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skwang
June 18, 2008, 19:53
I am thinking of getting into the black powder game. One of the reproduction Remington 1858 new army repro or the similar Ruger. What is to be known about these things? Shipping I think can be done sans FFL, is this true?

HT308
June 18, 2008, 21:37
There pretty safe on function and on loading, just be careful on overcharging. I got into BP revolvers years ago but kind of got out it when they changed some of the parts. I am more of the purest type and stay away from the new BP guns like the 209 primer guns and electric fired black powder. As far as shipping some states you have to go thru a FFL. I personal live in Kansas and we can have them shipped to our home address, but it just depends on your state laws.

Powderfinger
June 18, 2008, 21:45
If you go with a Remington 1858 model, get the steel frame instead of brass. That way you can get a conversion cylinder later if you want to fire .45 Long Colt cartridges (cowboy loads). Shop around for a Ruger Old Army if you can. You will get what you pay for and they hold their value. I found a mint one in a pawn shop for $225. I spent nearly that much on a custom rig for it. I have some great info I found on the web for care and feeding of BP revolvers. I will look for it.

1gewehr
June 18, 2008, 22:27
1) The Remington is a far superior model to the Colt black powder revolvers.
2) If you can swing a Stainless Steel model, go for it! You'll never regret it!
3) Never buy anything over .31 caliber with a brass frame. If you actually intend to shoot it more than once. Brass WILL shoot loose with time.
4) Extra cylinders make life much easier for Remington copies. That's one reason the Remington is better.
5) Do not be afraid of hot water. It's the best solvent around for black powder residue. The hotter the better.

Celtic warrior
June 19, 2008, 12:20
The guys pretty much said the same as I would.
But just to share I learned the hard way before the internet and knowledgable
people were around. Dealer I got it from didn't tell me squat about it, and there was no manual with it. (Circa 1973)
(No I didn't get hurt)

1. Had a Colt repro .44 that had a brass frame,thought I was being thrifty by passing on the STEEL frame for a lousy $10 more. I think when I lumped it off at a gun show there was easily 1/8 to 3/16 gap between the cylinder and the cone. Accuracy wasn't worth a damn, even before it stetched.

2. Remington 1858 repro I have now has the steel frame and adjustable sights,considerably more predictable, if one can say that about bp.

I can't hit anything with it, but that's because I'm way out of practice. Still have fun though, the BP smoke and flame is cool plus.:cool:


Greg O

Thalco
June 19, 2008, 13:13
Ruger's are the best espically the stainless ones. When it comes time to clean it use hot soapy water and it will clean up nicely. Just oil it before you put it away and check it a week later to make sure you got all the black powder residue cleaned off. Espically true if you buy a blued Ruger or Remington. They are really a lot of fun to shoot. Have fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

Powderfinger
June 19, 2008, 16:47
Check your PMs.

elbo
June 19, 2008, 20:53
If you don’t care for authenticity buy a Ruger you’ll be happy.
If you want something authentic, this is the true spirit of BP, then buy a steel reproduction by Uberti or possibly Pietta. Buy the one that strikes your fancy.

:biggrin: Don’t buy brass.

Pay no attention to ‘remington is a stronger design’, while that is probable, it’s probably not relevant.
:biggrin: A BP revolver frame, even brass, doesn’t stretch to loosen. In colt or remington type a portion of the cylinder rests against the frame, when the gun is fired all of the recoil is transmitted through this area. The cylinder and frame peen each other and enlarge the barrel to cylinder gap. This happens quickly with brass. Do us all a favor and buy one of each and shoot both to junk, then report back.

:biggrin: You cannot over charge a BP revolver. If the ball is against the powder and is seated deep enough in the cylinder to rotate behind the barrel the charge is safe.

I have a Uberti ’60 Army Colt made in 1970, I bought it in ’73, when I first got it I shot it almost every weekend two or three hundred rounds, and later with conicals. I have no Idea how many times it’s been fired but it’s still tight and will shoot equal to any.

I now also own a ’61 Navy, a ’62 Pocket Navy, and a Pocket Police in navy caliber all by Uberti, and a Pietta ’51 Navy. I’ve owned two Remington Armys but I sold them. I never could muster any feeling for them. No style.

