Considering a C&B


September 4, 2006, 01:07 PM
I'm considering a 1858 remington from Cabelas, not sure of the make (Petta maybe). I am a bit concerned about the cost associated with shooting the thing. Caps were running $40, powder about $20 and balls roughly $10. This was for 100 loads. I can shoot almost 200 loads of 357 cartridge for this amount.

I does look like a lot of fun but I thought it would also be a little cheaper to plink with. I am also looking to throw in a Kirst Konverter in the near future just to have the option of using cartridges.

Does the fun factor over ride the cost? Is a .45 colt cartridge cheaper to plink with?

Please talk me into doing this, I need to wash out my doubt...

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September 4, 2006, 01:20 PM
40 bucks fer CAPS? 20 fer powder? HUH?

Cheap stuff like goex er good price like grafs 12 smackers a can fer black. 2.50 retail fer cpas an ball aint that high.

September 4, 2006, 01:54 PM
I was gonna say, where you buying this stuff?

Goex is $12.02/pound at Okay, so there's a 25-pound minimum. Try around your local ranges; I'd bet you can find enough people to get a 25-pound order together.

Hornady swaged roundball runs about $7.50-ish per 100 at the same site.

Again: $40.00 for a tin of caps? Ouch, man. Dixie Gun Works carries Remington #11 caps for $4.95 per 100. Maybe you meant $4.00/100?

Ed Ames
September 4, 2006, 01:59 PM
Even cabelas will sell you 1000 caps for less than $40... and a pound of powder will give more than 100 shots. closer to 250 IIRC... so figure 21 cents a round... you can cut the price further by shopping better or (in the extreme) casting your own balls.

September 4, 2006, 02:11 PM
Muzzle loading in general can be less cost effective per shot than many people are led to believe. Even when buying loading components at clearance prices or at tag sale prices at gunshows and such, after accessories, cleaning supplies, shipping, transportation costs, etc...shooting costs per shot can often be just as expensive as shooting popular centerfire rounds, maybe even higher in some cases. Yes, there are ways to cut some corners, but there often isn't any "cheap way out" as often as I would like to assert anyway.
And when you start adding in all of the extra potential costs of future parts and possible gunsmithing services, the costs rise even more.
I'm not trying to dissuade anyone, but I am attempting to be realistic considering the scenario for the average shooter.
The fact that shooting occurs at a much slower pace than with centerfire guns is where the overall fun factor cost seems to equalize or tilt more in favor of the BP guns (Costs per hour of shooting may be lower Vs. the cost per shot). :rolleyes:

Old Fuff
September 4, 2006, 02:16 PM

You can save even more money by buying a .36 caliber revolver, rather then a .44 ...

You use even less powder per charge (25 grs vs. 30 using fffG black powder). A pound of powder equals 7000 grains, so you would get 280 .36 loads from a pound, and about 230 for a .44 revolver. Using a black powder subsitute would come close to the same.

Also check out Dixie Gun Works ( for both guns and supplies. A 700-page catalog full of products and information only costs $5.00 - a super deal to say the least.

Old Fuff
September 4, 2006, 02:26 PM
And when you start adding in all of the extra potential costs of future parts and possible gunsmithing services, the costs rise even more.

I haven't found that to be the case. Major parts (frames, cylinders, barrels, etc.) don't often break, and smaller things like minor springs are inexpensive, and an owner can replace them themselves. Modern handguns have far more expensive parts, and often have to be returned to the manufacturer's service department with the gun owner paying a substantial shipping bill even if the gun is fixed under warrantee.

My last "major" cap & ball repair consisted of a $6.50 spring - postpaid... :scrutiny:

September 4, 2006, 02:45 PM
There have been numerous threads here (and informative too!) relating to how the BP revolver shooter literally must become a home gunsmithing expert of sorts to either keep the gun running smoothly or to fix problems that crop up. Not all parts are as cheap (or available), and fitting them can sometimes be problematic. While many guns may never need gunsmithing or parts for many years, there is a percentage that often do (i.e.-nipples). These costs need to be considered and factored in.
And lets not forget the sometimes throw away nature of the brass frame guns over time too.
Plus all of the fine gunsmithing services and upgrades that have been discussed on this forum (i.e.-sights), many of which are admittedly optional, but many people prefer to have done. Not many local smiths do that kind of work which necessitates sending the guns out (i.e.-shipping).
Not everyone is able to perform these tasks all by themselves at home.
With some of the very high prices for the most expensive BP revolvers matching (or exceeding) those of some of the more expensive centerfire revolvers, one has to wonder what's the real justification for the prices. The Ruger SS OA, old series Colts etc...seem to be astronomically priced, even though some were produced years ago when costs and demand were much lower.
A converter seems to be almost as expensive as a used gun by itself!
Even if the initial costs of the base model guns are cheaper, the additional costs of necessary accessories and supplies needs to be factored in to the overall cost equation. It would be remiss to ignore their possibility. :rolleyes:

