Antique REMINGTON M1875 .44-40 WCF Single Action ARMY Revolver JESSE JAMES
JESSE and FRANK JAMES’ Revolver of Choice
Here we present an antique Remington Model 1875 Single Action Army Revolver, also known as the “Improved Army” or the “Frontier Army”, made in Ilion, New York circa 1882. The Model 1875 followed the form of the successful Model 1858 which saw widespread use and acceptance during the American Civil War. It kept the 1858’s use of a top-strap frame which led to increased structural strength when compared to the competing open frame Colts from that period. The 1875 was specifically developed around the use of metallic cartridge ammunition. It was supposed to be Remington’s answer to the hugely popular Colt .45 SAA, better known as the “Peacemaker” and represented Remington’s first dive into the metallic cartridge revolver market. Ordinary citizens and Old West lawmen alike recognized the sturdy quality of the new Remington revolvers. This would have been a great companion to a man’s Winchester in the same caliber.
The Model 1875 was actually pretty late to the game by some two full years as the Colt Peacemaker had already found favor with the US Government through Army bound contracts. Because of this, production totals reached only around 25,000 to 30,000 revolvers with a manufacturing period ranging from 1875 into 1889. They were manufactured in three different chamberings, which were .44 Remington Centerfire, .44-40 WCF, and .45 Colt. These were not optional, rather, the caliber of production models was determined by their date of manufacture. Frank and Jesse James both owned and used Model 1875s, at least two of which still exist. Frank’s No. 5116 and Jesse’s No. 559.
This example has the batch number of “581”. Because of duplicate numbering in subsequent batches, serial numbers alone will give you no indication for the date of production. Sometime after the 14,000th revolver was manufactured, Remington introduced the revolver in .44-40 WCF caliber. To distinguish between the .44 Remington Centerfire and the .44-40 WCF calibers, the latter was stamped on the left grip with a plain “44” and later with a “44W” for Winchester. When the final version was introduced around 1882, the caliber mark was then placed on the left rear of the trigger guard bow. When the new firm of Remington Arms Company introduced the Model 1890, the caliber marking was changed to 44 WCF.
The overall condition is fine. Original nickel finish. The action is excellent, holding the safety notch, half-cock, and full-cock; the cylinder indexes well. The bore is bright with some frosting and strong rifling. The grips are solid. A great example!
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 7-1/2 inches.
Caliber: .44-40 Winchester Center Fire
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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