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Old March 23, 2008, 01:01 PM   #1
bennadatto
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Join Date: March 14, 2008
Posts: 14
cowboy conundrum

I wrote a post earlier ("help me choose") asking for help in choosing my first black powder revolver (thank you to everyone who weighed in). After careful deliberation though, I decided not to get a bp revolver, but a replica 1873 cartridge firearm.

I choose the Uberti 1873 Cattleman, 4 3/4 barrel in .45lc. Let me first say that this gun is a fire-breathing dragon! The muzzle flash and report of this firearm is really something to see!

I really love this firearm and the authenticity of the round it shoots, but at this point in my life, I feel that the expense of the round is cost prohibitive to my truly enjoying the firearm.

So...what do you feel is most important to you? Authenticity or Affordability?
Would you be happier owning a gun because of its historical accuracy, or your ability to use it more frequently?


And as a side note....if you have any affordable ammunition dealers (online or otherwise) send 'em my way!

Thanks in advance for weighing in!
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Old March 23, 2008, 01:06 PM   #2
Hawg
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I like historical accuracy but I reload. You've got to do what's right for you and not worry about what other people think.
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Old March 23, 2008, 01:17 PM   #3
scrat
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Join Date: February 21, 2008
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two things.

1. for me its more about affordability. While some rich guy maybe able to buy a colt signature series second or third generation with all the best accessories and dooo dads. I will take my 1851 44 Confederate or my Uberti WALKER with my hand cast round balls and my low priced accessories. As it really dosent matter how much we both spent. When we raise our guns to shoot at the targets how you hit that target is the only thing that matters. Once we have both fired our 6 shots he or she is more than welcome to say what ever they want.

2. Price of ammo. Depends on what you want to do. For those of us who load. i tell you its not going to save you a lot of money. but it will allow you to make quality ammo and keep you at the range longer. If you were to start casting then load your own thats when you really start to save money.
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Old March 23, 2008, 03:15 PM   #4
Hafoc
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Join Date: August 20, 2005
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It's possible to handload ammunition fairly cheaply, but nobody does.

I probably come as close as most. I use a Lee hand press to reload, a set of carbide dies, Lee dippers (I have other powder measures but I just like the dippers for their lack of fuss in setting up), and some hard-cast bullets made by a local guy.

Truth to tell, though, handloading is basically knitting for outdoor guys, with the additional chance to make an error that will get your gun or yourself blown up. If you don't like just fiddling with the pieces-parts and gizmos, there isn't much point in it.

I grit my teeth and buy the .45s when I buy ammo. Remember, though, that the original SAA was available in calibers like .32/20. Going to a smaller, cheaper caliber such as .38 Special isn't that un-authentic, then, if you cared to go that route.

Seems to me Cabela's offers bulk ammo. I haven't tried theirs, but it might be worth taking a look to see if it could save you a buck or two.
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Old March 23, 2008, 07:28 PM   #5
VonFireball
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Join Date: November 8, 2007
Location: Florida
Posts: 354
I find handloading to be a relaxing activity.

The only part I don't like is having to smear lube on every cartridge.

A set of carbide dies (no more lube), some brass, a few primers, and a keg o powder and you can shoot much cheaper. Don't forget the cheapo lee press that works great.

Of course there is that initial set up cost. Who cares? Are you in it for the long haul or just because you decided you wanted something to shoot once a year? Besides, when you roll your own you can load for your gun, instead of being limited to doggy factory loads.

I was lucky enough to have a good family member really get me into reloading. I haven't looked back since, nor would I consider. If you can find someone who is willing to show you a couple of things it will make all the difference in the world.

Just start handloading. Thank me for the advice later.
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Old March 23, 2008, 08:01 PM   #6
Fingers McGee
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Join Date: March 19, 2008
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If you're going to shoot it any amount at all, you need to either reload it yourself, or find someone to do it for you.

At $30+ a box for 44-40s, the cost of reloading saves boucoup bucks. Even with the price of primers, powder and bullets going up, I can load BP or sub rounds for a lot less than $10.00 a box. A 66%+ savings is rather significant wouldnt you say. Once you've reloaded the brass - it doesnt cost anymore. Even with the "hard to load bottleneck cases" I get more than 15 reloads before they split. I lose a lot more at the range than split or get crunched during loading. I've still got some cases that I'm reloading that are going on 10 years old.

I loaded for many years using an RCBS RockChucker single stage press before I picked up a used Hornady L-N-L progressive. And I still use my Pawn Shop bought Lee Loadall in 12 ga for my BP shotgun rounds.

