This year, Virginia-based Taylor's & Company introduced the Ace series, a new line of cut-down 1858 Remington-pattern .44 cap-and-ball revolvers that readily accept .45 Colt conversion cylinders.

We ran into the steel-framed Ace at this year's inaugural Shooting Sports Showcase in Alabama, and the company sent us one to test and evaluate. 
 

Taylor's & Company Ace .44 caliber revolver
Ace models include variants with either a two-piece white PVC grip, smooth walnut grips, or checkered walnut grips, all with an asking price running in the $350 range. (All photos: Chris Eger/Guns.com)


The compact .44-caliber percussion revolver is based on the 1858 Remington New Army but features a 3-inch octagon barrel, making it a snub nose version that has a more comfortable weight and size for carrying. This roughly emulates the array of customized and converted guns that were floating around after the Civil War left thousands of surplus Model 1858s on the commercial market. 
 

Taylor's & Company Ace .44 caliber revolver
Standard features include a brass trigger guard, brass accents on the grip screw plate, a deep-blued finish, and a basic fixed front blade sight with a rear notch.
Taylor's & Company Ace .44 caliber revolver
The overall length on the Ace is 8.38-inches due to the 3-inch barrel, while the weight on the steel-framed revolver is around 38 ounces. Note the proof marks on the frame.
Taylor's & Company Ace .44 caliber revolver
When compared to an actual 1858 Remmy, you can see a big difference as the standard New Army used a full 8-inch barrel and hit the scales at almost three pounds. The author's circa 1863 original is seen here against the T&C Ace review gun. 
Taylor's & Company Ace .44 caliber revolver
This puts it larger than a traditional snub nose of today's standard, for example, the S&W Model 642 J-frame, and more akin in size to a medium-frame revolver such as an S&W Model 64 K-frame.
Taylor's & Company Ace .44 caliber revolver
As the barrel of the Ace has "lost" five inches from the original design, necessitating the deletion of the loading lever, the Ace has an abbreviated lever latch to retain the center cylinder pin to the frame. 
Taylor's & Company Ace .44 caliber revolver
Just open the lever latch, pull the cylinder pin forward, and the cylinder can roll out of the frame. Incidentally, the full-frame design of the 1858 style revolver still makes it a top choice for black powder shooters today as the cylinder can be removed without taking the firearm completely apart, unlike the Colt Army/Navy models.
Taylor's & Company Ace .44 caliber revolver
Speaking of cylinders, an optional cartridge conversion cylinder is available for the Ace that is a drop-in conversion to smokeless .45 Colt/.45 Schofield ammunition. 
Taylor's & Company Ace .44 caliber revolver
As the Ace is a modern steel-framed revolver, it can handle standard pressure .45 Colt cartridges when equipped with the conversion cylinder. 
Taylor's & Company Ace .44 caliber revolver
Note the case-colored hammer. Made by F.IIi Pietta of Italy, a world-class firm that has been a leader in making the highest quality replica firearms for the past 60 years, the Ace is subtly import marked on the underside of the barrel. 
Taylor's & Company Ace .44 caliber revolver
We would have preferred stainless steel nipples, but the installed examples have proved durable and easy to cap. Note the safety notches in the cylinder between the cap positions where the hammer can rest and not be hovering unsafely over a cap. 
Taylor's & Company Ace .44 caliber revolver
As there is no revolver-attached loading lever to plunge, a black powder cylinder reloading stand is a big help, especially if you don't want to transport a loaded cylinder. However, a palm-saver or T-handle style ball starter, coupled with a capper, can do the trick in the field.
Taylor's & Company Ace .44 caliber revolver
We've had fun with it on the range so far, with 30 grains of Goex FFFg (Pietta lists a maximum load at 35), Speer .457 round balls, CCI No. 11 caps, and a gob of T/C bore butter in each cylinder hole in front of the loaded ball. Of course, you could use lubed wads rather than butter, but that's a personal choice between you and your revolver. 

Stay tuned for more on the Taylor & Company Ace as we stack up some more balls through it and start working more with the conversion cylinder. 

 

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