Cap & Ball Revolver Redux: Remington New Army v. Ruger Old Army
By Chris Eger
The top revolver is a circa 1865 martially-marked Remington New Army while the “identical cousin” below it is a 1999-produced Ruger Old Army. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)
SEE RUGER OLD ARMY AT GUNS.COM FROM $650
While some argue that Sturm, Ruger’s Old Army cap-and-ball revolver is a modernization of the Civil War-era Remington New Army, they aren’t totally wrong.
The Original “New” Army
In all, the Federal government contracted for no less than 18 different revolver types during the Civil War with the two most numerous being the six-shot Colt Army .44 (129,730 purchased) followed by Remington’s New Army (125,314) in the same caliber. This impressive number doesn’t take into account the thousands of handguns purchased by private soldiers and officers. The iconic Remington wheel gun had an 8-inch barrel and, unlike the Colt, a solid top strap, making it one of the most powerful and rugged performers of its day.
An unidentified cavalry soldier in Union frock coat with Remington New Model Army revolver. Please excuse the poor trigger discipline. (Photo: Library of Congress)
Firing a 260-grain projectile over a 30-grain black powder charge, it remained popular on the commercial market well into the mid-1870s when cartridge revolvers became all the rage. Still, other copies were sold