View Full Version : Loads for .44 cap & ball. . .

June 10, 2004, 07:22 PM
I recently purchased a Pietta steel frame 1858 Remington in .44 caliber and I'm confused as to what loads I should use to get the best performance. The Pietta manual recommends 12-15 grains of fffg, which seems rather puny to me. The Taylor's & Co. sheet recommends 20-30 grains of fffg, which seems more reasonable. Some people, including famous gunwriter Elmer Keith and a couple of old Civil War vets he knew, recommended full loads with the cylinder filled almost to the top. Some people say you can't overload a cap & ball, so long as you use the proper powder. I don't plan on shooting it very much, but when I do I'd like to shoot some fairly heavy loads but I don't want put excessive wear on my gun. Any advice would be appreciated.

June 12, 2004, 04:26 AM
I have a .44 cal. LeMat made by Pietta. They make the same pistol under contract for Navy Arms. I use a Colt Walker flask that despences 45Gr.of Hodgdon 777 in the pistol part & use 80Gr of Pyrodex RS in the 20 gage shotgun. Pietta pistols seem to be calibered .451 instead of .454 but all and all you get a top of the line pistol (Navy arms) at 2/3 of the price.
Hope this helps....Lon Bassett

June 13, 2004, 01:48 PM

I've been putting 60 gr/volumn of pyrodex p in the shot barrel with 310-350 grains of shot. I don't know but suspect from other pistols that this would be pretty close to your 80 gr charge of Pyrodex RX.

The chamber mouths on this revolver are .448 while the land to land bore measurement are .444. The Pietta Manual explains that .454 balls should be used and this seems to stem from lack of knowlege of the company's own pistol. they make no mention of correct loads for the shot barrel. Navy suggests a maximum of 20 grains of fffg with a 62 caliber ball. Shot loaded at this level simply spills out of the barrel.

I am presently trying to get some spare parts for this revolver and kind of wonder if anybody has been able to do this.

Load performance from the black powder revolvers is not altogether predictable and it is normal to see different results posted with different revolvers and the same loads.

June 14, 2004, 06:45 PM
Thanks for the info. For parts for your LeMat, you might want to try:


June 15, 2004, 09:17 AM
Dixie gun works lists a few parts. I will do a test order
Taylor does not handle LeMats
I had an order in for two years with Navy Arms. Pietta did not send the parts
I have placed an order with VTI gunparts and received confirmation from Alessandro Pietta that the order was received. It remains to be seen whether or not Pietta will actually fill the back order.

Ideally, the company that makes the revolver ( Pietta) would also make arrangements for replacement parts. This would be the ideal situation for the consumer. It may be inconvenient for the manufacturer or not cost effective. Some companies look for the quick sale and do not regard possible repeat customers as an important factor.