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Old October 21, 2013, 11:50 AM   #26
SpareMag
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Maillemaker,

I saw that thread on the $140 conversion cylinder and read it with interest. And I agree, for the money, I too would just get a purpose-built 45LC.

I was unaware of the heat-treating issue surrounding BP guns..but I will truthfully fall into that demographic (probably) of playing with BP as an avocation and an aside to my cartridge toys.

I won't be building out the kits...I will play with what is commercially available. BP is about the process and the history. But I LIKE electric starters on cars...I have no interest in returning to cranking a car by hand. Technology has moved on. Smokeless powder cartridges have definite advantages which I for one enjoy.

BP is a trip, but I need to have the time to properly futz with it.
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Old October 21, 2013, 12:35 PM   #27
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I was unaware of the heat-treating issue surrounding BP guns..but I will truthfully fall into that demographic (probably) of playing with BP as an avocation and an aside to my cartridge toys.
I've been shooting BP guns seriously for about 2 years now since joining the N-SSA. I've had heat treating problems with virtually all of the BP guns I have.

I've had springs go soft in locks, you can see hands get worn on revolvers, and everyone knows about the soft screw heads that damage so easily.

I used to wonder that a BP revolver can be sold for $200 but a cartridge revolver, which is nearly identical in terms of machining operations, costs twice or even three times as much.

I'm pretty convinced that the reason why they are so much cheaper is the heat treatment and metallurgy. They know that a cartridge gun will be fired thousands of times in its life. It is trivial to shoot 5 rounds at a session with a cartridge gun. It has to hold up not only to repeated and often use but the high pressures of modern smokeless loads.

But a BP gun might not get shot by many buyers 50 times a year. A fair number of BP shooters no doubt shoot them once, discover what a comparative dirty mess they are, and put them on a mantle or in a closet. It's only when you use them a lot, like shooting them 50 or more times a month, that you discover their shortcomings.

While I've seen actual broken parts, usually the problem is related to poor heat treating.

Steve
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Old October 21, 2013, 07:44 PM   #28
SpareMag
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Hmmm....so, any mfg producing properly heat-treated revolvers? Or do we accept that BP revolvers will just wear out after a bit?

How does this situation compare to orig production techniques in the mid-1800s? Is lack of heat-treating a more "authentic" reproduction?
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Old October 22, 2013, 08:39 AM   #29
maillemaker
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Hmmm....so, any mfg producing properly heat-treated revolvers? Or do we accept that BP revolvers will just wear out after a bit?
Well, I don't want to make blanket statements based on anecdotal evidence, but I currently own:

Richmond Carbine James River Armory (Armisport?). Had sear spring go soft. I took it out, heated it in a propane flame in a metal cap can full of leather pieces for an hour, then quenched it in transmission fluid, polished it, heated it to straw/blue and quenched it again. Works fine now.

Euroarms P53. Sear nose mushroomed then broke off. Ground a new nose and carburized and heat-treated as above.

Cheap-o brass-framed "1851 Navy" CVA .44 revolvers. The ends of the hands mushroomed. Filed and heat treated as above to fix.

Pedersoli P58. Tumbler stirrup arm was too small for the hole in it and broke. Replaced with Lodgewood machined replacements.

Pietta 1858, 1860. Haven't shot enough to have any problems yet.

Quote:
How does this situation compare to orig production techniques in the mid-1800s? Is lack of heat-treating a more "authentic" reproduction?
Repros are nothing like the originals. I bought an original Enfield (I have since sold it).

http://www.forth-armoury.com/temp/18...63_enfield.htm

Check out this photo that clearly shows the nose of the sear and the notches on the tumbler:

http://www.forth-armoury.com/temp/18...mic1/KS062.JPG

They are still as crisp as if they were made yesterday.

It's lock internals were as good as new in spite of being 150 years old and a rough Indian-service gun. For starters, these firearms were manufactured as military equipment and expected to see hard service.

Also, most, if not all of the original steel parts were machined or worked from solid stock. Many of the components in reproductions are castings, which do not take heat treating as well as machined parts.

Most original pieces were hand-fitted with close attention to detail. Workers were "mulcted" - fined - for producing sub-standard pieces. So if you screwed up a part it came out of your pay.

There was junk produced back in the day, too (gas pipe / trade guns), but generally speaking the originals were very well manufactured items. Probably much better than we have today.

Steve
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Old November 3, 2013, 08:50 AM   #30
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Sadly the best BP revolver is no longer manufactured. Bill Ruger promised that as long as he was alive the old army would be produced. It was his "baby'

It seems like Ruger stopped making it the day he passed. There are a lot of used examples, but they are getting pretty dear.

