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Old November 2, 2009, 03:56 PM   #1
SigP6Carry
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BP for HD?

This is a question out of curiosity, more so than asking for advice or to stir the pot. But I was wondering if anybody uses a BP gun for home defense. I ask because I recently rigged up the holster from the Halloween costume to by bed and found that my makes a good "night stand" holster. And got to thinking: is BP a viable home defense tool? And does anybody use it?

What are your thoughts? I personally think I'd trust a .451 caliber lead ball fired at 10 feet to stop an assailant more than a 9mm FMJ or JHP or a .22LR hollowpoint. Interesting thoughts on this one.
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Old November 2, 2009, 04:06 PM   #2
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Yes says me ... I use um... do a search also there are several posts on BP for HD...
Also BP Carts do function better in them conversions also, but C&B has guarded me for many years... jus' a footnote.
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Old November 2, 2009, 04:09 PM   #3
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i assume you're talking about a c&b pistol?
which if that's the case, no i don't think it's a good idea to trust something like that.
you would have to leave the thing capped at all times and that's just not totally cool.

now if you're talking about a bp cartridge gun. then that's a different story. nothing wrong with that at all.
i know my saa clone spits out 250grns of lead at 850ft/sec. was stopping then no doubt it would work just well today.
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Old November 2, 2009, 04:18 PM   #4
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Oh, I meant a C&B pistol, my bad. Forgot to differentiate
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Old November 2, 2009, 04:21 PM   #5
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Yes I keep two .44 Cal C&B Revs loaded for home defence ... and this Old coot is still usin' um...
Suggestion make at least one or more a Remington NMA .44 :O)
Know yer Revs, know they'll work, know how to shoot um... or don't use any and get a Katana ...
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Old November 2, 2009, 04:48 PM   #6
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I'm pretty sure I'd end up killing myself with a Katana. But, why is keeping a BP Revolver capped a bad idea? You could keep one chamber unloaded and hammer down on that one or leave it in half cock with 6 chambers. Or do the old "trick it into setting down between nipples" move.
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Old November 2, 2009, 04:58 PM   #7
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Ask your self a few questions before you consider useing cap & ball for home defence .
Do you have any problems at the range with your CB guns ?
Have you ever fired a CB gun in the dark ? Think huge flash , blinding for you and Mr. Joe bad guy .
Wild Bill fired and reloaded his pistols every morning , why because his life was dependant upon them how much do you value your life and the lives of your love ones ?
Do you shoot CB pistols often enough to stay profecent with them ?
Still want to take on Mr Joe Thug in the middle of the night after being woke from a sound sleep ?
Good Luck
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Old November 2, 2009, 07:21 PM   #8
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A .451 black powder round at best is probably comparable to a modern 9mm round given the stats, but if you want the bigger is better concept, then why not .45 acp or .45 Colt?
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Old November 2, 2009, 07:55 PM   #9
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the average .44 cal c&b takes at best about 35grns of black powder, be it 2f or 3f. the 3f giving higher pressures, which equals a muzzle vel of about 900 fps and an energy of about 260 ft/lbs.
if you want 9mm like properties, you'll need a colt walker or something in a dragoon, with a max powder load of about 55 grns of 3f blackpowder. which gives around 1200/fps and 450 ft/lbs.

the killing power of these guns is not really in question, as history has shown many have gone to the grave due to them.

any gun can fail, but these have a few extras in the equation.
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Old November 2, 2009, 07:55 PM   #10
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A bp revolver is as viable a home defense weapon as a cartridge revolver. However, there are modern centerfire cartridges that are superior to any cap and ball black powder load, and for that matter any black powder cartridge load. I don't believe, for instance, that there is any c&b load or bpc load that can match a .357 Gold Dot for stopping power.

So, why would anyone deprive themselves of that extra capability?

On the other hand, this makes no sense at all:
Quote:
you would have to leave the thing capped at all times and that's just not totally cool.
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Old November 2, 2009, 07:58 PM   #11
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cost, comfortability, convenience and coolness; the four 'c's of guns. But, like I said, it's more out of curiosity. I've got a C&P .44, a 9mm and a .22, so it's just a little bit of fun debate and is interesting to discuss.
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Old November 2, 2009, 08:02 PM   #12
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Might catch your curtains or carpet on fire.. Through the smoke, you won't be able to tell if he's hit or not, so keep on shooting and hope you don't gag to death with him.

