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Old September 12, 2007, 09:26 PM   #1
grymster2007
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BP Revolver???

I like black powder and put together a couple of single-shot pistol kits from Dixie. A Plains Pistol and a N.O. Ace. Shot the Plains last year at camp and it was kinda fun! But I might like a revolver. Don’t have much time for building one, so maybe I’ll buy it assembled. They seem pretty reasonable, so less guff from the wife and no paperwork in CA (at least that I know of). Should be simple to pick one up.

I like the bigger bore guns and I want it to bark every time I pull the trigger.

Anything to stay away from here?

As I said in a home defense thread I posted, I need a weapon for the garage. Would a reasonable man count on one of these things for this duty?

If yes; anything special needs to be done?

Reload every so may days, weeks?

Seal the chambers?

Anything else?
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Old September 13, 2007, 06:32 AM   #2
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I like the bigger bore guns and I want it to bark every time I pull the trigger. Anything to stay away from here?
That suggests you will shoot max loads. If that's the case, stay away from brass frames and be prepared for diminished accuracy. Steel frame revolvers can handle full chamber loads of black powder with no damage even over the long term. However, in my experience a full chamber load is never the most accurate load.

Quote:
As I said in a home defense thread I posted, I need a weapon for the garage. Would a reasonable man count on one of these things for this duty?
Well, yes, I suppose. Given that you will practice with it and maintain it like you would any tool necessary for your safety and protection there's no reason it won't serve for that purpose. However, there aren't any small frame big bore bp revolvers (small frame like in S&W J, for instance). So home defense means just that, not concealed carry.

Quote:
Reload every so may days, weeks?
No need to reload; bp is time stable. However, this depends to some extent on how you choose to answer the next question:

Quote:
Seal the chambers?
Mildly controversial issue here. Theoretically a well fitting ball will suffice to seal the chamber. You should get a small ring of lead when you seat the ball, and if you do many people feel that's sufficient to prevent some chain fires (the other half of the world says the nipple end is the real problem; I believe both the nipple end and the chamber mouth need attention). Anyway, part of the world says you need to put grease in the chamber mouth after loading to be sure it's sealed; this will also help lube the barrel and reduce fouling contamination. Another group (me among them) use a lubed felt overpowder wad to accomplish the same thing, the advantage (theoretically) being the wad is less messy. There are those that believe the lubed overpowder wad and/or it's cousin, the lube pill, will eventually contaminate the powder if left in contact with it for a significant time frame (that being a few minutes to several days depending on who is talking). The wads I use are Bridger's Best and are dry to the touch; I do not believe they contaminate the powder over time, but I could be wrong. I rarely leave a bp weapon loaded for more than a day so I can't really say about the long term effects.

So, seal the chambers? Yes for solid chainfire protection but with the risk of powder contamination, meaning you should reload after a bit (how often is too hard a question - depends on the method of sealing and the amount of lube). No if you feel the ball fits tightly and seals the chamber well, meaning you don't have to reload periodically. As they say: your mileage may vary.
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Old September 13, 2007, 10:02 AM   #3
grymster2007
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I was just checking out some other posts and came across the conversion cylinder deal. So I want a BP revolver, but with a cylinder conversion, I would guess it would better serve its double duty as my “garage” defense weapon. I don’t know much about this, but maybe you folks could provide some guidance?

If I did this, I think I’d want to shoot .45 LC cartridges, so what revolver(s) would be compatible?
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Old September 13, 2007, 10:31 AM   #4
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here's a link to CAS city, Black powder board, just look through the posts, probably everything you'll ever want to koow about the cartridge converters.

http://www.cascity.com/forumhall/ind...oard,19.0.html
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Old September 13, 2007, 11:26 AM   #5
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Mykeal hit it right on the head with all the info that I would have given you...

I will add though that if you do use your Cap & Ball Revolver as a home deffence weapon to only load it with 5 shots so that the hammer can rest on an empty chamber, less likely to have an accident with it if the weapon is dropped or something.

I used to keep my 1860 Army loaded with 28gr. of FFFG Goex black powder & a 147gr. .457 ball & grease over the chambers & used #10 Remington caps "they fit it better than #11" & kept it loaded for sometimes a cupple of months like that for the same reason "didn't get my Colt m1911A1 till 1990 so it was my only deffence weapon till then."

as far as conversions go try here....
http://www.cimarron-firearms.com/Blk...wderOpener.htm
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Old September 13, 2007, 11:51 AM   #6
grymster2007
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I like the Uberti 1858 New Army and it looks like Taylor's makes a cylinder for it. Anyone have this combo?

