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Old May 5, 2009, 01:50 PM   #26
Gomezy3k
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I have 13 extra cylinders for my 4 Pietta Remington revolvers. I learned a long time ago back when I got my first C&B that extra cylinders was a must. I went shooting with some friends and they had cartridge revolvers and I had my Uberti Remington. They shot about 10 times faster than I did because of the reloading time. Unfortunately since the Uberti was an old one that was Metric I was never able to get more cylinders for it.

When I joined SASS I started with two Pietta Remington's and I reloaded my two Remington's after each stage and it took me almost the whole time between turns to reload. So I got the extra cylinders and loaded them the night before. I have enough to shoot a whole match (and if extra are needed I can reload as needed)... I keep them in a Tupperware container so it was air and moisture tight and shooting was a lot more fun. I would shoot, go back to my gun cart, remove the empty cylinder and wipe the gun down and insert a new cylinder and was able to go count or help out as needed... I made some cylinder holders that were very similar to cap pouches and can carry 4 on my belt when I go out walking in the desert... I also carry a tube of grease, caps, powder and balls to reload as needed... I carry the cylinders capped when out walking around and uncapped for matches. As for the powder falling out the nipples, the powder is fairly coarse and unless you are using old nipples with the flash hole burned way out, the amount of powder that would fall out is minimal... Not to mention I store the cylinders with the nipples up (waxed paper on bottom of Tupperware keeps the grease from messing up stuff) so powder cannot fall out anyway...

I also have two of the .45 conversion cylinders and when I go out desert walking I can carry one of the conversion cylinders in a cylinder pouch ready to swap out... Sure beats wearing two guns weight wise...

Last edited by Gomezy3k; May 5, 2009 at 02:03 PM.
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Old May 5, 2009, 02:06 PM   #27
Shotgun Willy
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I've got two small kids, at home. My daughter (8), loves to help me cap my cylinders, but won't touch the guns, otherwise. My son (3), isn't afraid of anything except loud noises. I'm betting he'll be looking for them as soon as he thinks of it. For this reason, I don't keep any cartridge pistols. I do keep an unloaded 1858, in a drawer. I also have a urine specimen cup, with a loaded and capped cyl..
It doesn't take but seconds, to open the cup and change out the cyl., especially with Cap'n C's cylinder dumping method.
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Old October 2, 2009, 09:11 PM   #28
Delmar
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Quote:
I don't keep any cartridge pistols. I do keep an unloaded 1858, in a drawer. I also have a urine specimen cup, with a loaded and capped cyl..
It doesn't take but seconds, to open the cup and change out the cyl., especially with Cap'n C's cylinder dumping method.
How long is it practical to keep that cylinder loaded. Does it cause any corrosion in the cylinder?
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Old October 2, 2009, 10:26 PM   #29
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Okay, I'll join in here. I have done quite a bit of reading on the subject and I agree that the idea of carrying a spare cylinder is largely a modern day thing. I read one book, "I Rode with Quantrill" (SIC??) in which Frank James found a busted up revolver (When he was in the "War") and he kept it. Whether he loaded it or just kept it- I don't know.
Where were the spare cylinders carried? Where are the sales records that Colt and Remington sold extra cylinders? I don't think it was a common practice.
A lot of the Confederate Cavalry loaded up with lots of extra revolvers. The Yankee Cavalry probably would have done the same but Army regulations must have prevented it.
That special powder- TELL ME MORE!!! I have not read about that before. I'm working from memory here but I think the charge in the combustible cartridges was about 17 grains which isn't maximum but the small charge was used in order to be able to fit the cartridge into the chamber- a larger charge made the cartridge too long to load- at least in some revolvers like the Colt Navy. The clean burning aspect is interesting as well as fouling build up is a problem with the combustible cartridges.
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Old October 2, 2009, 11:08 PM   #30
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I admit I don't know spit about this subject,

but that won't keep me from shootin off at the mouth on it!

