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Manufacturers of the .31cal. Revolvers

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drjldavis:
Manufacturers of the .31cal Replica Revolvers

It is interesting to note that the original Colt .31cal. revolvers had two different size frames and used Oval Cylinder Stops and Rectangular Cylinder Stops.  Also, on the early Baby Dragoons the frame is shorter than on the later models.  This is found in the replica revolvers as well but in reverse order.  Only four manufacturers made the Colt .31cal. replica revolvers.  They were Armi San Marco, Palmetto, Uberti, and Colt in both 2nd & 3rd Generation Series.  Both ASM and Pietta made the Remington 1863 Pocket Model.  Only Pietta made these in steel and nickel plated.

Armi San Marco was the first to produce the Baby Dragoons and Pocket Models.  They all have the Short Frame and Rectangular Cylinder Stops.  This is just the opposite from the original which had short frames but oval cylinder stops.  ASM produced both the Baby Dragoons and Pocket Models in addition to the Remington 1863 New Model Pocket.  The first observed ASM markings on .31cal. revolvers are in the mid to late 1960’s.

The only observed .31cal. Palmetto produced was an 1849 Pocket Model.  It was marked  “HARTFORT POCKET MODEL “ on top of the barrel.  Serial Number was on the Cylinder with the Palmetto logo of a Palm Tree.  It has a Long Frame with Rectangular Cylinder Stops.

The Uberti .31cal. Baby Drgoon revolvers have the Long Frame and Oval Cylinder Stops, again, just the opposite of the original Colt revolvers.  The Pocket Models have Long Frames and Rectangular Cylinder Stops.  From revolvers observed (over 100) it appears that Uberti did not start producing any .31cal. revolvers until the early 1980’s. They did, however, provide parts to Colt in the late 1970’s for its 2nd Generation “F” Series Baby Dragoon.  

Colt produced the 1848 Baby Dragoon in both the 2nd & 3rd Generation Series.  It offered a Cased Limited Edition of this model in a 1 of 500 edition, as well as, a regular issue in the 2nd Generation Series.  It offered only a regular issue in the 3rd Generation or Signature Series.  Since Colt used Uberti parts the Colt 2nd & 3rd Generation Baby Dragoons have this same configuration as Uberti of Long Frame with Oval Cylinder Stops.

The Replica .31cal. revolvers may have plain cylinders, the Ormsby’s Ranger & Indian Fight, or Ormsby’s Stagecoach Holdup engravings.  The size of the frame is measured from the face of the flash guard to the front of the frame where the barrel attaches to the frame.  The Short Frame measures 1 5/8” and the Long Frame is 1 ¾”.  They can be readily be identified by the difference in distance between the back of the barrel and the front of the cylinder.

An added note:

It is not really known when Colt stopped using the Oval Cylinder Stop and started using the Rectangular Cylinder Stop.  Even though the Oval Cylinder Stop is usually associated with the short frame this style could very easily have been used on the first Long Frame Baby Dragoons.  The cylinders are the same length.  It was the barrel that was modified to accommodate the longer frame.

kBob:
Where thyose .31 Colts manufactured by Palmeto perchance the FIE distributed guns? Saw one marked Harford Pocket Model and seem to recall it was marked FIE somewhere SUre I saw that barrel marking  though, it struck me as neat. I thought they wanted way to much for it at the time and walked away.  It left before I was back that way again.

-kBob

drjldavis:
FIE was a Florida distributor.  They were one of the dealers who looked for price rather than quality.  They sold mostly brass frame replicas with the exception of 1851 Army (.44cal 1851 Navy) and Remington New Model Army.  They are usually marked FIE on the butt with the unknown manufacturer "PR".  This is another Distributor that could be collected because of the many variations of models sold.

Smokin_Gun:
That is some very interestin' info Drjldavis ...thanks for sharin'. I din't know about them oval type pockets...I'd a liked a Baby Dragoon like that to go with my Colt 1st model Signature Dragoon. would been a nice match.
 )><

Captainkirk:
Interesting thread. Especially since my Baby has NO markings on it...ANYWHERE...including cartouche/proof markings!! The frame and barrel serial numbers also do not match the backstrap and trigger guard serial numbers. The only ID are on the butt side of the backstrap; EIG-Italy . Any ideas who made this, or why there would be no proof markings? I'll post a few pix of it....




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