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Old May 24, 2014, 01:50 PM   #1
oldknotty
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rookie question

tomorrow i am going out to fire my two new Pietta BP revolvers for the first time , what i need to know is what is a good load to put in for the first firing ?? 20 grains , 25 grains ....????? I have an 1860 Army colt and an 1851 navy brass frame both are 44 cal also what size balls can i use in them ??
Thanks for any feedback
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Old May 24, 2014, 01:55 PM   #2
fdf
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20 and .454.
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Old May 24, 2014, 01:57 PM   #3
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Im something of a newb myself, but have been getting good results so far.

I try to stay away from the .451. I only use them in paper cartridges and always run .454 when loading normally. Just gives me a little more assurance against chain fires (I always use an under ball wad as well). The idea is a good ring of lead being cut off all around the ball and a good tight fit in the cylinder. The tighter the fit, the more the power as well... Or at least it seems that way to me.

I dont really know much about loads for the brass framed stuff.. Are they both brass or only the 1851?
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Old May 24, 2014, 02:01 PM   #4
oldknotty
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No. The army is all steel frame

Last edited by 4V50 Gary; May 24, 2014 at 04:14 PM. Reason: clarification?
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Old May 24, 2014, 02:28 PM   #5
Stormson
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Dont know specifics about the 1860 (asked that question myself in another thread), but you can pack considerably more into a steel frame then a brass one. I think 20 should be about right for brass... Certainly not over 25. That would probably be the starting point in the steel one though, and work up from there and see what shoots best in it, what gives the best feel and accuracy.
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Old May 24, 2014, 02:29 PM   #6
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" .454 when loading normally. Just gives me a little more assurance against chain fires (I always use an under ball wad as well). The idea is a good ring of lead being cut off all around the ball and a good tight fit in the cylinder. The tighter the fit, the more the power as well... Or at least it seems that way to me.


.454 is the standard size ball.

Chain fires come from fire going through the nipple opening from nipples not having proper size caps, not from the front of the cylinder.

Actually when seating a ball on top of wads, the ball pulls the wad from away from the cylinder wall and creates a gap where the wad does not fit any more to the wall. The gap is created from the wad forming around the back of the ball due to it's shape.

There is not correlation between a tight ball and more power. Increased energy come from more powder.
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Old May 24, 2014, 02:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Chain fires come from fire going through the nipple opening from nipples not having proper size caps, not from the front of the cylinder.
I have heard both stories.. and both "sides" seem to speak with equal conviction. Lucky enough for me, by using the proper size balls and the wad as I outlined, I have yet to encounter a single chain fire. Could there be other factors involved? Of course, but there is no reason NOT to try and be safe at both ends. If i ever DO have a chain fire, I'll have to look into it a little deeper.. But so far, so good.

Quote:
Actually when seating a ball on top of wads, the ball pulls the wad from away from the cylinder wall and creates a gap where the wad does not fit any more to the wall. The gap is created from the wad forming around the back of the ball due to it's shape.
That makes sense... I think.. But what does it MEAN exactly, in terms of performance and safety?

Quote:
There is not correlation between a tight ball and more power. Increased energy come from more powder.
Hmm.. Not sure I agree. The tighter projectiles certainly FEEL more powerful when fired... And it seems to me that the tighter the fit, the more power and time required to push it.. even a millisecond longer in the cylinder would equate to slightly longer burn time of the powder, and higher pressures, would it not?
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Old May 24, 2014, 03:12 PM   #8
Hawg Haggen
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.454 balls and not over 20 grains of powder in a brass frame. I'd stop at 18. fdf, I have one that will chain every time if either wads or over ball lube aren't used.
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Old May 24, 2014, 03:22 PM   #9
fdf
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.454 balls and not over 20 grains of powder in a brass frame. I'd stop at 18. fdf, I have one that will chain every time if either wads or over ball lube aren't used.


Something is wrong with the pistol and nipples.

I shoot in line matches with 60 plus pistol shooters, never seen or heard of a chain fire. Shooting line matches since the 1980s.
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Old May 24, 2014, 03:43 PM   #10
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I've been shooting this one since 1969. It does take #9 caps which aren't made anymore but you can leave all the caps off save the one being fired and as long as wads or lube is used you can't make it chain and it does shave a good ring.
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Old May 24, 2014, 03:56 PM   #11
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I have heard both stories.. and both "sides" seem to speak with equal conviction. Lucky enough for me, by using the proper size balls and the wad as I outlined, I have yet to encounter a single chain fire. Could there be other factors involved? Of course, but there is no reason NOT to try and be safe at both ends. If i ever DO have a chain fire, I'll have to look into it a little deeper.. But so far, so good.


In talking with High Master shooters they say chain fires come through the nipples, I trust them over internet experts who do not know how to clean their guns and load them.


"Actually when seating a ball on top of wads, the ball pulls the wad from away from the cylinder wall and creates a gap where the wad does not fit any more to the wall. The gap is created from the wad forming around the back"

"That makes sense... I think.. But what does it MEAN exactly, in terms of performance and safety?"

Get you a piece of clear hard plastic, push in a wad and seat a ball on top of the ball and see what happens to the wad.

