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Old March 28, 2012, 07:45 PM   #1
KEYBEAR
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Question 1860 army

I bought a 1860 Army yesterday what is the best way to know the ball size to order ? I don,t have it in my hand yet .

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Old March 28, 2012, 07:52 PM   #2
zullo74
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Wait 'till you have it in hand and can take some measurements.
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Old March 28, 2012, 08:00 PM   #3
Willie Sutton
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What brand 1860?

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Old March 28, 2012, 08:04 PM   #4
KEYBEAR
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1860

It,s a Pietta . Bought it as new unfired on the net .
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Old March 28, 2012, 08:28 PM   #5
Smokin'Joe
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I use .457" balls in my Pietta 1860. They work just fine. I feel the bigger the better. I usually load with the cylinder off of the gun using a press. But the larger balls can be loaded with the cylinder on the gun it just requires more force.
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Old March 28, 2012, 08:28 PM   #6
Willie Sutton
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.454 balls, they should shave a little when you ram them.

Should be fine in the Pietta.



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Last edited by Willie Sutton; March 30, 2012 at 10:47 PM.
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Old March 28, 2012, 08:41 PM   #7
Andy Griffith
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.454 balls will also shave a good bit and I have never had a problem with them, and is typically what is recommended in most user manuals. The .457 is typically used in Ruger old Army's, but can certainly be used- they just aren't usually stocked in most local stores if you have to find them, and the little shaved ring is a bit stiffer and must be removed or it will bind the cylinder in the barrel/cylinder gap. I can't say that I've used the .457 balls I have yet...still waiting for a $100 stainless old army.

The .451 balls may or may not be a good snug fit, depending upon the tolerances of your cylinder. Alway err on the side of going up a size to get good accuracy and to help prevent chain fires.
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Old March 28, 2012, 09:01 PM   #8
zullo74
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.451 balls work just fine in my Pietta 1860.
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Old March 28, 2012, 09:28 PM   #9
KEYBEAR
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1860

I was thinking 454 but not sure . I should have it next week and wil know then . Thank You
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Old March 28, 2012, 09:32 PM   #10
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.454 in my Pietta 1860.
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Old March 28, 2012, 10:13 PM   #11
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1860

333 I,m hopen . I have two box,s of 454 and need to use them .
This is going to be fun .

Thanks KEYBEAR
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Old March 29, 2012, 04:18 AM   #12
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I'd go with .454
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Old March 29, 2012, 06:12 AM   #13
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My two cents

If you cast you own bullets and use metal in which he lead content is down to 95% (and consequently the hardness is a bit high) I would choose the smallest ball that shaves a good ring. This is especially true if you are not using a press. I have used .451s in Pietta ASM, ASP, and Colts but they all seem to like .454s. Actually the pistols don't care. It is I who likes the larger bullets. I cast my own and the bullets are a tiny bit hard.

If you are buying bullets with a high lead content, you can get away with a larger ball.
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Old March 29, 2012, 09:36 AM   #14
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If you are loading off of the gun as Doc Hoy indicates then metal content is of no importance, BUT if you ever intend to load on the gun then the softest you can get is best.
I also learned to my dismay that the harder balls do not swage as well as the softer and can lead to incomplete "ring cutting" and chain fires. If you are using hard alloys then use lubed wads, corn meal or other types of filler under the balls or generous amounts of lube over the balls.
Chain fires usually don't hurt anything or anyone but they do make you flinch the next time you pull the trigger.
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Old March 30, 2012, 04:31 PM   #15
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1860

Got the 1860 today and I like what I see . Fit is very good and will shoot it tomorrow . As for me casting bullets/Balls I ask my wife what she thought and I got the eye roll ? Think I can buy what I need and not burn down the place .

I,m going to use 777 and 20/25gr. with a wad . I did,t get a nipple wrench so I ordered one . Looks like the 454 ball will be fine .

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Old March 30, 2012, 04:46 PM   #16
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Pure 451's tend to move forward under recoil.
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Old March 30, 2012, 04:49 PM   #17
zullo74
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Mine are hard lead and they don't move.
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Old March 30, 2012, 04:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Mine are hard lead and they don't move.
They don't shrink as much when cooling so they're bigger.
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Old March 31, 2012, 03:41 PM   #19
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One Thing To Keep In Mind

Actually, using a slight oversize SOFT lead ball seems to work the best for me. Here is what I mean:

Compared to a modern, cartridge firing revolver, the rifling inside the barrel of a percussion revolver has very little lead to grab hold of-just the bit of lead on the circumference of the ball that was under the part of the lead ring that was shaved off when the ball was seated!

That is why I like slightly oversize SOFT lead balls-the more lead shaved off that forms the ring, the slightly bit more of lead for the rifling to grab.

WHAT TO AVOID: A HARD cast lead ball that is too OVERSIZE. You have to have the strength of a GORILLA to seat a HARD, oversize ball in the cylinder!!!!

In actual fact, even though I have a casting machine, I generally use the round, swaged lead balls made by Hornady or another ammo maker. Why? Because unlike cast lead balls, Hornady or Speer commercial round balls have no sprue that must be loaded in the cylinder with the sprue centered in the chamber!!!!
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Old March 31, 2012, 05:31 PM   #20
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Lee molds only have a tiny flat spot where the sprue was cut. Doesn't matter which way it's loaded.
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