Remington 1858 (reproduction)



The Remington 1858, also called the New Model Army, was a Civil War era revolver.  It was actually first introduced by Remington in 1863, with the name coming from the date of patent: 1858.  It was a .44 caliber, black powder, 6 cylinder revolver.  Like all of its contemporaries, the shooter had to individually load black powder and lead balls into each chamber.  Then, he would have to put a priming cap on the end of each chamber.  This was a fairly time consuming process.  These types of revolvers were/are known as "cap-n-balls" which referred the percusion "cap" that sets off each powder charge and the lead "ball" that is loaded and shot.  During the war, the Remington was not as produced or as common as the more famous Colt revolvers such as the models of 1851 and 1860.  However, the Remington can be seen as an improvement to the Colts.  For one, the Remington had a permenantly attached barrel, unlike the Colt, which lended to greater accuracy.  Also, the Remington's full frame, as opposed to the Colt's partial frame, was much stronger.  Finally, the Remington's cylinder could be quickly and easily removed, which allowed soldiers to load up several extra cylinders in advance and swap them out in seconds during battle.  This would save much needed time that reloading a single cylinder would take up.  The Colt's cylinder is not easy or quick to swap out and it involves removing the barrel, which again, causes loss of accuracy.  The Remington just about became obsolete with the introduction of Colt's 1873 revolver.  This revolver used self contained cartridges rather than loose black powder.  That means much quicker and easier reloading.

My Pistol

My Remington 1858 is a modern reproduction.  It was made by an Italian company called Pietta.  Like the original, I have to load each of the 6 chambers with black powder, wadding and then a .44 caliber lead ball.  I then have to prime each chamber.  (Check out the video below for a demonstration on loading and shooting.)  It takes a while, but it's all part of the fun of black powder shooting.  I got it for Christmas last year.  It was purchased online from Cabela's.  The good thing about muzzleloaders (like my revolver) is that they aren't considered firearms by most states and can be shipped right to your door without needing a licence or a background check or anything.  Another cool thing about muzzleloaders is that you can adjust how much black powder you want to put behind each ball and change the power and recoil.  I really like this gun.  It's my only pistol and it's a lot of fun to load and shoot.

1858 Specifications

  • Caliber: .44 inch
  • Length: 14 inches
  • Weight unloaded: 2lb 12.5oz
  • Barrel length: 8 inches
  • Cylinder: 6 chambers
  • Type: black powder "cap-n-ball"


Photos (click to enlarge)