The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The North Corral > Black Powder and Cowboy Action Shooting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old October 29, 2009, 02:30 AM   #1
bamaranger
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 9, 2009
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 4,351
black powder revolvers

I have always been curious about black powder BP /percussion revolvers.
Excluding the Ruger and genuine Colts re-release's, what importer, or are any of the import guns, worth it?

I would likely not shoot the thing to much, but I'm intrigued.

Also, for a fun gun, .36 or .44. cal? Thirty six seems logical, but the pistols are higher priced.

The 1860 Colt Army has always "talked" to me. Sleek, deadly looking, kind of a an antebellum Python.
bamaranger is offline  
Old October 29, 2009, 05:41 AM   #2
eastbank
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 7, 2008
Location: pa.
Posts: 1,056
i have been shooting bp since my first 58 cal zuoave bought in the eary 60,s. i too love the 1860 army, but love my ruger old army too. you may find the 1858 remington new army more to you liking and it like the 1860 colt have a histroy in our civil war and was used by both sides. eastbank.
eastbank is offline  
Old October 29, 2009, 06:36 AM   #3
2damnold4this
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 12, 2009
Location: Athens, Georgia
Posts: 1,319
I've got an 1851 navy replica in .36. I haven't shot it in some years but it was fun.
2damnold4this is offline  
Old October 29, 2009, 07:49 AM   #4
Doc Hoy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Posts: 4,573
As Ronald Reagan always said, "Well...."

I like the feel of the boom of a .44 over a .36. They are not that much more expensive to shoot and they make more smoke and noise.

For a person who is not going to shoot very much, there is little to recommend the extra expense for a steel frame revolver. I happen to be partial to the appearance of a steel frame pistol but that is purely personal.

I could look at a million photos of 1860(1) Colts and when someone showed me the million and first photo, I would still say, "Dang....That is a pretty pistol!" In my collection it is the most populous model. I like to think of the design as "Deadly elegance".

Just a superb looking pistol. But again this is purely personal and others will cite some very valid reasons to go to a Remington design.

(I know that "Smokin Gun" is just waiting for me to hit the "submit" button so he can wade in.)
__________________
Doc

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. Thomas Jefferson
Doc Hoy is offline  
Old October 29, 2009, 08:01 AM   #5
Doc Hoy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Posts: 4,573
Here ya go!

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=144908496

or

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=144542075

or

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=144727446
__________________
Doc

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. Thomas Jefferson
Doc Hoy is offline  
Old October 29, 2009, 08:50 AM   #6
Noz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 25, 2009
Posts: 643
If you like the 1860's looks but want a 36 cal then look to the 1861. 1851 grip (smaller than an 1860) same rounded barrel but in 36. Pretty gun.
Noz is offline  
Old October 29, 2009, 09:50 AM   #7
simonkenton
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 25, 2008
Posts: 891
Yeah, the import guns are great!
I have a Uberti and a Pietta and like both of them. The Uberti is better-finished.

Go ahead and get the replica Colt 1860 Army, what a classic.
simonkenton is offline  
Old October 29, 2009, 12:27 PM   #8
CraigC
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 28, 2001
Location: West Tennessee
Posts: 4,300
Hard to beat a good 1860! I'm particularly enamored with the cartridge conversions on that model.
CraigC is offline  
Old October 29, 2009, 01:43 PM   #9
Smokin_Gun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 4, 2005
Location: Mojave Desert, CA
Posts: 1,195
Quote:
(I know that "Smokin Gun" is just waiting for me to hit the "submit" button so he can wade in.)
Well Doc I guess I'm slippin' should been here sooner :O)
I will say that the 1860 Army is the sleekest and one of the most beautiful revolvers there is ... but for me they don't shine like the 1858 NMA or the 1861 Old Army Remington Revs.
I'm more taken to the .44 caliber than the .36's but I do like um both and they both do the job...
__________________
"I Smoke Black Powder" "Favor an 1858 Remington"
SGT. Smokin' Gun, Mosby's Rangers 43rd Virginia Cavalry C.S.A.
SASS# 19634, ...
Admin:http://blackpowdersmoke.com/oldcoots/index.php
Smokin_Gun is offline  
Old October 29, 2009, 01:59 PM   #10
robhof
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 16, 2007
Posts: 701
robhof

