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Old August 5, 2008, 12:07 AM   #1
?_?_?
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new to black powder

hey all! im new to black powder and have no real experience otherwise...but i have a few questions regarding what kind of gun i should buy and start out with....

i have heard that the remington 1885 new army is a good beginner model but i have been hoping to get a colt walker,dragoon,army,or even possibly a navy...are thease guns bad for beginners in some way...i have a neibor who says that i should get the remington over and over again when i mention colts...but i would like to know if there is anything potentially "wrong" with colts and beginners

also,i would also like to ask about flintlock rifels and what ones may be a good investment...as i do plan to eventually use black powder for hunting and i have heard about a "primitive weapon" season

thanks

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Old August 5, 2008, 01:52 AM   #2
Rusty.it
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My absolute first revolver was a colt navy, never trouble about it!!
And now i have the navy, a single action, and the only remington is a replica of the 1875 model in 44-40!!
If you like it buy it!
You'll have time to buy a remmy the next time

ciao
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Old August 5, 2008, 04:30 AM   #3
Raider2000
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My very first Cap & Ball Revolver that I saved my money to buy was my 1860 Army by Pietta, it has been a very reliable & fun companion for over 25 years now & along with a few others that I have in my collection it is still one of my favorites.

If you want to get into Cap & Ball Revolvers "AKA Black Powder Revolvers" it is usually suggested that either the replicas of the Colt 1851 Navy in .36 cal. ".44 caliber is not historically correct but to each his/her own" Colt 1860 Army .44 cal. or the Remington New Model Army or Navy .44 or .36 cal..
These are suggested because they are the easiest to handle, maintain, & shoot with proficiency & you cannot go wrong with either design but many will tend to lean more towards the Remington design because it is easier for a novice to learn & maintain without getting frustrated & give up, because the Colt design has the wedge that tends to be difficult to beginners but to me if the person is willing to learn & be careful of what tools that they use when disassembling them the Colt design is just as easy.

If you have not gotten yourself a rifle yet & have no experience with Muzzle loading then a Percussion design will be easier to learn & will give you the basics to learn Flint Locks but it is usually suggested that a Novice not get a Flint Lock rifle as their first rifle because it too needs patience, & determination to learn how to use a Flint Lock with proficiency, having said that I’ll give you my suggestions for a Rifle & a Revolver.
Revolver: Pietta or Uberti manufacture:
1851 Navy in Steel Frame .36 cal.
1860 Army .44 cal.
1858 New Model Army .44 cal.
1858 New Model Navy .36 cal.

Rifles: all new manufacture, you can find some fine used ones but there are too many to mention here, also both of these can be gotten in either Percussion of Flint Lock:
Lyman Great Plains Rifle .50cal. or .54cal.
Cabelas Traditional Hawken .50cal. or .54cal.

I suggest a .50 or .54 caliber because both of those will cleanly take any North American large game with the right bullet & powder combination although you can get a .45 caliber offerings for them are not as plentiful.
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Old August 5, 2008, 05:37 AM   #4
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Rusty and Raider pretty much nailed it.

I will just add that, with regard to the percussion revolvers, the large frame Colts (Walker and Dragoons) are great guns to shoot but, because of their sheer size, they're not recommended for beginners. Get one of the medium frame Colt or Remington guns to learn and practice with.

Raider mentioned Uberti and Pietta for the pistols; I'll add Euroarms as a good manufacturer, and you'll find occasional mention of Pedersoli too, although the Pedersoli guns are quite expensive.

Raider's advice on the long gun is very worthwhile. Flintlocks are great, but can be very frustrating if you're new to black powder. They require a whole new level of experimentation and discipline beyond the percussion guns; adding that to the task of learning black powder in a long gun is often daunting.

Flintlocks are addictive. Once you've gotten comfortable with a percussion long gun and you then shoot a flinter you'll have a whole new world open up to you. But get the cap gun first to give yourself that chance.

BTW, I'll second Raider's recommendations on the long guns, too, and add Thompson Center's Hawken as a fine gun to own and hunt with.
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Old August 5, 2008, 07:24 AM   #5
madcratebuilder
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Many moons ago I had a Remington clone and a pair of Ruger Old Army's. Shot the snot out of them, then got out of BP for years.
I recently picked up a pair of 2nd series Colts, a 61 Navy and a Walker, both are excellent shooters. You can find the used Colts for about the same cost as new imports. I recently picked up a TC Hawken 50 to make more smoke with.
I don't think you could put enough powder in the 61 to damage it, small chambers. The Walker is a hand cannon for sure, 50gr of bp makes a lot of smoke.
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Old August 5, 2008, 07:53 AM   #6
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I know it's been said, but it bears repeating anyways. Buy the steel frame versions of cap & ball revolvers. Brass frame revolvers do not cost as much, but cannot take as much torture, and cannot use cartridge conversion cylinders.
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Old August 5, 2008, 03:07 PM   #7
?_?_?
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thanks for the help

hmm i think ill go for the navy...only because it was said to be a very popular gun in its time...and as for the flintlock i have seen the great plains but ill be sure to check out the other as well!
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Old August 5, 2008, 03:48 PM   #8
Oquirrh
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Remington '58

As someone returning to black powder after 4 decades and cap and ball revolvers for the first time, I'd recommend a Rem. New Army as your first.

