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Old April 2, 2015, 01:18 AM   #1
Chowmif16
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Join Date: April 22, 2012
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Shot my new 1861 Navy today

Been waiting for weeks to get out and shoot my Uberti 1861 Navy today.
I was surprised to find that it did not like .375 RB. They were much too small for it and did not shave off a ring of lead. In fact, one was partially retracted as I pulled up the loading lever. I'll have to find some .380 balls. Surprising because my 1862 Uberti pocket police does fine with .375.
I also encountered a few issues with the lock bolt engaging at half cock. No worries, I can fix that.
I won't report accuracy findings because I know the RB's were too small, and I didnt bother worrying about accuracy because of that. Great fun to shoot though, and a beautiful gun with low recoil.
I tried some Buffalo Bullets .375 conicals with it, and found that they were difficult to load because the loading recess in the barrel frame is so small it's hard to get them to seat straight. I have also found that with well fitting conicals that the pressure required on the loading lever is quite excessive in other guns. Not so with this one, which is another indication that the chambers are bored for .380.
Overall, it was somewhat disappointing, but these are all problems that are easy to solve and I am expecting the gun to shoot well. Besides that, I also had my 1871 Open Top .45 Colt with 250 gr big lube bullets and black powder cartridges and managed to to shoot a Gatorade bottle all over the place.
Great day overall!
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Old April 2, 2015, 04:21 PM   #2
44 Dave
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I have a Pietta and a Uberti in .36. I use the .380 in both, the Pietta shaves a little more lead off than the Uberti.
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Old April 2, 2015, 07:10 PM   #3
Hellgate
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My first "real gun" was/is a Uberti '61 Navy. I got it back in 1967 or 8. It has had several thousand rounds through it and is still tight as a drum. I used it when trapping for nutria, plinking, ground squirrel shooting, jackrabbits, finishing deer, etc. It was my first love. The 130gr LEE conicals make it a nice little thumper.
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Old April 3, 2015, 12:38 PM   #4
J.E.Walker
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Most uberti chambers do better with either .380 balls or in the case of 44 caliber- .454 and .457. Pietta chambers are smaller and do very well with .375 and .451. Hornady .375 balls frequently either inertia pull from recoil or come right back out of the chamber stuck to the loading ram. Hornady balls are or have been slightly out of round which contributes to the problem. Speer .375s often work just fine. One thing that will work if you have some .375s that you need to shoot up is to smack them with the wooden handle of a screwdriver or nipple wrench just hard enough to create flats on top and bottom. then carefully load with the flat aspect on top in the chamber. This minor expansion will let them grip the chamber and will be perfectly accurate.
Otherwise, cast .380 balls are available from Dixie Gun Works.
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Old April 4, 2015, 09:47 PM   #5
Hellgate
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You can buy either a 6 cavity gang mold for the .380 ball from biglube.com or a 10 cavity 0000 (.380) buckshot mold from sharpshooter.com
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With over 15 perCUSSIN' revolvers, I've been called the Imelda Marcos of cap & ball.
SASS#3302 (Life), SASS Regulator, NRA (Life), DGB#129
Wolverton Mtn. Peacekeepers (WA), former Orygun Cowboy (Ranger, Posse from Hell)
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Old April 5, 2015, 06:46 PM   #6
bedbugbilly
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I have owned a lot of different '51 Navies since the early '60s and am now using a uberiti "51. Mine prefers the .375 but I know that there are Ubertis out there that do have larger chambers that like the .380 better. Kind of an inconvenience to have to hunt up another mold but once you get things all together - I think you'll really like that "61 Navy a lot. I also have a Pietta Remington "Navy" and the .375 is the right fit for the one I have. It's amazing though how in some, .005 makes all the difference in the world.

I have a '61 Navy, NIB, that was made by ASM for CVA back in the early '80s. Like a lot of ASM revolvers, it was a case of "hit or miss" but the one I have is a beautiful piece - excellent craftsmanship, fit and finish, etc. I love '51 Navies but the graceful lines and balance of a good '61 is equally enjoyable. I have it "put away" - "just in case" something goes south on my '51 or Remy - at least that's my excuse. In reality, I kind of hate to shoot it and get it dirty! :roll eyes:

Enjoy your '61 - once you get everything figured out on it, it will put a big smile on your face! Have fun - life's too short for anything else!
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Old April 5, 2015, 09:26 PM   #7
Hellgate
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The ASM & Uberti '51 Navies have the authentic grip (same as the 1873 SAA). Piettas have a flared grip that to me, make their navies point high.
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With over 15 perCUSSIN' revolvers, I've been called the Imelda Marcos of cap & ball.
SASS#3302 (Life), SASS Regulator, NRA (Life), DGB#129
Wolverton Mtn. Peacekeepers (WA), former Orygun Cowboy (Ranger, Posse from Hell)
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Old April 6, 2015, 03:36 AM   #8
Chowmif16
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Thanks for all the replies fellas, I'm looking forward to trying it with .380's.
I will probably end up buying them, as time for casting pistol balls is scarce right now.
I also have to figure out what is not quite right with the internals on it. Luckily, I have practice on that part from my 1849 Pocket revolver.
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