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Old July 25, 2018, 10:24 AM   #26
maillemaker
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The Walker was designed with, I believe, a service charge of 60 grains of powder. I'm not sure you can get 60 grains of powder behind a Pickett bullet. In a reproduction, you can with a round ball.

The Walker was, they say, the most powerful handgun in the world until the advent of the .357 Magnum.

Basically, Colt designed a 6-shot handgun that had carbine performance, since that was what it was replacing.

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Old July 25, 2018, 10:46 AM   #27
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Here's what I use to shoot my Pietta C&B revolvers:



Not seen is the following:
Nipple Wrench
Powder Measure
Graf's FFFg Scheutzen black powder
Remington #10 caps

I bought most of my accessories from Cabela's.
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Old July 25, 2018, 11:33 AM   #28
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IIRC an inordinate number of Walkers "burst" when fired. Hence the shorter Dragoon cylinder lowering the powder charge. I believe the Dragoon charge was 40 grains of powder.
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Old July 26, 2018, 02:01 AM   #29
45 Dragoon
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All the shooting "maladies " mentioned so far are pretty much true for factory offerings but properly set up, max loads of Trip.7 (with ball or conical) can be a normal diet for Walkers/Dragoons. Lots of folks hunt with them. Thanks for the mention rodwhaincamo !

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Old July 26, 2018, 11:57 AM   #30
rodwhaincamo
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Reading the section about the Walker in Percussion Revolvers A Guide To Their History, Performance, And Use by Cumpston and Bates shows they bought a period correct mold from Dixie Gun Works produced by Pedersoli. It has a single cavity for the 170 grn Pickett bullet. It was the projectile used during the Mexican-American War. They found 45 grns of 3F was the max load. A ball and 60 grns likely became more popular later on the Texas frontier.

Of the 1000 pistols made for the military 109 were returned damaged. Many were claimed lost or damaged but kept according to them.

What’s known as the Dragoon holds 50 grns with a ball.

The Civil War paper cartridges meant for the more common .44’s then made by the Hazard’s powder company held 36 grns of 4F with a 211 grn bullet, and the Johnston & Dow cartridge used 35 grns of powder with a 242 grn bullet.

My Pietta NMA can hold a weighed charge of 38 grns of 3F Olde Eynsford with a ball and still has a little room left.
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Old July 27, 2018, 09:43 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodwhaincamo View Post
Reading the section about the Walker in Percussion Revolvers A Guide To Their History, Performance, And Use by Cumpston and Bates shows they bought a period correct mold from Dixie Gun Works produced by Pedersoli. It has a single cavity for the 170 grn Pickett bullet. It was the projectile used during the Mexican-American War. They found 45 grns of 3F was the max load. A ball and 60 grns likely became more popular later on the Texas frontier.

Of the 1000 pistols made for the military 109 were returned damaged. Many were claimed lost or damaged but kept according to them.

What’s known as the Dragoon holds 50 grns with a ball.

The Civil War paper cartridges meant for the more common .44’s then made by the Hazard’s powder company held 36 grns of 4F with a 211 grn bullet, and the Johnston & Dow cartridge used 35 grns of powder with a 242 grn bullet.

My Pietta NMA can hold a weighed charge of 38 grns of 3F Olde Eynsford with a ball and still has a little room left.
Why do you weigh it? Isn't BP measured by volume, not weight?
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Old July 27, 2018, 10:04 PM   #32
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No. BP is weight. That’s what grains are. But not all powders, especially the substitutes, weigh the same, and density seems to matter. For instance standard Goex produces tame velocities compared to their Olde Eynsford line meant to keep up with Swiss. But standard Goex weighs less. If you weighed standard Goex to what Olde E does you’d likely get close to the same performance.

And that brings us to why I weighed my charges (ROA and NMA). I sent some of my bullets to a fellow in Alaska who has the same guns and same powders and has chronographs so that he can more accurately figure out my charges and load a similar load to see what I am getting from mine. I didn’t measure but one throw as no matter what no throw weighs the same anyway. I just want a ballpark figure.
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Old July 28, 2018, 12:47 PM   #33
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BP is loaded by volume though. Always has been. Confusing but true. 40g Pyrodex = 40g of 777 = 40g of BP by volume, but not not by weight. That is why you use volumetric powder measures for BP/substitute. Smokeless you load by weight with a scale.
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Old July 28, 2018, 01:11 PM   #34
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BP has always been loaded by weight. Grains is a weight measurement and not a volume measurement. It never has been. But we’ve used a measure to measure that weight, which becomes a volume.
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Old July 29, 2018, 10:12 AM   #35
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Technically you are right with real BP... 'x' grains is weight and volume dispensers were devised accordingly. But, you never hear of a mountain man 'weighing' his load, or a soldier using a scale. Then there is the BP substitutes which are formulated for volume equivalence -- not weight. if you 'weighed' them would be all out of wack. You load them by volume. Just a bit different that the smokeless world where you always weigh the loads -- in grains as well.
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Old July 31, 2018, 09:31 AM   #36
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Don't remember where I read it but the reason that some Walkers blew up was because of the 'New' back then, smokeless powders. Soldiers were loading 60 grains of smokeless which produced more pressure.
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Old July 31, 2018, 09:58 AM   #37
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frydaddy,
Smokeless powders were developed in the late 1800s around the turn of the century ~50 years later. The Walkers blew because of the poor steel used and the large charges. One of the reasons the pistol was so big was because they didn't have the hardened alloys of later guns to make them smaller & lighter in weight. You needed a mass of metal to hold the pressure. As the steels got stronger the guns could become lighter like the 1860 Army.
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Old July 31, 2018, 12:05 PM   #38
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Some felt it was the massive charges coupled with the pointy Pickett bullets being loaded backwards creating something like a shaped charge. And according to the research done by Bates and Cumpston the records are a bit inaccurate as to just how many were damaged with soldiers keeping them but claiming them damaged or lost.

There’s also been a metallurgy concern for those original guns claimed.
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Old July 31, 2018, 12:22 PM   #39
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I'd read that too, the backwards loading that is. Wish I could remember the article, seems both the backwards bullet and overload of the wrong powder were the possible culprits to the bursts.
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Old October 13, 2018, 10:21 AM   #40
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I'm almost ready for shooting. I purchased the Traditions 44 cal cylinder reloading press and modified it for the longer cylinder Walker. Here are pics.







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