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Old May 13, 2012, 04:58 PM   #1
wheelyfun
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some newbie questions: please step inside

Hey All,
I have been shooting firearms since the early 1980s, and have been an infantry paratrooper who served in Iraq....so plenty of firearms experience.....

BUT!

Looking to get into percussion revolvers....(reproductions, not antiques)
I am a lover of historical fiction, and love the firearms from the period of the 1840s to the late 1880s.

My "want" list is: 1860 Army revolver (short barrel model)
1858 Remington (5.5" barrel)
and some sort of "pocket" revolver ("police" model)

Questions: How reliable are the Cimarron or Uberti reproduction models?
If timing issues occur, who can tune these firearms?
How difficult is cleaning?
Is it necessary to have a loading block at the range? (hope that terminology is correct...?)
Can these firearms be dry-fired with spent caps in place?

Many more questions to follow, if I should actually start down this road.
Any and all advice and tips are appreciated!
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Old May 13, 2012, 05:29 PM   #2
Beagle333
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I'll take a stab at it!!

Quote:
Questions: How reliable are the Cimarron or Uberti reproduction models?
Very reliable. I like Uberti and I also like Pietta about the same. I don't have a Cimarron. Opinions here vary as much as Ford/Chevy about the Pietta/Uberti thing though.
Quote:
If timing issues occur, who can tune these firearms?
You can. It's not difficult and there are many here who will help you through it. If you don't like working on them, there are bp smith's who are members here too.
Quote:
How difficult is cleaning?
After shooting, a quick clean takes me about 20 minutes, a full tear-down clean (about every 4th shooting) takes me about an hour. Again. . . YMMV greatly depending on what constitutes "clean" to you and your comfort level of tearing one down.
Quote:
Is it necessary to have a loading block at the range? (hope that terminology is correct...?)
You will need a box or something with your caps, wads, grease, balls, powder and powder measuring device(s). Some use a loading device other than the lever on the pistol. The one on the pistol works fine for me. That is another thing for you to choose.
Quote:
Can these firearms be dry-fired with spent caps in place?
Usually, no. Most of the time the spent cap is split or destroyed. If it remains, it will be quite flat and you could snap it a time or so, but it wouldn't take more than a couple of blows to render it an insufficient cushion for the nipples.
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Old May 13, 2012, 05:31 PM   #3
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Uberti is reliable, Cimarron is a Uberti but usually finished better. Pietta is reliable but cheaper. With a little help you can do most tuning jobs yourself, they're not complicated mechanisms, or any gunsmith familiar with single actions can. I think you mean loading stand and no it's not necessary. There won't be enough of a spent cap to use to dry fire, most split apart on firing. If you simply must dry fire a piece of aquarium tubing will protect the nipple.

Thanks for beating me to the punch beagle.
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Old May 13, 2012, 08:57 PM   #4
wheelyfun
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Thanks for the quick replies!
You guys make it sound so simple....you are making it hard for me to come up with excuses to NOT get into some percussion revolvers! (well, o.k...money is always an excuse...)

Is there a supplier who is recommended? I know about Taylor's & Co, and Cimarron, etc.... and Cabellas....but who do you guys like to deal with?

I have always heard that Uberti was a bit better quality than Pietta?

Keep the tips and comments coming....and I will conduct as many searches as possible, here on this great subforum.

Thanks a bunch!
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Old May 13, 2012, 09:55 PM   #5
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S&S Firearms

http://www.ssfirearms.com/
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Old May 13, 2012, 10:28 PM   #6
Hawg
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The main difference between Uberti and Pietta is Uberti doesn't have their name plastered on the side of the barrel like Pietta does. Pietta's quality is equal to Uberti these days. Pietta does make a lot of historically incorrect stuff so if historical accuracy matters make sure of what you're buying. The best bang for the buck is a Pietta from Cabela's. I've heard Cabela's is putting some on sale the 17th but I've not gotten an email on it.
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Old May 14, 2012, 10:36 AM   #7
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Looks like Cabela's sale is on now.
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Old May 14, 2012, 11:41 AM   #8
arcticap
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A pistol loading stand simply holds the revolver upright during loading and is a useful and inexpensive item to have.
Some folks make their own.
Some designs fold flat while others don't, and some are made to be adjustable to fit different size guns.

