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1858 Navy .36 Caliber Whitney


Major Pain

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I just bought an 1858 Navy .36 caliber Whitney Arms revolver. It has a couple of broken "nipples" and a broken trigger spring. The owner sent 6 "nipples" and a new spring. Would a purest fix the nipples and the spring? Should I have it repaired? Save the history as is ? Would it affect the value of the gun?

 

What are your thoughts?

Major Payne :FlagAm:

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From what I have seen:

The high-end cap-n-ball originals (Colt, Remington, Adams, LeMat) are best if left original.

The other makes, including your Whitney, lose little value if repaired as close to original as possible. The exception is a gun with provedence showing that it belonged to a known person or had a very low serial number. These guns were made of lesser metals than we use today and have seen a great deal of life.

I would fix it and keep the original parts.

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Depends entirely on the condition. Post a photo, that would help. If it is a beater, then anything you do isn't going to hurt it much. Replacing the trigger spring is pretty much a no-brainer. Remove the screw from the trigger guard and remove the guard. Remove the spring screw and replace the spring. The nipples can be an entirely different story. Most likely they have been in there well over 100 years and are pretty much rusted in place. You may have to soak them with penetrating oil for several weeks to get any penetration. Ultimately, you may have to apply heat. Last thing you want to do is break one of the brittle buggers off. Again, what you do depends on the overall condition.

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From what I have seen:

The high-end cap-n-ball originals (Colt, Remington, Adams, LeMat) are best if left original.

The other makes, including your Whitney, lose little value if repaired as close to original as possible. The exception is a gun with provedence showing that it belonged to a known person or had a very low serial number. These guns were made of lesser metals than we use today and have seen a great deal of life.

I would fix it and keep the original parts.

+1

 

Sam :D

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+1

 

Sam :D

 

 

I've tried uploading pictures to photobucket and it just doesn't work for me. The 2-3 broken nipples look pretty solid. I think I'll replace the spring as this gun will be used for collection/display only anyway.

Thanks all,

Major Payne :FlagAm:

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Howdy, Pard,

Collector's value is a tricky thing. If the gun is in reasonably good condition, finish-wise, I would certainly replace the trigger spring, as it is not visible and a "working" gun will usually attract more collector interest than one that is ka-bust. As for the "cones" (nipples are a portion of the anatomy not mentioned in polite company...neither are legs...er,ah "limbs"), replacement would be desireable IF the finish is not damaged by removing the originals (heating, penetrating oil, etc.), and the replacements are similar to originals, including size, shape and finish. Otherwise, I would leave the gun as close to original as possible.

 

BTW, I fired an original Whitney Navy once (which had been refinished at some past time). I was NOT pleased with its ability to handle BP loads without "fouling out"! OTOH, a cheap Spiller & Burr replica (the S & B was a Confederate knock-off of the Whitney, except for using a bronze frame), shoots nearly as many shots as a Colt's without gumming up!

 

Ride easy, but stay alert! Godspeed to those still in harm's way in the defense of Freedom everywhere! God Bless America!

 

Your Pard,

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