The Dillon spray lube works great. Lay 100 cases on an opened papeer grocery bag, spritz the lube on,give em a half turn & spritz again. Use a pair of cotton or knit gloves to handle the cases. Keeps your hands clean & dry, and as you handle the cases and put them in boxes, wipes off the excess lube.
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Old March 23, 2008, 08:15 PM   #7
scrat
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i use the dillion spray but i do it different. i put the cases in a ziploc baggie the big type then spray a few really good burst in the bag. then seal it up and shake them up. or i can roll them around with out even getting your hands dirty. then when your ready you can pull them out or keep them in the bag
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Old March 23, 2008, 08:24 PM   #8
Raider2000
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Join Date: July 23, 2007
Location: Virginia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fingers McGee
If you're going to shoot it any amount at all, you need to either reload it yourself, or find someone to do it for you.

At $30+ a box for 44-40s, the cost of reloading saves boucoup bucks. Even with the price of primers, powder and bullets going up, I can load BP or sub rounds for a lot less than $10.00 a box. A 66%+ savings is rather significant wouldnt you say. Once you've reloaded the brass - it doesnt cost anymore. Even with the "hard to load bottleneck cases" I get more than 15 reloads before they split. I lose a lot more at the range than split or get crunched during loading. I've still got some cases that I'm reloading that are going on 10 years old.

I loaded for many years using an RCBS RockChucker single stage press before I picked up a used Hornady L-N-L progressive. And I still use my Pawn Shop bought Lee Loadall in 12 ga for my BP shotgun rounds.

The Dillon spray lube works great. Lay 100 cases on an opened papeer grocery bag, spritz the lube on,give em a half turn & spritz again. Use a pair of cotton or knit gloves to handle the cases. Keeps your hands clean & dry, and as you handle the cases and put them in boxes, wipes off the excess lube.
I'm in agreeance 100%, my .44-40 doesn't know what a factory cartridge feels like unless some one decided to buy me a box or two for Christmas or Birthday so it gets 99% BP reloads & likes it.

I have a freind that had bought a BFG .45-70 revolver "he doesn't hunt so don't ask cuse I don't know" & after the second box at $28.00 for 20 rds. he started complainig about the cost & I introduced him to reloading, now he reloads his brass for less than half the new ammo cost & has taylored it to what he wants it to do at 50 yards.

As far as keeping it authentic, that is a personal call, I've had my Colt .44-40 for almost 15 years but I had gotten it a great deal back then or I might have gone with a Clone.
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Old March 23, 2008, 10:51 PM   #9
berkmberk1
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Join Date: January 10, 2008
Location: Springfield, IL (formerly TX)
Posts: 187
Reloading gear will pay for itself in short order.........how short depends on what you get and how much you shoot.

I started off quite a while ago with a C press requiring changing dies for every function. I used (and still do to an extent) Lee Dippers. I got a Lee hand primer for that chore. I was shooting .38/.357 and I shot quite a bit... at least a couple of boxes a month. I got a 9MM and dies and shot a few boxes of it a month on top. At that time I was getting powder, primers and bullets at the post Rod & Gun club so I was getting a deal and paying no tax.

When I got into highpower rifle, shooting an M1, I got dies for that and added an RCBS scale......the inexpensive one. I was shooting quite a bit of that on top of the pistols!

About 15 years ago, I finally got one of the first generation Lee Turret presses and still use it. I was using dippers until the beginning of this winter when I broke down and got a Lee powder measure. Its accurate enough for my pistols. I've thought about adding an auto-indexer, primer feed, and thru the die powder measure, but even with manually switching the turret back and forth I save a lot of time over that old C press I bought at Gibson's in Killeen Tx.! A box of 50 pistol, from start to finish, total time (I work in stages) takes me maybe half an hour after all the fiddle farting around, spot checking powder levels, overall length etc.

I've always been cost conscious so I get things on sale, used, Ebay, what have you......no carbide dies here........are you ready for this........................I lube with olive oil..............after cleaning the cases, I put them in a plastic pan and spray them with olive oil using one of those pump up olive oil spray cans. It mists them ever so slightly and the progression of cases thru the sizing die keeps it lubed up fine. After bullet seating, I simply take a clean rag and wipe them off......never have a problem. Its non-toxic and as far as I can tell has no effect on any components or loading equipment.

I can still load 9MM for $6.50 a box and my .45 Colt runs about $7.50 using Unique. Thats a hell of a lot better than $15 and $25 off the shelf! For match loads for my Garand I'd still use the dippers....IMR....Nosler 168 gr bthp match bullets. 50-60 rds for a match by hand is ok by me.

The moral of the story is you don't have to have a nuclear powered self loading, automatic, wire guided Dillon Super Power Press with power steering and air to make very useable loads and save HEAPS of money
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