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View Full Version : Best cap and ball pistol for cowboy action.


King of smack
June 23, 2010, 10:06 AM
I am looking to get into cowboy action shooting and I would like to use cap and ball. I was wondering if anyone could give me any recomendations. I saw a replica colt 1848 Dragoon yesterday and really liked it. Anyone know anything about them and if there suited for CAS?

Fingers McGee
June 23, 2010, 11:29 AM
Howdy King of Smack & welcome to the fire,

You will get about as many recommendations as there are models out there. Some swear by Colt style revolvers, Remington repros, or Ruger Old Armies. Some swear at those same ones. My personnal favorites are a pair of 1861 Navies, and I'm working on recreating a pair of CH Rigdon CSA Augusta revolvers that are a Confederate version of the Colt Navy.

Each style has it's quirks and special needs. For a rank beginner, even though I don't own any, a pair of '58 Remington repros would be a good starter pair. They probably don't have as many issues as a pair of Colt style Dragoons, Armies, or Navies; and aren't near as expensive as a pair of Rugers.

The best thing you can do is search out other C&B shooters in your area and try out as many makes and models as you can before you buy.

Fingers

twobit
June 23, 2010, 11:50 AM
Cimarron firearms has a nice site. I have one of their cartridge pistols U.S.V. Artillery 45LC. They make good stuff.

http://www.cimarron-firearms.com/default.htm

azyogi
June 23, 2010, 11:51 AM
Got to agree with Mcgee, my favorite is my ROA. They are out of production and command a premium in the used market. The Piettta reproductions at cabellas are on sale now 200 for a 5 1/2" 1858 NMA, 240 with the starter kit. I don't do CASS but IMHO these make a good 1st gun.

CajunPowder
June 23, 2010, 12:38 PM
To my knowledge there are currently no Uberti blued steel frame 1858's in stock anywhere. Maybe Dixie. Midwayusa.com, Taylors, Texas Jack, all on backorder. The expected arrival date, the earliest indication I could find ... is for OCTOBER.

The stainless target Remmie I want is not expected until March of 2011, so I've given up for the time being on the stainless target.

I'd say for a beginner, a couple of Pietta's from Cabela's are a good start at the $200 mark.

Order 3 and send the lemon back might be a good way to go. Or if you have a Cabelas near you, order them and have them delivered to Cabelas and go pick them up there.

Me, I've got to have an Uberti and am working a couple of angles.

shafter
June 23, 2010, 03:31 PM
You can't go wrong with a 1851 or 1860 Colt. The '51 looks real nice especially with ivory grips. The 1860 points like a dream.

wittzo
June 23, 2010, 04:15 PM
I would still recommend a Stainless Remington. Target model or not, you'll learn how it shoots either way. Quick reload by swapping cylinders, really easy to clean. I wiped mine off with baby wipes last night after shooting two cylinders. I've shot more than 9 cap and ball cylinders and two conversion cylinders through it since the last time I did a deep cleaning and it's just as clean as if I soaked it. I use a combo of a dry felt wad and a greased felt wad behind the ball, but no grease pills or Crisco in front of the ball with Goex Pinnacle. (I'm going to shoot it soon with a dry wad next time to see how dirty it gets without a greasewad.)

I didn't even bother taking the grips off last time I used my kitchen sink. I just immersed the bore and the front of the frame in hot soapy water and ran a bore brush and mop through it and wiped it down with a paper towel and after it dried, I put a drop of oil on the bolt, which is rust prone. That's sort of how they did it during the Civil War, taking out the cylinders and swishing the pistol barrel and frame in boiling water with lye soap.

The cylinders got more attention, I took the nipples out and brushed them and mopped the chambers and applied anti-seize on the threads before I put the nipples back in. The baby wipes even got the hammer groove (slot?) shiny.

The Ruger Old Army is nearly perfect. The only thing I don't care for is the captivated load lever release that requires a screwdriver to remove so you can remove the cylinder. I like being able to replace a cylinder without tools. It might not be a problem with CAS, since the way I shoot in my backyard isn't PC and violates half of their rules. :)

King of smack
June 23, 2010, 07:39 PM
Thanks for all your help. I guess cap and ball is just like any other gun. There are as many opinions as there are shooters. The reason I had asked about the 1848 is I have a chance to get a pair cheap, but I'm getting the idea that there are some issues with them. Anyone know what the problems are?

Delmar
June 23, 2010, 08:07 PM
I am looking to get into cowboy action shooting and I would like to use cap and ball... I think Cas could be a lot of fun with cap and ball guns, if there were other guys there shooting cap and ball, or if you had a bunch of spare cylinders to load in advance. I shot CAS one time with my Pietta 1858s and there were 60 guys shooting and exactly one shooting cap and ball. Which means between shooting, the other guys were socializing and I was loading my pistols. It was really tough to try and keep up, and sort of frustrating.

