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Perfect revolver?

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kh54

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Hi All and Happy New Year to each and everyone!

What is the perfect revolver for you? I've pondered this a bit as I've acquired a number of percussion revolvers, mostly Colts, but some Remingtons, and a single action Starr; all but one are reproductions. I have nearly completed my Colt collection - I have to find a Paterson, but I have every other model, from the Walker to the .36 pocket models. I do have an 1855 Root, my only original, which I have not tried to fire. I have fired all the others, most more than once. All this is to say that my experience is largely limited to the post-Paterson Colt models, plus the "1858" Remington and SA Starr. My first revolver was/is an Uberti 1861 Navy, and since that purchase I've acquired some number north of 50, but I've also traded or sold many of those. I still have around 37 or 38 (who counts?) and some are obviously duplicates.

From my limited experience I would have to say that for me, the 1851 Navy is the "perfect" revolver. I like the feel in my hand, the weight is manageable (unlike the Walker and Dragoon models that preceded it) and I think it's a handsome firearm. I like the 1849 pocket model, but I also like the extra "oomph" of the larger caliber. The 1860 Army, while only slightly heavier, nonetheless is a bit clunky for my stubby fingers. Some prefer the more streamlined look of the 1860 Army and later 1861 Navy, but I like the direct, form-follows-function of the 1851. I can easily understand why the 1851 Navy was so popular. (I've attached a pic of one of my 2nd Gen 1851s, acquired recently from a fellow forum member.)

I especially like my Uberti 5-inch 1851. I have read that there is some documentation that Colt produced a few 1851s with a 5-inch barrel, so this is not an Italian fantasy gun. It is about three ounces lighter with the shortened barrel, but the feel and handling are also very different with the shorter barrel. I highly recommend it. (Pic also attached.)

So, what do y'all think? What percussion revolver or other handgun do you think is "perfect"?
 

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  • Colt 1851 nextgen cased.jpg
    Colt 1851 nextgen cased.jpg
    1.6 MB · Views: 5
  • Uberti 1851 5-inch.jpg
    Uberti 1851 5-inch.jpg
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By what standard or standards are you using to judge perfection. I would say preference, not perfection. Aesthetics, function, fit to the hand, ease of use (functionality) or all of the above are considerations when choosing one over the other. The 1860's fit my hand better than the other models. I have big hands so if I was going from a shooting stand point I would choose an 1860 and I do like the looks of the 1860. I do like the feel of the 1851 even if it is a little smaller fit for my hand and from an aesthetics and style standpoint I really like the 1851's. From a functionality standpoint I would pick the 1858. I know this goes against the grain with a lot of people but I am not a big fan of the 1858. Again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I just prefer the open tops. So my vote or preference goes to the 1851.
 
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By what standard or standards are you using to judge perfection.

@Hawk54, thanks for your response. Just as you said - preference. I gave all my reasons in the OP: looks, weight, handling, and that most objective standard, “feel.” As I tried to make clear, I’m just curious what others think is perfect for them and why. You and I agree!
 
why do you not have a Rogers & Spencer?

I just haven’t been able to find one for Bannerman’s price of $3.85. 😁

Seriously, until now I’ve focused on guns that were more likely to have been in use in the ACW. The few hundred civilian R&Ss may have been acquired by individuals but the 5K government order was too late to be issued. Next time I do some serious thinning I may have to start looking for a R&S to round out the collection more. Anyone have one for sale or trade? 😬
 
@Hawk54, thanks for your response. Just as you said - preference. I gave all my reasons in the OP: looks, weight, handling, and that most objective standard, “feel.” As I tried to make clear, I’m just curious what others think is perfect for them and why. You and I agree!
I was just saying that there probably is no perfect pistol but there is one that is much preferred over the others from an individual standpoint. To me the 1851 is my favorite by quite a lot. The 1851 has tremendous eye appeal to me. I like the 1860 and 61 pattern revolvers. They have a lot of appeal and would place second.
 
Visually, I've always favored the 1860. Always thought it was the most redefined and elegant of the cap and balls. However, my 1851 fits my hand best and I find that I am much more comfortable and accurate with it then my 1860. I don't have a 1861 but perhaps it would be my "perfect revolver".
 
Hi All and Happy New Year to each and everyone!

What is the perfect revolver for you? I've pondered this a bit as I've acquired a number of percussion revolvers, mostly Colts, but some Remingtons, and a single action Starr; all but one are reproductions.

So, what do y'all think? What percussion revolver or other handgun do you think is "perfect"?

UM..., the loaded one that I'm holding when I need it ?

I have some brass framed "Confederate Navy" .44's.... one is cut down to be a "vest pocket" gun for side matches in CAS. I have been quite surprised with the accuracy out to 25 feet from the bench..., and they are supposed to be bottom-of-the-line pieces.

I have a full sized Remington 1858, and a baby Remington in .32. The full sized Remington would be the easiest to convert over to something modern but we don't discuss that here.

I have a lovely .36 Sheriff model, that shoots pretty well.

They all have quirks and all shoot well when properly handled.

LD
 
I sometimes wish I had bought all the available types of Perc. revolvers back in the 70's-80's; the Pattersons, etc., but have an OK small accumulation now. I found an un-fired R&S at auction a few years back for very reasonable money. I never cared for the Walker; way too heavy!
 
I've owned several C&B revolvers over the years. I still have quite a few but I don't shoot them much anymore. Hands down my Ruger Old Army guns are the best but the one I really regret trading off was a Uberti made squareback 1851 Colt Navy imported by L. Allen's Western Arms Company.
 
Perfect to me would be an 1860 with steel Navy size grip frame and 7 1/2" barrel. A mate with 5 1/2" barrel would be good as well. Colt would be my preference.

I saw a picture in an older magazine of an 1860 so made (7 1/2", Navy grip frame), it was supposedly associated with John Wesley Hardin. I dont know if it was from the factory in that configuration or it happened after it left the factory. I believe Colt would make some things to special order. Pictures exist of some uncommon barrel lengths on what appear to be otherwise standard guns.

An 1861 or 1851 with 5 1/2" barrel would be a nice handy small game getter pistol. Steel grip frame please.

None of the modern-ish so called sheriffs models appeal to me, the details seem to be a bit off from the base version.

The Dragoons are just about right as is. The 3 leaf sight would be an improvement for longer distance shooting, which some of us do pretty regularly. The 1861 with steel grip frames are about right as is also.
 
ohhh man thats a hard one i love them all,
just from feel i prefer the 1851 but if i could only have one and my life had to depend on it; it would definately be the 1860 army.

My remingtons are most excellent firearms and I have a curios case in a stainless Uberti 1858 that i can litereally shoot offhand around 30 yards and hit a 3 inch steel circle target nearly every shot. Now im nowhere near that good of a shot but that darn uberti is literally perfection.

I recently aquired a Santa Barbara 1858 thats supposably creme de la creme in the Remington world but have not had a chance to shoot it yet.

All this being said i prefer my open tops and feel they are not only the Stronger platform when sat up correctly but also the better thought out platform when it comes to a blackpowder revolver.
 
All this being said i prefer my open tops and feel they are not only the Stronger platform when sat up correctly but also the better thought out platform when it comes to a blackpowder revolver.
Please understand I'm not being critical of you personally, but the emboldened part of your text really got me curious why you wrote that?

Open top percussion revolvers put all the stress on the cylinder base pin/arbor. Even Colt recognized solid frame revolvers were stronger than the open top frames and went with them shortly after the War with the M 1873 "Peacemaker" onwards.

Gus
 
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