.

New vs. Original BP Revolvers

CSI21CSI21 Member Posts: 1,206 ✭✭✭✭✭
Do you think that the modern BP revolvers that are being made today are better made guns than the original? I would think that the new guns would have the benefit with better tech and metals. Any opinions out there folks on the matter.

Comments

  • cbyerlycbyerly Member Posts: 703 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I believe the quality control on the originals was way above that of modern reproductions. The test standard in Italy involves only a visual inspection and firing one round before it passes.
  • ken44-40ken44-40 Member Posts: 201 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Steel is much better today than it was back in the day. CNC machining is far superior early mass production methods. I'd have to give the nod to todays replicas being superior to the originals.
  • hillbillehillbille Member Posts: 11,386 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by ken44-40
    Steel is much better today than it was back in the day. CNC machining is far superior early mass production methods. I'd have to give the nod to todays replicas being superior to the originals.


    While I agree the metal and the machining may be better, the hand fitting was far superior to todays mass production.
  • stegsteg Member Posts: 871 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    With respect to Colt percussion reproductions: although the steel used is much stronger than 19th century steel, the quality of most Italian reproductions is not as good as that of the originals....Uberti comes close, but no cigar.
    The 2nd and 3rd generation Colts are a different story. The 2nd generation Colts, are in every way the equal of the originals. There are, of course, some variations. The Cylinders of the Walkers and first model Dragoons are blued in the 2nd and 3rd gen. guns where they weren't in the originals.
    The third gen.(signature series) guns are a different story. Although they were made by the same sub-contractor that made the 2nd gen. guns, they did not have the Colt Hartford Factory quality control team on the job. Thus, you get many guns that are in every way identical to the originals, and you get a significant number of "culls"....and 3rd generation "Colts" will not letter, whereas 2nd gen. Colts will.
  • slumlord44slumlord44 Member Posts: 3,695 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I bought a new 3rd generation Walker in the '90s when they came out. Had to send the first one back because the grips fit poorly. Second one was fine.
  • GatofeoGatofeo Member Posts: 230 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I think I see where this might be leading:

    newer metallurgy + better machining methods of today = ability to take higher pressures, possibly even small amounts of smokeless powder.

    No. The above equation is not complete.
    The overwhelming factor that too many don't consider is design.
    The percussion cap/nipple system of black powder guns cannot safely hold back the higher pressures of smokeless powder, or of overloads. And with percussion and flintlock guns, there's nothing to examine that can clue you in on what's maximum or beyond maximum: no case or primer.
    Better metallurgy and tolerances may count for a bit, but it's overridden by design.
  • CSI21CSI21 Member Posts: 1,206 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Never would consider smokeless in a BP pistol, I was just talking about overall quality of manufacture.
  • bartman45bartman45 Member Posts: 3,008 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by cbyerly
    I believe the quality control on the originals was way above that of modern reproductions. The test standard in Italy involves only a visual inspection and firing one round before it passes.


    On Italian replicas. I have a Pedersoli Deluxe Sharps and the workmanship is flawless. The wood fit to metal, metal finish, checkering and quality of wood is as good as I've seen on the more expensive domestic Sharps companies. Only difference noticed is the case hardening. Mine is different from the case hardening on my Colt SAA. Not better, nor worse. Just has a different "feel" to it.
  • v35v35 Member Posts: 13,200
    edited November -1
    My 2nd gen 1860 stainless Colt is equal in every way to an original and better in steel quality.
    My 1862 Uberti stainless Pocket Police is also finely made inside and out.
    I have an early Navy Arms Remington Army that needed rework but now shoots very accurately.
    The cylinder chambers needed to be reamed to be round and to size and the barrel needed to be set back to correct cylinder gap and and rammer-to-catch distance. It would drop after every shot.
    Also a higher front sight needed to be fitted.
  • pwilliepwillie Member Posts: 20,233 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I don't think the original are latter BP revolvers equate to the Ruger Old Army in build or quality...
  • CSI21CSI21 Member Posts: 1,206 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I agree PWillie, but thats kinda apples and oranges, really interested in the quality of the 1800's revolvers and thier replicas.
    I am trying to figure out what gun I want to start with in bp revolver shooting. Ruger sorta looks like a Super Remington to me, but I am sure there are mechanical differences.
  • 44caliberkid44caliberkid Member Posts: 925 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I think you have to differentiate between the Colt and Remington designs. I've seen Remington repros that are probably every bit as good as originals. The Colt design required more hand fitting of the arbor length and the barrel wedge to be accurate. The Italian guns leave the arbor short so that everything fits together without much trouble in mass production. When the wedge is inserted this pulls the top of the barrel assembly back further than the bottom, causing the barrel to tip up and make it shoot high. I've had repros with good action timing and some that were horrible, but the good thing is most are fixable. I have two Belgian Centaurs, that are touted to be some of the best repros around and one of them is fitted so badly it won't even operate. It is luck of the draw. That's why it's good to buy from Cabelas or Texas Jacks, who will take the gun back if it's not right.
  • v35v35 Member Posts: 13,200
    edited November -1
    The shallow ratchet cuts on my repro Remington Army got beat up.
    In that regard the deeper cuts of the Colts are better.
    Remingtons can come with target rear sights which are a good idea since these percussion revolvers can shoot very accurately.
    I've plinked at very long range with a Colt Army.
    The reason I sold my originals was because BP residue got into every part of the guns including under the grips. That meant the Colts had to be taken completely apart for washing, drying and reoiling.
    No matter how carefull you are, the gun gets diminished.
  • machine gun moranmachine gun moran Member Posts: 5,198
    edited November -1
    Back in the day, when they had no CNC capabilities, just about everything was hand-fitted. This was the original idea behind match-numbering all of the parts on the finished product. Manufacturing techniques had vastly improved by the time of WW2, but there was still a major effort by the government to make sure that the various makers of particular types of weapons were producing parts that would interchange with each other.