:biggrin: Generally, Army and Navy refer to the caliber, army is .44, navy is .36, there was no such thing as a .44 ’51 Navy. The only authentic brass frame revolvers were made in the Confederacy and were Colt copies in .36 cal.

:biggrin: I recommend reading David Chicoine's 'Gunsmithing Guns of the Old West' for a discussion of the faults of each design.

doubletap
June 19, 2008, 23:42
From experience I've developed the feeling that the three most common manufacturers are rated quality wise like this:

1) Uberti
2) San Marco
3) Pietta (distantly)

I haven't seen any San Marco marked revolvers in quite some time so don't know if they are still imported of if they hav been gobbled up by Uberti/Beretta. The Uberti stuff is usually head and shoulders over Pietta quality wise which normally translates into shooting quality as well.
The "target" sights are kinda cheesey, like pre-war target sights, i.e. two opposing windage screws for lateral adjustment, which of course like to work loose after a bit of shooting. I've had best use by soldering on a decent front sight with a small ramp and cutting a small dovetail for a small drift adjustable rear sight I file out of key stock. With good sights you may well be surprised at the ability of a percusion revolver, my first one, an old original '58 Remmy would cut one big hole for two cylinders full at 25 yards with a nice light target load of 10 gr.s 3fg, cream of wheat filler, and a .454" roundball. I've currently got a Navy calibre Remmy repro (Pietta none the less!) that will nicely keep under 2" at 25 yards offhand with 18 gr.s and a .378" ball.
Have fun! They get to be very habit forming.

Doubletap

L Haney
June 29, 2008, 11:21
Originally posted by elbo

:biggrin: You cannot over charge a BP revolver. If the ball is against the powder and is seated deep enough in the cylinder to rotate behind the barrel the charge is safe.


:eek: Depends on your definition of "Black Powder". I worked in a gun shop in the late seventies and we sold a fair amount of BP arms. Kits, factory rifles and pistols, and we did some kit builds to show how the kits could look if done properly. So anyway, this guy comes in with a heavily gauze wrapped hand and a box. The box had the remains of a Remington style BP revolver in it. Top strap torn off at the front, barrel pointing down at about a 30 degree angle, 3 chambers blown out of the cylinder. He was not a happy camper. He was also looking to sue. The boss commiserated with him about his injury, and asked about what led up to the malfunction. They talked a while, then got around to the propellant. "Sure it was black", the guy told him, " Do you think I'm an idiot?" When asked to identify the exact type of "black powder", the guy described the container and said it was competition grade powder as the container was clearly labeled "Bullseye". Nobody got sued. He regained use of the hand, but he did have some trophy scars.

Lowell

okiefarmer
June 29, 2008, 11:38
I'm sure you know the ins and outs of BP loading, but more damage can be done leaving a space between powder and projo than overcharging. Usually, as long as the ball/conical is below the cylinder and it can rotate, it will just make a bigger boom. An old rule of thumb I went by as a youth was to put the ball in the palm of your hand and pour BP over ball just until ball was covered in powder. If'n ya don't want to shoot heavy loads, but are just plinkin', it may be difficult to seat ball on powder with hinged plunger on pistol, some use corn meal to fill space on between powder and ball. Just make sure ball is seated firmly and "no air space" is left.


Did I mention, don't leave any air space between ball and powder?

Okie out

STGThndr
June 30, 2008, 00:45
Black powder shooting requires more patience than I usually have. My first pistol purchase in 1972 was an Old Army Ruger, big black and heavy. It was traded off for a defense pistol (wish I hadnt done that). Ive had my eye on the newer stainless O A Rugers in 5 inch barrel, but Im having trouble finding them listed. Has Ruger ceased their production?

Powderfinger
July 03, 2008, 15:06
Apparently so, from what I've read at a Ruger forum. :(

WannaFal
July 11, 2008, 12:21
I found a SS Old Army ruger at a show a few years ago for about $175, I think. I know the price was so good I didnt really want to put it down to un-a$$ the billfold. It didnt look like it had ever been fired, no carbon around the nipples, it WAS in about 98%+ shape.
When I load it I pour the cylinder full then press the ball in, never had any problems.
Mine didnt come with a nipple wrench so I use a Klein nutdriver to remove the nipples, 3/16" , I think.

