1858banner

Author Topic: Pietta 1851 Navy "Type" Revolver Grip Assemblies  (Read 545 times)

Offline sourdough

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 918
  • 1851 Navy Parts Changer
    • View Profile
Pietta 1851 Navy "Type" Revolver Grip Assemblies
« on: January 10, 2020, 12:46:33 PM »
This thread is about Pietta 1851 Navy grip assemblies (I won't be addressing "bird's head" types as those are out of my realm/experience), and it is not my purpose to discuss the merits/demerits of each type.

Many of you know that I have an affliction called "parts-changer syndrome"; thus my reason for posting is for others similarly afflicted.

Conventional wisdom has it that there are two types: "tail" grips and "non-tail" grip assemblies. Up until last month I thought that was true, but I have found a third variation that fits between the two. For the sake of this discussion I will label them as the Large Tail, the Small Tail, and the Non-Tail.

Large Tail grip assemblies seem to have been manufactured from ~2001 (when Pietta went to CNC machining) through 2014. Non Tail grip assemblies were manufactured from 2015 to present day. During the past month I have procured a Pietta 1862 Dance .36 revolver (date code BH/1996 SN C00013) and a Pietta 1851 Navy .36 4-screw frame (date code AZ/1990 SN 18852). Both have what I will term the Small Tail grip assemblies, and this is why:

Top: 1851 Navy .36 2nd Model Squareback (CM/2014 SN 636005) Large Tail
Middle: 1862 Dance .36 (BH/1996 SN C00013) Small Tail
Bottom: Leech & Rigdon .36 (formerly an 1851 Navy) (CP/2016 SN 673674) Non Tail




I have taken measurements of all three backstrap butts, as follows:



A: Length of butt front to back
B: Length between back and attachment recess
C: Length of attachment recess
D: Length between front of screw and front

Large Tail:
A: 2-5/16"
B: 1/4"
C: 3/8"
D: 3/16"

Small Tail:
A: 2-1/4"
B: 1/8"
C: 3/8"
D: 3/16"

Non Tail:
A: 2-1/4"
B: 1/4"
C: 3/8"
D: 1/8"

There are also differences in the curvatures of both the backstraps and the trigger guards, as well as the wood. That is why individual parts are not interchangeable from type to type, but as a 3-piece assembly they will all fit any Pietta 1851/1860/1861 frame.

Top: Large Tail
Bottom: Small Tail



Top: Non Tail
Bottom: Small Tail



I do not have access to any Pietta 1851 Navy revolvers manufactured prior to 1990, and would be interested if anyone owning one could post their findings/measurements. I used a standard draftsman's scale and not a caliper.

I hope you are not bored to tears by now.

Regards,

Jim
« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 04:03:01 PM by sourdough »
We have met the enemy, and they is us. Pogo

Offline ShotgunDave

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1995
  • Black Powder Syndicate
    • View Profile
Re: Pietta 1851 Navy "Type" Revolver Grip Assemblies
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2020, 12:54:58 PM »
We're never bored with an influx of new information Jim!

Is it possible, that one of the tail types, is made just for the shoulder stocked models? Maybe so the backstrap fits into the stock perfectly. Just a thought.
"Never trust quotes from the internet"
-Abe Lincoln

Offline G Dog

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 887
    • View Profile
Re: Pietta 1851 Navy "Type" Revolver Grip Assemblies
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2020, 01:34:03 PM »
Thatís a really good photo study, sourdough.  Valuable info and illustrations.  I was not aware of the Ďsmall tailí variety.

I have a Pietta 1851 and an 1861 from Ď96 and Ď97 respectively and they both have the old school large tail bell shaped formation (ventral et anteibit prognathism  L@J).  I got a Griswold in 2017 and it has no tail whatever and it feels good, man.

Some have speculated that the large tail effects grip geometry and causes folks to shoot high.  Iíve not noticed it but that seems to be the word on the street.

"A man cannot have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition".
                              -Rudyard Kipling

"Nietzsche is dead".
                              -  God

Offline sourdough

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 918
  • 1851 Navy Parts Changer
    • View Profile
Re: Pietta 1851 Navy "Type" Revolver Grip Assemblies
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2020, 05:38:59 PM »
Is it possible, that one of the tail types, is made just for the shoulder stocked models? Maybe so the backstrap fits into the stock perfectly. Just a thought.

Dave, there is not a large difference (if any) between the Large Tail and Small Tail versions when it comes to the upper backstrap curve, but more so on the lower part of the backstrap. There is a big difference when comparing the two to the Non Tail upper curve. My only Pietta Navy 4-screw is the AZ/1990 revolver. I am not sure who the stock manufacturer was, but I have only seen Pietta photo examples and no other manufacturer (I would very much like to know if there are others). There is about 1/4" front-to-back movement space (in the stock brass "mount" on the bottom rear of the yoke) with the J-hook which is more than adequate to fit any of the backstrap attachment recesses.

I have a Pietta 1851 and an 1861 from Ď96 and Ď97 respectively and they both have the old school large tail bell shaped formation (ventral et anteibit prognathism  L@J). I got a Griswold in 2017 and it has no tail whatever and it feels good, man. Some have speculated that the large tail effects grip geometry and causes folks to shoot high. Iíve not noticed it but that seems to be the word on the street.

G Dog, just because you brought it up (even though I said I would not), I do not like the Non Tail style for fit in the hand as I prefer the Large Tail and it feels GOOD, man, and I have a CN/2016 G&G. It's like the difference between the 1911 flat and arched mainspring housings, to use a more modern comparison. Thanks for the info about your Navies.

Regards,

Jim

We have met the enemy, and they is us. Pogo

Offline G Dog

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 887
    • View Profile
Re: Pietta 1851 Navy "Type" Revolver Grip Assemblies
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2020, 06:23:56 PM »
I really like the big tail Navies, always have.  Ergonomically I find them very agreeable.  It did take a couple of sessions to get used the non-tail Griswold but now I really like that grip too.  Iím happy to have both styles.  Iíve got medium-large size hands but for some reason never needed to use the pinky-curl on either type of grip - both fit me perfectly and both have their own appealing aesthetics. 

Sourdough - those photos you posted are really good comparative studies.  Thanks.
"A man cannot have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition".
                              -Rudyard Kipling

"Nietzsche is dead".
                              -  God

Offline LonesomePigeon

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 644
  • Newbie
    • View Profile
Re: Pietta 1851 Navy "Type" Revolver Grip Assemblies
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2020, 11:22:35 AM »
Very good study Jim. The Pietta 1858 Remington "Shooter's Model" have different grip shapes depending upon when they were made. I've got an early one from about 1987 or so(I don't remember the exact year right now) and a newer one from 2017. The older one has a less bowed backstrap and feels slightly smaller. I prefer it over the newer one. Neither are very close to an original Remingtom New Model Army. The original is slimmer at the top and more flared at the bottom. The originals feel way more comfortable in my opinion.