Original U.S. Remington M-1875 Single Action Army .44-40 WCF Revolver named to O.B. Gibson - Serial No 85
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice in example of the Remington M-1875 Single Action Army Revolver, marked with the owner's name, giving it some excellent research potential. This model of revolver was introduced to compete with Colt's own Single Action Army, introduced in 1873. Unfortunately the two year advantage Colt had been well used by Colt to secure virtually all the U.S. Government Contracts leaving Remington to find additional and different markets. Still, it's a very well made revolver, and has a solid place in U.S. firearm history.
This example still has its original 7 1/2" barrel in place, without any "cowboy" style modifications. This model was the first military sized, cartridge revolver to be produced by Remington that was not a conversion of one of their earlier percussion models. The gun is a six shot, single action revolver that competed directly with the Colt Single Action Army. The gun had a fluted cylinder and was produced in three center fire calibers, .44 Remington, .44 WCF (44-40) and eventually .45 Colt. This revolver is in .44cal, and the slightly "necked down" chamber indicates .44-40 WCF. We have confirmed this by testing cartridges in the cylinder.
The majority of the revolvers produced had 7 ½" barrels, although a few were produced with 5 ¾" barrels and are considered very scarce today. The revolvers were produced with both blued and nickel finishes. Oil finished, two-piece walnut grips were standard, but other options were available on special order. Remington produced the M-1875 revolver from 1875 until 1889, with a total production of only between 25,000 and 30,000; a very small production run when compared with Colt's M-1873 Single Action Army.
The markings on the top of the barrel are clear:
E. REMINGTON & SONS. ILION. N.Y. U.S.A.
The serial number 85 is present on the edge of the left grip frame, underneath the grip. Unfortunately this does not really give much information about when the pistol was made, as at about serial number 12,000, Remington started the serial numbering for the Model 1875 back at 1. This was also around the time they moved from a rectangular firing pin, to a cone-shaped one, so most likely, this is the second model 1875 to have the serial number 85.
Our example here is in fine condition, the finish being, just as it started life, in bright steel which has nicely aged over the last 140 years. The wood grips are excellent, and have some lovely figured "curl" to the grain. The revolver functions well, however it can be finicky at times though, as with any revolver of this age.
The grip's steel back strap is stamped or engraved O. B. GIBSON and the left side of barrel "wing" situated under the barrel just in front of the frame is still faintly marked with N. M., very possibly for what was then the Territory of New Mexico. There are additional markings after this which unfortunately are very faded, and not able to be read. Very possibly O.B. GIBSON was some sort of Law Enforcement Officer in that Territory. So here is a fine opportunity for some home research.
A really nice U.S. Revolver with research potential, ready to display!
The Remington Model 1875 Single Action Army (a.k.a. Improved Army or Frontier Army) was a revolver by E. Remington & Sons. It was based upon the successful New Model Army (Remington Model 1858), with both revolvers having the same size, appearance, and the removable cylinder. The new 1875 Remington differed mainly from the older 1858 percussion model by having a bored through cylinder chambered for metallic cartridges. Thus, in 1875, Remington entered the cartridge revolver market with this big-frame, army style revolver, intended to compete with the Colt Peacemaker. Ordinary citizens and Old West lawmen alike recognized the sturdy quality of the new Remington revolvers
Introduced to compete with Colt's single-action Army revolvers, this Remington design failed to meet with the commercial success made by Colt's model due to the Hartford firm's two-year head start in production and sales.
Also known as the "Improved Army" or "Frontier Army" revolver, this single-action was a competitor to Colt's popular Single Action Army line. By the time of its introduction, however, Colt had already secured contracts with the U.S. Army, and Remington was forced to seek other markets. The U.S. government purchased fewer than 650 for use by Indian police, and another 1000 were sold to the Mexican government circa 1880. The Egyptian government contracted for delivery of 10,000, but few were produced and delivered due to significant unpaid debts owed by the Egyptians for Rolling Block rifles.
Between 25,000 and 30,000 were manufactured during the years 1875–1889 in three different chamberings: .44 Remington Centerfire; .44-40; and .45 caliber. These were not optional; rather, the caliber of production models was determined by their date of manufacture. .45 caliber cylinders were slightly longer to prevent accidental insertion into a .44 frame. Standard features included a fluted cylinder, walnut grip panels, blued or nickel-plated finish with case-hardened hammer and loading gate, and a lanyard ring. Standard barrel length was 7 1⁄2 inches (190 mm), although very few revolvers were produced with 5 3⁄4-inch (150 mm) barrels.
Years of Manufacture: 1875–1889
Caliber: .44-40 Winchester Center Fire
Ammunition Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 7 1/2 inches
Overall Length: 13 1/2 inches
Action: Single Action
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver
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