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Old August 11, 2010, 09:50 AM   #51
denster
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I have Brownell's set I bought years ago. I don't know that they sell the complete set anymore. Midway has the best price and they are all made by the same manufacturor. When I mentioned bushing size I had my mind on the 36 cal as that is what I am working on this morning and that requires you make a bushing. You have a 44 which is actually a 45 so the 45 bushing will be the one you want. If you are doing it yourself get the 11 degree cutter and the 11 degree polishing lap. This is generally considered optimal for lead bullets and since Pietta and Ubertti use a somewhat more abrupt angle it works well for realigning. Just be careful not to over do it as you do not want the max diameter to be more than .452 and it's a good idea to mark your cutter at this diameter. If the gunsmith is doing it for you he should know this allready.
Most of the time I don't recut the forcing cone unless it is misaligned or they forgot it entirely. You don't see that anymore on newer guns but early Pietta's and ASM it wasn't unusual. In those cases a marked increase in accuracy resulted.
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Old August 11, 2010, 12:38 PM   #52
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Great info! Thanks Denster.
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Old August 15, 2010, 10:12 AM   #53
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I'd say one of the most important things you load besides the powder and ball is the "lubed wad". The fouling can affect accuracy within a "six shot string" and the lubed wad helps affect the accuract in a positive way. I figure without the lubed wad on the powder you're not going to get the best from the gun. The lube on the wad needs to be stiff so it doesn't mix with the powder on ball compression and firing. Equal amounts of bees wax and paraffine wax and a lube(crisco,lard,olive oil) works fer me.
I'd say getting the ball to the top of the chamber is a good idea but I dislike the corn meal and the extra hassel measuring it. The "ball at the top of the chamber" is a good idea because the chambers of the italian and other cap&ballers are tapered and drilled irregular. I see it when I ream and find "black" left wherte the reamer didn't touch the side walls of the chamber. The chambers look fine because they are black but run a reamer in there piloted by a mill machine and you see the irregularities. Anyway since the chambers are tapered and actually undersize for the barrels grooves it's a good idea to get the ball to the top of the chamber. it's a better idea ,I thunk, to ream the chambers to at least equal with the barrels groove diameter. I like .001's over the groove diameter for my chambers shooting balls.
I've always found that a good powder is really important in a load chain. That's ovvious.: I am under the understanding that nothing beats "The Holy Black" if the shooter uses it right. That means dealing with the fouling(lube pills on the powder)and loading correctly....no over compressed loads,the right granulation ect.ect.
I'd recommend trying some of the real powder if you can get it.
Well.....if the gun shoots 4 inch groups at fifty yards with it's undersized chambers(all the Italian guns but a few have under sized chambers) with the load mentioned in the beginning of this thread I'd say that's not bad and may be able to be improved too. That would be nice.
I use the 45gr. FFFg Holy Black in my old Walker with chambers reamed to a good size for the barrel(barrel is .464 groove diameter) and the lube pills on the powder(no separater between the powder and the pill so the powder activates the pill to spread luby stuff ahead of the powders fouling/heat/ect.ect.) and seat the ball with firm but not overly compressed pressure and try to get them all the same compression with the plunger.
I've shot ground hogs on the old farm at 80,20,40,50,30,200,300 300+ yards with that load. The gun shoots as accurate as any cartridge revolver I have. Maybe better. I attribute that accuracy to the "lube pills on the powder and the reamed chambers and a good barrel on the gun and.....the use of the Holy Black Powder.
I can go lubes wads on the powder but not a card on the powder first and I can't go corn meal. I think it compresses when the powder gas hits it like a cushion and can be a little irregular from shot to shot as any cushion in the load chain can be. Cushions are for shotguns. Cornmeal is like a cushion.
I might add...that if the corn meal was removed from the load chain and the accuracy got worse then...I'd put it back in the chamber.
I's say...since the Pietta cap&ballers shoot the cartridge conversions and do it well with 45 conical bullets it's possible to get a good load from a cap&baller cylinder too...if the right amount of powder can be gotten in the chamber with the conical bullet. I'd thunk that maybe the use of FFFFg powder or 777 powder may be the way to get a good coniocal l0ad from a cap&baller. I don't delve into it too much since I figure "balls" are good enough for a cap&baller. My Pietta Remingtons sure seem to like the 45 cal. Long Colt cartridge and the conical bullets in the 1-32 rifling twist. Some say it's 1-30 twist but....
I have to add....that I thunk 50 yards is too far for a max range shooting wild hogs with a cap&baller(even with a 12 inch barrel) and a lead ball(conical would be better I'd say). I'd say half that range would be better and a Walker revolver would be even better with a max charge of powder......unless you rely on a pack of "pit bull terriers" to help hold down the wounded hog so you can get up on it and "coup de grais". Forgive my lack of proficciency with the French language....the English one too.
I can see why the pics of the Walkers targets have a smaller group with the "hollow based" conicals.....the hollow base being the improvement. Too bad the Lee conicals an't be shot from a chamber at least equal in diameter to the groove diameter of the Walker Barrel. I'd thunk the right size chambers and the "heel of the bullet" sized so the heel(and chambers) is at or .001-.002 over the barrels groove diameter would be good to go in a Walker. That would mean a custom mould though to cast the heeled bullet. The heel on the bullet and the oversize front of it sized to .000,.001,.002 by the chambers to be within the barrels groove diameter or a coupla .001's over it.
I guess I'm trying to say......the chambers size the conical and the heel and front of the bullet are sized to be the same which...eliminates the "heel" upon loading the conical in the chamber. The heel has a negative affect on accuracy...even if it is small at times it's(the negative affect on accuracy) still there if the heel is thee as the bullet leaves the barrel.

