Cimarron .38 Navy Colt: new on AllOutdoor

An 1870s design updated for practical use

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6 Responses to Cimarron .38 Navy Colt: new on AllOutdoor

  1. Ray says:

    I have a .36 Navy , A .44 Navy , a SAA .45 Colt and want one of those 1872’s REAL BAD. I think as much of my single actions as I do my 1911.

  2. Lyle says:

    I half expected you to make more use of the term “open top” in your photography ; ) but perhaps it would be less than appropriate on TFB.

    Nice work in any case.

  3. "lee n. field" says:

    Interesting. No top strap is a little jarring to modern sensibilities, for something chambered in a modern cartridge.

  4. I prefer the Remington. I only have open tops because they’re original and collectible.

    Who did the awesome leather?

  5. Lyle says:

    Well, the much earlier Colt Walker would take over fifty grains of black and a conical bullet, which would make it considerably more powerful than standard 38 Special, and more powerful than the 45 Colt of the 1870s. The Walker took 60 grains of black under a ball. It did have some problems with metal failure, but it was in the cylinder (chambers would burst) and so a top strap would have made no difference other than perhaps to protect the shooter from some of the fragments.

    The improved Colt Dragoons, first, second and third models, addressed the bursting problem by shortening the cylinder to reduce load capacity, but they still held more than a 45 Colt cartridge. That solved the bursting problem, until Colt’s came out with their “Silver Spring Steel” for the ’60 Army, and at that point the only thing limiting the power of the open top system was the size of the guns people wanted (the Dragoons were huge and heavy, while the ’60 and ’61 were svelte for a militia handgun).

    It is interesting to note that Colt had a rather nice, top strap (enclosed frame) revolver in the model of 1855 “Root”, which included pocket pistols, revolving carbines and revolving shotguns. I don’t know, but I suspect that the open top guns were considerably cheaper. They were definitely simpler, and so simpler and cheaper probably explains why the ’51 and other open top models outsold the heck out of the ’55s.

    The open top design really isn’t all that weak, considering the large diameter of the cylinder arbor that holds the barrel on. It’s more than strong enough to take the military “Army” caliber (44) loads of around 30 grains of black with up to a 255 grain lead. That load was commonly used in the Colt 1860 Army. Some people are regularly using even stouter loads in their ’60 Army Colt repros for hunting. Up to a 45 Colt load, essentially, which was 40 grains under a 255.

    Someone recently did blow up a Colt Walker repro. He tried a 385 grain bullet with all the high energy, modern black powder he could fit under it, hoping for a good pig hunting load. Again; the open top system did not fail. The chamber split open. The rest of the gun was unharmed and is still used. That is detailed on the forum.

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