Author Topic: Black Powder Revolvers  (Read 6264 times)

Offline scrappy

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Black Powder Revolvers
« on: June 04, 2010, 05:13:00 PM »
Anyone want to provide guidance on Black Powder revolvers?  I'm thinking of getting one.  Looking at what Cabela's has on-line.  I like the 1851s, because the cylinder can be changed without tools (according to the Cabela's description).  I like the 1858s, because the top strap just seems like a more sturdy tool.  I want steal frame, not brass, because the brass frames apparently can't handle regular use of full loads.  I don't know much more than that.

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Black Powder Revolvers
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2010, 06:05:23 PM »
I've got an 1858 Remington replica.  (Which I have still never fired with black powder!  I put a conversion cylinder in it -- uses .45 Colt cowboy ammo -- and I like the way it shoots.  You'd think that old fashioned style grip would be clumsy, but it actually makes the gun very easy to handle.  Still gotta do a bit of gunsmithing to get that conversion cylinder working right, though.)

Anyway, FYI the cylinder in the 1858 is easily removable without tools.

That exhausts my expertise on the subject. 8)

Offline Schmidt

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Re: Black Powder Revolvers
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2010, 08:15:02 PM »
I got a Confederate Navy Colt 45 for Christmas. It's like holding a little cannon in my hands. I love it ;D.

Being a black powder revolver, it is relegated to the realm of amusement guns, not really having the normal hunting and defense utility. It takes about two minutes to load and sometimes jams when the percussion caps get stuck between the frame and the cylinder. Jamming isn't as big of an issue because the gun is just for fun.

Offline sgtgrogg

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Re: Black Powder Revolvers
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2010, 06:52:28 AM »
if you buy one that does not come with spare cylinders, you should have a gunsmith check the timing on the new cylinders(do this even if it does). Also make sure you put some kind of lube on top of the bullets prior to firing. "chain fires", when all chamber fire at once, SUCK

Offline scrappy

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Re: Black Powder Revolvers
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2010, 05:19:10 PM »
if you buy one that does not come with spare cylinders, you should have a gunsmith check the timing on the new cylinders(do this even if it does). Also make sure you put some kind of lube on top of the bullets prior to firing. "chain fires", when all chamber fire at once, SUCK

I've wondered exactly what is the outcome of a chain fire.  I assume it destroys the gun.  Does it also force you to learn to write with your left hand?

Offline RipTombstone

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Re: Black Powder Revolvers
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2010, 09:48:04 PM »
Ok guys. I compete with these mysterious things. Heres a little info.

I have had 1 chainfire in 20 years of shooting them, and it was last year our of a Starr revolver. I make my own wonderwads, which I use instead of grease over the ball. I ran out, and instead of putting some grease on in its place, I had a 2 round chainfire. No damage to the gun, my hand, or anything else. It did sound a little different, but not really louder, and recoil felt the same. It was kind of 2 quick impulses of power when it went. Anyway, grease or wonder wads over the ball is a good idea.

Also, make sure that the caps fit on the nipples. Chainfires can also come from the nipple end, and with wrong caps, they tend to fall off. I ended up buying aftermarket nipples from Treso. They use a Remington #10 cap, and I have not had one fall off since switching.

The Remington is a stronger design than the Colt, but does foul up quicker due to the very small cylinder pin and not much room for lube. It is easy to remove the cylinder and swap with the Remington. The grip frames feel a little bit longer for me as well, but that is a personal preference.

The Pietta (most Cabelas guns are Pietta) 1851 and 1860 in .44 are the same frame. My favorite easy swap is an 1860 with a 51 barrel. The 51 barrel is lighter, and just a hair shorter, but the 60 has a longer grip frame. Makes it handle like a much shorter revolver, while still having the extra length/velocity of the longer barrel. The Colt points very naturally for me, and is quick to clean when you take off the barrel and cylinder and drop it in the sink.
RipT (Will continue.)

Offline RipTombstone

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Re: Black Powder Revolvers
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2010, 09:54:23 PM »
For max loads in both my Remingtons and my Colt .44s, I use 30 gr of 2F or 3F. 3F will give you a little more zip, as it burns more efficiently due to its smaller granule.
For my .36s, I shoot about 22-25 max, but dont shoot them much.

Mine are quite capable of taking rabbits and squirrels, and I have no doubt that in an emergency situation, I could take a deer at close range with a well placed shot. I would use my Walker for that duty though.

For .44 roundball ammo, most instruction books call for .452, but I have been using .454 in all of mine with good success. Basically if it loads easy, and shaves a ring of lead off the ball as you load it, you are probably sized right. For .36, it is .375.
If you cast your own, only use soft lead, no linotype or wheelweight. You will break the loading lever trying to get the ball in. Trust me on this.... :-[
Any other questions, feel free to ask.
RipT