Last edited by enyaw; August 15, 2010 at 10:34 AM.
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Old August 16, 2010, 09:18 AM   #54
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The cap and ball revolvers were never intended to be long range sniper weapons. They were intended to be used at "handshake" distances. Current theory say that the reason for the high bullet strike on the original Colts was to be able to hold "dead on" on a charging cavalryman and hit him from saber range out to a max of 75 yards. Sam Colts loading instructions were to "load powder, ram ball, cap and fire". No lube pills, lube wads or over ball grease were recommended.
If you are trying for extreme accuracy then over sized chambers, re-cut forcing cones etc. etc. are well advised.
If you want to use them as Sam Colt intended, then powder, ball and shoot works well. It will give you 1 minute of charging cavalryman out to 75 yards easily and do lots better than that with deliberate fire.
Used as a hunting gun, they will do quite well out to 50 yards or so using either ball or bullet. Any more than that is pushing the inherent accuracy and killing power of the gun. Hogs? I'd leave the cap and ball at home and take the 44 mag instead.
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Old August 16, 2010, 07:22 PM   #55
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Hi Gang,

I just picked up my 12" Bison and look forward to shooting very soon. All the info that was posted on this thread answered a lot of my questions about shooting it. Except for one - My local gunshop has no 44 wads in stock, from what has been posted, I gather that I could sub a certain layering of cornmeal????

I'm ordering wads but just in case I just have to go shooting.....

Larry
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Old August 16, 2010, 11:24 PM   #56
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need load advice for .44 1851 brass navy

It's been quite a while since I shot any BP revolvers. Had a 1858 remington that I shot a lot many years ago.
Still have all the pyrodex, wads, balls from then.
Just acquired a nice Pietta 1851 brass framed navy .44 revolver.

Here's what I remember.
about 28 gr. of pyrodex P (fffg equivalent)
wonder wad
.451 ball
seat with ram full stroke.
Cap with #11 caps
Fire at will

Is that correct?
Do I need to ram with a full stroke, Do I need filler, do I need grease over ball if I use the wonder wad over the powder.

Please feel free to refresh my memory.
Tried a#10 cap and it didn't go on the nipple.
Fired a #11 cap, and hammer strike is powerful and crisp.
Trigger pull has clean break after slight creep.
Pistol is like new, hardly fired.
Purchased for 100.00 with holster, so didn't come out too bad on deal.

I guess I am confused about how deep to seat ball, and whether I need to use filler, and if I have forgotten anything else. Also have .454 balls from my .45 caliber flintlock. Can these balls also be used in the .44?

