Gun Review: 1858 Remington

By Otis Earle

Fordyce Beals. Sounds like the name of a shady character lurking in the wisteria of some Flannery O’Connor story, doesn’t it? Only Fordyce was very real – born in Massachusetts and died in Connecticut. In between, he was granted US Patent No. 21478. Today, we know Old Number 21478 as the Remington 1858 . . .


Now, 155 years later, you can still buy brand new versions of Fordyce’s design, mostly made in Italy. And they still shoot just as straight and true as the originals. None other than William “Buffalo Bill” Cody wrote of his old 1858 Remington, “It never failed me.” If you had a few briefcases full of C-notes sitting around last summer, you could have bid on Buffalo Bill’s 1858 Remington, along with his hand-written note extolling the virtues of Beals’ revolver.

The 1858 Remington is a single-action, cap-and-ball percussion revolver, usually .44 caliber, although versions were also made in both .31 and .36 calibers. In the .44 version, each of the six chambers can hold up to 40 grains of black powder. Most folks shoot them with charges down in the 20-grain range. And that’s part of the beauty of cap-and-ball revolvers; you can vary the powder charge any time you want—light loads for plinking, and heavy loads for whatever.

In Iowa, muzzle-loading pistols of at least .44 caliber, with barrels at least four inches long and without shoulder stocks are legal for deer hunting. A standard 1858’s barrel measures eight inches. With heavier charges, it’s good to go when trying to put Bambi’s mother in the freezer. And man, do we have a lot of Bambi’s kin running loose here. Of course, only shoot from distances from which you know you make clean, ethical kills. Not only is that the right way to hunt, deer that go down fast and clean taste better.

Mmmmmm……lightly-grilled, corn-fed Bambi’s mother backstrap…….mmmmmmm.

Sorry. Got distracted there.

The Remington-Beals – as it was called back then – came into its own with the onset of the Civil War. The US Government needed as many revolvers as it could get. The Remington cost about 50 cents more per copy than the various Colt models, due to the “top strap” frame construction, and was not as widely issued. But that same design made the Remington more robust than the Colts and also gave the advantage of rapid cylinder swapping. On a Remington 1858, all you have to do is flip down the loading lever, pull the cylinder pin forward, and ECCO! The cylinder! She just a rolls out inna ya hand! And if you happen to have another pre-loaded cylinder with you, PRESTO! You’re reloaded. Like this guy.

Of course, walking around with fully-loaded and capped extra cylinders on your belt or in your pocket can be a bit dicey. One good smack on the percussion caps, and BOOM! You could become the next Farinelli…if you’re lucky. If you’re not lucky, then you’ve got a tear in your femoral artery and only a few minutes to stop the bleeding before you’re introduced to Eliphalet Remington at that great gun factory in the sky. For Civil War pistoleros the best way to rapidly reload any cap-and-ball revolver, including the 1858, was to carry several of them, like this other guy—a Confederate guerilla from Missouri.

He’s got an 1858 Remington in each hand, and looks like at least two more on his belt. That’d be 24 shots of fairly rapid fire, not shabby even by today’s standards.  And you thought the “New York reload” was a modern invention? Or even from New York? Bah!

The 1858 Remington has safety notches cut into the cylinder in between the nipples, giving the un-cocked hammer a place to rest that’s not on a percussion cap. Colt cap-and-ball revolvers usually don’t safety notches.


The safety notch feature makes it easy to safely carry a fully-loaded 1858 Remington. The strong top-strap design, the ease of swapping cylinders and the safety notches are all reasons why so many modern cap-and-ball shooters still turn to Fordyce Beal’s design. Not to mention that shooting ’58 Remington reproduction is just an absolute hoot.

My personal recipe for 1858 fun is 25 grains of holy black with a .454 diameter round lead ball seated firmly atop it. You know you’ve got a good, airtight seal in the chamber when the mouth of the cylinder shaves a small lead ring off the edge as you seat the ball. I like to put some Bore Butter into the mouth of each cylinder on top of each ball. Some folks claim doing so helps prevent chain fires, or all the cylinders going off at once. There is research indicating that chain fires are probably caused by sparks getting under loose-fitting percussion caps.

