Ruger OA vs Rem 1858


November 3, 2006, 07:43 AM
I've been doing lots of reading in the BP forum.

Thought I had figured out that I wanted a Reminton 1858 New Army.

But then I read some about the Ruger Old Army.

The Ruger can hold more powder. Seems to be just as solid as the 1858, or even more solid.

And it's made by a very reputable company.

I want big power.

Is the Ruger my best choice? Or a modded 1858?

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November 3, 2006, 08:05 AM
Hi Vermonter...

Just bought this minty Ruger OA stainless - "200th Year Commemorative" for $375 OTD.
Can't speak for any 1858s but, from a "well-built and sturdy" angle, the OA is absolutely Awesome!


November 3, 2006, 08:10 AM
Only problem i have with the ROA ( Ruger old army ) is who`s army ? I know who`s army the Remington was used by . Jokeing aside if ya aren`t into being period correct with guns used by our army in the 1800`s ..the Ruger is a solid built revolver built with todays shooters in mind . May be in 200 years or so i`ll give`em a try .

Old Fuff
November 3, 2006, 08:22 AM
The Ruger is by far the better revolver from a constuction point of view, as it is in effect a black-powder Blackhawk. On the other hand it's much more expensive then a Remington replica, and isn't a clone of some 19th century revolver. As shooting goes you have the option of Ruger's better adjustable rear sight, and they pay closer attention to bore/chamber dimensions that increases accuracy and perhaps adds a little velocity.

You can get a bit more powder in the Ruger's chamber, but keep in mind that no black powder revolver (other then a replica Colt Walker) is a powerhouse when matched against a modern .44 or .45 cartridge revolver.

November 3, 2006, 08:22 AM
LOL! Uh ... Sundance...
....the 1858 still leaves the question of which army? US or CS ? :D

November 3, 2006, 08:38 AM
Far more strength and better design. Bill Ruger had the luxury of designing it about a hundred years after Cap and Ball revolvers were all the rage. While the Ruger should be very accurate, most owners of the 1858's get good accuracy with them. The only knock I can think of against the '58 is they tend to foul up with BP residue pretty quick.

November 3, 2006, 08:40 AM
Remington all the way

November 3, 2006, 09:18 AM
Shawnee ... bad as i hate to admit ..i`m sure it was the north side that got the Remington 1858 ...but i`m sure some battle fields yelded a few pick ups for the boys in grey . After all they had the right balls and powder to use them too. I once owned a brass frame remmie thinking it was produced by the South during the war ...and i wanted a reproduction of one ...Darn shame i found out it never happened i sold that one ,,to a guy up north :D

November 3, 2006, 09:48 AM
It's not a question of the Ruger OA vs Rem 1858, but...which one first? Every gun I get is going to be my last. I have a full framed Spiller & Burr, basically the same design as the Remington, but I want another Remington. And the store in Maine where I buy my toys has quite a few Rugers, new and used, and I want one, too. Accept the fact that you will have both at some point.

November 3, 2006, 10:00 AM
So very true Pohill, you can never have enough guns. So many guns, so little money.....

robert garner
November 3, 2006, 11:01 AM
Go with Ruger, more power? manyirons will chime in here real quick!
the ruger with ball or bullet will do most anything you want from a pistol!

November 3, 2006, 11:38 AM
I think it comes down to how historical you want to be, and how much you want to spend - the Ruger has no history beyond 1970, and it's also at least twice the price of a Remington. You won't find a more accurate BP revolver than a Remington (and I'm a Colt guy - I traded my Uberti Remington to Smokin' Gun for his Paterson). Then again, I've never owned a Ruger BP, and if I did I'd probably be pushing the Ruger. I have a Ruger Speed Six 38/357 and I wouldn't trade it for a Sig, Glock, Baretta, etc. Ruger does make quality firearms.
I think I'm back to, "Get both.":confused::confused::confused:

Cincinnati Slim
November 3, 2006, 02:32 PM
Lemme See...

