1858 remington forum

Author Topic: Freeman Army 44 cal / IT FINALLY ARRIVED!  (Read 6547 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Racing

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 900
Re: Freeman Army 44 cal.
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2018, 06:28:30 AM »
Update time.

For reasons beyond me the revolver still hasn´t been shipped but i got an e-mail telling me it´ll go out friday.
With a little luck that means it´ll show up here late next week,and come friday i´m off for Spain for a couple of days again.
Sure took their time getting asses in gear but better late then never i guess.

Gonna be a REAL hoot picking this piece apart!
DVC - 2018

Offline Wolfgang

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 462
    • Wolfgang's Wild West
Re: Freeman Army 44 cal.
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2018, 06:42:15 AM »
What a FANTASTIC find   :)

I look forward to hearing / seeing more about it.
Beware the man with one gun,.... he probably knows  how to use it.

Offline Racing

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 900
Re: Freeman Army 44 cal.
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2018, 04:50:37 AM »
Thanx Wolfgang!
Yeah,me too!

That i´ll be taking pics and post,you can take that to the bank.
Them brits here tho..they´ll never succumb from stress. I´ll tell you that much! As stated,bought and paid for quite a while ago and when mailing them this week that has about passed i was told i´d get a tracking No yesterday.

Weeeell...*ROTFLMFAO*,not so. The new ante up is monday. But..whatever. As long as the piece shows up here it´s all good i guess.
DVC - 2018

Offline Racing

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 900
Re: Freeman Army 44 cal.
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2018, 06:36:52 AM »
Update again.
Feeling like an 8yr old on x-mas eve... (?^

Parcel has left England with UPS as courier. Scheduled for delivery thursday afternoon.

Well...i´ll be here.  {_K
DVC - 2018

Offline Racing

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 900
Re: Freeman Army 44 cal.
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2018, 09:03:13 AM »
UPS was at the door with a certain Freeman revolver!
Yes,the eagle has landed!

There´s a few quirks to be sorted out timing wise but that aside.? I played the "revolver lottery" (after all,all i had to go on was pictures) and i friggin won the jackpot!

FOR a nick this thing is in!! {_K Idea here now is to set it up per every trick there is in the book,and then shoot the living crap out of it!
Oh..make no mistake,this thing´ll take what you toss at it seing the nick of it,make NO mistake!

Have taken loads of pics and will upload as i get home from the shop. Thus far though i´ve had the entire thing apart and cleaned it out...dirty as hell..but DAAYYYYUUUM boys!

If Freemans in general are expensive,well...HELLO!!!!  =K*

Pics in a few hrs. Please stand by... )L$
DVC - 2018

Offline Captainkirk

  • Forum Caesar, Administrator Extraordinaire, Part-Time Gunslinger, Savior of used and abused, and neglected Remmies
  • Administrator
  • Ultimate Forum Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 7708
  • Black Powder Nut & Remmy fanatic
Re: Freeman Army 44 cal.
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2018, 01:23:41 PM »
 _l _l _l
"You gonna pull those pistols, or whistle Dixie?"

Offline Racing

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 900
Re: Freeman Army 44 cal.
« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2018, 01:39:45 PM »




Right. Where to begin. The holy grail to many of civil war revolvers. First impression,in one word?
Slender.
A Freeman is a rather slender revolver all things compared. Weighs in at 1220 grams no matter but.. I think you get the idea from the pics.



To get the cylinder out of there one depress that small plunger behind the "T",which disengages a spring the other side of the gun,and push the whole deal towards the muzzle.
This thing is "hinged" for lack of better words. In other words the main spindle is only retracted enough to clear the frame at the recoil shield,and then the cylinder together with the spindle axle is lifted out of there.



Like this. At this stage you simply put the gun in half cock and lift the entire thing out of there.



Presto! A rather far cry from the solution we´re used to from the Remmys.



It soon became evident that the gun had been "put away wet". In short it was full of crud. Dirt. Of course,per normal,completely rusted solid nipples and as these HAS to come out i didn´t even bother with the simpler ways,i just attacked the thing with the propane torch right off the bat.
Sure enough,as you can see,they all came out and in one piece. Thank god for that!



No. The 0,225"-32 taps hasn´t arrived yet,that there is a 12-32,which is just slightly smaller and thus suffice for cleaning already existing threads. Works wonders to be honest.



