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Old March 29, 2010, 12:44 PM   #1
usmcsokol06
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Blackpowder Newcomer

Hello, I recently purchased an Uberti 1858 New Army from a gun show. As far as ammunition I have pyrodex pellets, percussion caps, .454 lead balls, and the wads. I know how to shoot it, load it and dissasemble it- what I need to know is what should i have as far as any kind of accessories or cleaning kits, what are the best ways of maintenance, and any tips that would help me out. I would appreciate any help you all could give


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Old March 29, 2010, 01:28 PM   #2
zippy13
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Greetings usmcsokol06, welcome aboard and thanks for your service.

Every thing you need to know, and more, is in the sticky, at the top of the list, "So you want a cap and ball revolver?"
For clean-up, hot soapy water works wonders.
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Old March 29, 2010, 01:30 PM   #3
Doc Hoy
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Marine (From a Sailor who respects Marines to the "n"th degree)

Ear protection and if you don't wear glasses, eye protection.

Short cleaning kit will work. Just something to get the patches through it.

Nipple wrench

Two sizes of hollow ground screw driver

I Like to keep some brushes on hand like bottle brushes but smaller so they fit in the bore and in the chambers. Harbor Freight sells an assortment of nylon bristle brushes that will work. One of them is actually small enough to fit through the nipple hole.

Before I take the pistol apart I remove the cylinder and run some patches through the barrel and the chambers with some bore cleaner. Now it is ready for stage two cleaning.

I get a lot of pleasure from cleaning and maintaining the pistol so I dismantle it completely every time I shoot it. I take the nipples out to clean it. Careful not to slip out of the screw slots when taking it apart. Grips don't go into the water.

A lot of very smart guys on this forum think I am too finnicky with cleaning and I admit that they have some good reasons for feeling the way they do. I just got used to cleaning pistols this way and can't bring myself to change my ways.

Wash it up in a basin of hot water with dish soap. This is where the brushes come in handy.

When it is cleaned and rinsed I throw it in the oven at about 250 or 275 for about fifteen minutes to half an hour. Spread all of the parts out on a cookie sheet. Place the cylinder on the sheet with the ratchet end down.

When it is dry, I go to town with some spray or canned gun oil while I am putting back together. I polish up the brass with Brasso or Neverdull. When it is cleaned and lubed, I keep it in a heavy woolen sock.

You are using pellets so this won't be necessary right away, but, CVA makes a nice powder flask which I think has the model number 1400.

I don't own a holster because I don't do CAS and don't carry the pistols in a way that requires a holster. If they are not in my hand they are in the shooting box.

I am not a fan of cappers because I can get the caps to go onto the nipples with my fingers. I use a small piece of wood or plastic (in most cases it is the end of my target marker) to push the caps firmly onto the nipples.

Popsickle stick is used to put the bore lube in the chamber. For bore lube I use my own concoction made up of 50/50 Crisco and wax rings from under a toilet. (I don't use recycled rings because of the smell.) Others in the group will tell you that wax rings are made of a petroleum based wax. That is a no-no but it has never caused me enough trouble to change. (I only shoot about a hundred rounds in a day's shooting and I acknowledge that if I shot more, it would create problems at the range.) There are better recipes out there.

Yes....Do read the sticky at the top. It is great.
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Old March 29, 2010, 04:15 PM   #4
wogpotter
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I just got over the idea of throwing my '58Reminton in a sink full of hot, soapy water, so I just cant bring myself to bake it in the oven.

I bought a $10.00 "Vidal Sassoon" hair dryer at Wally-World & it does an excellent job of blow-drying the frame, cylinder, & even nipples if I hold them in an insulated leather glove first. (that puppy can get HOT!).

Test tube brushes (from the local lab supply store or college bookshop) are great for scrubbing inside things like chambers.

Toothpicks are excellent for starting or removing nipples! I only use the wrench to "crack the seal" or go past "finger tight" when re-installing & will prevent you ever stripping a thread. just shove them into the hole under the cap end & use fingers to twirl them.

Q-Tips are great lube, bore butter, or grease applicators.

Small used pump-spray bottles (not the big Windex ones the 3~5 Oz ones). are great for taking soapy water & alcohol to the range.

Fired cases make good temporary powder measures!
.380, 9mm, 38 Spl, .357 & 45 ACP are all within the range the pistol will take well. Mt .44 Rem loves a .357 case full of FFFg as an "accuracy" load with a felt wad & round ball. It comes out to a 268 Gr load by volume.

