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Posted: 7/28/2001 10:42:35 AM EDT
The post about black powder has reminded me of a previous quest I had to get an Italian repo cap & ball pistol. Specifically a Colt Army or Navy clone. I saw them in Cabela's shooting catalog, but people have told me the ones that Cabelas sells are made by Pietta and that getting a good one is a hit or miss proposition, mostly miss. Anybody have any experience with these? I understand the Ubertis are better but still have problems. I don't really want to spend a lot of money, but I don't want one that sucks either. I have zero experience with BP.
Link Posted: 7/28/2001 11:12:14 AM EDT
I have a Traditions version of the Colt 58 Navy in .44 cal. I don't know the name of the maker but it is Italian. Most of the metal is soft but it handles the low pressure form black powder just fine. As long as I keep it clean it goes bang every time. I like to shoot black powder it's a fun diversion from metallic cartridge repeaters.
Link Posted: 7/28/2001 11:42:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/28/2001 7:09:49 PM EDT by Jim_Dandy]
I have a Traditions version of the Colt 58 Navy in .44 cal.
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There was no Colt 1858 Navy. Colt had an 1851 Navy, an 1860 Army, and an 1861 Navy. Remington manufactured an 1858 Army and 1858 Navy. The Cabela's junk is just what was described (found this out the hard way); soft metal, etc. Probably the best made replica now is the Navy Arms stuff. Still Italian-made, but to a higher quality than the Cabela's stuff. If you can find a now-discontinued Lyman cap 'n ball, they are also high quality. The best cap 'n ball sixgun out there is the Ruger Old Army (what I currently have), probably a little pricy for your needs, but built tough and super accurate. Has the ability of being loaded as hot as some .38 Special +P loads if you so desire.
Link Posted: 7/28/2001 1:04:14 PM EDT
I've got several of the new Colt black powder pistols and 2 Pietta repo's.a 1860 colt and 1858 Remington.the Pietta 1860 is built better and shoots better than my Colt,the 1858 Rem.will shoot 3in groups @25yds. all day long.been shooting them for 3 years ,not a bit of trouble.
Link Posted: 7/28/2001 1:25:54 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/28/2001 6:20:44 PM EDT
I have a Pietta Remington 1858 .44 in stainless that I bought a few years ago at the BassPro Shops in Springfield Mo. Load, point, and shoot. After the smoke has cleared the target is dead. I keep it loaded as my home defense weapon. It is very accurate and does the job that it was intended for.
Link Posted: 7/28/2001 6:29:34 PM EDT
I used to have a .44 Lyman '58 New Model Army. That's the one with the top strap over the cylinder. Was supposed to be a stronger design than the open tops. It was accurate within its range.
Link Posted: 7/28/2001 6:32:39 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/28/2001 6:39:59 PM EDT
Jim, how much powder can the Ruger Old Army take? I have one of the cheap 1858 Army knockoffs from Cabelas and it can take 35 grains(steel frame, 25 max recommended for brass). I heard that you can put as much powder as will fit with the ball in the Old Army and be perfectly safe, but don't know how much more of a charge that is. Thanks.
Link Posted: 7/28/2001 6:40:18 PM EDT
All of the Italian replicas are more or less made by the same companies, Pietta and Uberti. However, they are not all made to the same quality of fit, finish, and heat treating. The Navy Arms will generally have better bluing and case coloring; their internals will have better heat treating and better timing, etc. It's just like government weapons in a way: the lowest bidder. Cabela's is more or less disposable; the casual shooter buys one, shoots it moderately, then boxes it up and forgets about it or sells it at the garage sale (this is all that Cabela's asks of its contractors). The Navy Arms is generally made for re-enactors and BP competitors who will use it fairly hard. The Ruger Old Army is made much heavier duty than is required for BP shooting. The above-mentioned Lyman "'58 Army" is a replica of the Remington 1858 Army and is only one of many types of cap 'n ball sixguns that Lyman sold from the '60s up through the '80s, including replicas of the various Colt open top revolvers.
Link Posted: 7/28/2001 6:44:35 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Jim Dandy: The above-mentioned Lyman "'58 Army" is a replica of the Remington 1858 Army and is only one of many types of cap 'n ball sixguns that Lyman sold from the '60s up through the '80s, including replicas of the various Colt open top revolvers.
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Right on. I got it in 11th grade in 81. Was my first pistol.
Link Posted: 7/28/2001 6:51:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/28/2001 7:21:33 PM EDT by Jim_Dandy]
qwijibo- I have used a 35 grain equivalent of Pyrodex "P" behind a Lee 220 grain conical and an Ox Yoke Wonder Wad. I don't know what velocity it was pushing, but the smoke and blast were fierce. Lyman lists a maximum for round balls in the Old Army of 41 grains. As far as overloading muzzleloaders, I have heard it both ways, that you cannot overload one and that you can. I'm not going to try, but my Old Army owner's manual contains this passage:
It is safe to use as much Black Powder as the chamber will hold, leaving room for the bullet. This maximum loading is not usually the most accurate loading, however.