Yes, I am an experience handgun shooter with safety knowledge.
Just been a while since I shot black powder.
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Old August 17, 2010, 02:05 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryk
My local gunshop has no 44 wads in stock, from what has been posted, I gather that I could sub a certain layering of cornmeal????
Quote:
Originally Posted by HighValleyRanch
Is that correct?
Do I need to ram with a full stroke, Do I need filler, do I need grease over ball if I use the wonder wad over the powder....

...I guess I am confused about how deep to seat ball, and whether I need to use filler, and if I have forgotten anything else. Also have .454 balls from my .45 caliber flintlock. Can these balls also be used in the .44?
Wads and filler serve several purposes, to ensure that there's no air gap over the powder when loading with a small powder charge, to raise the ball in the chamber closer to the forcing cone which may slightly enhance accuracy, to help prevent chainfires from the front of the chamber and to help keep the barrel clean.

Neither wads or filler are absolutely necessary. Lubrication is used to both prevent chainfires and to keep the fouling soft, so that may be considered to be a chainfire prevention substitute but even that is optional.
Whether compressed filler helps to prevent chainfires or not hasn't been proven but it may indeed help to do that.

It doesn't really matter how deep the ball is seated as long as it is on top of the powder or in contact with the wad or filler which is seated on top of the powder.
The ramming stroke need not be full as long as the ball ends up being seated properly. Proper leverage and support for the gun during ramming will probably result in a full stroke, but a full stroke isn't really critical once the ball is past the chamber mouth.

Depending on the size of the chambers, a .454 ball may be more difficult to load but is considered to be completely acceptable and recommended for some guns.

If using wonder wads, grease isn't necessary to prevent chainfires. But using a little grease on top of one or two balls may help to keep the gun lubricated during each cylinder full. Otherwise it would be duplicative to use both wads and grease in every chamber.
There's several options on how to load and what methods to use.
Some folks safely load with only powder and ball since the risk of chainfire is usually small if the balls fit and seat well.
And there's always the risk of chainfire from the nipple end if using loose caps or if a cap falls off during shooting.

The brass frame guns are usually loaded with slightly less powder than the steel frame guns to promote their longevity. Usually 25 grains or less powder. No one knows how long any brass frame will last if too many heavy loads are shot through one. The cylinder pin hole of the brass frame Remington is somewhat at risk of loosening up and enlarging over time.

Last edited by arcticap; August 17, 2010 at 03:39 AM.
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Old August 17, 2010, 02:17 AM   #58
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I read an article once that was about a hunter that wanted to use a Walker to kill wild hog. The short story is the conical from the Walker at 25 yards went thru both shoulders but didn't exit the hide on the far side. That gives an idea about the power of the revolvers.
Anyway Sam Colt did make the Colts for close range combat and that is what the Army considered the revolvers. Close range was intended to be by the ordanance dept of the Army to be- 17-28 feet if I recall correctly what the ordanance dept. figured and is documented somewhere.
All I know is I've gunsmithed many cap&ballers and the main ingredient seems to be a good barrel and all the cap&ballers don't come with that. Slugging and measuring can give a good idea about that. Sometimes lapping out tight spots ect.ect. get a barrel on solid ground.
The muzzle end and the breech end of the barrels have to be concentric with the bore for the gun to give it's best and a piloted reamer like Brownells sells is good for that. Shimming the pilots to have "no play or space" to move while reaming is imperative.
Reaming chambers to be at least equal to the groove diameters of the barrel seems to be imperative to best accuracy in my opinion. The "target models" like the Hege Remington,Pedersoli Remington and Rodgers and Spencer and the Pietta "Shooters Model" Remington will bear that out as they have a close tolerance between chambers and barrel groove diameters. The undersized chambers were to accomodate subsequent shots when using blackpowder(fouling). Val Forget (Navy Arms)told me that when I asked him why the Italians made the guns with undersized chambers.
Shooting a revolver using blackpowder and even the subs the fouling can ruin the accuracy. Controlling the fouling is imperative I think to getting the best from a cap&baller. The best way to do that without cleaning after every shot is to use Lubed wool wads or lube pills (grease cookies) right on the powder under the balls. Elmer Kieth stated he used wool wads made from old hats and saturated with lube made of bees wax and lard(don't quote me on his lube recipie) and seated them right on the powder. His old Navy Colt would shoot thru the same hole all day long he stated. The lube for a wool wad or lube pill laid right on the powder can't be soft naturally. "Equal amounts of bees wax,paraffin wax and lube" seems to be the best recipie I've found. Mutton Tallow is a favorite lube for me as is olive oil also.

