Remington 1875 BB and pellet revolver: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Remington 1875
Remington 1875 pellet and BB pistol.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Finish
  • Big report!
  • The cartridges
  • Velocity
  • Marksman BBs
  • Remove the cylinder
  • Crosman BBs
  • The test
  • Air Venturi Steel
  • Dust Devils
  • Smart Shot
  • Black Diamond
  • Trigger pull
  • Safety
  • Summary

The first report on the Remington-revolver didn’t elicit the response I expected. I thought that because this is not a common firearm, the fact that there is an airgun lookalike would be met with enthusiasm. The Colt SAA is certainly very popular, and with good reason, but the S&W Schofield that tried to compete with it back in the day isn’t — either as a firearm or as an airgun. Now we have the 1875 Remington that is just as rare as the Schofield and airgunners are saying, “Ho hum.”

Finish

Several of you wish that this air pistol was produced with a finish other than nickel. I hope Crosman is listening. Oddly enough, the 1875 firearm I once owned was a nickel gun, as well. Of course my gun was old and pitted with rust and the nickel was flaking off. I don’t think that’s the sort of finish airgunners want. They want a gun that looks like it has been there and done that. Look at the success of the SAAs and the Webley Mark VI that have such a finish! Those guns are as popular as the shiny ones — more popular, perhaps.

I don’t think Umarex appreciated the appeal of the worn finish for buyers and it’s clear Crosman hasn’t yet, either. So, here is BB Pelletier’s open letter to the airgun industry. If you are considering selling lookalike airguns, also consider their finish. A gun that’s been in service a long time does not look right if it has a shiny new finish. If ever anyone builds an airgun replica of the Liberator pistol from World War II, make it look right. Those guns weren’t pretty when they were new!

Liberator
Could the Liberator be the next lookalike air pistol? Would it sell?

Big report!

Today’s report will be broken into two sections because of all I am going to show you and tell you. Part 3 will be where I test the velocity of pellets.

The cartridges

Obviously the cartridges that fit this airgun are not the same as those that fit the Colts, because there are two different airgun companies involved — Crosman for the 1875 and Umarex for all the SAAs. The Remington cartridges are smaller than the Colt cartridges They measure 0.374 just behind the case crimp and 0.383 just in front of the rim. The Colt cartridges that the new Umarex Legends Cowboy Lever Action BB gun also use measure 0.388 at the case crimp and 0.404 just ahead of the rim. They are clearly bigger and will not even go into a Remington chamber. So, it’s 1875 all over again, and Crosman decided to retain the realism in this 1875 of the non-compatible cartridge.

Nevertheless, additional cartridges are available for the Remington from Pyramyd Air. From what some who own the gun say it might be best to just load each cartridge while it is still in the cylinder, which is both possible and easy. That’s how I will do it today.

Remington 1875 loading
You can load each cartridge by putting the hammer at half-cock (the first click as the hammer is pulled back) and opening the cylinder gate. Load a BB or pellet into the cartridge base, then rotate the cylinder clockwise by hand to the next cartridge.

If you do load the gun this way, be sure to always hold it with the muzzle pointed down. Otherwise the cartridges will fall out of the cylinder!

Velocity

Today is the day we test the velocity of the airgun. This one shoots both BBs and pellets, so both need to be tested. I will cover some BBs today and pellets in the next report.

Marksman BBs

There are several types of BBs to be considered. I received the new Marksman Premium BBs while I was testing the gun. They measured around 0.177-inches, as many readers have said. Since this gun can also shoot pellets I thought the bore may be large enough to accommodate the larger Marksman BBs, but a quick test demonstrated that it isn’t.

Marksman BB
A Marksman Premium BB selected at random measured 0.1765-inches in diameter. That’s larger than any other steel BB!

BB in breech
When I tried to drop a Marksman BB through the 1875 barrel, it stuck in the breech (arrow).

Remove the cylinder

I told you in Part 1 that I would show you how to remover the cylinder in this report. It’s not a matter of not knowing what to do. To remove the cylinder the cylinder pin must be pulled forward as far as it will go. It is a captive pin, just like on the firearm, so you’re not going to loose it. It is also the “secret” to removing the cylinder

Step 1. Remove all 6 cartridges. They can slip back and jam the cylinder in the gun if you don’t.

Step 2. Cock the hammer to half-cock. It must be done to pull the bolt down out of the way — otherwise the cylinder will remain stuck in the frame.

