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Old April 30, 2013, 11:57 PM   #1
trident00
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1858 Navy vs Army

I fully understand that the Navy is the .36 and the Army is the .44 Now ballistically how do they compare? Is one giving up a lot of take down power with the navy as opposed to the army models? What are the pros and cons?

Cheers, Walt
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Old May 1, 2013, 05:27 AM   #2
Doc Hoy
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Because of the way I shoot....

I notice only two differences.

.44 is more expensive to shoot. But it is also a more emotional experience. More noise, more smoke, more recoil etc.

Please understand, I am not a hunter. I don't ever intend to use my BP revolvers for person or home defense. I don't shoot CAS.

This is three very good reasons to listen more carefully to the advice of others on the forum.
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Old May 1, 2013, 08:04 AM   #3
brazosdave
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I find them to shoot similarly, although you can get a bigger punch with a steel frame .44. I do use them sometimes for home defense and carry, and I would prefer to have either one of my short barrel steel frame .44's for that. I've carried as light as the .31 pocket, and as far as huntin, ain't done it myself yet, but I know plenty of guys that do. Usually, it's with rifles though. Not always, but usually.
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Old May 1, 2013, 08:23 AM   #4
Andy Griffith
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The Navy is a bit heavier, as it's the same frame with smaller holes.

Some state that the .36 may penetrate a bit more, but I don't know.

I have used the .44 on some backyard vermit, and it works quite well.
Never had to pull the trigger a second time. The bad thing is, how to clean just one chamber?
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Old May 1, 2013, 08:36 AM   #5
Old Grump
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Just started shooting the 36 caliber myself and found it to penetrate way better than I assumed it would. For fun I like my 44's but for accuracy I found my 1861 and 1851 Navy guns are a lot tighter grouping. Looks like Wild Bill Hickok might have had the right idea.
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Old May 1, 2013, 11:48 AM   #6
bedbugbilly
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I have both - Piettas - stainless .44 and blued .36. While I enjoy shooting both, I much prefer the Navy caliber "just because" - i.e. a personal preference.

To answer your question - I've never done penetration tests, etc. with either. I would imagine the .44 would probably give a little more "umph" just because the ball is larger and a larger powder load. (I'm comparing apples to apples - steel frame to steel frame).

Maybe someone will take issue and correct me - which is fine as I'm always open to learning. Between the two calibers though - I'm thinking in rifles - I've always had better luck with a larger caliber - say a .32 compared to a .45 in regards to how conditions affect them. I'm talking such things as cross winds, etc. Whether that transfers to the two pistol calibers I can't really speak to as I don't shoot long distances with my revolvers. Between the .36 and the .44 - it's not really that great of a difference as say rifles in smaller calibers and those in larger calibers.

I'm also thinking about generations past as well. My favorite revolver is the '51 Navy. Colt obviously sold a lot of them not only for military but civilian use as well as they were manufactured up in to the 1870s. I suppose that in regards to your thoughts - you would select the caliber that is going to fit your needs the most if you are going to hunt with it. Smaller game the .36 would work fine - larger game such as coyotes, etc. I personally would choose the 44 over the 36. Remember though . . . . in years past when these guns were in wide use, a .36 would kill a man just as easily as a .44.

As far as expense . . . yea, the .44 ball requires a little more lead and a little more powder - but not that much to where I consider that to be a part of picking which one a person wants. You still have to use a cap with either.

My Remmie Navy is the same frame as the bigger brother 44 but I find it to be well balanced. Of the two,I still prefer the '51 Navy as in my hand, it feels better but again, that's a personal thing.

Kind of like "modern" handguns - I much prefer shooting 38 spl over 357 and 45. Probably because I'm getting old and it's more comfortable for me to shoot?
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Old May 1, 2013, 01:31 PM   #7
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There is something visceral about the shooting a fully loaded 44.

That being said; this past weekend, I shot my 1862 Pocket Navy for the first time. It is a 36cal on an 1849 frame. All I can say is I would not want to be on the business end of that 36cal pistol! It roared with authority and hit hard. It was quite impressive!
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Old May 1, 2013, 02:17 PM   #8
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robhof

I also have all 3, the 31, 36, and 44. Used to only shoot the 44's but lately have started to enjoy the 36 and 31. They all have a place and yes you do get a lot more lead down range with the smaller calibers, many more shots to the Lb of powder.
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Old May 1, 2013, 08:24 PM   #9
trident00
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I really appreciate all the info. I am just considering a .36 because I can not get the pistol I want in the finish I want at this time. I spotted a .36 and am toying with picking it up. I am kind of getting back into black powder because I want the flexibility it gives me when and if other forms of ammunition become even more scarce. My main concern is that I have a viable weapon for personal protection and some hunting as necessitated.

