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Old October 17, 2013, 07:25 AM   #1
SpareMag
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BP revolver for the newbie

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

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

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.

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?

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.

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

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.

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?
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Old October 17, 2013, 07:52 AM   #2
fdf
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There are two (2) good write ups by Gatofeo of Utah.

Use your search engine and look up:

1. Black Powder Cap and Ball Primer

2. Black Powder Cap and Ball Reloading

They will answer all your questions.

Uberti 1858 New Army Remington,
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Old October 17, 2013, 08:12 AM   #3
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Josey Wales used several revolvers in that movie, but the ones that stick out are the Walker Colts (or were they dragoons??). I don't recall Clint changing barrels on any gun in that movie. Now, in "Pale Rider" he was swapping cylinders on a Remington NMA (cartridge conversion). If that's what you consider to be the cool factor, get a steel framed Pietta or Uberti 1858 Remington in .44 cal (copy of the Remington NMA revolver). You can get spare cylinders from Midway USA or Cabela's (probably lots of other places too but those are the usual suspects). You can get cartridge conversion cylinders for it from either Howell's or Kirst (expensive but cool).
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Old October 17, 2013, 09:30 AM   #4
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Remington

Remington; For many reasons. The hard choice would be do I want the 8", 5" in 44 or the 36 cal. Down the road you will most likely end up with all three. Cabelas has the best buys that I can find. If you end up with a 44 some use FF in that cal. And yes steel frame.
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Old October 17, 2013, 10:58 AM   #5
SpareMag
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Yeah, prob got my Eastwood films confused...I think I am thinking of the scene from "Pale Rider".

As for barrel, no question, 8"... Go big or go home.

Thx all! Time to hit the Cabelas site again!
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Old October 17, 2013, 11:44 AM   #6
DoubleDeuce 1
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You should handle a couple of models before you choose. See what fits you.
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Old October 17, 2013, 11:48 AM   #7
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Welcome to the cap and ball pistol hobby.
My opinions, only:
Colts are cool to look at.
But Remingtons are better to actually go shooting with.
And the only choice if you want to do quick change cylinders.
There are other full frame replicas, but they usually cost more than the Remingtons, to no real advantage for range time.
Interesting, though, for an expanded BP collection.
2F is all that's available around here, and it works just fine in revolvers.
Or you can use Hodgdon's Triple 7, BP substitute.
Lots cleaner and less hassle for a day of practicing.
Nicer smelling, too.
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Old October 17, 2013, 12:03 PM   #8
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With your $500 budget, you can buy nearly any of the BP revolver replicas out there, including the mighty Colt Walker.

Ubertis are generally considered superior to the Piettas.

Quote:
Colts are cool to look at.
But Remingtons are better to actually go shooting with.
And the only choice if you want to do quick change cylinders.
I agree with this.

I own a Pietta Colt 1860 Army and a Pietta Remington 1858 New Army. I agree with g.willikers that the Colt feels and looks more elegant. But the Remington is clearly a more technologically advanced firearm:

It digests spent caps much better and rarely do the cap fragments jam the action as they frequently do with Colts.

The cylinder is easily removed without disassembling the gun.

Cylinder-to-barrel face gap is consistently maintained due to the solid frame.

It is easier to remove the grips on the Remington (1 screw) for a thorough dunk-cleaning.

I think the Remington is functionally the better firearm.

I love me some Colts, though. Next up I want a Walker.

Steve
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Old October 17, 2013, 12:20 PM   #9
noelf2
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Quote:
Colts are cool to look at.
But Remingtons are better to actually go shooting with.
Depends on what kind of shooting you mean. They're all good for lots of shooting, but I take a Remmy with me during muzzle season as a backup gun. I could hunt with it (where legal).
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Old October 17, 2013, 01:56 PM   #10
SpareMag
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Well, looks like Cabela is out of Uberti, but I can have any Pietta I want...

As for the purpose, it would be used for errant pop cans, miscreant wheel cap covers and whatnot.

Whatnots are on the endangered list now in my area, so if I hunt whatnots I have to be careful and do it when John Law is not around.

We have already hunted out all the snipes in my county.

Update:

Geesh, nobody has nuthin'...Buds has a Traditions 1858 Remington, but it appears if it exists right now, Pietta has the stock in-country. Oh, well, no rush on this anyway.

Last edited by SpareMag; October 17, 2013 at 02:19 PM.
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Old October 17, 2013, 02:17 PM   #11
g.willikers
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Nothing wrong with a Pietta.
Other than one broken hand spring, they've served me well.
They all come from Italy, the land of lunches with wine and Fiats.
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Old October 17, 2013, 02:20 PM   #12
SpareMag
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G...it all sounded good until the "Fiat" part...
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Old October 17, 2013, 03:18 PM   #13
maillemaker
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If you are not in a hurry Cabela's every few months runs a sale on them. And if you sign up for their Visa card you can often get even more knocked off the price. I think I picked up my 1858 for like $175 from them with the combined deals.

