Early production, 1858 Remington New Model Army Transition Revolver
The Interesting History of Remington Revolvers;
It began with a patent, an unbreakable patent belonging to Samuel Colt since 1835 that kept E. Remington & Sons at arm’s length from the late 1840s until the day Colt’s seven-year patent extension expired in 1857.
As an American arms manufacturer, Remington was much older than Colt, founded in 1816 by Eliphalet Remington II. Originally, Remington only manufactured barrels but did so quite successfully. In 1828, the company moved from Litchfield to larger facilities in Ilion, New York, along the Erie Canal, a major trade route in the 19th century. While Samuel Colt was busy rebuilding his fortunes in 1847 with the .44-caliber Walker and Whitneyville Dragoons, Remington was busy purchasing the Ames Company of Chicopee, Massachusetts, in 1848. He used Ames tooling to manufacture his first complete gun, a breech-loading percussion carbine built under contract to the U.S.
Navy. It was followed by a contract for 5,000 U.S. Model 1841 percussion “Mississippi” rifles. As for manufacturing revolvers, Remington (and every other U.S. arms-maker) was effectively blocked by the Colt patent. Nearly a decade would pass before Remington introduced its first model, the Remington-Beals revolver.
It was designed by Fordyce Beals, who shared not only the name but the June 24, 1856, and May 26, 1857, patents. Introduced on the heels of Colt’s patent expiration in 1857, the relationship with E. Remington & Sons and Fordyce Beals would continue for years, leading to many of the company’s most successful models. In 1858, Remington and Beals raised the bar for .44-caliber handgun designs with the introduction of the Remington-Beals Army model, an immediate and successful rival to the Colt Dragoons and their comparatively outdated (in Beals’ opinion) construction. The .44-caliber Remington Army was followed by a .36-caliber Navy Model. Over the years, Samuel Colt had continued to rely upon his original patent designs using a separate frame and barrel, which were joined with the cylinder on the arbor and secured in place with a wedge passing through the barrel lug and arbor. This was the traditional open-top design that everyone in the U.S. was trying (unsuccessfully) to copy and produce. Colt brought swift litigation against all copies. Beals and Remington were not interested in copying Colt, but rather building a different type of revolver that would, by design, be stronger and use a one-piece frame with a topstrap. And it would be far easier to reload. One had two options when reloading a Colt: Pour a measure of powder into each cylinder chamber, load a lead ball, turn the gun over and place a percussion cap on the nipple of each chamber. The second method was to disassemble the gun by removing the barrel and swapping out the empty cylinder for a loaded one. This was faster so long as you didn’t lose the barrel wedge.
With the Remington and Beals revolver design, traditional loading was the same as the Colt, but a cylinder change took only seconds and required virtually no disassembly. One placed the hammer at half-cock, lowered the loading lever and pulled the cylinder pin forward, rolled the empty cylinder out of the frame, put in a loaded one, pushed the cylinder pin back into place and then raised the loading lever. (You may recall seeing Clint Eastwood do this in the middle of a gunfight in Pale Rider and Anson Mount in the AMC television series Hell on Wheels.) It really was a better idea. With the start of the Civil War, Remington did not rest on its laurels. The Army and Navy models were fast becoming the Union’s second most carried sidearms. During the course of the war, Remington continued to make improvements to its original .36- and .44-caliber models, introducing the improved Army in 1861 and New Model Army and Navy in 1863. By the end of the Civil War, Remington had produced the second largest quantity of handguns used by the Union, a total of nearly 130,000 revolvers, of which more than 115,000 were .44-caliber models. Remington was also the benefactor of Colt’s misfortune—the factory fire of February 4, 1864—which destroyed the original structures erected by Samuel Colt in 1855. The fire destroyed the buildings where revolvers were manufactured and finished. So, the 1864 fire certainly played a role in the Ordnance Department’s increased orders from Remington before the end of the Civil War.