All the best!!
Cheers, Walt
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Old May 1, 2013, 09:04 PM   #10
trident00
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I will have to say that my Uberti 1858 army really feels awesome in my hand. It is more instinctual and comfortable than some of my other pistols. Really think I have the bug!!
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Old May 1, 2013, 09:18 PM   #11
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In modern terms it's 38 Special vs. 44 Special. In Wild Bill's case, he was the Charlie Askins of his day-a crack shot, cool under stress and no hesitation in pulling the trigger.
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Old May 1, 2013, 11:15 PM   #12
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I feel ya on the Uberti 58 Remmy, but for some reason, I can't shoot a Remmy worth a wooden nickel. My wife, on the other hand, tears up bullseyes with it. It's her pistol, so that's the good thing, but I just wasn't happy enuff with it to get one for myself, when the Colts feel so instinctive.
Then again, like they say, one man's drink is another man's poison.
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Old May 2, 2013, 09:10 PM   #13
Gaucho Gringo
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When talking about the 1858 Remington clones it makes a difference on who the manufacturer is. On Pietta's and Uberti's they both use the same frame for the .44 and .36. The original Remington's used a smaller frame for the .36 as opposed to the .44. I have 2 Pietta .44's and a Euroarms .36. The frame is noticeably smaller on my Euroarms .36 when compared side by side with my Pietta .44's making the Euroarms .36 a lot closer to the original's than either the newer Uberti's and the Pietta's. I am told the early Uberti's frame siize was smaller but they went to a larger frame in the mid 70's. I cannot confirm this as I don't have one to compare but my observation's on the Euroarms .36 are accurate. I have a Walker,2-.44 1858's,1-.36 1858,1-1860,2-1851's,1-1849,1-1862 Pocket Police and 1-NAA .22 mag black powder. I enjoy shooting all of them.
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Old May 3, 2013, 12:02 PM   #14
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Now shoot a 130 grain conical out of that Pocket Police!
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Old May 4, 2013, 06:12 PM   #15
brazosdave
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I carry a .31 a lot, as you had mentioned that you were lookin for protection. For the house, a .44 or .36 , either one's a daisy if ya do, but sometimes I need something smaller and more concealable, as it gets frikkin hot down here in Tejas and I don't feel like wearing loads of bulky clothing to go to the damn store, lol
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Old May 4, 2013, 06:48 PM   #16
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I forgot to mention in my previous post that I have conversion cylinders for my .44 & .36 Remington 1858's and my 1849. The 1849 is a hoot shooting 32S&W and I have one of the older cylinders that up it to six shots.
Swarthdiver, which 130 grain conical would you be referring to, one you cast or a commercially available one? I reload .38HBWC for my .36 1858 conversion cylinder and use a .380RB in all my .36 cap & ball loads that averages out at 82 grains. You have me curious now as to what it is.
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Old May 4, 2013, 07:43 PM   #17
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Ed Sanow published some blackpowder penetration tests in the Feb'98 issue of HANDGUNS. He was shooting various Colt repros, but I imagine the Remington reults would be equivalent.

With a round ball and 12 gr of 3F, the .31 penetrated 12.9 inches of ordnance gelatin.

With a round ball and 22 gr of 3F, the .36 penetrated 18.3 inches.

With a round ball and 35 gr of 3F, the .44 penetrated 19.8 inches.

If ammo was legislated out of existence and we had to rely on percussion revolvers loaded with homemade BP (or other improvised propellants), I wonder if the thicker cylinder walls of the Uberti & Pietta .36 Rems would provide an extra margin of safety?
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Old May 5, 2013, 02:04 AM   #18
brazosdave
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I wouldn't worry too much about safety. BP doesn't really generate that much pressure. However, shooting heavy loads is a hell of a strain on the gun. I'd stick with below max loads if you intend to shoot it alot. I go a little heavy for my carry guns when I carry them (I switch out), but I occasionally will shoot them and get a fresh cylinder full after cleaning. This way, I'm not constantly shootin heavy loads. I don't know how much difference it makes, but it makes me feel a bit better.
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Old May 5, 2013, 11:28 PM   #19
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The .36 doesn't need an extra margin of safety, it's plenty powerful as is.

Gaucho, I was mentioning the now defunct Buffalo Bullet hollow points specifically but any will do. Lee, Kaido and Big Lube all offer nice cap and ball conicals.
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