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Old January 28, 2008, 04:35 PM   #1
M14MSgt
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proper ball size for .44 1851 Pietta

The manual says to use a .451 diameter ball...but tried and won't fit. Too big I guess. Can't even get it to seat enough to get it under the rammer. Will a ..440 (.45) work?
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Old January 28, 2008, 05:40 PM   #2
sundance44s
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Sounds like you may have a 36 cal Navy ...the .451 ball is the smallest of the revolver 44 cal. Take look at the stampings on the barrel ..some where its stamped 44 cal or 36 cal .
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Old January 28, 2008, 06:31 PM   #3
Hawg
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.454 is the usual size for a .44, .451 usually doesn't shave any lead. Are you sure the gun is a .44? Are you sure the balls you have are .451?
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Old January 28, 2008, 07:58 PM   #4
mykeal
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Well, wait a minute. What's the definition of "it won't fit"? A .451 ball will appear to not fit into the chamber of a .44 cal gun as it is intentionally oversize. If you don't know that it has to be forced in, you'd easily make the mistake of thinking it's too big.

The ball will be oversize for the chamber, but just slightly. If you just set it in the chamber mouth it will almost go halfway in. That's intentional; the ball should be slightly oversize and be a press fit into the chamber, shaving a small ring of lead as it is forced into place.

If the ball fits less than 1/3 of the way in the chamber then it may well be that the gun is not a .44 cal. The caliber should be stamped on the barrel.
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Old January 28, 2008, 08:00 PM   #5
Chris_B
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get calipers from Home Depot, measure ball
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Old January 28, 2008, 08:31 PM   #6
Hawg
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Quote:
Well, wait a minute. What's the definition of "it won't fit"?
He said it wouldn't even fit under the ram.
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Old January 28, 2008, 09:09 PM   #7
CraigC
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Since when is the 1851 Navy a .44???
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Old January 28, 2008, 09:15 PM   #8
M14MSgt
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it is a .44 and a .451 does not set 1/2 down. I cannot even rotate the cylinder so a ball is beneath the rammer. Midway USA sells the Pietta 1851 Navy in .44 caliber as well as .36.
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Old January 28, 2008, 09:19 PM   #9
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I've always thought that (navy) meant 36 cal and that (army) was 44 cal
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Old January 28, 2008, 09:19 PM   #10
Hawg
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Yeah, Pietta makes a 51 in .44 but they're the only ones that do. Colt never did. A black mark against Pietta but I'll forgiv'em for it.
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Old January 28, 2008, 09:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
it is a .44 and a .451 does not set 1/2 down. I cannot even rotate the cylinder so a ball is beneath the rammer. Midway USA sells the Pietta 1851 Navy in .44 caliber as well as .36.
Sounds like you got a .36.
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Old January 28, 2008, 11:46 PM   #12
M14MSgt
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I can only go on what is plainly written on the barrell which is BLACKPOWDER ONLY .44 CAL. It was listed on Midway's website as a .44, and it says in plain lettering .44. Are you suggesting Pietta manufactured a .36 and then engraved .44 on it? I suppose that could be the case. I am just hesitant to try and fire it if the ball is too large for the chamber and barrel. That is why I went down to the size ball I purchased.
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Old January 29, 2008, 11:39 AM   #13
l.cutler
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I am a bit confused. The ball is not supposed to go halfway in without being rammed. There should be plenty of space under the rammer. Are you loading one chamber at a time, then ramming that one chamber or trying to place a ball in each chamber before ramming? I believe Cabela's website has a video on loading the blackpowder revolver, you may want to check it out.
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Old January 29, 2008, 01:13 PM   #14
CraigC
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I believe you in regards to the markings but markings don't make it so. Pietta's are not regarded as the highest of quality or QC. It would not suprise me if your gun has a .44 barrel but a .36 cylinder. Stranger things have happened. Luckily Midway's customer service is excellent if it is indeed the case.
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Old January 29, 2008, 03:44 PM   #15
mykeal
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A picture is worth a thousand words...

I just happen to have both a .36 cal 1851 Navy and a .44 cal 1851 Navy, plus a .451 round ball (I miked the ball to check it). I put the ball in the chamber mouth of both pistols with the loading lever retracted:

and with the loading lever deployed:

In the case of the .44 the ball goes in just short of halfway (I. Cutler, please note I said ALMOST half way) and in the case of the .36 it's about 1/3 of the way in. Also note there is plenty of space under the loading lever for the cylinder to rotate into loading position in both cases.

Hope this helps.
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Old January 29, 2008, 04:49 PM   #16
l.cutler
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Mykeal, I was referring to the original poster who said a .451 would not sit half way in. I agree 100% with your post. Nice photos, ought to help clarify things.
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Old January 29, 2008, 06:42 PM   #17
mykeal
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I.Cutler - I understand and apologize.
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Old January 29, 2008, 08:54 PM   #18
M14MSgt
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my situation more resembles the .44 photos.
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Old January 29, 2008, 11:27 PM   #19
mykeal
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Quote:
my situation more resembles the .44 photos.
Ok, if that's the case, the .451 ball should fit in your revolver. I do not understand the issue with the loading lever. If it looks like this:

then it should easily fit under the loading lever like this:

What am I missing?
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Old January 30, 2008, 04:31 AM   #20
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do you think he may have to much powder in the cylinder for the ball to seat
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Old January 30, 2008, 02:21 PM   #21
sundance44s
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That was my next question ....how much powder did you put in that hole ??
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Old January 30, 2008, 05:20 PM   #22
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do you think he may have to much powder in the cylinder for the ball to seat
OR, if he is using a wad, that wad must be tamped first.

Pops
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