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6/25/2018 7:04:05 PM
Posted: 7/19/2018 3:13:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/19/2018 3:29:14 PM EDT by Aggie_Gunner]
I'm thinking of diving in to the black powder revolver game. I'm wanting a range toy for pure enjoyment of shooting. I'm leaning away from the 1858 or Walker models, since I don't find them as good looking. So with all of that, I would like your knowledgeable opinion on the following:

1.) 1851 or 1860? Do they both use similar powder charges? Is one inherently easier to load/ shoot? Is one inherently more safe?
2.) .44 or .36? I'm leaning toward .44...
3.) Brass versus steel... Am I going to be disappointed in a brass framed revolver?
4.) Does anyone know of a good source for real black powder? Preferably local to the Houston, TX area?
5.) Are the starter kits with some of the Pietta revolvers worth it? Or should I separately buy some must haves?
6.) Any other thoughts?

I appreciate everyone's input in advance...
Link Posted: 7/19/2018 4:54:33 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Aggie_Gunner:
I'm thinking of diving in to the black powder revolver game. I'm wanting a range toy for pure enjoyment of shooting. I'm leaning away from the 1858 or Walker models, since I don't find them as good looking. So with all of that, I would like your knowledgeable opinion on the following:

1.) 1851 or 1860? Do they both use similar powder charges? Is one inherently easier to load/ shoot? Is one inherently more safe?
Personal choice. Some folks like the balance of the 1851. The 1860 has a sleeker look to it.
Yes, very similar charges:20-35 grns. Depends on caliber.
Both load the same
Both are safe at recommended powder charges.

2.) .44 or .36? I'm leaning toward .44... .36 is more economical to shoot. .44 slightly more recoil.
3.) Brass versus steel... Am I going to be disappointed in a brass framed revolver? Steel. Brass frames suck. Do not FO.
4.) Does anyone know of a good source for real black powder? Preferably local to the Houston, TX area? Only place I know that sells real BP in the entire Houston area is Bass Pro Shop.(of all places . You have to go to the gun counter and ask for it. They will want to xerox your Driver License
5.) Are the starter kits with some of the Pietta revolvers worth it? Or should I separately buy some must haves? Starter kits are fine. They'll get you shooting. You will need cleaning rod, jags, brushes, etc. Invest in a couple of quality nipple wrenches. Use never seize or choke grease on nipple threads.
6.) Any other thoughts? WELCOME TO YOUR DOOM!!!!! The dark side clouds everything.

I appreciate everyone's input in advance...
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Link Posted: 7/19/2018 5:12:39 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By HellifIknow:
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Great info, thanks!
Link Posted: 7/19/2018 6:10:10 PM EDT
Correction: Base Pro does NOT have BP any more. Just went by the Pearland store to check.
Link Posted: 7/19/2018 7:10:22 PM EDT
Thanks for checking... I guess it is a substitute or internet only type of proposition.
Link Posted: 7/21/2018 9:34:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/21/2018 9:39:40 AM EDT by 1srelluc]
I don't know....My 1858 Sheriff's model looks pretty good.

Attachment Attached File


That said it's hard to beat the looks of a 1860 Army. Cabelas has the Pietta made ones for around $269.00 or so.

While Uberti is still the gold standard Pietta has come a very long way over the years. Almost to the point where there is very little difference....But price.
Link Posted: 7/21/2018 10:21:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/21/2018 10:23:32 AM EDT by Rocklock]
The Colts have a better balance , Rem. 1858 is stronger and much easier to remove cylinder .

The Colts tend to gum up quicker than Rems, plus you have a real rear sight .

The Colts have a notch in the hammer nose for a rear sight and they tend to shoot very high .

After you load one a couple of times you'll know why everyone carried a big honking knife , also why they carried multiple guns .

For a first revolver I would recomend a Remington 1858 , because you get a real rear sight , they usually shoot to point of aim , they dont goo up as quick , and you dont have to knock out a wedge out of the barrel assy to remove the cylinder to disassemble.