$ 550.00 equals one Ruger or TWO Pietta Remmies.

The Ruger is a heck of a gun but a pair of anything beats an Ace anytime !;)

I got a 1858 from Cabela's for less than $ 200.00 and spent another $ 25.00 on a set of stainless TRM nipples and have had ZERO problems.

I'll be votin' fer the Remmie !

Cincinnati Slim

November 3, 2006, 02:51 PM
I will NOT let these bounders talk me into buying an 1858! :cuss:
I will NOT let these bounders talk me into buying an 1858! :cuss:
I will NOT let these bounders talk me into buying an 1858! :cuss:
I will NOT let these bounders talk me into buying an 1858! :cuss:
I will NOT let these bounders talk me into buying an 1858! :cuss:
I will NOT let these bounders talk me into buying an 1858! :cuss:
I will NOT let these bounders talk me into buying an 1858! :banghead:

November 3, 2006, 03:31 PM
Get the Ruger. If money is tight, get a USED Ruger for about the price of a new Remington 58. I just did and the Ruger is just the MUCH better revolver. You can get a used in like new or never shot condition for about $350. Gently used ones for less.

Can't go wrong. It is my favorite firearm.

Jamie C.
November 3, 2006, 03:51 PM
Psst! Hey... Shawnee!

[Bugs Bunny voice] heheheh.... ain't I a stinker? :D [/Bugs Bunny voice]


November 3, 2006, 03:55 PM
Does the ROA have to be shipped to a FFL since it's not a reproduction?

edit: It's basically a modernized repro of the 1858, isn't it?

November 3, 2006, 04:03 PM
Jamie that looks like a fondleing piece ...and a piece of history to boot a much better price than a Rooger from an army that never exsisted.....looks like an easy choice to me . Ruger just tried to copy Remington ...but they just dont look right / feel right . If Ruger ever sold as many as Remmies the price would come down .
Had a Ruger Black Hawk once clunky chunky cold feeling thing .

November 3, 2006, 05:12 PM
Ok Lucifer...

Dawg, Man!!! :eek:
Where you done got dat Houn Dawg, J.C.?

Holy Toledo! That thing is prettier than the Law allows!

What brand is that rascal and how did you come across one so gussied up like that? Don't tell me you did that engraving yourself!! I'd give several dollars for a piece like that!!!

November 3, 2006, 05:18 PM
"Does the ROA have to be shipped to a FFL since it's not a reproduction?"

Since it uses unconventional ammo, you don't need an FFL. Convert to cartridge and everything changes.

Jamie C.
November 3, 2006, 05:34 PM
Dawg, Man!!!
Where you done got dat Houn Dawg, J.C.?

Holy Toledo! That thing is prettier than the Law allows!

What brand is that rascal and how did you come across one so gussied up like that? Don't tell me you did that engraving yourself!! I'd give several dollars for a piece like that!!!

So I'm guessing the ship has done sailed, concerning anybody talking you into an 1858? *g*

Unfortunately, I don't happen to have that particular "Houn dog" just yet ( "Yet" being the operative word here ). Nor can I claim any particular engraving skills either... :(

However, folks with more money than I currently have can find 'em here:
Uberti World Class (

Granted, the MSRP seems a little high... but I'm sure a fellow can find one much cheaper than that without too much effort though.


November 3, 2006, 06:21 PM
Hi J.C....

Cool website and the videos are good. Looked all over the site and didn't see any pistolas that looked as fancy as the one above though. :confused:
???? What is/was the sticker price on the one above?

Many thanks!:)

Jamie C.
November 3, 2006, 06:32 PM
Shawnee, it's right there under "World Class"...

Here... it's right here: New Army (

They also have a couple of S&W top breaks that have been "gussied up", as well as a couple of rifles.

The MSRP on that 1858 is $580, btw, but I suspect the usual $100-$125 deduction can be applied here.
( MSRPs are almost always at least that amount over what an item actually sells for, in my experience. )


November 3, 2006, 06:56 PM
Hi J.C....

