Load for Pietta Colt 1851 Navy?


August 13, 2005, 06:11 AM
Well, I just picked it up today and I'm a bit confused. In the referance pamphlet that comes with the gun, it says use 22-30gr of powder(I have Pyrodex 3F) for a .44cal. In the instruction manual, it says use between 12-15gr. I know too large of a charge and I'll probably take my hand at, too small and I'll have a bullet stuck. If it helps, I've got Hornady .454cal swaged lead balls for it.

One other question, I read through the guide for shooting BP revo's at the top, and do I really have to bake this thing in the oven after cleaning? I would, but I don't think my parents would want me cooking guns for dinner. I know I'm going to be spending a while cleaning it but the quicker I can do it the better.

If you enjoyed reading about "Load for Pietta Colt 1851 Navy?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
August 13, 2005, 07:44 AM
The 22-30 grain range is fine for the 44s. the 12-15 would work in a 36. Traditional loading level for ball and a .44 belt revovlers was often recorded at 28 grains though you can safely load 35 or a bit more.

The 36s with a round ball will hold 22-25 grains and works well at 18 and there about. Those Italian instruction flyers they put in with the guns are notoriously approximate as to load specifications.

August 13, 2005, 08:49 PM
there is no chance of getting too large of a charge, you have to seat the ball flush to the cylinder.

August 13, 2005, 09:03 PM
Chewie's correct. You can't get enough BP in an 1851 ro kaboom it. If you loaded it full with Triple 7 long enough, you see some stress though.

My Cabela's/Pietta 1851 really likes 21gr Triple 7. Maybe little stout, but groups well.

August 13, 2005, 10:48 PM
Bake it in the oven? :eek: I always just disassemble and clean very well with HOT soapy water, then rinse in HOT soapy water, and dry. If the metal is hot from the water, it will dry off well. After a quick dry, I always wipe everything down with WD-40, including the barrel and chambers of the cylinder. I also normally take it out a day or two later and wipe it down again - just to be sure. It hasn't rusted in 15 years after a lot of lead has gone through it. Main things are to get it clean and then to get it dry and oiled right after returning from the range. Never let it set a day until you get around to it.

September 8, 2005, 03:27 AM
UPDATE: Took her out shooting a couple weeks ago, and put a whole 16 shots down range. Very fun gun, but the main spring seems to be weak. It was randomly requiring a second strike on caps, used CCI #10's from two seperate tins bought a few weeks apart. Suggestions were to either get #11 nipples or a new main spring. Anyone got a good link where I could buy those? Also, anyone have a link to a detailed complete disassembly manual? Any help is appreciated.

September 8, 2005, 09:34 AM
Here is a link to a site that carries replacement parts for the common repro cap and ball revolvers.
VTI replica gun parts (https://www.vtigunparts.com/ab2240000Equick/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=67&cat=Pietta+1851+Navy+%2E36cal%2C+%2E44cal)
I linked directly to the exploded view for the 1851 but they also have views for the 1858, 1860 and more.
I have purchased from them and they seem to be reasonable in the prices.

September 8, 2005, 11:48 AM
I had lot's of problems with CCI primers on my Colt Navy .44. Switched to Remington's and no problems since. Others say to pinch the cap but I haven't tried that. The owner's manual is wrong and the posts above are right. If you have a brass frame Cabela's recommends staying below 25 grains so you don't loosen it up. I use 23 grains. I started out with 28 which seems best (if you have a steel frame) but I want my gun to last awhile.

November 3, 2007, 11:03 PM
I realize this thread is a couple years old.....

I have been enjoying my own Pietta Colt 1851 Navy and have just settled on a load of 28gr Pyrodex RS "The FFG equivalent" behind a .454 lead ball. It shoots well and does not feel like a gallery load. 28 grains is on the upper end of loads to be used in a brass framed gun, although that warning appears to be with the use of FFFg powder, not FFg. Wouldn't FFg powder of the same volume create less pressure than FFFg? So woul

If 30gr is a max pressure load of FFFG, would the max FFg load be larger? Or, am I completely mistaken on the pressure relationship between powder sizing?

November 4, 2007, 08:37 AM
A given load of FFg by volume will produce slightly less pressure than the same load of FFFg. Loading for the equivalent pressure output would involve differences of 1 or 2 (or less) grams by volume. An exact relationship would be difficult to establish since individual grain sizes vary greatly. I've never seen anyone state such a relationship.

If you enjoyed reading about "Load for Pietta Colt 1851 Navy?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!