September 4, 2006, 02:57 PM
To get a more accurate picture of actual cost, you're gonna have to break it down to a "per round" figure. A pound of powder will load a bunch more than 100 shots. For a rough figure, divide 7000 by your chosen charge volume (in grains). For all components the price should be divided by the quantity.

I also have to agree that the prices you quote are 'way above average. You can do much better if you look around a bit. If you're adding the HazMat shipping fee(s) to the price, buying locally from a dealer who buys in sufficient quantity to spread those costs around much more than you can is your best bet.

While it's true that C&B shooting isn't anywhere near the "bang for the buck" bargain that it used to be back when I was a youngster starting out, it's still at least comparable to handloading on a per-round basis. When you figure what jacketed projectiles or commercially cast bullets cost, even if bought in quantity, QED.

Compared to most any factory CF cartidges (with the possible exception of surplus 9x19 ball), the cost per-round for C&B shooting is still a bargain for the amount of sheer fun you can generate doing it. It ain't as cheap as .22 RF like it used to be, but it's still at least as cheap as most any CF revolver.

September 4, 2006, 03:06 PM
I guess I wasn't looking hard enough. Cabelas had the caps priced at $40 and the picture showed a single can of 100. After reading the print under the picture it is $40 for 1000.

If a 1lb jar of powder runs about 250 reload than I think I have just been talked into this gun. I may cast my own balls in the future but this will be my first C&B and second firearm at that, (I just got a GP-100 in the spring and have caught the shooters bug). I will feel more comfortable using something off of a shelf rather than my own concoction to begin with.

I also don't see an issue if I would need to make a repair. I'm pretty handy with taking stuff apart and putting it back together again. In fact this will be the second thing I do with the remmie once it hits my hand, first will be to try and wipe the grin off of my face :) .

Thanks for setting me straight. If you have anymore newbie advice about a first C&B please throw it at me...

September 4, 2006, 03:20 PM
It probally is just as expencive to shoot cap and ballers as the 9mm`s and 38`s and 40`s and such ... but those that shoot the cap and ballers will tell ya it more a holy black religous experience to be savored and all the modern hand guns feel like toys after handleing a Colt or Remmie cap and baller .. heard those words from a friend i just brought into the sport of cap and ball shooting , and he said his glock is now just not any fun to shoot anymore .
For some one new to the art of handleing and propper maitenance of the cap and ballers .. if they just have someone teach them the way to handle these guns from the start .. it sure makes things easyer ... learning the hard way with these guns could be very flustrateing .There`s a lot of very good infromation on forums like this one .. well worth the reading and its not rocket science .

September 4, 2006, 03:31 PM
Which size cap do I use with the 1858 remington, #10 or #11? For now I am going to be using Pyrodex P powder, is this good or is there something better?

September 4, 2006, 04:43 PM
(I just got a GP-100 in the spring and have caught the shooters bug)

You think you've caught it now, just wait 'till you touch off that first BP shot..:evil:

I've used both #10's and #11's with equal results.

For now I am going to be using Pyrodex P powder, is this good or is there something better?

Black powder tastes better...:evil:

September 4, 2006, 05:14 PM
Have you considered on of these?

Just a thought.

September 4, 2006, 07:13 PM
Go with the Ruger and never look back! Took my bother in law today for the first time and he is hooked!!!
As pointed out, the prices you quoted were very high and not what I have every paid, not even close. Also, black powder shooting is a slooooowwww and easyyyyy process and you just don't shoot off as many rounds as cartridge.

Try it, you will love it and it is well worth the money... beats a therapist and works much better :)

September 4, 2006, 07:24 PM
Buying powder and caps by mail order is going to cost more due to the hazardous materials shipping costs.l

Better to buy locally. You might have few choices for "real" black powder, due to the storage restrictions that dealers need to meet, but even Wally world carries Pyrodex, and you can buy other BP substitutes at most gun stores, as well as caps.

