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Old February 13, 2008, 04:58 PM   #1
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Join Date: February 13, 2008
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1860 Army .44 Powder Charge Issue

Hello everyone, saw a lot of BP info here and just joined.

I recently acquired a Pietta 1860 Army in case hardened steel with the brass trigger guard.

In the box were 2 owners manuals.

One from Pietta and one from Cabela's.

The Pietta manual calls for a FFFG powder charge of 12-15 grains.

The Cabela's calls for a FFFG charge of 25-35 grains.

I am new to all of this and have been shooting .451 balls with 30 grains of Pioneer with no problems but I would like to hear some real data on what this pistol can handle and what is giving who the best results.

I had someone tell me the pistol can handle as much powder as I can fit as long as the ball still seats but I believe that may be bad advice.

Any help here would be appreciated.
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Old February 13, 2008, 06:27 PM   #2
long rider
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They say a good load for the 1860 is about 25grns,
thats what i put in my 58 remmy.
Some times i will go up to 30, but i like 22-25grns
its my comfort zone, and 25 is more accurate than
30grns, but all might not agree with me,but what
ever you load shoot safe.

Sod Buster Tried To Pull On Willson.
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Old February 13, 2008, 06:33 PM   #3
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Nope. It's maybe not good advice, but it is correct. The steel framed Italian bp revolvers can all safely handle a full chamber of real black powder. They are all proof tested before shipment.

Now, understand that the full chamber will be about the most inaccurate load you can shoot; a goodly percentage of the powder will be expelled and burned outside the gun (hence lots of smoke and flame and fun), and another goodly percentage will fall to the ground out in front of the gun unburned. But, it will be fun, and lots of people do it.

You can also use a full chamber of the substitute powders if you'd rather, although you dont' get the same smoke/flame effect. And accuracy will likely be even worse.

Oh, and I use 22 gr 777 or 25 gr Goex in my Pietta and Euroarms 1860's.

Last edited by mykeal; February 13, 2008 at 06:38 PM. Reason: Spelling. Or is it speling?
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Old February 13, 2008, 07:27 PM   #4
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I use 35 grs. of Pyrodex. Accurate enough for me. I don't like wimpy loads.
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Old February 13, 2008, 08:07 PM   #5
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I normally load 30gr. of Goex FFFG & a 144Gr. .454 ball but on occasion I'll load 35gr. in my 25 year old Pietta 1860 Army & it's pretty accurate for me, say 2-3 inch group at 25 yards.

My 1858 Pietta's get the same loads & can produce roughly the same groupings at 25 yards with my 8" barreled model doing an average of 2 inch pretty consistently.
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Old February 13, 2008, 08:20 PM   #6
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Thank you for the info.

I just walked in from shooting 35 grains with a .451 ball using a "Precision Lube 2000 PLUS felt Wad" and a light coating of Cabela's brand natural lube on top of the ball.

I went to the Cabela's website and read the user comments and most suggested using 35 grains.

One person posted that he went with the suggested 12 grains in the Pietta manual and now has a ball stuck 1/2 way down the barrel.

My grouping was a consistent 2 1/2" at around 25 yards with the pistol shooting about 1" high and 2" to the right consistently and yes, I did get a little smoke and flame but the bore was clean.

Just to note, I am using Remington #10 caps (Read on Cabela's site that they fit better) and the Pioneer powder seems to be very clean.

I'll play around with 25 and 30 grain loads tomorrow and post the results.

Again, thank you for the replies and advice.

Further info is welcome.
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