While Remington touted its superior designs, the Army and Navy models were not perfect. Remington’s revolvers were more prone to jamming than Colts and required more meticulous care. But there was much to be said for the ease of reloading, especially in the midst of a battle. End of Remington Revolvers
By 1875, Remington had converted or built thousands of cartridge revolvers in a variety of calibers and models. The New Model Army conversion went out of production in 1875 with the debut of Remington’s first all-new large-caliber cartridge model, the 1875 Single Action Army. The .38-caliber 1863 New Model Navy conversion, however, remained in production for another three years, and conversions of the New Model Police were done as late as 1888. The Belt Model was discontinued in 1873, as were the Remington-Rider Double Action versions. For E. Remington & Sons, the era of the cartridge conversion was nearing an end.
E. Remington & Sons, which was headed in later years by Eliphalet Remington’s eldest son, Philo, prospered well into the post-Civil War era and during America’s Western Expansion but suffered a severe reversal of fortune in the late 1880s and was forced into receivership in 1886. The company was reorganized two years later as the Remington Arms Company under the control of Marcellus Hartley and the New York sporting goods firm of Hartley & Graham (previously Schuyler, Hartley & Graham), which had played a significant role during the Civil War supplying the Union with arms and ammunition. Remington later merged with Hartley & Graham and the Union Metallic Cartridge Company (founded by Hartley after the Civil War), becoming Remington-UMC in 1912. Today, the Remington Arms Co. still operates out of Ilion, N.Y.
This is a outstanding Remington New Model Army Transition Revolver that was purchased by the US government during the Civil War. Caliber .44 with 8" octagonal barrel. Serial number is in the 26,000 range which dates its production to 1863. 'Early style' German silver cone-shaped front sight. Serial numbers are all matching which includes the barrel, cylinder, frame, and grips. Various sub-inspector markings can be found throughout this entire revolver. Good inspector cartouche is visible on the left grip which reads "GP" and stands for "Giles Porter". This is a all original example that's in remarkable shape for early Civil War production as most of these early examples saw extended use.
Overall, NRA Antique Fine+ Condition with 80% plus original blue overall. Hammer still shows some original case colors. Nice markings and good screws throughout. Original grips are in Fine Condition, overall with no chips, cracks, or repairs. The bore and action are excellent, with very strong rifling. Overall very fine. This Remington has a very nice combination of history and condition.! Collection MS Antique Firearms.
S&W Model No. 1, fine
This is one of the nicest First Model S&W' I've ever had. NRA Antique Fine Plus Overall! Early Civil War production! Barrel retain 60% plus bright original blue. The silver plating on the frame is 90% plus. Completely Untouched! Action is Perfect. Nice bore. Original rosewood grips retain 98% original varnish with no chips, cracks, or breaks. Sold.!
A stunning example Remington Double Derringer, Model 3, ("Over & Under Derringer")
This example is stamped: "REMINGTON ARMS CO. ILION, N.Y.", one line address. Low 3 digit serial number puts this pistol's creation most likely in 1889. Manual slide ejector is fitted between the two barrels, and the hard black rubber grips are in very fine condition. Hinge is not cracked. Hammer, hinge screw, lever screw, lever and trigger all retain a generous amount of blue finish. The bores are "as new". The action is crisp, overall Excellent.! Collection MS Antique Firearms.
The Remington Model Double Derringer ("Over & Under Derringer"), one of the most recognized and famous firearms in the world. The Model 95 Double Derringer was designed by William Elliot of Remington, who had previously designed an entire series of popular and successful pocket pistols and derringers for the firm. The pistol was patented by Elliot and Remington in 1865, and went into production in 1866 through 1935!
Factory Deluxe Engraved Moore's 'Teat-fire' front-loading revolver in Original Case
Not for sale.!
Ithaca 12 Ga Hammerless Shotgun
Ithaca became famous for building firearms based on expired patents owned by Remington Arms. They also purchased patents from other firearm designers. In 1895 Emil Flues was granted Patent # 546,516, for a double barrel shotgun with only three moving parts per barrel. Ithaca bought the patent in 1907 and upgraded the design to allow for mass production. With the Flues designed Ithaca double, which became the best selling American double of all time with more than 223,000 produced between 1908 and 1926, Ithaca effectively drove Remington out of the double gun market. This is a very nice example of the Ithaca hammerless shotgun, 12 gauge, 30” Damascus barrels, checkered wood stocks, hard rubber butt pad. Not for sale.