View Full Version : New to BP

January 1, 2005, 06:49 PM
I am a total novice to black powder firearms. I would like to buy a good reproduction revolver.

Any recommendations are appreciated.


January 1, 2005, 08:26 PM
If you are shooting black powder firearms, then shoot the real stuff, not the
substitutes. Goex or Swiss are the best out there. Swiss is a bit more pricey, but some people swear by it because of the wood that is used for the
charcoal. I use Goex and have excellent success. For pistol use 3f, 2f and
1f for rifle. As a general rule the higher volume of powder the bigger grain of
powder. In my muzzle loader and my 45-90 Sharps cartridge rifle I use 2f.
Over 100 grains of powder and for longer range the slower burning 1f is better. I do know shooters the use 3f in their 45-70's for hunting loads where
they want more energy and are not concerned about accuracy beyond 200
yards. You might want to visit www.goexpowder.com and search the forum.
Hope this helps.
Once you go black, you never go back.

January 1, 2005, 09:09 PM
Any of these suit you. Ignore the top two in the first pic

aussie bob
January 2, 2005, 11:06 PM
G'day Hampton,

Most reproductions or replicas made today are not bad. Italian names like Uberti, Pietta, Navy Arms, Pedersoli etc will have something that is likely to interest you. In this regard I offer the following comments.

If you are going to do a lot of shooting then stay away from brass frame revolvers as they tend to stretch reasonably quickly. If you shoot occasionaly then buy one, as some of them look very nice.

Revolvers with the top strap are usually stronger and more reliable. IMHO the Colts can be more accurate but the point of aim changes most times after you re-attach the barrel back to the frame. Rear sight is the hammer and that means the rear sight is on the frame and the front sight is on the barrel. The Remington, Rogers and Spencer and the rest of the top strap revolvers tend to hold their point of aim a bit better.

Italians make lousy springs. I suggest you keep at least a spare trigger/cylinder lock spring in your kit. Likewise a hand and spring could also be worthwhile. They are so cheap anyway. I like the hammer/cylinder lock springs from DGW. I haven't had a revolver main spring fail yet, touch wood.

Calibre is a consideration as well. If you are field shooting you maybe better off with the .44/.45 types. On the otherhand the .36 are a delight to shoot for target however I would still think the heavier calibre is more reliable than the lighter as it will buck the wind better.

BTW I am a target shooter as on the whole handgun hunting is not allowed in Australia.

I own. Le Page .36 Percussion (Pedersoli), Ruger Old Army SS .45, Colt 1862 .36 (Uberti), Kentucky Flintlock pistol .45 (Pedersoli), Remington 1858 .45 (Uberti), Thompson Centre G2 converted to breach loading blackpowder (not cartridge). On order Le Page .45 smoothbore flinter (Pedersoli).

Stainless versus blue is a matter of choice. I prefer the blue guns but I do like the Ruger Old Army in SS as I can be relatively slack as to when I fully clean it. The blue guns have to be more closely watch for any signs of rusting no matter how well you clean them.

If you have a big hand, which I have, then be prepared to get wrapped over the nuckles by the trigger guard on the Remington. There is not much space for a big finger.

If you are looking for something of high quality and requiring little if any tuning then consider the Pedersoli Rogers and Spencer (big grip which I like), Pedersoli Remington 1858 or the just released in Australia Feinwerkbau Remington 1858(History 2) (A$1995.00) .

So bottom line. Although not a replica the Ruger Old Army in SS (blue is available) is a good start as it is relatively reliable, forgiving, bit heavy however, the adjustable sight model can be fitted with Millet sights without modification and they make a real difference and as the gun is CNC manufactured the replacement of parts is, from my experience, as easy as taking the old bit out and putting a new bit in.

Appearance wise I like the look of the Colt 1862 Navy or the 1861 Army. I suspect one day I will buy a Rogers and Spencer as it fits my hand a lot better. Why not buy one now? I have the Le Page flinter on order, I have a Pedersoli Kodiak waiting the permit to purchase and I am about to order a Pedersoli Mortimer Flintlock Target Rifle. Man has a limit due to money and our firearms laws in Australia.

Whilst this is a good forum also have a look at "Muzzleloading Forum" for more information. http://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/

Cheers from down under
Aussie Bob

January 3, 2005, 12:42 AM
For some good information on loading and maintaining the cap and ball revolver, see my two-part post, "How to properly use a cap and ball revolver" I placed here Oct. 1, 2004. Lots of good info in there.