Step 3. Press in the cylinder pin release on the right side of the frame while pulling the cylinder pin forward. THIS IS THE TRICK. When the gun is new the cylinder pin does not like to come out. To facilitate it moving, spin the cylinder a few times as you pull on the end of the pin.

cylinder pin release
Press in on the cylinder pin release (yellow arrow) to move the cylinder pin. The blue arrow points to the safety.

cylinder pin out
The cylinder pin must be pulled out this far for the cylinder to be removed from the revolver.

If you have difficulty removing your 1875 cylinder the first few times, don’t despair. That’s normal because all the parts are new and tight. Remember to half-cock the hammer from the down position and don’t lower it from full cock to half cock. It must be pulled from all the way down to retract the bolt.

The cylinder pin may be tight, but rotate the cylinder as you pull it out and it should free up. Once you have removed the cylinder a few times, the parts will be smoother and it will be easier. And don’t forget to remove all the cartridges first!

Crosman BBs

Since this is a Crosman gun I wanted to test it with the new Crosman Black Widow BBs. They are steel but weigh more than most premium steel BBs, which leads me to suspect they are a trifle larger. I don’t have any at present, but I will order some.

So, there are several interesting things happening in the world of BBs and BB guns and I’m playing catch-up. We’ll see!

The test

Since this is a six-shooter I’ll test it with a string of 6 shots instead of the usual 10. That way I can test more types of ammo. Let’s begin with BBs first. Because this is a CO2 gun I waited 15-30 seconds between all shots for the gun to warm up. Ten seconds just wasn’t enough.

Air Venturi Steel

Six Air Venturi Steel BBs averaged 431 f.p.s. from the Remington revolver. The low was 415 and the high was 443 f.p.s., so the total spread was 28 f.p.s.

Dust Devils

Six Air Venturi Dust Devils averaged 438 f.p.s. in the 1875 revolver. The low was 429 and the high was 445 f.p.s. That makes the spread 16 f.p.s.

Smart Shot

Next I tried 6 Air Venturi H&N Smart Shot lead BBs. They averaged 370 f.p.s. The low was 359 and the high was 389 f.p.s., so the spread was 30 f.p.s.

Black Diamond

The final steel BB I tested was the Hornady Black Diamond. They averaged 430 f.p.s. with a low of 426 and a high of 438 f.p.s. That makes the spread just 12 f.p.s. — the tightest of the test.

Trigger pull

The 1875’s trigger is single-stage and breaks cleanly at 3 lbs. In my younger days I used to gunsmith single actions for better triggers and lighter cocking. I would shoot for 3 lbs. which is safe with this type of revolver. This is a direct-sear trigger and making it any lighter than 3 lbs. puts it into an unsafe area when it can slip off full cock and fire unexpectedly.

Safety

I didn’t mention it in Part 1 but this revolver has a safety switch on the bottom of the triggerguard plate. Complain if you want — this is 2019. You can’t buy Lawn Darts at toy stores anymore, either.

Summary

That’s a lot to take in, but this revolver has a lot to see. The advertised velocity is 410 f.p.s., so this one is much hotter than that. The test gun works well, is smooth and has a nice trigger pull. I don’t like silver guns, but this one is very nice. Let’s just hope it’s accurate!

Remember, the pellet velocity test will be next.

80 thoughts on “Remington 1875 BB and pellet revolver: Part 2

  1. In your open letter to the airgun industry could you please add a wish for .22 caliber, around the 5 fpe widely accepted limit, preferably 1860 replica? Grips/frame dimensions ready to accept the CO2 cartridge and “nipples” acting as pellet chambers.
    Thanks in advance.
    Bill


  2. A liberator air gun..

    Interesting.

    The original liberator was a simple design, why shouldn’t the reproduction be?

    With the single shot breech loading design, it would lend itself to being a catapult gun.
    And it wouldn’t take much to make it work.
    Because the catapult design is simple itself.

    The BB fits in the rear of the .177 barrel, that is recessed from the muzzle to resemble a .45
    The cocking knob could be an accurate reproduction with the fixed firing pin that would strike the BB to launch it.

    But some people don’t think catapult guns are true airguns (sorry Daisy 179, like Pluto is no longer a planet, to some people, you are not a true airgun)

    I personally think if it was inexpensive enough, and an accurate enough reproduction, it would find its way into displays of both Airgunners, and historic firearm enthusiasts.

    The .45 acp reproductions made a few years ago carried a MSRP of $599.
    And had a warning from the manufacturer stating it was really not designed to be fired, and is best suited for display and educational purposes.

    That is more than someone would want to invest in for a display piece.



      • One thing I forgot to mention.

        Please tell the manufacturers of any replica airguns to PLEASE leave one side of the gun without warnings or airgun caliber markings.

        One side with correct markings licensed by the manufacturer, and the other side adorned with all the warnings and legal stuff they have to put.

