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Old March 22, 2014, 01:32 PM   #1
spacecoast
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Shot the old Remington today, first BP rounds

I had a great time this morning with my Remington New Model Army (manufactured 1864). I only put seven rounds down range (one as a trial and then a full cylinder) but I'm really pleased with the results. The target is shown below, with a 4-1/2" vertical string of shots at 15 yards. The gun shoots about 3" high with the light load used, but is more accurate than I thought it would be at 150 years of age.

Last night I determined that a 1.3CC Lee dipper full of Pyrodex P yields the equivalent of about 23 grains of FFFg black powder. Following wogpotter's loading procedure (described here) the loading went really smooth. I seated the .454" balls fully with the gun's loading lever and a small ring of lead was cut off the edge of them so I knew they were a good fit. Seating the ball was easier than I thought it would be.

The only small glitch during shooting was that one of the unfired caps fell off when I was shooting the full cylinder of rounds. I waited to replace it until that chamber cycled around to be next one in line and it fired fine. I also noticed that the spent caps tend to exit the gun by themselves on the shot following.

I am definitely "hooked" on BP shooting. I'm not sure if I'll continue to use this old museum piece or invest in a replica, but either way I'll be doing it again soon.


Last edited by spacecoast; March 22, 2014 at 01:41 PM.
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Old March 22, 2014, 01:35 PM   #2
wogpotter
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Glad we could help & even more so you had fun & are now hooked.

Shooting high is "normal" for the 1858's BTW. I believe they were sighted (optimistically) for 75 Yds with a 28~30 Gr load & a RB.
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Old March 22, 2014, 04:00 PM   #3
44 Dave
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The old girl deserves to be exercised once in a while, she will be happier if shot and cleaned now and then. After a few days I go back and re oil and wipe down if long term storage is planed.
Wish I still had the 1st model Dragoon I had to sell 28 years ago.
We would shoot that with the same charge of DuPont FFF I used for my 1860 clone.
When I sold it I had to prove it shot well for the buyer. He still has it.
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Old March 22, 2014, 05:14 PM   #4
spacecoast
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wogpotter -

Thanks again to you (and all) who offered the knowledge that got me through this first BP experience. I'm still really excited about the whole thing. It opens up another dimension of shooting and experiencing history more realistically. The thought of shooting a 150 year old gun and having it work pretty much as new is pretty awesome.

I cleaned the gun this afternoon, removing the cylinder for a bath and scrubbing in hot soapy water with a toothbrush. I did the same for the bore, but was surprised that it did not appear to be fouled much at all. I worked on the areas around the hammer and inside the frame where the cylinder fits with #9. After drying the cylinder with a hair dryer, and using Q-tips to make sure the chambers were dry, I basically rubbed a light coat of Bore Butter over the entire gun, using Q-tips in the chambers to dissolve/remove more residue. I also used Bore Butter to lubricate the spindle and the loading lever.

Last edited by spacecoast; March 22, 2014 at 05:28 PM.
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Old March 23, 2014, 10:39 AM   #5
noelf2
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Might want to use tighter caps that won't fall off. If a cap falls off, I recommend replacing it right away rather than when it cycles back around. You increase your chance of chain fires if you don't.
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Old March 23, 2014, 10:58 AM   #6
wogpotter
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Bore butter, while being a great lube for shooting, is a bit "iffy" for preservation. You might want to use a good synthetic oil liberally schmeared everywhere for long term storage of a valuable antique.
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Old March 23, 2014, 01:20 PM   #7
swathdiver
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Pyrodex? Yuck! Very corrosive. Use real BP. Drive on over to Buffalo Bills in east Orlando and get some or order it online for delivery to your door. Cabela's has repros on sale for $199 right now.
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Old March 23, 2014, 01:55 PM   #8
Hawg
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Pyro isn't any more corrosive than bp. In fact its less corrosive than Swiss. I can go several days without cleaning without any signs of it with Pyro. With Swiss it has a white coating the next day.
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Old March 23, 2014, 02:07 PM   #9
spacecoast
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Quote:
Might want to use tighter caps that won't fall off. If a cap falls off, I recommend replacing it right away rather than when it cycles back around. You increase your chance of chain fires if you don't.
I was using #11 Remington caps. Would #10 be the next smaller size? The loose fit was rather obvious when installed, and I would be willing to switch back and forth depending on the nipple.

Quote:
Bore butter, while being a great lube for shooting, is a bit "iffy" for preservation. You might want to use a good synthetic oil liberally schmeared everywhere for long term storage of a valuable antique.
I'll keep an eye on it and rub down regularly with my customary oily rag. Regarding the chambers and nipples, is it a good idea to clean them with alcohol before I go shooting again to get rid of the lube?

I don't have much hope of removing the nipples, even though they look to be in good shape. They've been in place at least 40 years, maybe a lot longer. However, if I were to leave the cylinder soaking for several weeks to try and loosen them up, what would be the best thing to use?
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Old March 23, 2014, 03:03 PM   #10
Kadmos
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Quote:
I don't have much hope of removing the nipples, even though they look to be in good shape. They've been in place at least 40 years, maybe a lot longer. However, if I were to leave the cylinder soaking for several weeks to try and loosen them up, what would be the best thing to use?
A well fitting ratcheting nipple wrench, I think they are made by Ted Cash.

Can't remember if it was Ted Cash, but mine works great, I must have broken a dozen of the old T-handled cheap ones before i got it, and doing a fair bit of damage to the nipples in the process.

I'd probably just first try some light oil and go easy. Less chance of altering the patina.

If you aren't so worried about the patina then PB blaster and let it sit for half an hour at least.

Great looking gun BTW, and nice shooting!
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Old March 23, 2014, 05:15 PM   #11
wogpotter
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Yes #10 is smaller/tighter than #11's from the same manufacturer.

It's not quite that simple though (most B/P stuff is pre industrial standardization so variations are far more common than with modem stuff). Different brands different sizes are different than each other. What you need to do is try lots of different makes & sizes & then standardize on the best fit for your individual cones.
Clean with alcohol is a great idea, especially if you use bore butter as a lube & oil as a preservative.
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