Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > Black Powder and Primitive Weapons

Colt Model Black Powder Revolver opinions wanted

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Can anyone tell me if the Colt Army and Colt Navy frames are comparable as far as size ??? I know the Army model is beefier since it's .44 instead of .36.
I'm looking to see if I can find anyone close to me that carries both so I can actually hold them in my hand, but may have to order if I can't.
I would also appriciate opinions concerning the 1851 Navy vs the 1861 Navy including the square back trigger guard.
From a purely asthetic view, I like the 1861 model, but have read that there have been some issues with the creeping loading lever.
All of the reproduction Army models I've found use the creeping loading lever. Are there any that don't ?
Couple further questions:
Are there cartridge ammo conversions available for all models ? I currently don't plan on doing this, but may consider it down the road.
Are these strictly ball ammo guns or are there a miriad of different slugs one can use ?
I've looked at the Remington and see they are built stronger and have the advantage of the quicker cylinder change, but they just don't appeal to me as much. The colts with the open top just have that "Coolness" factor to me.
Speaking of cylinders, I'm planning on getting a few extra cylinders along with a BP cylinder loading station just for the convienence when I go shooting.
Any recommendations here ? As far as manufacturers that tend to have high quality ?
thanks, IKN

As far as the reproductions go, the pietta 44 and 36 use the same frame size. The difference will be a notch cut to clear the stepped 44 cylinder.  The biggest difference is the grip frame length.
Cabelas , Bass Pro Shops, and probably a few other shops like that will have one to hold and get a feel of. Where are you located?

The Pietta 51 navy can be had in 44 if you don't want the creeping lever. I don't see any issues with the  creeper, but have broken the 51 style.

The 36 will be noticeably heavier than the 44 and to convert the 36 you need a larger heel based bullet than standard 38s. Mug easier to convert the 44. It just uses standard 45 colt or schofield ammo. You must use a steel frame gun for conversions. The brass will stretch. Also if you grind on the gun to make a loading gate, it is considered manufacturing of a firearm and makes it  in sellable as a unit .

Loading stands I have used but are not a need in my opinion. If you do get one, get the tower of power or turbine from Powder Inc. both are well built.

Pietta and Uberti are the ones I would stick with as far as makers. Uberti feels a tad smaller than pietta but not much.

More later.

R&D makes a conversion cylinder that you have to remove to load. The backplate rotates as part of the cylinder, and has 5 or 6 separate firing pins.

Kirst makes a gated version, that allows you to load the cylinder without removal, like a standard single action modern gun. You need to modify the loading gate area for this to work, with a dremel sanding drum, or grinder. Once this is done, you cannot sell the gun as a unit. Not sure the total legalities of it, but most that are sold are selling the cylinder separately, and mailing it separately as well.

As far as the Remington, nothing bad about them either. There are some tips and tricks to both to make them run well, but for the most part will work out of the box.

Thanks for the great info.
I've been leaning toward the models with the creeper style loader, but after reading the one review figured I'd better research it a little.
Suprising to find out the 36 is heavier than the 44, figured it would be the other way around.
Any recommendations on slugs ? Seems most stick with standard ball ammo so wasn't sure if one could use connical or miniball types.
I see from one of your replies in another thread that you're a competition shooter. Does there tend to be a preference in the type of revolver used in that arena ?
Didn't know the Navy in 44 was an option. Much in the way of differences between the Army & Navy models in .44 ?

The only difference between the Navy and the Army is the grip and the notch in the frame. You can put a 36 caliber cylinder in a 44, but not the other way.
Smaller holes in the cylinder (36) than the 44 cylinder means more metal left over, hence the weight increase on the .36.

I use round balls mainly, because they are easy to cast and load, and perform quite well. I have used some conicals, but didn't care for them as much. I do cast my own 150 gr Big Lube bullet that is made to go in a cap and ball revolver as well as in a cartridge, but I only use them in my cartridges.

Most people in cowboy action shooting that are serious about the cap and ball guns are using Ruger Old Armies, which is basically a Blackhawk set up for cap and ball. Good guns, but pricey. They also use a larger diameter bullet, .457 or so. Most of my Piettas use a .454.

Where are you located? I am in Nebraska, and could show you some if you were close.

Keep in mind all of my advice is related to the Pietta and Uberti, not real Colts.


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