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Old September 1, 2013, 12:24 PM   #1
Doc Hoy
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Went shooting

Took along six tools:

.44 Magnum Uberti Cattleman with 7.5 inch barrel
.45 Long Colt Vaquero 5 inch barrel
.357 Magnum Uberti Cattleman with 7.5 inch barrel
Recently acquired .45 LC Henry Big Boy
.45-70 Govt Sharps carbine and
.45-70 Govt Trapdoor carbine

I also took along a new round for the .45-70s

The .44 Magnum is a lot of fun to shoot. Factory smokeless rounds were going about 1050 to 1100 fps. My black powder rounds were getting about 850 fps. recoil is very manageable. The revolver shoots about three to four inches high at 20 yards regardless of which round I use. This is a fun shooter. It is the revolver I bought through Gunbroker as a busted revolver for about 176.00. I worked on the trigger bolt spring and got it working quite well.

I shot my full load .45 LC in the Vaquero and I will not repeat that mistake. Recoil on that round is way too high for the Vaquero. On the other hand the full load shoots very nicely in the Henry. I traded a .357 Big Boy plus a hundred bucks for this .45 LC Big Boy and I am glad I did.

Perhaps you recall that I am shooting up a bunch of very inconsistent .357 rounds. I don't know what went wrong but last time I was out, I could actually hear the difference round for round in these .357s. This time I chronied the rounds from the Uberti Cattleman and got everything from 500 to 850 fps. I think that either something was in the cases when I loaded the powder. Prolly remnants from the tumbling medium. Or it is possible that the primer channel was fouled. I deprimed, then tumbled and I think I will reverse the order of those operations so as to make sure the primer channel is clear.

The Sharps and Trapdoor continue to be a blast to shoot. I was using a 405 grain bullet with 70 grains of black powder (setting of 55 on the Redding powder measure) similar to the original Govt. round. I found a mold for a 340 grain solid base bullet and decided to give it a try. The shorter bullet allowed me to increase the powder measure setting from 55 to 60. The impact of these two changes in the ammunition creates an additional 150 fps ten feet from the muzzle. 405 grain bullet with 55 set on the measure gives a consistent 1125 fps. The 340 bullet pushed by powder set at 60 sends the bullet downrange at about 1275 fps. Speeds are quite consistent and accuracy is good. Everything in the nine ring at 25 yards with either rifle.

The performance of these two rifles (Sharps and Springfield) is remarkably similar. But if I were choosing between the two rifles to use as a tool, it would be the Trapdoor. It is lighter by a little more than half a pound. It loads easier. Sight picture is better.

No day is wasted upon which one burns some powder.
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Old September 1, 2013, 05:28 PM   #2
Andy Griffith
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Does that Cattleman by chance have an "Army" length grip on it and adjustable sights?

I thought I wanted one of their new .44's a while back, but the urge left me before I got around to it.

A little more expounding upon it's virtues will be appreciated.
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Old September 1, 2013, 07:10 PM   #3
Hawg
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Quote:
I shot my full load .45 LC in the Vaquero and I will not repeat that mistake. Recoil on that round is way too high for the Vaquero.
Whacha talkin bout Doc?
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Old September 1, 2013, 07:26 PM   #4
Andy Griffith
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Quote:
I shot my full load .45 LC in the Vaquero and I will not repeat that mistake. Recoil on that round is way too high for the Vaquero.
Yes, we have to know- that a real Vaquero, or one of the new-fangled, imitation Vaqueros?
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Old September 1, 2013, 11:07 PM   #5
Hellgate
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"I found a mold for a 340 grain solid base bullet and decided to give it a try."

Which mold number are you talking about here?

For a year or two I tried various molds (LEE, RCBS) for my TD carbine to no avail and finally found the Lyman 457124 385gr bullet which throws a very accurate bullet from my sleeved bore (55grs 2F Goex+ two beeswax discs punched over the case mouth from rolled sheets of beeswax brood core, sized .458).
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Old September 1, 2013, 11:45 PM   #6
swathdiver
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Glad you had a nice time Doc!

Took some of my buddies out too. Brought a dragoon gripped ROA, and two Remington's, one .44 and one .36. One buddy brought a .44 Remmy that used pyrodex exclusively and the trigger stop and bolt spring broke (rusted) after two shots. So we burned through nearly 2lbs of real black powder shooting my three for the day. The best part was seeing their ear to ear smiles as they fired and which remained even after walking off the line for someone else's turn! Don't think I fired 24 rounds the whole day but it sure was fun watching them have fun! The expressions on the faces of the folks with their 9mm pop guns were just priceless too!
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Old September 2, 2013, 03:59 AM   #7
Doc Hoy
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Coupla responses

First Andy:

The Cattleman is the fixed sight version. It was Manuf in 1974. The only quarrel I have is that the relief between the back of the cylinder and the recoil shield is a little tight so on a coupla of the shots the base of the bullet bound ever so slightly on the recoil shield. You can see photos of it if you search the forum for my post with Iver Johnson .44 Magnum in the title. I think I am going to like this revolver. I'll shoot up all of the Smokeless rounds (Which were reloads I bought through Georgia Arms at the last Gun Show) and reload them. The bullet I shot came from a Lee 240-.429. I sized and lubed it with the Lyman .429 sizer and lube made from Beeswax and lard. So I had two different rounds. One was to reloads I bought from GA Arms, and the other is my own reloads.

