Author Topic: The Great, Great Brasser Debate  (Read 5879 times)

Offline Captainkirk

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The Great, Great Brasser Debate
« on: August 17, 2013, 09:42:45 PM »
BRASSERS....ya love 'em or ya hate 'em, it seems. One one hand, brass frame revolvers are structurally weaker than their steel brethren. You don't have to be a metallurgist to grasp the obvious. Many will tell you to skip the brasser altogether and spend the extra on a steel-framed revolver. This is sage advice as a whole. But, the brassers have their own qualities that shouldn't be overlooked, including:
1) Brass is easy to machine with simple hand tools and sandpaper
2) Brass polishes up like 14 carat gold with a little brass polish and some elbow grease
3) Brass is easily de-farbed for those so inclined
4) Once you've worked your brass, no re-bluing is required. Just polish it
5) If you don't like what you did, do some more work and polish again. Repeat as necessary
6) While not the same metallurgy (original period brassers contained more bronze and were likely stronger) they are, for the most part, historically correct, and make an interesting platform for a collection of Confederate revolvers.
7) Brassers are considerably cheaper, especially on the auction websites, than their steel counterparts. One can build a rather large collection of brassers for the same dollar amount as a modest collection of steel-framed revolvers, and even less for that of the XX-generation Colts.
Of course, one must load brassers to much lighter limits, and there is always the potential for the Colt repros 'shooting loose'. You might win a few, lose a few in this arena, especially if you are buying used from an unknown history. However, if the recoil shield is un-dented and the arbor is tight, there is no reason to expect it would shoot loose if you treat it right. And one can't deny that a properly shined-up brasser is a beautiful sight to behold!
While the debate will probably rage on forever, let's hear your opinions....good or bad....and brasser stories. Vive le brasser! &m(
 
"You gonna pull those pistols, or whistle Dixie?"

Offline mazo kid

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Re: The Great, Great Brasser Debate
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2013, 06:24:58 PM »
For years I wouldn't even look at a brass framed gun. Then I got a real good buy  (7& on a used one with "problems". Took a couple-3 hours of adjusting, fitting, adjusting, fitting, etc but I finally did get the thing working right. Now I'm kinda liking those "brassers". In fact I have an offer in on another one right now!

Offline Captainkirk

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Re: The Great, Great Brasser Debate
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2013, 11:05:33 PM »
You can buy them relatively cheap on the auction sites. Only problem is, if you go to re-sell, nobody wants to offer you shit no matter how much work you've put in!
I am growing to like brassers more and more.
"You gonna pull those pistols, or whistle Dixie?"

Offline Mad Dog Stafford

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Re: The Great, Great Brasser Debate
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2013, 04:39:22 AM »
First Black Powder gun that I bought was a Brasser. I like Brassers.

Offline Kaboom

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Re: The Great, Great Brasser Debate
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2013, 01:53:33 PM »
First gun I bought, period, was a brasser.  1860 Colt, to be exact.  It lasted maybe a year to a year and a half.  That was back in 71-72, and no body TOLD me to reduce the charge.  :'(  30 gr Holy Black in every charge.  Well, like I said, a year maybe a bit more and it was so lose the hammer couldn't hit the nipples.  (jh Hold it in your hand and shake it and it rattled.  :'( Well, it hit the garbage can and that was the end of it. Now, 40 years later, and I'm lookin' at'm again.  I guess I'll never learn.  L@.
Black powder smoke is my Aromatherapy.

Offline Pustic

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Re: The Great, Great Brasser Debate
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2013, 04:56:17 PM »
My first handgun ever is a brasser, a Palmetto 1858 Remington Richland Arms. Still shoots good to this day.
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Offline Captainkirk

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Re: The Great, Great Brasser Debate
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2013, 05:51:34 PM »
First gun I bought, period, was a brasser.  1860 Colt, to be exact.  It lasted maybe a year to a year and a half.  That was back in 71-72, and no body TOLD me to reduce the charge.  :'(  30 gr Holy Black in every charge.  Well, like I said, a year maybe a bit more and it was so lose the hammer couldn't hit the nipples.  (jh Hold it in your hand and shake it and it rattled.  :'( Well, it hit the garbage can and that was the end of it. Now, 40 years later, and I'm lookin' at'm again.  I guess I'll never learn.  L@.


Load 'em up with 18-20gr. and you'll shoot all day. You'll probably even hit what you're aiming at, and the gun will outlast you. If a .36 cal, 15-18gr will do fine.
You'll be amazed, also, at how long a pound of powder will last when you're not burning it up exiting the muzzle. Just sayin'...
"You gonna pull those pistols, or whistle Dixie?"

