Author Topic: Colt Model Black Powder Revolver opinions wanted  (Read 11362 times)

Offline IKN

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Colt Model Black Powder Revolver opinions wanted
« on: February 19, 2014, 05:32:42 AM »
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

Offline RipTombstone

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Re: Colt Model Black Powder Revolver opinions wanted
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2014, 06:35:29 AM »
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.

Offline RipTombstone

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Re: Colt Model Black Powder Revolver opinions wanted
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2014, 07:23:23 AM »
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.

Offline IKN

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Re: Colt Model Black Powder Revolver opinions wanted
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2014, 08:24:32 AM »
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 ?
PS
Didn't know the Navy in 44 was an option. Much in the way of differences between the Army & Navy models in .44 ?

Offline RipTombstone

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Re: Colt Model Black Powder Revolver opinions wanted
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2014, 08:44:25 AM »
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.

Offline IKN

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Re: Colt Model Black Powder Revolver opinions wanted
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2014, 11:31:55 AM »
I'm in west, central Illinois so not very close.
Just Googled the Rugers, they look a lot like the Remingtons in the pictures.
I know it doesn't matter in functionality, I just like the look of the Colts. More classic spaghetti western look to them.
Always been kind of partial to Colts in general though I've owned a variety of others.
Had a .54 muzzle loader until I lost in in the house fire we had 15+ years ago (lost a lot of guns that day). Between that and the 1/2 scale Napolean canon I have, the smell of burning black powder kind of got in my blood.
Lately, I've been leaning toward airguns. I set up a small hobby metalworking shop and want to try and get in on the ground floor of this recent jump in the airgun market. I've got a design of my own I want to try and make as well as doing some custom mod work on them. Slow going right now due to work, but I'm more trying to get set up for retirement just a few years down the road.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2014, 11:44:25 AM by IKN »

Offline RipTombstone

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Re: Colt Model Black Powder Revolver opinions wanted
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2014, 12:55:38 PM »
I agree with you. The Colts have the "look". I also find that they point more naturally than the Remingtons. The Remington I have to get my hand clear up high on the grip to get the same feel. The Colts and clones are great in that aspect. For a cartridge gun, you might look at an 1872 Opentop in 45 or 38. Good guns, and have the same feel, but load a whole lot faster.
Good luck!
RipT

Offline bdhutier

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Re: Colt Model Black Powder Revolver opinions wanted
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2014, 01:32:25 PM »
I've owned both a Pietta '51 Navy in .44, and an ASM '60 Army.  My first revolver was the '51, and I was instantly in love.  I bought the Army because the grip of the Army is a little bigger and longer that the Navy's, and I thought it would fit my hand a little better.  My pinkie finger hangs under the grip on the Navy.  What a surprise it was that the Navy was more comfortable to shoot!  I also didn't like the creeping loader at all.  I know it was supposed to be a step up from the hinged loader, but i don't think it works as well.

I've toyed with getting a conversion cylinder for the Navy, probably in .44/40 vs .45Colt.  I'm not sure I want to spend $300 though.  Someday maybe...

I've never fired anything but .454 RBs out of mine but I know they also shoot conicals.  The original Colt bullet molds which came with the new revolvers had a recess for a RB and one for a conical.  The other piece to shooting these revolvers is to understand they are zeroed for 125 yards.  If you shoot it like a standard modern handgun, you are going to shoot way low.  It's something you'll either have to adjust to, or alter your sights.

What else...  Oh, I bought replacement Treso nipples in #11 for mine, so I can use the same caps I use for my rifles, and pinching the caps so they'd stay on the #10 nipples got really old. 

OK, Pietta Vs. Uberti... I've never owned a Uberti, but I have held and worked them.  They, frankly are beautiful guns, but not so beautiful to justify their additional cost.  Also, if you're really wanting a '51 in .44, they don't make them (at least any more, don't know if they ever did or not).  Pietta is a great gun, and very reliable.  You'll probably have to tune it a little, but I always expect that, myself (Tuning the Pietta Pt1 and Tuning the Pietta Pt2). 

Ultimately, there are VERY few other handguns which so naturally point as the open-top Colts. 

There are none so damn sexy...


Offline bdhutier

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Offline RipTombstone

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Re: Colt Model Black Powder Revolver opinions wanted
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2014, 02:14:00 PM »
.36 vs .44.

Dixie is top notch supplier if you need parts and accoutrements.

Offline bdhutier

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Re: Colt Model Black Powder Revolver opinions wanted
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2014, 02:24:32 PM »
LOL, oops!!

Offline IKN

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Re: Colt Model Black Powder Revolver opinions wanted
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2014, 08:06:53 AM »
Thanks everyone for all the info.
I think I found a nearby dealer where I can go look, but after reading your comments, I'm now considering th Uberti 1860 Army. http://www.uberti.com/navy-army-and-police-revolvers
I was kind of surprised about bdhutier's comment that he thought the Navy shot better with the smaller grip than the Army. Myself, I never liked guns with small grips that I couldn't get all my fingers wrapped around. Hopefully I can find a dealer with both in stock so I can compare feel.
I see one can get it with the standard cylinder or the fluted cylinder.
Any opionions on standard vs fluted ?
BTW, any preferences on using black powder vs pyrodex in the revolvers ?

Offline bdhutier

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Re: Colt Model Black Powder Revolver opinions wanted
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2014, 08:22:03 AM »
Real blac all the way. Longer shelf life, no load adjustments, and of course the smell and smoke just aren't the same with the fake stuff !!! :)

Offline RipTombstone

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Re: Colt Model Black Powder Revolver opinions wanted
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2014, 09:36:56 AM »
Real black. I get my by the 25# lot from Powder Inc. I usually buy Kik brand or Skirmish. Its cheaper than Goex, but Skirmish is a tad dirtier. The Kik I really like.

I like the 51 Navy myself, but I put the 1860 grip frames on it for more handle. The barrel is lighter and a tad shorter, and with the heavier grip is about perfect for me. It helps I have about 15 of these things to swap around too, as just buying grips and frames can be expensive.

Standard vs fluted? I don't really care either way, but do have an Uberti 1860 with the full fluted cylinder, and I really like the looks and feel of it. Very light feeling compared to the non fluted.

RipT

Offline IKN

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Re: Colt Model Black Powder Revolver opinions wanted
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2014, 01:15:08 PM »
Got to agree with you there.
Even the picture of the 1860 Army with fluted cylinder looks SEXY !!!!!

Offline RipTombstone

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Re: Colt Model Black Powder Revolver opinions wanted
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2014, 10:04:51 PM »
Here's a pic of my full fluted 1860. The only issue I have with this one is that the front sight is actually protruding into the bore slightly. Still shoots for my purpose, but it may get chopped back to a shorter barrel and a new sight added.

Offline IKN

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Re: Colt Model Black Powder Revolver opinions wanted
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2014, 07:54:59 PM »
It's a beauty.