Go West Young Man Part 2

Go West Young Man Part 2

It’s all about realism

By Dennis Adler

It’s all about realism and authenticity, and I don’t care if you’re talking about centerfire Colt, S&W, and Remington reproductions or their CO2 counterparts, the guns have to look right, feel right, and handle right. That’s a tall order for Uberti and Pietta, (and they have been at it for quite awhile) even for U.S. armsmaker Standard Mfg. and their new, very expensive Colt-style Single Action models, so getting it right with an air pistol is even more difficult.

Armed to the teeth or at least to the waist the author has the pair of engraved Colt Peacemakers holstered and the 1875 Remington tucked behind the cartridge belt. Were it not for the exposed seating screw holes in the bottoms of the frames the CO2 models would be almost indistinguishable from their centerfire counterparts.
Drawn and aimed the CO2 Colts look as real as the centerfire pistols I was using for the Guns of the Old West photo shoot. The 1875 Remington is foolproof from this angle, too. It’s when you start getting closer that the details of a finely hand engraved CO2 model really start to blur the lines with the centerfire models.

What adds authenticity?

Shop New Products

Umarex (Colt), Crosman (Remington), and Barra (Schofield) all have to start with a deficit and a darn stupid one at that, the addition of a manual safety, on a revolver! But that’s the rules and all three play by the rules, Umarex cleverly hiding theirs under the frame forward of the triggerguard, the most unobtrusive place possible. Crosman has followed suit but with a slightly larger and easier to see (below the frame line) tab. Barra (Bear River) devised a small hammer lock located directly behind the hammer on the grip frame, also fairly unobtrusive but it is nevertheless hard to miss because it uses a white and red dot for reference points. Given the break barrel design of a Schofield there really isn’t anywhere else to put it and they did a good job.

I could put the older style plain white grips on these gun (since the Colt medallion airgun grips are a design not used on the centerfire guns) and the air pistols would look pretty convincing. Hammer position and the black finish on the shovel are unfortunate giveaways that cannot be corrected. Here you can also see how the inking makes the details of the engraving stand out. The holster and cartridge belt are copies of those sold by Sears, Robuck & Co. in the 1908 catalog. The hand tooled Mexican drop loop holster sold for $1.45 plus 10 cents postage. The belt cost another $1.14 and 18 cents postage. (Holster and belt recreated by Donna and Alan Soellner, Chisholm’s Trail Leather)

What detracts from authenticity is, well, more stupid stuff and the crown goes to Crosman for ridiculous 1875 graphics on the Remington. Umarex did the best possible job with authentic Colt markings (simple because they have the Colt factory license to use the name), and Barra gets the highest marks by avoiding it altogether by eschewing from any markings except serial number, caliber and proof stamp (a capital F inside a pentagon) and hiding the white letter warnings on the underside of the barrel, which on nickel guns is almost invisible. We’ll get more into the newest Barra Schofield models later in the week.

Why ink the engraving? It costs extra and takes time but look at what happens. The engraving in the gold plated cylinder jumps out (and this “C Expert” engraving on the cylinder), the details in the loading gate engraving stand out, as do the shoulders of the grip frame, and the punch dot background behind the engraving on the barrel.

The one addition you can make to any of these guns to increase the look of realism and authenticity is to have them hand engraved. While very affordable compared to having a steel gun hand engraved, it still is more than the cost of the gun itself, but it is worth it. Of course, if you’re happy with the gun you have that’s great; if you want to take it to the limit of authenticity, then hand engraving is the best way to achieve it.

Inking brings out the fine curves of the scrollwork, and also accents the engraving around the Colt Single Action Army .45 on the barrel and engraved border around the patent dates and Rampant Colt emblem on the frame. The only added engraving that could be done would be the hammer flats. This is usually a wolf’s head on “D” engraved guns.

The “C Expert” engraving on the nickel and gold Peacemakers in Part 1 (which were configured using the Pyramyd Air Peacemaker Air Gun Builder) and on the unique pair of highly engraved Crosman Remington Model 1875 revolvers is the highest level of engraving in the “C” engraving category. The next step up is “D” which is 100 percent coverage and that adds even more to the price. So “C Expert” is what you want to give your CO2 models that realistic look, not only at a distance, but right up close. There is one other thing you can do to punch up even the “C Expert” engraving and that is to spend just a little more for inking, which, as I mentioned in Part 1 is done to enhance the engraver’s cuts into the metal (or alloy in his case) and make it stand out even more, as you can see in the close-ups of the Peacemakers.

The “C Expert” engraving also adds scrollwork on the backstrap, bottom of the triggerguard and frame.
Lots of extra work means extra detail like the bottom of the grip strap, triggerguard and bottom of the frame. It all adds up to more authenticity.

Even in the action shots and set pieces from Guns of the Old West where I duplicated the shots taken with a trio of Colts by substituting the air pistols, you can see that the engraving makes the guns look more realistic. But the true detail is in the fine work that is done at Adams & Adams where even an air pistol gets the expert touch.

Authenticity has its perks, loading the finely hand engraved Remington makes everyone want to get their hands on it!
The second “C Expert” engraved pair, the Crosman Remington Model 1875 can almost pass for the real deal.
The Remingtons present a slightly different design to engrave and offer more varied surfaces, so “C Expert” is really the way to go if you’re going to get one of the air pistols done. There is more frame area to work on, and there are established patterns that were designed for the 1875 like those on the sides of the triggerguard and the ejector housing. Also note the fine work on the loading gate and front of the frame.

For more information on deluxe hand engraving of any nickel finish (or nickel and gold) CO2 Colt, Remington, or nickel Schofield you can reach Adams & Adams in Vershire, Vermont at 802-685-0019 (Monday through Friday EST).

The design of the 1875 ejector tube retains the look of the original percussion model 1858, 1861 Remington Army model’s loading lever and this too, presents another area where punch dot backgrounds and scrollwork can be added.
And this looks as real as any 1875 Remington right up until you drop the hammer. That’s the benefit of master engraving on any of these excellent CO2 models. Adams & Adams is the source.

3 thoughts on “Go West Young Man Part 2”

  1. The Remington looks vastly improved. It needs two things. First screws added to the grips like the Peacemaker to make it look more like the actual Remington grips. Next a rifled barrel option.

  2. Hello Dennis,
    First and foremost thank you for your excellent work for the old west air gun community. I’m a Swedish old west fan with quite a collection (I’ll post some pictures later).
    Where can I have my Crosman Remington engraved like the picture? I have an engraved Umarex Duke SAA. But I would love it on my Remington and maybe Schofield as well.
    Thank you.
    Best regards,
    Henrik from Sweden

Leave a Comment