Small tins that once held throat lozenges & so on make great carry containers much less messy than a bunch of ziplocks.
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Old March 29, 2010, 05:53 PM   #5
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Ditch the pellets and use loose powder. Don't use petroleum based lubes in the bore or chambers.
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Old March 29, 2010, 10:01 PM   #6
joe sixgun
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All good advice. Definitely use loose powder, not pellets. As for lube, I use strait crisco. never had a real problem, just don't let it get too hot. Washes off very easily with soap and water.

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Old March 30, 2010, 03:47 AM   #7
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Crisco works very well until the temp gets too high then it gets runny. I use a mix of crisco and beeswax.
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Old March 30, 2010, 03:53 AM   #8
Doc Hoy
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Couple of responses

To Wogpotter,

I know you were speaking figuratively but I have to hasten to say I never use the sink. Too much danger of a screw going down the drain. Plastic basin is the way to go.

I also like the idea of a hair dryer. I just never tried it. It might work better than the oven. I would still spread the parts out on a cookie sheet being careful not to blow them all over the floor.

You and I are in complete agreement on how to deal with nipples. The standard nipple wrench won't take a lot of torque. To me, just a little more than finger tight is tight enough.

To Hawg and Sixgun,

I am gratified to read that you think that powder is desireable over pellets. I had thought of trying pellets. Now I don't have to.
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Old March 30, 2010, 08:25 AM   #9
wogpotter
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Quote:
I have to hasten to say I never use the sink.
Good point! Even speaking figuratively it's a dumb idea.:barf:
Besides my sink is usually full of unwashed beer glasses so it won't work anyway

The hair dryer trick is absolutely not a dumb idea BTW it rocks. I have even put the whole shebang into a big cardboard box & blasted the hot air in through the top with the flaps semi-closed to make a sort of dryer cabinet.
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Old March 30, 2010, 08:34 AM   #10
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WP,

Yes....I do like the hair dryer idea. I am going to try it the next time I clean up the pistols.
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Old March 30, 2010, 09:14 AM   #11
ClemBert
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Hoy
I get a lot of pleasure from cleaning and maintaining the pistol so I dismantle it completely every time I shoot it. I take the nipples out to clean it.
So tell us....how long do you figure it takes to clean your BP revolver using your method?

I'm pretty slow and deliberate about cleaning too but something tells me you are removing every last screw; Something I have yet to do but need to do at least every once in awhile.

p.s. Too bad you aren't in Orlando 'cause I'd probably "let you" clean and maintain my BP stuff.
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Old March 30, 2010, 10:56 AM   #12
Doc Hoy
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Clem,

It takes a long time. I generally take three or four pistols out each time I go shooting. I probably spend an hour and a half cleaning conservatively. I clean one, put it in the oven, then move the next one. By the time I am finished dismantling and cleaning number two, the one in the oven is dry.

Yes....Pretty much every screw comes out. (I don't take the barrel out of the frame on a Remington.)

When you think about it, complete disasembly of the pistol does not take that much longer than just pulling off the grips and field stripping it. Five or six additional screws. Sometimes the spring needs adjustment upon reassembly.

I think there are plenty of shooters out there who don't go through this effort. I think they probably have some pretty clean revolvers. I think they also have revolvers that have screws that are in better shape then most of mine because they don't disturb them as much as I do. (I don't care how hard I try, I still manage to slip once in a while.)
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Old March 30, 2010, 12:12 PM   #13
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USMC - I imagine that your heads a spinning with all of the good advice, etc. that you're getting so I won't add to it. I'll just say "Welcome to the sport and welcome to the forum"! Look forward to seeing your posts! Enjoy and safe shooting! Sincerely, bedbug
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Old March 30, 2010, 01:27 PM   #14
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Bedbug,

Yes he got some real good advice. He also got some advice from me.
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Old March 30, 2010, 08:56 PM   #15
joe sixgun
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You should be warned USMC, once you pull the trigger you may be hooked for life. Bad stuff this black magic. You won't be able to put it down.
I bought my '51 Navy as sort of a novelty, Now I rarely take a centerfire
out of the safe. Casting my own bullets, Soon will be making my own powder.
So watch out!
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Old April 1, 2010, 09:36 PM   #16
usmcsokol06
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Much Appreciated

