‘51 vs ‘61?

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Anyone prefer the ‘51 vs ‘61 Navy’s?

I kind of like the swooping barrel and gear ratchet loader on the ‘61 but the ‘51 is beautiful too. Looking to get one or the other in .36 caliber as I have lots of balls but no gun for them and like the caliber.

-Smokey
 

nkbj

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To me there's just no way to decide overall between the two as each has its finer points.
Just for shooting I prefer the 1851. For me the '61 is nose heavy and so by that metric loses the contest. Their other characteristics are less decisive.
Either will repell boarders or put a bunny in the fricassee.🙂
 

Gee Dog

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I've been happily owning and shooting both mods for decades and still can't decide which is my favorite. I guess they both are.

One idea is to just flip a coin, Heads you win, tails you win.

Pietta's version of the 1861 is 1/2" too long in the barrel for historical perfection. I love mine anyway.

With a Griswold & Gunnison, center.IMG_6214 + .JPG
 
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I have both. I love both. Slight different handling characteristics. I had 51's many years before trying the 61. I was ready to dismiss the 61 because of my experiences with a 60 Army, where I didn't care for the larger grip or 8 inch barrel. Well, the 61 feels completely different (in my hands) than the 60. Amazing how much different that smaller grip and 1/2 " shorter barrel feels. In this case I am talking about all Ubertis. As previously mentioned, Pietta chose to put an 8" barrel on their 61. Don't know why. Not knocking Pietta, but it changes the look of the 61 and its best to understand that difference between the Uberti and Pietta if you choose to go with the 61. Also, most of the recent made Uberti 61's have the blued steel backstrap/triggerguard and cut for shoulder stocks.
When I go to shoot the 36's for the day(which is most of the time), I'm surprised how often I've lately reached for the 61.
 

sourdough

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I think it is all in the eye of the beholder. I have 8 Pietta 1851 Navy "type" .36 revolvers, but only two have the octagonal barrel. I have a soft spot for the part round/part octagon barrels.

Here are most of them:

1851 Navy 4-screw CFS (cut for stock) AZ/1990:


Leech & Rigdon CP/2016 and Schneider & Glassick CN/2015:


1851 Navy Second Model CM/2014 and J.H. Dance and Brothers BH/1996


Rigdon & Ansley CS/2017 and Griswold & Gunnison CN/2015


The 12-stop-slot cylinder was a project in itself to mill the extra 6 safety stop slots and approaches with the help of my neighbor machinist.

I have an Armi San Marco 1860 4-screw CFS BD/1994 with a very nice attachment stock, probably of tiger stripe/shell flame maple (not walnut). I have no idea of the stock manufacturer. I don't think it was made by Pietta, at least within the last two decades, as all of their present versions of a shoulder stock use walnut or European hardwood of some type, and are not figured anywhere near as nice as this stock.


I would like to use it with my next purchase: an Uberti 1861 Navy "military" 4-screw CFS. Gee Dog is correct that the Pietta 1861 barrel is 8", 1/2" too long (for historical purposes), and the Pietta steel backstrap does not have the recess on the bottom of the backstrap for the shoulder stock (very curious to me), which is why I will be going with the Uberti version. More spendy than the Pietta but it has to be as correct as can be in my book. The Uberti gripframe style will work with the shoulder stock I have. I lean more toward the 1851 "type" barrel/load lever style vs. the 1860/1861 streamlined style but I need an 1861 for my collection.

I will use a small portion of my stimulus distribution to purchase one. We are retired on a fixed SS income with a small monthly pension, so the unemployment woes affecting our immediate younger family members and many, many others are not the same for us. We will save the vast majority of it and any other stimulus distributions for them. We are well stocked with food and supplies as we always have been in the past, and we made a fairly generous donation to the very small local food bank yesterday. Most folks in our very remote town here (pop. 600+/-) are retired, old, and do not drive much, if at all. They rely upon the local small grocery market store and the food bank for necessary things.

