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Old March 14, 2008, 08:47 AM   #1
bennadatto
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help me choose!!

I am looking at getting into cap and ball pistol shooting, and need some advice for a first gun.

My question is which year / model gun would be a great first shooter. I am considering '51 / '61 Navy (although I would prefer a larger round than .36), '60 Army, '47 Walker, Dragoons (v. 1, 2, 3), or the '58 Remington.

Also, which manufacturer offers the best product in terms of quality, authenticity, ease of use (cleaning, etc.), and lowest price. It seems from my searches that Uberti is the way to go. I just would like to get some more feedback before I decide.

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!
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Old March 14, 2008, 09:04 AM   #2
eastbank
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get the 58 rem. and never look back. eastbank.
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Old March 14, 2008, 09:35 AM   #3
Hawg Haggen
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I'll second the 58 for a first gun. Pietta is now on a par with Uberti as far as quality goes and a lot cheaper. Pietta makes a 51 in .44 but it's not historically accurate as Colt never made one in a .44.
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Old March 14, 2008, 09:47 AM   #4
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I'll agree with the 1858 Remington New Army by Pietta, a very strong gun & historically correct, also the 1860 Colt Army model would be my second choice as a beginners C&B revolver...
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Old March 14, 2008, 10:15 AM   #5
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It's unanimous; get the 58 Remington.

I really like my Pietta 5 1/2" barrel.
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Old March 14, 2008, 10:21 AM   #6
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I'll start by eliminating what I consider to be the clear negatives, since there is no good single answer.

Avoid any Palmetto product or guns whose manufacturer is not specified. True, some of the store brands are made by reputable manufacturers, but if you can't be sure you don't want it for a first gun.

The Walker and Dragoons are great guns, but they're specialties that should not be used to learn the sport.

The 1858 Remington New Army, 1851 Colt Navy (in .36 cal) and the 1860 Colt Army are all good first choices. Medium sized frames with well known characteristics and adequate support services (spare parts) available. Each is as easy or difficult to clean as the other. Each is as accurate as the shooter can make it. Differences are personal issues, and one should try each out before buying if possible. But, you won't go wrong with any of them if you can't do that.

Uberti, Pietta and Euroarms are all good manufacturers, with ranking in that order as regards quality. However, there is little difference between them and each is capable of producing the occasional lemon. Nobody's perfect.

In my opinion the closest to perfect is the Ruger Old Army, expensive and now discontinued, although many are still available on the used market. The only caution I'd advise here is that buying a used bp revolver is a bit risky if the gun has been abused, and a novice may not discern the abuse. So buying a new gun, where you can return it if necessary, is the way to go the first time, or the first few times. Thus the ROA is not recommended unless you find a new one from a reputable dealer (and can afford it).

Last edited by mykeal; March 14, 2008 at 10:24 AM. Reason: Spelling. Or is it speling?
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Old March 14, 2008, 10:41 AM   #7
bennadatto
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awesome response and suggestions!

Thanks everyone so far for your input!

I'm interested to know why so many people are recommending the '58 Remington. I was leaning towards the '60 Army, but now I'm re-thinking that idea. What is it that makes the '58 such a more recommended pistol?
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Old March 14, 2008, 10:56 AM   #8
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The '58 Remington is stronger because it has the top strap. The sights aren't near as rudimentary, either, again because of the top strap. The Colt's rear sight is a notch cut in the hammer tip.

