Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Deadly 1851 Colt Navy Revolver

Army and Weapons | Deadly 1851 Colt Navy Revolver | The Colt Revolving Belt Pistol of Naval Caliber (ie, 0.36 cal), later known as the Colt 1851 Navy Revolver or navy, is a cap and ball revolver. It was designed by Samuel Colt between 1847 and 1850. It remained in production until 1873, when revolvers with fixed metallic cartridges came into widespread use. Total production numbers were exceeded only by the Colt Pocket models in concurrent development and numbered about 250,000 domestic and approximately 22,000 units produced in the Colt London Armory.

The designation "Colt 1851 Navy" was applied by collectors, though the popular name "Navy Revolver" is of early origin, the gun was often called the "Colt Revolving Belt Pistol of Naval Caliber." (Ibid., Wilson) The cylinder was engraved with a scene of the victory of the Second Texas Navy at the Battle of Campeche on May 16, 1843. The Texas Navy had purchased the earlier Colt Paterson Revolver, but this was the first big Colt's success in the gun trade, the Navy theme of the engraved cylinder of the Colt 1851 Navy Colt revolver was a gesture of appreciation. Despite the "Navy" designation, the revolver was chiefly purchased by civilians and military land forces (ibid Wilson 1985).
Famous "Navy" users included Wild Bill Hickok, John Henry "Doc" Holliday, Richard Francis Burton, Ned Kelly, and Robert E. Lee. Use long after more modern cartridge revolvers were introduced in 1873.
The 0.36 caliber revolver navy was much lighter than the current third model Dragoon revolvers developed from the .44 Colt Walker revolvers of 1847, which, given their size and weight, were generally carried in saddle holsters. It is an enlarged version of the .31 caliber pocket revolvers that evolved from the former Baby Dragoon, and, like them, is a mechanically improved and simplified descendant of the 1836 Paterson revolver. Because the factory designation implied, the Navy revolver was large enough to carry in a belt holster. It became very popular in North America at the time of western expansion. Aggressive promotions distributed the Navy Colt revolvers and others in Europe, Asia and Africa. As with many other Colt revolvers, it has a six round cylinder.
The .36 caliber (.375 -. 380 inch) round lead ball weighs 86 grains and, with a velocity of 1000 meters per second, is similar to the modern .380 pistol cartridge in power. Loads consist of loose powder and ball or shot, metallic foil cartridges (early), and combustible paper cartridges (Civil War era), in which all combinations ignited by a fulminate detonator attached to the nipples on the back of the room.
Observation consists of a bead front sight with a notch at the top of the hammer, as with most percussion Colt revolvers. Despite the relative roughness of the observation system, these guns and their modern replicas generally are quite accurate.
The loading sequence and the basic operation of the Colt revolver remained constant during the percussion period, and reflects the activities of most other percussion revolvers. A shooter familiar with the basic operation of the Colt would find the function of a Remington, LeMat, Adams, Cooper or double action essentially identical.
Percussion revolvers are carried out with the hammer down between chambers, with a groove or projection in the hammer engaging either a safety pin or notch at the rear of the cylinder. This method prevents inadvertent rotation of the cylinder and prevents the hammer from touching the detonators and firing the weapon accidentally. Father and Sons after a few revolvers, such as the Rogers and Spencer lacked these safety catches, demand that they are carried down with the hammer on an empty chamber.

For loading:
  • Withdraw from the hammer to the first right, to post on "half cock" and allowing the cylinder to rotate for loading;
  • Fill the powder room, leaving enough space to seat a bullet or ball, and place a ball on the chamber mouth with sprue (brand or left projection of filling the mold) to just forward;
  • Turn the room under the pestle and use the loading lever (if any) to the chair of the projectile firmly on top of the powder column and on or below the chamber mouth;
  • Place blasting caps to each of the nipples on the back of the room;
  • Turn the cylinder as needed and return the hammer down position (pull it back a little, squeeze trigger and let hammer down gently) entering the safety catches, or
  • Withdraw from the hammer to full cock for immediate firing.
A single-action revolver is the thumb-stretched before firing, the cylinder rotates and puts a loaded chamber under the hammer, then pulled the trigger to fire. With double-action revolvers, a single long pull on the trigger cocks the hammer, the cylinder rotates and fires the arm.
A. In the case of film or paper combustible cartridges with powder and ball, place the cartridge in the chamber and use the loading lever is fully behind the projectile. In the case of film cartridges, insert a nipple pick through the cone openings pierce the back of the cartridge envelopes, then the cap on the nipples.

B. After # 3 above, it was (and still is) customary to heavy grease on and around the seated ball, the ball lubrication, reduce pollution and prevent multiple (chain) fires, or

C. After # 2 above, some early shooters (and modern shooters, too) put a stiff, greased felt wad over the powder column for the seat of the ball, as a hedge against the chain of fires that may occur with undersized or poorly shaped balls or Chambers (Bates, Cumpston 2005). Actually reduces dirt buildup in the bore and an accurate long shooting days (Keith 1956). It is also customary to perform a brush or a patch soaked with black powder solvent through the bore before reloading.

D. Most modern target shooters use less than full cost, filling the remaining space on the powder with an inert filler (Cream of Wheat often), so the ball is at the front of the cylinder under load. This procedure improves the accuracy of reducing the "jump" of the ball before it enters the barrel.