Quote:
So, out of curiosity then, why is it, in the photos I have seen of soldiers who are holding, brandishing or otherwise displaying their guns
Were I posing for a picture in "them days" I would want every firearm I could find in view on my person just for the coolness factor. Posing with a number of arms poking out all over from your belt to your boots looks more intimidating than one or two pistols on your hip and some non-descript cylinder pouches on your belt.

When we would ride fence, my granddad would carry his 4-10 shells in an old "poke" or tobacco pouch looped over his belt. I have a picture of him wearing the pouch but holding no gun, and if you didn't know what he carried in it, you could only guess at what he used it for by looking at the picture. Also, from just looking at the picture how could you possibly assume that he never used a 4-10 just because you don't see him holding one?

You do realize this entire thread comes off as mere conjecture and speculation, because non of us were actually there and have no first-hand accounts. It's still a whole lot of fun, though!
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Old October 2, 2009, 11:38 PM   #31
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Quote:
How long is it practical to keep that cylinder loaded.
As long as no moisture can get to it as long as you want to.

Quote:
Does it cause any corrosion in the cylinder?
Not as long as no moisture gets to it.

I found an original 58 Remington in a barn once. All six chambers were loaded and capped. The outside of the gun was rough but the inside of the chambers was like new.
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Old October 3, 2009, 07:56 AM   #32
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No carryin' spare cylinders ain't any more dangerous than shootin' Black Powder Guns ... it's a part of it. Stay alert take yer time .... be safe & have fun.
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Old October 3, 2009, 07:59 AM   #33
Delmar
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Quote:
As long as no moisture can get to it as long as you want to.
Not as long as no moisture gets to it.

I found an original 58 Remington in a barn once. All six chambers were loaded and capped. The outside of the gun was rough but the inside of the chambers was like new.
____________
I'm guessing you didn't try to fire it.

Thanks, by the way. That is the info I was looking for.
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Old October 3, 2009, 08:23 AM   #34
Hawg
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I'm guessing you didn't try to fire it.
I fired the powder in a repro. Worked fine. Fired the gun after it was cleaned up.
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Old October 3, 2009, 02:51 PM   #35
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Hawg
Just out of curiosity, how did you empty those chambers, without firing the pistol.
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Old October 3, 2009, 03:05 PM   #36
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Wood screw and vice grips. Had to get it freed up for some of them but it wasn't frozen very badly.
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Old October 3, 2009, 03:25 PM   #37
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Oh of coarse, the front of the chamber is open.
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Old November 20, 2009, 04:23 PM   #38
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I took a hunter safety class years ago, and the instructor related an incident during the firearms safety part of the class:

According to the story, two teenagers were out plinking with a .22LR/.22WMR revolver with interchangeable cylinders. One of them had the "other" cylinder, loaded, in his shirt pocket. While negotiating a barb-wire fence the cylinder fell from his pocket, landed on a rock, and one of the cartridges fired, striking him in the head and killing him. His friend, who didn't see it actually happen, and was vague in his explanation, was charged with a crime - some sort of manslaughter, or something. The authorities thought that he accidentally shot his friend and was covering it up.

It was only when a forensics examiner was examining the pistol for proper functioning that he noticed a chip on the edge of the cylinder. Further testing revealed that the dropped cylinder, if it hit just right, WOULD actually fire, and with lethal velocity. The charges were dismissed, of course.........but his friend was still dead.
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Old November 20, 2009, 04:48 PM   #39
Frankenstein80
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"How long is it practical to keep that cylinder loaded."

If you have proper fitting caps and a good over-sized ball they are virtually, if not, airtight. A little while back someone on here or the high road said he found an old loaded 1858 while cleaning a barn and that it fired all five shots with original powder, ball and caps.
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Old November 20, 2009, 04:53 PM   #40
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sorry, double post
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Old November 20, 2009, 06:31 PM   #41
Delmar
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Quote:
According to the story, two teenagers were out plinking with a .22LR/.22WMR revolver with interchangeable cylinders. One of them had the "other" cylinder, loaded, in his shirt pocket. While negotiating a barb-wire fence the cylinder fell from his pocket, landed on a rock, and one of the cartridges fired, striking him in the head and killing him.
I would concede that it might not be all that safe to carry a loaded cylinder in your shirt pocket, while climbing through a fence.
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Old November 20, 2009, 07:51 PM   #42
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I carry mine capped and ready in pouch that I make.. The Rem58 can be shot and reloaded faster than any other single action...unless you have a speed loader for a top-break.