http://www.dixiegunworks.com/product...oducts_id=7768

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...ighlight=stand

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...ighlight=stand

A loading press is used to ram the balls into the chambers when loading off of the frame. It's another useful item to have for loading and ramming extra cylinders faster and easier, especially with the revolvers that have a top strap design with easier cylinder removal.
It's helps to ram conical bullets too, especially if the don't easily fit in the ramming port of the frame.
Some short barrel guns do have a shorter ramming lever handle and some folks will place a plastic tube or piece of pipe over it to use as a cheater bar to increase leverage.


http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...ighlight=stand

http://www.biglube.com/

Buffalo Arms lists these as loading stands but they're more commonly referred to as a loading presses.

http://www.buffaloarms.com/Detail.as...63356&TERM=rmc

http://www.buffaloarms.com/Detail.as...63355&TERM=rmc

Last edited by arcticap; May 16, 2012 at 01:39 AM.
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Old May 14, 2012, 06:04 PM   #9
straightcut
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Remington New Model 1858

>>Looks like Cabela's sale is on now.<<

I received a flyer in the mail last week from Cabela's announcing a sale on the full size Pietta 1858 Remington for $179.99. I must've thrown the flyer, but the sale must be on by now. I looked on-line and couldn't find the ad, but I'm 100% certain that I saw this (honest, I wasn't dreaming).
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Old May 14, 2012, 06:59 PM   #10
B.L.E.
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Pistol loading stands and presses are nice to haves, not essentials. I have sucessfully shot cap-n'-ball revolvers for years without either of these gadgets.
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Old May 14, 2012, 07:13 PM   #11
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1858 Remington

Yes the sale is on but I saw the 1858 Remington for $229 with $5 shipping till tomorrow.
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Old May 14, 2012, 07:13 PM   #12
Jim March
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Black powder substitutes will cut your cleaning issues way down. Real "holy black" is insanely corrosive and needs to be cleaned off fairly soon after shooting with hot water if you're being very traditional (yeah, boiling, out of a tea kettle or the like).
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Old May 14, 2012, 08:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Black powder substitutes will cut your cleaning issues way down. Real "holy black" is insanely corrosive and needs to be cleaned off fairly soon after shooting with hot water if you're being very traditional (yeah, boiling, out of a tea kettle or the like).
The more I use real black powder, the more I appreciate just how terrible it is not. It's not like you can wait 'till next week to clean Pyrodex fouling off of your revolver without it rusting and it's just as easy to clean black powder fouling off a gun as it is to clean Pyrodex fouling off of it.
BP fouling literally rinses off of your gun, the water doesn't need to be boiling hot. I never use boiling water myself.
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Old May 14, 2012, 08:58 PM   #14
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Pyro has a worse rep for corrosion and rust than real bp and I sometimes go two or three days without cleaning. I try to clean right after but it's not always possible. I did the same back in the day when real black was easy to get. I think people in different parts of the country have different results so YMMV.
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Old May 14, 2012, 10:03 PM   #15
B.L.E.
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If the humidity is really low, like you are in Arizona, your gun probably won't rust even if you never clean it. If you live in Houston TX, you better clean that gun right now.
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Old May 14, 2012, 10:36 PM   #16
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I live in SE Mississippi, two hours from the coast and eight hours from Houston. Pretty dang humid.
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Old May 14, 2012, 10:54 PM   #17
jimbob86
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Use enough grease and cleaning black powder foulsing is easy with hot water.

It's messy when you shoot it, yes. It makes cleaning so much easier, though.

