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Old May 15, 2009, 04:32 PM   #1
hamradioshooter
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New to BP pistol - have some questions

I just purchased a .44 cal Remington 1858 BP revolver with 8" barrel from Cabela's that has a case hardened frame.

1. I see where fffG powder is listed for use, but I have a couple of pounds of 777 ffG powder, so can I use this instead of buying the fffG powder which is a finer grind?

2. I have some lead 200 grain semiwadcutters that are 452 diameter I was going to use for my .45 long colt, can I use these in the pistol? I did buy some round balls also.

3. I was given an old CVA single shot .45 cal pistol someone had and abused. I need to find the block (not sure what to call it) where the nipple fits in. Appearently about 10 years ago, it had a misfire, he tried to get the nipple out, but broke it off. He then rounded off the mounting screw to the block where the nipple fits in, so I will have to drill it out. I will then probably have to replace the block. The pistol appears to be loaded. I would then use this pistol to shoot the semiwadcutters in instead of the revolver.

Thanks for any assistance you "experts" are able to extend.
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Old May 15, 2009, 05:08 PM   #2
darkgael
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q's

Hamradio: Yes, you can use the 777. As long as you load by volume, you should have no issues.
I'm thinking that the .452 SWCs might work. The "problem" would be getting them to seat straight into the chamber of the revolver. A common chamber size is .451 but there is some variance from that. Bore sizes range up to .458 on some guns. Maybe?
I wonder if the alloy will be a problem. Bullets for BP firearms are usually pure lead; cast .45 SWC are usually not.
The part missing from the other gun is the drum. You can probably find a replacement from Dixie Gun Works or Track of the Wolf, to mention two sources. Dixie has them in their catalog. TotW has some also as well as a jig for installation. Search "powder drum" at TotW.
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Last edited by darkgael; May 15, 2009 at 05:19 PM.
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Old May 15, 2009, 05:47 PM   #3
MacGille
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Conical bullets were available to the old timers, but they shot round balls in c&b pistols. Also they didn't try to load the maximum powder charge but used restraint. I think there is a good reason for this and I don't advise anyone to overload their pistol. If you are afflicted with magnumitis then shoot modern pistols. A c&b pistol is made for round balls. pressures and forcing cones are for round balls. A number of the horror stories I have heard can be attributed to huge powder loads, bp substitutes (like 777) which are hotter than bp and have a bad history of failing to ignite reliably.

Use your pistol for the purpose for which it was intended and you will have fewer problems.
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Old May 15, 2009, 06:12 PM   #4
Shotgun Willy
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You can use 777 in your Remmy. Remember that 777 is about 15 percent stronger than other substitutes, and adjust your charge accordingly. I don't know what difference using 777 FFG as opposed to 777 FFFG, will make.

As has already been pointed out, C&B revolvers need pure lead for their balls/bullets. When the gun fires, the ball enters the forcing cone and is swaged down smaller. If your bullet's too hard, you'll be slamming the frame pretty hard, every time you fire. That'll stretch the frame and shorten the life of your gun, perhaps quite a bit.
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Old May 16, 2009, 12:18 AM   #5
Hawg
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Quote:
Conical bullets were available to the old timers, but they shot round balls in c&b pistols
Actually the military issued conicals for C&B revolvers.

Quote:
I have some lead 200 grain semiwadcutters that are 452 diameter I was going to use for my .45 long colt, can I use these in the pistol?
It's not advisable. As mentioned they're too hard and will be difficult to load straight. BP conicals have a beveled base to help keep them straight during loading.