I regret not purchasing one when they were new and available.
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Old November 3, 2013, 01:07 PM   #31
Gaucho Gringo
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If you wait and watch Cabela's web site between now and Christmas they will go on sale. Last year the lowest was around $140-150. I am waiting for the 1851's to go on sale then I will buy one. I already have two of them but cannot get a conversion cylinder for them because they are ASM & ASP. I email Raven about conversion cylinders but no go. I will sell the others to fund the purchase. I like conversion cylinders because I can shoot them with smokeless at indoor ranges which all ban BP. It is just getting too hard physically to get in the woods to shoot, but a 10 block trip to the indoor range is ok. BTW I have 2 Pietta 1858 Remingtons and have had no problems with them.
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Old November 4, 2013, 01:01 PM   #32
SpareMag
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Thanks, Gaucho,

I am in no great rush...Largely take the view that when the student is ready, the weapon will come.

A cheap Cabela's offering would suit me just fine.
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Old November 4, 2013, 10:09 PM   #33
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Uberti's are more period correct as far as their appearance. I'm sure pietta's function fine, but I don't really want MADE IN ITALY - .44 CALIBER - BLACKPOWDER ONLY on the side of my guns.
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Old November 5, 2013, 02:22 AM   #34
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Get a .36 Caliber Pietta Griswold and Gunnison. Shooting round balls through it backed by 20-24 grains of black powder isn't going to hurt the frame at all.
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Old November 7, 2013, 08:45 AM   #35
Bill Akins
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Quote:
Sparemag wrote:
I am also a fan of "Hell on Wheels" so a Griswold replica would be way cool for me, but the stickie here warns against brass-framed revolvers. This makes sense to me, so I am probably dropping a Griswold, sadly, from consideration.
If you like the half round barrel of the Griswold & Gunnison, but are considering dropping that idea because of the brass frame, I would suggest you get a steel frame 1851 and then look on ebay for the half round Griswold barrel. The octagonal barrel 1851 and the half round barrel Griswold and Gunnison are the same revolver, except for the half round barrel of the Griswold. So you can get a steel frame 1851 and simply swap out the barrel for a half round Griswold. I'd suggest you make sure they are both from the same maker though, so that the pin holes will more likely align. However, you can file out the pin holes to make them fit if they are slightly off from the barrel being made by a different maker.

If the barrel to receiver pin holes are WAY off, another thing you can do is pull the pins out with vicegrips. Then beside the old pin holes (where the pins were before you pulled them out), you can drill new pin holes and use your old pins in them, or if you buggered up the pins by pulling them out with vicegrips, then you can use cut down and rounded end drill rod as pins and hammer tap them in. Then drill new holes that those pins will align with. That's worst case scenario though. More than likely the pins and holes will line up just fine, and if they are a little off, as I said, you can use a round jeweler's file to ream them out a little so the pins will align and fit into them.

Regarding the differences between the Uberti and Pietta Remington model 1858 revolvers, here is why I think the Uberti is better.

Although as Doc Hoy mentioned the Pietta's are doing better in their quality these days, I still think that overall in fit and finish that the Uberti 1858 Remington's are just a leeetle better. I've owned both, but sold my Pietta 1858 and kept my Uberti 1858. But the slightly better fit and finish is actually not the main reason I like the Uberti 1858 Remy's better.

The main reason I like the Uberti 1858 Remingtons better, is because the front sight and loading lever catch are dovetailed into the barrel, whereas on the Pietta's they are round ended and soldered onto the barrel, so they can't as easily be removed on the Pietta's as on the Uberti's by just tapping them out of their dovetails. Plus if a front sight or loading lever catch gets loose on a Pietta, you have to solder it back tight again to fix it. They don't get loose on the Uberti usually, and if they ever do, all you need to do is peen a bit on the edge of the dovetail to tighten them up again.

In order to remove the cylinder pin completely from the 1858 revolver, you have to remove the loading lever catch. And since the Pietta loading lever catch is round and soldered into the barrel, it isn't easy to remove. But the Uberti loading lever catch is easy to tap out of its dovetail in the barrel (as is its front sight). Also by being able to tap the dovetailed front sight sideways in its dovetail on the Uberti's, you can easily change the windage on the Uberti 1858 or easily change out the front sight completely for a taller or lower one to change your elevation. Can't do that on a Pietta 1858 since it's front sight can't be tapped sideways with a hammer to change windage because it is soldered into a hole and can't move from that hole.

That's the main reason I like the Uberti 1858 better over the Pietta 1858.


.
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"This is my Remy and this is my Colt. Remy loads easy and topstrap strong, Colt balances better and never feels wrong. A repro black powder revolver gun, they smoke and shoot lead and give me much fun. I can't figure out which one I like better, they're both fine revolvers that fit in my leather".
"To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target".