Uberti 1858

Cylinder
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Old September 14, 2007, 06:13 AM   #7
Jamie C.
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Grymster, I believe this will prove cheaper than buying the gun and cartridge cylinder separately:
http://www.taylorsfirearms.com/produ...Conversion.tpl

I bought my Uberti 1858 from Taylor's a few months back, and I can attest to both their service and price.
When I get around to buying a cartridge-firing gun, one of their 1858s in .38 spl will be on my list.


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Old September 17, 2007, 11:41 PM   #8
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For a newbe to Bp revolvers; I would reccomend the Ruger Old Army, especially if you intend to use a 45LC cylinder. It's the strongest of all the production pistols and if you go stainless, it's easy to clean, They're more expensive, but I think they are worth the extra money for the safety factor built in and the fantastic Ruger customer service.
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Old September 18, 2007, 06:08 PM   #9
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Rugers are tuff and dependable and all that but they're not historically accurate. For that reason alone I wouldn't want one. But it's different strokes for different folks, if that's what floats your boat go for it.
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Old September 23, 2007, 02:09 PM   #10
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First let me say Uberti products are the best replica stuff other than USFA....that having been said Pietta products are also very good now days(not so ten years ago)....you can get a 1858 Remy at Cabela's for $199.99 and this is a very good replica(I own three)...you can then go to Midway and get a conversion cylinder...either Uberti or Pietta, Euroarms or Ruger(44 to .45 long colt) for $239 or so....they drop right in most of the time....I had to take the blue off my(Pietta) cylinder pin(5 mins work)then it droped right in....like it was said in one of these post's above, go to CAS City and you will find all the info you will need on conversion cylinders...this is what I did....great forum! PS: I agree with Hawg Haggen....Rugers are tuff....built like tanks BUT they are not historically correct....a major point if you are into the old west...Uberti,Pietta,USFA and a bunch more incl.the one's that have gone out of business have built correct replica's. Another good sorce for replica's is Dixie Gun works....good prices and some hard to find replica revolvers like Reb stuff...Uberti made for the most part,some Pietta.
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Last edited by mickey66; September 23, 2007 at 02:39 PM. Reason: forgot some info
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Old September 24, 2007, 06:53 PM   #11
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I might consider using one for last ditch SD, as long as it went bang it would serve the purpose if reliable, but I would use the max charge for that, as you need every last bit you can get for that sort of function, I would think. That is for across the room defense, not target groups. Hopefully you don't get problems like blown caps jamming the works at the worst moment. And even though they were capable of the function in historic times, you would consider that the opponent was maybe armed with nothing better, maybe less. I have balked at a conversion cylinder due to cost. Those might allow you to use smokeless loads in a BP frame, but how soon do things loosen up from that, assuming that the guns are probably mild steel not tempered for high pressure loads?
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Old September 25, 2007, 06:19 AM   #12
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You don't use high pressure smokeless loads in conversion cylinders and bp percussion frames. You use lower pressure cowboy loads. While they are not .357 magnums they will suffice for close range self defense.
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Old September 25, 2007, 06:25 PM   #13
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Yea we know that but there is someone somewhere that is probably going to stuff some +P ammo into a 38 conversion or something. The cylinder might survive, I assume it is made from properly hardened modern steels for safety margins, but the BP frame and barrel won't take much of that! The thing that worries me is if there is some problems with folks buying no license or paperwork BP guns and just converts them into CF revolvers in effect making it a gun of the type that would normally be more closely scrutinised and gets on the radar screen of law makers. Then they go to the BATF and start selling the cylinders as "regulated firearms" in themselves or something.
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Old September 25, 2007, 07:34 PM   #14
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Although the conversion cylinders seam like a pretty neat novelty & I agree could be construed as a way for persons that could not legally obtain a firearm to have a firearm that fires a self contained cartridge I do not think that this would a big concern because most persons in that catagory are more interested in rapid fire semi autos & dubble action revolvers & would concidder a weapon like this to be slightly dificult & some what expensive for what they get conciddering that you do have to dissasemble the weapon to convert it in the first place & unless you purchase a .36 caliber Remington or Colt to convert it to a .38 special most of the other ammunition isn't available at your local Walmart so doing the conversion would be almost useless.