Quote:
I would then use this pistol to shoot the semiwadcutters in instead of the revolver.
Wont work. Those bullets are too big for a single shot pistol unless you just want to drive them in with a hammer. You'll need .440 round balls with a .010-.015 patch
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Old May 16, 2009, 08:44 AM   #6
CaptainCrossman
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1. I see where fffG powder is listed for use, but I have a couple of pounds of 777 ffG powder, so can I use this instead of buying the fffG powder which is a finer grind?


yes you can use it, but will have less velocity- but since you already have it, shoot it up- next time buy 3X


2. I have some lead 200 grain semiwadcutters that are 452 diameter I was going to use for my .45 long colt, can I use these in the pistol? I did buy some round balls also.


yes, they will "work" in a 45 Colt- the 45 uses .451" jacketed, or .454" soft lead bullets by design. .452" will shoot, don't know how accurate they'll be, but the bullet will come out of the barrel without exploding the gun. Most likely they'll work ok, because wadcutters expand to fill rifling. But are jacketed or not, and just how hard are they ? The best way to load those, is bell the case heavily to accept the slug first, then press/crimp heavily. It'll load.



3. I was given an old CVA single shot .45 cal pistol someone had and abused. I need to find the block (not sure what to call it) where the nipple fits in. Appearently about 10 years ago, it had a misfire, he tried to get the nipple out, but broke it off. He then rounded off the mounting screw to the block where the nipple fits in, so I will have to drill it out. I will then probably have to replace the block. The pistol appears to be loaded. I would then use this pistol to shoot the semiwadcutters in instead of the revolver.



go to Dixie guns online, tell them what kind of gun you have, and they'll be able to get you the parts you need to fix that. On the single shot vs. wadcutters, Hawg hit the nail- the last one of those I shot, it actually took .440" round balls. Measure the bore size first.



Thanks for any assistance you "experts" are able to extend.

Last edited by CaptainCrossman; May 16, 2009 at 08:54 AM.
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Old May 16, 2009, 09:08 AM   #7
crstrode
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Hawg Haggen wrote:
Quote:
Wont work. Those bullets are too big for a single shot pistol unless you just want to drive them in with a hammer. You'll need .440 round balls with a .010-.015 patch
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Hamradioshooter ;
I think Hawg may have thought you were talking about a different type of pistol.

Edited 5-17 (Sorry Hawg- After re reading your post for about the fifth time - I finally got it. You are correct)

Your 1858 remington C&B revolver should not be loaded with a .440 ball and patch.

Best bullet to use is a round ball of .451 or .454 diameter without a patch. When you seat the ball into a chamber, do it slowly and you will see that as the ball goes in, a little bit of the lead will be shaved off the ball. If the ball is the right size, the shaving will form a ring.

As far as your box of semi-wadcutters - unless they are made of pure lead (very unlikely) they'll probably be too hard for Cap and ball revolver use.

Also - when using a conical bullet or something other than a round ball, the weight of the bullet is much greater, and the bearing surfaces are much larger. Therefore, the powder charge should be reduced significantly from what is normally used for a round ball.

Stick with pure lead round balls - you'll be happier. Your revolver will be happier.

73
Carl (WA7CS)


Last edited by crstrode; May 17, 2009 at 10:31 AM. Reason: Hawg Haggen is correct
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Old May 16, 2009, 05:13 PM   #8
hamradioshooter
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Thank you all for your advice.

I really appreciate all of the responses I received.

I will stick with the lead round balls for the revolver and not try the semiwadcutters. I am sure that those bullets are an alloy and not pure lead.

I will contact Dixie Gun works for the parts for the old CVA pistol to see if I can get the parts. I will have to measure the barrel for this pistol to see if it needs the .440 balls or if I can use the semiwadcutters.

Thank you again to all who have responded.

AA0OZ
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Old May 16, 2009, 07:45 PM   #9
mykeal
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crstrode - I'm sure Hawg understood the question the same way I did. The OP said:
Quote:
3. I was given an old CVA single shot .45 cal pistol ...I would then use this pistol to shoot the semiwadcutters in instead of the revolver.
It seems quite clear he was talking about the single shot CVA pistol, not the revolver, and that gun (the single shot CVA pistol) most certainly shoots .440 patched round balls. I don't think Hawg was confused at all, nor did he imply that the Remington revolver would shoot such rounds.
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Old May 16, 2009, 10:48 PM   #10
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I'm just wondering why anyone would want to shoot a ham radio . What have they ever done to deserve such an ignominious fate?
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Old May 17, 2009, 10:33 AM   #11
crstrode
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Mykeal wrote:

Quote:
crstrode - I'm sure Hawg understood the question the same way I did. The OP said:

Quote:
Quote:
3. I was given an old CVA single shot .45 cal pistol ...I would then use this pistol to shoot the semiwadcutters in instead of the revolver.
Quote:
It seems quite clear he was talking about the single shot CVA pistol, not the revolver, and that gun (the single shot CVA pistol) most certainly shoots .440 patched round balls. I don't think Hawg was confused at all, nor did he imply that the Remington revolver would shoot such rounds.