I have three colt replicas, and love 'em. But the Remington will give you far, far less frustration and likely will be more accurate.

You should be able to find a second-hand Rem for roughly $150-$175.
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Old August 5, 2008, 03:53 PM   #9
?_?_?
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forgot one last detail

i forgot to ask one question...what exactly is "case hardened finish" i keep seeing this tearm but i dont know exactly what it is...it looks a bit worn but i dont know exactly what it is made from...
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Old August 5, 2008, 03:58 PM   #10
Raider2000
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Case hardening is a process that hardens the Steel on the outside but still leaves the inner core of the Steel relatively soft to help absorb impact & pressure, Most Colt style Revolvers have their frames in a Color Case Hardening which is the same but different process is performed to bring out the nice Blues, Reds & Light Tones that make them beautiful pieces of Working Art.
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Old August 5, 2008, 06:04 PM   #11
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Wellcome to the dark side.
Gota get yourself a 58 remmy they are much easer
to work with than open tops, you do not need tools
to drop the cylinder, THEN when you are used to bp
then get yourself a 1860, and if you can shoot
black powder its the smell of the years.
Have fun shoot safe.
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Old August 6, 2008, 02:58 AM   #12
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I'd back the purchase of an 1858 NMA Remington .44 cal Revolver myself. I think they are the best personally.


SG
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Old August 6, 2008, 07:13 AM   #13
Gbro
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S-G,
Glade to see you don't go around 1/2 cocked

I have both and I do prefer my Remmy over the open top but that is for shooting only.
The open tops are prettier.

I also have both caplock and flint rifles, and I am way more into in the flint.

I only use black powder, (had some 777 and gave it away Sunday).
I have nothing against substitutes, but just don't care to use them. I love the cloud given off by BP.

Go slow, Go steady,
Sunday was a great day, We spent the afternoon shooting and I am sure $10.00 would cover all shooting supply's.
Monday afternoon with another friend and 3 hours shooting, well the fuel to go shooting was much more
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Old August 6, 2008, 01:03 PM   #14
?_?_?
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lolz maybe i should go for the remington...i just thaught that the colt would be easyer to clean and take care of due to the fact that i can take it apart...but if it will be more accurate i will get the remington and get a colt the next time...though i really would like to try flintlock hunting sometime guess im going too fast thoughi need to at least learn to shoot before i can get a flintlock...but if you dont mind me asking,what makes a flintlock so much harder to shoot than a caplock...i know there is a pot and a flint but it seems pretty simple to me... sorry if im asking too many dumb questions
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Old August 6, 2008, 01:50 PM   #15
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First of all, a flintlock is harder to shoot accurately because there is a longer delay between pulling the trigger and the main charge igniting. It requires more patience and a steadier hand to avoid reacting to the pan powder flash and thus spoiling the shot. Some people practice for years before they develop the ability to not 'flinch' when the pan powder goes off.

Second, the flintlock ignition sequence is inherently less reliable, requiring more attention to detail and care than the percussion cap. There is the hardness of the frizzen, the sharpness and continuity of the flint edge, the placement of the powder in the pan, the geometry of the touch hole with respect to the pan and flint, the size and in some cases shape (beveled or not) of the touch hole or vent liner, the volitility of the pan powder, the volitility of the main charge powder and the geometry of the combustion chamber. Finally one must tune the lock itself to provide sufficient sparks.

Managing all those variables in addition to the many things every black powder shooter must learn, such as the proper ball and patch size, the correct powder charge, the right size caps, how to measure powder and charge the gun, proper use and handling of a flask, etc., can be daunting.
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Old August 6, 2008, 03:44 PM   #16
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Mykeal,

C'mon man, you must be shooting cheap production made flinters to have all those problems! Try shooting one I built sometime, by the time your optical nerve registers the pan flash, the ball is already out of the bore. Everytime I've been at ML shoots, I see the percussion guys spending more time poking at their nipple holes and snapping caps than shooting - the most reliable percussion gun is an underhammer, almost no problems with u/h's compared to sidelocks, especially the snail-breech sidelocks.