Mea Culpa.... sheeesh. I'm not as sharp as I used to be and I'm startin' to wonder if I ever was !! :(

$580, $480, whew. Kinda breathtaking numbers there!

But that piece sure is Fine! :uhoh:

Many thanks!!

Jamie C.
November 3, 2006, 07:08 PM
Yeah, $480 seems kind'a steep.... until you figure in the cost of the gun+engraving+a nickel job.

Taking it all into consideration, relative to having it done to a gun you already have, it really doesn't seem like a very high price to me at all. Especially when compared to the cost of a new Ruger Old Army. ( Ruger lists the brushed-finish Stainless 7 1/2 inch O.A. at $606, and $654 for a polished one with a 5 1/2 inch barrel.)

And no matter what, it's still cheaper than mid-range 1911. And probably more fun too. :D


November 3, 2006, 08:21 PM
Vermonter wanted real power.
Nothing wrong with the Remington Army. The Ruger Old Army may hold more powder, don't know how much, and... Ruger makes quality guns.
But real power will be indeed be delivered by the Colt Walker which is the biggest of them all, not too expensive, and takes something like a 60-65 grain BP load :cool: . But it is a large heavy gun, almost double the weight of a Remington. In a Colt Dragoon I can get 53 grain. A Remington may have a better frame design than these Colt's and weigh less but does not come close to these BP loads. For the Remington maybe 35 grain or even 40 grain max?

November 3, 2006, 08:59 PM
I can get 40 gr goex in my Pietta '58

November 3, 2006, 11:15 PM
Part of this gun's job is gonna be making my friend's Glock 17 look like a bb gun :neener: I want me an old fashioned hand-cannon :what:

Are the Walkers very strong? They don't look as solidly built.

November 4, 2006, 05:40 AM
The Colt's are all 'open top' design. The barrel is held in place by a wedge. The more you tap the wedge in the tighter the barrel/cylinder gap wil be. Eventually the cylinder will no longer rotate since the barrel touches the cylinder, then you have tapped the wedge too far.
It all sounds pretty week but in the real world it works fine. I have not heard of any colt barrels blown off.
Maybe other members of THR have?

I found the Colt's shooting just fine, and like the classic visual effect of the open top. The Remington shoots fine as well.
One disadvantage of the Remington; Personally I found placing the percussion caps hard because there is not so much space / room for your fingers

Maybe... The Walker is the absolute Big Bang winner. Go for that if you want but for regular shooting the gun may be somewhat heavy.
Take 2.2kg (don't know how much that is in US) in your hand and stretch your arm and hold it there for some time.

November 4, 2006, 01:24 PM
How accurate can the open-frame revolvers be? If the barrel is moving around.....?

Jamie C.
November 4, 2006, 01:39 PM
Vermonter, the barrel isn't really "moving around". It's fixed in place once the wedge is set. There's simply a bit of peening/compression with the wedge that takes place over time. The heavier the loads, and the more of 'em fired, the sooner this will happen.

But before you get too worried about it, think about this; how accurate can a modern autoloader be, with the sights/slide AND barrel jumping back and forth relative to the rest of the gun, every shot?


November 4, 2006, 01:49 PM
Well, that's part of the point, I want to put a modern autoloader to shame :D

Anybody had experience with the accuracy of open vs solid frame?

November 4, 2006, 01:52 PM
1 - Open frames can be just as accurate as ones with top strap. I have an 1860 clone that is just as accurate as my best 1858. Althought on average my '58s are more accurate than the Colt clones.

2- Go for the repro 1858! $180 for the revolver, $220 for a Kirst Konverter. You will have a 'close reproduction' of a real nice transitional black powder revolver. It will get more comments and admirers at the range than a ROA would, and you will have two guns in one... A percussion revolver and a nice BP cartridge revolver.

Oh.. and the brace of remmies in the picture are less than 3 months old!! Try getting a Roooger to look that nice!!! I have had more people coming over and dropping their jaw at these two than I would have if I had gone to the range with my original Colt SAA's. I have even had a few people wanting to give me cash on the spot for them!

