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A LOOK AT TWO REMINGTONS
AND A COUSIN
THE REMINGTON BEALS
AN ARMY AND TWO NAVIES- PART 1

 

THE REMINGTON NEW MODEL 1863 ARMY .44 CALIBER SINGLE ACTION 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.  Of these 6 models, I have but 3. They are the Remington-Beals Navy and the New Model 1863 Army and Navy revolvers. Their pictures and descriptions follow:

 

Three Remingtons

From Top To Bottom

Remington New Model 1863 Single Action .44 Caliber Percussion Army Revolver (1863-1875)
Remington New Model 1863 Single Action .36 Caliber Percussion Navy Revolver (1863-1875)
Remington-Beals Single Action .36 Caliber Navy Model Revolver (1862-1863)

 


 

     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 weapon pictured here is one of them and is so marked with "N.J." on the barrel and frame.

 

Right Side View of The New Model 1863 Single Action .44 Caliber Percussion Army Revolver

 

Left Side View of The New Model 1863 Single Action .44 Caliber Percussion Army Revolver

Right And Left Side Views of The New Model 1863 Single Action .44 Caliber Percussion Army Revolver

 

     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 forbearer, the Remington-Beals Navy, also saw action during the war. Those models will be further pictured and discussed in Parts Two and Three of this series of postings.

 


 

Left Side View of The New Model 1863 Army, With Loading Lever Dropped Cylinder Arbor Pin and Cylinder Removed

Left Side View of The New Model 1863 Army, With Loading Lever Dropped Cylinder Arbor Pin and Cylinder Removed

 

     This single action weapon is caliber .44 with 5 groove rifling.  It is 14-1/2" overall and weighs 2 pounds, 14 ounces. The blued  barrel is 8 inches long. It is marked, on the top flat, "PATENTED SEPT. 14. 1858 / E. REMINGTON & SONS. ILION. NEW YORK. U.S.A. / NEW-MODEL" in 3 lines. The left barrel flat at the front of the blued frame is stamped "NJ" for New Jersey. The serial number, "61311" is stamped on the bottom flat near the rear. It is only visible when the loading lever is lowered. The front sight, threaded into the barrel, is a pinched cylindrical iron blade 1/4'' long and 3/16" high. It is positioned 3/8" back from the muzzle. Early production models may be found with German silver or brass cone sights. Rear sighting is done through the 2-7/16" "V" groove along the length of the top strap. The loading lever catch, which screws into the barrel, 1-9/16" back from the muzzle, is rounded at the front and notched at the rear to hold the spring loaded catch at the front of the loading lever.

 

BARREL ADDRESS

BARREL ADDRESS
  "PATENTED SEPT. 14. 1858
      E. REMINGTON & SONS. ILION. NEWYORK. U.S.A
NEW-MODEL"

 

"NJ" BARREL STAMPING

"NJ" BARREL STAMPING

 

SERIAL NUMBER STAMPING

SERIAL NUMBER STAMPING
"61311"

 


 

     The blued, one piece solid frame is marked with a "NJ" on the left side under the cylinder opening. A "K" is also stamped on the frame half way between the "B" stamped trigger guard and the grips. It should be noted that the barrel threads are exposed on all specimens. The front of the frame is inlet to receive the wings or finger lugs of the 4-1/8" long cylinder arbor. The grip straps are blued. The oval brass trigger guard is not plated.  It is stamped with a "B" on the left side, rear. The two-piece, oil-finished black walnut wood grips are, unlike those purchased by the federal government, unmarked.

 

LEFT FRAME AND TRIGGER GUARD INSPECTOR MARKS

LEFT FRAME AND TRIGGER GUARD INSPECTOR MARKS
"NJ" (to left), "K" (to right) and "B" on Trigger Guard

 

BOTTOM VIEW OF CYLINDER ARBOR PIN

BOTTOM VIEW OF CYLINDER ARBOR PIN

 

TOP VIEW OF CYLINDER ARBOR PIN

TOP VIEW OF CYLINDER ARBOR PIN

 

     The cylinder pin arbor can only be withdrawn when the 4-1/2'' (from arbor notch to end catch) loading lever is lowered. In normal position, the loading lever prevents the accidental withdrawal of the cylinder arbor. The arbor on this arm can be withdrawn it it's entirety when the loading lever is lowered. However, on other arms of this type, equipped with a "refined" cylinder arbor, it cannot be withdrawn in it's entirety.

 


 

     The six-shot blued cylinder is 2" long overall. It is 1-7/8" from the cylinder front to the top of the shoulders between the nipple wells. There is a small "P" stamped near the front of the cylinder. A "P" stamping is also visible on the back of the cylinder, but does not show up clearly in the photographs.  Each shoulder has intermediate safety rests milled into them. The stop slots are rectangular. The cylinder diameter is 1.65 inches.

 

"P" INSPECTOR'S MARK ON CYLINDER

"P" INSPECTOR'S MARK ON CYLINDER

 

BACK OF CYLINDER

BACK OF CYLINDER

 

FRONT OF CYLINDER

FRONT OF CYLINDER

 


 

     The next posting, Part 2 of 3, of this Remington series will feature the Remington New Model 1863 Single Action .36 Caliber Percussion Navy Revolver. That will be followed by Part 3 of 3 which will feature the Remington-Beals Single Action .36 Caliber Navy Model Revolver (1862-1863).

 

     Once again, a substantial amount of reference material and wording came from Robert M. Reilly and his book "U.S. SMALL ARMS 1816 - 1865" and, as always, from Norm Flayderman's FLAYDERMAN'S GUIDE TO ANTIQUE AMERICAN FIREARMS... AND THEIR VALUES".

 

     My son and webmaster, Reed Radcliffe, again provided the technical expertise to process these words and pictures to our web page. He has also added numerous gun and other related show dates. Please come back for Parts 2 & 3 which will be posted in the following two weeks.

 

Dave Radcliffe