Either way, a good dose of lube also helps keep the black powder fouling moist and pliable, and easier to clean out. One of the knocks against the 1858 Remington is that the cylinder tends to bind on the cylinder pin as the pistol gets fouled, and Bore Butter, or even some Crisco, helps keep that cylinder turning smoothly all day long.

My 1858 is an Uberti model previously owned by a North-South Skirmish Association member. Although original 1858s were finished in a very uniform blue, I particularly like the color-case hardening on the frame and the plain-jane, oil-finished grips. Its trigger was lightened for target use, so it’s ridiculously easy to fire.


The strong Remington frame made it fairly easy to convert the pistol over to metallic cartridge use, as firearms technology rapidly advanced after the Civil War. Remington made a cartridge conversion in .46 rimfire, after they ponied up the royalty fee to Smith & Wesson and their fancy-pants bored-through revolver cylinders for metallic cartridges.  Eventually, the design inspired the 1875 Remington, a true metallic cartridge revolver, but one that clearly shows the influences from the 1858.

Today you can quickly convert your own Remington 1858, without first paying off some big corporation, by merely dropping in a cartridge conversion cylinder – two popular versions are the Taylors R&D and Kirst conversions. Even though today’s 1858s are made with modern steels and CNC machines, you still want to shoot only light “cowboy” loads through them. Do not try to turn a century-and-a-half old black powder design into a modern magnum. And be sure to get the correct version of conversion. Pietta and Uberti cylinders do not interchange.

The Kirst conversion is named after probably the most famous cinematic example of the 1858 Remington rapid cylinder change, the final gunfight from Clint Eastwood’s Pale Rider. There’s that great close up of Preacher’s hands as he swaps cylinders, preparing to deal final justice to Stockburn, the evil marshal who’s been terrorizing the small-time miners and the townsfolk with his equally-evil posse of deputies. If you look closely during that scene, you can see the metallic cartridge loading gate cut into the 1858, as well as the metallic cartridges themselves peeking out of the cylinder that Preacher grabs with his left hand.

If you’ve ever thought about getting into cap-and-ball pistols, and want an easy-to-use handgun that’s also rugged and dependable, check out an 1858 Remington. Fordyce Beals knew what he was doing. His design has been in constant use since before the Civil War. And if both Buffalo Bill and Clint Eastwood liked it in different centuries, you know it’s got to be good.

68 Responses to Gun Review: 1858 Remington

  1. avatarCraig says:

    Wow, TTAG must be monitoring my TV; this review came on here while I’m watching The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly…

    • We recently got our reader-responsive electronic monitoring and drone surveillance program up and running. Nick’s a real tech wizard. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  2. avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    Great review. One of these has been on my list of “stuff to get” for a long, long time.

    How is the fit and finish on the Uberti?

    • avatarRusty Puma says:

      I have several cap-and-ball revolvers, all made by Pietta. They are all excellent fit and finish. I also have an open top revolver and an 1873 rifle that are Uberti. The rifle is the best looking gun in my collection, even better than my Henry. The open top revolver needed some work. All of the Pietta replicas I have are fantastic, and they were all sourced from the same supplier (see last paragraph).

      In my experience, the fit and finish of the Italian replicas is not so much who makes them as who imports them and sells them in the US. It definitely seems that the makers will do as much quality control as is expected by the importer. Some, like Traditions would rather just to volume and don’t seem to be very demanding of quality. I send one of their revolvers back after opening it.

      I now buy all of my replicas from one distributor – EMF Company. I have guns I bought from them as long ago as 2001, and they are all beautiful. They tell me that they inspect every gun they get and won’t sell anything they don’t think is high quality, and I believe it.

  3. avatarensitue says:

    A nice write-up and while it may be legal to take deer with the load described I would note that said load has less power than the 44-40 out of a m-92 carbine, a close range proposition to be sure

  4. avatarShane says:

    I have a Uberti 1847 Walker. I love it. I weighs a ton, has a 9 inch barrel and is damn accurate. I can put up to 60 grains into each chamber, though I usually use 40. I don’t use grease on the cylinder. The lead ring around the chamber seems really tight.

    I always chuckle when I clean it in the sink with soap and water. Regular gun solvents can’t remove the black powder salts.

