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The Remington Model 1858,

A creation of Eliphalet Remington and Sons (a precursor to Remington Arms Company), the Remington Model 1858 was created as a competitor to Colt’s line of popular army and navy revolvers.  Chambered for both army (.44) and navy (.36) the Remington has several advantages over the famous colt.  Its one piece solid frame made it more durable than Colt’s open top models.  The Remington had a special safety slot so that the hammer could be placed in between two chambers.  This prevented accidental discharges since a firing pin was not sitting on a loaded chamber.  Colt revolvers did not have this feature, so often the user had to carry his Colt with one chamber empty. The Remington’s most important feature was an easy to remove cylinder.  Whereas the Colt had to be loaded with loose powder and bullet one chamber at a time, with the Remington the user could swap out cylinders within seconds.  As a result soldiers and officers armed with a Remington would often carry multiple pre-loaded cylinders.  The easy to remove cylinder also permitted the use of paper cartridges would could be inserted into the chambers.  The only disadvantage the Remington had compared to the Colt was that the Colt was significantly cheaper.  

Despite the extra cost, the US Army purchased many of these revolvers during the American Civil War.  Soldiers and officers too would often shell out the extra money for a Remington.  The result was that the Remington became the 2nd most popular revolver during the war.  Remington especially hit paydirt when the Colt factory experienced a fire in 1864.  As a result the US Army issued Remington’s as a substitute until Colt could go back into production.  Most models were cap and ball, but later many would be converted to use metallic cartridges.  Production ended in 1875 when Remington introduced a new model that was a heavily improved version of the Remington M1858.  Around 132,000 were produced.  Today reproductions of these revolvers are very common, made by Italian companies such as Uberti, Pietta, and Pedersoli.

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