Thanks, all for your great advice =)
As far as pellets vs powder, I hate to sound stupid but what would be the reason for this? Also, with the loose powder, do you need the wads? Great advice on cleaning it, after taking it to the range Sunday I pulled the grips off, took out the cylinder and soaked the latter two in hot soapy water, then used an ap brush from my m16 cleaning kit, used some of my brothers Hoppes. One new question that arose after having fired it, I cant be sure that its the percussion caps that were being used or not placing them properly on my part- she has a tendancy to not fire the first go around. Purchased some Remington caps to try after the CCI ones run out, so hopefully that solves the problem. Also, I cant help but be somewhat conciencious while placing the caps- how much force would you have to put on them to actually go off, and how much SHOULD I use? Im happy to report that she shoots quite well, and handles well. Tomorrow Ill have a replica US Civil War belt, bullet pouch and Remington holster By the way, random question; does anyone use replica Civil War weapons for anything other than target shooting? Just curious haha
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Old April 1, 2010, 09:38 PM   #17
usmcsokol06
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PS

You are very right, Six Gun- went to the range with 3 ARs, a Walther P22, Mosin Nagant, and a Yugo SKS but mostly shot my New Army. Theres just something about loading that thing that makes it so very satisfying to fire =)
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Old April 1, 2010, 10:21 PM   #18
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USMC, no wads are necessary IF your bullets shave a little lead ring when you seat them. Use wads if you like, though. Lube (Crisco, beeswax or whatever) in the front of the chambers keeps the fouling soft and allows more shooting before the cylinder gets so gunked with fouling that it won't turn (a quick wash and wipe fixes that but it seizes up a lot faster without the grease in my experience).
These things seem to work best with the propellant they were originally designed for (now there's a surprise!). I vote for real BP.
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Old April 2, 2010, 05:04 AM   #19
Hawg
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USMC fire a round of caps before you load it to clear the nipples and burn out any lube in the chambers. Also you can't put enough pressure on a percussion cap to set it off but but be wary if using a metal object to seat caps. I've put a tremendous amount of pressure on them with a piece of wood dowel and couldn't set one off.
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Old April 2, 2010, 05:13 AM   #20
Doc Hoy
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Seating Caps

Hawg +1,

I have a black Sharpie that I use to mark targets. It has an indentation on the top of it that fits over the cap pretty well. I don't worry about slipping off the cap when I am applying pressure. It is made of relatively soft plastic.

Works pretty good.
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Old April 2, 2010, 05:58 AM   #21
Delmar
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Quote:
USMC fire a round of caps before you load it to clear the nipples and burn out any lube in the chambers.
When I'm at home I use my air compressor to blow them out. I seat the nozzle against the open end of the chamber and feel for the air to come out the nipple. It doesn't take long to figure out which ones might need more attention.
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Old April 2, 2010, 06:01 AM   #22
Delmar
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Yes....I do like the hair dryer idea. I am going to try it the next time I clean up the pistols.
A hair dryer is fine, but I like my pistol dryer a lot.
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Old April 2, 2010, 07:06 AM   #23
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Hawg and Doc Hoy are correct, as usual. Modern percussion caps are impact sensitive, not force sensitive, so it's very, very unlikely you could set one off by pushing it on the nipple. 'Hammering' it on (that is, banging on it) would not be a good idea, however. Some folks lower the hammer gently on each cap and push it down to seat the cap (while pointing the gun downrange on a hot range, of course). Others use a wood or plastic stick, as has been mentioned already.

FTF's on the first strike, followed by a successful strike on the second attempt suggest caps that are too small in diameter. Unfortunately you can't tell the diameter by the cap designation; No. 11's are not necessarily bigger in diameter than No. 10's. Here's some data on some caps I measured a couple of years ago that might help:


I agree with surbat6 - wads are not NECESSARY. They are good insurance against chain fires and can provide effective lubrication to keep fouling soft (if you use lubed wads).
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Old April 2, 2010, 08:23 AM   #24
wogpotter
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I have the exact same pistol as you do, down to the nipples.
The Uberti nipples are kinda-sorta famous for not being too well made.
You can either replace them with a set of 12X28 for the pistols (The back end is shorter than for a musket), or polish the heck out of them.
T polished my originals by chucking the threads carefully with a bit of tape wrapped to protect in a power drill & buffing the heck out of them with scotchbrite pad strips.
The Ubertis work fine with CCI #10 caps now, but I also got a replacement set that takes #11 caps.
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Old April 2, 2010, 11:08 PM   #25
usmcsokol06
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Thanks for the advice on the nipple replacements Hawg, ill have to look into those. Got all the gear in today, cleaned up the holster, bullet pouch and belt with saddle soap and then worked them all with some neatsfoot oil. Ive left the revolver in the holster, gonna keep it in overnight. Thank you for the chart, mykeal, it confirms my suspicions on the remington caps being able to solve the problem. Also, now that I know that the percussion caps dont need to be handled ever so gingerly that will help as well.
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