Jamie C.
November 4, 2006, 02:05 PM
Well, that's part of the point, I want to put a modern autoloader to shame

Well, I believe, as the saying goes, "you've lead your ducks to a dry hole", on that score.

For both power and accuracy combined, you're going to have a tough time even keeping up with modern weapons. Sure, you can probably find a load that's really accurate for your gun, but odds are it won't be the most powerful one the pistol can fire.
There's also the matter of how many rounds you can fire before accuracy degrades and you're forced to do a bit of cleaning. That Glock you're wanting to whip so badly is not going to suffer this problem to any significant degree. It'll still be plowing along while you're scrubbing muck out'a your gun.

Sorry, but there's a simple reason why cap 'n ball guns aren't used any longer as a major form of defense. And the reason is, there's much better weapons to be had, now days. Ones that are as accurate, if not more so... more powerful... and more reliable.

But not necessarily more fun. ;) :p :D


November 4, 2006, 02:38 PM
At the rate my friend rips through his clips he'll be done by the time I have to clean it :what:

I know something more modern would be more accurate and powerful. I'm just trying to get the best I can out of something "old school". Something about the whole process appeals to me. I didn't really pay much attention to loads until I started reading up on the blackpowder stuff. Pretty soon I'll be doing ballistics in my head ;)

Jamie C.
November 4, 2006, 02:47 PM
Vermonter, that's the whole appeal for me with the "old" pistols; STYLE.
After all, any fool can dump a mag of ammo out of a Glock downrange.

So, it sounds like your best bet would be to buy yourself a pair of 1858s and learn to shoot them well. That alone sounds like it'll be more than enough to trump anything your friend and his Glock is doing. ;)

A few spare cylinders will help you out with the reloading process too. Preloaded cylinders may not be as quick as stuffing a fresh mag in an auto, but they're a damn sight faster than re-stuffing the one that's already in the gun.


November 4, 2006, 04:23 PM
Hi Vermonter...

I think there is one way you can "out-class" your Glockster friend fairly easily with an 1858 Remington or a 51 Navy or 60 Army and maybe even the Ruger Old Army. It won't be a statement about power though.

The guns of that 1850-1860 genre (and esp. the 1851 Navy in my opinion) had/have a quality best described as "Pointability", and that is something I, personally, have never felt in semi-autos.

I've seen demonstrations of "Point and Shoot" at which someone with one of the old guns would take on anyone with a new gun and almost always the shooter with the "old" gun won. The gig was something like having the gun in one hand and pointing down, then (against a clock) raising it and firing (one-handed) at a small target at maybe 25 feet. However - the shooters were not allowed to lift the gun high enough to engage the sights.

Predictably, the times were always within milliseconds of each other but almost always the BP round would be an x-ringer while quite often the modern gun would be far off-target, even missing the target many times.

A variation was to hold the gun pointing upward with the elbow of the shooting arm just a little lower than the shoulder and then "snap shoot", meaning to snap the forearm down to "point" level and immediately pull the trigger. The 1850-60 guns almost always win that too. Try it with an empty 58 Remmie etc. and I bet you'll be surprised at how often your gun "snaps" into nearly perfect sight alignment with the target.:)

Just some thoughts...:)

highlander 5
November 4, 2006, 04:49 PM
2.2kg=4.94 lbs
Ruger OA in SS throw in dishwasher to clean. Don't need an ffl for OA as it is a BP weapon. Midway sells them don't know the price though

November 5, 2006, 11:09 AM
I have replied to several posts in the past regarding the Ruger Old Army.
Using a home cast .457 round ball over 30 grs. of 3x it is without a doubt the most accurate handgun in my arsenal.
I use it often for squirrel hunting and head shots out to 20 yards are not uncommon.
Respectfully, Zeke

November 6, 2006, 06:08 AM
I think this one is prettier, if you want to use pretty as your decider, as GW says.

