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Old January 6, 2017, 10:02 AM   #1
ligonierbill
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Pietta .31 Remington Pocket Pistol - load

For those shooting these little guys, what size ball are you loading? What powder charge? Have one on the way, and I happen to have some Hornady 0.315 ball that I load in an old caplock target rifle. Thinking to use those over, say, 9 gr by volume of FFFg.
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Old January 6, 2017, 12:43 PM   #2
freedom475
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Just a something to be aware of!!>>> the little loading lever is quite delicate! And it will only push the ball "barely flush" with the cylinder before it stops...Even if there's no ball under it! This is as far as it will go. DO NOT!!!! push it further or it will break the lever.

This is not a big deal because after learning this the hard way...I have had zero problems with my second one after "Years of use. I works just fine, just be careful as it is very small and easy to miss-aline the rammer with the chamber mouths too...just be aware of this or you will break your lever
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Old January 6, 2017, 12:59 PM   #3
rodwhaincamo
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Scroll down to his .31 loads and you'll see what ball diameter does:

http://poconoshooting.com/blackpowderballistics.html

The Pietta Remington .31 has about the most woefully undersized chambers of any repro I've seen listed. It is possibly (likely) for this reason that a larger ball, which leaves a longer bearing surface, likely does so much better as it has more to give for obturation and better groove fill.

Were it me I'd look to see about reaming the chambers and having them chamfered and hardening the parts associated with loading (.45Dragoon does this).

I also prefer conicals and would to have Accurate Molds rework the ones I had made for .44/.45 cal that is about the length of the ball with a wide meplat and small lube groove (3.5" doesn't require much). This won't take up precious powder capacity but may well greatly increase its ballistics by increasing the pressures a bit, which is also what a larger ball does. One fellow has noted he got slightly higher velocities using the same powder charge for a 180 grn conical versus a ball, which he associated to the longer bearing surface and weight increasing the pressure and therefor the velocity.

But that's just me...
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Old January 6, 2017, 02:21 PM   #4
TruthTellers
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I can't say I own one of these, but I had STRONGLY considered buying one a year or more ago. In my research (which led me to not buying a '63 Pocket) I found that you need a large diameter ball, something over .315" in diameter. As the previous poster said, the chambers are horribly small, which doesn't help if you use the loading lever on the gun and are trying to shove a .319" ball into a .310 chamber. (>_<)

One positive I will say is I would have no fear of shooting this with 4F powder and that finer grain will up the velocity. Were this an original '63, I wouldn't put it in the same room as 4F powder.

What eventually turned me off the .31 caliber is the .36 caliber is much better and there are spare 12 inch barrels available for 1851 Navy revolvers. There are no easily obtainable longer barrels for the .31 caliber, be them in the 1849 or 1863 pocket revolvers.

The longer barrel is cool as combined with a stock it would make a cool rifle or I could just leave the long barrel on and pretend I'm Jack Nicholson shooting down the Batwing.
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Old January 6, 2017, 02:41 PM   #5
ligonierbill
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I already have a couple of 51 Navy's. This one looked interesting, and the price was right.
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Old January 6, 2017, 02:58 PM   #6
BlackPowderBen
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You can use the .315's, I've used some of those in mine, but .319's give a better fit. Loaded on the gun the max load is 10 grains of powder because the loading lever won't seat the ball far enough with 15 grains. Loaded off the gun you can get around 15 grains of powder in a chamber, or you can pour the cylinder full of FFG powder and you can compress the ball deep enough (at least with Pyrodex), but with FFFG powder you cannot.
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Old January 6, 2017, 11:37 PM   #7
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The chambers in a Pietta NMP average just under .315. A .315 ball is a rifle ball. These are best shot with at least a .319 or .320 ball which you can get from Track of the Wolf among other places.

The groove diameters are nearly .327 on average and with a brass frame it is relegated to a plinking gun or something to show off to your friends.

ASM and Palmetto also made these and if you can turn one into a shooter or find one that already is, well, then you have a dandy hideout piece! A steel framed gun with 4F powder can take all the fight out of a man at close range.

Mine own Palmetto and another have chambers just over groove diameter. ASMs could be either way.
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Old January 7, 2017, 06:51 AM   #8
ligonierbill
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Steel frame, of course. What loads do you shoot?
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Old January 7, 2017, 11:01 AM   #9
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My Pedersoli pocket flask has a 12 grain spout that measures out an actual 9 grains on my adjustable spout. Whichever is right, that's all I can get to fit under the ball without a wad when using 3F or 4F.

If we hit the metal target stand while using 3F powder we can guarantee the round coming back at us and bouncing around the shootin' house. No such excitement with 4F.
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