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A few years back, C.E. Harris had a good article published in the 1995 Gun Digest concering loading the Old Army. He was loading it up to .38 Special +P ballistics (200 grain conical at 1017 fps and 360 lb/ft of ME). Very accurate, too. I assume that you're shooting a round ball in your 1858, hence the higher charge weight. If you like shooting often, Lee makes an excellent conical for yours, too. (edited for safety and correct data)
Link Posted: 7/28/2001 7:46:34 PM EDT
I owned a replica Rem 1858 from Navy Arms when I was a teenager. They are a lot of fun to shoot. Mine was pretty accurate but shot way high. I could shoot 3 to 4 cylinders before it was too dirty to continue. I had a couple of scary discharges. If you did not heed to warnings and cover the cylinders with grease or wads, several chambers could go off at once!
Link Posted: 7/28/2001 7:57:34 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Jim Dandy:
I have a Traditions version of the Colt 58 Navy in .44 cal.
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Colt had an 1851 Navy
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Yeah, I meant to say that
Link Posted: 7/28/2001 8:05:59 PM EDT
The replicas will generally shoot fairly high as compared to their original counterparts, due to the smaller dimensions of the newer guns (newer guns are generally investment cast off of the older ones). Navy Arms came out with a dimensionally accurate version of the 1858 Remington a few years back (more expensive than the Old Army Ruger). On the subject of ring-firing, I have a small story to relate: back around the WWI timeframe when one of my grandads was a teenager, he and an uncle were hunting possums in SE Oklahoma. They cornered one in a hole and the uncle had an old cap 'n ball revolver of unknown make (probably a Colt open top type gun). The uncle thought he was going to pop the possum once with the revolver and they'd have one in the bag. Well......he didn't goop up the chambers with grease or wax and the gun ring-fired separating the barrel group from the rest of the gun by shearing it and ruining everything. Disgusted, he tossed the gun down the hole and that was the end of that. What does that prove? A good possum hunt can be ruined, but more importantly, STAY SAFE.
Link Posted: 7/30/2001 9:40:59 PM EDT
Well I've heard both good and bad about the Pietta's. Some say they are the best deal out there and others say not to waste my time. I've found a place I can mail order a Uberti '51 all steel Navy for $175. Anybody care to chime in with what type of accessories I need, like a capper, powder measure etc.? I have heard the Pietta Remington copies are way better than the Colt's, but I sort of had my heart set on a Colt clone.
Link Posted: 7/31/2001 12:25:24 AM EDT
Originally Posted By qwijibo: Jim, how much powder can the Ruger Old Army take? I have one of the cheap 1858 Army knockoffs from Cabelas and it can take 35 grains(steel frame, 25 max recommended for brass). I heard that you can put as much powder as will fit with the ball in the Old Army and be perfectly safe, but don't know how much more of a charge that is. Thanks.
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I can get almost 45 grains black powder volume equivelent of Pyrodex behind a 148 grain ball in mine. If I remember right, I get around 1200+ fps from that.
Link Posted: 7/31/2001 4:22:04 AM EDT
I can get almost 45 grains black powder volume equivelent of Pyrodex behind a 148 grain ball in mine. If I remember right, I get around 1200+ fps from that.
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Are you talking about an Old Army? The replicas just physically don't have the volume for that kind of capacity. As for accessories, forget cappers. They're just another flimsy tool that'll break and let you down (the plastic T/C "star" capper works well enough, is cheap, and unbreakable). Don't get one of those replica flasks. You'll drive yourself crazy trying to get it to meter correctly. Get one of those plain hunting type flasks and either buy or cut a spout to your volume. It would also be a good idea to buy a small measure that will handle the volume that you're using (T/C has one). Lastly, get some replacement nipples from Uncle Mike's that will take #11 caps (most common cap size, #10s aren't always easy to get). If you wind up shooting this gun a lot, get two sets of nipples as they're replaced periodically (get a good nipple wrench, too).
Link Posted: 7/31/2001 8:19:38 AM EDT
Where is the best place to buy these accessories on line??
Link Posted: 7/31/2001 8:31:36 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/31/2001 12:30:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/31/2001 12:29:08 PM EDT by Jim_Dandy]
Where is the best place to buy these accessories on line??
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I don't know about online, but Mid South Shooter Supply Company (they have a website, but no online ordering) has a fairly complete list of the things that you've been recommended. If it's not too late, I would take raf's advice. The 1858 Remington replicas are far and away better than the Colts (the Colt rear sight is just a notch in the hammer). As far as the spare cylinders go, right there is a way to see which guns are crappy and which are not. Sometimes, a replacement cylinder won't time correctly on the guns that are made to looser tolerances requiring some gunsmith work. By the time that you buy items like extra cylinders and what not, you've tied up as much as in a Ruger Old Army. I think I'd pass on that part.
Link Posted: 7/31/2001 2:07:57 PM EDT
ceck out dixie gunworks for a good selection of black powder guns great prices too
Link Posted: 7/31/2001 2:19:07 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/31/2001 2:35:04 PM EDT
DGW has about the best selection of black powder guns and accessories on the planet, but I wouldn't call their prices "good." Unless something has changed recently, their prices are much closer to suggested retail than anyone else's.
Link Posted: 7/31/2001 2:40:46 PM EDT
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