I would use a C&B if that's all I had. But I wouldn't pick that over a modern gun (of sufficient caliber).
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Old November 2, 2009, 08:42 PM   #13
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if you can control the storage situation for your bp revolver, then it will work fine as a self defense weapon. Many many men and women kept using percussion revolvers well after the newfangled metalic cartridge pistols were the only thing in production.
1. proper seal of the percussion cap is essential. if it seals well it helps keep moisture from killing any powder in the flash channel.
2. chambers, must be very very clean and free of anything sticky or goey. For example clean the cylinder and chambers and nipples with nitro solvent. hoppes 9 actually works well in my inline, but i really put a light layer in the barrel and then run a few clean patches through on a bristle brush to get it CLEAN. however the nipple will need a microscopic amount of grease on the thread to keep it from rusting in the cylinder threads.

3. bullet lubrication, if you need to use a lubricated conical bullet do not use lubricant under the projectile, no grease cookies. If you want good results simply get a piece of commercially avaliable bullet lube for bp cartridge shooting. just lube the lube rings on the conical and your good to go.
if you use round ball, put lubricant on top of it. Do not use homemade grease blends that run at room temp. Use heavy duty beeswax here.

That will help you get things going. it really is best to have a pair for this set up. the muzzle blast shouldnt be any worse then shooting a 357 or 44 magnum with normal smokeless powder in the dark.
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Old November 2, 2009, 09:10 PM   #14
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Mykeal & Smokin_Gun both know my thoughts on this subject & I respect both of their opinions but here is mine again to you.

Yes you can use a C&B Revolver as a S/D H/D weapon, I do so my self but there are a few things to think of before you do make that decision.

(1) Smokin_Gun touched a little on this, Know your Gun!
Any weapon intended to be used as a S/D H/D weapon, the person should not only practice with it on a normal basis to be proficient with it but also know it's limitations, how to load it for the best reliability, & to maintain it resonably for that reliability.

(2) Have a good location to keep it in!
Keeping a gun in a holster next to the bed is not the best ideas, now if you used a secure box or something that can be accessed easily but secure would be a better option.

(3) Only load 5 Shots!
Any C&B revolver no matter which one you have has no real safety by comparison to todays firearms so keeping the hammer on an empty chamber while in your house is just a safty suggestion, if you need more than 5 shots to get rid of some B/G then you ned more than a pistol son because you are in a WAR.

Now keeping a C&B Revolver loaded for an extended time isn't that big of a deal, I've once kept my Pietta 1860 Army loaded for nearly a year because I didn't have time to go the the range & even once had it in the rain while checking traps during that time but when I did take to the range she fired reliably & with just as much punch as though I had loaded it that day, it's just in knowing how to load them for reliability in all weather.
Trust me, even though story books state that J.B. Hickcock shot his 51' Navies off each day, I'm willing to bet he didn't really do it every day & back then those boys knew their weapons as another part of them selves & kept them loaded more than shot them.

A 142gr. Ball is a formidable projectile against a man especially under the normal distances you'd encounter in a H/D situation but the great thing is that they do loose a lot of energy really quick so if you hit a wall the possibility of an inocent getting hurt on the other side is less.

Now if any one want's I'll look for my loading procedure that I use that keeps my Muzzle Loaders just as weather resistant as a modern cartridge firearm, I've posted it in here as well as othr forums before..

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Old November 2, 2009, 09:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
On the other hand, this makes no sense at all
there would be two nipples, over two charged cylinders, with two exposed caps.
caps that could fall off, or worse catch an inopportune bump or knock.
depending on the model gun, it might only be one cylinder, but still........

these things are not regulated by drop tests.

and i did'nt even think about the shooting black powder in a house deal. jeeze you might miss the goblin, he runs off and you burn your house down.
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Old November 2, 2009, 10:15 PM   #16
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I concidered the Flash Bang tactic admirable to the extent of not havn' to kill someone in my house with the first round ifin I din't have to.(one shot should send um runnin' into the Sheriff's grip)
Anyone not trained in flashbang tactics ...ya have to close yer eyes before sqeezin' one off... Try nightfire some time at the Range is a must do and see.
Anyway that's only if a badguy gets in my house let alone steps into my driveway or walks by my house a stranger.
My Alarm System
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Old November 3, 2009, 07:05 AM   #17
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I have kept this pretty Uberti Cattleman loaded for 3 years. I went to fire it, all five cylinders fired fine, full power. Thirty grains of fffg Goex and CCI caps, round ball. No lube or patch. No beeswax on the ball, or on the cap.
This is in the humid NC mountains. I keep the pistol in a drawer.
I have kept my Pietta 1860 Colt loaded for 2 years, same deal, all five cylinders fired fine.
I posted a story on this last summer, you may be able to search for it.

Gatofeo had a sticky posted a while back, talking about life in Montana a hundred years ago. There were lots of cartridge guns around, but a lot of the old timers still used the cap and ball pistols. They said that you couldn't beat a round ball from a cap and ball pistol when it came to killing a man, and these were Civil War cavalry veterans who knew all about killing.

