The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The North Corral > Black Powder and Cowboy Action Shooting

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old July 8, 2013, 06:20 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: December 21, 2010
Location: Houston
Posts: 221
Recent range trip

My recent range trip:
I brought 4 guns which would have been too many for the 2 hours I had planned but then I had problems with two of them. I took my Pietta 1860 Army and my Uberti Remington NMA, 1851 five inch barrel, and 1849 Pocket Pistol.

I previously had issues with .375 balls not being large enough to stay seated in the 1851. In fact, they sometimes pulled out of the chamber when withdrawing the ram. I tried .380 cast balls. The short ram on this 5 inch barrel would not apply enough leverage without attaching the SlixShot load handle. These balls worked fine and shot well with 24 grains of Pyrodex P and a lubed felt wad. However, after the sixth shot the revolver would not drop the bolt when the hammer was moved to half cock. So the 1851 went back in the shooting bag.

The 1849 Pocket pistol was brand new never fired before. I loaded .323 cast balls over 15 grains of Pyrodex P and a lubed felt wad. I had some problems getting the small spout to measure consistently but got beyond that with some practice. The pistol shot high as expected but grouped pretty well for the first five shots. After the 5th shot the hammer could not be cocked so the 49 went back in the bag.

Next I shot 60 rounds out of the 1860. Most were .454 balls over 30 grain Pyrodex pellets and a lubed felt wad (yeah I know you purists will cringe). I finally have this revolver shooting to the point of aim. It has always grouped well with this load. The last 12 shots were the same balls over 35 grains of Pyrodex P and the lubed felt wad. Point of aim changed very little and the groups were still good. There is probably room for 40 grains.

I’ve continue to enjoy shooting the Uberti Remington NMA. This has to be the highest quality repro I’ve ever owned outside of a 2nd gen Colt 1860 Army I had years ago. A true joy to shoot. Shoots to point of aim. I shot 12 shots with the 30 grain Pyrodex pellets, lubed felt wad, and .454 balls. It groups better than the Pietta 1860 Army but I think this is mostly due to the improved sights. Then I switched to 35 grains of Pyrodex P and got a little bit better groups with the final 12 shots when I ran out of time. There is definitely room for 40 grains.

When I got home I discovered the following:

1851 – had a single cap that had worked its way down to between the hammer notches and the trigger. Once removed everything was OK.

1849 – had three caps in the works! I’m surprised that I got off 5 shots. Once removed everything was OK. See pic

1860 – had two caps that the hammer had mashed between it and the frame. I never noticed any problems so the 1860 seems to be more tolerant of caps although none had entered the works. Fouling on this pistol was like sludge. I have been using TW25B on the arbor. This was the first time out in very hot weather (95 F) and I loaded and fired 60 shots one after the other. I plan to go back to Bore Butter.

Remington NMA – Nothing out of the ordinary and a relatively quick clean up since I only fired 24 shots.

Ballistol – I used it for the first time for cleaning. I works great but I don’t care for the smell of it (my nose says licorice mixed with baby puke). I guess I’ll have to get used to it.

Disclaimer – I don’t recommend anyone follow my loads. I am a believer in going to the maximum safe load that continues to be accurate. I noted recently that Mike Belleview was using 35 grains of black powder (3F) while shooting conical bullets. I feel that 35 grains with the lighter round balls is safe. I have seen evidence that NMA’s have been reliably shot with 40 grain loads with round balls. I suspect the 1860 Army will handle it but at the cost of eventually loosening the frame and arbor.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1849 caps.jpg (190.4 KB, 22 views)
Roshi is offline  
Old July 8, 2013, 11:39 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: November 18, 2010
Location: Orygun
Posts: 720
Take some JB Weld and fill in that little safety notch in the hammer face. A lot of cap jams are due to the fired cap getting grabbed by the hammer notch and pulled off the nipple when the gun is cocked only to be tipped off into the "works" by the frame. With the notch filled in the hammer face is smooth and the cap (even if blown back by heavy loads) tends to get pushed back into the cylinder's nipple cutout to be rotated out of the way when the gun is cocked.

Be sure to thoroughly clean, degrease, and shape the filled notch area with a very slight concavity so the JB doesn't smack directly on the cap. I make a dam out of masking tape, leave the gun pointed up (cocked) held in a padded vise overnight while the JB sets. The next day I remove the excess JB with chisels and a Dremel wire brush. I rarely get cap jams anymore. I only load 5 in my Colts rather than use the safety pins and dislodge the JB Weld.
With over 15 perCUSSIN' revolvers, I've been called the Imelda Marcos of cap & ball.
SASS#3302 (Life), SASS Regulator, NRA (Life), DGB#129
Wolverton Mtn. Peacekeepers (WA), former Orygun Cowboy (Ranger, Posse from Hell)
Hellgate is offline  
Old July 9, 2013, 03:50 AM   #3
Doc Hoy
Senior Member
Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Posts: 5,105

Thanks for the range report.

You and I shoot somewhat alike. I take along about four every time I go.

All in all, sounds like it was a fun day.

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. Thomas Jefferson
Doc Hoy is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:16 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2016 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.04931 seconds with 8 queries