Last edited by Bill Akins; November 7, 2013 at 09:16 AM.
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Old November 7, 2013, 06:52 PM   #36
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Quote:
If you like the half round barrel of the Griswold & Gunnison, but are considering dropping that idea because of the brass frame, I would suggest you get a steel frame 1851 and then look on ebay for the half round Griswold barrel. The octagonal barrel 1851 and the half round barrel Griswold and Gunnison are the same revolver, except for the half round barrel of the Griswold. So you can get a steel frame 1851 and simply swap out the barrel for a half round Griswold. I'd suggest you make sure they are both from the same maker though, so that the pin holes will more likely align. However, you can file out the pin holes to make them fit if they are slightly off from the barrel being made by a different maker.
Heck just get a Leech & Rigdon and be done with it.
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Old November 8, 2013, 09:24 AM   #37
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newbie

to sparemag
Gentlefolk,

Well, my "care and feeding" post was incredibly helpful to me, so since no good deed goes unpunished...

I am interested in expanding my BP experience to include pistols.

I am blissfully ignoring my total lack of knowledge.

I am also a fan of "Hell on Wheels" so a Griswold replica would be way cool for me, but the stickie here warns against brass-framed revolvers. This makes sense to me, so I am probably dropping a Griswold, sadly, from consideration.

So, criteria:
1: something that I would have to work really hard to screwup

The eaisest for you would likely be the .44 cal 1858 Remington. It comes in variations look them up.
Otherwise a 1851/ 1860 colt in 44 cal

2: economical -meaning $500 or less - this is strictly a toy for me, not a SD weapon

Normally around $300 or less for a quality Pietta or Uberti brand

3: some historical interest. I saw one Cabela's offering with the selling point it was the model carried by John Wesley Hardin. Interesting, but not the weapon karma I am seeking.

both Used in Civil War and by Several historical figures.

4: ability to get a spare cylinder for it at a reasonable price. Clint Eastwood was changing barrels without looking in...Josie Wales? That is the kind of cool I would love to be able to emulate. What was Wales' revolver?

He was changing cylinders, not barrels. With practice you can swap one out without looking and quickly.
Average $40 to $80 for a spare.
He switched back and forth 36 cal colt navy, 1860 44 colts and1858 Remingtons and the colt Dragoons. Depends on the movie he was in.

5: a base understanding of what else I need to factor in...such as a bullet press, which is not needed for a rifle. But what else? I know I will need a different powder than the 2F I am using now.

most use .454 round ball some use Lee 45-200 conical. and others
Store bought are usually swaged and more expensive.
I sell hand cast reasonably priced in various calibers.
Don't need a press you can do it on the gun.
You would need a FFFG powder or equivalent in Pyrodex, 777 etc.
You will need #10 percussion caps
Some type of lube or mix your own.
Possibly some wads .... I also cut and sell these.

6: something iconically American, I think, though a replica German revolver would be cool...no French arms need apply

Remingtons and Colts are both American

7: country of mfg is not important, but prefer to avoid China. Not for any political reason, but if the country can't make baby formula, I don't have warm-fuzzies about sporting weapons that can remove fingers or eyes. yeah, I know, the type 54 is great...thanks, will stick with my Russian SKS.

Almost all current black powder replicas are made in Italy

Ummm..that should cover it! From my surfing, it appears Italy is my country mfg of choice--or no choice, for I see no one else producing cheap BP pistols, but please educate me.

What am I missing or not thinking through?

Powder measure, adjustable or fixed, maybe a capper.
PM me if you want. we can communicate by my email after.
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Old November 10, 2013, 07:55 PM   #38
SpareMag
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DD4 and all;

Been off the forum for a few days and just now read all these wonderfully detailed responses, which I find wonderully valuable.

Thank you for the detail you have offered.

Now I just have to get a revolver!

Oh..I do have a question.

Cabelas is thick with Piettas, but if I wanted to shop Uberti, who carries them?
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Old November 10, 2013, 08:31 PM   #39
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Try

Taylors.

Cabela's should have some too.
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Old November 10, 2013, 08:55 PM   #40
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My 1858 Remington replica is an old Army San Paolo (now Euroarms?) that serves well for the little use it gets. The only other BP revolver I have shot is a Ruger Old Army. I can easily recommend the ROA over the ASP, 'though it does not meet your interest in historical arms.

Regardless of what you buy, I strongly recommend the Lyman Black Powder Handbook.

The last Dixie Gun Works catalog I bought was a treasure, with much good material on BP shooting and many surprising oddball items salted throughout: well worth the price.
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Old November 10, 2013, 08:57 PM   #41
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Roger .... Out

On everything you said, Chuck.

I think the ASPs were about the highest quality at the time they were being made.
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Old November 11, 2013, 05:23 AM   #42
Hawg
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Quote:
Cabela's should have some too.
Cabela's has Walkers and 49's made by Uberti. The rest are Pietta.
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Old November 13, 2013, 09:43 PM   #43
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Quote:
Cabela's has Walkers and 49's made by Uberti. The rest are Pietta.
And one little one made by NAA, unless we're only talking replica(ish) revolvers.
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