Yup I agree - Guess it was I that didn't read close enough. Anyway - the new guy is now on the right track.

My apologies to Hawg.

Carl
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Old May 17, 2009, 10:56 AM   #12
crstrode
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You can take my radio when you pry it from my cold dead fingers.

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Old May 17, 2009, 02:35 PM   #13
Hawg
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Quote:
My apologies to Hawg.
No apology necessary.
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Old May 17, 2009, 03:26 PM   #14
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Here's a post by someone who fired some .451 185 grain semi-wadcutters with 24 grains of fffg from an 1860 brass frame belly revolver. But maybe it would be easier to load them using a loading press.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost....2&postcount=26
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Old May 24, 2009, 03:09 PM   #15
hamradioshooter
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1st ham radio

Here is a picture from an old 1997 calendar about an early ham radio (I hope).

By the way, CVA wants the pistol returned for their service since they said the nipple barrel was bolster. Their charge is about $40 which includes return shipping and handling.

The 45 cal semiwadcutters went into the 45 long colt as originally planned. The dry lube made a mess with the reloading press and dies.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ham radio cartoon 2.jpg (230.4 KB, 19 views)
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Old May 24, 2009, 04:15 PM   #16
Wobble
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HamRadio:

Welcome.

I am also a ham (WA4GKQ) and a BP enthusiast (among other hobbies), which may seem a strange combination but with band conditions as bad as they are, it just makes you want to go out and shoot something.
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Old May 24, 2009, 05:51 PM   #17
kwhi43@kc.rr.com
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HamRadioShooter

Just got back from shooting down by you. Belong to a club. Give me a call
and we can discuss it. Send me a E-Mail and I will send you my phone no,
I live ib Gladstone, just a little across the river. Phil K0WHI.I am good on QRZ
E-Mail kwhi43@kc.rr.com 73
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Old May 24, 2009, 06:33 PM   #18
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I'd use the 2Fg granulation 777 for .45 Colt reloading since that Hodgdon calls out for with 777. Get either 3Fg 777 or 3Fg black powder for Cap-N-Ballin'.
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Old May 24, 2009, 07:23 PM   #19
Hawg
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Personally I can't tell any difference between FF & FFF in C&B or cartridges. Course I only use Pyrodex so that may make a difference but I doubt it.
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Old May 24, 2009, 11:16 PM   #20
ClemBert
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The 2Fg vs 3Fg is a 777 issue only in .45 Colt reloads only. Not aware of BP or Pyrodex issues with reloading .45 Colt in 2Fg or 3Fg.

For .45 Colt reloading use 2Fg 777.

For Cap-N-Ball shooting use 3Fg 777.
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Old May 25, 2009, 07:06 PM   #21
hamradioshooter
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FFG powder

Just to set the record straight, the FFG powder is for my 50 cal bp rifle, so that is why I have it around.

I use Win 231 smokeless powder in the 45 colt. This is not a pb pistol.
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Old May 29, 2009, 08:25 AM   #22
hamradioshooter
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Shooting fun

I tried the revolver for the 1st time the other day. Using 30 grains ffG 777 with a vegetable fiber over powder wad and the round balls, the pistol handled great. It was very accurate over a short distance and fun to shoot.

Thanks again for the help.
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Old May 29, 2009, 09:17 AM   #23
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I'm WB0ZDP (inactive). Got the license to use on a 10 meter QRP that I had built from surplus parts. I blew the power transistor 3 times, while tweaking a capacitor, and my order for a 4th one was refused with the note that there were no more available in the system. Couldn't afford a commercial unit. Lost interest.
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