I consider loaded, uncapped cylinder as a very dangerous item...especially with a gun that belches flame and sparks everywhere with everyshot...

The only danger of having them capped is when removeing and loading the capped cylinder...if you drop it... this is a big problem on the range with concrete all around but not so big a risk on the prairie...probly don't need the fast reload on the range anyway.

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Old November 20, 2009, 08:52 PM   #43
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There seems to be a lot of controversy over spare cylinders, pouches, etc.

I have studied the Civil War for over 50 years, read literally hundreds and hundreds of books, articles and first person accounts, etc. and I will state right up front that I am not an expert - if someone claims to know everything, sure enough, something comes along that will either prove them wrong or was not documented before. That said, I would like to make a few comments on the subject of "spare cylinders", etc.

To say they were not used cannot be done with any certainty. I too, had never seen a "spare cylinder pouch" before - either in photographs, in person (and I have been collecting Civil War artifacts for 50 years) and I would have doubted their use as well until recently when I had the opportunity to see a spare cylinder pouch that was stamped USN.

It was very similiar to some of the so called "replicas" that are being used by the reenactors except it was made in conjunction and part of (an extension) flap holster for a Colt Navy. I don't know if it was an experimental accouterment or if it ever was in production as it is the only one I have ever seen.

In regards to swapping cylinders in combat - one has to realize that the common soldier was not like most of the folks on this forum. They did not know how to "fine tune" their pistols and this work was left to the armorer or ordinance officer. Their job was to keep the arms "cobbled" up and working, usually under primitive work conditions in the field. Anyone who has been shot at before, knows the intense fear and the body's reaction.

Changing cylinders in the heat of battle - trying to get a sticky wedge out of a Colt that has been carried in damp or wet conditions, would be a major accomplishment for the best trained soldier or trooper. Time, years passing and each of us have contributed to the romantic idea of the soldiers fighting bravely and with disregard for life or limb. The fact is, they were scared beyond description while in battle.

A good presentation of this are the muskets salvaged off the battlefield at Gettysburg after the battle - approximately 25% had more than one load in the barrel. The soldier would pull the tail of the paper cartridge off with his teeth, pour the powder in the barrel, ram the minie ball home and FORGET to put the cap on the nipple. Guns were found that had more than 25 loads in the barrel.

Combustible cartridges for revolvers were in use as were paper wrapped cartridges for the muskets, whether they be .54, .58 or .69 cal. or even larger in some of the imported European muskets. The various carbines, whether they be Smith, Sharps, Spencer, Burnside, etc. all had their individually issued cartridges.

Getting back to the so-called "common practice" of using multiple cylinders, I'm not saying it was not done, but, I question the wide spread use of spare cylinder pouches and spare cylinders. I myself, would like to hear from those that claim it was widely used, what their documentation is and I also would like to see some photos of original cylinder pouches, who they were manufactured by, etc.

We have plenty of original cartridge boxes and cap boxes in existence - both military issue, experimental and prototypes that are in existence and that can be studied. While I have seen the one USN spare cylinder pouch that was original, I have yet to see any in the various museums that I have visited, the private collections that I have had an opportunity to view or for sale on the collector's market.

So many tales and legends get started and while we all appreciate the "lore" of the Civil War and the Old West, it is often blown out of proportion and repeated as fact. I used to shoot full size Civil War Artillery in a NSSA group and I reenacted a couple of years in an artillery battery as well. I can remember a number of times when those portraying artillerymen would show up on the field armed to the teeth with an artillery saber and one or two pistols. The reality of it is that the run of the mill artilleryman (private) was not issued a pistol and the artillery saber they were issued usually ended up along the side of the road in a ditch as it was useless to someone riding on a caisson with their arms interlocked with a comrade's as they bounced down the road. The job of the artilleryman was to "serve his piece" - at all times. It is true that many of them carried belt knives - but these were not for fighting, they were for cutting the harness on the dead or wounded horse in the teams pulling their guns and caissons.