BTW, the Vaquero is from 2009, so it is a recent model.

Now Hawgs question:

I use two different loads for .45 LC

One is all the powder I can get under the bullet with about 1/8th compression. I think it is about 35 grains. On the other round, I back off to about 28 grains then a card then cornmeal. The full loads work very well in the new Henry. Good groups and when I examine the rifle closely I think I will see a relatively easy cleaning job. (Got back late yesterday so I haven't cleaned thoroughly, just a cursory cleaning until this morning). The reason I load two different rounds in 45 LC is to avoid the very problem I had at the range. In a revolver that full load is wasted powder. Bad accuracy, bad recoil, bad idea. Although I do like the fact that my hand is sore from the heavy load recoil. I load the .45-70 govt heavy so I will get a bruise on my shoulder and a stiff back.

To Hellgate:

This mold is a Lee .457 340. It is one of the new design double cavity molds.

I get a bullet out of it that still sizes in the .459 Lyman die. Has two rings. I don't change the setting of the press and so the bullet seats in such a way that over all length of the two different rounds is the same. Again, once I get into the heavy duty cleaning this morning, I will look carefully for leading. This bullet is technically too small for the rifles I have but the speed and accuracy are nice. I might need to start using your technique of lube pills.

To Swath: Here in southeastern VA the day was about the hottest in the last two months. I got there at about 10:30, left at about 1:00 when I was nearly passing out from dehydration. I still had a smile on my face like your pals'. On the drive home, I asked myself what is it about shooting Black powder that entices me. There are so many things I couldn't decide which is most important.

I used to go sailing...gave it up. Use to ride Sportsters...gave it up. Use to collect lead soldiers...gave it up. Use to collect LGB trains...gave it up. But this replica firearms way of life simply isn't letting go.
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Last edited by Doc Hoy; September 2, 2013 at 05:03 AM.
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Old September 2, 2013, 04:56 AM   #8
Doc Hoy
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Hellgate...

Have you slugged to bore on your sleeved carbine?

Or maybe the gunsmith told you the dimensions?
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Old September 2, 2013, 07:21 AM   #9
Doc Hoy
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Cleaned the tools....

Had absolutely no problem with leading apart from some minor remnants in the Sharps.

I think I may have solved this problem by making sure that my bullets stay above 14 in hardness.

Pretty happy about this.
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Old September 2, 2013, 07:25 AM   #10
Doc Hoy
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To Andy Griffith

The .44 has a brass trigger guard and backs trap. The size of the grip is almost exactly like an 1860.

I believe I have witnessed this configuration referred to as the Virginia Dragoon.
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Old September 2, 2013, 11:10 AM   #11
Hellgate
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Doc,
I was told it was .457 so I use .458 bullet sizer. I think I didn't pick the LEE mold you did because I thought it did not pack enough lube for BP. My Lyman 385gr bullet with the little bit of beeswax under it packs a fair amount of lube (50/50 deer tallow/beeswax) and can be shot at least 40 shots in a row without any fouling build up. I get 1.5" groups at 50 yds with it so I am happy.
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Wolverton Mtn. Peacekeepers (WA), former Orygun Cowboy (Ranger, Posse from Hell)
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Old September 2, 2013, 07:31 PM   #12
swathdiver
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Same here Doc, all hobbies went by the wayside except shootin' and fishin'! I'd like a horse or maybe a team and a wagon to go with my pistols someday though!
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Old September 2, 2013, 08:06 PM   #13
Andy Griffith
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Your .44 sounds like it's doing a great job!

Now, I'm going to be on the look out for a VD rather than the new Uberti .44.
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Old September 2, 2013, 09:04 PM   #14
Doc Hoy
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My observation about the Virginia Dragoon

appears to have been incorrect.

I looked at image after image of revolvers that came up using the search words "Virginia Dragoon" and none of them look like there revolver I have. I do know that Iver Johnson used brass back strap and trigger guards on the western style revolvers they imported. And when I examined one on the late 70s early 80s it was presented as a Virginia Dragoon.
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Old September 3, 2013, 11:28 AM   #15
swathdiver
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Forgive me if this has been mentioned already but as I recall it was Interarms of Virginia that made the Virginian Dragoon. I found a write up on the guns in pdf form and would be happy to pass it along.
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