  5. avatarBen Trainer says:

    Not to put too fine a point on an excellent review but the Preacher killed Marshal Stockburn at the end. LaHood was put down by the miner the Preacher had been helping using a buffalo gun at about 5 yards. It blew LaHood through a window…yumm.

    • avatarSid says:

      It was Assistant District Attorney Ben Stone that shot LaHood. I never did fault him for it even though he was 3000 miles out of his jurisdiction.

  6. avatarColby says:

    Nice! I like that y’all are diversifying the content a little bit. Great writeup of a gun that has been on my list for a while.

  7. avatarjwm says:

    I haven’t shot black powder in a long time. I think if I was to get a cap and ball revolver I would look for one of the stainless steel Rugers.

    • avatarjim says:

      I have no idea how many guns I’ve owned since my first .22 at the age of 12 but in the “most fun” category I could narrow it down to two. One was an early 50s bolt-action Savage Sporter in .25-20, which would do everything at 125 yards you could reasonably expect from a good .22 at 50. (They are still remarkably cheap in both .25 and 32-20, but good luck if you lose the magazine.) The other was a blued adjustable-sight Old Army that was just sheer round-ball hilarious to shoot. It could definitely be loaded to deer-hunting levels but I just used it to punch large holes in an old oil drum we left against the sand bank at the quarry. Unbelievable what has happened to the price of Old Army since Ruger quit making them. (Of course, if you want the value of a gun to quadruple, just buy it from me and wait five years.) But on my wish-they-would-make list… a 5-shot .50 Old Army designed for sabot bullets and 50-grain Pydrodex pellets. Definitely a 50-yard whitetail gun.

  8. avatarRusty Puma says:

    The other great thing about the cap-and-ball revolvers is that they are not considered firearms, so you can buy all you want and have them shipped to your door. The conversion cylinders are also not regulated, so you can get all of those you want and no one has any record of it.

    I have an Italian-made 1858 replica with an R&D conversion cylinder. It is a beautiful piece of craftsmanship and great fun to shoot. I will probably get a short-barreled Sheriff model later this year.

    • avataruncommon_sense says:

      “The conversion cylinders are also not regulated, so you can get all of those you want and no one has any record of it.”

      There will be no records if you send a physical order and payment via U.S. Post Office, FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc.

      On the other hand if you order over the Internet, there is a very high probability that at least one U.S. alphabet agency will have a record of your activity. Oh, and don’t use your telephone to order them, either.

      • avatarMark N. says:

        The conversion cylinders may be purchased only through an FFL, as the change makes the pistol no longer a relic as it fires readily available modern ammo. Same as for buying an 1873 Colt Peacemaker–just because it was designed prior to 1899 doesn’t mean that you can have it shipped to your door.

        • avatarMike Crognale says:

          Nope. Bought both of mine mail order from Cabela’s.

        • avatarRusty Puma says:

          Not so about the FFL.

        • avatarFelix says:

          Not so. Not even in California.

        • avatarRusty Puma says:

          True for the 1873 and any other revolver deaigned to fire cartridges.

        • avatarjwm says:

          Unless the revolvers were actualy made before Jan 1. 1899. These are considered antiques and not subject to paper work. Any rifle, pistol or shotgun made prior to that majic date is paper free. Mausers, Lee Enfields, Mosins, Krags etc. All smokeless powder and paper free.

        • avatarJim says:

          It is considered a part and can be ordered through the mail.

        • avatarMark N. says:

          This is what the reg provides: The term “antique firearm” means any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system)manufactured in or before 1898. The definition includes any replica of an antique firearm if it is not designed or redesigned for usingrimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition, or uses rimfire or conventional centerfire ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States, and which is not readily available in ordinary channels of commercial trade. Further, any muzzle loading rifle, shotgun, or pistol which is designed to use black powder or black powder substitute, and which cannot use fixed ammunition, is an “antique firearm” unless it (1) incorporates a firearm frame or receiver; (2) is a firearm which is converted into a muzzle loading weapon; or (3) is a muzzle loading weapon which can be readily
          converted to fire fixed ammunition by replacing the barrel, bolt, breechblock, or any combination
          thereof. See 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(3), (a)(16).

        • avatarRusty Puma says:

          Yup – means I can’t sell a converted C&B without using an FFL.

