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Old December 4, 2005, 11:27 AM   #1
Old Dragoon
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Shooting my '58's

I went to my local indoor range and shot both '58's yesterday. I am perplexed a bit. The first one doesn't shoot as well as the new one, but not that far off. The new one groups everyting I fed it with the exception of the .451 Round ball in 44 Rem Mag cases. Neither grouped this one well but the new gun was still better.
Now the perplexing thing.
I took some of my 44 Colt Bear Creek moly lubed .439 heeled bullet over 25 grns 3FG. These bullets pass thru the bbls with just a hint of land and no groove marks at all, not a fall thru, but a very light push, as in practically none.
The perplexing thing.
The first five out of the new gun were just below the bull,(where I was holding.) all touching, two hand hold, elbows rest. the next five were all in the black touching across the ten ring(Where I held), this at 15 yards. The next ten were the same. I tried the .248 outside lubed over 30 Grn 2 FG and they were almost the same except not touching. The round ball didn't group as well but still tolerable. The target was an official 25YD. timed and rapid fire pistol target.

I know the bullets expand under pressure when fired, but the .439 Bear Creek blew me away. with the accuracy at 15 yards. The new gun appears to fire point of aim with anything I fed it. The roundball being the worst but still effective.

The first gun still needs some time to work out what it will shoot. the groups with it are not as good as the new one.

BTW I shot lapped the new gun the first two shots with the .451 outside lubed 44 Rem Loads.

I also shot both with the BP cylinders .451 ball over 40 grn.s both shot these loads pretty well. The new gun shoots these the same as the other cartridges.
The first gun groups this load better than the cartridges.

I guess bottom line the new gun shoots and groups anything I fed it. The first gun still needs to find what it likes the best. Guess I know which is my favorite of the two.
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Old December 4, 2005, 12:47 PM   #2
Remington kid
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On the one that's not grouping for you...check the muzzle with a glass and see if there are any nicks in it. Also make sure that the chamber is locking up straight with the ramp on the throat. If all of that is fine then I would shoot a few balls through it with lapping compound on it just to smooth up the lans and grooves. Load the ball and then place a little compound over the ball. it don't take much and can make a big difference.
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Old December 4, 2005, 07:54 PM   #3
Old Dragoon
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Shoot lapping ...........how many shots?

Came home from church and pulled the cylinders out of both pistols and checked the bore with a bore light. New gun appears to have a tish deeper rifling near as my naked eye(with glasses) can see.

I stuffed a cotten ball down each bore to flag snags or roughs. New pistol bbl has no snags or roughs to speak of, if any very minute at the start of the rifling at the forcing cone. Not enough to worry about.

Older (to me) gun (newer made) has some snags near the rifling start at the forcing cone and some roughness(looks like a cloud or ring of dust) in the bore near the forcing cone (An inch or so forward).

My dilema is this.
I have shot lapped both pistols two shots each (first two shots out of each one)with valve lapping compound (a Staple in my shooting bag).
I don't know if I should shoot lap again or if so, how many shots. I think a couple or three
All the shot lapping was done with the .451 44 Rem loaded 44 colt brass so I know the lands and the Grooves were wiped with the lapping compound (bullet dia is same as bore, lube rings are same as Grooves)

I just checked the cylinder lineup with the bore and it is right on, all six cylinders of the Konverter BP cylinder shoots the same or maybe a tish better, so it probably is the snags and roughness in the bore. Neither cylinder in this gun groups as well as all three cylinders in the new gun. HMMM that tells me that it must be the bore of the first gun.

I don't think I want to mess with the new one at all. It shoots where I point it and tha's good enough for me. maybe one more shot lap, but tha'ts it. I'm afraid I'll mess it up.
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Old December 4, 2005, 08:16 PM   #4
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Old Dragoon, It seems to me that I have never used more than 3 shots with the lapping compound but I have place some on a cotton patch and run it up and down the bore a few times to polish it.
It may be that the one thats not shooting to accurate may want the .454 balls. It's not unusal for that to be the case from one Remington to another as Im sure you already know.
I must say that I don't like the idea of that cloud or dust looking spot by the forcing cone. Not sure what could cause that.
If you need a few .545 balls to try before you buy any let me know and I'll send you some .
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Old December 4, 2005, 08:34 PM   #5
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Thanks RK.
I think the "Dust" looking patch is from the cotton. I stuffed a whole cotton ball in the bore, you know stuff, twist, stuff, twist then push thru with a non scratching Ram rod.
I think i might work on that one tonight with the lapping compound and cotton . Good Idea. I may do the same with the newer one too, to keep from shoot lapping again.