    There is still considerable hand-fitting involved in producing copies of many of the original BP designs. As for the materials used, there is a far cry between the metal composition of the 1870's guns, and even those produced by about 1900, by which time a lot of guns were rated for smokeless powder and even for jacked bullets. Today, the available materials are still better. Regarding the Italians, they were making aircraft engines in the '20's and '30's which were good enough to hold world records, so they have had an excellent knowledge of metals and machining for a long time. Some people have tried to give Uberti a bad rap, but Uberti's engineers no doubt went to school where Perazzi's and Beretta's engineers did, and so I don't think that any of those factories use recycled fire hydrants for recievers[:D][:D].
  • ofitgofitg Member Posts: 359 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Notwithstanding Wille's Screen-Actors'Guild caricature, the ROA is irrelevant.

    Pietta cylinders time up OK on Pietta revolvers, and Uberti cylinders time up OK on Uberti revolvers.

    I think that's a vast improvement over the originals.
  • BergtrefferBergtreffer Member Posts: 629 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    This year I bought a new 1875 Remington with two cyclinders, a .45 Colt and a .45 ACP. Had to order it through a dealer. It arrived with the .45 ACP cylinder installed, and the .45 Colt cylinder raped in paper in the box. I want the Colt cylinder in, and I attempted to install it with no success. The gear teeth (or whatever they are called) on the rear of the cylinder were not finish. Those teeth were only roughed in. I took the entire box of stuff back to the dealer for him to deal with. He sent the '75 Remington and both cylinders back to an authorized repair business for repair/finishing. The my local dealer couldn't believe that the manufacture had sent an unfinished cylinder out in the first place.
  • flyingcollieflyingcollie Member Posts: 197 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I don't see how we'd ever be able to compare an original Colt to either Italian repros, or the Colt re-issues, unless there are some examples out there which are mint. I know I'll probably never get to handle one, much less take it apart and assess the fit and finish.

    I now own a Colt Signature and a Colt 2nd gen. '51 Navies. The 2nd is very nicely done, but the action is not as tight as the Signature. Both are timed spot-on, and the arbors "bottom" in the barrel assemblies. Compared to the Uberti repros I own, they are far superior.

    As for the repros, it's interesting to compare the Uberti 1861 Navy I bought in 1970 to the same model by Uberti I acquired last summer. 40 years ago, no CNC, but the receiver milling was all machine cut, the way it would have been done 150 years ago. The newer example relies on precision casting techniques which have come to the fore during the past 30 years to form such features as the sear/bolt spring rebate, and the slot which the hand operates through . . . that means some radius corners, and the fit has needed quite a bit of dinking with to make it agreeable in the newer revolver.