  9. avatareric says:

    I bought a pietta model 1858 used and still haven’t fired it yet. One reason is I am new to bp and have no one to ask for help. Can anyone tell me a good load to start? Max load? What size/type primers are best? Thanks in advance

    • avatarShane says:

      Black powder is scary in the beginning. I suggest going to the local gun shop and ask if there are any cowboy action shooters around. I often find them employed at LGS and they are a good resource.

    • avatarMike Crognale says:

      The percussion caps are a standard size. They fit just about any cap and ball firearm. As for the black powder, read the manual, page 10 in mine. The book calls for using 3Fg, on the can it will read as FFFg. I started out with 10 to 15 grains, then worked up. The heavier loads are a bitch on my wrists so Ido plinking at about 20 grains. Have fun.

      • avatarMark N. says:

        Actually, percussion caps come in slightly different sizes, as do nipples. To avoid the dreaded “chain fire,” find caps that fit tightly on your nipples. I have a pieta with aftermarket Tresso nipples that do not fit the standard Remington caps–too loose, but fit Dynamil Nobel caps perfectly. For an 1858, the standard Remington caps will work brilliantly.

        For powder loads, the .36s usually run 15-20 grains (that is by volume, not by weight–so you MUST use a measure), while most loads for .44s that I’ve seen (all my guns are .36) are 25 to (max) 35 grains. Many find that the higher loads are less accurate. So feel free to experiment. Just make sure that you compress the powder with the ball when you press it into the cylinder.

        Personally, I use “wonder wads”, commercially available round pieces of felt soaked in oil and wax (or you can make your own), between the ball and the powder. Serves the same purpose as putting lube over the ball as described in the article, but with less mess, and assists in proper compression with lighter loads.

        My first BP was a 1861 Colt Navy in .36. I loaded it to Pietta’s speck of 15 grains, and the ball didn’t make it past the forcing cone. With 20 grains, it shoots like a charm, so much so that I’ve never loaded it any heavier. REcoil is essentially nonexistent.

      • avatarJim says:

        Actually percussion caps come in different sizes. You’d use either #10 or #11, the 11s being the larger. 10s will probably be best.

      • avatarMark N. says:

        Actually. percussion caps are NOT standard size. There is some variability between brands of caps as well as manufacture of nipples. The standard pistol primer is an 11, but if it does not fit tightly and has to be squeezed to make it stay on, you have the wrong size. I have a Pietta with after-market Tresso nipples that are just slightly smaller and regular caps fall off, but Dynamil Nobel 1075s fit perfectly. There are about three or four brands out there, so find the one that works best.

      • avatarMike Crognale says:

        All three of my BP weapons took the same size cap. Sorry for misleading anyone.

    • avatarFelix says:

      Do put grease in each chamber after loading. I have a LeMat “replica”, fine in every way except the rammer being a piss poor design, and the two-mode hammer not working well in shotgun position. It has a central shotgun barrel (16 gauge? 20?) surrounded by 9 .44 chambers. I did not grease the shutgun one time and thought to fire it last. Oh MY when I fired the first revlver chamber — flash fired the shotgun too, with a full ounce of buckshot. Snapped back so hard the hammer tore a chunk of meat from my thumb.

      So I fire the shotgun first now, and cuss at the rammer, and have 9 chambers of wholy fun otherwise.

    • avatareric says:

      Thanks for the advice, very much appreciated

    • Pretty simple. First load powder, then press ball. Put some lube over the ball to prevent chain fire. If you do this you don’t need a wad. Put the caps in the back and shoot.

      Treat he hammer with the same respect you treat the trigger. Don’t touch it unless the gun is pointing in a safe direction cause there is is no transfer bar. If you slip when cocking the hammer you can set a cap off.

      I load as follows:
      Colt .36 with 21 grains. About 150 ft-lbs Energy
      Colt .44 with 30 grain. About 200 ft-lbs Energy
      Remington with 40 grains. About 400 ft-lbs Energy

      Black powder works best when it is compressed. So If you load the .44 Remington with something like 25 grains blackpoweder you only get about 100 ft-lbs energy. If you load it with 30 grains, you get about 200 ft-lbs energy. It can eat load of 40 grains all day. The .44 Remmington is a very strong gun.