September 4, 2006, 07:46 PM
It's really simple.

Don't order powder from catalog stores or online sites.

Buy powder locally.

I get FFFg powder from a local dealer for $12.50 a pound.

He's got caps for $3.50 per box of 100, too.

If you order powder over the internet or from Cabelas, the Hazmat shipping charges will kill you.


September 4, 2006, 08:40 PM
Ifin yer doin powder grafs is tha place. Theys got shutzen aroun 11 buck an change with grafs on tha can.

Order with some buddies an ya aint gonna notice tha hazmat.

Old Fuff
September 4, 2006, 08:54 PM
I get FFFg powder from a local dealer for $12.50 a pound. He's got caps for $3.50 per box of 100, too.

Ya, but where you are they think caplocks are cutting edge technology... :neener: :D

September 4, 2006, 09:40 PM
Do yourself a favor and buy a new one first time around. I will recommend you get and 1858 Remington New Army .44cals fro $179.99 at Cabelas to about $250 at Taylors....Pietta or Uberti you can't go wrong for your money or reliability.

September 4, 2006, 09:49 PM
Old Fuff, yer absolutely right about caplocks being cutting edge tech here in Arkansas.

Course, that there is why all us Arkansas boys can shoot so darned good.

We're used to gettin' only one shot at a time, so we make 'em count.

Why you reckon old Carlos Hathcock was so dadgummed good?????

Cuz he was used ta usin' a caplock all the dadburned time.


Old Fuff
September 4, 2006, 10:25 PM
Why you reckon old Carlos Hathcock was so dadgummed good?????

I had the pleasure of meeting him once at Camp Perry, but that good ol' boy sure wasn't shooting a caplock... :neener: :D

I admit that you Arkansas boys are good, but I'm not sure caplocks are the reason... :evil:

Now in Arizona we can't be touched when it comes to fast work with a six-shooter, 'cause we all learned to shoot by watching western movies... :p

September 4, 2006, 10:32 PM
Thanks for setting me straight. If you have anymore newbie advice about a first C&B please throw it at me...

The important thing is that you are making an informed choice.
While there are some accessories that are more necessary than others, I'll leave compiling an entire list up to the others. But many people seem to appreciate using a revolver stand and possibly even having an extra cylinder on hand to preload.
If you search some threads posted here by "mec", you'll find that usually only the Swiss black powder rivals the velocity of Pyrodex P and 777, as indicated by many of his posted chronometer readings for different revolvers and pistols.
Here's one, left click on the line below to view the 2nd post in the thread:

Old Fuff
September 4, 2006, 10:56 PM

If you haven't done so, go to the Black Powder Thread in this forum and look at the stickies posted at the beginning. Lots of good, basic information.

And you can always drop them to your printer... :cool:

September 5, 2006, 12:36 AM
If you concider the cost of buying a press, scale, powder measurer, deburring and lubing tools, resizer...ect. I think you get my picture. Cap&Ball shooting is alot less $$$$...:evil:

September 5, 2006, 09:47 AM
Added to the initial costs of powder, caps, etc., is the price of PERCUSSION PISTOLS AND REVOLVERS by Mike Cumpston ( goes bt mec here) and Johnny Bates. If you are new to cap & ball revolvers, it should be one of the next books you buy. Heck, I've been shooting them since the 60s and I learned a lot from it. That's pretty awesome. (Not that I learned something, just that I would admit I didn't know it all to start with)


September 6, 2006, 09:20 AM
If you want a stainless gun, get a Ruger Old Army. Much greater reliability than ANY Italian gun. Also stronger, because it's made of better steel. Springs are coiled, so they don't break. If you want more power, and ease of cleaning, get Triple 7, not Pyrodex. Triple 7 contains no sulpher. Use Remington caps. #10 0n the Ruger, #11 on an Uberti.

Check out You could get a Ruger or Remington for less than you are going to pay at a store.

September 16, 2006, 01:35 AM
My 1858 remington was delivered today. I have yet to wipe the grin off of my face or let the gun get to within 10 feet of me. My wife (who hates guns) even took a photo of me with it holstered. She said she wanted to capture that first time a kid got his first toy gun. :D

I have been reading the stickies and searching this forum and have found a lot of great information. I feel more comfortable now with shooting this type of weapon, thanks to y'all.

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