I've got the Ruger old Army, not peroid correct, but strongest of the B/p revolvers and a 1849 Pocket dragoon clone that's 32 cal and a real cheap shooter, only takes 12gr of powder and a tiney round ball or conical.
robhof is offline  
Old October 29, 2009, 07:39 PM   #11
Hawg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 11,718
Quote:
The Uberti is better-finished.
Dunno bout that and the grips aren't orange.

Hawg is offline  
Old October 30, 2009, 01:54 AM   #12
bamaranger
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 9, 2009
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 4,351
thanks guys

Appreciate all the responses. Sorry about posting thread on wrong forum.

When I was a kid, my folks bought me a "gun book" that had a sketch of a colt 1860 w/ ivory grips, hanging on a nail on a board wall. Walked in a shop the other day and there was the book, new. bought it (don't ask). "The How and Why Wonder book of guns" And there was that picture, new and glossy. (NOT nude, c'mon guys) That's what started this thread.
bamaranger is offline  
Old October 30, 2009, 05:38 AM   #13
Doc Hoy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Posts: 4,573
Don't feel bad, Bama

You don't have to apologize for a thread that gets more than ten posts in the first twelve hours. I like reading about this stuff and I like talking about this stuff. Thanks for the post.
__________________
Doc

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. Thomas Jefferson
Doc Hoy is offline  
Old October 30, 2009, 07:02 AM   #14
toolslinger
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 30, 2009
Posts: 102
If you can, handle the guns before you buy. I like the design of the '58 Remington .You can change the cylinders easily and they detail strip into fewer parts. The frame is arguably stronger than a Colt. I can't even hardly stand to hold a Remmy though. I have big hands and the trigger guard just beats the crap out of my second finger. The 1860 Colt has a long sweep to the grip which leaves plenty o room for my mitts and my pinky don't hang off.
toolslinger is offline  
Old November 1, 2009, 01:48 AM   #15
Gatofeo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 1, 2004
Location: Remote Utah desert
Posts: 222
The Colts are better balanced than the Remingtons. This balance makes the Colts point much better, for instinctive shooting.
The Remingtons are stronger, but the point is pretty much moot because both Colt and Remington are designed for black powder pressures.
The Remington's sights are better. The Colt's sights are just a notch in the hammer and a brass bead on the muzzle -- and that brass bead glows indistinctly in sunshine.
I have both Remington and Colt deisgns. For point shooting and pure fun, I like my Colt 1851 Navy 2nd generation.
For accuracy, I take my Uberti-made Remington Army in .44 caliber.
I like my Uberti-made 1860 Colt and its .44 caliber for point shooting with a big caliber.
For beginners, I suggest the .44 caliber, so you can buy .454 or .457 inch balls instead of the oft-recommended .451 inch balls. The larger balls create a better seal in the chamber, and offer a wider driving band for the rifling to grip, enhancing accuracy.
If .380 inch balls were as available as .454 and .457 inch balls, I'd probably recommend an 1851 Navy (for the history) or an 1861 Navy (for the sleekness and pointability).
But neither Speer nor Hornady, the two biggest manufacturers of lead balls, offer .36-caliber balls other than .375 inch. I find this .375 inch too small for a good seal or accuracy.
Speer and Hornady make balls of .451, 454 and .457 inch.
So, I'm inclined to suggest theh .44 caliber.
The Colts shoot high at 25 yards, and about dead-on at 80 to 100 yards.
So, if you plan to knock off tin cans in the local gravel pit at 15 to 25 yards, you'll need to aim well below them. This can be aggravating.
Most Remington replicas today are made with sights that are slightly higher than they need to be. This causes the ball to strike below the point of aim.
You can "adjust" the Colt sights a bit by filing a slightly deeper notch in the hammer nose.
If the Remington shoots low, merely file down the front sight a bit until the sight picture matches what you want to see at 25 yards or so.
But the sights should NOT be touched until you find the most accurate load!
Find an accurate load first, then modify the sights to fit that load if need be.
Or use the revolvers as-is, which is what most of the old-timers did.
Very few original Colts and Remingtons have come down to us with sights that were altered. The old-timers just learned where they shot at each range, and compensated. At close range, they aimed low with the Colts.
I believe that the original Remingtons pretty much shot dead-on at 50 yards. Comparing my Uberti-made Remington with an original a friend owned, we noticed that the Uberti had a much taller front sight.

