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View Full Version : Got a 1851 Colt Navy for Christmas and I have some questions.


psycho nut
December 26, 2010, 08:50 PM
Well, I received a a 1851 Colt Navy for Christmas and I'm loving it. They really don't make them like they used to.

I am mostly wondering how best to clean it and what I should fire out of it. It came in a kit with some balls, powder container, grain measurer (or whatever it's called), a cleaning kit, some lube, and solvent. I went today and purchased a 1 lbs can of fffg and some no. 11 primers.

I know that they need to be cleaned well after use, but I'm not sure what the best way to do it would be.

Also, the manual says 12-15 grains of powder per round. Is this a lot? A little? Just right?

I am brand new to this and would greatly appreciate any help and advise.

mykeal
December 26, 2010, 09:52 PM
Congratulations on your gift. It will give you many hours of enjoyment.

For a good one-stop primer on loading, shooting and cleaning your revolver read the sticky thread at the top of this forum entitled "So you want a cap and ball revolver?."

arcticap
December 30, 2010, 01:13 AM
There are a lot of threads like this recent one below. I did an advanced search for "cleaning" and specified the black powder forum.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=432966&highlight=cleaning

madcratebuilder
December 30, 2010, 11:00 AM
Also, the manual says 12-15 grains of powder per round. Is this a lot? A little? Just right?

That's a very light load. General rule of thumb is to start with one half the caliber size. A .36 would start at 18grs. Generally the .36's like 18-24grs. Try different loads and find the one your particular revolver likes. You can't over load a cap and ball revolver, not enough room in the chamber. Hotter loads do have an adverse effect on accuracy.

crgator
December 30, 2010, 01:13 PM
Actually, I think you can over load; if you've got a brass frame. I've got a brass frame 1851, and I'm using about 20 gr. I think the steel frame will start off with a good deal more.

Accuracy seems fine with the load I'm shooting, and will probably stay at that. Eventually, I'll probably get the steel, then increase the powder and see.

Being that mine is for target shooting, so long as the accuracy is decent, I'll go with as light a load as possible. No need to use more powder than needed.

junkman_01
December 30, 2010, 01:17 PM
You can not overload even a brass frame. What you can do is beat it with a 'heavy' load, but it isn't going to blowup. A blowup from too much powder would be an overload. That is the reason these replica guns are proof tested.

madcratebuilder
December 31, 2010, 10:10 AM
Actually, I think you can over load; if you've got a brass frame. I've got a brass frame 1851, and I'm using about 20 gr. I think the steel frame will start off with a good deal more.

Obviously a full chamber well peen the recoil shield on a brasser but that is undue wear and tear, the cylinder well not be damaged.

You do bring up a good point, shoot reduced loads in a brass frame revolver. The half caliber size would be a maximum load for me and my brassers.

psycho nut
January 6, 2011, 05:23 PM
I actually did read the sticky before I posted. It was a great overview but I was wondering more about specific products and what not.

I ended up just kinda winging it. I started out firing 15 gr. and than moved up to 20, and giving it a good work over with solvent and soapy water to clean it.
I have thought about buying some of those pyrex pellets, cause measuring out powder while trying to shoot when it 6 degrees out sucks.

Pretty sweet so far though.

joe sixgun
January 6, 2011, 08:16 PM
Not sure that pellets is the way to go. You should really stick with the loose powder. Sometimes to speed up the process I will fill some empty 38 special brass with powder so I can just pour it in without measuring each time. Just pre fill the empty brass and cover with a small piece of tape for transportation. .38 special brass makes a good measure for a brass frame '51 revolver.

psycho nut
January 6, 2011, 08:32 PM
That's actually what I was JUST thinking of doing. I was trying to think of something to put it in. I unfortunately don't have a .38.

mykeal
January 7, 2011, 07:33 AM
Pellets are convenient but you will get inconsistent results.

A better solution might be quick loader tubes:
http://www.dixiegunworks.com/product_info.php?products_id=7713

Of course, now you don't have an excuse for buying a .38...