Design of the Remington Model 1861 Navy was consistent with the Remington design approach. The handgrip was of walnut and sloped downwards from the rear of the frame, the assembly flared at the bottom. The curved trigger sat protected in a thin brass trigger ring. The ammunition cylinder was smooth-sided and accepted six .36 Cap & Ball lead spheres. The firing operation was the accepted standard of utilizing percussion caps, a method that replaced flintlock domination and the action was single, requiring the operator to both cock and pull the trigger to fire a single shot - repeating the process for the next. The hammer sported a high spur and was of case-hardened metal. The barrel was rounded and over 7 inches in length. A small fixed post atop the muzzle was used for accurized aiming at longer distances. The loading lever was held under the barrel.
Despite its limited availability, Confederate forces likened the Remington Model 1861 Navy over the Model 1861 Army, to which the Northern Union forces favored. To the South, the lower-caliber .36 chambering was the major reason, producing a lower recoil that was more manageable in close ranges and when fired on horseback. The North, however, enjoyed the inherent firepower of their .44 caliber man-stopping Remington Model 1861 Army revolvers for good reason.
The Remington Model 1861 Navy is also known by the name of "Old Model Navy".
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