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Thread: Reichsrevolver

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Reichsrevolver

    Last night I saw an 1879 11mm Reichsrevolver at the store. Impressive, large firearm. It's black powder, and can be loaded (from what I read) using 44 Russian brass and bullets. It's in really good shape and the price is reasonable. There aren't many for sale right now so it's hard to put a price on it. There are some 1883 models with the shorter barrel for sale but not the long barreled 1879.
    Anyways, I'm a sucker for these big old revolvers. Anyone here have any experience with them?

    It looks like it might be a decent shooter, at a different level than (for example) the Nagant revolver, which is more of a novelty firearm.
    Last edited by Battis; 08-28-2019 at 10:35 AM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy

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    I have tinkered with one awhile back, wondered how the heck they hit anything with one, and the safety is a real useful piece of precision machining. It is a neat old pistol though, had to load 190gr swc and 3.5 gr of Trailboss to get it to hit any where near POA elevation wise, windage was way left and not worth the effort to fix. With a center hold at 15yds you would shoot the chip off enemies right shoulder using the original loading 249gr slug. Not a real good example of fighting pistol even back when it was new. Dont forget your dowel to empty the fired cases...

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I've been researching it online - there's some good info and a "shooting" video. I usually shoot the old guns once a year. The last antique I got was an 8mm Lebel revolver. I have it on hold for a week so I can research it and make a decision on getting it or not.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy

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    I have an 8mm also, great condition, but a wall hanger for now. They look similar and are great examples of the machining skills of that era. Kinda makes the new cnc stuff look mundane. The Steyr Hahns and Lugers are the same era and intricate assemblys.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Like I said, I'm a sucker for these old revolvers. My 8mm Lebel has Sweetheart grips. The GIs would slip a photo of a sweetheart under the plexiglass (or whatever the material was). The grips were made from the windshields of downed German planes. I have shot it a few times.
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    I traded a Spanish Mauser and a Remington Model 11 (20 ga) shotgun for this ReichRevolver. It's the 1883 Officer's Model (stamped 1894) with a 4.75" barrel. All matching (there's serial numbers everywhere. Even the screws are numbered to match). It has a safety. It shoots 11mm black powder rounds. I read that you can load with .44 Russian brass. The gun is in really good shape, seems to be well cared for and maintained.
    If anyone here has loaded for this gun, I'd be interested in more info.
    I'm on a trading kick. Last week I traded for a Rock Island Armory 1911 A1 .45ACP. Why I waited so long to get a 1911, I don't know. What a great gun.
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    Last edited by Battis; 08-30-2019 at 11:06 PM.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Battis, the wood grips look to be replaced? still a nice score.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Good Cheer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battis View Post
    Like I said, I'm a sucker for these old revolvers. My 8mm Lebel has Sweetheart grips. The GIs would slip a photo of a sweetheart under the plexiglass (or whatever the material was). The grips were made from the windshields of downed German planes. I have shot it a few times.
    The ingenious engineering in those revolvers just blew my mind when examining one in the 1980's. The way the side opened up for servicing. The way the parts were attached to prevent loss. You could clean the action by taking a wizz if you had to and slap her back closed. Amazing.
    And yeah, being a ".33 Special", they're good with wheel weights for small game hunting too!

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Good Cheer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battis View Post
    I traded a Spanish Mauser and a Remington Model 11 (20 ga) shotgun for this ReichRevolver. It's the 1883 Officer's Model (stamped 1894) with a 4.75" barrel. All matching (there's serial numbers everywhere. Even the screws are numbered to match). It has a safety. It shoots 11mm black powder rounds. I read that you can load with .44 Russian brass. The gun is in really good shape, seems to be well cared for and maintained.
    If anyone here has loaded for this gun, I'd be interested in more info.
    I'm on a trading kick. Last week I traded for a Rock Island Armory 1911 A1 .45ACP. Why I waited so long to get a 1911, I don't know. What a great gun.
    That piece deserves its own western.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Good Cheer's Avatar
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    By the way, about the wind screen material.
    A friend of my brother used to be a plant operator on the Texas coast that said the English and the Germans both got their cockpit material from that location.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I read a review on Lee's .44 Russian 3 pc die set, and the reviewer said that he received .44 Spl/Mag dies in the set, and when he called Lee they said that's what they sell. Does that sound right?

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    I had one a few years ago. One chamber of cylinder was cracked and was painted on outside red. So I think somebody had been shooting the other chambers. It had yellowish grips of hard wood with some grooving. I didn’t shoot it. It was very clean so cracked cylinder was probably from Bubba & Bullseye.

  13. #13
    Boolit Mold
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    The .44 Russian, Special, and Magnum are all straight wall cases of the same diameter, so they can all use the same sizer die. If they were all made short to fit the Russian it would be possible to use the same expander and seater dies as well, but I suspect they have a specially sized expander and seater for the Russian.
    --DJ

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I read that since the .44 Russian is shorter, the .44 Mag dies won't crimp it unless you remove some of the die. I have a .44 Mag sizing die that I'll try when I get some brass. I have a Lee .429" - 244 gr mould that should work. Some brass, a seating die and I'm on my way.

  15. #15
    Boolit Bub
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    I have an 1883 that I’ve loaded for. I used .44 Russian brass, and black powder load data. I think I used a 200gr boolit(that’s what I load in my .44 Spl). I believe the original load used a 265gr bullet, so I’m going to play with some heavier stuff for it eventually. It is my understanding that you have to use black powder in these-though it’s been long enough ago that I can’t remember my source for that info.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I have Lee .44 Russian dies and Starline brass on the way. I completely disassembled and cleaned the revolver. I was amazed at how many small parts - screws, etc- are serial numbered to the gun. And, the gun is very Colt-like on the inside. Built like a tank - should be fun to shoot.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy

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    I am interested in where it prints at 15 yards when you get it to the range. My Trailboss load got 700fps with the 190/200 gr projo.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I loaded up 18 rounds using:
    .44 Russian brass and dies
    .429" cast bullet
    approx. 17 grs Goex FFFG
    Large pistol primer
    Average velocity: 600 fps
    They must have been sighted at 100 yds - with the sights dead on, I kept hitting the gong. I didn't try any closer targets.
    It's a booming, heavy revolver. Nice round to load for, recoil not bad (BP is more of a push). Lots of smoke.
    Great shooter, cool looking.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy

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    I guess from the gong hits at a 100 that the 15 yd impact would be about what I got. That thing must have the trajectory of a mortar..

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    I loaded up some rounds using a lighter bullet (200 gr) and tried shooting at 15 yds. It definitely shoots high at that range. The lighter bullets weren't as accurate at 100 yds, but the recoil was less (same 17 grs FFFG). I have to tame that beast for close shooting before I can get smaller groups. I think the revolver was made to shoot one handed. Two handed is awkward - there's no place for the left hand.
    Right now, this gun is my favorite shooter, as strange as that sounds.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check