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Old July 11, 2011, 12:59 PM   #1
ZVP
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Matching a '58 Remmy to a smokeless load

I got the chance to try a cartrige cylinder in my '58 Remington and I loved it!
The guy who loaned me the cylinder had both .45 Colts and .45 Scofields to try. man, my '58 sure shot great with the Schofields! I think if I ever bought a Smokless Cylinder for that revolver, that I'd just shoot the Schofield ammo through ti!
DIdn't have a chrony to get power reads but the accuracy was great! The Scofields shot dead on with the sight regulations Id done on the 5 1/2 bbl.
Believe it or not I had to tale about 1 .16" off the front sight to get spot-on at 21 ft. The Scofield load matched my 35gr loose Powder charges.
The distance is based on current FBI shootout measurements. I figgured why not regulate the sights to real life?
I carry the Remington in an Oklahoma Brand "Cheyanne" double strap 9Mexican Loop) ross-draw Holster. This rig fits the big frame of the '58 perfectlly. It's a 5 1/2 holster and it fits the Remington barrel just right! I'd like to buy the matching "strong Hand" Cheyanne" for my .36 Navy but the holster is too large for the gun. Sizing it down would destroy the border stamping and it's look funny. Maybe I'll pair it up with a cut down Western Loop holster that Cabela's sells?
Even going with a single gun, the Remmie with a Conversion and the Scofield ammo is just right!
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Old July 11, 2011, 01:16 PM   #2
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I am glad that you enjoyed shooting that big old hogleg. I carry a Model 1858 as a defensive sidearm every single day and it never failed me.

Now that your post brought up the topic of smokeless cartridges, I did some comparisons with some modern factory ammo and discovered something:

Ballistics on paper, are well, just ballistics on paper. How a load performs in a particular handgun are up to how the operator loads it.

The highest velocity I have attained in a Model 1858 was 1150 fps with a 200 grain conical.

1150 x 1150 x 200 Then divide total by ballistic constant 450240 yields 587 foot pounds of muzzle velocity. This is on par with some commercially loaded .357 Magnum cartridges.

When loaded properly in cap and ball configuration, the 1858 consistently delivers energies that will put even a .45 ACP +P from Buffalo Bore Ammo behind in a cloud of road dust.

I LOVE the ol' smokepole!
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Old July 11, 2011, 08:57 PM   #3
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Yea I love the big '58! My favorite is the 5 1/2" version because it handles so well!
Man your loads are real A$$-Kickers! Plenty enough for personal defense.
I have a 4 5/8" Stainless Ruger Vaquero .357 that is my personal Carry gun. I do not have a CCW permit but just because of my attraction ability and comfort with the Vaquero makes it my personal choice. Yea I know it dosent hold 15 rounds like so many wonder 9's do and it realods slower andhas several other points that make it not the best to carry by todays standard - BUT - It's MY gun and that makes it the best one for me to use!
I can understand your choice of the Remington too! It's YOUR gun!
Sometimes you gotta go against the grain when it comes to personal armiment.
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Old July 12, 2011, 11:44 AM   #4
darkerx
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I'm very surprised by the 587ft/lbs... nice one
What kind of load did you use?

The highest energy I reached (.457/143gr Round ball+pure Black powder(Cap&Ball)):
Rem58: 1182ft/s, 443ft/lbs
Walker: 1430ft/s, 649ft/lbs
Rem58 (carbine/18"): 1488ft/s, 703.6ft/lbs
^^Which I thought was huge...

Last edited by darkerx; July 12, 2011 at 12:09 PM.
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Old July 12, 2011, 02:27 PM   #5
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RE: darkerx

The load I used to generate 587 ft. lbs was 34 grains of Pyrodex P compressed pretty tightly under a 200 grain round nose conical. This was the same load I used to take an antelope for camp meat two days later.

