Crosman Remington Model 1875 Part 3

Crosman Remington Model 1875 Part 3

The Shootout – Colt vs. Schofield, vs. Remington

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By Dennis Adler

The three most famous handguns of the American West have finally been produced in CO2 versions. This completes a circle of legendary Western arms that begs to be tested as they were back in the day, the Colt Peacemaker vs. the Schofield, vs. the new kid on the block, the Remington Model 1875.

Crosman Remington Model 1875 Part 1
Crosman Remington Model 1875 Part 2

Three famous American handguns from the 1870s, all with history, famous and infamous owners, and all almost perfectly reproduced as .177 caliber CO2 BB and pellet cartridge loading revolvers. Just as it was back in the days of Buffalo Bill Cody, Texas Jack and Frank James, these legendary revolvers all had advantages and failings and all of them have been faithfully copied in these CO2 models by Umarex, Bear River, and Crosman. The Umarex Colt Peacemaker has a solid advantage with its rifled barrel. The Schofield and 1875 Remington both have smoothbore barrels, but can shoot 4.5mm lead pellets as well as .177 caliber steel BBs with different cartridges. All three have comparable barrel lengths (externally) and come relatively close with their internal barrel lengths, 6.75 inches for the Peacemaker (measured from the front of the cylinder to the recessed 4.5mm muzzle), 6-1/2 inches for the Schofield, and 6-3/4 inches for the 1875 Remington.

The Crosman Model 1875 Remington excels in the ease with which the cylinder can be removed, by depressing the transverse latch, pulling the cylinder arbor forward, and rolling the cylinder out of the frame. The Colt was just as easy but the airgun design complicates this with a locking screw in the transverse latch. Both the Colt and Remington have similar front blade sights. The guns are shown with their respective cartridges, the Schofield BB rounds, Colt silver pellet cartridges, and Remington brass pellet shells.

To pit this trio muzzle to muzzle, the Remington and Colt will be firing 4.5mm Meisterkugeln Professional Line 7.0 gr. lead wadcutters, and the Schofield Hornady Black Diamond black anodized steel BBs. To equalize the small disadvantage the two smoothbore pistols have against the rifled barrel Colt, the shooting distance will be 25 feet and all shots will be fired offhand using a two-handed hold. The target will be a full size silhouette and each series of shots, a total of 12 from each gun, will be averaged for best overall accuracy.

For the shootout the pellet models were loaded with Meisterkugeln Professional Line 7.0 gr. lead wadcutters, and the Schofield BB shells with Hornady Black Diamond black anodized steel BBs. The Schofield loads rounds into the nose of the bullet, while both the Colt and Remington load pellets at the back of the shell where a primer would normally go.

To recap the individual features of each, the Peacemaker has a hammer draw of 4 pounds, 8 ounces average, and an almost hairpin 2 pound, 8 ounce average trigger pull. The Schofield’s hammer draw is 3 pounds, 13 ounces, and average trigger pull, a light 3 pound, 5 ounces. The Remington Model 1875 has a hammer draw of 4 pounds, 11.5 ounces, and average trigger pull of 3 pounds, 12.5 ounces. The Peacemaker weighs in at 34 ounces, the Schofield at 36.5 ounces and the 1875 Remington at 35 ounces; all fairly comparable, just like the original guns were back in the late 19th century. The only gun with a decided design advantage is the Schofield for its faster reloading capability, but in this test, time is not of the essence, just accuracy. Which of these famous six-shooters is the best at punching holes in a paper target?

The Shootout

The most important feature after trigger pull is sights, and the Colt design has always held the advantage. The Schofield has an excellent sight design but the rear cut in the top latch is small making it harder to center the front blade. The one advantage is the relationship of the sights; the Schofield does not have the tendency to shoot low like the Colt. The Remington Model 1875 essentially copies the same sight design as the Colt, so on that point they are equals.

Al three are easy to load, the CO2 fits into the channel inside the grip frame and only the Remington takes an extra step, removing the hex-head seating tool from the grip panel. It is just the right size and angle for easy use, so aside from the possibility of losing it, the Remington tool is a little easier to handle than swinging a grip panel around in circles to seat the CO2 in either the Colt or Schofield.

The Schofield was an improved version of the S&W No. 3 and found favor with the U.S. Cavalry, albeit briefly, and throughout the remainder of the 19th century with lawmen, cowboys, and outlaws alike. The Bear River model can fire steel BBs or with soon to be available pellet loading cartridges, lead wadcutters, but does not have a rifled barrel. It is a well balanced handgun but quite different in handling from a Colt or Remington.

I started with the 7-1/2 inch Peacemaker and placed a red Shoot-N-C dot in the center of the silhouette target to act as a point of aim. All three guns were aimed at 6 o’clock and there were no corrections for sight variances (holding over or under), all groups hit the target based on this single POA.