If you're shooting your revolver as an old time Civil War soldier the accuracy to point at and hit a torso at 10 yards is plenty good I'd imagine.
I've never read or heard of any credible documented info about Colt making the guns(cap&ballers) to shoot high to hit horses or whatever at 75 yards. I think that is a misinformation confused with the 1873 SAA revolver. The only revolver I've read that was requested by the Army Ordanance Dept. to be able to disable a horse out to 100 yards was the 1873 SAA and it was a cartridge design. I think the "made to shoot high" about the cap&ballers is hear-say passed from word of mouth. I believe the sights are situated on the Colts out of convienience and out of design for durability. The sights are short and stubby on the cap&ballers ,I believe, to be sturdy enough not to be knocked loose easily. I think people just quess at why the sights are short on the cap&ballers. Of course if one does shoot short shots with cap&ballers (and other guns) they may notice that at very short range the guns shoot "low". Short range being the intended use. The guns shoot low at short range due to the top of the front sight being a certain amount of space above the centerline of the bore. Like a scoped rifle will shoot low at a very short range since the centerline of the bore is "way down there" and the scopes center is "way up there" so to speak. If anyone ever shot rabbits in the eye at three/four paces they would know what I mean. Better aim to nip the hairs atop the head or you'll shoot the poor things lower jaw off.
Anyway if the chambers in the cylinders of the Italian cap&ballers are tapered (smaller towards the bottom)to a certain degree then keeping the balls at the top of the chambers just assures the ball will be as large as the chamber can leave it since the lower in the chamber the ball goes the smaller in size it's swagged. The chambers at the mouth being undersized to begin with the deep seating of the balls in the chambers just exassperates the problem.
A range rod is made to tell if a chamber is within "range" of being aligned properly. You know....in the ball park. The best way to know a cap&baller revolver chamber is in alignment is to learn to visually check it with a light down the muzzle. Close examination can tell you it's aligned or not. The undersized chambers make that easier since a small shiny line will show in each groove in the barrel on the breech end from the reflection of light against the flat face of the cylinder. The small bevels to the chambers mouth on some cap&ballers shows as "black" and not silver. If you see black then the cylinder shows some of the "bevel" in the grooves. That's a slight misalignment but "within range". Range rods ,as I understand, have to have close fit bushings within the chambers so the rod that rides the lands in the barrel,if it's a good fit,will slide into the center hole of the bushing if the gun is aligned. You'd need bushings fit in the cap&baller chambers with center holes a close fit to the rod that rides the lands in the barrel to tell if it's within range right?
Anyway......I hope I haven't aggravated anyone here with my "right to the point" way of writting. I'm trying but I am very tired. Tired.
I might add...the last 1860 Army Colt Pietta I worked on and tuned shot less than one inch at 20 paces. Probably can do better but my eyes are a little old and tired.
I've done the "tuning" I mentioned above to more than afew cap&ballers and they were all improved by the tuning.
Just thought I'd mention the things to try and be helpful.
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Old August 17, 2010, 10:23 AM   #59
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Thank you for the information. Some people even go several steps futher to
try and get the best accuracy from these old revolvers. Some want them to
shoot like a S&W Masterpiece. Mine has a hand fitted cylinder pin. Cylinder has been plugged solid and each chamber re-bored down the barrel when on
full cock to make sure each chamber is alined with the bore. Chambers are
.002 larger than groove dia of barrel. Barrel is a custom with a 1-16 twist.
Barrel is lapped where it screws into frame to remove any tightness. This pistol locks up tighter than a bank vault. Oh the pistol is a Pietta 1858 Rem.
in .36 cal. What some people will do to get these old things to shoot. Now all
we have to do is work on the loose nut behind the wheel!!
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Old August 17, 2010, 10:55 AM   #60
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kwhi43. How much of an improvement over a stock revolver did you notice after all of those modifications?
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Old August 17, 2010, 11:39 AM   #61
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It is my belief that most all revolvers from the factory (Pietta & Uberti) will
shoot just fine at 25 yds. By that I mean when loaded proper will shoot under
3 inch groups. That is good enough for the most serious competion. The problem is at 50 yds. I believe the twist (1-28 1-30) is too slow to stablize
the ball at 50 yds for accurate shooting. You just have to get the ball turning
around faster. The way to do this is to re-barrel it with a 1-16 or in the case 44's 1-20 twist barrel. They were doing this back in the 1930's or
before. Nothing new here. The ball will then be stablized at 50 yds shooting
at revolver velocitys. I'm just talking shooting competion here, not hunting.
Championships are won or lost at the 50 yd. distance. Mine would shoot fine
at 25 yds before the mods. 50 yds was mebby around 7-8 inches. Now it will
shoot say under 2 inches at 50 yds. Good enough for the most serious competion. What did it cost? 300.00 Was it worth it? Yes to us. For the
casual plinker No. Would we do it again YES. Have we won Championships
Yes. All depends what you want to do.
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Old August 17, 2010, 11:44 AM   #62
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My Pietta 36

