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Posted: 1/5/2006 9:03:10 PM EDT
I got the Cabelas 1858 New Army 44 under the tree this Christmas. I have fired about 10 rounds through it, I had my son fire 2 I think. Took me two hours to tear it down and clean it up. Anyway, I cleaned it and used the supplies that came with the starter kit from Cabelas. I also messed up three of the original nipples by mistake. It came with six spares so I replaced them all. I learned my lesson and won't my that mistake again....yes I dry fired it like a dummy...I didn't know until I tried to put a cap on the said ruined nipples. Anyway, I am loading it with the supplied powder flask and am using pyrodex at 30 grains. My question is what kind of down range power is this thing comparable to? I mean how would you rate it against a modern pistol? I fired it at a 2x6 and it went clean through the board. It seems quite respectible as far as I can tell by the bang and the way it sounds when it hits something. I fired it at a fat oak tree at roughly 100 yards and I could hear the round ball smack the trunk. Couldn't tell where I hit it but was glad I wasn't down there with the tree. Is that load too strong for this pistol? It is all blued steel with only a brass trigger gaurd. Any suggestions would be welcomed.

Wes
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:38:43 PM EDT
if you can get a bullet seated no it's not to much powder for the gun.but 30 to 40 grains of real black powder or triple seven will get you into the 600 to 800 fps
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 8:41:28 PM EDT
So are you saying that I can fill the cylinder with as much powder as it can hold so long as the ball will seat and be seated deep enough that the cylinder will still turn? Basically the ball being below the cylinder's edge? Is black powder stronger than pyrodex? Is it better? Damn, I almost sound like luke skywalker when he asks if the dark side is stronger :)
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 5:52:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Lord_Vulcanizer:
So are you saying that I can fill the cylinder with as much powder as it can hold so long as the ball will seat and be seated deep enough that the cylinder will still turn? Basically the ball being below the cylinder's edge?



Before you get a wild hair and start trying to see just how much powder you can pack into the cylinders, you better remember that if you get flash over, the gun is going to come apart in your hands.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 8:30:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Dano523:

Originally Posted By Lord_Vulcanizer:
So are you saying that I can fill the cylinder with as much powder as it can hold so long as the ball will seat and be seated deep enough that the cylinder will still turn? Basically the ball being below the cylinder's edge?



Before you get a wild hair and start trying to see just how much powder you can pack into the cylinders, you better remember that if you get flash over, the gun is going to come apart in your hands.



Quite right you are! I surely doubt I would ever try to load more than 30 - 35 grains. It just makes me feel more easy about firing it when I know that it is strong enough to handle a large load. I am one of those people who likes overkill in the safety area as far as loading a black powder weopon. I never know when I might make an error...even though I try my best not to.

Wes
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 9:42:43 PM EDT
As far as "down range power" gos, I've seen it written that the round ball is a wunder of modern science, it is VERY effective on human targets. Elmer Kieth wrote that the .44s were more "powerful" than .44 magnums and the .36s are more leathal than a .357 magnum.

I don't know if "power" is the right word, that's why I say it is a marvel of modern science, it has a very good "kill ratio", yet is a slow moving, relatively light weight projectile. So "power"?
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 7:25:01 PM EDT
Power? Possibly. It kinda boils down to the moving car scenario. What will actually cause more damage? A car moving at 25 mph or a bullet @ 1300 mph? Well, the bullet will impact your body at whatever size it is. Maybe a 30 cal will be at about 1/3 of an inch. But at high velocity. The car on the other hand is slow. But it strikes your entire body at a slow speed but it just plows right over you and brakes you all to peices as it does so. I know this is a bad analogy but the black powder bullet may be slow but as it passes through it allows energy to bleed off into the target which causes a lot of damage. Sometimes a high speed bullet just zips right through. Sometimes a high speed bullet may travel through so fast it requires precise shot placement. Who knows. I sure don't. But after firing my 44 cal black powder pistol into a 4*6 wooden block I have definately gained new respect for the kind of damage it can impose on its victom. Just my 2 cents and minimal experience.