Can't make it small enough to post here, gotta go to photobucket.

I don't know what that pistol is. It looks nickled, it looks as though it is fluted, or semi-fluted. It has the screw in the grips in the wrong place, per all mine.

Less rolled "engraving", it is not, really, just an impress in the metal during manufacture. No biggie you should pay hundreds or thousands for.

I like mine, works probably as well as yours, to me, looks better, AND, was cheaper than the price you put up.



November 6, 2006, 05:33 PM

At the moment it's a Remington BUT that could change :D :D !!!!!!!!!!!


November 7, 2006, 01:10 AM

It's a Remington, and that will NOT change.

Damned good looking one, too, though it looks like you "defarbed" it, stripped the blue, and, since you are a photographer, don't think it is just that you cannot show the beautiful bluing.

I like well blued steel. I like well polished steel, no matter what finish you want to end up with. You want to gold plate, if you do not polish properly, you will have a scratched looking gold plated pistol. Piece of crap.



November 7, 2006, 09:32 AM
If you went through this entire thread you probably noticed that there are some fine, fine, super fine pictures of Remmies and not nearly as many Ruger. I always liked the Colt Open Top, but the Uberti Remington is the one that always evokes comments and discussion at my range. I went with the R&D conversion cylinder, and no trip is complete til a box of .45 Long Colts is finished. Whether its a Long Colt, or a BP load, the gun is a hand cannon for less. If you could get a chance to shoot one, I don't believe there would be a moments hesitation.


November 7, 2006, 02:52 PM
Hi there George. How's your belly for spots?!:neener:

Seriously though, this is a Pietta Progressive Rifled pistol. It is a joy to own and a joy to shoot - I even like cleaning it!!
It has a 'hazy' bluing that was done in Bordeaux after having the original finish removed and various parts polished with a Dremmel. Not by me but by the previous owner who is a very good friend of mine.

Pity I can't shoot it very well but pistols were never my strong point :banghead:

Anyway, it's my only BP arm and I like it!

November 7, 2006, 10:07 PM

Many of us can't shoot them very well, cartridge OR BP. Doesn't make it any less fun.

Jeez, thankfully, I have no problem after a bad round of golf, either. I can at least keep my BP on paper at normal range, or even at 50 yds or more. Can't keep a little white ball in 100 yard or so wide fairway consistently.

I shoot more BP now than golfs. Bad back, dr. doesn't reccommend it. Gonna have to give it a try in the Spring and see if I can do it.

That pistol of yours still looks good, even with the light shade it has.
How well can you group with the gain twist? Guess that's a hard ? to answer unless you have a std twist to shoot at the same time to compare your results.



November 8, 2006, 03:01 PM
Well George, I get 6 shots on a 25mtr pistol target but not all in the black!! Best I ever did dualist was 6 July this year but it's NOT the norm!!

I was using a load of 1.85grams / 28.55 grains of 3f, home made felt lube wad and home cast .457 balls.

As you say, the end result is the enjoyment not the score although most times the target would be limping if not dead :cool:

November 9, 2006, 01:33 AM

My goodness, are things so "parlous" for you, financially, you have to recycle targets from the shotgun buckshot shooting range, with all the patched holes, or does that target back up your note that "it is not the norm"?

I'm kidding, you know. I'd be happy with that group. I measure it about 6 inches, and that ain't bad, offhand.

BIG target, though. I usually download and print to letter size paper, some with one inch dot (hard to see, to me, new glasses in the next week or so), some others with 4 inch bull. Them I can see better, but the specs don't let me see the sights well enough to line 'em up. Hope the new specs are better.

How old are you, BTW? 62 my next, but not an excuse. Son in law's dad is 70. He takes top spot at bowling pins near every shoot he goes to with his TC 44 Mag. single shot. 2 dollar bargain store glasses.

Guess it is the shooter, not the pistol, and I ain't as good a shooter as I once was.



