Thread: .44blackpowder
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Old March 21, 2000, 12:21 AM   #4
Alex Johnson
Senior Member
Join Date: February 16, 2000
Location: Grand Forks, ND
Posts: 811
I have shot most of the 44 caliber cap and ball revolvers such as the 1860, 1858, Dragoons and Walkers. I just finished shooting a Walker the other day and there was excellent penetration with a full charge of RS grade pyrodex on a 8" diameter pine log. As close as I can tell the balls I found after I split the log went in about six inches. This compared favorably with some relatively hot 45 Colt loads that I shot into the log at the same time with a Ruger revolver. As far as using one of these for a self defense arm, I could think of a lot better choices; however, I remember reading an article in Guns & Ammo about the ballistics of these black powder revolvers. In the article they claimed that a full charge, with a round ball, in an 1851 navy (36 caliber) had about the same energy as a medium .380 hollowpoint (I think they were talking about the Walther PPK). I don't remember what the medium range 44's were found to be likend too, but I think they were comparing the walker with a medium to hot 357 magnum (I've heard that the Walker is launching its ball at about 1200 fps with P pyrodex). I personally feel that with proper shot placement, any of the 44's would be adequite fight stoppers if it ever came to that. It's worth remembering that many gunfights were won, and lost, with these pistols. Wild Bill himself made quite a reputation for himself with a pair of 1851's and even when the 1873 peacemakers became available, he continued to carry these pistols so he must have felt pretty confident in there abilities. Nowdays when I carry I use a 1911, but the old stuff still fascinates me.
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