    • avatarKirk says:

      Check out our forum:

      a.k.a. Everything you ever wanted to know about the 1858 Remington (and some things you didn’t!)

  10. avatarLouis says:

    I’ve been thinking of getting one since I recently watched “Pale Rider”. Great article.

  11. avatarMike Crognale says:

    Got one of each. I shoot both of them and they are a hoot. Frankly, I like the 45LC version better. Easier to load and clean. I have a spare cylinder in the LC so I can keep shooting just by swapping the cylinders. Now, if only I could get my wife to come with me and reload…….oh well.

  12. avatarSixpack70 says:

    I love the old cap and ball revolvers. I grew up watching all of the old western movies on TBS. My dad of course saw them when they were new. I was watching them in the 80′s and was able to watch all of the Clint Eastwoood movies multiple times.

    This article makes me want to buy more guns!

    • avatarOldBenTurninginGrave says:

      Me too. The wish list gets longer, but the disposable income remains the same.

  13. avatarJoe S. says:

    My dad bought one of these (pretty sure it’s the same thing) with an 8″ barrel. He sent it back twice because of some minor issues, but it’s a nice gun for ~$200.

    The one thing I really like is that the entire process of loading is actually “fun”, whereas for my M&P45 loading a mag isn’t something to get excited about.

  14. avatarGregolas says:

    Fine review with everything that makes a gun review great: guns, history and guns.
    Always like the Remington over the Colt design ever since seeing Lorne Greene’s on “Bonanza” as a kid. As I got older and learned about black powder, the Remington pre-cartridge design just intuitively looked stronger. Loved the pics too. A home run! Thanks Dan.

  15. avatarDarren says:

    the 1858 is Lee van Cleef’s gun in Good, bad and the ugly. It just looks cooler (IMO) than the navy, walker, or dragoon. Ihave been thinking about getting one of these for a while

  16. avatarmediocrates says:

    I have a question. What are those little balls for? ROFL…

  17. avatarTommy Knocker says:

    So nice to read about black powder stuff here. Thanks…

  18. avatarSid says:

    I am not convinced about black powder handguns for deer hunting. Anyone have any experience with hunting large animals with cap and ball guns?

    Not that it can’t be done. I know we are here because our forefathers were able to bring down food with primitive firearms. But to me, it just seems that a black powder gun pushing a round ball does not have the ballistics to routinely be lethal on a whitetail deer.

    • avatarjim says:

      This may provoke howls of outrage, but whitetails with a scoped .243 or .308 is not hunting. It is meat harvesting, pure and simple. An iron-sight Hawken at whatever range you can stay on a sheet of typing paper EVERY SHOT offhand is hunting. And a .50 sabot over 100 grains of Pyrodex is a humane, instant-kill deer load out to 150 yards.

      • avatarMike Crognale says:

        No. That’s not meat harvesting. Meat harvesting is what’s done here in Texas. My neighbor has a deer lease with a very comfortable raised “blind”. All year long he trains the deer to come to his corn feeder. On opening day he is in his “blind” and simply waits for a really good buck to come along. He then shoots it. That’s meat harvesting and there’s nothing wrong with it. We raise cattle, same thing. But it’s not hunting.

        • avatarjim says:

          Nothing wrong with meat harvesting or game management, says a fellow Texan. I’ve got a friend in the Hill Country who is a maniac on the topic of “hunting Bambi’s mom.” The emphasis on having antlers to hang on the wall has led to a ratio of 20 does per buck, which is not a stable gene pool. Friends (very few of them) are welcome to spend the night on the sofa, be on the back porch at sunrise, and harvest a doe with his thanks. The bucks are off limits. No feeder, but a scoped .243 at 75 yards (distance to the tree line)… no one calls it hunting.

    • avatarMark N. says:

      The .44 ball over 35 grains is enough to kill a horse. I am sure it will do for deer. Range, of course, is quite limited. There is a wide variance in rifles, and I have seen it claimed that range is no more than 100 yards. But Civil War rifled muskets were lethal out to 300, so I have to question such a claim. What is really going on is that the low velocity sabot or conicals drop quite a bit, and holdovers are extreme. But always remember that the original buffal0 rifles were all black powder cartridges…

  19. avatarJordan says:

    I had one of the Pietta 1858 Remingtons and while I enjoyed shooting it and learning about the history and evolution of firearms, the cleaning requirements are intense. After the first range trip, i tore it down to the last screw and cleaned/oiled the whole thing and still wound up with some rust on it when I put it back together the next day. I wound up selling it shortly thereafter.