Powderfinger
July 11, 2008, 15:18
Excellent buy!

Ruger sells a wrench (or did) that also has a screwdriver tip for the take down screw.

Michael Valentine Smith
July 12, 2008, 21:27
A couple of tips:
to aid cleaning you can disassemble, and throw it into the dish washer. Just don't tell anyone.
Second, as soon as the dry cycle is done, I mean immediatley, lube everything up.
DAMHIK

johnny d
July 12, 2008, 23:09
I just finished detail stripping and cleaning my Uberti-made Paterson. If you've never been inside a Paterson before, let me tell you, it's an adventure.

sf46
July 13, 2008, 17:20
Do you have to make your own ammo for .36 or .44 calibers, or can the bullets be purchased somewhere?

bykerhd
July 13, 2008, 22:37
Hornady sells round balls for black powder revolvers in quite a variety of sizes.
Midway lists some of them. You may find them elsewhere and in local shops too.

You need to know what the manufacturer recommends for ball size. A .44 might take a .451, .445 or .440 ball, depending on make and model. For proper sealing, you should shave a small ring of lead off the ball when you ram them in the revolver's chambers. About .001 as I recall.

There are greased wads to seat under the ball for sealing. Or, Crisco was an old time favorite for preventing chainfires. Messy though.

I like to shoot the things. I hate to clean them though.

Jon
September 18, 2008, 13:16
I have a remington 1858 copy from cabelas (Pietta I think). I bought the "target" model with the adjustable sights, and it's pretty accurate.

I like the remington since you can change out the cylinders pretty quickly.

Make sure you clean it well, and put some anti- seize on the nipples.

CRShooter32
September 18, 2008, 14:27
I'm seriously thinking about BP revolvers myself, got to see part of an introduction to BP pistol dvd, and it looks like it's alot of fun. Might have to get the DVD, and watch the entire thing.

I've been looking at a few models in the Midway catalog, the 1858 Remington, the 1848 Colt Dragoon, and the 1861 Colt Navy, but, what really caught my eye,and I really would like to get, Cabelas has a beautiful reproduction LeMat in their display case, but I think it would be best to start with one of the lower priced models, and go from there.

WiFAL
September 18, 2008, 14:47
SOLD - I have an Italian made model of the Colt 1860 that I would like to part with. Steel frame, brass straps, six extra nipples, nipple wrench, powder flask, about 65 - 44 cal. lead round balls and a leather holster for $120 shipped. Shot about 18 times, cleaned and put on a shelf about 30 years ago. Send me a PM with your email address and I can send you some pics if you like.

hawk962
October 01, 2008, 06:34
My wife gave me a standard 1858 Army model in .44 for Christmas that came Cabela's about 12 years ago. I picked up the spare cylinder and have actually thought about getting a third one. I shoot Hornady .451 round balls and it is surprisingly accurate. Everyone that has commented on using hot water for cleaning the fouling is spot on. You can use the #11 caps in a pinch, but the nipples are typically #10.

Para Driver
October 01, 2008, 22:59
IIRC Pyrodex made pellets for revolvers, that makes it a lot easier.

don't forget the patch under the ball, or you can easily get sympathetic (multiple cylinders) firing..

bykerhd
October 01, 2008, 23:23
The Remington's were stronger than the Colts and it's still true with the replicas.
But, the Remingtons are sensitive to fouling.
You may not get much more than a cylinder or so fired before the cylinder cannot be turned by the mechanism of the gun. At that point you can assist the cylinder to turn by hand or stop and clean the gun.

Colts are looser and don't suffer so much from the fouling.

Stainless is the way to go.
Unless you are looking for a traditional look or don't want to invest much.

Ruger Old Army, no longer made, is the way to go. If you can find one.
Way stronger than the replicas and the mechanism is built Ruger strong.

