Remington New Line Revolvers

Remington No.1 Revolver

In the mid-1860s, the Remington brothers, Philo, Samuel and Eliphalet III, made a business decision to produce guns for both the military and civilian markets. Remington percussion pistols and revolvers were soon replaced in the late-1860s by cartridge conversion pistols, as it was only a matter of time until Rollin White's patent for a bored-through cylinder expired in 1869. This meant that there would be no impediment for Remington, and numerous competitors, to legally produce conversion revolvers or entirely new cartridge revolvers.

In the 1870s, E. Remington & Sons developed a variety of pocket-sized and large-frame revolvers for the commercial market. Then, just as now, men with the foresight to design new weaponry were at a premium. William S. Smoot was one such inventor who left his position as an U.S. Army Ordnance officer to make his mark in Ilion, eventually becoming superintendent of Remington's manufacturing operation. Receiving full support and seemingly unlimited resources from Remington, Smoot developed a pocket-sized cartridge revolver, and he was issued U.S. Patent #143,855 on October 21, 1873, for what would soon become the Remington No.1, New Model Revolver (Smoot's Patent).

Remington No.1 Revolver

Smoot's 5-shot, spur-trigger, .30 caliber rimfire cartridge revolver was eventually introduced by E. Remington & Sons in January 1876. A distinguishing feature of this revolver is that the barrel and frame were forged out of one solid piece of steel. About 3,000 No.1 Smoot Revolvers were made over a ten-year period, halted only by receivership in 1886.

Remington No.2 Revolver

In 1878, Remington introduced a nearly-identical, spur-trigger revolver, chambered for .32 caliber rimfire ammunition which would be called Remington's No.2 New Model (Smoot's Patent) Revolver. It differed in that it has a straight ejector rod (rather than a stepped ejector rod, as on the No.1 Smoot), and the rod is retained by a cross pin (rather than screw-retained, as on the No.1 Smoot). About 3,000 No.2 Smoot Revolvers were manufactured by E. Remington & Sons through 1886.

Remington No.3 Revolver - Bird's-head grip.

Concurrently with the introduction of the No.2 Smoot, the factory brought out Remington's No.3 New Model (Smoot's Patent) Revolver. This 5-shot, spur-trigger handgun was chambered for the .38 caliber centerfire cartridge, or the revolver could be ordered for .38 caliber Short rimfire ammunition. The initial revolvers were made with "Bird's-Head" style grips, similar to those on the No.1 and No.2 Smoot revolvers.

Remington No.3 Revolver - Saw-handle grip.

Late in production the grip was changed to a Saw-Handle style. Finally Remington had a potent, hard-hitting cartridge revolver that the public wanted--and more than 28,000 of these handguns were made over the next nine years.

Remington No.4 Revolver.

In 1878, Remington brought out yet another pocket-sized, spur-trigger handgun, which they dubbed Remington's No.4 New Model Revolver. Not as aesthetically pleasing as the No.1, No.2 or No.3 Smoot Revolvers, this 5-shot handgun was chambered for either .38 caliber rimfire or centerfire ammunition (not interchangeable) or .41 caliber rimfire or centerfire ammunition (also not interchangeable). This gun proved nearly as popular as the No.3 Smoot, as more than 23,000 No.4 New Model Revolvers were made over a nine-year period.

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