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Old August 30, 2018, 04:20 PM   #1
Model12Win
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Defensive Cap and Ball

Guys noted YouTuber Paul Harrell has a new video up about the self defense capabilities of cap and ball revolvers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCYaiRmcYVI

In short, he cites they can be a valid option in jurisdictions or situations where modern smokeless guns cannot be legally obtained or utilized.

My '58 Remy has been a reliable shooter. It wouldn't be my first choice but if pressed I think it would do the job.

Just passing this on gang!
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Old August 30, 2018, 08:21 PM   #2
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For the 1st six shots it would be about as good as any other handgun if the thing is accurate. If i were to go that way (for some reason I can't think of right now) the only gun I would buy for that specific mission would be a Ruger Old Army.
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Old August 30, 2018, 08:54 PM   #3
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Actually I feel the Remington NMA is slightly superior in that the weight is a bit more weildy. My ROA has a much heftier feel, though my NMA is the 5.5” version and my ROA has the 7.5” barrel, though I’ve contemplated sending it to Clements to be cut shorter.

My NMA is more accurate with 33 grns of 3F Olde E and my 170 and 195 grn WFN bullets that should produce .45 ACP ballistics. More than adequate. My ROA is more accurate with about 38 grns (weighed charges). That would generate a little more recoil and a little more smoke, both of which wouldn’t be quite so good, especially as home protection indoors I’d think.

And then it could be further argued that a capped and loaded spare cylinder would be much easier and quickly replaced on the NMA. I’d likely fumble the loading lever parts on my ROA. However I highly doubt a home protection issue would require more than a cylinder. I don’t do drugs, deal with gangsters, or owe the mob so it’s highly unlikely I’d deal with a very determined punk. Most people will flee knowing there’s a gun pointed at them and things will turn ugly shortly. Very few would stay once lead starts flying.
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Old August 30, 2018, 09:54 PM   #4
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Watched earlier... Love that guy!

Interesting to me was the one he had loaded for 3yrs and all 6 went BANG without a hitch! Ive kept em loaded for 6mos to test it one time and had the same result.... That being said, I still wouldnt make it standard practice.

I carry ol' snubby a lot. Most times Im packing "out in the world" in fact. When Im going further out afield I carry one of the remmis, usually the 5.5", but if I where to only use one for hunting it would be target sighted 8".

Point is, though I have plenty of centerfire, I alost always HAVE one of these actually WITH me, and if the need ever arises, its probably what Ill have. If I KNEW I where going into a confrontation and somehow all my centerfires where lost in a tragic boating accident so that these where ALL I had, I would pack and carry both the shorter ones with their conversions and a few capped and ready cylinders for the remmi... If I didnt have conversions then the same thing just loaded BP from the start.

Shrugs... I live in a pretty rural area where there is little REAL crime and even less chance of being invaded or attacked by terrorists. Besides I am in WAY to rough a shape to play Rambo if that ever did happen, though Id still giver her one HELL of a try LoL! Fact is, in my day to day life, in town or out, I feel perfectly comfortable with what Im packing. I wouldnt suggest it for the New York subway though...
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Old August 30, 2018, 10:36 PM   #5
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Another thing to consider would be that I assume in the case of a shooting the police will take the pistol with them for testing/examination. I can easily replace the NMA when it comes back rusted to hëll. Not so much with my Ruger, and if I could it wouldn’t be cheap.
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Old August 30, 2018, 11:25 PM   #6
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I'd rather lose a S&W to the evidence room than my ROA. The ROA is harder to replace. Furthermore, it will not be cleaned while it sits in the evidence room.

Consider those factors. If you must carry cap 'n ball, remember it must be replaceable.
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Old August 31, 2018, 12:06 AM   #7
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I'll say the same thing I did on Youtube

On the issue of reliability, I can safely say that I've had few issues with the Remington replicas, but often have failures to fire with the Colt replicas. I think the issues with the Italian made replicas, both Uberti and Pietta, for the Colt's are the hammer is getting caught by a burr either on the hammer or the frame and it slows the hammer enough to not ignite the cap. A little home deburring would go a long way to making the Colt revolvers more reliable, but they'll never be as fast to reload as the Remingtons.

The only Colt percussion revolver I like is the 1862 as it's the smallest, lightest percussion revolver that's in a serious caliber (.36) for self defense. The .31's just don't cut it for me and the Remington pocket, while smaller than the 1862, is not a quality made gun from the accounts I've read.
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Old August 31, 2018, 12:09 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by 4V50 Gary View Post
I'd rather lose a S&W to the evidence room than my ROA. The ROA is harder to replace. Furthermore, it will not be cleaned while it sits in the evidence room.

