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L'derry
November 6, 2008, 01:11 AM
Hi,

I'm new to the forum and am looking to buy a first bp handgun. (I've been shooting bp rifles for sometime.)

I haven't been able to personally handle them, but like to buy either the 1851 Confederate Navy .44 or the Remington New Army 1858 .44. I've been reading as much as I could on these guns here on the forum, but still haven't been able to decide between them. I know, I know, I should buy both! But the second one will have to wait a while.

I think if I was able to handle and check them out personally, it would help. None of the shops around me handle them. I thought some of you who have experience with them might be able to give me some pointers and advice to help me choose.

I basically want one for casual shooting and show. It won't see 1000's of rounds, but I'd like something reliable.

Thanks for any help.

Guardian Angel Mors
November 6, 2008, 02:50 AM
Howdy,
I owned a 1851 Navy in .36 and just sold it because I need some "room" to buy a new matching pair of the same pistol ( custom made, engraved etc.etc etc.): all I can say is that's a really good one; the only problem is the cap that when shoot has the bad habit to fall into the space from frame and hammer but you can easily solve it cocking the hammer keeping the gun upside-down.
I stil own instead a Remington New Model Army .44 ( a present from my girl...): reliable, accurate, well finished. Heavier than the '51 but fine to handle. Just keep the cylinder pin clean and it will give you great satisfactions.

My two cents

Hawg
November 6, 2008, 04:51 AM
I'd go with the 58 Remington for a first bp revolver just because it's a little less to learn.

Guardian Angel, you don't have to hold it upside down, just get in the habit of raising the muzzle slightly and tilting it to the right a little as you cock it.

zippy13
November 6, 2008, 04:52 AM
Greetings, L'derry, and welcome aboard.

Like Guardian Angel Mors, I have '51 Navy .36 and '58 Remington .44 replicas. The lighter, open framed, Navy may be the small-handed gunslingers choice, but I prefer the more robust '58. Also, the New Army's design allows an easy cylinder swap. As seen in Eastwood's Pale Rider, with preloaded extra cylinders, a New Army can be reloaded faster than a Colt SAA.

I'd go with the 58 Remington for a first bp revolver just because it's a little less to learn.
+1

Raider2000
November 6, 2008, 05:08 AM
The colt design is a fine revolver that can last for years & is classic, many preferr the grip feel & balance of the 1851 over all the others but the ease of maintenence & robustness of the 1858 tend to appeal most every one & I agree for a first C&B revolver I would go with the 1858 revolver.

grymster2007
November 6, 2008, 09:09 AM
I have the 58 Remington and like it a lot. I chose it in part based on what I learned from this forum and it has worked out well. I'll probably have to have a '51 at some point, but currently I have a thing for BP pocket revolvers. :)

sundance44s
November 6, 2008, 09:12 AM
1858 fun and less tinkering ....good first buy ...But the Colt bug will bite .

Ricklin
November 6, 2008, 10:35 AM
I took the plunge with a 58 remmie (Pietta) very pleased with it.
Choose your retailer carefully, I had a not so fun experience with the folks I bought mine from. Make certain that you can return or exchange the weapon.
Post when you receive it. The gang here can help give you pointers on how to check out your new toy.
BP revolvers are a blast!!;) Esp. around sundown with 35-40 grains of powder.
Cabelas often has good deals. The overall quality of both Pietta and Uberti are pretty good, but there is always a chance you could get one that was manufactured during the christmas party.

L'derry
November 6, 2008, 10:36 AM
Thanks for the welcome and thanks for your responses.

A lot to consider, and both have a different kind of appeal. The Colt has flash and antique look (brass and barrel), and the Remington has the beauty of smooth lines of a fine old weapon. But it sounds like the '58 is the smart choice to start with.

If this goes the way I think it will, be both guns will be in the locker before 2009 is out!

Again, thanks!

Fingers McGee
November 6, 2008, 12:09 PM
I basically want one for casual shooting and show. It won't see 1000's of rounds, but I'd like something reliable.


Welcome to the fire L'derry.

