Pietta 1858 Target


June 14, 2006, 06:49 PM
Just got a Pietta 1858 Target model from Cabelas for $200, and it seems to be a pretty good shooter. Accuracy is better than from my Pietta 51 Navy, and it shoots a bigger charge, so I get a bigger boom and more smoke. :) I also picked up a can of Goex while I was there because nothing beats the real thing. I got a few pictures to show too!

Here is the gun (just fired, I am going to clean it as soon as I am done here):

Picture of the sights:

Here is how well I did with it. I had a few ones that went astray, but over all most of them shot high. I cannot get the sights lower, but at the end I just aimed a little lower and was hitting close. Shots were from 15 yards both hands on the gun. You will have to forgive me, I didn't have a target, so I used a box instead measuring 11 inches x 15.


Numbers are load info, and the order that I shot them (all used a .454 round ball):
1. 40 gr. Goex
2. 30 gr. 777
3. 35 gr. Goex paper cart.
4. 35 gr. Goex paper cart.

Overall I don't think I did that bad for being the second time I have shot it. 35 gr. of Goex seems to be the most accurate.

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June 14, 2006, 07:55 PM
Good report! Tha Peties is what tha MANN after some amount of testin in stainless with adjustable sight went to fer tha .50 caliber conversions, tha steel is as good in tha Ubies, but tha Peties seem ta come out straighter ta begin with, less ta fix afore he goes ta work.

Course, that rear sights nothin ya wanna brag over, it goes and gets replaced! LOTS better sight picture than tha fixed sight models fer certain!

June 14, 2006, 08:02 PM
Those No. 4 recipes really hit home well.

June 14, 2006, 08:26 PM
Oh forgot to add, I used Remington #10's with crisco over the ball, no wads.

Thanks Manyirons! Personally I like the sights that is on this Pietta, much better than the fixed ones.

June 14, 2006, 09:09 PM
Yup, me too, hats off ta those what can shoot with tha fixies, me, i need em square and right angles ta shoot well!

June 14, 2006, 11:09 PM
Warren, #4's did great! #3's are the same, but I didn't clean the barrel until the #4's. Used 35 grains of the real stuff (Goex BP) with a .454 Round ball. Crisco over the chamber and a remington #10 cap. 35 grains of BP was the most accurate load in this revolver by far.

June 15, 2006, 01:31 AM
I noticed they were the same, but I thought maybe it was a typo.

So cleaning made all the difference, eh.

I've never fired a C n B but I'm getting interested in it. Do you have to use the rammer or can you push the ball in with thumb pressure?

June 15, 2006, 08:08 AM
Hi Warren! Ifin ya can use yer thumb, it aint gonna stay or shoot. Oversize balls and rammer, or load off tha gun on seperate machine.

Here, tha Boss uses .460 ball fer everthin .44 caliber, makes CERTAIN good fit ta chamber and some bearin surface fer tha riflin.

MEC has had some experience with .375 balls creeping out, ya gots ta have a definate oversize ball fer best results.

Thom Tha Thread Highjacker!

Always wanted ta say STAND TO AND DELIVER but ya needs tha BOSSES cultured accent ta pull it off, in hillbilly it dont go!

June 15, 2006, 08:21 AM
Cleaning can make a difference. The first time I shot this gun, I got it pretty well sighted in on the 2nd cylinder. I did not clean out the barrel and when I shot off the 6th cylinder I didn't even touch the target. After doing a quick clean on the barrel, I was back on the paper.

Manyirons! Don't hijack my thread! :)

June 15, 2006, 08:43 AM
In hillbilly we calls a spade a spade, its STEALIN tha thread! I'm sorry Dwave! :)

June 15, 2006, 10:35 AM
Down here in Athens we tend to call it "long term borrow".

June 15, 2006, 11:26 AM
Oh! So ya wanna be POLITE about it? O.K.! APPROPRIATE. Or whats that term tha commies used? LIBERATE!

June 15, 2006, 04:39 PM
An oversize ball doesn't get jammed in there and cause a pressure spike with the effort of pushing it out?

June 15, 2006, 05:11 PM
No, an oversized ball does not jam up the works. All the round balls that get used in a revolver is slightly bigger anyways. When you seat a ball, a lead ring will get shaved off the ball. If you use an oversized one, a bigger ring will be shaved and it will still shoot.

EDIT: Thinking about it, my Pietta 51 Navy uses .375 round balls. I really wanted to shoot it the other day, but all I could get was some .395 round balls. They were hard to seat and I don't recommend you use on that much oversized, but they did shoot with no problems. I will not shoot them again however. Just too hard to load.