The original .44-40 Model 1875 Remington was late to the game but found its niche and a reserved degree of popularity until the 1890s. The new Crosman CO2 version preserves the look, but also falls short by not offering a rifled barrel to more accurately dispense 4.5mm lead pellets. In terms of overall handling it runs a very close second to the Peacemaker.

The Umarex Colt literally blew the red dot completely through the target leaving one large 6-shot hole that measured 0.5 inches. The second 6-shot group measured 1.12 inches with one cluster of five shots covering 0.687 inches and a flyer (if you can call it that) to the left. All 12 rounds hit in the X at 25 feet for a total spread of 1.24 inches.

The Peacemaker is regarded as a more balanced handgun and Umarex has done a remarkable job working in conjunction with Colt to see that the very best aspects of the original six-shooters have been preserved. The 7-1/2 inch model has a rifled barrel for better accuracy with 4.5mm lead wadcutters.
The hands-down winner in this contest of accuracy is the Umarex 7-1/2 inch Colt Peacemaker with a best six rounds at 0.5 inches from 25 feet.

The Schofield also placed all 12 Black Diamond shots in the X but with a total spread of 1.75 inches and a best six at 1.125 inches; clearly accurate but not in the same class as the Colt Peacemaker’s rifled barrel and Meisterkugeln wadcutter pellets.

With a slight disadvantage of firing only steel BBs, the Schofield acquitted itself nicely with 12 shots in the X but the widest spread to take third place.

With the same Professional Line 7.0 gr. Meisterkugeln lead wadcutters from the Remington’s smoothbore barrel, the Model 1875 punched all 12 shots into the X for a total spread of 1.76 inches with a best six measuring 0.93 inches.

In this one instance the Model 1875 Remington does not come in an historical third to the Colt and Schofield, but rather a very close second to the Peacemaker for accuracy with 4.5mm wadcutter pellets.

While all three revolvers can keep shots inside the X on a B-27 silhouette target, a circumference of 2-1/8 inches by 3.0 inches (on this B-27 version) with a maximum spread for 12 rounds ranging from 1.76 inches to 1.24 inches, the best overall total for any one revolver was 1.24 inches with a best six at 0.5 inches. In this shootout the winner is the Umarex Colt Peacemaker. Second place goes to the Crosman Remington Model 1875. The Peacemaker not only maintained the tightest groups during the test but the wadcutter pellets made clean round holes in the target, whereas the same pellets from the smoothbore Remington barrel left more ragged edged holes indicating the pellets were beginning to tumble or were less stable in flight. With cartridge guns this is called keyholing.

There is much to be said for the styling, quality, and features offered by this trio of legendary CO2 powered Western handguns; if nothing else, that they exist and are a great addition to any Western handgun collection regardless of their caliber, but, in the end, just as it was in the Old West, there remains no substitute for an “Old Reliable.”

A word about safety

Single Action airguns provide the look, feel and operation of their cartridge-firing counterparts and this is one reason why they have become so popular. Airguns in general all look like guns, these three Western models,  Colt Peacemaker, Schofield and 1875 Remington more so, and it is important to remember that the vast majority of people can’t tell an airgun from a cartridge gun. Never brandish an airgun in public. Always, and I can never stress this enough, always treat an airgun as you would a cartridge gun. The same manual of operation and safety should always apply.

8 thoughts on “Crosman Remington Model 1875 Part 3”

  1. I expected the rifled barrel Peacemaker to take first place , so no surprise . I have found that pellets in smoothbore revolvers act like crude rifled slugs, and give slightly better than bb accuracy until 30 feet and then they become less stable inflight . To give the Schofield a fair shot at second place , how about Remington and Schofield shooting the black diamond bb at 25 feet? If I had a Remington I would do it , but that won’t happen for a couple of months. Nice shooting!

  2. I noticed that both the Colt, and Remington pistols have similar finishes, with the Schofield being significantly brighter do you have any thoughts on that? And is the Merwin-Hulbert a contemporary of these fine pistols?

    • The polished bright nickel finishes on the Colt and Remington are very similar, the Schofield’s finish is also nickel but has slightly cooler tones. Compared to the Colt and Remington the Schofield’s plating has a more matte finish rather than high polish. I can’t explain why Bear River has this finish, but I can say that it suits the engraving quite well. Won’t know how the Remington comes up until an engraved model is available and there are no plans for that at present. Yes, the Merwin-Hulbert was a contemporary of the 1873 Colt, Schofield and 1875 Remington revolvers, but mechanically was a far more advanced design. Even in the 21st century, no one has been able to duplicate it successfully. Makes you wonder how they could build such a precision firearm in the 1870s!

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