        That way the people who want to display a historically accurate replica can do so.

        They can do it for the air soft market, that means they can do it for the airgun market.


  3. BB—-Lawn darts are for sale at Walmart. However, they do not have points. If you google JARTS, or lawn darts, you will see that darts with points can now be bought at several sites. ——–Ed



    • Ed,

      Lawn Darts are still selling?!!! I need to look into it.

      I knew about the Nerf-type, but they are not what I was talking about. I meant the old ones with heavy metal spikes on their ends for maximum penetration in the lawn.

      B.B.


      • B.B.,

        I still have the Jarts my family played with when I was a kid. We never considered them dangerous, because how could anybody get hit with one when everybody was standing 20 or more feet away from the target hoop? Perhaps it was my family’s background playing horseshoes that imprinted common sense into our brains. My grandparents had very serious horseshoe pits with clay to prevent bounces.

        Michael


    • Ed,

      Thanks for posting this – will check it out!

      I to miss the lawn darts, don’t recall what happened to the set we had when the kids were growing up but I do remember we had hours of fun with them.

      Think that products like lawn darts go off the market because they “could be dangerous” … IMHO, what is “dangerous” is that safety, common sense and adult supervision is missing from the raising of children these days. Kids grow up with electronic babysitters and we end up in a nerf world where everything is made of (non-toxic) foam and dire warnings are printed on our airguns.

      Remember when being made to stay indoors was a punishment? Try to get the kids to go outside (without battery-powered gadgets) and entertain themselves …good luck!

      Oh well, just an old foggie rambling on.

      Cheers,
      Hank


      • “Remember when being made to stay indoors was a punishment?”
        Hank, thanks; I DO remember that; that was the punishment my parents used on me!
        But like you said, today, that would be no punishment at all, hahaha! =>


        • But you guys are forgetting something.

          Tell the kids their punishment is to stay inside with no electronics and see what happens.

          It’s not where they are at. It’s if they have what they want or not.


  4. If they had to keep all those warnings and such in white print I think it would defeat the purpose of trying to create a weathered replica. Now if it could all be lightly sanded off by the owner, heck yes ! (Assuming it was a black finish to start) Not so sure the general public is too concerned about all that print.

    The Liberator, save it for display replica companies. They could make it more realistic without having to actually fire something out of it. Or it could be a tin toy with an inertia wheel inside that sends sparks out of the barrel like an old 50’s toy pistol. .. Actually have one !
    Bob M


  5. B.B.,

    I would buy a Liberator air replica in an Occupied Paris minute! Even faster if it came in a presentation case with a Deer Pistol. Vive la Resistance! Seriously, I would want one, and not just for the history of it. I also have a fondness for small air pistols, and there aren’t many out there.

    I think the sales of more obscure historic replica airguns such as the Remington 1875 and Schofield suffer from the high price of all of the guns. The average person might be able to save up for and purchase two of them total, perhaps as many as three over a period of four or five years. O.K. That means a 1911A1 and a Peacemaker Colt SAA or perhaps a P08 or Webley MK IV.

    I remember talking with one of my neighbors years ago, and when I told him I was into airgunning, he said he had his eye on an Umarex Colt 1911A1, the one with no blowback (only a few blowbacks had come out at that point) and an 8 round circular clip. But he said he just couldn’t afford more than $200 for an air pistol. He wanted to own just one airgun to shoot in his backyard with his pre-teenage son, and he saw the Umarex 1911A1 online and drooled, but there was just no way.

    Michael


  6. Since we are talking about replicas today:

    Dear Umarex,

    I was greatly inspired with your collaboration with Chris Turek to produce the Han Solo pistol for auction to benefit SAR. I know that there is a high demand for replica bb guns, but as for myself I would like to see more SyFy weapons. They would not necessarily need to be exact copies of any movie/TV weapons. Using your Steel Storm, Steel Force and Steel Strike models as a base you could build quite a collection of SyFy weaponry, most especially with CO2 capsules in tubes in the stock or fore stock. 88 gram capsules could also be used. With the large bb reservoirs, the alien feral soda cans would not stand a chance. An adjustable laser and a reflex dot sight could also be built into the weapon.

    If any of the other airgun companies would like to get into this, your SyFy weapons would be most welcome also.


    • RidgeRunner,

      I second that! If Umarex came out with a Blade Runner / Deckard’s blaster (first film), the first 20,000 would sell out on pre-order. Cheap Chinese-made water pistols of these made of clear plastic sell for $80. High quality resin replicas sell for well over $1000. An air pistol of one would be the fastest selling Umarex airgun ever, making their Colt SAA look like a niche product by comparison. Seriously.