.44 balls are easier to load ..36 balls are a bit small .

With all that said I still prefer Colts for the balance. But they are more trouble , Colts have a habbit of swallowing a spent cap down in front of hammer down into the guts of the gun .

The Old Timers had a certain form in cocking the fired cylinder, you raise the barrel straight up when you cock it , so the cap that has exploded falls down to the ground instead of into your revolver.

I am really into BP . I call myself Rocklock because I won the 1984 Colo. State Flintlock Championship.
Write me with any question .

Gary
Link Posted: 7/22/2018 4:44:23 PM EDT
I've only owned 1858s, so can't fairly comment on the others. I will say with a steel frame you have the option of a cartridge conversion down the road. I do like my '58s and shoot them regularly. Easy to work on, too, and if you shoot one of the repros enough you'll be doing that.

I buy powder from Grafs when they run sales...usually a lot at once.
Link Posted: 7/22/2018 4:54:18 PM EDT
@Aggie_Gunner

PM sent
Link Posted: 7/25/2018 6:53:29 AM EDT
Stick to steel framed C&B revolvers. With a steel frame .44 cal C&B revolver you can easily swap in a 45 Colt Conversion cylinder.
There are conversion cylinders available for .36 caliber C&B revolvers but it's a reloader's proposition. .36 Cal uses a .375 bore that requires either a hollow base wadcutter bullet (.357 dia) or a heal based 38 cal bullet.

But don't let that hold you back from buying a .36 C&B revolver.

I bought a Pietta 1858 and a Kirst 45 Colt Conversion cylinder back in 2001, shot a couple cylinders of 45 Colt through it and shelved it till about 2014. The action was horribly gritty.

In 2014 I was heading out to contract in Africa and decided I wanted to try the 58 with BP before I left. Bought Pyrodex Pellets, Hornady Round ball, and Remington #10 caps, fired it off and was hooked. I now have a Pair of 44 cal Pietta 1858 Army Revolvers , a pair of 44 cal Pietta 1860 Army Revolvers, a Lyman Great Plains Rifle in 54 cal, and most recently picket up a Pietta 1851 Navy Revolver in 36 during the recent Cabela's sale.

I find I like my pair of 1860 Army revolvers the best. Actions are significantly smoother than the 58's. Use a little Tennessee elevation and they are easy to get on target.
The rear sight on the hammer is different but works just fine.

Regarding Rocklock's mention of which gun gums up 1st, my experience is the opposite. I note my 1858 Remington gummed up before 1860 Colts did over the coarse of a week of shooting without cleaning. I slather bore butter on the arbors (Cylinder Pin) of my Colts and shoot a couple cylinders per day over the coarse of a week. The Colts keep shooting.

I will note I did the same with my Pietta 1858 (and Pyrodex) and the gun locked up tight in a weeks time. Requiring the use of a mallet to free the cylinder pin. Maybe not a fair comparison as my Colts have only been shot with black powder and the Remington was shot with Pyrodex. Note - the ease in which the cylinder can be removed from the Remington is a plus for a quick cleaning between shooting and loading. Disassembly of the Colt really isn't that hard to do either but tools (a punch and a mallet) are required.

I recently added Wolff EMF Colt Mainsprings PN# 32280 to my pair of the Pietta 1858 revolvers and find that the addition of this spring significantly improves the feel / smoothness of the action. Details on that spring modification can be read about here:
http://1858remington.com/discuss/index.php/topic,5248.0.html

On to the pics!

My recent purchase - Pietta 1851 Navy - 36 Cal, 20gr of Goex FFFg, Hornady .375 diameter ball, and Remington #10 caps.
The rear sight is tiny on this gun and I keep getting 2 flyers. I need some more practice with it. Note this is shot a 21ft using 2 hands and a 6 o'clock sight picture, holding on the base of the 7 ring.


