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1858 Remington replica from CVA.

* Among my favorite arms offered by Connecticut Valley Arms, Inc. (CVA) are their series of percussion revolvers. These cap and ball replicas include the .36 caliber 1861 Navy Colt; a brass-framed .36 1851 Navy-type six-shooter; an 1860 Colt Army .44; their 1861 brass-framed .44 caliber model, and an 1858 Remington "forty-four." Each of these arms is economically priced to suit almost any shooter's budget, and offers the black powder buff fair value for the price.

For this month's column, I thought it might be fun to try a little informal shooting with one of these revolvers. I settled on the 1858 Remington .44 caliber for a couple of reasons. First, it is the only Remington replica offred by CVA--their others are copies of Colts, or variations of Colt Sixguns. Secondly, it is the hiehst priced revolver in their catalog, yet it retails for just $163.95, a modest price when compared to some other .44s Ihve seen on the market. I decided to see just what kind of big-bore sixgun could be purchased for that kind of money.

Briefly, the gun is a close copy of Remington's Civil Warera cavalry wheelgun, with two notable exceptions. The front sight, and the frame's topstrap are noticeably higher than those found on the originals--or other reproduction I have seen for that matter. Other than these features, the revolver is a spitting' image of its famous ancestor. It is fitted with an eight-inch octagonal barrel and two-piece walnut stocks. Overall, this steel-frame revolver is finished in a dark blue. The hammer and trigger are both color case-hardened and the trigger-guard is brass. The stocks are nicely figured and are on a par with many of the import replicas that sell for much more. Incidentally, a full-sized, brass-framed model, in .44 caliber, is also available for just $119.95.

I took this sixgun to the Angeles Shooting Range in nearby Little Tujunga Canyon, for some casual shooting and familiarization. After an out-of-the-box checkout--which should be done with any brand-new firearm before firing--I popped caps over each nipple in order to clear them of oil. I then loaded the revolver with my favorite forty-four charge of 30 grains of FFFg black powder. This was topped with an Ox-Yoke Originals' Wonder Wad, and a .457-size Speer swaged ball. The .457-size ball is a tad oversized, which causes a small ring to be shaved off as the load is seated with the loading lever. Initially, I finished off my loading process with Remington No. 11 caps, although I soon found that "finger pinched" No. 10 caps were needed for proper fit.

I w as quite pleased to see that my first six shots out of the box each produced a hit on a line of soft drink cans I had placed about 21 feet downrange. This first cylinder full was fired in offhand, aimed rapid fire manner. Subsequent shooting exercises proved to be equally satisfying. I tried a little close-range hip shooting as well as some offhand targeting on paper at about 20 yards. BEcause of the CVA Remington repro's higher sights (the rear sight is simply a lost in the topstrap as found on the 19th century Remingtons), I discovered that unlike most cap and ball revolvers--originals and replicas alike--my test handgun shot "dead on" within all practical ranges. Most revolvers of this ilk tend to shoot several inches high and require lower holding. This Remington, however, put 'em right where I pointed 'em! On paper four- to six-inch groups can be expected when shot offhand. For those of you unfamiliar with these big-bore percussion revolvers, let me comment that this is as good as the percussion wheelguns the old-timers would shoot. Remember, they were designed as cavalry combat arms to be used as close-encounter weapons--not target revolvers.

Thanks to the Ox-Yoke Wonder Wads I was able to shoot several cylinders-full before it was necessary to wipe off the cylinder base pin. As I have found on most Remington-type revolvers, removing the cylinder for cleaning can be a little tedious, and the CVA was no exception. A rawhide mallet and a rod were required to free the carbon-caked base pin from the frame. A word of caution is in order at this point; be careful not to use a sharp-edged instrument, to force the pin free. When tapping the head of the pin, the forcing rod can slip from its place and mar the finish of the barrel or the pin itself. IT's best to use a small wood rod for such purposes. In all fairness to CVA--and most of the Reminton replicas for that matter--this is a design problem with the original Remington revolvers. Historically, it was this very same bugaboo that caused so many 19th century shooters to opt for the looser fitting Colts. However, in spite of this archaic drawback, the Remington design does boast of a stronger frame and unlike the Colts, there is virtually no problem with percussion caps falling into the internal workings as the revolver is cocked.

All in all, I was impressed with the performance turned in by CVA's 1858 Remington replica. With its crisp breaking trigger, which requires about a four-pound pull, and smooth cocking hammer, the gun is comfortable to handle. It is also accurate and powerful. When you consider these factors along with the affordable price of this .44 bore cap and ball, it becomes a bargain, and we can all use on these days!

The CVA 1858 Remington replica is also available in a kit form which retails for $123.95. The New England muzzle-loading firm has also just added a full-sized, brass-framed, .44 model which can be purchased in either kit form for $99.95, or as a finished revolver for $119.95.

For further information on the 1858 Remington, or any of CVA's extensive line of replica muzzle-loading firearms, contact them at the following address: Connecticut Valley Arms, Inc., Saybrook Road, Haddam, CT 06438. Their new, 1984 full-color catalog is out and can be had for the asking--that's right, it's free. You'll find lots of interesting and useful black powder items within its 25 pages. Get yours today. 1887 GUN CATALOG

Here's a neat book that old gun collectors and students will surely find very valuable for research, as well as for just plain fun reading. It is a reprint of the 1887 edition of E. Remington & Sons'. Sporting Arms and Ammunition Catalog. It is a full 8 1/2-x 11-inch format, and is 34 pages thick. Each page has been copied from the original, including the woodcuts of the firemarms Remington was selling at that time. Boy, I wish the prices in this catalog were current! In browsing through this fascinating reproduction edition. I find that the 1887 price for a Remington .41 rimfire Double Derringer was just $6. Of course I could pop for another $2.5 and have a derringer engraved and equipped with pearl stocks. Their New Model Army Revolver, (1875 Army) in .440-40 caliber would set me back a whopping ten bucks in blue, ro nickel-plated. If I decided to opt for the top of the line model which would again sport nickel plating, engraving, and pearl stocks, I'd have to start saving until I could come up with $24! I'll have to give that some serious thought.

This antique catalog copy also features hunting clothes, reloading tools, holsters, gun cases--even ice skates! For anyone interested in antique arms, especially Remingtons, this bok is a must. An original specimen of this scarce catalog would set you back plenty, but thanks to the Rolling Block Press, this valuable reference work is-available for just $5 per copy postpaid. To obtain a copy, send to the Rolling Block Press at P.O. Box 5357, Buena Park, CA 90622-5357. EOA POWDERHORN

Euroarms of America is offering an intersting powder horn among their selection of black powder products. It is a slablsided flask, made in Italy, of genuine cow horn, and features a brass spout with a pushbutton cutoff device. Each horn is hand-formed and polished to glossy sheen. The horn measures just about ten inches inoverall length, and is fitted at the base with a leather-covered wood plug. This base is then tacked in with several small, brass pound-headed nails. EAch horn is supplied with a single nonadjustable spout, but extra spouts are available for different charges, ranging from 12 to 72 Grams. This h orn is priced at $25.30 and can be ordered through your local gunshop or directly from Euroamrs of America at 1501 Lenoir Drive, P.O. Box 3277, Winchester, VA 22601.
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Title Annotation:revolver evaluation
Author:Spangenberger, Phil
Publication:Guns & Ammo
Date:Apr 1, 1984
Previous Article:Randall's southpaw .45 ACP.
Next Article:6 mm's: how good are they?

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