June 15, 2006, 05:11 PM
Nope, no jamming at all, either swages down or shaves material off for perfect fit. actually, biggest problem tha guns have is chambers undersize fer tha bore, part of accuracy job in reaming tha chambers ta fit tha lapped barrel, throatin and so forth.

June 15, 2006, 05:14 PM
Beat you to it this time! Looks like I "liberated" my thread back! :)

June 15, 2006, 05:26 PM
chambers undersize fer tha bore, part of accuracy job in reaming tha chambers ta fit tha lapped barrel, throatin and so forth.

Who does this sort of work? How much does it cost?

I don't own any of these ancient smoke spewing relics yet but if I do end up with one I'd like it to work properly.

I was put off from buying one, when on a fun shoot with friends this one fellow had a heck of a time with his Cap'n Ball. It failed to fire after the second shot and he spent a lot of time in the "pits" getting it sorted out. I don't know what exactly he was doing as I was enjoyably busy with my own guns. Anyway he tries again and only got one shot off.

So I was thinking it was way to much bother for way to little fun. But having read a plethora (that means many :D ) of threads discussing the fun that can be had with Cap'n Balls I may just change my mind.

June 15, 2006, 05:38 PM
They are alot of fun to shoot, and really I have not had many problems shooting them. The only real problem I have had was a hand spring broke on me, but they are not hard to replace, and it didn't break until some 700 rounds had been shot through the gun. My new 58 (pictured above) has been working flawlessly. I have already shot 150 rounds through it, and not a misfire yet. I do have to clean the cylinder pin every 2 or 3 cylinder loads because it gets fouled up, but that only takes a few seconds.

June 15, 2006, 05:39 PM
Question is, IF NEEDED, otherwise no need ta spend money! Different gun, tha MANN got a new 5 1/2inch ruger fixed sight stainless in, monday, outa box, only chamber deepning more powder capacity, plain ball, H777 powder, 250 rounds no problems, misfires, nothin! Got bored&quit.

Load em right, and they dont fail, load em wrong, you bet they do! USUALLY operator mistake, not gun, but ya never know until ya looks.

In GENERAL chambers are undersize, if so, 50.00+shippin gets ya basic job, reaming, timing, bore lappin and so forth. He test fires fer accuracy afore they go, a pain cause i gets tha donkey work o cleanin!

Low Key
June 16, 2006, 05:17 AM
I've fired a couple of thousand shots from my 58 NMA's and I can honestly say that the few fail to fires that Ive had have all been operator error. Poorly fitting caps that were not seated properly have been the culprit and I was the one who didn't get them completely seated. I've found that when I load and clean properly (attention to detail) everything works as it's supposed to work and I can depend on the guns to go "BOOM" every time. So far I've not had any spring problems from my Piettas, I've heard from some people who have shot them for years and years and never had to replace a spring.

June 16, 2006, 09:10 AM
O.K. so ita bad pun! Ya gotta know, its a crap shoot anytime ya get an eyetie gun, Ubbies OR Peties.

Botha us here has gots good&HORRIBLE, tha good ones USUALLY outnumber tha horribles, and usually hang in there fer tha long run.

And good one! Ya DID beat me to it! But i gots it back! Bwahahahahahahaha! :)

June 16, 2006, 03:31 PM
Just a quick visit cos my phones and internet are all buggered up 14 days now and still no solutions!
My Pietta 1858 progressive is 100% all the time. Tune it first then look after it. If you use the right loads and keep it clean it will not be a problem.

June 16, 2006, 03:57 PM
Warren, if you are interested in shooting a cap and ball revolver, see my post in the Sticky section, "How to properly use a cap and ball sixgun" or title to that effect. Lots of good info in my Sticky, "Found! Proper Felt to Make Wads" too.
These posts and the replies from Mec and others in there will answer a lot of your questions and familiarize you with the sport.
A word of warning: black powder guns are not easily neglected like smokeless powder guns. They should be cleaned right after firing. Revolvers can be particularly time-consuming to clean because of the many nooks and crannies, six chambers, six nipples and all the inner parts.
If you're not committed to spending this extra time to clean, don't buy one. You can't just shoot and put away, like a smokeless pistol. It requires a bit of commitment.
But in a short while you'll find that you can give it a quick cleaning (bore, chambers, nipples, frame in about half an hour. Often, you'll need to completely disassemble it to get to the fouling inside the action.
Cleaning in hot, soapy water is preferred, as it will loosen and lift off fouling. Dry the revolver's parts in a shallow pan, in the oven at very low temperature, with the oven door cracked to allow moisture to escape.
I've tried all manner of black powder cleaners --- homemade and commercial --- and always return to the tub of hot water with Ivory soap bar. After a good scrubbing with various plastic brushes (steel is too harsh and brass will mar the bluing with a brassy stain) and a number of patches pushed through the bore and chambers, my revolvers are sqeaky clean.
Anyway, check out my posts and heed what Mec has to say too. I've been shooting cap and ball revolvers since abou 1970. Mec has many years of experience as well.
Decide if you want to commit the effort and time to cap and ball sixguns before purchasing one.

