Click to enlarge this picture to see the engraving and enamel detail. Pietta is offering both a US and Confederate flag option in the gun.
This is an 1851 Navy pattern in .44 with special Civil War engraving. Most likely this not a terribly expensive gun.
They also make blued “as issued” version, as well as distressed finishes like this ’58 Remington copy.
The 2013 Pietta catalog also contains the fabled “Bridgeport Rig.” This would come with the belt and clip built onto the guns.
Maturing your gun tastes doesn’t necessarily mean that you go more expensive and more advanced. Cool guns date back to the 1700s, and though you may think that the AR-15 is the ultimate in firepower, in 1836 the five shot Colt Patterson was all the rage. The history of guns is the history of America itself, and thanks to several firearm manufacturers in Italy, we can all visit what it meant to fire a gun from the American Revolution through the Wild West just the way they did, with full power combat loads.
F. LLI Pietta is celebrating your 50th Anniversary making mostly percussion guns from the Civil War era. A few years back they started making cartridge guns as well, in the pattern of the 1873 Colt Peacemaker, and they are heavily involved in Cowboy Action Shooting in Italy as well as here in the US. Several of the guns in our article “A Handgun When you Can’t Buy a Handgun” were made by Pietta (including the engraved Pattersons), and in all the years that those guns have been shot, in and out of SASS competition, not one of them has failed. The finishes have never flaked and the engraving is as sharp and crisp as they day they were made.
This year Pietta has introduced a new enameling in their popular Lemat revolver, which they have made since 1985. If you have never seen a Lemat, it is quite a dandy. Nine .36 caliber barrels surround a roughly 16 gauge shotgun barrel, and the entire thing is the size of a hand cannon. Invented in New Orleans in 1856, the Lemat was carried by several famous Civil War generals, and it has been featured in several movies. Watch the videos we have posted here to see how the artists at Pietta are actually making these works of art.
Also appearing in the Pietta catalog this year is one of their ’73 cartridge guns set up on a “Bridgeport Rig.” This is a belt clip system made for gunslingers in the old west that both secured the firearm and held it ready for quick firing from the belt, no holster required. Don’t know if these are legal for SASS so you’ll have to contact the powers that be first if you intend to use them.
All of the guns you see here are available from Pietta directly, so contact them through the website. Cabelas is a great source for Pietta production guns, and you do occasionally see them at the larger dealers and big box stores, though not the hand engraved and enameled ones. It has been too many years since a good Civil War movie, so the market for these guns is very soft right now and not a lot of people are carrying them in stock. Pietta brought thumb drives instead of stock to SHOT Show this year, so we weren’t even able to get any show pictures. The good news is that while everyone else is out clamoring for yet another AR-15 right now, you will be one of the few people calling Pietta to get an engraved and enameled Lemat. You’ll pay less for it than the AR-15 right now, and it’ll probably not only hold its value better, but increase if you keep it in good shape. I don’t, however, know how we are supposed to get these guns, because the Pietta website has nothing on it. Hopefully we’ll be able to get our hands on some from distribution and be back with some actual reviews and better aquisition information.