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Old August 17, 2010, 12:50 PM   #63
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Thanks for the info. Who did the work for you if you don't mind my asking.
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Old August 17, 2010, 12:56 PM   #64
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Rob Lewis from Ohio
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Old August 17, 2010, 01:43 PM   #65
kwhi43@kc.rr.com
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OK, You might ask What does a winning 50 yd revolver target look like. Here
is one I shot at the Nationals at Friendship a couple years ago. Mind you this
is one hand un-supported in competion when the heat is on.

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Old August 17, 2010, 04:24 PM   #66
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Cap & Baller I like your sense of humor. Dark of the moon and guns serial numbered 666 also tightens groups.
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Old August 17, 2010, 07:58 PM   #67
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50 yard target

Were you shooting in a special class for traditional revolvers, or shooting against tricked out modern black powder guns?
I know of some shooter who compete with black powder actions built on 1911 frames.

Nice winning target!
I have shot bullseye, so I am familiar with one handed 50 yard slow fire under stress! Is that a score of 92?

Love the pistol and the adjustable sights.
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Old August 17, 2010, 08:42 PM   #68
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The match was a revolver match. You can use Rugers and any Black Powder
revolver that loads from the front. This is not a "As Issue" match. You can
shoot either Bullet or Ball. A lot of the guys shoot into the 90's at 50 yds.
A lot will shoot 98-100 at 25 yds. Most are Ruger Old Army's that have been
converted to .36 cal like mine was. Anybody who has a 1911 45 can have a
good competion pistol for Muzzleloading. Just take the barrel and slide off
and remove the clip. Put a muzzleloading barrel on by welding a lug near the
back and go up thru the magzine well with a screw. Put a plug in the back
of the barrel and tap it 1/4 X 28 and screw in a nipple. You can use the
hammer on the 1911. This way you can go back and forth between the 45 ACP and muzzleloading. Several folks I shoot with have this set up. Real slick
I would have it but my hand don't fit a 1911. I have a Ruger Mark 2 hand. I
just need more of a angle. All my pistols, flintlock included are bulit on the
Ruger Mark 2 angle. The 1858 Remmy is more of a Ruger angle than a 1911.
I could go on and on, but you all are probably getting tired of this. Time to
pop some caps.
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Old August 18, 2010, 10:00 AM   #69
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Kwhi43, it's interesting about the comp shooting. Lapping the barrel at the threads to remove the choke that can be formed by the stress there is refining in a good place.
Using 36cal. at 50 yards is a curiosity to me. Why the 36cal. and not the 44cal. that carries better at a distance(air resistance and velosity maintained from the extra weight and all)? So the plugs for line bore can be used?
What do you do,or any of the comp shooters,the keep the barrels clean as they shoot for score?
When you mentioned plugging the chambers and line boring I wondered what the plug was held in by so the gas pressure can't work in behind it and shoot it loose? Pressed in fit? I've been pondering doing some chamber plugging myself with old guns that need barrel sleeves so a reduced cal.
I'd like to get a hold of Ron Long if he has a shop with the "lathe'. I need a lathe man that knows guns. I'm in Ohio. Turn sleeves to reline barrels.
Your target at 50 yards with the beautiful "blueprinted' cap&baller is a beautiful sight to behold. Nice target. A lot of people would feel good to shoot that good of a target with a rifle.
I don't line bore when I tune an Hombres gun. I use eye sight down the barrel before I ream and align the chambers as best as can be using the bolts head and the bolts frame window and sometimes shims on either side or both sides of the bolt. When the chambers are a little high or a little low that is more difficult to fix. That is when I may use weld spots on the arbor(Colt) to move the cylinder. Remington...I look for a replacement cylinder.
Doing some guns for Hombres that are in a serious competition and a life and death situation protecting themselves from marauding man eating bean cans and pop cans I go the "Kitchen Table Gunsmith" route and work cheap. Most people can't afford serious machine shop work.
I've found ,with the balls cap&ballers shoot, that elongationg and widening a forcing cone can spiff up slight alignment problems and get an average gun shooting better average and good to go for hittin cans and the like even out at some distance. The balls can be directed to enter the center of the bore by a forcing cone. Balls being so easily moved by anything they hit during their movement. You know for those that can't afford line bored cap&ballers. The chamber alignment being good to go can really help shooting with less flyers. It was mentioned above by someone that doing a forcing cone revitalization not to go over .452 in. in a 44/45cal barrel. I don't understand what is meant there since forcing cones are usually a little more diameter than the groove diameter in the barrels. That's the idea I thought. Make a sort of funnel to guide the slightly off alignment ball or bullet into the center of the bore.When a gun isn't easily fixed in the alignment department the forcing cone is one of the last resorts to get a gun shootin well enough I thunked. The forcing cones I do are always more diameter than the grooves in the barrel. Usually they are already more to begin with.
Anyway wish I could still see good enough to shoot good targets at 50 yards.
I've re-assessed my expectations about how accurate I can be anymore. I still compete against myself as I always have. Sometimes I win and sometimes I lose.
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Old August 18, 2010, 02:34 PM   #70
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enyaw

