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Old May 24, 2013, 09:59 AM   #1
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Brass frames

I have no objections to brass frames, in fact they are pretty good!
Yes they deform from heavy loads, so just be reasonable with the flask!
However they do possess a smoothness that you won't get in a steel frame because Brass is a natural bearing surface and the actions are smooth as can be once the gun gets broken-in!
The rest of the gun is just as goof as a steel counterpart and can shoot just as accurately!
I have a Piettia '51 Nqvy .44 cal that shoots GREAT! Accuracy is excellent and with a 20g charge of Pyrodex, the fun is no slouch! This is the Max I'd suggest. Piettia recommends a 12g charge but it;s just too light to be practical. Likely a 15 g would be the Min reasonable load. I haven't chronied the 20g load but it gives plenty of oomph for targets and plinking.

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Old May 24, 2013, 12:37 PM   #2
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Thanks for sharing!
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Old May 24, 2013, 08:54 PM   #3
springfield 720
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I put 18 gr. in the 36 and 25 gr. in the 44.. I guess I like the smell of gun powder..
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Old May 25, 2013, 11:38 AM   #4
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My sons and I use 30 grains of 2F in our brass frame revolvers. No problems as of yet, but we do not shoot on a regular basis. Been using this load for a while now. For what it is worth, I use 2F in all my steel frame .44's as well .
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Old June 1, 2013, 06:17 PM   #5
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Never liked brass frames, and I've owned two.
I've almost always found that their fit and finish was significantly lesser than steel-framed guns.
There's a reason why brass-framed guns are cheaper -- factories don't put as much time into fitting and finishing them.
They're okay as first-time guns. I cut my cap and ball teeth about 1970 on an inauthentic brass-framed 1851 Navy in .44 caliber. I eventually discarded it after the third multiple ignition incident damaged it beyond practical repair.
And sometimes, I like to load my steel-framed guns to their maximum load, just for fun. I never have concerns when using black powder or Pyrodex P, but avoid using Hodgdon 777 in my revolvers. Tricky stuff, requiring small volumes of powder than black or Pyrodex P.
Contrary to perception, brass-framed revolvers were exceedingly rare during the Civil War. Colt never made any, and the South only produced a few thousand.
I'd rather go with a steel frame, for both strength and better workmanship from the factory.
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Old June 1, 2013, 08:57 PM   #6
4V50 Gary
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I also prefer steel, but if I had brass, I'd do like ZVP suggested and keep the loads mild.
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Old June 2, 2013, 12:58 AM   #7
Doc Hoy
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My first BP revolver was right similar to yours. It was a kit, purchased I believe from EMF through a Shotgun News ad sometime arounf 1974 or 5. In those days, Shotgun News was still printed on newsprint.

I never had a chain fire in it but I did not shoot it as much as you probably did. I happened to be stationed in Hawaii at the time and BP was darned hard to get.

At that time, I did not know enough to keep the loads light and so I have no clue as to what charge I was using. I did not shoot it a lot so it never had the chance to loosen up, but my sense is that it would have.

I had to scoops which I made from a .45 ACP and a 7.62 Nato with the neck and should cut off. I used pure Crisco over each of the chambers.

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Old June 4, 2013, 10:22 AM   #8
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My first was a brass framed 1858 remmy from Richland arms in .44
My dad and I built it as a kit when i was about 10 or so.

I shot that thing so much!!
loads?? as much FFF as it would hold and still seat the ball.
I had dug up 2 extra cylinders for it.

Sometimes i would load it light (with wads and shot for snakes, heavy loads made the other cylinders overshot wads fall out)

After about 12 years of abuse, it was stretched enough that i deemed it unsafe (about 1/8 inch of movement of the cylinder front to back.)

So it went up on the wall, and still is there.

we tried so many things with it in those years.
(loading a cylinder and putting it in the deep freeze for 6 months to see if the loads were affected by the cold) and one in the gun cabinet for the same length of time, then shooting them both over the chrono to see any difference.

Bird shot, blanks, round ball, 230 gr round nose cast .45 acp projectiles (we did cast them from pure lead) and were .452 diameter.

Parafin wax balls to chase critters from the yard, Hot glue bullets from a .457 round ball mold.

there is so much you can do with these things!

During that time, NO, NONE, ZERO chain fires, knock on wood, never had one, don't want one!

I have owned other brass frames since then, but never subjected them to the abuse that my first was.

Light fun loads, and good times with good friends.

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Old June 5, 2013, 05:55 AM   #9
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My first two C&Bs were Colt repro brass frame .44 revolvers. That was in the 70s (a time before internet). And, yes both eventually gave problems. The only other brass frame I have owned was a .31 CVA Pocket Remington repro. The little gun did not hold but 10 grains of BP and it shot like a champ. I've always regretted letting that one get away.

Overall brass frames would not be my first choice. The steel frame guns are not that much more in cost. There is a reason you don't see threads about them.
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