Yes, a flintlock must be set-up correctly and that should be done when it is built and never requires adjustment unless something breaks. Try shooting a quality hand-built flinter with a tuned lock & trigger, a single point cut rifled bore and good sights and you'll find your percussion guns becoming "safe queens" rather quickly.
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Old August 6, 2008, 03:51 PM   #17
?_?_?
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lolz ty for all of the feedback but idk if i could afford a really good quality flinter at the moment...ive only got about 500 to spend currently..but ill definately look into it...and ill be sure to read up on flintlock a bit more before i try it...but as for a good flintlock...how much would one cost and what guns do you reccomend?
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Old August 6, 2008, 04:07 PM   #18
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new to BP

Good for you. Lots of fun and good shooting are ahead of you in the world of BP firearms.
I like the Remington 1858 (New Police) in .36 cal. Great shooter.
I also recommend the Lyman Great Plains flintlock. It may be the best production flintlock on the market. Properly primed (which means not too much priming powder - I remember that I was very surprised, and pleased, to discover how little is needed to make the gun go Bang.) it will shoot as described above - no noticeable delay. Squeeze trigger/Bang!
The process of discovering what load works best in a flintlock is no more difficult than determining what loads or cartridges any rifle shoots best.
And then there are those beautiful custom "made just for you" guns....
Pete
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Old August 6, 2008, 05:07 PM   #19
?_?_?
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ty for all of your help! lolz without it i would probably still be lost...cant wait to get shooting...just hope im not too terribal
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Old August 6, 2008, 05:19 PM   #20
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A good Flintlock doesn`t have a delay ...both mine sound like cap locks going off ...But they aren`t created equal , The ones that have a delay can uasually be fixed ..but to make the fixes you first have to have the knowledge of why it has a delay ..which might take talking to someone who has the answers .
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Old August 6, 2008, 07:21 PM   #21
long rider
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???
It does not matter how good you are,
It does not matter how bad you are,
Sometimes when i get out and smoke my 58s, i can
not hit the side of a barn and sometimes i can
hit a golf ball at 25 yrds, it all depeneds on the mood
i am in, what i am getting at is its the love
of BLACK POWDER shooting and all the fun that goes
with it, theres is nothing more pleaseing than a good
day smokeing bp, and i am sure all the rest of the guys
will agree on that. Have fun shoot safe.
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Old August 6, 2008, 09:41 PM   #22
?_?_?
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lolz i hope ill have as much fun as you say i will...but i expect to but there is one more question i should ask...would i be better with stainless steel or a normal gun...i do expect to take care of it to the best of my ability but ive heard it can be a pain to clean and take care of
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Old August 6, 2008, 10:14 PM   #23
mykeal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FL-Flinter
C'mon man, you must be shooting cheap production made flinters to have all those problems! Try shooting one I built sometime, by the time your optical nerve registers the pan flash, the ball is already out of the bore. Everytime I've been at ML shoots, I see the percussion guys spending more time poking at their nipple holes and snapping caps than shooting - the most reliable percussion gun is an underhammer, almost no problems with u/h's compared to sidelocks, especially the snail-breech sidelocks.

Yes, a flintlock must be set-up correctly and that should be done when it is built and never requires adjustment unless something breaks. Try shooting a quality hand-built flinter with a tuned lock & trigger, a single point cut rifled bore and good sights and you'll find your percussion guns becoming "safe queens" rather quickly.
You completely missed the point of the post and the OP's request.

I regularly shoot high quality flintlocks and I have owned inexpensive, entry level flintlocks. Yes, there is a world of difference. There's also a world of difference in price. The man wants to get into the sport, not invest his next month's mortgage payment on something he may not want to do.

My intent was to point out that, for a person new to bp with less than unlimited funds the better approach would be to start with a percussion gun, not a flintlock. At the OP's request I provided a list of the issues that would be faced by a new shooter with an entry level flintlock.

My guns do not have the problems I wrote about. I built them and I tuned them. I know what it takes. And I know that the entry level guns are likely to exhibit any and perhaps even all of the problems I mentioned. A new shooter should not have to deal with those in addition to learning the basics of the sport. Don't you agree?
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Old August 6, 2008, 11:13 PM   #24
?_?_?
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wow! with all this said i think i should just pick up a book on it all any reccomended? lol even tho i may not NEED a book,i am a bit of a reader and i like to absorb as much info as possibal...
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Old August 7, 2008, 04:07 PM   #25
Gbro
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My advise that is usually worth about $.02 is to go slow and don't feel you need to know everything up front. Part of the fun of shooting these old smoke poles is solving problems that come up.
Then if or when you take one to the field hunting after investing $500.00+ for tags and a whole pail full of money on everything else for the trip, are you willing to have only 1 shot and the potability of that 1 shot failing for numerous reasons and then look back and treasure the hunt weather or not your tag was filled.
Some just cannot accept that.
My score card is Gbro -0- for 10 hunts W/3 flashed pans and 2 out and out misses. All bulls 5X5=3 6X6=2. And I am readying my gear for another Colorado Hunt next month.
There is nothing quite like stalking a large bull Elk with a flintlock, The flash in the pan only means I don't have to carry all that meat out of the mountains, and I didn't wound an animal. I would not want to chase a wounded animal in the area where I hunt. The flash is almost a blessing
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