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Old August 31, 2010, 11:49 PM   #1
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Some Newbie questions

Hello all,

This site was the first result for a google search on "black powder pistol forum" so I hope some of you may have some advice for me

I am in need of a gun for the farm here, practical not just for fun. We have an issue with pests (fox, coyotes, deer, etc) not to mention my own critters to put down (pigs). I am very interested in the old black powder pistols and have been researching them for a few weeks.

Modern guns have never really interested me, the old west however is a different story. I spent many days outside as a kid playing cowboys and Indians with friends (Probably one of the the last generations to do so) and I loved old western movies. I was always fascinated by the guns of that era but just recently learned they now make practical reproductions.

I am particularly interested in the 1858 New Army Target .44 Caliber Revolver with Starter Kit from Cabellas which I believe is a Pietta. I have heard Uberti is better, should I look for one of those instead?

At any rate I also found a drop in conversion cylinder HERE which I am also interested in. My question is if I get the conversion cylinder can I change them out at will? I want the convenience of cartridges at times, plus the fun experience of making my own ammo but I also want to be able to use the old fashioned cap and ball too.

Any other additional insight you could share would also be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old September 1, 2010, 12:54 AM   #2
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You will like the 1858 that Cabela's has it's a great gun. Skip the starter kit they are way overpriced for what you get. Use that money to buy powder, caps and balls. The conversion kit is nice also just don't run hot 45 Colt loads through it. Stick with black powder loads or smokeless loads 700 to 850fps range. Yes you can change back and forth at will.
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Old September 1, 2010, 06:04 AM   #3
Doc Hoy
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Welcome to the forum.

I second Denster's comments. I would add that you may want to think about casting your own bullets after you get accustomed to the pistol.

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Old September 1, 2010, 07:02 AM   #4
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The 1858 is a great choice and pass on the starter kit. There is a great selection of black powder accessories on evil bay, flasks, cappers, even round ball. Normally half of retail or less.
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Old September 1, 2010, 09:44 AM   #5
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I hate to say it but for a farm "using" gun I would recommend the Ruger Old Army way over the 58 Remington. Tough as a tank and will handle about everything you want to shoot out of it. Conversion cylinders are available
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Old September 1, 2010, 10:38 AM   #6
Fingers McGee
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The '58 will serve you well; but a Ruger Old Army will last a couple lifetimes. I'll agree that starter kits are a waste of money. If you're going to shoot it very much at all, you'll get better pricing and higher quality items buying flask, capper, balls, etc. on evilbay or from the numerous on line muzzleloader suppliers.

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Old September 3, 2010, 09:42 PM   #7
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Although the suggestions to go with the Ruger Old Army are just fine, you won't go wrong with your idea of the Remington '58 with the conversion cylinder. And, yes, you can change out the BP cylinder and the Howell .45 cylinder at will.

I have the Uberti '58 and Howell cylinder and have enjoyed shooting .45LC cowboy loads, then switching back to BP.

My only advice would be to compare the cost of the BP gun plus cylinder to the cost of something like the Ruger Old Army BP, or Remington 1875 .45LC, depending on which you think you'll be shooting most of the time.
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Old September 3, 2010, 10:08 PM   #8
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I have the Pietta 1858 target model, from Cabelas, and really enjoy it. It is a very solid pistol also. I have no doubt it will work for what you need it for. I have an R&D cartridge cylinder (Howell) in the target 1858 also, but it is an expensive addition, and as others said you need to stick with cowboy action ammo. Cowboy ammo comes in either black powder or smokeless powder (both are ok), however you will want to clean your gun before swapping from smokeless cartridges and BP (cap and ball or cartridges), or be prepared to spend extra time scrubbing out the fouling. I load my own BP cartridges with 35gr 3FG BP, and a 250gr hard lead round nosed bullet. I am confident that, if it were allowed, I could take a deer out to 50 yards with mine.
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