Nipples need replacing,there´s no two ways about that,but for now i just deburred them from yrs of abuse. What´s more,look closely...
Yep. The cylinder of a Freeman sports bearings...stock. Mildly put,lesson learned. As you can see the cylinder is numbered too.



Ok. So the gun won´t register,lock up. It sure as hell don´t help that the pin for the hand has a diameter of 2.8mm and the hole in the hand in turn is about 1mm larger i diameter.
I´ll tell you that much!



So i turned this little bushing in all haste. Sry to say i didn´t have a 2.8mm drill but very well a 2,9mm one. I´ll get a 2.8mm drill asap and turn a new one for even better control of the hand.
All in due time,and this little bushing sure made for a hell of a difference already.



Hm. "Gun won´t register". Nah,that much was obvious. What in reality is at fault is that the bolt won´t protrude AS it should WHEN it should.
Something that there little piece is supposed to be in charge of. A sort of excenter. That piece of leaf spring there was broken...



So i cut a fresh one out of a piece of 0,55m feeler gauge. Works...WTF can i say?
That still hasn´t handled the issue at hand though why i need to sit down and take a long,hard,good look at precisely WHAT that excenter piece there does.

That aside.
Happy as friggin pie! Again,the gun is in a nick it becomes about a laughing matter. All in all what needs to be sorted is that excenter piece there and done deal.
I slugged the bore which came to 0,451". Rifling is worn,but barrel as a whole looks ok. More then ok even.

Stocks of the thing though some Mr Handyman had been at with a friggin rasp from the looks of it. Needs to be sanded down,and i think i´ll just stick with oil per the previous guns for now.

Oh! Yeah! Mainspring of these are of the same type we are accustomed to from our Remmys,just that it isn´t compressed at all in idle.
It uses the same idea for pre tension as the Remmys though with a set screw at the front/lower part of the handle of the frame.

So. Needs new nipples,but that´s about it as far as spares i´d say. Them are en route in turn as far as i know so..
DVC - 2018

Offline Captainkirk

  • Forum Caesar, Administrator Extraordinaire, Part-Time Gunslinger, Savior of used and abused, and neglected Remmies
  • Administrator
  • Ultimate Forum Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 7708
  • Black Powder Nut & Remmy fanatic
Re: Freeman Army 44 cal.
« Reply #22 on: January 18, 2018, 03:20:29 PM »
In short, I'm amazed at the condition of this thing. Oh, and you'll have to explain this "nick" thing to us Yankees...that does not compute. (^h
I'm really envious of such a rare find, and in such great condition! Kudos to you for your patience and ingenuity for getting them up & running again! ;)
"You gonna pull those pistols, or whistle Dixie?"

Offline Racing

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 900
Re: Freeman Army 44 cal.
« Reply #23 on: January 18, 2018, 04:18:23 PM »
Nick=conditon,state it is in.
The word nick..hell,i´m a half breed and have used it for as long as i can remember? Hm.. (and speaking of which im turning friggin 53 right now  (?^ {L* )

As for putting a little time,knowledge and elbow grease into it.. Well,it´s a hobby isn´t it?  :-*
What´s a bit fun this time out is that i came across this one as i did. That it for once ended up in the hands of a bonafide shooter and just not a collector.
Nothing wrong with collecting guns,not one yota,but i for one believe that these things were once made by men so that other men could shoot them. For whatever reason.
Ergo,a 150yr old gun will show wear as well as issues..and that´s where i come in.

Don´t get me wrong. Museum pieces are exactly that but by now the museums are about full of what needs to be there..and this thing is in such a CONDITION (  ;) ) that there´s nothing bad coming from putting a few rounds through it for SnG.
DVC - 2018

Offline Hawg

  • Administrator
  • Ultimate Forum Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 9408
  • You done went and done it now!
Re: Freeman Army 44 cal.
« Reply #24 on: January 18, 2018, 05:06:01 PM »
A nice find for sure.
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.

Offline Captainkirk

  • Forum Caesar, Administrator Extraordinaire, Part-Time Gunslinger, Savior of used and abused, and neglected Remmies
  • Administrator
  • Ultimate Forum Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 7708
  • Black Powder Nut & Remmy fanatic
Re: Freeman Army 44 cal.
« Reply #25 on: January 18, 2018, 06:35:21 PM »
I agree. ALL my guns are shooters. Just because I haven't shot all of them only means I didn't get around to it yet, is all.
"You gonna pull those pistols, or whistle Dixie?"

