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Old October 25, 2005, 08:50 PM   #1
USNavy_233
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Join Date: November 10, 2004
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Just getting start with BD, have some questions.

I just acquired a reproduction 1851 Colt Navy in .36 cal. I'm stoked and can't wait to take it shooting but I need to know a few things before I do. First, is there any particulars about BP shooting that I need to know, any quirks in the guns, ammo, etc to look out for. Secondly, where's a good place to buy bore butter, caps, balls, etc for a decent price. I'm in Northern Virginia but if I can find a good deal online then I'm all for it. Third, what's the difference between FFG and FFFG powder and what's the best type of powder to use. Lastly, do most ranges allow black powder firearms on their lanes? Obviously I'll ask my local ranges here but I was just wondering if it's a standard to allow/not allow them becuase of the excess smoke, etc. Thanks in advance.
-Walt
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Old October 25, 2005, 09:28 PM   #2
MPP1423
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I Cant Think Of Any Reason Not To Allow Bp On The Range.mine Has No Problem With It.if You Use The Wads You Wont Really Need The Grease.i Know Of Some Who Use Both Like Remington On This Forum.i Think He Would Also Agree Its Alot In Peronal Preference.as Long As You Use A Wad Or Grease So As To Prevent A Chain Fire.dixiegunworks.com Is A Good Place To Get Bp Supplies,they Have About Anything You'd Need.as Far As The Load,thats Up To You And You Gun.start About 25-30 Grns And See Where It Hits And How You Like It.thats The Fun Part About Bp Pistols.you Have To Find What They Like.i Shoot Hodgon 777 In Ff.its Hot And Cleans Up Nice With Only Hot Water.
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Old October 26, 2005, 04:08 AM   #3
USNavy_233
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Thanks. I'll have to take a look at Dixie's website. Hopefully I will be able to get her to the range this wekend or next.
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Old October 26, 2005, 07:29 AM   #4
MPP1423
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you can also get some of your blackpowder needs at cabela's.
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Old October 26, 2005, 09:36 AM   #5
Cap n ball
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"do most ranges allow black powder firearms on their lanes?"

I haven't run into any places here in KC that won't allow BP. Sometimes out of courtesy I request to shoot on a secondary range so that the smoke doesn't bother other shooters. Depends on how many other shooters are on the range. All the ranges that I go to have a garden hose handy so as to wet down the lane and dampen the unexpended powder or target shreds on the floor. I didn't do that one time and the floor actually caught on fire. I also have a little can of compressed air in my kit to blow away any spilled powder grains from the surface of the bench rest in fromt of me. If you've ever had a BP burn you understand all too well why I'm carefull with the stuff.
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Old October 26, 2005, 09:40 AM   #6
Hafoc
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Well, obviously, if it's an indoor range they'd probably have problems with the smoke. Otherwise, it works pretty much the same as a cartridge revolver, except it takes a long time to reload.

I've never used Wonder Wads-- I'm thinking of getting a C&B revolver again, but when last I used one I didn't know Wonder Wads were available. Maybe they weren't. I'd definitely recommend them over grease, it makes a MESS.

Speaking of mess, BP makes one. You'll have to get used to scrubbing your disassembled revolver in hot water and dish soap, assuming you're not using one of the cleaner substitutes (and not all substitutes are cleaner). It is not that big a deal provided you use good hot water, so that it evaporates off nicely, and of course oil things down once you're done.

Other than that... unlike smokeless, with BP you want to fill the space between primer (or cap) and the bullet/ball/whatever. You should be able to fill it with BP completely, although this makes for more recoil and so on than you really need. If your revolver's rammer will let you seat the ball directly against a reduced load of powder, that's OK. Otherwise you can fill the otherwise-empty space with wads, or some kind of filler or other. A friend of mine always used corn meal for that purpose, and while I wouldn't recommend that for a load you intended to leave in the chamber for a long time (because I think the corn meal has some moisture in it, and moisture against your black powder won't do any good) it worked fine for immediate firing, as you do on a range.

The Colt open-top cap and ball revolver design doesn't have the strength of a solid frame, but it does allow a greater proportion of the fouling to blast away than a solid frame would. Mine were subject to trouble from spent caps, however. Sometimes the fired cap would fall off and get wedged between hammer and frame. With the big Dragoon this didn't matter much; it would just mash the cap flat, and I'd find one or sometimes two mashed caps in there, buried in the powder fouling, when I cleaned the thing. The little 1851 Pocket .31, though, would jam right up from one cap.

There's an old movie gunslinger move you see once in a while, where they point the revolver straight up to pull the hammer back (if I used the proper word for this operation, the idiot bulletin board program will censor it) and then bring the revolver down to take aim. The result of pulling the hammer back with muzzle pointed skyward is that any fired, split cap that's going to fall off will fall away from the revolver rather than down between hammer and frame. I suspect this pointing-skyward move really was used in the old days, for just that reason.
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Old October 26, 2005, 10:11 AM   #7
Cap n ball
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Cleaning my revolvers is more of a ritual to me than I guess it is for most. Its part of shooting these things, I find it relaxing. For cleaning all the small stuff, nipples, springs etc. I load them into one of those old fashioned wire mesh tea-eggs and suspend it in hot soapy water while I clean the large pieces. Giving the egg a shake once in a while will remove or loosen much of the dirt from the little stuff. Never use petroleum based lubricants. They will double the fouling. I use olive oil and it works just fine.

Depending upon the situation and how I'm feeling a nice shot or two of scotch and my dog next to me while performing the 'ritual' usually enhances the process.
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Old October 26, 2005, 10:50 AM   #8
Remington kid
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Looks like you got some great info already. The only thing I would ad is for you to look in the phone book for a traditional black powder shop around you. Also ask the local hunters where the best palce is to buy your C&B goodies.
You can order all you need on lone but it takes a while to get powder and you have to pay a large hazard fee to get the stuff delieverd to you. (Don't know who came up with that BS) . I would like to see you try Goex fffg in that gun to begin with. It's much cheaper than the phony stuff.
If you need to buy the phony stuff then I would go with H777 in fffg powder.
Make sure you clean that gun well befor you even think of fireing it and use bore butter on that bor after heating it with a hair dryer and swab it in the bore real well. This will help cure the bore.
As MPp1423 mentioned I like to use the wonder wad and grease over the ball and on the cylinder pin hole. My reason for the grease and wad is not due to a worry about chain fire but the grease keeps the cylinder and the works running nicely and makes clean up easier.
Have fun be safe and keep it clean. You just bought a great sidearm that saved and killed many a man in the wild west, north , south and east Mike
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Old October 26, 2005, 03:09 PM   #9
MPP1423
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Guys Im The Same About Cleaning My Rem's.its Relax Time .hell ,i Get A Cold Beer Out And Just Take My Time.i Always Make Sure To Take The Grips Off As Well And Oil Down The Mainspring And Anything Else That Looks Like It May Use A Little Oil.there Is A Place Called The Possible Shop,they Are Online,that Has All You Need As Well And The Guy Is Very Cool To Work With And He Knows His Stuff Too It Seems.
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