View Full Version : Loads for 1848 dragoons

June 4, 2010, 11:48 AM
Do most shoot 50gr FFF roundball loads? Or does most find more accurate conicals with lower load?

Just got one.

Doc Hoy
June 4, 2010, 12:21 PM
Lyman book I have lists 40 gr. and roundballs. Tops out at around 1100 to 1200 FPS.

June 4, 2010, 12:48 PM
Hmm, I have a lymans cartridge reloading. I will see if it lists anything. Thanks

June 4, 2010, 04:19 PM
Tons of info on these 3 links!

http://www.hodgdon.com/PDF/muzzleloading_manual_2008.pdf?CHECKBOX_1=on (3rd page at bottom)



June 4, 2010, 04:34 PM
Thanks Fork, but none of these list dragoon or walker loads. Only generic pistol loads.

June 4, 2010, 07:39 PM
I use 45 gr of fff black or pyrodex p, lubed wad under a ball.
I've found this load to be pretty accurate with plenty of power.
I do load 50 grains once in a while just for fun but get a little better
accuracy with 45 so I'll stick with that for most of my shooting.
I've not yet tried any conicals so I can't comment on those.

June 5, 2010, 06:37 AM
My best (most accurate as measured by group size) load in a Uberti 2nd Model Dragoon is 40 gr fffg with a lubed felt wad, no grease or filler (I don't shoot well enough to make the filler worth the effort).

However, assuming someone else's experience with loads will work for you is not recommended. You really need to work up the load that's best for your gun by experiment. Start with 30 grains and go up in 5 grain increments.

June 5, 2010, 07:15 AM
Colt spec for the Dragoon is 35-40 grs, 37 recommended of FFFg. I enjoy 40gr loads but my 2nd gens are much more accurate with a 35 gr load.

At 40grs I well have a loading lever occasionally drop, so I stay with the 35gr load. Why beat your equipment.

June 5, 2010, 08:05 AM
madcrate, I thought the dragoon was spec'd to a fullhouse 50gr load?

June 5, 2010, 02:41 PM
A max load for most Dragoons would be 50gr of Black Powder(cause that's about all they hold)... my pet loads are 42gr of either ffg or fffg BP and a round ball or conical w/ a lube pill atop the powder and the ball pressed atop the lube pill. They work best for me in my Colt No.1 model 1848 Dragoon.
Now for cart rounds I jus' used ffg Black Powder w/ a conversion cly.
Like what's been said...it's a good idea to work up a consistant load that works best for you and your Rev... but now ya got some border lines to work with at least.

June 5, 2010, 03:38 PM
The most accurate load is the one you work up and discover for yourself. Powder brands vary. Performance varies with granulation. Performance varies with choice of wads and/or over ball grease. Performance varies with brand of caps, phase of moon, how you hold yer mouth, etc. You can't overload so overcharge is not an issue. Do yer thing and find the best for your revolver then let us know.

June 5, 2010, 05:28 PM
Well, Rifleman, of course you have to work up a load. But I mainly am wanting to know about safety to be honest of 50gr fffg loads and if people shoot them regularly. Most will not find the most accurate load in smokeless or black powder with full tilt loads, but would like to know if many people shoot 50gr loads regularly in dragoons.

If you know any of that about the dragoons, any info would be much appreciated.

Do any of your guys slug your dragoons and try a tighter fit like with rifles?

June 5, 2010, 07:38 PM
I shoot .457" R.B. in my Colt Signature Dragoon model no.1...made from a Lee Mold.


Doc Hoy
June 6, 2010, 12:53 AM
Nice to read your post. Haven't seen you name for a bit.

I like aluminum molds too.

June 6, 2010, 02:34 AM
Thanks Doc, I've been a bit under the weather and typin' with one hand...the wrong one at that... :O)
Good to see ya and be seen...

June 6, 2010, 06:44 AM
madcrate, I thought the dragoon was spec'd to a fullhouse 50gr load?

50grs well fill the chambers, it's not going to damage the revolver. It well accelerate wear and tear. If your goal is smoke and flames use a 50gr load, if you want to make small groups then you well need a smaller load. Every revolver well be a little different but most have be in the 35-40+/- area. Chamber diameter, barrel diameter, barrel gap, powder, size of the rb, all well effect accuracy from one gun to another.

June 7, 2010, 09:56 AM
This weekend I put my Uberti 3rd Model Dragoon through it's paces. Put about 40 rounds through it of .454 ball. #11 magnum caps worked perfectly and stayed on and released when supposed to flawlessly. I used 30 grain pyrodex pellets and 45 grains of loose pyrodex without problems. I even filled the cylinder up twice with loose powder and seated a lead ball. It was definately a stouter load. Wouldn't mind doing that on occasion just for fun, but I preferred the 30 grain loads of both pelet and loose pyrodex.

June 8, 2010, 08:42 PM

June 9, 2010, 09:30 AM
Thats awesome data mec. Wonder why the huge variance with goex? I have used swiss and goex ffg for flint rifles. And they are usually compariable.

Any idea why you are losing over 300fps with those loads?

also, is that 777 load the P stuff or the ffg stuff?

June 9, 2010, 10:18 AM
Hard to say. Goex has been putting out a very uniform powder for cartridge rifles but with revolvers, single shot pistols and caplock rifles Ive used, the Swiss has been both denser and more powerful. Ie- a given measure will throw a heavier charge of Swiss than goex. When I actually weigh the powder charges to get the same grain weight of swiss and goex, the swiss still produces more velocity.
The lots of pyrodex P Ive used have been comparable to swiss -sometimes producing a bit more velocity and sometimes less. I have used pyrodex as much as 25 years old and found that can to be more like goex and and this is also suggested by data published at the time. Or heck, It could come from the age of the pyrodex.
The 777 is pistol grade. It works well with slightly reduced charges so long as they are not compressed. If there is mouch compression upon seating, the velocities become erratic.

June 9, 2010, 11:13 AM
I was getting ready to run out and buy some 777p powder. When you say not compressed, you mean like 45gr load? Or lower? Your velocity spread with the 50gr load seems good.

June 9, 2010, 01:34 PM
What seems to be true is if you seat the ball to the point that it just rests on top thepowder column, you get the sort of consistent spreads I show with that 45 grain load. It is possible to compress 777 quite a bit and that's where I've had erratic velocity spreads.
where 777 really came in for me was a 15 grain charge under a .433 ball in a Lepage replica. There was no fouling build up and accuracy was on the order of a Smith k22. As I recall, the velocity was the same as with pyrodex thrown from a measure calibrated for 20 grains of goex fffg.