Pietta 1860 Army - 44 Cal, 30gr Graf's Schuetzen FFFg, Hornady .454 diameter ball, homemade wool felt wads, and Remington #10 caps.
Shot at 21ft using 2 hands, 6 o'clock sight picture holding on the base of the 5 ring.


Pairs:


Link Posted: 7/25/2018 6:11:45 PM EDT
You might want to check out a used Ruger Old Army if authenticity doesn't really matter to you.
Link Posted: 7/25/2018 6:40:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/25/2018 6:50:39 PM EDT by SteelonSteel]
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Originally Posted By FADALdude:
You might want to check out a used Ruger Old Army if authenticity doesn't really matter to you.
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They shoot very well too. I was very impressed shooting my buddy’s.

Edited. I did not shoot my friends. There! grammar beyotches.
Link Posted: 7/25/2018 7:57:42 PM EDT
My wife got me a .36 caliber Colt copy several years ago from the Cabela's catalog.
It is a blast to shoot, and new shooters really like shooting it.
Recoils about like a .22.
New shooters also get bored quickly while I am reloading it.

Since I normally stop by the range on the way to work, I haven't shot mine in years.
I've never let it sit longer than a couple of hours before cleaning, so I didn't think leaving it dirty 24 hours would be a good idea.
(BP is corrosive and will eat your guns if you don't clean them.)
Been thinking I need to get it back out though.
Link Posted: 7/25/2018 8:01:23 PM EDT
I'm really leaning toward an 1860...
Link Posted: 7/26/2018 5:55:33 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By Aggie_Gunner:
I'm really leaning toward an 1860...
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The 1860 is my favorite.
Link Posted: 7/26/2018 5:58:11 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By mini14jac:
My wife got me a .36 caliber Colt copy several years ago from the Cabela's catalog.
It is a blast to shoot, and new shooters really like shooting it.
Recoils about like a .22.
New shooters also get bored quickly while I am reloading it.

Since I normally stop by the range on the way to work, I haven't shot mine in years.
I've never let it sit longer than a couple of hours before cleaning, so I didn't think leaving it dirty 24 hours would be a good idea.
(BP is corrosive and will eat your guns if you don't clean them.)
Been thinking I need to get it back out though.
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You should get a 2nd one. I've had 2 friends over on different separate occasions and found sharing a powder flask and components between 2 people makes loading go a lot faster.
Link Posted: 7/26/2018 7:02:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/26/2018 7:03:54 AM EDT by Skunkeye]
1860 Colt replica
Link Posted: Yesterday 4:22:39 PM EDT
They are fun but I get bored with them fast. Loading takes a long time and cleaning is a PITA. My first C&B revolver was a 1858 Remington. Sold it and regretted it. Now I have a brass frame 1851 Navy in .44 so it isn't correct but I don't care. And the brass frame is fine for me I don't shoot a lot and have no interest in conversion cylinders.
Link Posted: Today 5:44:44 AM EDT
[Last Edit: Today 5:45:04 AM EDT by RULE762]
If you want .44, go with the 1860. If you want the 1851, go with the .36 version, with a steel frame, as the original was. Brass frames look nice, but do not have the strength of the steel frames.

I have a “brasser” but don’t mind, as I never shoot full charges in it.
Do not worry about the Shoots High.comments. That was as designed to give the military the ability to aim at the belt buckle, and achieve body shots out to 125yrds. POA will meet POI at about 75 yards.

Cleaning isn’t hard. When you get home, disassemble, and place all parts but wood grips into a plastic tote with warm water and dish soap. Let soak, then scrub with old tooth brush. Dry, and spray down with wd40, warm oven, or your favorite method to remove moisture. Reassemble with lots of non petroleum grease on the cylinder pin/arbor, and light oil on the rest.

Whatever you get, you can always trade up or begin a collection if you want different later.
A fun thing about cap n ball is that you can easily load blank rounds for the kids with cream of wheat instead of a lead ball over the powder.

I recommend www.trackofthewolf.com for any parts or accessories not in a starter kit.
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