If I were pressed to suggest the best cap and ball revolver for a beginner, it would be:

Uberti made
Remington Army
.44 caliber
stainless steel
Standard sights, not target adjustable

The proper balls for .44-caliber are more readily available. Uberti makes some of the best cap and ball revolvers found today. Ubertis also have slightly deeper rifling than Pietta, which helps them shrug off powder fouling longer and aids accuracy.
Stainless steel is more forgiving. Most newcomers to the sport put off cleaning their revolver and it rusts. Stainless steel will eventually rust, but it takes a while.
Standard sights? You're probably getting into this hobby because of the romantic history. So why do you need modern, adjustable sights? Enjoy the revolver as it was designed. Others may disagree, believing that adjustable sights are best, but I find them clunky-looking on a cap and ball.
The Ruger Old Army is probably the finest cap and ball revolver made. If you're not into history, it's a great revolver.
I shoot mine for history's sake, which is why none of my cap and balls have adjustable sights. Nor do I own a Ruger. It's a personal choice, not an indictment.

Whatever you get, don't ever forget that millions of lives have been snuffed out by cap and ball revolvers. They are not toys! They will kill as quickly as any modern gun, and are just as dangerous in irresponsible hands.
A lead ball at 1,000 feet per second is not to be taken lightly.
__________________
"And lo, did I see an ugly cat. Smoke. Brimstone. Holes in parchment. And this ugly cat was much amused." --- The Prophesies of Gatodamus (1503 - 1566)
Gatofeo is offline  
Old November 1, 2009, 02:32 AM   #16
bamaranger
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 9, 2009
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 4,351
still here

I've handled a buddy's 1858 Rem. It handled OK, but the look just didn't appeal to me. My buddy hates the look of the Colts, so its a personal thing. I have not handled a Colt of any model.

The advice on ball dia makes good sense I suppose I would have to shoot alot of .36 to make much savings against a .44

I've read two articles one by Hacker, very old, 1970's, and another by .......Sanow, more recently, about percussion revolvers. Hacker shot cylinders full of balls for time and accuracy./ Sanow shot into ballistic gelatin and made comparisons to modern loads. Very interesting.
The .44 ruled. But, all I'll wack with mine is cans. And I'll put fake ivory, or similar grips on it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hacker claimed the Colts, open topped as they were, fouled and cap-jammed less than the topstrapped Rem's.
bamaranger is offline  
Old November 1, 2009, 07:24 AM   #17
madcratebuilder
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 2, 2007
Location: Northern Orygun
Posts: 4,868
Quote:
Hacker claimed the Colts, open topped as they were, fouled and cap-jammed less than the topstrapped Rem's.
I'm sure there are many that well challenge that. My personal observation is open tops have more cap related issues and top strap models have more fouling issues, particularly around the cylinder pin and forcing cone area.

Either style can be tuned to be very reliable. The best approach is to own several of both Colts and Remingtons.