I have no intrest in a conversion cylinder for any of my C&B revolvers because to me it takes away from the essence of that particular revolver but instead, I may eventually buy a Cimarron Arms Richards-Mason 1860 revolver, to add to my collection of reproduction Colt type revolvers & my orriginal 1851 Colt Navy.

Besides a good ole Ball & or a load of BB's from my 1860 Army is formidable enough to most who would stand in front of it, if I was to have it loaded & it be the weapon that I chose at the moment of truth.
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Old September 25, 2007, 07:58 PM   #15
mykeal
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Yea we know that but there is someone somewhere that is probably going to stuff some +P ammo into a 38 conversion or something. The cylinder might survive, I assume it is made from properly hardened modern steels for safety margins, but the BP frame and barrel won't take much of that! The thing that worries me is if there is some problems with folks buying no license or paperwork BP guns and just converts them into CF revolvers in effect making it a gun of the type that would normally be more closely scrutinised and gets on the radar screen of law makers. Then they go to the BATF and start selling the cylinders as "regulated firearms" in themselves or something.
I dont' understand the use of the word, "worry".

There are several thousand of these converted guns in use, and they have been in use for a few years. I rather think that the BATFE and the lawmakers are well aware of them. They are not exactly a well kept secret, being advertised throughout the gun sports community. And there have not been a significant number (any?) of frames failing due to use of "+p ammo". I'm inclined to think the problem may not be worth much worry.

But, let's assume for a minute that your "worry" is something to deal with. What would you have us do? Should we stop buying/selling conversion cylinders? If not, what would it take to assuage your concern?
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Old September 27, 2007, 10:26 PM   #16
grymster2007
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There are several thousand of these converted guns in use, and they have been in use for a few years.
Over at CAS City, seems like these things are pretty common, so I'll bet they're not something new to the "authorities". In any case, I like BP and intend to shoot mine in BP most of the time. But conversion cylinders are an important part of revolver evolution, so I think it actually adds to the authenticity.

I don't know about people who can't legally buy a firearm using these things.... seems a bit impractical. In my case I want to shoot BP and given the little woman is only going to allow me so many guns, I thought with the conversion, cylinder it may make a "better than a pipe wrench" garage defense tool.
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Old September 30, 2007, 05:13 PM   #17
Raider2000
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Ok Boys-n-Girls, I had just got back from shooting my Pietta 1860 Army which had been loaded for about 45 days & I'm here to tell you that the reliability was great.

Each of the 5 loaded chambers fired with no lag, there were no cap jams, & the accuracy was pretty good for my skills at point shooting "was able to keep all 5 shots in the second ring @ 15 yards w/ a 3.5 inch group."

I'm writing this in responce of some that think that a C&B revolver would not be reliable if kept loaded for any length of time.
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Old October 5, 2007, 08:48 PM   #18
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I might consider using one for last ditch SD, as long as it went bang it would serve the purpose if reliable, but I would use the max charge for that, as you need every last bit you can get for that sort of function, I would think.
I will never understand why people have this notion that becasue its blackpowder shooting a lead ball, that loading it up to the max might just get the 'job' done, in a SD situation. These things killed plenty of people in their day. I know i wouldnt want to get hit by one (or 6) of those balls, even if i was wearing a vest. Not to mention the sheer size of these pistols would make them damn scary to one would be crim that doesnt know a lot about guns. My 1860 Colt has a looooong barrel with a biiiiig hole in the end. Max load or not, being shot by one of these beasts will ruin your day.
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Old February 26, 2008, 11:12 PM   #19
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In the Civil War The Battle of Antietam was the bloodiest single day,17 September, 1862, 12,401 Federal casualties and about 10,318 Confederate. Tell those 22,719 soldiers that black powder cap & ball weapons are toys. From what I remember the total casualties for the entire war were somewhere between 600,000 to 700,000 out of a total population at the time of 27 million. If you figure that 1\2 the population were women that leaves 13.5 million males of all ages. But then figure 2 million of them are slaves. That leaves 11.5 million males on both sides. By the time you come down to people able to serve in the military it would probably be less than 1\3. So you have roughly 3.75 million serving on both sides with a 20% casualty rate. Your odds are 1 in 5 you won't survive with these useless weapons firing on you. I am also sure that the actual rate of deaths were higher than the official records.
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Old February 27, 2008, 04:08 AM   #20
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Gaucho Gringo, the mortality rate from disease was higher than for wounds but the guns did their job then, they'll do it now.
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