    I haven't yet torn down the Colt '51s . . . I expect to see machine cuts and a decent level of finish on internal parts, or I'll be disappointed. I haven't shot these yet . . . stay tuned.
  • v35v35 Member Posts: 13,200
    edited November -1
    I had a mint '60 Colt and did make the comparison. It remained mint except for finish because the hand pin broke from misfitting and remained in the gun. That Colt came out of the W.R.Hurst collection.
    My Second Gen '60 Stainless is as finely finished inside and out.
    Originally, investment cast gun parts left a few thousandths for finish machining, cleanup and polish. Today with improvements to pressure casting, investment casting and closed die forgings, some as-cast and as-forged surfaces, in unimportant areas, are left unfinished.That's where you look to see what process was used.Some German post war guns replaced wrought, machined parts with cast parts that were finished on all surfaces to conceal that.You find that out from broken parts that should have bent.
    AR upper and lower receivers are largely unfinished externally.
  • odenthevikingodentheviking Member Posts: 523 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by steg
    With respect to Colt percussion reproductions: although the steel used is much stronger than 19th century steel, the quality of most Italian reproductions is not as good as that of the originals....Uberti comes close, but no cigar.
    The 2nd and 3rd generation Colts are a different story. The 2nd generation Colts, are in every way the equal of the originals. There are, of course, some variations. The Cylinders of the Walkers and first model Dragoons are blued in the 2nd and 3rd gen. guns where they weren't in the originals.
    The third gen.(signature series) guns are a different story. Although they were made by the same sub-contractor that made the 2nd gen. guns, they did not have the Colt Hartford Factory quality control team on the job. Thus, you get many guns that are in every way identical to the originals, and you get a significant number of "culls"....and 3rd generation "Colts" will not letter, whereas 2nd gen. Colts will.



    You better check your facts here Steg...... You are completely wrong on just about all you've said here.
    Where do I start? ALL the Colt 2nd &3rd Gen BP pistols were made by Uberti and re-worked, re-finished, etc... here in the USA. The 2nd and 3rd Gen. Colts were done by two totally differant contractors and only a few of the first "C" ser. 2nd Gen. were even touched by Colt employees. All this can be looked up on line and proven as fact. Not sure where you found your fairy tale.
  • stegsteg Member Posts: 871 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by odentheviking
    quote:Originally posted by steg
    With respect to Colt percussion reproductions: although the steel used is much stronger than 19th century steel, the quality of most Italian reproductions is not as good as that of the originals....Uberti comes close, but no cigar.
    The 2nd and 3rd generation Colts are a different story. The 2nd generation Colts, are in every way the equal of the originals. There are, of course, some variations. The Cylinders of the Walkers and first model Dragoons are blued in the 2nd and 3rd gen. guns where they weren't in the originals.
    The third gen.(signature series) guns are a different story. Although they were made by the same sub-contractor that made the 2nd gen. guns, they did not have the Colt Hartford Factory quality control team on the job. Thus, you get many guns that are in every way identical to the originals, and you get a significant number of "culls"....and 3rd generation "Colts" will not letter, whereas 2nd gen. Colts will.



    You better check your facts here Steg...... You are completely wrong on just about all you've said here.
    Where do I start? ALL the Colt 2nd &3rd Gen BP pistols were made by Uberti and re-worked, re-finished, etc... here in the USA. The 2nd and 3rd Gen. Colts were done by two totally differant contractors and only a few of the first "C" ser. 2nd Gen. were even touched by Colt employees. All this can be looked up on line and proven as fact. Not sure where you found your fairy tale.

    I don't know or care why you have chosen me to get into a "mine is bigger than yours" contest, but you are completely wrong about the 2nd and 3rd generation Colt percussion revolvers.
    If you would bother to buy a copy of Dennis Russells 'PERCUSSION COLT REVOLVERS . THE SECOND GENERATION . COLLECTORS HANDBOOK & PRICE GUIDE #6" or any of Dennis Adlers books on reproduction Colts, perhaps you would learn something. The Russell book has a complete history of both 2nd and 3rd generation Colts.
    Colt had a long history, dating all the way back to the Paterson days, of sub-contracting major parts of its manufacture to other companies. This was especially true after their plant burned down in 1864. If you are one of those purists that says the gun has to be made in Colt's factory to be a real colt, then, I guess you can't consider many Texas Paterson's or the Colt Walker a real Colt either....and neither of them will letter from Colt!
    You need to spend some money and read and stop attacking people who know a thing or two more than you do!
  • odenthevikingodentheviking Member Posts: 523 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Hello All and good morning Steg,

    Here is the original question posted: "
    Do you think that the modern BP revolvers that are being made today are better made guns than the original? I would think that the new guns would have the benefit with better tech and metals. Any opinions out there folks on the matter."
    This is asking for "opinions" and I simply voiced my opinion and you voiced yours! End of story, no contest, just opinions. If you can not handle a simple debate then maybe this site is not for you. The troops here play pretty ruff and you gotta have thick skin, in the years I have posted here folks have jumped me left and right. I have found you have two choices, defend your self and suffer the come-backs or leave, (even just for a month or two to cool off).
    I like to think of it as a big camp fire we are all sitting around talking. Some of us sit right up front, using our own names and honest information, some sit back and in shadows and Troll comments in. But all are heard but not all are answered. In the end we all get up and go to sleep having done nothing and proved nothing but to pass the time with some friends........ and maybe some enemies!
  • stegsteg Member Posts: 871 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by odentheviking
    Hello All and good morning Steg,