Steve
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Old October 17, 2013, 04:45 PM   #14
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'58 Rem. Is a great place to start. Uberti or Pietta, I believe either will serve you well.
Have you looked on GunBroker or other such sites? Usually plenty to pick from. Good luck.
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Old October 17, 2013, 10:59 PM   #15
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I to am about to get an 1858
Cabela's is out for the next week or two for the standard model, they do have the Color case hardened frame model for $300
Cabelas sells Pietta, butnot Uberti except for the carbine model.
I am choosing Peitta because they have better Bore/Groove and cylinder sizes. Uberti is oversized on the Grooves, kind of a deal breaker for me.
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Old October 18, 2013, 03:24 AM   #16
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Uberti is on vacation all of October and new arrivals will not hit this country until the enod of the year, so what is here is all there is for awhile. Cimarron had 4 BP pistols when I was there on Oct. 4. Might try Taylor's.
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Old October 18, 2013, 04:17 AM   #17
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Quote:
Uberti is on vacation all of October
Are you sure about that? Almost all of Italy goes on vacation in August.
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Old October 18, 2013, 05:32 AM   #18
SpareMag
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Great, thanks all.

Probably not internally expedient if FedEx arrives right now, I am helping a friend liquidate out some of his surplus toys, just got a Smith CS9 and agreed to a Beretta Mod 70 in .32...neither of which I need, butI can't pass up the prices.

Sadly, he never got into BP....

Long way of saying, not only CAN i wait for a bit, but I SHOULD wait for a bit.
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Old October 18, 2013, 06:35 AM   #19
Revoltella
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Try Dixie Gun Works?
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Old October 18, 2013, 08:37 AM   #20
SpareMag
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Didn't get that far in my Google search, saw the name however.

Pity my LGS doesn't play in the BP area much. I can see why, but I don't like dealing with places about which I know nothing.

UPDATE: Just checked Dixie Gun Works...sould be a good source for all manner of frivilous expenditures...and yes, thet have Uberti New Armies!

Last edited by SpareMag; October 18, 2013 at 09:49 AM.
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Old October 19, 2013, 07:20 PM   #21
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I hope I don't get shot for saying this but....

My personal opinion is that over the last coupla years, Pietta quality is close enough to Uberti, that for a guy who is new to BP revolvers, the wait and expense of the Uberti is not worth it. Especially on a Remington clone.

Fit and finish of the Uberti is a little better still, but to say that Pietta is adequate is an understatement.
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Old October 19, 2013, 09:56 PM   #22
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I agree Doc. I have three Pietta '58 Remingtons, the oldest made in 1999, and all are top quality shooters. Though my Uberti and 2nd Gen Colts look and feel better in my hand, my Pietta Remingtons shoot better.
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Old October 21, 2013, 05:15 AM   #23
SpareMag
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Knocking around elsewhere, the Pieta vibe is positive. And, this is an introductory piece for me, so nuances will prob be lost on me until I get some knowledge and a few jammed balls...

I WAS surprised to hit the Cabelas site and see a conversion cylinder for 45 Long Colt cost about as much as the whole revolver. Close to a coupla hundred bucks...????

What am I missing here? It is a round piece of steel with six holes cut in it...???

Addtl cylinders for the BP were running around $60 or so, and that seemed more reasonable.
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Old October 21, 2013, 07:33 AM   #24
Doc Hoy
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I want to be very cautious with my pronouncements..

I do not shoot enough to declare that Pietta revolvers shoot as well as or better than Uberti revolvers.

I am what would be best described as a casual observer and casual shooter.

I have shot both manufacturers in BP cap and ball and in BP cartridge and I can tell you that for me The difference does not support the extra money for Uberti.

Do I see a difference? Yes.
Is the difference enough to suggest one over the other? Yes, partially. It is a factor in the decision.
Is it the only factor? No, there is at least the other factor of price.

If I could buy an Uberti for the same price as a Pietta I would do it every time.

I am completely unable to supply any argument that any other person should choose; Uberti, Pietta, the old ASPs or ASMs. (Which BTW can be quite good.)

I am only speaking for myself.
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Old October 21, 2013, 09:15 AM   #25
maillemaker
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Quote:
I WAS surprised to hit the Cabelas site and see a conversion cylinder for 45 Long Colt cost about as much as the whole revolver. Close to a coupla hundred bucks...????
Yup, they are outrageous. There is a recent thread here about a fellow who is considering making them for $140 or so.

It must be a combination of the liability plus the limited market.

But that's why I never bought one - for the price of the cylinder and the revolver you could but an actual cartridge-shooting revolver that has much better internal components than the BP guns have.

I find the BP guns have sub-standard heat treating as they have found that most customers don't shoot them enough to wear them out.

Steve
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