When I slugged the bore on the non grouping one it measures .440 lands, and .446 or.447 groves. I'll slug it again to be sure. It does group to some extent, but not near what the newer one does,

I mean I am slap HAPPY with the newer one.
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Old December 4, 2005, 09:16 PM   #6
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Measure the cylinders to. It may pay to have them rimmed to .454-.455 and them chamfer them and shoot .457 balls for terrific acuracy.
Let me know how it comes out. It sounds like that new one is smoken!! Pun intended.
Don't know how it happened but it just must have been one of those days, yesterday. I shot 6 shots after doing a little more trigger work at 15 yards off hand. I could only see one spot about the size of a quarter and I thought something was way off. When I got down to the plywood target you could tell on the back side that all six shots went through that quorter size hole. Why is it that this never happens when i have witnesses???
Forgot to ad: This was with my Remington .44, 40g of fff Goex ,a home made wool 1/8" wad over the powder, lube over the wad and a .454 swaged Hornady ball and #10 Remington caps. The revolver had just been tore down and cleaned and lubed and the barrel de-leaded.Trigger pulls about 1 1/2 lbs.or a little less.
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Old December 4, 2005, 10:49 PM   #7
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Cleaned the bore of the older '58 (to me). Then I used some cotton with lapping compound, several times forth and back in the bore, Same with cotton patching doubled and lapping compound several times. Cleaned and oil patched and wiped dry with cotton patches. Ran more cotton thru with nothing on it to see roughness and snag. All were gone.
I slugged the bore, the grooves are .451 and the bore is .440. right on the nose. Bore of the BP cylinder chambers are .446 Dia. Twist is 0ne turn in 32 inches apparently as the ramrod with a tight patch turns 1/4 turn in the 8 inch lgth of bbl.

Bores of the Konverter are .452 which is as it should be for the 44 Colt cases are .451 Nom.

Newer '58 (to Me) BP cylinder bores are also .446. Slugged the bore on this one too. Lands are .440 and grooves are .451. Twist is 1 turn in 32 inches also.

It'll be a few days before I can shoot them again so we'll see what my first one will do.
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Old December 4, 2005, 11:01 PM   #8
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hey mike,if you use # 10 caps you can have all i have(about 100-150).i have no use for them.i tried them on all my bp pistols and they fit none of them.i beleive they are cci's.if you want them let me know and i send them to ya cause im about to toss them in the trash.
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Old December 5, 2005, 07:31 AM   #9
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Kevin, Sure I'll take them! I changed my nipples when I first got these Remingtons and they take #10 and so does all my other muzzle loaders. No reson to not have them all the same. From what I have read the Pietta .36 Navy takes #10 also. Thanks, I'll send my snail mail to you. Mike
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Old December 5, 2005, 09:28 AM   #10
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I spent some time yesterday at the local range with a couple of buddies and wow did we have a good time! I think I’ve about got them both talked into buying a 58 Remington. We shot muzzle loading rifles, 38 spec. hangun, shotgun, 30-30 rifle, and the 58. Out of all those guns, the 58 got the most attention.

Between all of us, we shot 36 shots from the Remington. One guy that was there with me has shot the Remington once before but both of them had questions about how to load it, switching cylinders, cleaning, refinishing, cost of buying one, etc. They both liked the look of the gun over most modern pistols and the way it rolls up in your hand as it recoils.

I was shooting one handed so that is how they both shot the pistol too. I shot from about 15 yards and my target had one big hole slightly larger than a silver dollar on the bullseye and just slightly on the left. The other guys haven’t shot pistols much before so they were shooting from about half my distance and pretty much scattered but still had all shots on the paper.

My group being on the left is my fault and not the pistol. I group left with other pistols because I tend to toe the barrel over with my trigger pull at the last second before the shot goes. I’m still working on that perfect straight back trigger pull, but this pistol is a tack driver! I’m convinced that someone steadier than me could put 6 shots through the same hole at 25 yards.

Many thanks to Mike for all the hints and advice on working this gun up to a precision machine! Here’s what I have done to the pistol and my shooting setup:
Polished the cylinder pin to almost a mirror shine, also chamfered and polished the cylinder pin holes in the cylinders and also on the pistol, slightly chamfered the cylinder mouths so that they no longer shave lead off the balls when rammed home, polished all the internal components of the trigger and hammer, lightened the trigger spring slightly, smoothed all burrs out of the inside of the barrel with lapping compound. Target shooting yesterday I used 30 grains of goex, a dry vegetable fiber wad, just a tiny bit of bore butter over the wad, .454 cal hornady round ball, Remington # 11 caps.