If you can't clean a c&b revolver in 30 minutes or less with a bucket of hot water, a bore brush, some pipe cleaners and an expendable t-shirt ..... maybe you have other issues ..... ADD, maybe?
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Old May 15, 2012, 01:22 AM   #18
Hawg
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You don't need all that much grease. If you use over ball lube you don't need to fill the void between the chamber mouth and the ball. Just a little around the edge of the ball is all you need. Any more is just going to get blown off and make it messier.
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Old May 15, 2012, 05:49 AM   #19
B.L.E.
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I find the hardest thing to clean is percussion cap residue, although it does little harm if left on the gun.
You really notice it on stainless steel cylinders.

Lately I have been using cheap .45 caliber fiber wads between the powder and the ball. I melt a mixture of beeswax and Crisco in a double boiler and dip the fiber wads in this stuff for a couple of seconds and let them cool.
It's a lot more convienient than carrying a can or tube of grease to the range and they keep the bore "one shot dirty" while you shoot. Also, they are a lot less messy than putting grease over the ball.
These fiber wads are made by Circle Fly and they are much less expensive than those Wonder Wads you buy at the local stores.

Last edited by B.L.E.; May 15, 2012 at 05:56 AM.
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Old May 15, 2012, 08:59 AM   #20
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As far as cleaning, even the substitutes like Triple 7 will cause rust.
I had inadvertently left a revolver for awhile, after using 777, and it rusted.
For wads between powder and bullet, I've been using thick auto gasket material, cut slightly oversize with a hole punch.
Even without any lube, they seem to work just fine.
No surprises, so far.
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Old May 15, 2012, 05:22 PM   #21
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I tryed out not using hot water last week on a pistol I fired 36 shots out of. Used a new 1860 Army and wads between powder and ball. It cleaned up real well. I have used hot water all the other times and read that it can cause flash rust so I tryed this and it works just fine. Oiled up eveything afterward and a week later pistol looks good to go.









Dell
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Old May 15, 2012, 07:58 PM   #22
wheelyfun
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Man...
I am getting a real education here, Gents!

Seems like it takes some real dedication and knowledge to get into percussion revolvers....

I'll have to start slow and take it one step at a time.....

Not rocket science....but seems to take some attention to detail and acquiring some tricks of the trade...

Thanks for all your input!
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Old May 15, 2012, 08:39 PM   #23
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The great thing about bp is not much is set in stone. Everybody has their pet ways of doing things and most work. It's just trying stuff and deciding what works best for you.
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Old May 15, 2012, 09:55 PM   #24
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wheelyfun. If money isn't a problem I'd tell you to look up Dixie Gun Works and Cabelas and see what they have there that you like. I may get into trouble telling you this but the 1858 Remingtion New Army is a good pistol to start with. They are easy to sight in and are strong. The steel frame guns are what a lot of folks go with so you want be haveing to load it with just light loads like 20 to 25 grs of powder. The main thing is most of these pistols will last you a life time if you don't try to magnum load them all the time. I would try 20 grs at 25 yrds and see what kind of groups you get the first time and go up from there. You will notice that every time you start to go up 5 grs the groups will change and open up. add 5 more grs and more than likle you'll see the groups open up a little more. Then try those same loads at longer rangers say 50 yrds and then 75 yrds using the same loads. You can find the load your gun likes fairly easy. Most can do pretty good all the way out to 100 yrds. About the only thing you'll have to change on a 1858 is the height of the front sight. You may haft to take off about 1/16th of an inch to get it to shoot to POA. After you get use to this revolver you may want to try a Colt revolver out. Any way you go you want to have fun shooting these guns. Be careful because once the black powder bug bites you you will have all kind of bp revolvers juming out at you and a house full of them. Don't ask me how I know. Have fun and be safe. You have all kind af fellas here that can help you out. Like some have said Pietta is making real good products now and Uberti is suppose to be a little better. I have some of both and the Piettas are as good or better as the others made today. Also the price is still good on the Pietta revolvers from Cableas or Dixie. Yes Pietta puts the writing on the side of the barrels but that don't bother me in the least and they do make some guns that Uberti don't make I wish they did. Just start off slow and you'll do just fine.

Dell
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