    They’re fun guns to mess with, but understand the maintenance requirements before spending the money on one. I’ll stick to smokeless powder firearms from now on (because I’m lazy!).

    • avatarScout says:

      Did you wash it in kitchen sink? You should have. Hot water dissolves the salts in black powder fouling and heats the metal so it dryes fast and prevents flash rust. Then little oil and you are set.

  20. avatarGyufygy says:

    Fingers on triggers, especially that Civil War vet. Tsk tsk.

    >.> <.<


    Silliness aside, I had little to no interest in black powder until I was at the range next to an older fellow firing rounds through an old muzzle loader rifle. Big thump, big cloud, and I could see the huge rounds hitting the berm when I was spotting through binoculars. Very cool stuff. Thanks for giving some info on the handgun side of the black powder world.

  21. The 1858 Remmy is my favorite gun. Tops all my Glocks, Berrets, Sigs, AR’s, AK’s etc…. Just my opinion.

    With .40 grains of Black Powder I get about 400 ft-lbs of Energy.

    I have done extensive testing of Black Powder guns and have a webpage with my collected Energy Data here:

  22. avatarArdent says:

    Great review. Thank you very much Otis

  23. avatarSchizuki says:

    Got a pair of Ubertis, one stainless and one blue (Thunder and Lightning). Had a cowboy smith smooth the internals so they don’t chew each other up.ook mighty sweet in a pair of El Paso Saddlery crossdraw Slim Jims.

  24. avatarLTC F says:

    Being a Cavalryman I’ve always loved the 1858′s, 1860′s and 1873′s. I take all three to the range regularly in the appropriate recreation leather. There’s something fun about putting the Glock 30 away and taking out the Peacemaker.

    The greatest going away gift I ever got in my 25 years in the Army was the Uberti 1873 with my name and callsign engraved on the barrel that the guys in my battalion gave me when I left command. My Command Sergeant Major made me promise to shoot it and not just keep it in my safe. I’ve made it a long way by doing what CSM’s tell me to do, so I shoot it at least once a month.

  25. avatarMark N. says:

    Someone asked why they are called .44s if they take a .452 or .454 ball. The reason is that .44 is the muzzle diameter. For effective ignition, a ball has to fit tightly in the cylinder, and consequently a bit is shaved off when loading. The ball is further squeezed when it enters the forcing cone. Finally, different guns will perform differently with different sized balls (or conicals), and that is something to experiment with as well.

  26. avatarBHirsh says:

    I’ve got an Uberti rep with the brass frame, so loading above 25g of triple eff ain’t recommended. I’ve been pretty satisfied with Clean Shot sub, and it smokes a lot less and produces significantly less fouling.

    Also, using silicon-impregnated caliber-specific wads between powder and ball forecloses having to smear grease into the chamber mouth re: chain firing.

  27. avatarSelousX says:

    I have a used stainless Army San Paolo 1858 Remington that I got off Gunbroker several years ago and still haven’t fired it. Anyone know of a cylinder made for it?

  28. avatarLyle says:

    “Colt cap-and-ball revolvers usually don’t [have] safety notches.”

    That is true. The Colts often did have short “safety pins” at the back of the cylinder which could be engaged with the notch in the hammer nose, to accomplish exactly the same thing however. Safety pins, safety notches, po-TAY-tow, po-TOT-owe.