I had run this particular load through the chrony to see if it has the required power for use in the wild highlands and found out that it has more than enough

When I was camped in South Dakota during a job with the ore mining industry, I had bear try to break into my yurt on two occasions. I discovered claw marks outside the structure when I went outside in the morning, and was surprised that I was not even awakened. But the yurt's bamboo beams inside the heavy white tarp covering probably discouraged any further burglary hehehe

The only weapons I had was my Remington Model 1858, six spare cylinders loaded to full power on my work belt, a Mongol steel bow that I built myself and about 30 broadhead arrows. But I felt more than confident to live out there in the middle of nowhere. I actually felt at ease

RE: ZVP

Excellent post. Remember that old saying about beware of a man with only one gun because he knows how to use it? Or something to the lines of that? I heard it somewhere before, probably on Arfcom. I am so familiar with the Remington to the extent that I could disassemble the gun and put it back together with my eyes closed, just by feeling the parts, having practiced this many many times. (Not with competition like speed, but with steady progress) The 1858 has a natural feeling when I hold in in my hand, probably because this was the only gun I used for a long time. Like a sword in the hands of a Chinese martial artist, the revolver becomes an extension of my arm and I could almost feel where the bullet will impact the minute I align the target in my sights.
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Old July 13, 2011, 01:42 AM   #6
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Re: Rachen

I'm very impressed by your results with only 34gr of Pyrodex P... I was more used to 300-400 range ft-lbs for this kind of loads... (http://mysite.verizon.net/tsafa1/tra...allistics.html)

There must be some misunderstanding somewhere. Do you do something special? (use depleted uranium for the bullet?)
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Old July 13, 2011, 12:17 PM   #7
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Re; Darkerx

The only thing I do when loading that might be different than the recreational shooters is that I meticulously pack and grease each chamber after loading. To settle the powder into the chamber I go as far as using a Q tip to make the powder column surface as flat as possible before seating the bullet. Then the whole load is waxed tightly until not even a protozoa can crawl in, nipple end and chamber end.

Now here is the magic trick: Before the main powder charge is loaded, I first crush a bit of powder to very very fine granulation, even more fine than FFFFg, about 3 to 5 grains, and fill the base of the chamber, smooth it out with a Q-tip and a few light taps with the palm of my hand until the "blanket" is flat, then load the main charge. The nipple is also charged with a nipple charger before capping and greasing on that end.

Perhaps the more even burn upon ignition contributes to the substantially higher velocity. I have fired these loads through sheets of paper towel at very close range and have gotten only minimum sooting on the towel, whereas I have seen others do the same and got a lot of soot.
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Old July 13, 2011, 12:37 PM   #8
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Sounds like too much work for the results.
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Old July 13, 2011, 01:01 PM   #9
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Re: Hawk

The improved burn and ignition are actually the unintended consequences of a totally different reason why I take such time, and almost obsession in loading the cylinders

That reason is ruggedness and reliability in wet weather.

I carry my 1858 on my belt almost all the time (except in gun-shy parts of the country) and I do a lot of outdoor work. My toolbelt looks a lot like Wyatt Earp's rig that he worn when he was a professional hide hunter. The sidearm is always present, along with the Dremel and screwdriver pouches. A lot of sweat, rain, snow, and humidity involved over a period of time.

When loaded like I posted earlier, all of the chambers fire reliably even though I have been through several rainstorms so powerful that my boots get flooded. The priming powder at the base of the chambers were meant to reliably ignite the main charge if in case a bit of moisture did get around my waterproofing efforts and wound up in the charge. But then I realized that this trick helped greatly to ensure an even ignition of the powder column too.
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Old July 13, 2011, 07:15 PM   #10
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For 587 ft lbs at muzzle, that would be 1150 fps with a 200gr bullet. With only 34 and a bit grains BP, I'm having a hard time with that. Not that it's not remotely possible, but I haven't seen such a thing.

Quote:
The priming powder at the base of the chambers were meant to reliably ignite the main charge if in case a bit of moisture did get around my waterproofing efforts and wound up in the charge.
Fine powder fouls just a easy as course. Maybe even easier since there's more surface area to absorb moisture.

Just sayin... I'm from Missouri... Show me!
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Old July 13, 2011, 07:32 PM   #11
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hum... I reached 443ft-lbs with swiss 1... Maybe I'll try swiss priming powder instead (I think I'll use a remote trigger...).


(Anyway, my other Rem 58 reaches 700+ft-lbs... with its' 18" barrel!)
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Old July 14, 2011, 01:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
hum... I reached 443ft-lbs with swiss 1... Maybe I'll try swiss priming powder instead (I think I'll use a remote trigger...).
WAIT!!! I referred to "priming powder" in my previous post which only means that I crushed up about 3 to 5 grains of Pyrodex P to spread over the chamber base to act as the initial accelerant which then ignites the main charge of FFFg. Priming powder as the main charge is an absolute no-no.

