removed and replaced in seconds, and that the gun broke down into only two pieces in that operation. Can you imagine what a revelation that must have been to a soldier who'd previously, to change cylinders on his Colt revolver, had to hammer the wedge out of it (making sure not to lose the tiny wedge), then remove the barrel, then pull the spent cylinder off its arbor, giving him 4 seperate pieces cof metal to deal with, then put another cylinder on the arbor, replace the barrel and drive the wedge back in. That Colt cylinder was a cylinder that in reality rarely if ever got changed. But surely, every officer who'd previously felt the need to carry multiple heavy revolvers, and some surely did do that, immediately recognized they could lose about 5 pounds of gun weight and yet maintain the same firepower by simply carrying an extra loaded cylinder or two. You think that never happened? Of course it hapened. Can I prove it? No. I can't PROVE that OJ Simpson did the crime either but....
So why have none ever been found? Well, first of all, I don't know for a fact that NONE have EVER been found. What proves that? The guys on this forum have never found one, nor have I, but to say that one has NEVER BEEN FOUND is a hard statement to document. I would willingly yield the point that few, if any, have ever been found, but the Remington Revolver came along late in the war after many of the biggest battles had already been fought and there were comparatively few people who could afford to do this anyway. I have nothing else to add on this, and I'm sure the only thing that will come of all this is that we will agree to disagree.
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Old July 3, 2011, 01:58 PM   #42
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DG45,
Again, all you offer is conjecture and assumptions. No facts or proof of your claims. You have no idea what a soldier of the time would've thought, and to impose your own modern thought process on them is kinda "funny". You assume that "officers" in the war carried spare cylinders because it is a common practice today. Can you name one such officer? Just one? If not, what makes you assume they did? Because they "coulda"? The only original spare cylinders that I have seen were in cased sets. Mostly with the 1836 Colt Paterson revolvers. I have seen very few with later percussion revolvers, and I have never read even a single account of "cylinder swapping" in a historical context. I'm sure there were a couple dozen people with "spare" cylinders during the ACW, but I can't prove that either. Until you offer even the smallest piece of evidence to add weight to your claims, they are just meaningless speclation. I don't mean to ruffle your feathers, but show me one fact to support your claims.
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Old July 3, 2011, 02:53 PM   #43
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DG45, you're basing all this on something your grandfather told you. Maybe he believed it I dunno, but he was wrong. I know you find that hard to believe but it is true. Soldiers of the times loved to have their pictures taken with their weapons. Officers especially had them taken quite a bit. I've never seen a pic of anyone with what could be remotely considered a cylinder pouch. I haven't seen anything in museums, books or even online of anything that could be considered one. Surely at least one would have survived.
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Old July 3, 2011, 04:09 PM   #44
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Since the Original Post...

Since the original question... Is one lockwork design better than the other in modern reproductions? has digressed into the typical Colt/Remington fanboy lovefest I'll offer a bit of circumstantial evidence to go with my own experience.

In my own experience I have had no problems with the lockwork of any of my replica pistols, so to date they are the same.

The guns lockworks are nearly identical in form and are virtually identical in function, the only substantial difference being that both the bolt and the trigger share a common pin in the Remington while they occupy seperate pins in the Colt.

In terms of performance, which is relevant in the discussion about which model "Civil War" veterans preferred, my 1858 will easily outshoot every one of my Colts in terms of "target" accuracy.

If I were headed home to the farm to try to keep foxes out'a my henhouse, or I was going to be riding the range punching doggies and popping off a round at a coyote every now and then, I'd prefer the Remington myself.

That said... the Remington is not what the "Pro's" went with. The two most famous gunfighters of the day, John Wesley Hardin and Wild Bill Hickok both carried an 1851 Colt Navy as part of their arsenal many years after the advent of the 1858 New Army model.

I said that my Remington is superior in a target application... that being slow deliberate fire... HOWEVER... were I to need to draw my weapon and fire it under pressure, I'd go with an 1860 Army or an 1851 Navy.

Those two pistols are absolutely the best in my entire arsenal, modern or historic in terms of the ergonomics of pointing and shooting... they make my 1858 Pietta feel like a claw hammer in my hand.

One other thing... the original poster mentioned "heavy loads". If I were using my pistol as a backup while hunting, or some other application where I might want some more punch, I'd go with an 1858 for two reasons... first off, Remmies simply hold more powder, and secondly even in an all steel Colt pistol, you're still battering your wedge and arbor pin when you shoot heavy loads.

Last edited by Ferrari; July 3, 2011 at 04:44 PM.
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Old July 3, 2011, 04:49 PM   #45
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Quote:
Since the original question... Is one lockwork design better than the other in modern reproductions? has digressed into the typical Colt/Remington fanboy lovefest
What thread have you been reading? The thread has indeed devolved into something different, but it is about making historical claims of "cylinder swapping" with no evidence. I have Remington and Colt replicas, and I love them both. In a "if I was alive back then" context, I would be happy with either model of revolver. Read the whole thread, maybe then you can characterize it more accurately.
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Old July 4, 2011, 12:12 PM   #46
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MJN77, ruffle my feathers? Not at all, sir. I disagree with you, consider your argument hidebound, illogical in the extreme, unintelligent, and for the life of me I cannot fathom your reluctance to credit Civil War soldiers with enough sense to take advantage of what the military today would call a war-winning weapon; ie., a breakthrough weapon that brings great war-fighting advantage to whoever has it. The Remington revolver, with is great firepower advantage over Colt thanks to an easily interchangable cylinder was surely all that.