Offline Racing

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 900
Re: Freeman Army 44 cal.
« Reply #26 on: January 18, 2018, 08:10:57 PM »
A nice find for sure.

Ah..my dear Hawg,and this time out i can 101% assure you that there will be no modifications what so ever. Not even thoughts of.. (?^

I think.

Nah. On a more serious note. Spent the evening here with just poking around within it. Got the thing to lock up in "idle" and i´m absolutely sure i´ll get to set the thing to work as intended when going full rocknroll as well.

All to aware that this is a gun very few have heard of,even fewer take notice of but those remaining wants to know more about ...
It´s hard,at least to me,describing impressions and feelings in text,but i´ll give it a shot.

As this is 1858R.com let´s just use those for comparsion shall we.

The Freeman certainly hands the impression of being the more slender gun. Design. Looks DO deceive though cause they weigh about the same. I did put my chromed Remmy on the scale and LOADED it weighs in at 1300 grams more or less on the dot.
A tad..twilight there cause my better half,Cecilia,have tried the blued and chromed gun both and feel the blued one is lighter?
The Freeman though clocks in at 1220grams empty. Not a difference large enough to get your underwear in a wad over..

Both are closed frame revolvers,which IMO is a really good thing,and both strikes you as being real sturdy. Barrel length of the Freeman..haven´t checked,but neck to neck the Remmy barrel is no doubt half an inch longer so i´d presume the Freeman has a barrel of 7,5".
Where the Remmy is octagonal and of the same girth the entire length the Freeman is tapered. Sort of like a "modern" gun if you wish.

One thing that has come to strike me with ALL these old originals is that they ALL seem to lack a decent forcing cone? The chromed Remmy of mine sure sports one now though.. But nor the Remingtons,Colts,Starr,Freeman and what not..they seem to ALL lack what we today call a forcing cone.
Where the entry of the barrel is kind of self evident for the Remmy the Freeman is just about buried into the frame.

Their natural pointability differs quite a bit. Where i don´t subscribe to the general notion that the Colts point all that natural to ME i DO favor the pointability of the Remington. Of course this is a very subjective and personal matter...but none the less.
This brings that when i bring them both up side by side fast the Freeman actually points down. Not just vs the Remington,it to the letter points down - like 5 feet in front of me.

Speaking of which..the grip that you get on each gun differs like..tons. We all know that to most grown men the stocks and part of the frame which constitute the grip of an 1858 makes you often tuck your pinky underneath it all. Albeit,i have to say that i shoot the better when i try and cramp all fingers on there.

Not so with the Freeman. Here we´re talking ample grip area,while the stocks of them BOTH to me are a bit on the thin side.
Being that thin makes them want to wobble at first,until you take to heart what´s needed and you adapt accordingly.
I always make it a habit to press the trigger (no..i do not "pull") with the outmost pad of my trigger finger. This,of course,to keep the mainstay of said finger away from the guns frame and thus getting better trigger control. In short,this makes you press more straight back then when using more of the index finger.
The actual grip i get on a Remington makes that index finger end up juuuuuust where the trigger guard blends into the frame,and to me this is quite comfortable and steady both. My index finger is in other words nowhere NEAR the frame,to affect the shot.
I can get.."kind of" the same feeling when using the trigger of the Freeman. Just...it does FEEL way more slender and sleek as you do. Might sound a little weird but..i hope you get the general idea here.

Where the Remingtons grip is a classic single action "cowboy six shooter" one,intended to "roll" within your hand to help absorb recoil as loads get more and more stout...the Freeman is the absolute opposite.
Grip of it is way more modern kind of S&W deal,just WITH a sort of beavertail to it. That beavertail in turn kind of tells where the gun ends up in your hand and there we have the reason for its pointability on a whole.
Is it for me to adapt to?
Yes,no doubt. Guns are different and a good shooter knows how to take to each and every one of them. But from a "let´s rock for s*it n giggles and shoot hoops with the thing" point of view to ME the Remmy wins,hands down.

