where can i buy a cheap black powder revolver?


January 29, 2007, 01:59 AM
i want a cheap one but one that will not blow up in my face. decent accuracy.

i know nothing of these black powder revolvers. i just all of a sudden want one to play around with and i figure they are cheap to shoot.

feel free to give advice.

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January 29, 2007, 03:55 AM
cajun. My advice is don't "PLAY" around with any firearm and look for a value for money buy, not a cheap one.

January 29, 2007, 08:30 AM
Cheapest I have seen were certain Colt knock offs. Not really replicas, but Colt inspired. How ever for the beginner I think a Remington replica would be a better proposition than a Colt. Costs a bit more but its a better and more practical revolver from a shooting stand point. the Ruger Old ARmy would be a good beginner's gun but it's not so cheap.

January 29, 2007, 08:39 AM
I am considering an Uberti made Colt 1860 Army which I have seen going for anywhere between $250 and a little over $300 depending on the retailer. Anyone have experience with these?


January 29, 2007, 08:52 AM
Cablelas, (or was it Gander Mountain?), had a brass framed 1958 copy for $100 for a long time, think it might be up to $150, due to the metal price increase. Get one with the "starter kit", if you are brand new, and buy some powder/caps locally. Then find someone in the area that knows what they're doing to show what to do.
Smokepoles are fun.

January 29, 2007, 08:55 AM
The least expensive decent thing I've seen is a .44 cal (actually a 45 since it shoots a .452 - .457 ball) pietta 1851 Navy in brass frame for $139. Same gun in steel frame is $60 more and is more durable. Remington 1858 replics are a better choice at $179 in brass and $199 in steel frame. A steel remington would be the best value and there is a conversion cylinder for it that would allow you to shoot .45 colt cartriges with cowboy action loads.Cylinder is easy to change - they are the guns Clint used as seen in Pale Rider. Do some reading about these to see if it is for you as BP or substitutes is messy and requires cleaning as soon as you are done shooting as the residue is highly corrosive. You'll also need accessories like powder measure, a capper, bullets, precussion caps, powder and lubricant. They are fun to shoot BUT more involved than a conventional firearm.

January 29, 2007, 09:40 AM
Both make excellent replicas. I own a Remington and and open top 1860. The Uberti cost me about 70 bucks more, and the action seems tighter and more precise. The Hammer spring delivers a "harder" smack against the nipple in the Uberti Remington, but that may be more due to design than manufacturer. It is very hard to find both Uberti and Pietta at the same outlet. But I would recommend you find a Bass Pro, or Cabela's shop (they stock Pietta), and then perhaps a Gun store that does Uberti, and try the same version replica in both before settling on one or the other. You get what you pay for...


January 29, 2007, 01:35 PM
I`d say Cabelas for a new one ...and Gunbroker.com for a new or used one .

January 29, 2007, 07:20 PM
watch for any War Between The States reenactments in your area and check the Sutlers stores I got an Euro= Colt 1860 army with brass trigger Gard in 44 cal. for $175.00 new in the box. :what:

January 29, 2007, 10:10 PM
jlundy46 - that is a good choice for a revolver. Keep in mind, most of them need some degree of work at some point.

January 29, 2007, 10:55 PM
Online Cabelas is probably your best bet.

I recently picked up a mis-marked 1851 Navy in steel for $120 at my local sporting goods store.

January 30, 2007, 12:02 PM
I picked up my first BP revolver last week - a steel Uberti 1858 Remington - on Gunbroker.com for $200 brand new. The Cabela's CS flap holster arrived yesterday, and the combination is just gorgeous! Now I'm itching to get out to the range!

Captain U-96
January 31, 2007, 04:24 PM
I'd advise against buying the cheapest BP revolver for shooting purposes! They make nice conversation pieces, and wallhangers, especially the brass framed ones! For instance, if you were to load one of these brass framed guns with Tripple 7, you could be in trouble and need medical care. I'd reccomend a Uberti 1858 Remington! You get what you pay for, and be prepaired to do work on even an expensive piece from time to time.

January 31, 2007, 04:57 PM
Let's be a little careful here. ANY BP pistol, brass or steel frame, overloaded with 777, Pyrodex, Goex, Swiss, etc. is dangerous, just as a regular centerfire cartridge that's been overloaded is dangerous. One must always take care to not overload your weapon.

I have both brass and steel framed BP revolvers, and have shot many, many rounds through them with both 777 and authentic black powder. None have ever blown up, which I attribute to care in loading and cleaning.

The statement, "...if you were to load one of these brass framed guns with Tripple 7, you could be in trouble and need medical care." is overstating the issue considerably. Brass framed replica revolvers do not blow up or cause the need for "medical care" UNLESS they are abused, which is certainly the case for any firearm. They are not inherently dangerous whether loaded with real or any of the substitute black powders, including 777.

