View Full Version : .36 Caliber pistol loads

December 7, 2008, 03:48 PM
Hello everyone. I'm somewhat new to Blackpowder, I have in the past shot BP rifles and revolvers, but never loaded them etc. I recently picked up a Pietta .36 Pocket Navy, or Sheriff model. I'm not sure which one it is, but it has a 5 1/2 inch barrel, no brace above the cylinders, and has the sleeker body style compared to the 1851 Navy. I would take a picture, but girlfriend has misplaced the camera.
When i bought it, it didn't come with any instruction manual, and my searches online for one were fruitless. I've kind of come to the assumption that it should be about 20g. But i'm not sure if barrel length is a factor when it comes to powder loads.... I'll be using Pyrodex "P" the fffg equivalent. Or so the jug says. So i guess my question is how much powder does this revolver use?

December 7, 2008, 04:05 PM
However much the cylinder will hold and still fully seat a ball. I don't have a .36 but 20 sounds about right. Of course you don't have to load it all the way up. Just saying you can.

December 7, 2008, 04:48 PM
Barrel length does not matter to load with a pistol. 20 gr is a full chamber on that model; 15 gr is probably a better choice for accuracy.

December 7, 2008, 04:58 PM
What Hawg said is right. I use 17 grs. Goex FFF Black powder and just enough
creme of wheat to bring the ball up to within 1/16 of the end of the chamber.
This is for target shooting.

December 7, 2008, 06:15 PM
Hope you find your camera. Here is my little .36

Fingers McGee
December 7, 2008, 08:24 PM
My standard .36 load for '51 and '61 Navies is 20gr fffg, wad & .380 roundball.

December 7, 2008, 08:57 PM
Ok here it is. Now the bummer is that i was only able to procure locally the .350 balls. They seem to fit a bit loose, but looks like having a patch around it will help fill in the gap.

Sorry it's kind of dark

December 7, 2008, 09:10 PM
Gonna take a mighty thick patch. I also imagine you'll lose the patch in the forcing cone. I'd order some .375 or .380 balls for it.

December 7, 2008, 09:28 PM
I tried to lighten up the picture a little. Hope you don't mind or get mad at me.

December 7, 2008, 09:54 PM
Thanks kwhi43 for lightening up the picture. Looks good!

Hawg, do you think i can get away with the .350 balls for now, i went through much trouble to get them locally so i bought 200 (For when all hell breaks loose). The patches i got are .018 thickness. I've sat a ball and patch on the cylinder hole and it will take some pressure to mash it in there, and the ball shouldn't drop out. Is losing the patch in the forcing cone bad? I imagine that it would blow apart and exit the gun with the blast.

December 7, 2008, 10:41 PM
Your Turn

December 7, 2008, 10:49 PM
They might fit the chamber ok which will(should) shave lead on a .375 ball. If it loses the patch in the forcing cone like I think it will you'll just have a .350 ball banging around on it's way out the muzzle. No bore pressure to get muzzle velocity up and no accuracy. Try it if you like. Won't hurt anything. The patch will blow out the muzzle but I wouldn't shoot it over dry grass.

Shotgun Willy
December 7, 2008, 11:37 PM
As an alternative to patches, just tap your balls with a hammer. Stop s-CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED-ing, I know how it sounds!
Anyway, if you'll put them onto a hard surface and give them a good tap with a hammer, they'll get a little wider. Just make sure to load them flat side up.

December 7, 2008, 11:46 PM
Somehow shooting a bullet that's wider than it is long just don't sound right.

December 7, 2008, 11:53 PM
I would not use a .350 ball in a .36 gun, ever, but if you do, only load one cylinder at a time - you do not want a chainfire. Also, I would not use patches, but again, if you do, only load one chamber at a time.
I have "bumped" the ball up with a hammer (and squished it wider with a pair of plyers) a few times and it does work well.

Shotgun Willy
December 8, 2008, 09:21 AM
Somehow shooting a bullet that's wider than it is long just don't sound right.

If you tap it real gentle like, it doesn't flatten it all that much, but it does help the ball reach out to the sides of the cyl. better. Of course a .350's gonna take quite a bit of adjustment, and accuracy's gonna purely suck, if they're not loaded perfectly. When I had this problem, I ordered a .380 Lee mold, and recast them.

December 8, 2008, 10:38 AM
If you tap it real gentle like, it doesn't flatten it all that much

What? You guys never heard of the ol' pancake load? Sometimes I just take some 1/4" thick lead and punch into discs that will shave a ring in my revolver. Ever seen a lead frisbee? :)

December 8, 2008, 12:07 PM
Your going to hurt yourself with those .350 balls, you need bigger balls................................to shot those little balls.

December 8, 2008, 03:07 PM
Front of my .36 cyclinder. It is champerefed so as to not cut a ring of lead.
Inside dia. is .357 Ball dia. is .360

December 8, 2008, 07:07 PM
Ok, you have me sold on getting a bigger ball size. Now since I cant return ammunition, i think i might just get the mold and melt them into larger bullets. Been looking on track of the wolf at the lee molds. But dont know which one i should purchase. Any suggestions? Also i was wanting to do this over fire outside. Is that possible what else will I need?

December 9, 2008, 07:41 AM
Forget TOW for molds. Go here and get a .375 or .380. http://fmreloading.com/ Either one should work. .380 might be a little harder to load. A double cavity is best. You can do it over an open fire but it's gonna be mighty hot. Best to get a lead pot.

December 10, 2008, 12:09 AM
Those .018 patches should seal more than tight enough to prevent a chainfire and to keep the balls in the chamber.
The Pietta Remingtons usually prefer the .375 balls.

December 10, 2008, 12:26 PM
Sweet, Thanks everybody .375 it is. And that place you referred me to Hawg is just down the highway! So i can just go and pick one up.