Nevertheless, I do realize there are people who can't cope with an outside-the-box thought and they don't ruffle my feathers, I consider them more to be pitied than censured.
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Old July 4, 2011, 04:37 PM   #47
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DG45,
Oddly enough, I feel the same way about people who take the claim of one old man (long after the fact) and what they see in Hollywood movies as historical fact. To blindly believe what you are told, without proof, is simply being a "sheep". Like P.T. Barnum said "There's a sucker born every minute."

Also, your over eagerness to believe that a man in the 1860s, would look at a piece of BRAND NEW equipment, the same way that a man 150 years later would, is astoundingly nieve in the extreme. Revolvers, in general, were less than 30 years old at the time Remington revolvers were produced. It was all new to them. It's old to us.

I realize that there are people that can't cope with the fact, that others won't swallow their claims, without proof. The ramblings of a beloved grandfather just don't cut it for the folks that need more than mere speculation.

It's sad when people get hostile and hurl insults, because they come up short on facts for their side of a discussion. For someone that says he's 68, you're a bit immature. Hope your day gets better.

Last edited by MJN77; July 5, 2011 at 01:36 AM.
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Old July 4, 2011, 05:01 PM   #48
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Quote:
The Remington revolver, with is great firepower advantage over Colt thanks to an easily interchangable cylinder was surely all that.

I can swap out a Colt cylinder as quickly as I can a Remington cylinder.
And due to the lack of grease grooves in the narrow Remington cylinder pin, it binds up faster than a Colt does.
Might it not be simply a matter of choice and preference?

Last edited by pohill; July 4, 2011 at 05:40 PM.
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Old July 4, 2011, 05:42 PM   #49
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Mounted cav was not meant to engage in heavy combat. Its primary use was to be scouts, harass the rear and to disrupt supply lines. Their primary weapon was their carbine or shotgun, both have longer range then a revolver. Then next choice was the revolver, then if they got close enough they used sabers. The Cav charge was used as fear tactic,just like the infantry with bayonet charge. A brutal and frighting way to break your enemy lines and divide their forces. At no point did any mounted cav charge into infantry lines. One volley fired from an infantry line would obliderate any cav unit. Bullets went buried but simply thrown away if they were pulled from the weapon or there was a malfunction with the paper cartridge. There were far more companies producing revolvers involved in the Civil War then Colt and Remington. Colts design was so popular because it was the first single action revolver that worked, once the patent expired everyone that even tried to produce a revolver produced it from Colt specs. Infantrymen would discard everything they could to save weight. Shermans' troops while on their march through GA would measure how tall they were and cut the extra length off their blankets. Confederate troops would carry cartridges in one pocket and caps in the other so they didn't have to worry about the wight of the accoutrement boxes. For tents the men would use a gum blanket or poncho to cover themselves during campaign so they didn't have to carry a heavy half of canvas. If their coats were longer then to their waist they would cut the extra fabric off. Any cook wear would be discarded except their tin cup with two canteens. I have yet to see or read about an example where a soldier or officer changed the cylinder of his revolver during combat. the 6 shot revolver was a 7 round weapon. when you ran out of ammo, you grabbed the barrel and used it as a club. because by that time you've spent 6 rounds your ether dead or already in hand to hand combat. Case in point is the 1847 Walker, it was specifically designed by Walker to be a 7 round weapon that's one of the two reasons for it being so heavy, it can hold 6 .44 magnum rounds and be swung like a tomahawk.As well as weapon mas production was not exact.Weapons still had to be hand fitted together. One cylinder did not exactly fit on another weapon even if they were identical. the machining is not as precise as it is today.It was not a matter of choice it was a matter of necessity. If you really want to know what a soldier though, join the ranks of a truly authentic reenactment group. The groups called "stitch nazis" that do everything exactly like the soldiers did. They sleep in the dog tents, pack in all their equipment that they carry in their pockets, period correct packs or blanket rolls. Very sobering experience.
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Old July 4, 2011, 09:38 PM   #50
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Regarding cylinder-swapping.... in his book COMMERCE OF THE PRAIRIES (vol. 2), Josiah Gregg states that he and his brother each had a Colt revolving rifle and a pair of Colt pistols, so that they had "thirty-six already-loaded shots apiece". Sounds like one spare pre-loaded cylinder for each weapon.

If Gregg was cylinder-swapping in the 1840s, it's not hard to imagine that some soldiers did it during the 1860s..... it might not have been a common practice, but I wouldn't want to claim that it never happened.

Last edited by ofitg; July 4, 2011 at 09:57 PM.
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