For the beginner, I'd suggest any of the following models: Colt 1851 Navy .36, Colt 1861 Navy .36, Colt 1860 Army .44, Remington Army .44 or Remington Army .36 caliber.
The Remingtons have a much better sight picture, for aligning the sights on a tin can or target. The Colts are better balanced than the Remingtons and point more naturally.
It's all a matter of what feels good in your hand. There are many who point out that the Remington is stronger, but this is a moot point. Either design will take all the black powder you can get in a chamber, and still have room left over for the ball.
The Ruger Old Army is a very fine revolver. It's not authentic but if authenticity is not a concern then you may wish to consider it.
I shoot both Colt and Remington models. My Remington .44 is made by Uberti. The Remington .36 is made by Pietta. The Colt 1860 is made by Pietta. My 1851 Navy is a true Colt, a 2nd generation model sold by Colt in the early 1980s.
I also have a copy of the 1862 Colt Police made by Armi San Marcos. Quality is not as good as Pietta, Uberti or Colt and I don't recommend any revolver made by Armi San Marcos.
The .36 caliber uses less lead and powder than the .44 calibers. The downside is that generally, only one ball size is available: .375 inch. Best accuracy is with a larger ball. I use .380 inch balls sold through the internet by Warren Muzzleloading, in Arkansas.
If you go with a .44, there is more over-the-counter choice in ball size: 451, .454 and .457 inch. I suggest the .454 ball. It has proven more accurate in my revolvers.
Anyway, print out my posts of Oct. 1, 2004 and do some reading. They're rather long posts, but worth keeping.

January 3, 2005, 05:58 PM
I have had very good luck with Italian models.
I have one built by Navy Arms in 1970's. Its an early colt reproduction and if my memmory is right I think its an 1851. I have shot it so much that there is a small mark on the rod the cylinder rotates on thats been cut by the firing of the chamber.
What I have found with all of the Italian pistoles that I have is to completly dissessamble the guns and get a honing stone and smooth all the parts where they slide against other parts. This will make the trigger smooth and give that crisp sound of all early colts.
True if you have the money get yourself a real colt, They reproduced them in the 80's and 90's but at $500 a pop and up, Ill take the Italian any day.
I have recently purchased were 2 1862 Police Sheriffs built by Fllipetta in Itialy. Its the more modern looking colt. The fit is really wonderful, but the action is harsh. One thing I also did with these is when I am watching TV I set there and cock and uncock the guns. 1000's of times, If you dont feel confident in taking a gun apart this is another way so smooth the action. It also makes your thumb strong.
Stay with 44 calaber and real blackpowder 36 cal just dont have the recoil.
1. When you load them make sure you greese the chambe after loading the lead ball. These guns can have multi fires if you dont. When one cylinder fires the flame comes out where the cylinder and barrel meet. If there is flecks of powder in the next cylinder it can set that cylinder off. THIS IS NO JOKE. Without the grease they can be dangerious. The ball can come out the next cylinder and hit the rod that holds the gun togther and you can cover the person standing next to you with hot lead. There is a product that works well and is easy to find in most stores that carry black powder called "Spitball" comes in a hand cream like bottle and with a cap that makes it ease to fill the end of the cylinder with the grease. Crysco will work but I dont suggest it, dirty, very dirty.
2. Do NOT dry fire a cap and ball gun. It rounds the nipples and makes them unreliable to fire. Yes they can be replaced with a nipple wrinch.
3 When the guns have been cleaned and oiled and then set around for months before loading powder and ball put a cap on each nipple and fire it once to clear any oil from the chamber.
4. Get a nipple wrench and a nipple brush before you start shooting that will fit the gun. Every one has missfires with BP. Some times you get garbage in the nipple and no matter what you do it wont go off. Some times just running a brush or mettal pick will get the gun to fire. Some times the only way is to remove the nipple, remove the powder and ether knock out the ball or reload the powder and try to fire with a fresh primer.
5. The best thing for washing black powder guns is common dish washing soap and the hottest water you can stand. Just the barrel and cylinder, the rest of the gun just wipe down.

And the only other thing I can recomend is to just have fun. Yes there old dinisoars, but take one to any range and pull out a cap and ball and start shooting and watch the crowd surround you.
Its a lot of work but so much fun. I do cowboy action shooting with them and there is nothing more fun than one stage where we shoot indoors. 10 rounds inside a large room you wonder how any one got shot in the 1800's.
Or at least any one that wasn't an innocent bystander.