So hell, yes you can use a cap and ball pistol for home defense.
The smoke cloud is no drawback, it is your big advantage. The bad guy has no idea that the room will fill with smoke.
After the first shot, you drop to the floor, and shoot the guy in the legs, under the smoke cloud.
That is, if you missed the first time, because with torso hit the bad guy will be on the floor, only he won't be shooting, he will be on the floor dying.
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Old November 3, 2009, 07:26 AM   #18
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cost, comfortability, convenience and coolness;
Wow, none of those have anything to do with security, reliability, or effectiveness.

You are asking about this for reasons of security are you not?
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Old November 3, 2009, 07:31 AM   #19
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HD

Like that Cattleman. Like the ROA also.
I keep a 14 ga./14" barrel blunderbuss loaded with a healthy (or maybe unhealthy) charge of 00 buckshot. It's not the only weapon available but it's ready in any case.
I have a twenty gauge Howdah pistol that I've been considering for HD. I will load both barrels with 0 buckshot..should be fairly substantial with two drams of powder.

Quote:
Keeping a gun in a holster next to the bed is not the best idea
Hmmm. Why not? Not arguing, just want another opinion. I keep a holstered handgun hanging on the bedpost. It's right where I reach out. Any intruder has to get past two dogs without disturbing them before finding me, so I feel that it is secure.
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Old November 3, 2009, 08:08 AM   #20
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Looks like some folks don`t watch the news , guys this is 2009
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Old November 3, 2009, 08:37 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Springfield Kid
Looks like some folks don`t watch the news , guys this is 2009
What's that supposed to mean?

If you are referring to just simply keeping a C&B Revolver loaded & at the ready as your only H/D weapon, then think again.
The OP stated that he already has a 9mm & a .22 this in my thoughts would be in addition to what he already had.
Me I have 2 .45ACP's, a 12ga., & a .45-70 in addition to my C&B revolvers & other Muzzleloaders as I'm sure others here have as well.

Please explain........
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Old November 3, 2009, 10:03 AM   #22
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I`ll try to explain my 2009 way of thinking about home defence .
I have a friend that thought a black powder hawken rifle was good enough for home defence , he lives rual area , no high crime district .
One Sat. around 9:30 in the evening he and his 2 children and wife were home watching the TV , his front door was kicked in and 3 guys armed with AK47`s rushed in and, he ran for his trusty Hawken which was behind his bedroom door .
He fired his Hawken but it missed its mark , he was shot once and left for dead .
When the smoke cleared , he had lost his wife and both his children .
Why did this happen ? His sister in law told him his wife had a drug problem she was hidding from him , she owed a drug dealer 10,000 and this was the way they collect .
I see nothing cool about defending ones self against the weapons of this day and time with anything black powder .
The bad guys may be better armed than you think , I suppose you can say this could never happen to you . Like I said Good Luck !
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Old November 3, 2009, 10:42 AM   #23
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Point taken but in a situation like that, no mere handgun no matter what it was "that is legal for the ordinary citizen to have" would have been sufficient of a defence firearm & hence my comment that if you need more than 5 shots from a handgun to take care of a B/G then you are under armed because you in a WAR.

You have to admit to yourself though, a situation like that is not the norm & in most situations a pump shotgun w/3-6 shots, semi auto pistol w/6+ shots or a revolver w/5-6 shots "be it a C&B or modern" is usually all that is needed to take care of a home invasion cituation if the home owner got to their weapon with enough time to make a stand.

Some one like me does just as much shooting with his C&B revolvers as he does his modern firearms & knows them very well can be a formidable oponent if that was by chance the weapon that was at hand, I wouldn't suggest any one to just rely on a C&B revolver as their only H/D firearm but have it at the ready as a second possible weapon to use unless this is all they have at the time.
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Old November 3, 2009, 10:54 AM   #24
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Quote:
There were lots of cartridge guns around, but a lot of the old timers still used the cap and ball pistols. They said that you couldn't beat a round ball from a cap and ball pistol when it came to killing a man, and these were Civil War cavalry veterans who knew all about killing.
They said nothing was better because they were fixed in their ways, stuck in their comfort zone of what was appropriate, unwilling to move on with better technology.

And a cap and ball during the Civil War was considered some of the best technology of the day, no doubt, but times have moved on and better guns and ammunition with better slugs are available.

Quote:
hence my comment that if you need more than 5 shots from a handgun to take care of a B/G then you are under armed because you in a WAR.
No, you are just in a really good fight. After all, you may have to deal with more than one bad guy. With an average bad guy hit rate of 20-40%, shooting him once or twice with 5 shots may not be enough.
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Old November 3, 2009, 10:55 AM   #25
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Hawken = one shot

1860 Colt Army = five shots

The pistol is five times better.
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