Offline Kaboom

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Re: The Great, Great Brasser Debate
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2013, 06:24:50 PM »
First gun I bought, period, was a brasser.  1860 Colt, to be exact.  It lasted maybe a year to a year and a half.  That was back in 71-72, and no body TOLD me to reduce the charge.  :'(  30 gr Holy Black in every charge.  Well, like I said, a year maybe a bit more and it was so lose the hammer couldn't hit the nipples.  (jh Hold it in your hand and shake it and it rattled.  :'( Well, it hit the garbage can and that was the end of it. Now, 40 years later, and I'm lookin' at'm again.  I guess I'll never learn.  L@.


Load 'em up with 18-20gr. and you'll shoot all day. You'll probably even hit what you're aiming at, and the gun will outlast you. If a .36 cal, 15-18gr will do fine.
You'll be amazed, also, at how long a pound of powder will last when you're not burning it up exiting the muzzle. Just sayin'...

I know, I KNOW, but I didn't then and I ruined the pistol good.  Now I'm lookin' ta git me another Colt's type. Since money's tight (can ya believe that?) it chust might be another brasser, not sure yet. Guess I'll decide when I gots the money in my pocket an it starts burnin'. )k*
Black powder smoke is my Aromatherapy.

Offline dc7x64

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Re: The Great, Great Brasser Debate
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2014, 01:55:38 PM »
Got my first Brasser for Christmas at age 12 (parents would not let me have a "real" gun)! That was 32 years ago! It was a .44 cal Navy, and I shot the fire out of it with 30grs. of FFFg everytime!  Don't know what happened to the gun, but I still have all the accessories, and still use them! My most recent brass purchase was 2 weeks ago from an old guy at work. Brass frame .36 Navy made by unknown Italian company, imported by EIG, 1969 Proof marks, whopping $60.00! The big "C" had the brass frame .44 Navy Sheriff"s model marked down to $149.95 for about 3 days last month....I almost just had to bite on that one, but I already had a Steel frame one on the way! The only brass I'm interested in right now is the Spiller & Burr. Not too many people seem to have them, and they are pretty reasonably priced :)

Offline brazosdave

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Re: The Great, Great Brasser Debate
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2014, 07:03:49 AM »
my first gun was a steel frame 1860, but the gun that got me excited about percussion revolvers was the much maligned Pietta 51 "Reb Navy Sheriff" in .44.   That gun remains to this day one of my best shooting pistols.  I like the look of the brass, I love the connection with history that comes from the repro Griswolds and Schneider & Glassicks, and I even habitually carry a .31 baby dragoon brasser in my daily travels.  Never had the ole shot out problem, but I did learn to use lighter loads with some tutelage from those with more experience and wisdom, and that rewarded me with greater accuracy, less fatigue on the hand and wrist, and not worrying about whether I was taxing the ability of the machine to handle the load.  As a caveat, I do not much care for the look of the brass Remington replicas.  They just don't look right to me. 
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Offline BOOMSTICK BRUCE

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Re: The Great, Great Brasser Debate
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2015, 07:11:04 AM »
My first black powder gun was a brass Remington bison 12 inch. I shot full 40 grain lots out of her and she had a perfect imprint of the ratchet in the recoil sheild after a full box of .457 hornady balls. By the third box she was sooo lose the cylinder didn't always rotate.
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Offline remmie58

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Re: The Great, Great Brasser Debate
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2015, 11:20:22 AM »
My 1st firearm was also a brasser -- ASM .44 '51 Navy sheriff. Loved that little gun. But, that was yrs. ago; and, I wouldn't buy another brasser (I like shooting heavier loads). Brass frames ARE gorgeous, tho -- especially with nickeled cylinder (which I did). 1 thing I have to say about brass triggerguards & backstraps: I wish they were bronze instead. Cosmetically speaking, they would blend better with blueing & color-case hardening. I know they have brass darkening compounds; but, I don't know how well they work. Might try it on my new '60 Army after the brass starts to dull. I think a polished bronze frame would look great, too.
Re. the Rem. brassers, I like the way the brass frame sets off the blued cylinder. Yeah, I'm talking a lot about cosmetics, as opposed to function. But, the look & image is important to me -- just as a certain look of bike is more enjoyable to ride; and, a certain look of guitar is more enjoyable to play. The aesthetic aspect is part of the user's soul. 

Offline remmie58

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Re: The Great, Great Brasser Debate
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2015, 11:42:40 AM »
Whether in brass or steel, a Colt is like an incredibly beautiful, but potentially violent, woman -- exciting to behold & touch, but proceed with caution. :)

Offline Captainkirk

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Re: The Great, Great Brasser Debate
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2015, 12:23:04 PM »
You got THAT right! ;)
"You gonna pull those pistols, or whistle Dixie?"

Offline Fingers McGee

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Re: The Great, Great Brasser Debate
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2015, 09:18:05 PM »
To the traditionalist, the only brass framed revolvers worth having are replicas of the 1863 Remington pocket pistol, Griswold & Gunnison or Schneider & Glassick.  And none in .44 caliber.

For just plain playing around, I guess anything is ok.

BTW, my first C&B was a brass framed .44 cal 1851 Navy back in the mid 60s.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2015, 09:16:29 AM by Fingers McGee »
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