If you prefer the Colt style then I would get a 51 Navy steel frame revolver. Cabela's has their 51 on sale often and is well made.
madcratebuilder is offline  
Old November 1, 2009, 04:00 PM   #18
Bigbadgun
Junior Member
 
Join Date: February 14, 2008
Posts: 9
gotta jump in

I have several of both Colt models and Remingtons.
From .31 cal up to the .44s love everyone of my babies.
My newest is the 1860 what a sexy gun. But the same can be said about the 51 and also the remmies. Go find somewhere that has both and fondle as many as you can and make your choice like that.
__________________
The website has changed but the leather has not.
www.bbgcustomleather.com
"Are you gonna pull those pistols or whistle dixie."
"When guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns."
Bigbadgun is offline  
Old November 2, 2009, 01:54 AM   #19
Model-P
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 24, 2009
Posts: 727
Quote:
The Remington's sights are better. The Colt's sights are just a notch in the hammer and a brass bead on the muzzle -- and that brass bead glows indistinctly in sunshine.
This is very true. However, the Colt 1860 has 12% more sight radius than the Remington 1858 (10 3/8" vs. 9 1/4"). This is a very good thing in favor of the Colt, as long as the hammer has no loose side play.

Quote:
The Colts shoot high at 25 yards, and about dead-on at 80 to 100 yards.
So, if you plan to knock off tin cans in the local gravel pit at 15 to 25 yards, you'll need to aim well below them. This can be aggravating. You can "adjust" the Colt sights a bit by filing a slightly deeper notch in the hammer nose.
Yep. My Pietta 1860 shot about 9" high at 50 yards. However, filing the rear sight notch deeper will not change the point of impact. Since the top of the front sight is held even with the top of the rear sight (top of the hammer nose in this case), the top of the rear sight, not the notch itself, needs to be lowered. Doing the math told me I had to lower the top of the hammer by .052" to shoot to point of aim at 50 yards. Worked like a charm, and, yes, I did have to also deepen the notch again in order to have a notch left to see. Now it shoots dead-on at 50 yards, and 2-3" high at 25 yards. By the way, don't bother to listen to anyone who says the imported parts are still "soft". I ruined my long-time favorite file on this hammer!



What was a real eye-opener for me was to place the 1860 up-side-down, cocked, on a table so the hammer and front sight rested on the table. Looking at the axis of the bore in relation to the sight plane, you SWEAR the thing would shoot really low at any range. It was then that I really realized just how much the muzzle jumps before the bullet even leaves the muzzle! Check it out for yourself.



Quote:
Or use the revolvers as-is, which is what most of the old-timers did.
Very few original Colts and Remingtons have come down to us with sights that were altered. The old-timers just learned where they shot at each range, and compensated.
Sometimes I wonder if the originals really shot like the reproductions do. I tend to think that maybe the original manufacturers spent alot more effort in making sure each individual arm was properly regulated before leaving the factory. I don't really know this for sure, though.

Quote:
If I were pressed to suggest the best cap and ball revolver for a beginner, it would be:

Uberti made
Remington Army
.44 caliber
stainless steel
Standard sights, not target adjustable
Bingo! My very first gun. My brother helped pay for this as my grade school graduation present in 1978. Got it from EMF, I believe. I remember seeing the ads in all the gun magazines at the time. I think the cased set ran $180-200? even back then.


Last edited by Model-P; November 2, 2009 at 02:24 AM.
Model-P is offline  
Old November 2, 2009, 06:43 AM   #20
mykeal
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 8, 2006
Location: Northern Michigan
Posts: 2,758
Quote:
Since the top of the front sight is held even with the top of the rear sight (top of the hammer nose in this case), the top of the rear sight, not the notch itself, needs to be lowered.
If the need is to lower the rear sight,
why would one deliberately hold high on the rear sight?
Why wouldn't one simply hold the top of the front sight with the bottom of the notch,
and then file the notch deeper if the need to hold even lower was apparent?
mykeal is offline  
Old November 2, 2009, 07:49 AM   #21
Doc Hoy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Posts: 4,573
Help me out on this one.