I bet this will come as a shock, but in the single shot matches the caliber that
is used the most is .36 followed very close by .32 The 50 yd. record of 98
was shot with a .36. ALL my pistols are 32 except for the revolver. You don't
lose a thing at 50 yds shooting a .32 My wrist can't take the recoil of the 45
any more. My wife has a bad rotor cup and she can't shoot 45's any more.
We been shooting 32's for about 15 years now. We start them out at 1200 fps and take the same hold at 50 as 25. There is no drop.
To keep barrel clean on a revolver I and others wipe after every shot or wipe
real good after 5 shots. Fouling is not a problem. Oh, before I forget, there's
a couple shooters at Friendship who use .22 cal. Yes 22. They are Master
Class shooters. The plugs are welded in my cylinder. Will show a picture.
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Old August 18, 2010, 02:42 PM   #71
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Here is my 36 cal cylinder. It started out as a 44. If you look real close, you
can see a ring around the chambers. That's the sleeve. The chambers are .357 dia and I use a .360 ball. The barrel is a modern 9mm pistol barrel.

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Old August 19, 2010, 09:57 AM   #72
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Man, this thread is realy turning out some great info! KWHI43- that is a beautiful pistol.

Enyaw - I used a small LED light to peek down my barrel and can see a very thin sliver of cylinder reflecting back at me on one side. It does not appear to me to be significant enough to merit plugging, line boring etc. Any suggestions on tuning a small adjustment like that? I plan to ream the forcing cone. Does that mitigate a slight misallignment between chamber and barrel?


Headed to the range tomorrow with my .450 200 gr. Lee conicals. Results to follow.
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Old August 23, 2010, 04:14 AM   #73
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Off-hand, Black Powder, 50 yards
[I seem to always need a "strong language" warning.]

I am sure the about 4" group would have been bigger if I had loaded/cleaned it properly. Good thing I'm a newbie!

I used 30gr Goex FFFg, Hornady .451 balls, and Remington No. 10 caps and Our Family all vegetable shortening.
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Old August 23, 2010, 04:40 AM   #74
Win_94
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Join Date: August 21, 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 214
Quote:
A 4" group at 50 yards, from rest, with any pistol borderlines on exceptional.
I get 1.75" at 100 yards off a rest using my 8" barrel 686 S&W 357, iron sights.