I understand and agree that brass frame revolvers can wear out or become loose quicker and more predictably than steel frame revolvers when subjected to repeated overloading, and at some point they can become dangerous, but I strongly disagree with the statement quoted above. That simply is not my experience in 35 years of shooting black powder.

January 31, 2007, 05:05 PM
My first remmie was a brass frame model ...never a problem ..the cylinder is made out of steel and so is the barrel same as the steel frame ones ...so just where is it suppose to blow up ...... what you might do with heavy loads is strech the frame and make it loose quicker .:what:

January 31, 2007, 05:29 PM
The allegation is, and I have seen guns that, to me, would support the claim, that the frame stretches and allows the cylinder pin to become loose as well as the barrel attach points. With those areas having increased tolerances a significant cylinder/barrel misalignment is possible. Enough, perhaps, that a fired ball impacts the barrel sidewall at the forcing cone and comes apart while still in the gun. At least, that's how it was explained to me. I've never had it happen.

Like any generalization there are anecdotes that support it and anecdotes that refute it. From my point of view, I have some good brass frame revolvers that I treat very carefully - that is, I don't shoot them often and I'm very careful to not overload when I do. Of course, I'm very careful not to overload my steel frame revolvers also.

In the end it doesn't really matter to me. I've developed loads for all my guns and in every case the most accurate load is well below the recommended maximum for that gun or type of gun, so I never have any reason to get even close to overloading (except for, knock wood, a mistaken double load, which has not happened YET).

Captain U-96
January 31, 2007, 05:31 PM
I don't believe the manufacturers of these brass framed revolvers would recommend anything but true BP in these pieces. They don't recommend conversions for them either! I don't disagree with you, but I wouldn't advise someone new to BP shooting to get a brass framed piece. Just my gut feeling. I've only owned or built steel framed revolvers. If I were to ever buy a brass framed piece, it'd be an 1858 Remington/Pieta.

J.T. Gerrity
January 31, 2007, 09:05 PM
it's interesting that folks who have never owned a brass-framed revolver are so quick to condemn them! Any of us who do own one will tell you that they work just fine, and, I, at least, would not hesitate to recommend one. My first BP pistol (heck, my first pistol period) was a brass framed 1851 .44 Colt clone. I got it well over ten years ago and have put hundreds of rounds thru it, and, aside from the fact that I have to push the wedge in a little further now than I did when it was new, it still works just fine and shoots as well as it ever did. IMHO, the brass-framed guns are a nice, cheap way to get into BP shooting. You can always mortgage the farm to get a Ruger Old Army at a later date, if you want to...

January 31, 2007, 09:18 PM

Couldn't have said it better my self.


January 31, 2007, 09:51 PM
The brass frames are not a strong and you should use lighter loads or you could stretch the frame. I do own one, my first black powder gun was one and I still have it (it's some 14 years old I think). It is an 1858 ASM .44. Good gun, but I only use 20 or so grains in it. I wouldn't throw 40 gr loads in it.

Captain U-96
January 31, 2007, 11:17 PM
Don't get me wrong, as I said if I were to get one I'd get the Pieta 58 Remington, and I'd load it according to factory recommended and no more. But, for a few dollars more why not recommend a steel framed gun to someone new; in case they get inventive? My first gun was a kit, a 3rd model Dragoon I believe; that was back in the 70's. I have a reverent respect for BP, and have seen others try it and balk, and never shoot BP again. I hate to see that. I guess what I'm getting at here is I don't condemn brass framed guns, but I try to council newcomers in a direction with a little less of a chance for becoming disgruntled. I didn't think anyone would take offense at what I thought was fair council for a newbie.

February 1, 2007, 09:10 AM
What you said was, "...if you were to load one of these brass framed guns with Tripple 7, you could be in trouble and need medical care." That's at best a gross overstatement of the issue. I agree, generally, with much of what you said in subsequent posts, but that one statement needed abridgment.

Fair counsel consists of providing the data: brass frames can be injured by overloading to a greater extent than steel frames, and Triple 7 needs downward adjustment to obtain equivalent loads.

February 1, 2007, 09:45 AM
I'm not a huge fan of the Remington 1858 pattern. No doubt it's stronger and no doubt the easily removable cylinder would be a great boon to military implementation, but I've always had exponentionally more trouble with cylinder binding in the Remington than the Colt patterns. My favorite BP revolver hands down is the Colt 1851 Navy pattern in the original .36 caliber. Nothing handles better in a BP revolver. I've owned decent examples of 1851s, 1860s, and 1858s by both Pietta and Uberti, with Uberti showing a slight edge in workmanship.

February 1, 2007, 09:55 AM
Another good point ...think about this ...if a brass frame remmie is a weak gun ....what the heck is an open top Colt Walker ...an accident waiting to happen ? What good is a steel frame when there isn`t a frame ? The brass frame remmie will last years under heavy useage ...i shot mine twice a month for 3 years ...and it only got better ...and i was shooting 25 gr loads everytime . I only traded mine off because , i learned it was not period correct ...Remington never made a brass frame 1858 .