All C&B revolvers can be made reliable. Some just require more work and practice than others. If you're just looking for casual shooting and show, just buy one (or more) that appeals to you - for whatever reason. My personnal favorites are the Colt '51/61 Navies. To my mind they are the quintessential BP revolver. I have or have had Remmies, Whitneys, and Colts made by Euroarms, Pietta, Armi San Marco, Uberti, and Colt. Bought each one for a different reason.

Whatever you decide to buy, the folks here, and on other forums, will be glad to answer your questions and help you get maximum enjoyment.

madcratebuilder
November 6, 2008, 01:41 PM
Welcome to the forum L'derry. All the above advice is right on. My BP collection include Colts and Remingtons. My favorite is a new to me, 51 Colt Navy in 36 cal.
Sounds like your going to have to mail order your first one. Cabela's has a super buy on the New Model Army Remington, aka 1858 Remington, for $220. they have a free shipping offer going right now. Their Remington is made by Pietta and the one they sent me is well worth the money. A little creep in the trigger but very serviceable. Good luck with your choice.

noelf2
November 6, 2008, 02:25 PM
I prefer the 1858. Have 2 of them. A pretty one with case hardened frame and etched grip, and one is the standard workhorse (fine looking gun as well). I like the 1858 because of the easy cylinder swap. Easier to use a cargridge conversion cylinder if you don't want to modify the gun.

L'derry
November 6, 2008, 06:58 PM
Cabelas just upped the price today on the '58 New Army from $220 to $240. I put it in my Wish List at $219.99 and now it's $240! The '51 is still showing at $150.

Hard to understand in this economy that they're jumping the price by $20 at once.

L'derry
November 6, 2008, 08:05 PM
I was pretty much set on the Cabelas 1858 New Army 5.5", but since it went up in price, I began to look around. I noticed that the Traditions '58 version offered by Cheaper Than Dirt has a brass frame. I assume that a steel frame is desired and is a more accurate replica.


EDIT:
Sorry, I got the 5.5" barrel model price of $240 confused with the 8" barrel price of $220.

Hawg
November 6, 2008, 08:12 PM
I assume that a steel frame is desired and is a more accurate replica.

True on both counts. That Confederate Navy you're looking at is a Pietta fantasy piece. There was never a brass framed Colt or a production model 51 in .44

grymster2007
November 6, 2008, 09:23 PM
Sorry, I got the 5.5" barrel model price of $240 confused with the 8" barrel price of $220.

Yeah... they charge you $20 to have Guido saw 2 1/2 inches off the barrel and mount a new sight. :)

Ricklin
November 6, 2008, 10:13 PM
I don't recommend cheaperthandirt for a BP revolver purchase. They have a no return policy on BP pistols, look for the disclaimer.
I had to return my cheaperthandirt purchase to the distributor, took 6 or 8 weeks and multiple calls to finally get a new pistol from them.
A good seller will give you a non-firing inspection period in which you can return or exchange the item.
I got the one that was made during the christmas party! It was a hassle, the distributor did finally make it right.

pohill
November 6, 2008, 11:21 PM
L'Derry, what part of NH are you in? If possible take a trip to the Kittery Trading Post and check out what they have in new and used BP revolvers. That way you can get a feel of each gun before you buy. Kittery has done very well by me.

mykeal
November 7, 2008, 06:29 AM
I strongly agree with Ricklin and Pohill. Avoid cheaperthandirt at all costs (they have a terrible reputation for bp guns), and check out the Kittery Trading Post (they have a superb reputation).

sundance44s
November 7, 2008, 07:23 AM
Careful Kittery is addicting ......But I wish I lived closer ..:D

L'derry
November 7, 2008, 09:35 AM
KTP is about an hour away. I went on their website, but didn't call them. I'll call then visit.

Good idea. Thanks.

noelf2
November 7, 2008, 11:20 AM
Cabelas just upped the price today on the '58 New Army from $220 to $240.

No they didn't. It's still $219.99. You must be looking at the Target model that is $239.99. Could very well go up soon though. I bought the case hardened 1858 .44 two years ago for 219.99 at Cabelas. It's $289.99 now, but it is one fine looking gun and shoots like a dream.