June 16, 2006, 03:58 PM
I paid $130 for my Pietta-made 1858 Remington in 1994, brand new in the box. I've run an unknown number of rounds through it, with no tuning. One month ago, the hand spring finally broke, and it was my fault. My brother in law went to an auction 3 months ago. They had a "neat looking pistol", and he got it for $25. Of course, he knew nothing about it, other than it looked "neat". Well, it didn't work quite the way it should ... turns out it's 1973 vintage Uberti 1858 Remington New Army Target Model.

Naturally, I offered him $50 cash for it, but he didn't bite.

The only thing his needed (other than tuning) was a new cylinder stop/trigger spring.

From my experience, take care of them, tune them if they need it, and they'll work fine.

June 16, 2006, 05:49 PM

I've read your sticky on the basics and Tim's one on paper cartridges.

Both are excellent. In addition I 've been reading as many BP threads as I can.

There is tons of good info, and I appreciate it all.

I may be some kind of mutant freak but I like cleaning guns. So I am not put off by the idea of cleaning one. It was the potential of doing a lot of work for almost no fun that put me off.

Believe me I am drawn to the idea in the same way I would love to travel by steam train or a paddle-wheeler.

June 16, 2006, 06:06 PM
Like ta clean guns?! Wanna live in Ohio?! Work fer tha MANN?! Oh BOY have i gots an opportunity fer ya!

June 25, 2006, 08:42 PM
Taking my thread back from Manyirons, I have a final range report. Gun shoots around 3 to 4 inches high, I have started filing to fix shooting high. I love the sights on this gun, and the accuracy is good to boot. Here is a target:


Target was 20 yards away, holding the gun with two hands.

.457 Round ball with crisco over the chamber
25 gr. FFF Goex
#10 Remington caps

I fired 18 shots and several shots almost went hole for hole. I don't think this picture shows that very well, but you can tell on several. I missed 2 shots outright, but that was shooter error, not the gun. I believe that once I get the sights filed down a bit, my groups will be much better

EDIT: Almost forgot, I might be off the forums for a while after tomorrow, I finally got a job. I am leaving Tuesday and will be gone for a month to two months. If I have internet access I will be on, but if not I won't be posting in a while.

June 25, 2006, 09:05 PM
DWAVE! Good shootin there! An ya DIDNT take yer thread back, i LET ya have it! :)

June 25, 2006, 09:08 PM
Dwave...please do not file your sites on the 1858 Pietta Target Model...loosen the hold down screw in the rear site and adjust for elevation and windage as needed. Just incase you haven't already done so...mine dialed in right on the "X" at 25 yards.

June 25, 2006, 09:31 PM
Smoking_gun, it is down all the way, I put that in my one of my other posts, but that was way back. The only way to get it lower is to file. Even at 25 yards it shoots high, I want it down, so I am doing some filing on my rear sight. Doesn't matter that much, it can be replaced, or if I go too much, just raise the sight. Don't worry, I know what I am doing, I have been working on guns for 10 years easy now.

Manyirons! Thank you! I thought that it was pretty good too. Not only that, I out shot my Dad with my "primitive" firearm and he was using a modern .38 special. Oh, and thanks for giving me my thread back.

June 25, 2006, 09:35 PM
My pleasure! GAWD we sound like Chip&Dale! :)

June 25, 2006, 09:37 PM
Which of us is Chip, or Dale? :)

June 25, 2006, 09:57 PM
Ds ta Ds! youre dale!

June 26, 2006, 12:49 AM
Just incase you haven't already done so.

Ok sorry din't mean ta offend jus' a precationary statement..
Have you tried shooting it uphill? LoL!

June 26, 2006, 07:04 AM
Don't worry, I wasn't offended. If I came across that way, sorry! Hmmm, uphill huh? Maybe I will go find the place my Dad walked to school, it was uphill both ways! :D

June 26, 2006, 07:17 AM
Thru tha drivin snow up ta his butt no doubt! Think my dad and grampa went there too!

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