This pistol feels like it’s running on ball bearings. We did not clean anything on the pistol between cylinders yesterday and it functioned perfectly for every shot: no cylinder binding or dragging, and the cylinder pin pulled right out after every cylinder full with no need to tap it at all.

Thanks to Mike and everyone else for all the great info! Now to do the same thing to my target version 58!
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Old December 5, 2005, 11:18 AM   #11
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Low Key, Your more than welcome and Im glad I could help. I agree that they are just a pleasure to shoot and even more so when tuned right. I still find myself just touching things up every now and then to keep it smooth. After reducing the trigger pull it really helped to keep it from doing just what you are talking about when you say it shoots left sometimes. Im not suggesting that anyone go as light as I have with the trigger but just a little can make a big difference.
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Old December 6, 2005, 09:48 AM   #12
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Crooked Front sight.....

I just discovered that the front sight on my first '58 was crooked. The flats were cocked to the left enough(from the rear) that when you looked at it straight on from the muzzle you could see along the full flat of the sight. This could explain some of the left grouping for sure. Someting else that I don't like, I notice on this same gun, that there is an indentation in the rifling at the sight of the front sight...and the rammer stop. just a trace, but you can see them. If they were completely in the grooves I'd not think much about that but they are in the groove and part of the lands. Now i do not know if the one under the froint sight would affect accuracy or not, so close to the muzzle, but the rammer indentation is further from the muzzle.
What do you all think?

There is no indentations at all in the bore of my newer '58.

This might add fuel to Mike's personal thoughts about buying off the net instead of Cabelea's. Also you can bet that the next one I handle or buy will be checked for this imperfection first. Good reason to haul around a borelight with you at gunshows. You can bet I'll check this out from now on.
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Old December 6, 2005, 10:03 AM   #13
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Low Key, I do that little to the left thing, too. All my pistols with adjustable sights are set for my trigger "jerk" and my 1858 Remington is too, now. I always blamed it on the fact that I have the tip of my trigger finger gone from an encounter with a planer-jointer in 1968, but I would probably do it anyway.
You are right about the accuracy with the Remington. I'm not sure that mine doesn't group as well as my model 14 S&W 6 inch target .38 with match wadcutters!

Steve
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Old December 6, 2005, 10:28 AM   #14
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Old Dragoon, It sounds to me that you may have found the sorce of your problem. Any little thing or flaw in the barrel will through off your bullet. It may be that it will fix itself with a lot of shooting but without seeing it myself I really can't say for sure. Maybe shooting some balls made from wheel weights or a harder lead will help to straighten it out. Sure hope you can get it shooting striaght!
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Old December 6, 2005, 10:31 AM   #15
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Steve, Cut your finger tip off in a planer!!!! OUCH!! That hurts me just to think about it.
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Old December 6, 2005, 11:30 AM   #16
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Steve499,
I tend to do that too. I don't mind a group left if it groups. I can move that group, this thing isn't grouping that well even to the left to move the mess right. The newer one grouped to the left but I was able to hold better the second cylinder and hold it dead on and that is where it shoots. The first one doesn't do that at all.

RK,
I don't think I can shoot it enough to work the indentions out without damaging the rest of the bbl. I cannot, and will not, live with it this way for sure. So I think I'll cut the bbl back to 5 1/2 inches or maybe 6 inches. 6 inches will get it back just past the rammer. I will dovetail the front sight and possibly the rammer stop as I don't want to try to drill the bbl and go too far into the bore. Boy it's been years since I hand cut dovetails. I do remember how to do that though. I think this is the only way to get around the inperfections.

I suppose I could just sell it to someone else, but my dad would come back and slap me for that.
Nope! It ain't the Cowboy Way.

I have the bbl marked already and have a speed clamp on it to keep the hacksaw cut straight. I have it marked about 1/16 longer than the finished bbl will be I think 6 inch may be the easiest as the rammer lock slot can just be lengthened a bit and the redrilled for the pin.

OK 5 1/2 or 6 inch bbl?
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Old December 6, 2005, 11:44 AM   #17
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Dragoon, I vote for 6 in. Cabela's sells 5 1/2 in barrel 58's, but yours would be a little more unique with 6 in.

