Remington 1863 Police Factory Conversion
THE REMINGTON 1863 NEW MODEL FACTORY CONVERSION POLICE REVOLVER
Single-action conversion revolver
.38 RF caliber, 5 rounds
3.5" (90 mm) octagonal barrel.
Identical to the Single-Action Belt Model, except for the smaller size and the 5-chambered cylinder.
About 18,000 were manufactured between 1863 and 1888.
From 1873 on, the vast majority of these revolvers were factory converted onto the .38 rimfire caliber. Like on the Army .44, Navy .36, Belt .36 and Pocket .31, the ingenious Remington conversion system by means of a rear cylinder plate or lid, allowed for the gun to be used as a conventional percussion revolver by simply removing the cartridge cylinder and replace it by a conventional percussion one.
The Police Model was Remington’s answer to Colt, who had just issued his Police Model in 1862. Both are small size versions of the existing Navy 1862 (Colt) and Belt 1863 (Remington), that had already seen action but were not too much appreciated by the public in big cities like New York or Boston, who found them too heavy for a simple personal defense in the urban areas.
The reduced size of the revolver immediately gained the interest of the public, especially because of the caliber, that was more powerful than the .31 Pocket.
For a still unknown reason, both the Police and Belt Models show the particularity of having all their screws entering the frame from the right side, while on all other models they enter from the left. This technical difference does not affect the working in any way, and no one has been able so far to give a rational explanation for it.
The only acceptable reason could be an attempt of the factory to improve their production methods, for example by changing the configuration of their shop or the position of some machines, which could have forced them to present right side of the frames to the drills instead of the left one.
The revolver presented here features the longest available barrel length (6.5"). The available barrel lengths were 3.5, 4.5, 5.5, and 6.5 inch, the two last being the rarest.
Although not really scarce, the Police Model is not very easy to find today.
Like the Colt, this model was called "Police Model" because it was the ideal weapon for the police forces in the big urban centers. As the guns were too light to be interesting for military purposes, and considering the sales of their small pocket models, both companies naturally turned their eyes towards the urban police that represented an ideal potential market.
The revolver saw an immediate and large success in the urban areas of its time, but was not appreciated in the rural zones, where people preferred a heavier weapon.
For a civilian model however, a total production of 18,000 over about 15 years is quite honorable.
Like its challenger the Colt Police 1862, the Remington New Police Model is light and handy, very elegant, and adds the power of the .38 caliber to an amazing accuracy.