Consider those factors. If you must carry cap 'n ball, remember it must be replaceable.
The ROA's are so expensive now that nobody is going to buy one and use it defensively. When you can buy two Pietta's for the price of an ROA, you will. I'd rather spend $500 on a 5.5 inch NMA and an .31 Remington pocket then I have all bases covered in large caliber for home defense and small caliber for conceal carry.
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Old August 31, 2018, 10:19 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Stormson View Post
Watched earlier... Love that guy!

Interesting to me was the one he had loaded for 3yrs and all 6 went BANG without a hitch! Ive kept em loaded for 6mos to test it one time and had the same result.... That being said, I still wouldnt make it standard practice.

I carry ol' snubby a lot. Most times Im packing "out in the world" in fact. When Im going further out afield I carry one of the remmis, usually the 5.5", but if I where to only use one for hunting it would be target sighted 8".

Point is, though I have plenty of centerfire, I alost always HAVE one of these actually WITH me, and if the need ever arises, its probably what Ill have. If I KNEW I where going into a confrontation and somehow all my centerfires where lost in a tragic boating accident so that these where ALL I had, I would pack and carry both the shorter ones with their conversions and a few capped and ready cylinders for the remmi... If I didnt have conversions then the same thing just loaded BP from the start.

Shrugs... I live in a pretty rural area where there is little REAL crime and even less chance of being invaded or attacked by terrorists. Besides I am in WAY to rough a shape to play Rambo if that ever did happen, though Id still giver her one HELL of a try LoL! Fact is, in my day to day life, in town or out, I feel perfectly comfortable with what Im packing. I wouldnt suggest it for the New York subway though...
Reading the new hunting pamphlet Texas has issued to license holders, I noticed where they don't consider any black firearms with a cylinder as a muzzleloader. Guess a guy couldn't hunt with a revolver in the muzzleloader seasons here.
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Old August 31, 2018, 12:44 PM   #10
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Like home internet, YouTube is for entertainment only.
"...the self defense capabilities of cap and ball revolvers..." Date from the early to mid 19th Century. Worked then. No reason for 'em not to work now. Just a great deal more fiddling to make 'em and keep 'em working.
"...where modern smokeless guns cannot be legally obtained or utilized..." That does not make BP firearms any more legal. Despite then not being considered to be firearms in the U.S., that doesn't mean using one for CCW is legal.
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Old September 1, 2018, 06:41 AM   #11
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Better than a club

I am with some others on the thread.

This issue has come up many times before and it seems (to my recollection) that each time the person who is proposing or the person who is suggesting that we consider C and B for home defense there is the ever-present mention of jurisdictional issues. This issue serves to take away most of the arguments against C and B and evens the playing field artificially in a playing field which is now and likely always will be, operationally uneven. It makes the discussion more pertinent without really changing the outcome. Rather than considering the legality, one might ask, "What if I simply don't have anything else?"

It has never been a question of accuracy. Trained police officers are only about 10% accurate in officer involved shooting instances. (I wish I remember where I got that figure but I am confident of its authenticity.) We know that C and B revolvers are accurate enough to be effective.

I had a very experienced police officer tell me (and it tend to agree) that for home defense for most homeowners who feel they need a firearm, the best choice is a sawed off shotgun in 12 gauge. He cautioned though, that the home owner must accept potentially 5,000.00 worth of damage to the home for each shot. Home owner's insurance probably does not cover damages inflicted by the owner deliberately.

Reliability, rate of fire, and number of rounds available as a feature in the argument has not changed since the first reliable semi auto pistol was introduced about a century ago. My opinion is, that the discussion of C and B over semi auto (or other) design, will continue right up until the next dimension of personal weapon design (Apple's ILDR app. - The iPhone Laser Death Ray, Android version available for download (Just kidding)) presents itself as another alternative.

I am not saying we should stop asking the question. It is a pertinent question for those who have never considered it. It is a fun exercise. And Paul's videos are quite good.
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Old September 1, 2018, 09:18 AM   #12
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I talked with my then local game warden about using my ROA as a primary during muzzleloader season. Nope. Can certainly carry it as a sidearm or use it during other seasons though.
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Old September 1, 2018, 11:57 AM   #13
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No hunting with the ROA during muzzleloading season in Texas? Too bad. Is it single shot only? No double guns or swivel guns?
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Old September 1, 2018, 02:59 PM   #14
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The TX rule says that it must be an actual muzzleloader--i.e. literally loaded ONLY through the muzzle.

https://tpwd.texas.gov/regulations/o...ns-and-methods

"Muzzleloader: any firearm that is loaded only through the muzzle (as opposed to breech-loading firearms). A cap and ball firearm in which the powder and ball are loaded into a cylinder is not a muzzleloader. Muzzleloader deer seasons are restricted to muzzleloading firearms only."

Since a cap & ball revolver cylinder can be loaded directly without going through the muzzle it doesn't qualify.