Safety, the wad does nothing, performance it does nothing. I guess a wad does in a minor sense, it moves the ball closer to the forcing cone and reduces the amount of jump for the ball.

I have been mentored by some of the best B/P shooters in the country and they have been able to teach what works and what is useless.

When the ball is seated a lead ring is cut, the extra effort in seating a .454 versus a .451 come from the ball entering the chamber, no increase pressure when seating the ball unless you force the loading lever down.
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Old May 24, 2014, 04:01 PM   #12
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I've been shooting this one since 1969. It does take #9 caps which aren't made anymore but you can leave all the caps off save the one being fired and as long as wads or lube is used you can't make it chain and it does shave a good ring.


Learned something, never heard of #9 caps.

Off to get a beer and goggle #9 caps.
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Old May 24, 2014, 04:05 PM   #13
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May not find much as they quit making them in the mid 70's.
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Old May 24, 2014, 05:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Learned something, never heard of #9 caps.

Off to get a beer and goggle #9 caps.
Seems a strange thing to do... For someone who dislikes "internet experts"



*Wish there was a "chuckling" smiley.. so people would know when your just joking around with them..
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Old May 24, 2014, 09:02 PM   #15
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I've heard 20 and bellow in brass frames, the 1860 should be able to handle 30-35 grains, as I understand it. I've only got a Walker though, so I can't speak from experience.
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Old May 25, 2014, 11:40 AM   #16
fdf
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"Seems a strange thing to do... For someone who dislikes "internet experts""



Yep, I find a lot of factual information on the internet and more of mis- informed folks.

I read a lot, internet and books and shoot a lot.

I find a lot of wrong information posted on the internet. Folks read for a bit on the internet and then they regurgitate their readings and then they become the site expert.

Most of the top shooters I get to shoot with ( state and national) do not frequent the internet. You learn from them by shooting with them and listening to them.

For the most part they are technically challenged and they are comfortable in their world. Venture into their world and they will teach you.

Last edited by fdf; May 25, 2014 at 11:56 AM.
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Old May 25, 2014, 11:42 AM   #17
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"I've heard 20 and bellow in brass frames, the 1860 should be able to handle 30-35 grains, as I understand it. I've only got a Walker though, so I can't speak from experience."

Seems most line shooters are using 20 or so, it is a favorite load of most.
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Old May 25, 2014, 11:57 AM   #18
fdf
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"Seems a strange thing to do... For someone who dislikes "internet experts""



Yep, I find a lot of factual information on the internet and more of mis- informed folks.

I read a lot, internet and books and shoot a lot.

I find a lot of wrong information posted on the internet. Folks read for a bit on the internet and then they regurgitate their readings and then they become the site expert.

Most of the top shooters I get to shoot with ( state and national) do not frequent the internet. You learn from them by shooting with them and listening to them.

For the most part they are technically challenged and they are comfortable in their world. Venture into their world and they will teach you
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Old May 25, 2014, 02:57 PM   #19
maillemaker
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Quote:
Chain fires come from fire going through the nipple opening from nipples not having proper size caps, not from the front of the cylinder.
Loose fitting balls will cause chain fires.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ne4VgCdAy7Y

Video proof right there.

Now it may well be that chain fires can happen from gasses vented through the cone and feeding back around a loose-fitting cap to work through an adjacent cone, but as the video shows, loose fitting balls will do it also.

Steve
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Old May 25, 2014, 03:25 PM   #20
fdf
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I don't watch staged videos for a person to prove what they wish.

I see all the time videos being pushed on various sites of "watch me shoot my rifle or pistol", they are instructing folks with their bad habits. Their only qualification is some person with a camera and access to the internet.

If it was from the NMLRA or NRA, you have my attention.

If it had Certified Range Officer or Instructor I might watch.

Kind of like, hold my beer and watch this.
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Old May 25, 2014, 05:11 PM   #21
Hawg Haggen
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Well how much info did you find on #9 caps?
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Old May 25, 2014, 07:56 PM   #22
fdf
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Have not looked, but I will.

I had yard work to do before the coming rain and shot 100 rounds getting ready for the state BP shoot.

Gotta your requirements in order.
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Old May 25, 2014, 08:03 PM   #23
fdf
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In a very quick search I found nothing, I am not giving up.

Off to find my Ned Roberts book.



I found a reference to them:

Winchester:

Trade name, F.L No. 9, Inside Diameter at top .152 inch, inside diameter at bottom .163 inch and outside length .200 to 210 inch.

Remington brand;

. 152 inch X .160 inch X.200 inch.

Doubt you will find them at Walmart or Cabelas, but I found references to them.

Last edited by fdf; May 25, 2014 at 08:35 PM.
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Old May 26, 2014, 12:25 AM   #24
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Oh you won't find them anywhere. They quit making them in the 70's.
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Old May 26, 2014, 12:36 AM   #25
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I have not shot much lately, but my owners manual said .451" for the .44 C&B revolver ....... and use enough borebutter/crisco to seal the chambers. I always used 20gr charges in my brass framed '51, 25 or 30 for the steel '60.

Never had a chainfire, and the crisco makes the fouling much softer-easier to wipe off. It is messy while shooting, though. Grease and real black powder- I don't think it would be the same experience without them ......
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