Fingers McGee
June 23, 2010, 10:51 PM
Thanks for all your help. I guess cap and ball is just like any other gun. There are as many opinions as there are shooters. The reason I had asked about the 1848 is I have a chance to get a pair cheap, but I'm getting the idea that there are some issues with them. Anyone know what the problems are? Issues/idiosyncracies with a pair of Dragoons:
a. Heavier and larger than Armies/Navies so obtaiing holsters may be a challenge and they'll weigh heavy on your hip during a match.
b. Depending on who made them, timing, lockup, and parts may be an issue.
c. Nipple/cap compatability is more critical to ensure cap framents do not get into action and cause a jam/lockup.
d. Can be more expensive to shoot - Most users of Dragoons like to shoot large charges to obtain the most smoke and boom possible.

Points a and d are pretty much walker/dragoon specific. Point b applies to primarily to ASM C&Bs. And, point c to all models of the Colt style revolvers; With that said, if you can get a good deal on a pair of Uberti Dragoons - by all means, go for it.

I think Cas could be a lot of fun with cap and ball guns, if there were other guys there shooting cap and ball, or if you had a bunch of spare cylinders to load in advance. I shot CAS one time with my Pietta 1858s and there were 60 guys shooting and exactly one shooting cap and ball. Which means between shooting, the other guys were socializing and I was loading my pistols. It was really tough to try and keep up, and sort of frustrating.

CAS is a lot of fun with C&B revolvers - I shoot 3 or 4 matches a month that way, and sometimes I'm the only C&B shooter. It takes a little practice; but eventually you shoud be able to recharge cylinders in a couple minutes, leaving plenty of time for Posse Duties and socializing. I don't use spare cylinders; but load using a pistol stand built onto my guncart. I'm usually a Posse Leader/Range Officer/Timer operator and recharging my pistol cylinders does not take me away any longer than any other posse member.

King of smack
June 24, 2010, 08:38 AM
Once again thanks for all the advice. Fingers, you're right. I looked at the dragoons yesterday and they are pigs! Four pounds apiece is a little much. They wouldn't be bad in a pommel holster but not on your hip. Now let me ask everyone this. Is there a diffrence in accuracy and ease of use between a navy and an army caliber, and is one better suited for compition?

madcratebuilder
June 24, 2010, 08:55 AM
Generally the open tops well need some fine tuning out of the box. It's not difficult but may be more than a new to BP shooter well want to get involved it. Starting with a pair of 1858's you well be pretty much trouble free. ROA's well cost more but are the best you can buy.

Noz
June 24, 2010, 09:43 AM
Go to a shoot and try other's guns. The "feel" of the guns differs not only from model to model but from manufacturer to manufacturer. ie: Pietta 1860s don't feel the same as Uberti 1860s.

Thefe is a tremendous difference in "feel" between the Colt clones and the Remingtons.

TRY BEFORE YOU BUY!!!

fineredmist
June 24, 2010, 09:44 AM
The Dragoon series are nice guns to take to the range for some fun but in My opinion they are too big and haevy for your needs. They were designed to be used from horseback so the weight was not a factor. The 1851, 1861 and the 1858 Remmie were designed to be used while carried on a belt. They are lighter and point better that the Dragoons. That is my .02 for what it is worth in todays economy.

Fingers McGee
June 24, 2010, 11:11 AM
Is there a diffrence in accuracy and ease of use between a navy and an army caliber, and is one better suited for compition?

Colt style Armies and Navies are pretty much the same as far as accuracy & ease of use; although the creeping loading lever on the 1861 Navy and 1860 Army is easier to use than the hinged lever on the 1851 Navy - especially if you go with a short barrel. Only real difference is grip shape. Remington Armies are a whole other animal. Grip shape, angle of hammer, closed vs open top, narrow nipple window, etc.

Generally the open tops will need some fine tuning out of the box. It's not difficult but may be more than a new to BP shooter well want to get involved it. Starting with a pair of 1858's you well be pretty much trouble free. ROA's well cost more but are the best you can buy.
True; but I personally prefer Navies. The Remingtons just don't "feel" right in my hands.
Go to a shoot and try other's guns. The "feel" of the guns differs not only from model to model but from manufacturer to manufacturer. ie: Pietta 1860s don't feel the same as Uberti 1860s.

Thefe is a tremendous difference in "feel" between the Colt clones and the Remingtons.

TRY BEFORE YOU BUY!!!

And Noz should know, he's tried em all :D

King of smack
June 24, 2010, 07:03 PM
Is there a diffrence in accuracy between the .36 and the .44?

MJN77
June 24, 2010, 08:18 PM
In MY experience, the .36 seems more accurate at distance but in CAS the targets aren't that far away.