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Old December 14, 2007, 12:45 AM   #1
wolfgunner5150
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Colt 1860 Help

Hi I have been looking at black powder pistols for some time and finally broke down and got one. The one I chose is a Colt 1860 3rd gen. with a fluted cylinder. I was able to find a generic manual by Cimarron but I still have some things I would like to ask.
  • Should I use the stock nipples that look very clean or should I change them out, if yes what brand and why?
    .
  • What are the best brand and size caps to use?
    .
  • What is the best brand of powder to use?
    .
  • What is the best size ball to use in a 44 and what brand?
    .
  • What is better grease or pre-lubed patches and what brand should I use?
    .
  • What is the best way to clean a black powder firearm? The manual said dish soap and water and then a light oiling but are there better products out there if so what ones should I use?
    .
  • What accessories should I get to make the loading and unloading as easy as possible and for the problems you have run in to?
    .
  • What is the best place for information on the internet for black powder firearms?
    .
  • What is the best place to buy all these things?
    .
  • To disassemble do I just tap out the wedge or do I need to turn the screw above it. If I just tap it out what is the screw for?
    .

As you can probably tell I am new to black powder and any help you can give will be greatly appreciated. I have wanted an old Colt since I was a kid watching Clint Eastwood movies so when I came across this one on gun broker with the fluted cylinder I had to give in and get it.
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...?Item=85888131
P.S. Can anyone tell me anything about the fluted cylinder…Thanks
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Old December 14, 2007, 08:19 AM   #2
mykeal
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Some answers...

Quote:
* Should I use the stock nipples that look very clean or should I change them out, if yes what brand and why?
No reason not to use the stock nipples until they wear out, which may be a long time. DO NOT "dry fire" the gun. If you must cycle the action either use your thumb to let the hammer down softly or put a small piece of rubber hose on the nipple to absorb the shock. Dry firing will damage the nipple. IF and when they need replacing, I recommend getting Treso nipples; they're made with a special alloy called Ampco that is very hard, plus they have an excellent and consistent charge delivery channel.
.
Quote:
* What are the best brand and size caps to use?
Depends on the brand of gun and the nipples they supplied. You'll just have to try some and see how they work. Choices are #10 and #11 (#11 is bigger) and usually CCI and Remington. Remingtons are very slightly larger than CCI's.
.
Quote:
* What is the best brand of powder to use?
This question generates more controversy than any other. I assure you very few people agree on the "best" powder. My choices, in order: Goex real black powder, Hodgdon's 777, Swiss real black powder. Granulation for your pistol should be FFFg.
.
Quote:
* What is the best size ball to use in a 44 and what brand?
Probably .454, but you have choices of .457 and .451 as well, Get the .454 first and try it. The discriminant is that you should see a small ring of lead shaved off when the ball is seated, and it should not take a great deal of force to seat the ball. Brand: again, many opinions - I like Hornady, but Speer is also very good. Traditions are inconsistent in my experience. By the way, conicals are not recommended for starting out - they are difficult to seat straight and accuracy suffers as a result. After some experience you may wish to experiment with them, but not at first.
.
Quote:
* What is better grease or pre-lubed patches and what brand should I use?
I much prefer lubed felt wads, bought rather than homemade. No brand preference; Bridger's and Ox-Yoke both work fine for me. You can find recipes for homemade wads throughout the forums, too. Some are quite good.
.
Quote:
* What is the best way to clean a black powder firearm? The manual said dish soap and water and then a light oiling but are there better products out there if so what ones should I use?
Second most controversial subject. I use hot water and soap. It works. I see no need to buy cleaning solutions. Finish with bore butter in bore and cylinder chambers, olive oil in action parts occasionally (every 4th or 5th or 6th cleaning)
.
Quote:
* What accessories should I get to make the loading and unloading as easy as possible and for the problems you have run in to?
Powder measure and nipple wrench are mandatory. Powder flask is highly recommended. I sometimes use a wooden loading stand, but not necessary. Unloading a revolver is simple: pull the trigger. Seriously, if you have a hang fire and need to unload without firing, simply remove the nipple and push the shot column out from the nipple hole with a punch or dowel.
.
Quote:
* What is the best place for information on the internet for black powder firearms?
First, see the sticky note at the top of this forum. Then:
http://www.thehighroad.org/index.php
http://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/fu.../fusionbb.php?
.
Quote:
* What is the best place to buy all these things?
Our ladies have invented a wonderful exercise for solving this problem. It's called shopping around. There is no one answer, as prices and availability vary daily. Some (and there are many more) options:
http://www.dixiegunworks.com/
http://www.grafs.com/muzzleloading/
http://www.logcabinonline.com/
http://www.midwayusa.com/
http://www.octobercountry.com/
http://www.possibleshop.com/
http://thunder-ridge-muzzleloading.com/index.htm
http://www.trackofthewolf.com/(S(klp...u))/index.aspx
They are in alphabetical order intentionally. I have used them all and all are trustworthy and have good customer service. I have had occasional problems with a couple, but none worth complaining about.
.
Quote:
* To disassemble do I just tap out the wedge or do I need to turn the screw above it. If I just tap it out what is the screw for?
The screw is to keep the wedge in place. It does not need to be removed (neither the screw nor the wedge) from the gun in order to remove the barrel. Just tap the wedge out until it clears the barrel channel; leave the screw in place.

Quote:
P.S. Can anyone tell me anything about the fluted cylinder…Thanks
I have no idea why Colt made a fluted cylinder.

Last edited by mykeal; December 14, 2007 at 08:23 AM. Reason: Spelling. Or is it speling?
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Old December 14, 2007, 08:46 AM   #3
Chris_B
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Fluted cylinder removes weight.
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Old December 14, 2007, 10:54 PM   #4
wolfgunner5150
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mykeal…. Thank you for taking the time to answer so many questions this is a lot of help for a newbe such as myself.

Chris_B…. That makes sense. Thanks
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Old December 14, 2007, 11:14 PM   #5
James K
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"Dry firing will damage the nipple. "

In a properly set up revolver, the hammer will not touch the nipple. You should be able to put a narrow strip of paper on the nipple, hold the cylinder fully back and the hammer fully down, and pull out the paper. If you can't, the nipples are too long.

Jim
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Old December 15, 2007, 01:04 AM   #6
CraigC
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Quote:
In a properly set up revolver, the hammer will not touch the nipple.
Very true but that does not mean the factory installed nipples won't contact the hammer and get peened over. Case in point is sitting on my desk right now.
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Old December 15, 2007, 06:04 AM   #7
mykeal
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Jim,

I'm curious - would you recommend dry firing a properly set up percussion revolver?
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Old December 15, 2007, 08:26 AM   #8
Spade Cooley
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Make yourself a wood pistol holder for loading or buy one of the commercial ones. It makes loading at the range a lot easier. I also like the felt wads. Dry firing will smash the nipples so unless you find some kind of a rubber protector, snap caps or live fire. Don't they have some kind of a nipple protector on the market?
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Old December 15, 2007, 10:15 AM   #9
Hawg Haggen
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A piece of aquarium tubing works.
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Old December 25, 2007, 05:18 PM   #10
Griswold
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A bit more background on that fluted cylinder

Wolfgunner - The fluted cylinders on the 1860's were only produced for a very short time in early 1860-1, and most of those sold under Southern contracts. Many of them burst at the cylinder stop notch, and the design was changed on the cylinder. They're good for a Confederate impression. - Griswold
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