As far as I can tell, there is no prohibition on multi-shot muzzleloaders as long as they are truly muzzleloaders.
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Old September 2, 2018, 08:33 AM   #15
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Black powder loaded in a CBR chamber without placing grease in chamber, will store indefinitely provided humidity wasnt a factor. Dry powder storage and dry chamber. It won't hurt the cylinder provided there is no moisture and the cylinder is reasonably clean. Grease over time might deposit some oil into the powder. If you leave the grease out of the loading, it will store. Good caps on clean nipples aren't a problem. Storing the gun safely in a clean, dry, room temperature place is good to do. I've pulled caps out of my storage unit that were in the tin, purchased over 30 years ago and fired them without any problems at all. The round ball lead projectile in .44 caliber at low velocity leaves a horrendous amount of damage and it will effectively stop an attacker hit in the chest or stomach or upper leg. It will work if you need to use it for that. A shotgun kept readily available in the home is probably better, but the CBR will do the job very effectively if it is what you have.
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Old September 2, 2018, 08:44 AM   #16
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Hunting with the CBR might be a bit of a challenge for some. There are very experienced BP folk here in this forum that have the knowledge and sense to conduct a reasonable hunt with CBR firearms. Novice hunters might not effectively hunt with a CBR. Perhaps they would consider a bill to pass requiring a class on CBR familiarity added to a hunter safety course. Then CBR use for hunting might be allowed. The CBR isn't the same as the muzzleloader long arm. We've all seen or heard of the careless and uninformed person who comes into possession of a CBR and risky situations occur. They sometimes fail to understand the limits of the CBR and it gets abused. The CBR is a fine gun, but it does require the shooter to have some knowledge of what it is and what it does.
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Old September 2, 2018, 08:49 AM   #17
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A truly odd and unique thread.
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Old September 2, 2018, 01:56 PM   #18
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I am a little surprised....

....that no one took Harrell to task for loading a just fired revolver from a flask.

I use a modification of his technique for loading. The modification is that the cylinder is out of the revolver in a press. And before the cylinder is placed on the press it is inspected thoroughly for residue left from the last shots.

I don't shoot sanctioned events. Just shoot alone for fun.
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Old September 2, 2018, 03:46 PM   #19
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I would not have a problem shooting my ROA in self defense if its all I had. I don't care about replacing it as long as I'm alive to do so. My ROA's have proven to be accurate and reliable when its time to fire, never had any hang fire or ING problems with them. If I were to carry one it would likely be the 5 1/2 model with the Vaquero style sights. The 7 1/2' model is a bit long for carry unless out in the field with the proper holster.

I think the likely reason a revolver cannot be carried in TX for hunting is the conversion cylinders that people may use to cheat the system.
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Old September 2, 2018, 04:47 PM   #20
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A truly odd and unique thread.
Truly a hoot.

You do know why they call modern powders smokeless?

hint black powder is NOT.

Aye Captain, we will fire the next broadside as soon as we can see if there is something to broadside at.
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Old September 2, 2018, 06:00 PM   #21
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As defensive black powder revolver the Walker would really leave a mark if used in anger to pistol whip a unwelcome intruder compared to my small Glock .
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Old September 5, 2018, 11:10 AM   #22
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Interesting to me was the one he had loaded for 3yrs and all 6 went BANG without a hitch! Ive kept em loaded for 6mos to test it one time and had the same result.... That being said, I still wouldnt make it standard practice.
It's well documented that Hickock would fire empty his revolvers, clean them, and reload them at the beginning of the day, then go about his day's business. But that was a personal thing with him.

The other end of the range, I have some personal experience with. A fellow had a cap & ball revolver in a display case. Family heirloom, had been in that case for at LEAST 80 years. And, apparently it was loaded! He never bothered to check, might not have even known, UNTIL, while he was away one of his son's took the pistol from its case to show some friends, and FIRED a shot!!!

No one was hurt, thankfully. The guy brought the gun to our local smith to be "unloaded". The smith took it, went back to his test fire barrel, and fired off the remaining 5 shots without malfunction . After the smoke cleared, literally, the smith gave the guy a quick lesson on cleaning, and loading the gun.

As mentioned, black powder, stored right, will last almost indefinitely.

For defensive use, the standard .36 cal cap&ball has about the energy of a .380ACP. However, the soft lead round ball makes it more effective than a .380ACP FMJ.
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Old September 5, 2018, 02:52 PM   #23
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Depends on the powder used in that .36. More energetic powders have been shown to produce .38 Spl +P performance with a ball. Use the more common weaker powders and .380 ACP is about all you’ll get.
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Old September 5, 2018, 03:10 PM   #24
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As defensive black powder revolver the Walker would really leave a mark if used in anger to pistol whip a unwelcome intruder compared to my small Glock .
Old Gus taught us that was the way to deal with a "surly bartender"
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Old September 6, 2018, 10:05 AM   #25
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A Walker is heavy. That would be my last choice for a defense revolver.
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