View Full Version : .36 Caliber Balls & Conicals:

January 25, 2013, 10:14 AM
I have 95 grain balls and 125 grain conicals. The load data I have seen in my Pietta manual say 22 grains with both projectiles. This doesn't seem right to me.


Doc Hoy
January 25, 2013, 12:48 PM
....and whoever imported the revolver wrote the manual.

You should be able to start with that load for both projectiles.

But it is unlikely you will end with that load.

BTW, if the frame is brass, you might want to decrease it just a bit for starters.

January 25, 2013, 02:25 PM
My question is why they list the same charge with different bullet weights????

Doc Hoy
January 25, 2013, 03:33 PM
What I am saying is that the lawyers don't care how it shoots. They care about advising the company managers in such a way that they don't get sued.

You will likely wind up with a different charge for conicals than you will for round balls. But the lawyers could not care less.

I promise that I will not get on my lawyer soap box. When I do I never get off and this is not the place for it.

If there are any lawyers in the group, I am sorry for you.

January 25, 2013, 04:45 PM
I understand...anyone care to chime in from experience????

January 25, 2013, 04:47 PM
My question is why they list the same charge with different bullet weights????

Who knows!? :D You will probably wind up with 25 grains under the round ball and 20 or so under the conical. The conical will hit harder but the round ball will be most accurate.

January 25, 2013, 04:48 PM
Thanks, Hawg...

That's 20 of BP, right???? (I am using Triple 7 at present)


I thought the conical would be more accurate!!!!!

January 25, 2013, 05:07 PM
Reducing Triple 7 by 15% would make it about 17 grains. Leaving it at 20 would be about 23 grains.

January 26, 2013, 12:17 PM
Hi 10851Man!

After getting a Lee mold for conicals, I justed tested them and compared with Round balls. I have Pietta Army 1860 cal 44.
I tested RB cal 454, and Lee Conical 450-200.
I tried both types of ammo in the same manner - starting with 24 grains charge and then after each mag, reducing the charge down to 15 grains.
I tested from a rest bench.

My goal was to achieve best accuracy possible, so my finding is following:
1. Round Balls are more accurate then conical - when compared to conical in every different black powder charge.
24 grains load - RB better accuracy
21 grain load - RB better accuracy
18 grain load - RB better accuracy
15 grain load - RB bettrer accuracy, and smallest group at 25 yards (about 3 inch group // conical made 5 inch group)

2. The best accuracy was when getting down to 15 grains of powder.

3. This one may answer your question: I have achieved the best accuracy with conical (200 grains) and round ball (140 grains) with the SAME charge of 15 grains. Ball performed better at 25 yards.

This may be the reason why Pietta manual will advice the same load for different type of projectile.
One more note: I also sent the msg to Pietta factory asking for preffered type of projectile - and they replied they reccomend onli a LEAD ROUND BALL 451 or 454. My test proved them right.

I dont have chronny - so I dont have any data to compare the speed of two different projectiles.

Do me a favor: When testing your Pieta 36 cal, please let us know the results. I am especially interested in accuracy, for target shooting.
Also, pls let us know - what Pietta gun do you have: Remingtom Navy, or Colt Navy?

January 26, 2013, 12:33 PM
One more note:

I saw that Doc said: "....and whoever imported the revolver wrote the manual."

If that is the fact, then the comment is this: I have original factory manual reccomending only a ball. When going for test - the Pietta factory answered my mail for reccomended projectile - to use only round ball.

On the other hand, original colts of 19th century used conical and balls alike, which makes American sentimental tradition. (I live in Europe)
So, in order to boost the sale, local American dealers / importers may suggest to use conicals if they are the ones to make "local" manuals.Regardless of the fact that there is slight difference in design from original colts, and conical does not seat easilybefore ramming in modern replica.

January 27, 2013, 12:47 PM
@ Jolly1,

Thank you very much for your comprehensive report!!!!

I started out with 15 grains of FFFg Triple 7 under a 95 grain ball in my Pietta 1862 Police 5-1/2" .36 Revolver with excellent results!!!!!

I greatly appreciate this information!!!!!

January 27, 2013, 12:50 PM
@ Jolly1,

See post #43 and look at the target...;)