November 9, 2006, 03:45 AM
It's like this George - The target is a standard Pistol Percussion for 25 & 50 mtrs. Black is 7 3/4" dia. Wish I had a gun that took buckshot loads that big!
Reason for all the patches is that I am a Yorkshireman. We make a Scottish Jew look like a spendthrift!!
It is also one I used to check different loads.
My age - 57 but like most BP shooters I never really grew up! :p
I also wear glasses now - varifocals which are great for everything BUT shooting so it's now Noise - Smell - Results in that order!
See you later!

November 9, 2006, 08:33 AM
I`m so cheap i borrow a papper target and get the wife to copy me some from her work and use stick up pins so i don`t waste staples in my staple gun . Any one cheaper than that ...haha probally would make a good thread for the forum ...:D

November 9, 2006, 09:52 AM
Sundance - anyone THAT cheap would not have a computer to get on line with!!
Duncan:p :p

November 9, 2006, 10:03 AM
Well.. not so Duncan ...My wife brought this computer home from work said her boos was buying new ones and this old one didn`t cost me anything and it`s good enought to get on line ...:neener:

November 9, 2006, 02:56 PM
Yeah! Who is paying the electricity bill for it ? :D :D :D

November 9, 2006, 03:18 PM

November 10, 2006, 03:00 AM

I was a Crane Repairman in my former life. Rails half a mile long. With the variable lenses, I saw curves in the rails. SO, with the new ones I am getting, traditional half moon lenses, which I have no prob with, hope things will be better.

I think I am as cheap as you. A friend gave me a roll of orange stickers he said he uses to patch the holes in his targets. I am too cheap to use the stickers I was given free.
Besides which, I keep forgetting to take them to the range, so wind up using a marker on the last 6 holes, sometimes 5 or fewer. Still, the holes get marked, I know if I put a new one in the paper.

Ain't this fun?



November 10, 2006, 07:02 PM
I use a roll of paperlike tape (used when painting the house), rip a piece off and stick it to the backside of the targetcard over the holes.
The new holes you shoot in can be easily identified, and for reference... you can see the exact location of the old holes as well.

November 11, 2006, 07:38 AM
Hi Hildo. Good idea that one. Trouble with me is I mount my targets on board so the back gets splintered to bits and won't take masking tape.

November 11, 2006, 08:32 AM
Wife let me havva break cause i's been readin a little but aint been allowed ta sit an post when theys work on tha house needin done.

Did ya say POWER mah fren?

Howsa bout 1600 witha ball OR 200 grain slug? Fromma STAINLESS Remmie er a ROA.

Aint up ta modern .45s?

November 11, 2006, 08:57 AM
Heres some more from tha site.

Been awhile, wifes had my up ta my butt in chores.

Read yer post on tha Remmie vs ROA thread bout power.

Thought this would be interestin. Tha BOSS theres gotta 200 grainer up ta 1800 now.Aint no joe average loadin method though!

He doesa LONG cylinder conversion on tha Remmies that gives ya a full 65 grains a 3F Swiss behind a wad an a 250 grain slug. That un really rocks an roars, ifin i recall rightly that 250s flyin bout 1175.It should be readin 65 grains WITH a wad an slug. When ya loads er up with 777, WOW!!!!!!

Conversion #2 Long Cylinder
Product Number: C002
Price: $475
Service Description: For those who want more power, but wish to stay with .44 caliber. For this conversion, we modify the frame and fit a new cylinder that is .620 longer to it. This longer cylinder will hold 65 grains of black powder, meaning you can fit more than a full Walker load in a revolver that is less than half the weight! If you've ever wanted a light, hard hitting cap and ball revolver, this is for you. Currently for 1858 only.

Boss theres gettin better, pneumonia had him down fer a month.

Any bets he AINT gonna be able ta getta ROA ta .454 Casull power?

Doin a .58 conversion on tha ROA AN he's doin a .50 conversion on Dragoons an Walkers with open frame he says .58s NEEDSA solid frame so .50s a lower cost an faster way ta getta real thumper.

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