Historical Accuracy of Brass Frame Revolvers

Discussion in 'Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns' started by acme66, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. acme66

    acme66 New Member

    Jan 10, 2008
    I am interested in the historical accuracy of using .44 brass frame Navy revolvers for CW reenactment. Some I have spoken too feel the 'iron' shortage that forced the introduction of brass components is overblown and the weapons would be sparse and undesirable in the field due to reliability issues. Others maintain that it would be hard to find anything but the brass frame. Do you have an opinion or could you offer advice as to where I can look to answer my questions? I apologize if this is a repeat, a search did not turn up the answers I seek.

    Many thanks in advance,

    Ken Nelson
  2. Oneida Steve

    Oneida Steve Well-Known Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    Upstate NY
    I agree that the "iron shortage" is overblown. I think few (if any) Colt-style revolvers with brass frames were used in the Confederacy.

    When brass-framed reproductions first showed up in the 1960's it was due (IMO) to the penny-pinching cheapness of the manufacturers and not to any historical mandate.

  3. Little Rooster

    Little Rooster New Member

    Oct 17, 2007
    Old Dominion
    First I believe if you look Colt didn't make a .44 cal NAVY. It would have been .36. Seems the Italian gunmakers thought there was enough of us warthawgs who would like the bigger caliber. It's been 20 years since I have owned a brass frame, I believe most feel the frame streches because of the softer alloy. Have read reports of guys who have shot the brass frames extensively, without problems also.
  4. jjmitchell60

    jjmitchell60 Active Member

    May 10, 2004
    Raised in Buzzard Roost near Frog Town in hillls o
    Brass frame revolvers were around during teh Civilo War du to one main reason, well 2 reasons. they were mainly in the CSA due to shortage of iron due to the Union Blockades and the fact the South was able to make brass frame revolvers easier than iron since most of the smelting facilities were in the industrialized North. Granted the South used a LOT of British revolvers as well as French LeMats but still bras frame revolvers were around, many made from melted down brass cannons of all things.

    As to shooting them, IF greased properly, they shoot rather well but will wear out after a few thousand rounds being brass is softer than Iron. There are some originl southern brass frame revolvers and single shot hand guns in museums, Perryville battle field in KY has one in their museum. It is made more like a Star rather than a Colt. Also there are refrences to many 31 caliber brass frame revolvers being issued to behind the lines authorities in the CSA.
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