Balance though is another matter. Again,for a grown man not the end of the world but it deserves to me mentioned at least.
The rather sturdy and solid barrel of the Remington tells the story in my book. The way slender setup of the Freeman with its tapered barrel and so on..there´s no comparsion really.
Balance is where the Freeman wins like hands down. No contest.

Now. Recoil,design of gripframe and so on..yadda yadda yadda... Let´s keep it real here shall we. The recoil of a 44 caliber muzzle loading handgun is rather mild after all. Yeah,even with 200grains minus worth of bullet and a full load of 3F underneath.
Which is why that aspect of the Remington,with the classic "let´s soak up recoil fer ya" becomes kind of moot really. Then again,i bet most of us have been influenced by how a "cowboy gun" is SUPPOSED to look when  growing up. We´ve all seen the old John Wayne movies and..i at least have to admit that that in itself makes the Remington a more "true" old west gun for me.
Although i´m fully aware that it is just...BS really.

While at it.. The sights of the Remington might be poor by what we consider good sights today but..at the time they had some of the best sights there was.
..and to be honest the Freeman albeit using the same basic setup just sucks in this dept. To the letter. Especially the front sight all but disappears..
The front sight of the Freeman is the puny little thing that i believe might be staked in place. No matter,to be of any good it should have been THREE times as wide as the stock thing.
So..we couple that the Freeman,to me,doesn´t point as natural..and have a front sight that´s downright hard to "catch" on the fly and you soon enough get the picture.
In fact,were i to keep the Freeman forever i´d replace the sights of it in a heartbeat. Shooting should never be a guessing game..thus,equip your shooter with the best sights that fit YOU. Small front posts/sights is just plain out...
The rear sight of the Remmy...think of it what you wish,but the Freeman uses the same solution just that the Freeman cutout is like 1/3 of that what we find on the Remmy.
Summary?
The boys that designed the Freeman either completely believed in point shooting or where downright pissed out of their skulls the day they were designed. NO ONE can make good use of them.

Internals then.
I presume,and hope(!),all of us that are on here knows how to pick our Remmys apart...if not they´ll soon enough rust to kingdom come.
The innards of a Remmy are simple. Sturdy. No. No,they are NOT finesse by any measure but they sure as hell get the job done and due to their simplicity also makes it easy to "tune" a Remmy.
Bolt locks up to early? Easily fixable right..and the story goes on and on...

The Freeman is about...the same. It DOES however contain a few pts more and although i guess i have to admit being a rather practical man i kind of fail to see the reason to the two solutions where the Freeman differs.
First up is that excenter.
I´ll be blunt while full of self critisism at the same time. Here it is,i don´t get it. Yeah yeah..i get what it DOES i just don´t get the point of it seing that there IS a real simplistic solution to how to work a bolt. Just open the g*d damn Remmy up for a field study.
Well. They didn´t at Freeman and i honestly,as an engineer myself,fail to see how they´ve reasoned.
For a military sidearm the less crap that moves around in there,the less pins..springs and what not,the better. Just look at a DA Starr.
Hell,even Starr understood the name of the game why a Starr with its optional SA/DA setup contains just about as many parts within as our Remmys.
At Starr they just made each part perform more then one trick.
Freeman then...
I wouldn´t call the design feeble,cause it´s certainly not,just completely un needed complex. For no good what so ever really.
That there excenter is one thing.. Then there´s this little jigsaw puzzle piece that is fitted to the frame at the absolute bottom of the aperture for the hand.
It measures what? 5mm*5mm and has a 2mm pin through it. It´s only task in life being to close up the frame at the bottom of the hand aperture.
WTF? From a design POW it´s like this piece came to as the gun was all ready and then all of a sudden someone has the lights come on as they try n fit the hand to the hammer and install the thing into the frame.
To me,as an engineer,that´s just piss-poor engineering.
Now.. True enough the Freeman is a real scarce low volume production revolver. No argument there and it might very well be that the design would have evolved had Freeman survived as a company.

...and it..kiiiiiind of did didn´t it?
For those not in the know Freeman to large part evolved into the later Rogers&Spencer revolvers. Known for their accuracy and loads of other features.
Freeman was bought by R&S as they setup tooling at the time,and that is where the Freeman revolvers are put to their definitive grave.
Some of the design features of the Freeman certainly lights through in the R&S. Sure..