I don't really mean to "ruffle" anyone's feathers here and that is not my intention. I am just stating that it would be nice to see some documentation to back up the use of spare cylinders, spare cylinder pouches, etc. and perhaps have some original photographs of soldiers utilizing the pouches and photos of original cylinder pouches posted on this forum - if they exist.

Thanks.
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Old November 20, 2009, 11:10 PM   #44
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I'd feel pretty safe dropping a capped Remington cylinder on nice, flat concrete all day long. I don't see that the cap could be hit, being as protected as it is in the nipple recess of the cylinder. The only way I can see the cap being struck, would be the off chance that the cylinder just happened to be dropped, and just happened to be dropped at just the right angle, rear first and centered on a nipple recess, and a pebble just happened to be in the right spot to stike the cap in the nipple recess. I think the probability of an incident would be incredibly low.
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Old November 22, 2009, 08:15 AM   #45
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Probability - very low. Consequences - catastrophic. The combination of a very low probability and a catastrophic consequence is considered an unsafe condition in any reasoned safety analysis.
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Old November 22, 2009, 10:50 PM   #46
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Well then, with all this conjecture and speculation...

I think it's time for an experiment.

Now, just so happens I have a cylinder that I picked up at a gun show awhile back...that is .36 caliber that has to be Italian- new, no markings on it and it doesn't fit any Uberti, Pietta or ASM that I've tried it on. It was $10.00
I think somehow they cut the stops off spec.


I'm going to go out to the range and do some drop tests with it- for the heck of it when I get a chance.

I am going to put some caps on it, and put some hollow lead balls in the chambers to increase the weight, but hollow so if the cap goes off, it won't be shot out of the chamber.

Now...I've just got to get this thing planned into my busy schedule.
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Old November 23, 2009, 12:42 AM   #47
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...put some hollow lead balls in the chambers to increase the weight, but hollow so if the cap goes off, it won't be shot out of the chamber.
Please don't do that. Just use the caps all by themselves. If you want to add weight to the cylinder figure out a way to do it without creating potential projectiles.
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Old November 23, 2009, 02:55 AM   #48
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have never read or previous to the Clint Eastwood movie PALE RIDER, seen anything about carrying a spare cylinder. I have read about carrying mulitple pistols, though.

That leads me to think that the carrying of spare cylinders is a product of modern times and cowboy action shooting."

there was an episode of bonanza where little joe reloaded his navy revolver by changing the cylinder.
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Old November 23, 2009, 09:07 AM   #49
Andy Griffith
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Please don't do that. Just use the caps all by themselves. If you want to add weight to the cylinder figure out a way to do it without creating potential projectiles.
Ok. I'll just pour the hole in the center full of molten lead- viola! Weighted!
I should have thought of that in the first place!
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Old November 23, 2009, 11:15 AM   #50
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As far as saving time during matches so you can help with posse duties, I'd personally rather have one of my posse members not help with the posse at all then witness the 1 in a million instance of them accidentally dropping their cylinder just the right way to hit the cap, fire the ball and have it hit somebody.

I've thought about this myself. I have a Remmie with the recessed nipples. I'm very comfortable with swapping out my cylinders. I'm healthy, have good motor control, and I'm very confident that it's *extremely* unlikely that I would ever accidentally drop when I swap. I repeat, *extremely* unlikely.

However, I'm not willing to take that chance because I know miracles *do* happen. Sometimes miracle is that someone doesn't get hurt, but sometimes miracle is that someone *does* get hurt. I don't want to witness the latter kind of miracle.

If I was going to be coming under fire I'd certainly consider carrying a spare capped cylinder. The odds of me getting hit by someone who's firing a gun at me while I can't shoot back are probably higher than the odds of me shooting myself swapping out a cylinder. However, I'm not in a war, so I'd rather err on the side of safety.
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