To everyone on this board: stay safe and stay home if at all possible. We in WA State locked things up very early in March and the coronavirus spread is pretty much under control, so to speak. Our county is very rural for the most part, and we have only had 2 deaths among 17 confirmed cases. Take that as a grain of salt because this county (Lewis) has not the access to testing kits like the more urban/populous counties in Pugetropolis to determine how widespread the virus is.

Regards,

Jim
 

Gee Dog

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It may not matter to some people but the 1851 is by far the more iconic American handgun. While 272,000 1851’s were made only 38,000 1861’s were manufactured. That’s roughly a 7:1 ratio - almost 8:1. During the War and the period of Westward Expansion, of the two, one would most likely encounter the M1851. While the term Navy Six technically applies to both mods the historical reference is really to the ‘51.

If I was shopping for an 1861 I’d definitely go Uberti with the historically correct barrel length (7.5“). Historical accuracy is big with many of us (amirite, sourdough?).
.
The 8” barrel on the Pietta ‘61 sort of throws off the look and original balance but it’s by no means a technical disadvantage. Mine’s a tack-driver (w/.380) and handles real well. Got it new from Cabela's in 1997 [BI].

Copy of IMG_5757.JPG
 
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sourdough

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If I was shopping for an 1861 I’d definitely go Uberti with the historically correct barrel length (7.5“). Historical accuracy is big with many of us (amirite, sourdough?).
Chuckle, you are absolutely correct. I will also be the first to point out that Pietta billboards and Italian datecodes/proofmarks don't bother me. Quite an oxymoron on my part. I guess it comes down to what can be ignored.

Q: Does your Pietta 1861 have a milled recess on the bottom of the backstrap for a shoulder stock? Since it is a BI/1997 I would like to see a photo of that, just for my own curiosity concerning the design. Current Pietta 1861 Navy backstraps do not have that.

From my collection: Pietta 1851 Navy butts. Top to bottom: Large Tail (~2000-2014), Small Tail (1990 or earlier-~2000), Non Tail (2015-present).



Regards,

Jim
 

Artificer

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I have shot and worked on repro and original '51's and '61's.

My preference comes only from the fact the '51 and its clones and "sort of copies" were by far the most common revolver during the UnCivil War.

Gus
 

Treestalker

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I once briefly owned an 1861 Pietta before my brother started stacking up gold for it. To this day I wish I had kept it; I loved the sleek lines and the handling was great. It and the Remington 1858 navy are my favorite .36's. I also once owned a Spiller and Burr .36 and it was OK but not a favorite. My brother had a steel framed Eli Whitney .36 that I enjoyed shooting.
 

nkbj

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Or avoid the temptation of decision altogether with .36, .44 and a caliber in between.
 

atllaw

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[QUOTE="Juice Jaws, post: 1651048, member: 6383"Do what I did, buy them both then you don't have to decide.
[/QUOTE]That's what I did also! :)
 
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I simply don’t have the money for both :’(

So I am looking at this link and it is showing a Pietta ‘61 BUT it has a 7.5” barrel?

Maybe Pietta has changed it since their last runs?
 

sourdough

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The seller has 32 of them available, so I am willing to bet they are all of recent manufacture. I also think it is an Uberti.

Pietta:

Uberti:

That is a very good price from the GB seller, but including state sales tax (me: WA State 9.17%), CC additional fee (2.9%), and UPS shipping costs (~$20 or more), not that great.

With the pandemic hitting Italy very hard, I can see where Pietta and Uberti are probably not making many guns these days.

Jim
 

nkbj

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Smokey,
The Cimarron 1862 .36 caliber with the 5 1/2" barrel is a pretty cool shootin' iron. That's the one where they took the .31 caliber and removed more metal for a .36. Looks like a reduced scale 1851.

Out of curiosity I just went and looked up that revolver. They've got it listed at over $400!
 
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