Editor Jeff’s Classic & Custom Guns Page
Remington’s Model 1875 lost to the Colt SAA in the US Army handgun trials, yet went on to serve with the Indian Dept., the Egyptian Army and was fairly popular on the frontier, although the majority were chambered for the proprietary .44 Remington cartridge. The round used an outside-lubricated heel-based bullet (technology still used in modern .22 LR ammo), and was unique to Remington, thus curbing its sales appeal.
Our sample here is unique. In studying its surface, you find British proofmarks stamped through the nickel plate on each cylinder flute, the barrel and frame. A lyrebird is engraved on the frame through the nickel, and crudely made buffalo-horn grips have been added in place of the originals. These clues suggest the revolver made a trip from America to England and then to Australia, since the lyrebird is unique to Down Under. Guns imported from America to Australia were not proofmarked on arrival. If only this revolver could talk…
This .44 Remington 1875’s complete provenance is lost to history, but it appears
to have been around the world. It must’ve been a striking pistol when new, as the
hammer, loading gate, screws and ejector were all finished in bright peacock blue
(evidenced by traces of finish in protected areas).
The original nickel plate is in very good condition, suggesting the pistol was a
gentleman’s companion during its active life. The .44 Remington cartridge was
discontinued before the end of the 19th century. And without access to factory
ammunition, the revolver became little more than a curiosity bouncing between owners.
The lyrebird is native to Australia and has been engraved through the nickel.
The buffalo-horn grips—another clue to the revolver’s Down Under heritage—have
shrunken away from the frame and now show some insect damage. A British
proofmark is visible in the chamber flute.
The .44 Remington round (center) has no headstamp. It is identified by its
miniscule rim and blunt, heel-based bullet. Although not interchangeable,
it is similar in power and dimensions to the .44 Colt chambered in Colt’s
M1860 cartridge conversions. A modern .44 Magnum (right) is shown for
The early Remington revolvers were marked “E. Remington & Sons. Ilion.
NY. U.S.A.” The Remington firm was still family-owned at the time.