Cabelas also has some promotions going on that bring the prices down a bit (or takes off shipping). A couple weeks ago I got one of the target model 1858's for about $70. I had $156 in cabelas points from my cabelas credit card, and had a $30 off promotion code for spending more than $200 bucks. Shipping was about $16 or so. You can get good deals at Cabelas if you are patient.

Smokin_Gun
November 8, 2008, 04:01 AM
Get the 1858 Remington NMA .44 Steel Hands Down. :cool:

The 1865 Rogers & Spencer .44 I'd say look into as a close 2nd...:eek:


SG;)

L'derry
November 9, 2008, 11:19 PM
Well I ordered the 1858 NMA 8" bbl in .44 from Cabela's along with a spare cyl.

It's a Christmas gift from my wife. So I'm working on the reasoning as to why I need to shoot it when it arrives and a lot more after that. Absolutely no need to wait for the holiday, right? :)

I'm sure it needs to be fired as soon as it arrives in case it needs to be returned. ;) Then it'll need cleaning and re-shooting. And then used to check out different holsters, and more shooting to be sure it's in working order, then cleaned again, etc. That should get me to Christmas when I'll put it under the tree for the formal acceptance ceremony.:D

fastforty
November 9, 2008, 11:41 PM
I'm sure it needs to be fired as soon as it arrives in case it needs to be returned. Then it'll need cleaning and re-shooting. And then used to check out different holsters, and more shooting to be sure it's in working order, then cleaned again, etc. That should get me to Christmas when I'll put it under the tree for the formal acceptance ceremony.

That's my story & I'm sticking to it (currently carrying my new Colt 1911, which is a Christmas present).

long rider
November 10, 2008, 08:17 PM
L"DERRY, now your thinking like a bp shooter:rolleyes:,
theres nothing like giveing the wife a truck load of bull:eek:
but it works, well done.:cool::D

Raider2000
November 10, 2008, 08:34 PM
L'derry, You've been eves droping in on me haven't you because that is exactly what I told my wife on a cupple of occasions. :D

Good for you my friend & I'm sure that you'll enjoy every minute with your new piece.

long rider
November 10, 2008, 08:42 PM
YEAH: but does it still work?:confused:

long rider
November 10, 2008, 08:51 PM
L"derry, you picked the right smoke pole, so when you get
the hang of that fine smoker get yourself a coversion cylinder
they are so much fun to shoot, now thats one reason why
I note i said I stay away from brass frame, i have a spl 58
i shoot bp and smokless though her and she has not let me
down, ( the power of the 58 ) shoot safe have fun.:D

Raider2000
November 10, 2008, 09:42 PM
YEAH: but does it still work?

Not really but it was fun when I could get away with it. :cool:

L'derry
November 10, 2008, 10:46 PM
Well now I know I'm among the right crowd! :

Like Raider 2000, I'll use that excuse as long as it keeps working.

Raider, when you've worked up a couple of new ones, you might want to share them with us.

When trying to find the best load for the gun, do you keep the ball grain constant and only vary the powder charge?

Any recommendations on loads or brands to start shooting with?

Smokin_Gun
November 11, 2008, 05:45 AM
Congrads on your choice of a fine Revolver... In that .44 start with 25gr and use Black Powder fffg usually you'll find Goex on the shelf. Standard ball weight is approx 143gr. come in .451" .454" .457" ...grab the .454" work fine in the two most bought Revs, Uberti & Pietta... Build up your powder charge 28-30 will probly be good...up to 40gr is all it holds will sure hurt sumthin' but not accurate. Work up some tight groups. I start a new Rev at 10 paces or 40 ft. to print groups on paper...then move to 25 yards and print some more...then Bush's Bean cans on the 25yd. burm...1 gal water filled 1gal milk jugs 50,75, & 100 yds. Adjust on paper first then have fun.

SG

mykeal
November 11, 2008, 07:28 AM
SG pretty much said it all, except:
Yes, keep the projectile (and everything else) the same and vary only the powder charge. If you change projectiles you'll need to work up new powder loads for the new bullet.

And you won't find Goex on the shelf; you have to ask for it. They keep it in a powder magazine for insurance reasons.

L'derry
November 11, 2008, 10:39 AM
Thanks for the great advice. I'll start with that approach.

Anxiously awaiting the gun!