Wes
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 7:31:27 PM EDT
I'm not sure how much black powder my Ruger .44 holds, but the recoil is very heavy compared to any other .44 or .36 I've shot. Ka...BOOOOOOOMMM!!!
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 6:21:07 AM EDT
I THINK around 42-43 grains.I was shooting 35 and had room.Steped it up to 40,and okay.A friend told me it would go "almost" 50.WRONG.Couldn't seat ball all the way,so cylinder couldn't rotate.Had to shave ball level with front of cylinder,to fire it.
Now fooling with Triple 7 fffg,to get more velocity for the same powder volume.
Link Posted: 2/6/2006 9:33:26 PM EDT
wow, thats loading it up!!!

Good luck,

Wes
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 6:55:32 PM EDT
A word to the wise- a .44 round ball with 30 grains of FFF black powder, or equivalent of Pyrodex or other synthetic is really the maximum recommended. THe velocity is around 700-800 fps, depending on powder, length of barrell, and whether you are using balls or conical bullets. Follow the book. Only in the Walker models are the loads of 40-50 grains max acceptable, and that is due to the large frame. I tested many loads in a 60 Army, 58 Remington, and the bastard Cabela's brass frame Navy .44 copy. 30 is the max I found to be anywhere reliable. The most accurate and very capable load was around 25 Goex FFF. I have put down at least 11 hogs with a .44 and half as many with the .36. For the .36 15 grains was the norm and to my surprise very effective. It is the equivalent to a regular .38 round nose round. All head shots on deer, hogs were effective and one shot affairs. I always put a wad over the powder to avoid flashover, and if you seat the ball directly over powder, seal the cylinder over the ball with Wonderlube, Crisco or similar natural sealer.
The rule on round ball and black powder is the knock down power not speed.
IMHO, 2 cents and 10 years of burning powder.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 6:57:31 PM EDT
Also, do not shoot at a round tree trunk with round balls. There are many stories in the history books about the round bouncing back directly to the shooter at close range. Round on round at the right direct angle will send it right back atya.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 8:51:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AWSAR:
Also, do not shoot at a round tree trunk with round balls. There are many stories in the history books about the round bouncing back directly to the shooter at close range. Round on round at the right direct angle will send it right back atya.



What about metal targets?
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 8:41:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/18/2006 12:55:02 PM EDT by sharpknife]
After loading BP revolvers one should put a dab of crisco over the ball in each of the cylinders to prevent the dreaded chain fire.

Edited: AWSAR already covered it.
Link Posted: 3/9/2006 4:49:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By sharpknife:
After loading BP revolvers one should put a dab of crisco over the ball in each of the cylinders to prevent the dreaded chain fire.

Edited: AWSAR already covered it.



I do not recommend Crisco. I tried it on a summer day, and after 3 shots I had a wet oily mess. After that I bought some wonder wads and have used them every since.
Link Posted: 3/9/2006 5:30:11 PM EDT

If you are using a proper size ball it will seal the chamber on the front side. There should be a nice ring of lead shaved off the ball as it is seated and that means it has a nice seal.

Most chainfires are caused by the lack of caps on the nipples. Make sure all are tightly capped and none fall off while you are firing.

Greatgrandpa did not have any Crisco or Wonder Wads but he managed fine without them, even in the heat of battle.
Link Posted: 3/10/2006 8:08:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Robert2011:
If you are using a proper size ball it will seal the chamber on the front side. There should be a nice ring of lead shaved off the ball as it is seated and that means it has a nice seal.

Most chainfires are caused by the lack of caps on the nipples. Make sure all are tightly capped and none fall off while you are firing.

Greatgrandpa did not have any Crisco or Wonder Wads but he managed fine without them, even in the heat of battle.



If there were to be a chainfire, what kind of damage would be caused to the gun/shooter? I'm just getting into cap and ball with a Ruger Old Army. Ive have wonder wads to use, but i'm curious as to what would happen.
Link Posted: 3/18/2006 6:43:19 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Camel:

Originally Posted By Robert2011:
If you are using a proper size ball it will seal the chamber on the front side. There should be a nice ring of lead shaved off the ball as it is seated and that means it has a nice seal.

