Original U.S. Civil War Remington New Model 1863 Army Revolver Converted to .46 Rimfire - Serial 140423
Original Item: Only One Available. The first Cartridge Single Action Colts and Remington revolvers came out in 1873 and 1875. Prior to that there were many different "cartridge systems" utilized by many different makers. However Civil War percussion Revolvers were everywhere on the market and Gunsmiths converted many of these Civil War Revolvers to the new Breech loading systems, many using factory supplied parts.
This is just such a weapon, originally made towards the end of the Civil War, and then was converted to take a metallic cartridge. In sound solid condition these conversions tend to be rather rare as the window of demand was very limited and by 1873 and 1875 the new "Cowboy" guns were on open sale. The truth is many Desperadoes and law abiding citizens embarked ion there trek to the West Coast carrying a converted revolver like this.
The Remington Percussion revolvers were often called the Model 1858 due to the patent dates, but production of this revision started in 1863, and the "New Model Army" is the correct designation from Remington. The top of the octagonal barrel still shows the original markings:
PATENTED SEPT. 14. 1858
REMINGTON & SONS. ILION. NEW YORK. U.S.A.
Overall condition is good, especially considering the age. The finish has faded a bit and shows overall peppering, with the usual patina of age seen on these guns. The walnut grips are nice, but worn with some repaired cracks and chips. There are also some numbers stamped into the side of the frame and under the barrel, but we do not know what they signify.
The action functions well, with nice indexing and a good cylinder lockup, though as with any revolver of this age, it can be finicky. The main spring is strong, so cocking the revolver can take some effort. The bore is in very good condition, with clear rifling, and just a few spots of oxidation and fouling.
This revolver has matching serial numbers, with 140423 appearing on the underside of the barrel and on the frame under the grip. Research shows this is towards the end of the serial number range, so most likely it was never issued during the Civil war, as the Union Arsenal had some 75,000 unissued revolvers at the end of the war, and this was in the last 10,000 Remington produced. This most likely made it a prime candidate for cartridge conversion.
This involved replacement of the cylinder with a new made cylinder from Remington. which licensed the White patent for a bored through cylinder. These were all 5 shot and chambered for .46 Short Rimfire, and were also compatible with the later .46 Long Rimfire. The internals also had to be reworked somewhat for the 5 cartridge cylinder. This example has even had a hand made ejector mounted onto the right side, complete with a full size cutout in the flash guard. This meant the revolver did not have to have the cylinder removed for reloading.
This will make a fine addition to any "Old West" collection. Ready to display!
History of Remington New Model Army Revolver:
Remington, like Colt, was in business of arms making long prior to the Civil War. They had been producing handguns since 1857 when they introduced the Remington Beals Pocket Revolver. With the outbreak of the Civil War all of the company's energy became devoted to the military production of longarms and hand guns. The martial hand guns produced during the Civil War period included the Remington-Beals Army and Navy Model revolvers, the Remington Models 1861 Army and Navy Revolvers, (a.k.a. as the "Old Model Army" and "Old Model Navy") and the Remington New Model 1863 Army and Navy revolvers.
The Remington New Model 1863 Army Revolver represents Remington's highest production martial pistol. Approximately 126,000 were manufactured from 1863 to 1875. After Colt, it was the Northern government's most purchased and issued pistol. Serial numbers of the New Model Army continued from the Model 1861 Army. Reference sources estimate this change from between serial number 15000 (Flayderman) to 22000 (Reilly). This is probably due to a long transitional period in which there was a gradual change over of the design features between the two models. The earliest production models utilized the 1861 frames and had a somewhat longer grip. The stamping "New Model" on the barrel of the early models can also be noted to have been stamped with a separate die. Nearly 110, 000 New Models were purchased by the government during the Civil War, at prices between $10.82 and $15.50 each. These prices were lower than Colt's and by mid-1863, Colt was eliminated from the government contract business. The State of New Jersey also purchased several thousand for Civil War issue.
The New Model 1863 Army was the last of Remington's .44 caliber percussion revolvers. Remington Armies were used from the beginning to the end of the Civil War in all fields. They were considered to be among the finest martial handguns of the day. The Remington New Model 1863 Navy and it's forbear, the Remington-Beals Navy, also saw action during the war.
William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody used an ivory-handled New Model Army .44, serial number 73,293, from 1863 until 1906, when he gave it to his ranch foreman with a handwritten note which said that, "It never failed me."
Year of Manufacture: late 1864
Caliber: .46 Rimfire
Ammunition Type: Rimfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 8 inches
Overall Length: 14 inches
Feed System: 5 Shot Revolver
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