Original Rare U.S. Civil War Remington-Beals Army Model .44 Percussion Revolver - Serial 13504
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a nice example of the rare Civil War Remington-Beals Army Model Percussion Revolver in .44 caliber. It is a 6 shot single action revolver, with an 8-inch octagon barrel. This is the first .44 Army Model that Remington produced, before the 1861 Army Revolver (Old Model Army) and 1863 New Model Army Revolver. All of these were often called the Model 1858 due to the patent dates, but production of this revision started in 1861, and ended in 1862, with only approximately 1900 being made.
Compared to the other models of Remington Army, only a handful of this variation was made. The 1861 "Old Model" Army had an estimated 6,000 made, while the 1863 New Model Army had a MASSIVE production of 132,000 units. This means that less than 1.5% of the Civil War production were the earliest model. However, this example represents a bit of a mystery, as it has matching serial number 13504 appearing on the underside of the barrel, and on the frame under the grip. This is well past the production numbers of the "Remington-Beals Army" revolvers, and also well past the end of the "1861 Old Model Army".
Going by the serial number, this revolver SHOULD be a "1863 New Model", but it has the correct loading rammer and non-rebated frame around the forcing cone. It also has a cylinder without any "safety stops" that were introduced later. The top of the octagonal barrel also still has the original barrel markings, which are faint but definitely still legible with a magnifier:
BEALS' PATENT SEPT.14.1858
MANUFACTURED BY REMINGTONS' ILION. N.Y.
It looks to have the correct hammer for the earlier model, and also has a cone-shaped front sight, though the dovetail was adjusted a little. We do not know why the serial number on this example is this high, but from all we can see, it is definitely a Remington-Beals. Most likely only consulting the original factory records would solve this mystery, and represents a fantastic research opportunity.
Aside from that, the overall condition of the revolver is very good with The original finish faded do a light gray oxidized patina from years cleaning. This has made the barrel markings a bit faint, however we see no signs of the revolver having undergone any type of major restoration. It definitely did see use, but was well cared for. It still bears original walnut grips, though unfortunately the original cartouches are worn off. They also look to have been refinished at some point.
Revolver has a good cylinder lock and smooth action, though like any gun of this age, it can be finicky. If cycled too quickly it can overshoot, and there is overall a bit of slop in the mechanics. The bore shows strong lands and grooves, with a partly bright finish, showing a bit of fouling and oxidation in the grooves. Five of six cap nipples on the cylinder are clear, though those may wartime replacements, as they have a much larger aperture than we usually see on Remington percussion revolvers.
An honest rare model Civil War percussion revolver with some great research potential, fully cleaned and ready to display!
Years of Manufacture: 1862
Ammunition Type: Cap and Ball
Barrel Length: 8 inches
Overall Length: 14 inches
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver
History of Remington New Model Army Revolver:
The Remington-Beals Model Revolvers along with subsequent models and variations were percussion revolvers manufactured by Eliphalet Remington & Sons in .31 (Pocket) .36 (Navy) or .44 (Army) caliber, used during the American Civil War, and was the beginning of a successful line of medium and large frame pistols. It is commonly, though inaccurately, referred to as the Model 1858 due to the patent markings on its cylinder, "PATENTED SEPT. 14, 1858/E. REMINGTON & SONS, ILION, NEW YORK, U.S.A./NEW MODEL."; although wide scale production did not start until 1861.
The Remington revolver was a secondary, supplemental issue firearm for the Union Army until the Colt factory fire of 1864. Due to the fire the Colt 1860 Army was not available for some time, subsequently large numbers of the Remington revolver were ordered by the U.S. government. It was more expensive, by "50 cents" (a difference of more than US$12 in 2013 dollars), than the Colt, but those who could afford it remarked on its durability.
It saw use in the American West, both in its original percussion configuration and as a metallic cartridge conversion, as well as around the world.
The Remington is a single-action, six-shot, percussion revolver produced by E. Remington & Sons, Ilion, N.Y., based on the Fordyce Beals' patent of September 14, 1858 (Patent 21,478). The Remington Army revolver is large-framed, in .44 caliber, with an 8-inch barrel length. The Remington Navy revolver is slightly smaller framed than the Army, and in .36 caliber with a 7.375 inch [Beals Navy 7.5 inch] barrel length. There were three progressive models made; the Remington-Beals Army & Navy (1860–1862), the 1861 Army & Navy (1862–1863), and the New Model Army & Navy (1863–1875). The three models are nearly identical in size and appearance. Subtle but noticeable differences in hammers, loading levers, and cylinders help identify each model. The 1861 Remington actually transitioned into New Model appearance by late 1862, slowly transforming throughout 1862, due to continual improvement suggestions from the U. S. Ordnance Department.
Remington percussion revolvers are very accurate and capable of considerable power with muzzle velocities in the range of 550 to 1286+ feet-per-second, depending upon the charge loaded by the shooter. Combustible cartridge velocities averaged from 700 to 900 feet per second (270 m/s), depending on powder quality, charge and conical bullet weight. Combustibles were usually loaded with a special high performance sporting grade black powder, using the minimum charge required for a specified impact level, usually determined by pine penetration tests. The special powder and minimal charge reduced black powder fouling, allowing revolvers to be fired as much as possible before cleaning was necessary.
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