February 1, 2007, 10:14 AM
I was just re-reading a couple chapters of the ABC's of reloading, the part covering black powder reloading for cartrige guns. One of the things the book mentiond was that most S&W's and Remingtons of the day were built more toward smokless standards than black powder (tighter tollerances, less gap between the cylinder and the barrel, and so on), so the fowling could bind them up quicker. That kind of struck me when I was reading your post; just a thought.

Aside from that, I really don't "have a dog in this fight", except that I occasionaly kick around the idea of getting a black powder revolver; that's a long way off though, I want a .32 rifle first.


J.T. Gerrity
February 1, 2007, 08:38 PM
The first Colt-pattern guns were produced over 170 years ago... I think the design has proven itself to be quite viable and very safe . The brass framed guns do stretch out after many years of use and hundreds of rounds have gone thru them; it just means that you have to press the wedge in a little further. I've had mine for some twelve years; another writer mentioned he had his for fourteen years, and I'm sure there are others in this forum who have had their brass-framed gus as long or longer. I say don't knock it if you haven't tried it! :rolleyes:

February 1, 2007, 09:03 PM
Thanks, I assume that a shooter will require regular maintenance if it is to last a long time. I have a Colt 1860 Army Officer's model that I don't plan to shoot, hence the Uberti. I see where you can get premade pellets now for
.44 caliber so you don't have to use powder. Anyone used them?


Captain U-96
February 1, 2007, 10:39 PM
I appreciate everyone's comments, and I have been doing some thinking on what's been said. So, in a way I guess you fellows have talked me into trying a Brass Framed revolver out. I've already been looking at some and have decided to go with the Pieta manufactured when I do get one.

Can someone explain why everyplace you go that sells conversions states Not To Be Used On Brass Framed Guns? Thanks

February 1, 2007, 10:49 PM
Brass is not as strong as steel. The ammo for the conversions might be a bit stout for a brass framed gun. If you buy a brass gun you need to lower the loads. I suggest that you just spend a few bucks extra and get a steel frame. Brass still works, but use light loads.

February 2, 2007, 12:19 AM
What I don't understand is why the heck are the brass guns cheaper? Isn't brass alot more expensive than steel?!

Other than a decoration I see no reason to buy one anyway...you're only saving twenty bucks. That's two boxes of balls.

Captain U-96
February 2, 2007, 12:29 AM
I thought Brass was easier to machine than steel since it is a softer metal. I can't figure why the price difference either. As popular as they are you'd think they'd cost as much or more!

February 2, 2007, 07:23 AM
I have a reverent respect for BP, and have seen others try it and balk, and never shoot BP again. I hate to see that.
No, that's a good thing, especially when we get good deals on hardly-used revolvers.

Two things come to mind when talking about brass framed BP revolvers:
Wayne (Rifle) has posted a way to beef up the recoil shield of a brass framer, and...
get more than one revolver of any material and shoot them in a revolving batting line-up so no one revolver gets overused.

Captain U-96
February 2, 2007, 07:37 AM
I can live with that idea! One for every day of the week, and two for Saturday!

February 2, 2007, 08:32 AM
I realized the other day that maybe I don't need any more BP revolvers when I started dragging them out to show a friend and actually missed one...
Luckily I remembered it before he left...can you see me running down the street, in MA, waving a Paterson and yelling, "Wait! You didn't see this one!"

Ray P
February 2, 2007, 08:36 AM
I have seen a brass-framed .44 colt that was badly deformed behind the cylinder "star" from many heavy loads. I could see the negative of the cylinder end bashed into the brass.

This was a while ago, but IIRC; the Senior Chief that owned it was trying to see if the base machine shop could fix his problem revolver :-)

February 2, 2007, 08:47 AM
I have seen a brass-framed .44 colt that was badly deformed behind the cylinder "star" from many heavy loads. I could see the negative of the cylinder end bashed into the brass.
That's where Wayne (Rifle) beefs up the gun.

Do you buy your BP "stuff" in Kittery?

February 2, 2007, 10:53 AM
Yes, it is, and it's also easier to CAST than steel! Frames, trigger guards, and backstraps usually start out as a cast part, which cuts down on machining time. A steel part with take longer to complete the final machining and finishing, than the equivalent brass part.

February 2, 2007, 04:34 PM
Perhaps it has to do with supply and demand. Prices of most things are determined by what people will pay combined with competition pressure. Brass frames are not as popular due to the lighter loads "stigma" - people just generally (that means not everyone, but most people) want to be able to load and shoot the max possible.

Personally, I'd never pay as much for a brass frame as a steel frame, as I don't think I'd get as much use out of it.

Anyway, that's my opinion.

Ray P
February 3, 2007, 06:50 PM
Do you buy your BP "stuff" in Kittery?

Yes! Been shopping there off & on since '75. Most recently, I have a SS Remington 1858 & a Lyman(!) Enfield Musketoon from them.

Just bought the revolver pellets; and they work great!

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