The first shots were to get me on target, (had it set at 150 yards for hunting.)

Check out 6 Shots, 357 Mag, 300 Yards. The last 5 shots make about a 6 inch group.

I think that is pretty good but I am sure others can do just as well, they need only try... (I'm convinced the Audette Ladder Test did most of the work.)

Last edited by Win_94; August 23, 2010 at 05:46 AM. Reason: added the group photo
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Old August 23, 2010, 07:37 AM   #75
enyaw
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Join Date: November 28, 2008
Posts: 130
Kwhi43, that looks liike a fine job with the chamber sleeves. It looks like a press fit since I can't tell where any weld is. You sure it's weld and not solder to hold the sleeves in? I'd thunk if the press fit was proper it would be good to go with the "pressed in" only as long as the bottom of the chamber and the end of the sleeve form a perfect fit.
I can see and understand the smaller caliber for shooting target especially if old injuries take their toll or the fatique of the 44 can take hold. I've got enough "stoved up" places to be a canidate for a bionic replacement body.
I know the 32 and 36 cal. rifles(muzzleloaders) can really zing the balls out there a good ways so the pistols could too I guess.
I would like to get the number of the gunsmith you mentioned so I can try to get some lathe work done. I'd like to plug the chambers and reduce the cal. in a coupla old Belgian Colts 1860 Army cap&ballers and I need someone to turn the chamber liners and barrel liner for me as I haven't access to a lathe.
One thing I wonder about in the line boring department....the line bore makes a pilot hole in the new chamber plugs. Then since a caliber size chamber can't be bored thru a barrel the set up has to be taken down and re-set back up to ream/drill the chambers the right size diameter. The re-set up can throw things off if the machinist can't set back up and "center" perfectly on an existing hole. I asked machinists about setting up on an existing hole to ream perfectly and none knew how to do it. They said they can make holes in the right place but none could give a good proceedure for seting up on an existing hole like a pilot hole. I figure that's the achilis heal to line bore...the re-set up to ream to size. When I stated to the machinists on the machine forums how I set up on an existing hole to ream with my milling machine they just said that's the way to keep doing it. I've had some machinists tell me they "indicate" the hole in to be reamed. That's use an indicator to find the exact center. That would involve finding the exact widdest point with the indicator then moving so many .001's to the center in two axis sort of like the Osborn Method to find the exact center of a "round piece". Finding the exact center of a small hole with an indicator would be pretty difficult I bet. That's why I wonder if the pilot hole is drilled with the ,"line bore", and then the reaming throws the tolerance off. The fit of the pilots and the drill in the center of the pilots in the line bore can add some "within tolerance" and miss the perfect center some too. I used to talk to a guy named "----- Accuracy" that accurized Remingtons for competition.(passed on-car wreck) He used a tooled barrel fixture that screwed into the barrels place in the frame to line bore right to the exact diameter if I remember corrcectly. That's a good way if the fixture is an exact fit to the chambers. I'll tell ya.....it seems anyway I look at it there's a "tolerance" or "range" to work within that's not perfect when it comes to line bore. I had Starett make me a tool out of a modified edge finder that has a cone that goes up to .500 in. so I can get the cone in the chamber and line up the edge finder by sight and then feel to know I'm on the center of an existing hole without the indicating. The achilis heel for that is the fact the cap&baller chambers aren't always perfectly round. (they are usually tapered too ....smaller the deeper in you go so that's why the "keep the ball to the top of the chambers" makes sense) The dang chambers are tapered in the mass production drilling. Don't ask me why just the set up I guess.
I have an indicator that reads to .0001's but finding the widdest point inside a small hole with it ain't an exact science. I'd probably line bore and then ream the holes to tolerance with a finely fitted piloted reamer. A fine fit piloted reamer that's as snug as it can be and still turn is the surest way to get to the exact center of an existing hole. Anyway this is droning on and on. Surfice to say it's a good idea to have good alignment of the chambers to the grooves of the barrel. Notice I didn't say "bore" of the barrel.