We have come to accept the shooting properties of these pistols as part of cap and ball dogma. Ask anyone who has shot more than five rounds from most of the Colt revolver clones and they all say the same thing.

But that does not mean it is right. I have read that the reason that Colts shoot high at 25 yards is that they were designed by Colt to be accurate at 75 yards, implying a deliberate decision on the part of the Colt folks. I have never shot an original, nor have I read actual accounts of original Colt pointing characteristics, so I don't know, but it sure sounds like famous last words.

Colt designer: "I meant to do that."

We would all feel better if the Colts would consistently shoot where you point them.

But alas, they don't.

We shoot and shoot and shoot, to become more familair with the right bullet size, the right powder load, the right cap, even the right lubricant, Why would we not shoot even more to become familiar with the pointing qualities?

I have also never had the opportunity to examine slow motion videos of the firing of a Colt revolver in comparison with a Remington. I would like to compare the two videos (if they exist) by synchronizing the discharge sequence. I would then like to look at the position of the muzzle at the moment when the bullet leaves the muzzle. I wonder if the muzzle of the Colt is consistently higher than the muzzle of the Remington. I do acknowledge that nine to twelve inches at 25 yards would come from a very small, perhaps undetectable, difference. By trig it is .76 degrees. Darned hard to see.

And of course I could be on the wrong track. (Wouldn't be the first time.)
__________________
Doc

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. Thomas Jefferson
Doc Hoy is offline  
Old November 2, 2009, 02:03 PM   #22
Model-P
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 24, 2009
Posts: 727
Quote:
If the need is to lower the rear sight,
why would one deliberately hold high on the rear sight?
Why wouldn't one simply hold the top of the front sight with the bottom of the notch,
and then file the notch deeper if the need to hold even lower was apparent?
Sure, I suppose one could do that, and it would work a little better than just holding under on the target. But it's kind of a backwards way to do it. When one speaks of adjusting sights to shoot to point of aim, he is usually referring to adjusting the sights to shoot to point of aim while using a proper sight picture. That means that the top of the front sight is held flush to the top of the rear sight. Sorry if I wasn't clear.

Quote:
I have read that the reason that Colts shoot high at 25 yards is that they were designed by Colt to be accurate at 75 yards
I thought I had read 50 yards, but since I can't remember where I read it, you may be correct. 75 yards does seem like an odd number though.
Model-P is offline  
Old November 3, 2009, 12:10 AM   #23
arcticap
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 15, 2005
Location: Central Connecticut
Posts: 2,973
I don't think that it's an odd range considering the maximum powder charge, effective range and accuracy of the revolver. Like most military weapons, it was designed to be able to hit a man in the torso by aiming somewhere in the middle of his body and not as a precision target pistol to shoot paper targets with at modern shooting range distances.

Last edited by arcticap; November 3, 2009 at 12:15 AM.
arcticap is offline  
Old November 3, 2009, 12:19 PM   #24
kflach
Registration in progress
 
Join Date: July 15, 2009
Location: DFW, Texas
Posts: 99
To be honest, if I was watching a bunch of enemy soldiers charging me I'd rather be able to start shooting at them (with a reasonable confidence of hitting them) at 75 yards rather than a 50 yards.
kflach is offline  
Old November 3, 2009, 09:28 PM   #25
Hardy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 6, 2009
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 634
Doc,

I like the 1861 navy 36. It looks like the 1860 colt--but it is easier to load, a little lighter& amo costs less and w/22 to 25 grains of Jim Shockley--you realize why WB Hickock used 36 navy's.


Go back to my BP store ideas and check out that original pocket colt. I'm offering it to you guys-I mean y'all, at a great price. It is a collectible w all serial #'s matching and all parts authenic--and still works--but I wouldn't advise shootin it. It's a 750 to 950 gun. 670 will buy it now
Twin
Hardy is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:03 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.14125 seconds with 7 queries