Let´s keep with internals though.
One of the prime advantages of the Remington as a military sidearm is how fast one can swap cylinders. It isn´t only fast,it´s predictable how the various parts react and..it´s to the point where i´d say it´s kind of hard to F it up even if you haven´t been trained how to pull the swap.
A simple,well working solution. A solution that left the Colts and the likes like ducks in the water in comparsion.

The one revolver of the time that´s even simpler to swap cylinders on is the Starr. One bolt out of there,flip the frame forwards,yank the spent cylinder out of there..install a fresh one and to the letter smack the thing back together again. As long as the knurling of said through bolt is fresh enough..you can sure train to pull that stunt fast.
The Freeman uses a technically more.."engineering like" solution on paper. Just depress the "lock" of the setup and push main spindle forward about 10mm (half an inch approx) and flip the entire enchillada out of there.
One real advantage to that is that as you do the entire thing literally falls into the palm of your hand. No need for dexterity here.
It´s just that.. To maintain some sort of precision for the setup when installed the various clearances ends up on the tight side making that..that there drill i just explained actually takes longer to perform IRL then one´d think.
In short,yeah. The solution looks fine and dandy on paper.
However in practice the Remington setup is faster. No doubt. Have to hand it to Freeman though that the setup is real clever. Had the idea just been given a little more time to mature...i bet it´d had been the better solution in real life too.


So.
That´s a s*itload of text on the differences between the two and mainly so expressed as opinions. If we disregard the manyfold greater economic value of a Freeman and i was to just put the two guns infront of you on a table and ask you to pick.?
I know...i know..i´m partial. Of course i am,but truth be told i´d stretch for the Remmy. Honestly.
The Remington is more my kind of gun. Where the Freeman,to me at least,is a very attractive old revolver (which by any means i find the Remington too) it sure as hell can´t be fiddled around with to the extent and ease of a Remington.
The Remmy not only feels more sturdy,it is.

How good a gun is a Freeman then?
Well. As far as i´m concerned that´s left to be known,to me. I want to be able to shoot the thing first and see how i take to that. How the gun reacts under fire. How easy it is to regain a sight picture shot after shot being fired. Who knows?
I might very well be completely out on a limb with how i come down on the Freeman sights,what do i know as the smoke starts to evolve.?

The Remington though..i can assure you of one thing here. The Remingtons stays. Might be that i sell one or two of them down the road,but then only to replace them with other..Remingtons.
If and when the day comes that i sell the Freeman it´ll be to use them funds buying more..Remmys  ;)  )L$

Seing the current going rate of Freemans vs the Remmys?
Well. It is kind of self explanatory isn´t it? These are antiques. The one was produced in like 1500+ numbers,the other one 13o ooo.
Both being a part of the history of what we today know as the United States.
There´s a couple of Freemans for sale at GB right now. One at 5500 dollars and the other at 7500 dollars. I don´t expect any of them to be sold..."like that".
That the Freemans collect a pretty penny when sold though..yeah well,see above. Worth it? To a collector i guess so.
For a shooter?
No idea yet but i´ll get back to ya on that one.

What i AM thus far tho is real humbled to own a Freeman. Very few have,and it is a true part of the civil war arms story. I´m real humbled by the fact even as i suspect very few SHOOTERS get to do that nowadays.
Pity. Real pity,cause i absolutely guarantee that Freeman put these together to do just that.
Shoot the living crap out of them.

// Jesper
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 10:14:34 PM by Racing »
DVC - 2018

Offline Bishop Creek

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 837
Re: Freeman Army 44 cal / IT FINALLY ARRIVED!
« Reply #27 on: January 18, 2018, 09:42:41 PM »
Interesting revolver. Looks like a cross between a Remington and Starr.

Offline Racing

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 900
Re: Freeman Army 44 cal / IT FINALLY ARRIVED!
« Reply #28 on: January 18, 2018, 10:11:32 PM »
Yeah. With a good portion of Rogers&Spencer tossed in the mix for good measure.
DVC - 2018

Offline Hawg

  • Administrator
  • Ultimate Forum Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 9408
  • You done went and done it now!
Re: Freeman Army 44 cal / IT FINALLY ARRIVED!
« Reply #29 on: January 18, 2018, 10:47:01 PM »
The skinny sights on the old guns were made for young eyes and they were more accurate in the hands of a young shooter.
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.