Anyway Kwhi43 your gun is a nice one and shoots even nicer. If yer shootin about 900ft/sec then yer balls are spinning over 600 times a second right? The standard twist would spin the balls about 300+ times a second. I'da thunked that standard twist (1-30or 1-32)would be fast enough spin on a ball. I'd wonder if the 1-16 would be too fast for a heavy load that might strip the ball thru the rifling. Did your gun get the 6-7 inch group(as a 44) before it was turned into a 36 cal.? I'd wonder since the grooves in the barrel become lands ,that sorta stick up like fins, on the lead balls if the extra spin couldn't throw the balls off the point of aim/point of impact by the fan effect of the fins in the wind or air. You know,sorta like a cut or slice with a golf ball. I guess not if yer gun shoots that well. Who knows. It may shoot even better if it could have a good barrel in 1-32 twist. If it could have a good barrel in 1-32........
I'd just wonder if the gunsmith told you the extra spin was good since the only easily obtained barrel liners would be the 38 cal. liners for/in the .357's and 38spl ect. ect. to get a smaller diameter ball used in the gun. You know...modern twist liners for the modern cartridges. I bet that a good barrel with the 1-32 twist could be good too. The Italian barrels aren't the best when it comes to ultra competition. They may be good or they may be average or they may be really bad. The new barrel liner may be more of an asset because it's got a consistant bore/land dimensions rather than just a faster twist. Barrels with no tight or loose spots and consistant rifling depth ect.ect.are the biggest asset I'd say.
I get some mediocre groups with some barrels with inconsistant rifling depths and loose spots in the wrong places(like at the muzzle) ect.ect. If I can lap the barrel into "good" it'll shoot a lot better. If the barrel is just good from the beginning it'll shoot good. I've shot 2 inch groups off hand at 40-50 paces(some luck involved I'm sure) from brass frame 36's with good barrels and tight tuned fit ect.ect. That's with a 1-30, 1-32 twist to the riflings. Other cap&ballers I've shot seem to get really good groups with the 1-32 twist if the barrels are "right". That's why I'd ponder the 1-16 twist in your gun as ,maybe, not really needed. I'd say it's the liner and the consistant good riflings and bore dimensions compared to Italian cap&baller barrels. I'd say that the faster twist in the target guns may be needed or may not be. It seems like if the barrels are good to go and the guns are aligned good they shoot good with the 1-32 twist rifling. Of course I don't shoot targets at 50 yards much. Bean cans maybe. Rocks and old fence posts and the like maybe. I hate shootin paper so since tha paper don't lie I may be wrong. I doubt it though. There are too many ground hogs from the old farm that are in ground hog heaven right now from cap&ballers with 1-32 twist or 1-48(Walker) like they come with. It's all relative though. Everything is relative. We all percieve the world a little different I'd guess.I guess that since I go out and always fire a minimum of 200+ balls from a cap&baller for a session that I wouldn't be bothered by a 44-45 in competition much. I'm probably wrong though since I do ache a lot the next day. I'd wonder.....if your tricked out, adjustable sighted Remington cap&baller is really any more accurate than,say, one of the better barreled Belgian Colts 1860 Army or Uberti or Pietta Army or Navy cap&ballers I've got? The ones "tricked out" by a good tune up that includes anything that needs done to accurize them. They seem pretty danged accurate but.....counting the loose nut behind the wheel that's a half blind stoved up old man now(me).....it may be just a demensia illusion. Oh well! It seems real to me.

Cap&baller, you can tune a slight misalignment using a new bolt that is slightly larger than the cylinder notches and file fit the bolts head to the cylinder notches on the side you want the cylinder to move towards.
If the bolt is loose in the frames window you can shim it to move it a little to move the cylinder a little in the right direction.
I do that stuff all the time. A cap&baller will show a marked improvement once it's aligned if it was out of alignment much at all.
Yes you can ream the forcing cone to negate a little misalignment but that's for the balls and not the conical bullet. Bullets can't take much misalignment and be directed by a reamed forcing cone like the balls can. It's better to move the cylinder with the bolt one way or the other...new bolt or shimmed bolt depending on what's got the gun out of alignment in the first place.
What type revolver do you have Cap&baller? Colt type? Remington type?

Last edited by enyaw; August 23, 2010 at 08:29 AM.
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