Both the Colts and Remingtons had its proponents then and now. The percussion caps are a bit easier to clear out of the Colts. Sometimes the caps break or split.
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Old March 14, 2008, 11:49 AM   #9
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For bp purposes the top strap or lack of it makes no difference. IMHO the 58 is a lil easier to take down since you don't have to remove the barrel and you don't have a wedge to get back in it's proper place. Also you don't have as many cap jams with the Remington design. Those are my reasons I think the 58 is a lil better for a beginner.
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Old March 14, 2008, 02:34 PM   #10
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I would also recommend a Ruger Old Army as a first BP revolver. Buy one new and learn the sport with the strongest pistol and best reliabilty. Then I would second the 58' as a nice second pistol. Yes I know about the walkers and dragoons but those should come later as they are a hoot to shoot.
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Old March 14, 2008, 02:49 PM   #11
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He did mention authenticity and lowest price. Ruger qualifies on neither one.
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Old March 14, 2008, 03:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
He did mention authenticity and lowest price. Ruger qualifies on neither one.
And I did say:
Quote:
Thus the ROA is not recommended unless you find a new one from a reputable dealer (and can afford it).
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Old March 14, 2008, 07:03 PM   #13
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i have owned quite a few BPP,s in the last 40 odd years. after useing just about all makes stated in these posts, i still keep a 58 rem in 44 cal. what i like about it is you can take the grips off of it and clean it in a bucket of hot soapy water, i rinse it in very hot water and then put it in a old toaster oven at 165 degrees, in a few minutes it,s totaly dry. oil it and put the grips back on and put it away. i would say it takes no more than 20 minutes to get it spic and span. with the colt copies it takes longer and every time you take it apart,you must be carefull as you can cause undue ware between the frame and barrel. it,s true the rem. is stronger than the colt but for the loads used i don,t see much difference. the ruger is about as high as a black powder pistol can aspire to be. eastbank
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Old March 14, 2008, 09:26 PM   #14
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One more tip stick with steel, dont get brass,
brass is ok to hang on the wall. shoot safe.
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Old March 14, 2008, 09:31 PM   #15
Raider2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by long rider
One more tip stick with steel, dont get brass,
brass is ok to hang on the wall. shoot safe.
I agree 100%, only get a steel framed revolver because the brass framed ones tend to wear out faster especially if you use heavy loads.
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Old March 14, 2008, 10:28 PM   #16
DrLaw
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I'm going to disagree

Just for the fun of it, though.

I would say the .36 Navy or .44 Army Colt replica from Uberti. I like the ease of cleaning.

Now the Remington is nice from the standpoint of strength with that top strap, but with black powder pressures and modern metals, it should not be an issue. That Remington grip always felt a little weird to me.

That said, I had a Lyman .44 Remington that was a wonder to shoot. Very accurate. If it was not for speed of reloading, I would have qualified on my police course with it.

I have a Pietta .36 Navy Remington. Slightly shorter barrel than the .44, but it is also a fairly stout gun. I have had trouble with the mainspring, though, becoming weak.

I have an Uberti .44 Army and it is pure pleasure to shoot.

Put them on a balance, I would say the Colt replicas tip the scales for me.

The thing to do - get both!

The Doc is out now.
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Old March 15, 2008, 12:12 AM   #17
Hawg Haggen
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Quote:
Quote:
He did mention authenticity and lowest price. Ruger qualifies on neither one.

And I did say:

Quote:
Thus the ROA is not recommended unless you find a new one from a reputable dealer (and can afford it).
mykeal, I was actually responding to straight shooters post. I didn't quote it because it was right above mine. Sorry for any confusion.
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Old March 15, 2008, 08:04 AM   #18
mykeal
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Hawg,

Confusion was on my part. I got caught by the 'View first unread' function - it scrolled the thread down to your post and didn't show his, so I didn't make the connection. Thanks for the clarification. I'll be more careful in the future.
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Old March 16, 2008, 03:41 PM   #19
JN01
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I have both Remington and Colt models. I prefer the feel and pointability of the Colt design. You might want to handle a couple to see which you like.
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Old March 17, 2008, 04:50 PM   #20
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Iv shot the Remi, I have a WALKER, 1851 Navy, 1860 Army. by far the WALKER is the best. Even out shot the Remi by a long shot. Next to that id say the 1860. Just easy to shoot and clean. As far as removing the wedge. Its not a problem. Easy to do. Same time allows me to get behind the barrel and really clean the revolver. Now having shot the Remi. Not a fan. I have considered getting one. I have had people say top strap is the way to go. OK well i shoot 56 grains of black powder through my WALKER. no top strap. What you cant do that in a remi. Oh ok. and you say to buy a remi for what again top strap.