Most chainfires are caused by the lack of caps on the nipples. Make sure all are tightly capped and none fall off while you are firing.

Greatgrandpa did not have any Crisco or Wonder Wads but he managed fine without them, even in the heat of battle.



If there were to be a chainfire, what kind of damage would be caused to the gun/shooter? I'm just getting into cap and ball with a Ruger Old Army. Ive have wonder wads to use, but i'm curious as to what would happen.



One of the cylinders is lined up with the plunger,if that one goes it could be pretty messy.
Link Posted: 3/18/2006 6:59:25 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AWSAR:
A word to the wise- a .44 round ball with 30 grains of FFF black powder, or equivalent of Pyrodex or other synthetic is really the maximum recommended. THe velocity is around 700-800 fps, depending on powder, length of barrell, and whether you are using balls or conical bullets. Follow the book. Only in the Walker models are the loads of 40-50 grains max acceptable, and that is due to the large frame. I tested many loads in a 60 Army, 58 Remington, and the bastard Cabela's brass frame Navy .44 copy. 30 is the max I found to be anywhere reliable. The most accurate and very capable load was around 25 Goex FFF. I have put down at least 11 hogs with a .44 and half as many with the .36. For the .36 15 grains was the norm and to my surprise very effective. It is the equivalent to a regular .38 round nose round. All head shots on deer, hogs were effective and one shot affairs. I always put a wad over the powder to avoid flashover, and if you seat the ball directly over powder, seal the cylinder over the ball with Wonderlube, Crisco or similar natural sealer.
The rule on round ball and black powder is the knock down power not speed.
IMHO, 2 cents and 10 years of burning powder.




I'd certainly keep it lower with the imports.
Ruger manual says it'll take all it can hold.
Link Posted: 3/18/2006 6:07:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Camel:
If there were to be a chainfire, what kind of damage would be caused to the gun/shooter? I'm just getting into cap and ball with a Ruger Old Army. Ive have wonder wads to use, but i'm curious as to what would happen.



I won’t speculate since there are so many variables and I’ve just read about them. Since they happened to people like Elmer Keith who lived to tell, they are survivable. Only one round gets up velocity in the barrel, the rest pop out of the cylinder at low velocities. Slivers of lead bouncing off steel gun parts can come back in your face so that’s not good for you or bystanders and another reason to wear your safety glasses.

Anyhow, although wads are not necessary in a in-spec gun when using in-spec balls, I recommend them as an extra margin of safety and because they act a filler when the powder charge is short. Wonder wads also have lube in them that will keep moving parts slicker and have a cleaning action as they pass thorough the barrel taking fouling with them. A cleaner, well lubed, safer operating gun is worth it, even if granddad never heard of them in his day.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 5:52:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Robert2011:
If you are using a proper size ball it will seal the chamber on the front side. There should be a nice ring of lead shaved off the ball as it is seated and that means it has a nice seal.

Most chainfires are caused by the lack of caps on the nipples. Make sure all are tightly capped and none fall off while you are firing.

Greatgrandpa did not have any Crisco or Wonder Wads but he managed fine without them, even in the heat of battle.



Grandpa didn't have Crisco or Wonder Wads, but he did have lard and felt wads soaked in lard or wax. Elmer Keith's book "Hell, I Was There" makes reference to felt wads.

Kent
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 2:05:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Green_Canoe:
Grandpa didn't have Crisco or Wonder Wads, but he did have lard and felt wads soaked in lard or wax. Elmer Keith's book "Hell, I Was There" makes reference to felt wads.



I’m curious, do you have any 1800’s reference’s to “felt wads soaked in lard or wax,” to prevent chainfires? I don't have HIWT handy to double check it and and don't think it had an index anyhow.

Elmer Keith describes how to make them in the Sixgun’s 1962 edition, but he never mentions their origin. I’ve always considered them a 20th century invention. If I missed something in HIWT I'd like to know.
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