      Michael


      • Michael,

        LOL! You are REALLY into Blade Runner aren’t you?

        You will notice that I suggested not making exact copies as then you have licensing issues which drive the cost up. It would be great if they did it, but… Now a nice shooting pellet pistol that looked like a Photon Blaster from Xzltynz would be fun. Like I was saying, they could have a built in laser and reflex sight.

        By the way, I really liked that movie also. I would not mind having that pistol myself. 😉


      • RidgeRunner & Michael;

        It’s been a short while since we had a “syfy” discussion. Remember the Umarex Red Storm? Wasn’t really modeled after anything though. A bit ahead of its time. Perhaps it’s time to reconsider. Thanks for the nudge!

        ~JB



        • I would rather see some replica pcp military guns old and new. And definitely semi-auto versions. Not no double action trigger repeaters but semi-auto actions. Maybe even some with blow back with a realistic action. And to emphasize pcp.

          And I’m talking rifles like Nagants and Gerands and even AR’s or M16’s. And let them be rifled barrel pellet shooters.

          Don’t have to be a pellet loaded into a cartridge. Just that it has some kind of action that works like the firearm that it’s replicating.

          Oh and hey thanks for replying on the blog today JB.


        • JB,

          The 1894 lever action, full brass-ish accents, bb shooter, under barrel magazine/feed tube. Ejecting shells are “cool”,… but not very practical for grass, gravel, dirt, etc..

          Good syn. stock is fine.

          ( Accuracy of the Avanti 499 !!!!! ). Co2 is fine, but do a 499 replica in a 1894,…. springer. A Red Ryder spring in my 499 upped the fps by 150 and improved accuracy,…. like that was possible.

          Oh yea,…. octagon barrel for God’s sake! Oh,…. some 11 mm/other option? rail for optics, if desired,…. for us older shooters. 11 seems the most flexible while at the same time remaining unobtrusive.

          Under 200 and I would be all over it!

          My humble 2 cents,……… Chris


        • Jbiddle

          In line with what Gunfun1 was saying about replica military guns, I think everyone here wants to see a CO2 or PCP powered pellet shooting version of the Thompson submachine gun. I would particularly like to get one of the “Capone” style Thompsons with the drum magazine and pistol style foregrip.




              • BB
                Yes I know about that gun. I have the site bookmarked. I have thought about getting one.

                One of the reasons I haven’t got one is I wonder how reliable and accurate they are and shot count they get. How did the gun do you shot?

                And I was just giving a suggestion to Umarex to give them a little nudge if you know what I mean. 🙂


                • GF1,

                  They are not very accurate, but oddly they are reliable. I wouldn’t have thought so with the belt feed, but they are.

                  My gun buddy, Otho, shot it and nearly bought one, he was so impressed. He though of using it for home defense, which is strange for a many who owns more than 100 firearms!

                  B.B.


                  • BB
                    Thanks. I think after reading your reply about it and what Otho said that it’s more likely I will have one in the future.

                    The reliable part is what sold me. That’s hard to come by sometimes with semi-auto pcp’s let alone full autos.

                    And what’s that saying.”Spray and Pray”. With the gun being able to shoot full auto I can over look some not so good accuracy from the gun. After all I would be plinking with it in my case.

                    Thanks again for that info.

                    Gotta love that it’s full auto too.



              • B.B.

                I knew about that one, but I didn’t like the air / CO2 cylinder mounting on the bottom of the grip. I don’t remember exactly, but I think it’s full auto only, not semi / full.

                I would like to see a replica Thompson in which the 12 g or 88 g CO2 is in the stock or the magazine.

                If Umarex were to do a BB shooting replica Thompson with the stick magazine, then the magazine could hold the CO2 and BBs just like the MP40 magazine. Umarex could easily make one of those with blowback semi / full auto action.


          • Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. Wish we could fulfill every one of them. Just know we appreciate each one of you for the time to make recommendations. ~JB








              • Chris,

                I really like the looks of this one. It would really be good for terminating alien soda cans.

                I never was much good at coloring in the lines anyway. 😉


                • RR,

                  But,… no matter how “bizarre”,… no matter how “cool”,….. PLEASE run it by a serious air gunner first! It has to work and be reliable. Can’t do that?,…… PLEASE leave it on the drawing board! That is to all of ya’ all air gun makers.

                  My most humble,.. while at the same time,.. a somewhat opinionated,.. opinion.