  29. If yoiui can keep all six shots in a four inch circle, at whatever range you think you are likely to see a deer, then take your Remington Percussion Revolver hunting. DO use a stout load. (#% or 40 grains.) and practise with that heavy load! On clening, don’t whatever you do mention water, on a web site run by some guy named John Fuhring. He has a bee in his bonnet, that he is the ONLY person in the world who knows how to correctly clean black Powder revolvers. If yu put a comment on his page, and advocate water to clean guns, he will immediatly foam at the mouth, delete your posting, and then tear a strip off your rear end for DARING to disagree with him! Personally, I think he’s nutso! I have been cleaning black powder revolvers for almost 50 years. I boil all my cylinders in a saucepan, and pour boiling water through the barrels of the guns. Once a year I strip them right down to the last screw, wipe the mixture of oil and black powder residue off them,(Never found any rust!) re-grease, assemble, and go shoot for another year! Water is definitely the very best way to get rid of Black Powder fouling. If you boil your cylinders in a saucepan, then fish them oout with a slim piece of doweling, by the time they are cool enough to touch with the hand, ALL the water will have evaporated from the heat,and you can start right in re-loading them. They’ll NEVER rust this way. Same thing with the barrels. Pour boiling water down the barrel, than put a couple of dry patches down there, and your bore will be like the detergent advert! “The Cleanest Clean It’s Ever Been!” I wipe off the parts of the frame with a water dampened rag, to get fouling off the frame, hammer, and the slot in the recoil shield whre the hammer goes through to strike the cap, then use a lightly oiled rag to go over the same places! No rust on my guns! Hooray for water! Best of all it’s FREE, and in abundant supply in most homes!!!
    Come visit us at: Johnnnie Roper,Alias:Gunslinger9378

  30. avatarRobert says:

    The “1858″ is the modern name for the Remington New Model Army/Navy revolvers, which were introduced circa 1863. The patent date is 1858. The “Beals” model came earlier, then the “Old” Model Army/Navy, and, finally, the new Model.

  31. avatarDillon says:

    The last line about “being used since before the civil war” is technically inaccurate. While the patent date of this gun was in 1858, actual production didn’t start till after 1861 or so, I think 62′. I might be wrong about this!

  32. avatarEddie says:

    Very nice article on the 1858 Remington. I have a Pietta target model I like to take with me backpacking. I have heard it all about these weapons not having the power to stop anything bigger than a deer or coyotes. Bullshit!!! I had to put down an estimated 350- 400 pound bear that can in my camp and got into it with my dog. Very scary as all get out. It was late at night and I could hear my dog fighting with something. I went out of my tent and I could barely see but there was a big ass bear looking at me about 20 feet away. I shot it once in the neck using a 200 grain 45 acp fmj bullet and about 37 grains of 777. That sucker started flipping all over the place. I shot it again in the side and it stop rolling around. Thank God I had my Reminton. Thank God I did not shoot my dog that had to have 62 stitches.

  33. avatarVal Martin says:

    I got to fire a few cap and ball revolvers when on holiday in Italy. I found that mis fires and hang fires happened all the time. Some shot high except a .36 Army San Marco Colt 1851 Navy. When it did fire on time I could hit a coke can at 25 yards most of the time. It was a great pointer and very accurate. A great design of a pistol. A pietta .36 target sighted Remington 1858 was a beautiful pistol but I could not get it to shoot accurately. The grips were too thin to get a good grip of.

  34. avatarRick Kirby says:

    Great article and comments,
    I got my first 58 Remington in 1989 for Christmas ($99 from Cabela’s). It was a great shooter, but unfortunately it rusted up while in storage. The instruction manual back then did not give any information on proper cleaning. I did know enough about black powder to use soap and water and clean until the bubbles showed white with no discoloration, but I screwed up and did not fully disassemble the cylinder and firing mechanism and after three months in storage (before and after a move) it was a rusty mess. I ended up giving it to an NRA black powder teacher to use for show and tell, (to show his class how to ruin a beautiful piece by not properly cleaning before long term storage). The lesson is that if you shoot a black powder rifle don’t think you know how to clean this pistol.
    I now have two 58′s one with a conversion (to 45 colt cartridge) cylinder from Midway that works great, and no black powder fouling. The cylinders are pricey, it cost as much as the gun, but I have gotten over the price and enjoy the heck out of shooting and reloading 45′s. For the first 50 rounds the cylinder was very tight and a pain in the butt to fit in and out of the frame, but it is broken in and now I can change it with ease, but I’m still not as fast as Clint in Pale rider.
    My advice is to buy the gun and cylinder, forget that the combination will cost about the same as a modern revolver and enjoy the heck out of it.
    Java, from Plymouth MA

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