Quality, and quality control, has been a hit or miss issue with the mostly Italian replicas. Parts are generally quite available and working on them is a good way to learn something about revolvers. Most mistakes won't cost too much to fix.
I've built a few replica revolvers from kits and the mechanisms are really quite simple.

mdlmkr 7.62
October 02, 2008, 19:55
Wonder wads - fiber discs that go on top of the powder and under the ball. Keeps your gun from having chain fires.

I once had 5 go off at the same time - talk about a magnum load!!! I said a little prayer in thanks for the 6th not firing as it was the one on the bottom

7.62

elbo
October 02, 2008, 21:57
Originally posted by bykerhd

Colts are looser and don't suffer so much from the fouling.
The Colt is better designed to deal with black powder fouling.
In all revolvers gas escapes from the barrel to cylinder gap. The Remington top strap impedes the escape of fouling, trapping more of it in the mechanism.

Both The Remington and the Colt have flat faced cylinders the gas is blown down the front of the cylinder hits the part that the cylinder turns on and gets deflected between it and the cylinder. In the Colt the larger cylinder arbor has what looks like acme threads, these grooves provide a place for the fouling to go.
In Colts later 1872 open top revolver the arbor is shrouded by a sleeve machined on the front of the cylinder this sleeve shields the arbor under the gap. On a 1873 SAA the cylinder bushing goes under the gap and has a radial groove to deflect the fouling away from the cylinder pin.

Wonder wads or not, a little grease in front of the ball will keep the fouling soft and allow you to shoot longer.

lew
October 02, 2008, 22:43
Originally posted by elbo

The Colt is better designed to deal with black powder fouling.
In all revolvers gas escapes from the barrel to cylinder gap. The Remington top strap impedes the escape of fouling, trapping more of it in the mechanism.

Both The Remington and the Colt have flat faced cylinders the gas is blown down the front of the cylinder hits the part that the cylinder turns on and gets deflected between it and the cylinder. In the Colt the larger cylinder arbor has what looks like acme threads, these grooves provide a place for the fouling to go.
In Colts later 1872 open top revolver the arbor is shrouded by a sleeve machined on the front of the cylinder this sleeve shields the arbor under the gap. On a 1873 SAA the cylinder bushing goes under the gap and has a radial groove to deflect the fouling away from the cylinder pin.

Wonder wads or not, a little grease in front of the ball will keep the fouling soft and allow you to shoot longer.

Interesting info. Thanks. I was thinking about the Remington Army, but I might go with the Colt simply because of the fouling matter.

seg
October 04, 2008, 18:52
Plus 1 for the Ruger,even though I don't have one. They are nice. Built a few from kits, I don't remeber them all. I do still have a couple Colt repro.
I lost the stomach for the revolvers during a card match, my opponent had a chain fire after the second shot. I've shot singles ever since. He got a flesh wound to his leg.
Just remeber take your time, its a blast.

PS
If you get bored of pistols, try a cannon:biggrin:

Gunny71
October 06, 2008, 12:30
You may want to handle both the remington and colt, they have totally different ergonomics.
I bought an Uberti 1860 colt that was made in 1971 from a fellow filer, and it is hands down much better compared to the Pietta's out now, so if you find an old uberti be sure to check it out.

C-ya
October 12, 2008, 12:11
I just bought an 1858 New Army from The Possible Shop (http://www.possibleshop.com/). Don was great to deal with both on the phone and via email. His prices are fair for what I wanted - an entry-level, won't get shot much BP pistol. He has quite the storefront there on his website and sells quite a bit of period-style items.

Check here (http://www.possibleshop.com/cap-ball-closeout.htm) for his on-sale stuff. He has a steel-framed 1851 Navy in .44 cal (yeah, yeah - the people wanted a .44 apparently) for $179, a SS 1858 for $289, and a steel 1858 for $199. S/H is $12.95 for a single pistol. He also has spare cylinders and conversion cylinders for Pietta and Uberti.

Story
October 13, 2008, 14:20
Anyone else have an 1860 Colt they want to dump?
Can have a beat finish.

STGThndr
October 18, 2008, 06:26
LIke wise on a Colts, needs to function, doesnt have to be pretty. .31, 36, 44. Email DunRanull@aol.com