    Here is the original question posted: "
    Do you think that the modern BP revolvers that are being made today are better made guns than the original? I would think that the new guns would have the benefit with better tech and metals. Any opinions out there folks on the matter."
    This is asking for "opinions" and I simply voiced my opinion and you voiced yours! End of story, no contest, just opinions. If you can not handle a simple debate then maybe this site is not for you. The troops here play pretty ruff and you gotta have thick skin, in the years I have posted here folks have jumped me left and right. I have found you have two choices, defend your self and suffer the come-backs or leave, (even just for a month or two to cool off).
    I like to think of it as a big camp fire we are all sitting around talking. Some of us sit right up front, using our own names and honest information, some sit back and in shadows and Troll comments in. But all are heard but not all are answered. In the end we all get up and go to sleep having done nothing and proved nothing but to pass the time with some friends........ and maybe some enemies!

    I am not the one who needs to cool off. You are the one who attacked me. Not only on this thread, but on several others on this site. You especially went after me when you were proven wrong by another correspondant.
    It is all nice and good for you due to the anominity of the internet because you can spiel off your misinformation without fear of retribution. But the fact remains, opinion or not, when it comes to Colt percussion revolvers made under the auspices of Colt or made in their factory, you do not know what you are talking about. No matter how many Italian imitation kits you have put together.
  • odenthevikingodentheviking Member Posts: 523 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Oh Steg, Why would you think this is all about you????

    This guy asked a question,(just like the other 2 or 3 posts), and I gave him an answer..... an answer that I have backed up with articles from G&A, quotes from gun makers, and other direct ref's. All you can do is tell us about how much you LOVE Sam Colt! and how you went on a tour 50 years ago of Colt or Bannermans or I.J. or whatever and all the books you have read by others that are in Love w/Colt! Now I have started a thread to see if you can back up what you have said but all you can do is continue to deal out insults. So prove something Steg....... show us the proof that you know what you are talking about.

    And as far as this other idiot....... I think i put him in his place, just more 40 year old information, not the whole article but just a little paragraph here and there.
    I swear the people on this forum only care about pissing and moaning, all they wanna do is fight and give bad information.
  • flyingcollieflyingcollie Member Posts: 197 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    You know, it would be just fine to be able to read on a forum like this, absorb different opinions, no matter how "far out", take the gold, leave the dross, and not have to put up with name-calling, rancorous exchanges, and chest-thumping. It tends to drive reasonable, well-mannerd folks away, and those are the ones who should be posting.
  • machine gun moranmachine gun moran Member Posts: 5,198
    edited November -1
    Uberti says it uses forged frames for the SAA, Open Top, and Colt-type cartridge conversions, and cast frames for the various Remington copies. The Remington frames incorporate the grip straps and are a much more complex piece. Oddly, they didn't say how the Colt-type percussion frames are made.

    I wonder when they are going to try MIM. That process is supposed to be able to produce components that are as strong as forgings, and the last Colt-made 1911's that I bought, had some MIM parts. It might reduce the cost of an SAA-type hammer to where I wouldn't have to trade my car for one, LOL.
  • stegsteg Member Posts: 871 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    It is my understanding that Biretta bought Uberti a while ago, so that they could not only acquire the base patents for MIM but also for the shop techniques which they pioneered.
    I have suspicions about how the percussion frames for 2nd and 3rd gen. Colt percussion frames were made, but have no proof.
  • v35v35 Member Posts: 13,200
    edited November -1
    I believe Colt revolver frames up to 1900 when SAA's were guaranteed to handle smokeless, were made up of forged, malleable cast iron and case hardened after finish machining.
    A close examination of a stripped 2nd gen percussion frame might reveal some unmachined, as-cast surfaces if investment casting was the process used.
  • v35v35 Member Posts: 13,200
    edited November -1
    I believe Colt revolver frames up to 1900 when SAA's were guaranteed to handle smokeless, were made up of forged, malleable cast iron and case hardened after finish machining.
    A close examination of a stripped 2nd gen percussion frame might reveal some unmachined, as-cast surfaces if investment casting was the process used.
  • v35v35 Member Posts: 13,200
    edited November -1
    Children, please stop replicating my posts.
    It reflects badly on yourselves.
  • rossowmnrossowmn Member Posts: 2,127 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by flyingcollie
    You know, it would be just fine to be able to read on a forum like this, absorb different opinions, no matter how "far out", take the gold, leave the dross, and not have to put up with name-calling, rancorous exchanges, and chest-thumping. It tends to drive reasonable, well-mannerd folks away, and those are the ones who should be posting.

    Thank you for a sensible comment. I've seen so many good, knowledgeable people abandon discussion boards forever because of the rancorous attitudes that sometimes emerge, and their departure is everyone's loss. So, again, thank you.[:)]
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