Now as far as the sights. Again the gun is only as good as the shooter. What ever gun you buy. You pull the trigger it goes BANG. Its up to you to place that ball on target. Again i have debated time and time again on getting a Remi. Nope. my next gun is probably going to be a Dragoon. Top strap makes NO difference on the strength of the gun. Not when shooting 25-30 grains of black. My WALKER knows no difference.
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Old March 17, 2008, 04:58 PM   #21
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As far as manufacture. Uberti is good really good. My 1851 is a good shooter too. if your not too sure about shooting black powder. Dont want to spend a lot. Check out Cabelas. they have the 1851 navy its chambered in 44. for 139.00. their site still shows this special on a 4.95 shipping charge. Thats a heck of deal. You wont get a better deal than that. The gun is a peitta. I have the same one. Pietta is ok. Its a brass frame. Some people will say never to get one. Some are ignorant on not knowing. I have 2 brass frames. As long as you load them with thier recomended loads you will be fine. The gun will last a long time. I have spoke and read from people who have shot thousands of rounds through brass frames. IT all depends on how you take care of it. Same time i use a loading plate. The loading plate is where you place the cylinder on it. Pour bp in each cylinder then put your wads in then place a ball on each cylinder. Then you press them in with a small ram. By doing this you put no stress on the gun as its not on the gun. Same time its so quick. When your done put it back on the gun attach the barrel. Your good to go.
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Old March 17, 2008, 10:55 PM   #22
snakyjake
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1858 Barrel Length Differences

What are the differences between the 5 1/2", 7 3/8", and 8" barrel lengths?

What would the recommended barrel length be? Someone already mentioned the 5.5", but wanted to know the differences between the other barrel lengths.
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Old March 18, 2008, 08:18 AM   #23
mykeal
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Quote:
What are the differences between the 5 1/2", 7 3/8", and 8" barrel lengths?

What would the recommended barrel length be? Someone already mentioned the 5.5", but wanted to know the differences between the other barrel lengths.
As far as shooting the gun is concerned the main difference is the accuracy you get from the longer sight length - the distance between the sights. The longer, the better, although much depends on whether you can actually take advantage of the longer distance.

Other than that, weight and balance is slightly different and the shorter barrels tend to be easier to quickly bring to bear on the target, although again, it's a personal thing to some extent.

The shorter barrels clear the holster faster and easier, too.

There is no recommendation as to barrel length. It's a personal choice depending on the size of your hands and arms, how quick your reflexes are, your eyesight, how you're going to use it, in short, many objective facts summing to a subjective choice.

Last edited by mykeal; March 18, 2008 at 08:19 AM. Reason: Spelling. Or is it speling?
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Old March 18, 2008, 09:36 AM   #24
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What are the differences between the 5 1/2", 7 3/8", and 8" barrel lengths?
I know that from Cabelas a Pietta 1858 5 1/2" barrel costs $20 more than an 8" barrel. I guess they have to pay Guido to remove the front sight, saw 2 1/2 inches off the barrel, then remount the sight.
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Old March 18, 2008, 10:07 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grymster2007
I know that from Cabelas a Pietta 1858 5 1/2" barrel costs $20 more than an 8" barrel. I guess they have to pay Guido to remove the front sight, saw 2 1/2 inches off the barrel, then remount the sight.
Well worth it IMHO, I love my new 5.5" Pietta 1858 New Army, very handy out of the holster...

The 5.5" barrel will make the velocity to be about 30fps less than a 8" barreled model pistol using the same charge. "I have both 8" & 5.5" 1858 Remmies."
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