BTW I'd take the Rem carbine over an AR 5.56 carbine any day HA I have put my complete and unwavering faith into the old pure lead ball/bullet for no-nonsense stopping power long time ago.

Quote:
For 587 ft lbs at muzzle, that would be 1150 fps with a 200gr bullet. With only 34 and a bit grains BP, I'm having a hard time with that. Not that it's not remotely possible, but I haven't seen such a thing.
That is what I clocked over the chrony. Six-shot string with the same exact load:

Primer: Nipple - >1gr. serpentine (Pyrodex P)
Chamber base - >5gr. serpentine (Pyrodex P)


Main Charge: 34 grains Pyrodex P
Projectile: 200 grain LRN

989 fps
1078 fps
1153 fps
1044 fps
1020 fps
1086 fps

Compression was heavy. Used a loading stand instead of loading lever.
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Old July 15, 2011, 07:31 PM   #13
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@Rachen: when you crush FFFG powder you create FFFFG or priming powder... I think it maybe the reason of the incredible level of performance you reached.

The powder I use has 0.25/0.5mm particles (Swiss 1 and is considered 4FG), in France they have 0.1/0.25mm particles (PNF4-P and is considered 4FG also...) which is used in revolvers (until .36) and for priming. The swiss have one more powder: Ob 0.190/0.224mm particles (only for priming, flint, fuse guns...) and this is the one I'm thinking about to replace your 5gr of crushed powder....
All those powders are pure black powders, made with the exact same tools (in the same factories) than 150 years ago...

(Anyway... if I was to make the test, it would be with a remote trigger... )

By the way, even with only my 443ft-lbs we already fulfilled the objective of the thread "Matching a '58 Remmy to a smokeless load"...
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Old July 16, 2011, 11:48 AM   #14
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Some intresting points in the replies!
I think that if you choode to follow the published Uberti load of 18 gr of black Powder for your shooting, you'll never get up to equalling anything but weak low caliber smokless cartriges.
As you approach 30-35 gr loaqds you are gonna start really making power with the big Remingtons. If you use a Conical, the actual ftlbs will also increase a lot! Conicals are notioriouslly hard to load though.
I wonder if anyone casts a shotgun style bullet in .451-3" That would be a slug of lead!
I think through the posts meeting and surpassing a smokless load can be accomplished.
Like I said I had good luck with that smokeless Scofield cartrige. I don't remember the bullet weight for sure but I think it was 200gr? Nevertheless, it was very accurate from the Kirst Converter!
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Old July 16, 2011, 12:21 PM   #15
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Lee conicals are very easy to load.
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Old July 16, 2011, 05:05 PM   #16
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I think there are 3 details that will also make some difference:
1- Use large bullets (not especially heavy (will use powder space) but at least .457 if RB) as the more tight the fit, the more pressure will already be built when the bullet will finally move (and the more efficient it will be within the barrel).
2- Remove the grease from the bullet when you put it in the chamber (to avoid having it move to easily (and lose pressure)).
3- Put tons of wax/grease/etc. in front of the bullet when it is in the chamber (to lubricate its' path in the barrel).

It's all about using the pressure generated by the powder, the best we can (nice flames in front of the barrel are nice, but useless for building velocity... )
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Old July 16, 2011, 08:03 PM   #17
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darkerx, i think i'm going to take your advice.

i've noticed that when greasing up my .454 balls with crisco the balls are not as tight as i wish in the cylinder.

first i'll try not greasing the balls...if that dosn't work, i'll go to the .457's.

the tighter the fit, the better accuracy, for sure.
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Old July 16, 2011, 10:55 PM   #18
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I tried .457's in my Piettia '58 and they were way too large. I tried .454's and though a little tight, they chambered OK. For my revolver, the .451 is the best far as accuracy goes so I stick with it.
Good to know about those Conicals! I need to try some and see how they shoot in my revolver?
Of course all makes and years of manufacture will vary and your personal gun will vary.
Wow I wonder what the highest Foot Pounds of energy that was ever gotten from a replica '58? This revolver is great! the frame is so strong you want to "push" it a little with HOT loads!
I try and hold myself to a MAX of 35 gr of Propellant and .451 round balls. I usually shoot at just 30 gr propellant loads tho. PLENTY of power to punch paper targets...
Thanks,
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