                  Chris


                  • Chris,

                    Now wait a minute. Don’t you think you are taking it a little too far? After all, this is going to be bought by some unwitting mom for her little Johnny who will immediately take it out and shoot the neighbor’s cat with it and mom will take it away and hide it in the back of her closet where it will become a forgotten relic until her estate sale where a knowledgeable airgunner will spot it on a table and pay fifty cents for it, whereby he takes it home and contacts an old writer he knows that is really into airguns also and sells it to him for a tidy sum who then writes a blog about “The Alien Soda Can Killer”.



  7. B.B.,
    This gun is pretty cool-looking, but I think they should have gone the Umarex route and rifled the barrel. Some of the reviews on the PA site have accuracy listed as 2″ at 7 yards.
    By way of contrast, the Umarex Colt NRA Peacemaker has 18 out of 20 reviewers giving it either 4 or 5 stars (12 gave it 5 stars; 6 gave it 4 stars). That’s why, out of all the nice CO2 revolvers on the PA site, I chose this one:
    https://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/Colt_NRA_Peacemaker_7_5_CO2_Pellet_Revolver/4457
    It both looks cool AND shoots well; it will hold a 3/8″ group at 5 meters (using a rest)…thank you Umarex and thank you PyramydAir!
    take care all,
    dave


  8. I have two of the Remington 1875’s and while they shoot bb’s just fine, I have encountered them having issues with pushing pellets through the shells designated for pellets.

    I’m not sure if I need to lube the inside of the pellet shells or perhaps seat them in deeper.

    They are new and I haven’t had much time to experiment. Looking forward to part three to see if this is somewhat common or not.


  9. Thank you for this review, this is one of my favourites along with the Umarex Colt SAA. The grips do let this one down a bit but I’ve made my own, including a set of ‘Lucky’ Ned Pepper four leaf clover grips from the movie True Grit…




      • Marlon
        That’s really some outstanding workmanship. Did you modify the original grips or make them from scratch?

        Plastic or wood? Do you sell them and others or take work on?
        Would you care to elaborate on how you went about it or are you a professional gun smith ? I’m really impressed.
        Bob M


        • Hi Bob, thank you for the kind words. I’m an engineer by profession but make these in my workshop at home in my spare time.

          They are cast in a tough polyurethane resin. I make the original from scratch then make the moulds, I use two part moulds due to the internal detail required for clearing the CO2 cylinder and mounting the spring clip etc. Then I cast copies, at the moment either in imitation ivory or ebony. I have been working on a stag grip pattern but still experimenting how to colour the exposed bark areas reliably.

          I’ve added a couple of pages to my site if anyone would like further info/pics- http://www.shadowfaxslotcars.com/Grips.html

          Here’s a picture of the checkering going on the pattern…





                • Marlon
                  I put your site in my favorites list and will be monitoring it. I have some of every revolver you make them for and will most likely order a few soon. Especially for the engraved ones.
                  I could go for some white grips for a Umarex Legends P08 Blowback Luger if your taking suggestions.

                  Bob M


                  • Hi Bob, the single action checkered grips should be ready in the next two weeks, will also have the medallion options ready then too. I’ll make a note of the Luger suggestion, thanks, Marlon.


                • Marlon,

                  Fascinating and beautiful work,…. thank you for the sharing and educating.

                  I would imagine that since the material is homogenous (free of grain),… that it would be quite a bit easier to carve than checkering wood?

                  Also, do/can you do other patterns? The TX200 I had, had a “fish scale?” pattern.

                  Chris


                  • Hi Chris, this material is quite a bit harder than wood so its a slightly different approach. Shorter strokes and more pressure is required, the more pressure applied the more likely you are to stray with the tool so each material has its pros and cons.

                    I can do other patterns, fishscale is best done with a high speed rotary tool and burrs. I’m working on an eagle carving for the Remington grip, came across this picture the other day and thought it would look pretty cool on the Crosman version…


                    • Marlon,

                      Very “cool” indeed. I have always been a fan of the Ivory scrimshaw type carving. I also have a very nice Meerschaum smoking pipe that was hand carved in Turkey and quite intricate. Anything that is done by hand, I can appreciate.

                      CNC machining of details/shape and laser carving seem to be the norm today. Good to see some hand work still being done! 🙂

                      Chris




            • Hi Geo, in the first picture the checkering tool is a single blade, the border and master lines (the first lines in each direction) are scored then deepened a touch with the single bladed tool. In the second and third picture I’m using a double bladed tool, one blade has teeth and the other is smooth, the smooth side sits in the previous groove and the cutting blade scores the next line parallel to it and so on until the pattern is complete. Then its a case of deepening the grooves with a single bladed tool until the diamonds come to a point (third photo).

              Here’s a pic of the single and double headed tools…


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