Remington & Sons of Ilion, New York began production of percussion revolvers based on the Fordyce Beals design in the 1850’s and early 1860’s. By the beginning of the Civil War, Remington was ready to produce the Remington-Beals revolver in .44 caliber Army and .36 caliber Navy models, which collectively became known as the Remington Model 1858. The revolvers were single action, 6 shot percussion revolvers with hexagon barrels. The Remington 1858 and the Colt 1860 were similar and were both used extensively in the Civil War (though historical accounts suggest that the soldiers on both sides preferred the Remington over the Colt due to durability and accuracy; the Remington allowed soldiers to keep a second loaded cylinder on hand to exchange quickly during battle and not to have to re-load so often as with the Colt). Eliphilat Remington died in 1861 at the outset of the Civil War, so the 1858 was one of the very last models for him to oversee. The 1858 was a successful design and helped to contribute to the manufacture of additional Remington revolvers such as the Model 1875 and 1890. The first Remington-Beals Army Model was made from 1861-1862. Only 1900 were made and 80% of them went to the U.S. Army. They were .44 caliber, 6 shot with an 8 inch octagon barrel. Remington-Beals also made the Navy Model in .36 caliber, 6 shot with 7.5 inch octagon barrel. The total estimated quantity was 14,500. Remington made the 1861 Model called the “Old Army” which was produced in 1862. It was a .44 caliber, 6 shot, 8 inch octagon barrel. The total quantity was 6,000. Remington made the 1861 Navy Model called the “Old Model Navy” which was produced in 1862 with a total quantity of 7,000. It was a .36 caliber, 6 shot and 7.38 inch octagon barrel. Remington made the “New Model Army” from 1863-1875 with total quantity being 122,000. It was .44 caliber, 6 shot, 8 inch octagon barrel. It, like all the others, had walnut wood grips and blued finish and a screwed-in front sight. The “New Model Army” had a low spur hammer as opposed to the others that had a high spur hammer. All model 1858’s had the same barrel markings: PATENEDSEPT.14.1858/E.REMINGTON&SONS.ILION,NEWYORK.U.S.A./NEW
MODEL. The “New Model Army” was the last of the Remington .44 caliber percussion revolvers. “Buffalo Bill” Cody carried a New Model Army from 1866 clear up into the mid 1870’s. He used his revolver to hunt buffalo, fight American Indians during the “Indian Wars” and claimed, “It never failed me!” This revolver is an original, authentic, antique Remington “New Model” 1858 Army Percussion Civil War Revolver. 44 Cal. 6-shot. 8” Octagon Barrel. Serial #43655. Made in 1863. Standard Markings, “Patented Sept 14 1858/E Remington & Sons Ilion New York, USA/ New Model” are worn off. Has military inspector’s markings on various parts. The bore is good. Action works well and locks up tight when cocked. Metal is good and clean. Walnut grips fit tightly with no cracks or gouges. Remnants of a cartouche on left side. Overall a good collectible, original, authentic, antique Civil War Era Remington “New Model” 1858 Army 44.
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