Steve, the thoughts of the planer thing make my finger tip hurt too!
I actually think that my 58 will out group my 45 auto at the same range. My 45 is built for concealment so it only has a 3 in barrel, but still it's cool that a 147 year old design will group as good as or better that a modern autoloader! One of these days I'll perfect that straight back trigger pull, and the white circle at the center of my targets is really in trouble then!
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Old December 6, 2005, 12:14 PM   #18
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Cutting that barrel back to 6" sounds great to me! I dove tailed both of mine and on one I used a blank dovtail and then cut in a slot for a 1858 dime I bought on ebay. First I used a piece of german steel with just a touch of solider to hold it in place. Once I had it sighted in and knew where it had to be height and windage I trimed down the dovetail to fit the top of the barrel perfectly and then I cut off and ground off the dime so that the top half with the date on it was the right height.My son claimed that one,Lol.
My other one has a piece of german stainless steel for the sight.
Don't forget to use an oversized dovetail sight so that once you have it sighted in for windage it will still fit all the way across the flat top of the barrel. Then you can peen it in place after you trim it down .
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Old December 6, 2005, 02:04 PM   #19
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Old Dragoon
Another option might be to counter bore the muzzle back
past the damage. You could always cut it off if it didn’t fix it.
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Old December 6, 2005, 02:47 PM   #20
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Boy cleaning stables and such sure gives you time to think.

I will cut it to 6 inches. I was leaning that way anyway as I like to have as much bbl length as I can. Also I'll use the bbl piece to cut the sight base and I'll cut the rammer lock base around the existing piece. I can cut it out after I cut the BBL off. I cannot save the front sight due to me tinkering around with it so I thought about going to my local coin shop and buying a pretty used up Dime (from an earlier post by Mike)about 1868-73 vintage (just the period of the Conversions before Colt prought out the Peacemaker.) I'll have to use it length wise as the flats won't match due to the taper....
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Old December 7, 2005, 09:48 AM   #21
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I cut the bbl to 6 Inches yesterday. Now the hard part to make the dovetails and re-install the rammer lock and make a new front sight. I put it all back together last night to get a feel for the balance and suc, Had to tape the rammer in place. Feels pretty good. The rest of the work will have to wait till the weekend.

Cutting the bbl was not a hard chore. Putting a speed clamp around the bbl at the cut is a great idea...wish i had thought of it. I placed the speed clamp on (behind,(toward frame)the line I scribed, lined it up to be just behind mark(Line across the flats) then cut the muzzle end off. Nice straight cut using the clamp as a guide/shield.
I still need to finish off the cut more and recrown the muzzle, but that is what these cold nights are for.
Rammer lever should be easy to shorten as I will measure the difference now in the bbl/rammer length and redrill the spring hole to that depth. that should put me very close to final depth and the location of the rammer stop. Then assemble, pin and mark, dis-assemble and cut the end off.
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Old December 7, 2005, 01:56 PM   #22
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Dragoon,
Sounds Like You Got It Going On!i Wish I Had The Right Tools And Know How To Do All Of That Stuff You And Others Do Here.i've Been Shooting These 58's For About 10-11 Yrs Now And Had Never Tore It Total Down Till I Got This Site And Found Mike And His Wealth Of Wisdom,and Yours As Well.you Guys Have Been A Lot Of Help And I Thank All Of Yall For That.i Think The Podwer Charge Discussions Are A Little Much But The Custom Work Info Is Great.the Powder Charge Info Is Great But Just Too Damn In Depth I Think.hell,this Is Bp Shooting Not Getting That Right Charge For That Hunting Round.thats Just My Opinion.thanks To All.
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Old December 7, 2005, 03:30 PM   #23
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What you said, Kevin! I have tinkered around with stuff all my life but mostly just mess things up. I admire the skill it takes to build your own rifle (that .32 looked sharp, Mike) or do the conversion like Old Dragoon did to his Remington.I have looked at his over and over and really love the way they look! Mine will get the plum brown treatment sometime this winter.

I had an old brass framed .44 replica I swapped for in 1970 or so. It wasn't new then. anyway, when you looked down the bore it looked fine but when you ran a patch down the barrel, it was tight-loose-tight. That thing never shot good at all but I still shot it a lot because it was the one I had. If THE KID or DRAGOON had had it, they would probably have made up some kind of jig for their vise to squeeze the ringed part back to the right size!

Steve
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Old December 7, 2005, 05:43 PM   #24
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Steve, "they would probably have made up some kind of jig for their vise to squeeze the ringed part back to the right size!"
Now that would be a good trick!
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Old December 7, 2005, 05:49 PM   #25
Remington kid
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Called my mechainic today and we got to talking about me shooting these muzzle loaders and revolvers all the time and he said he was going to make me some 2' square 1/4" pieces of plate steel to hang up for targets. His going to cut a hole in the top so I can hang them with chain or rope. He asked me if 10 of them would be enough!! This guy is really a good friend and the best mechainic I have ever seen.
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