Thinking about BP revolvers


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Soundtrackzz
July 22, 2008, 03:01 AM
Hey guys ive been thinking about getting a BP revolver for awhile now. Its either a BP remington or a ruger blackhawk for a "working" revolver. By that i mean field and fun carry. Im wondering how much all of the other stuff besides the revolver itself will cost me, and what exactly do i need. Ive heard BP's are very accurate, i dont know if this is true or not but i dont see how they could be more accurate than a modern cartridge gun. Basically i want to know if there is any reason why i should get a BP over a blackhawk.

Thanks
Z

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Smokin_Gun
July 22, 2008, 04:26 AM
Well two things would almost stop me from telling you to go get a BP C&B Rev. Both are that you mentioned Ruger twice the "ROA" a good gun now discontinued and not authentic to anything as a reproduction Rev, but a fine rendition of a Ruger Blackhawk converted to a Cap & Ball Rev. Second you ask if as accurate as a Blackhawk cartridge gun.
Well what do you want a Ruger or an authentic reproduction 19th C&B or Cartridge, of a Century Revolver?
If the answer is a Repro 19th Century Rev go get a Uberti or Pietta 1858 NMA .44 Remington. You shoot it enough and you will be just as accurate ...a drop in .45Long Colt conversion cylinder will give you both worlds ... C&B and Cartridge.

Hope that helped,

SG

arcticap
July 22, 2008, 04:55 AM
Cabela's offers an optional pistol starter kit if you buy a revolver from them for an extra $40.

But if you buy these basics below separately they'll cost about $80 or so:
powder flask
powder measure
Bore Butter lube or Crisco
nipple wrench
nipple pick
round balls
percussion caps
powder

Optional:
capper
loading stand
Cream of Wheat filler
Wonder [wool] Wads
Lube pills
Plastic funnel top for the powder container
Cleaning fluid, brushes & supplies
Tools - screwdriver kit

And don't forget the hand cleaner....:)

scrat
July 23, 2008, 12:54 AM
Going C&B is awesome both of both worlds for sure. Example my WALKER. i can load it very light in bp or all the way up to 55 grains. Making a very loud canon. Shooting bp the gun is very very accurate. When i get tired of having to load up bp cap and ball. I pull the wedge, change the cylinder. Now im shooting 45 Colt. Awesome simply awesome.

Best of both worlds

Jenrick
July 23, 2008, 04:59 AM
Any particular reason everyone seems to recomend the Rem 1858 NMA over other C&B revolvers? I'm probably going to go get one this weekend and was leaning more towards a Walker or a 1860 Army. I do really like the idea of being able to get a conversion cylinder and shooting both C&B and cartridge (especially as I reload).

Thanks,

-Jenrick

mykeal
July 23, 2008, 07:50 AM
The 1858 Remington is an excellent example of the cap and ball revolver. It's very popular, accurate and a fine way to learn the sport.

However (you knew that was coming, didn't you), it's not the only one. I think there are at least 3 very good candidates for the first c&b revolver: 1851 Colt Navy, 1860 Colt Army (or 1861 Colt Navy) and the Remington. Each has it's good points and bad points, and each will do everything you want it to do within the limitations of a single action percussion revolver.

Invariably when one 'recommends' a gun people take that position to be a statement that the gun is 'the best' of all the designs, and a big debate ensues. That's actually a good thing - it means that whatever the choice, you really can't go wrong. There is a wealth of experience out here in internet land; we've made all the mistakes and thoroughly tested everything there is, and if a particular design really didn't measure up, we'd all say so. The fact that we debate the subject continually says that they're all good in their own ways.

So, look at it this way: no matter what you choose, you can't go far wrong. It may not be the perfect gun for you, but you have to start someplace and learn what matters to you. None of us can tell you that part of it; only you can find it out by trying things out.

Buy one of these three: 1858 Remington (in .36 or .44), 1851 Colt Navy (.36 only, although there are .44 cal versions) and either the 1860 Colt Army (.44 only) or 1861 Colt Navy (.36 only). Make your decision based on how it looks, or the color of the box, or the fact that your great, great uncle used to have a real one - in other words, why doesn't matter. Put 100 rounds (at the very least) through it. It'll be great fun no matter which you choose.

Then come back and we'll talk about the next one (Walker, Dragoon, Rogers & Spencer, Pocket revolver, etc.).

Soundtrackzz
July 23, 2008, 07:37 PM
I know just enough about BP to know that your not supposed to shoot smokless powder in a BP gun. But if im using a conversion cylinder wouldnt i be shooting smokeless out of a BP gun and wouldnt it blow up on me?

mykeal
July 23, 2008, 10:53 PM
The cylinder is the determining factor. Percussion cylinders are not designed or tested to withstand the pressures generated by smokeless powder. The frame and barrel are not an issue as they do not see the pressure the cylinder does.

Conversion cylinders are designed for light smokeless powder loads and can withstand the pressures. Again, the frame and barrel are not subjected to those pressures, so they can support the conversion cylinder.

sharps59
July 23, 2008, 11:16 PM
mykeal I haven't done a lot of checking but I thought the conversion cylinders were designed only so you can use cart. w/black powder not so you could use smokless.

mykeal
July 23, 2008, 11:26 PM
You should check with the cylinder manufacturer as to exactly what loads the cylinder is designed for.

In general, they are designed for what's termed 'cowboy loads'. They can be either smokeless powder or black powder.

Jenrick
July 23, 2008, 11:28 PM
Thanks for the info. So beyond what's in the cabella's starter kit any other must haves? The video they have on loading a BP revolver doesn't mention anything about wadding, filler, etc. Necessary or nicety?

-Jenrick

Omnivore
July 23, 2008, 11:39 PM
arcticap; You forgot the gold necklace, night out for dinner, or etc.. Those of you who are married will understand. I'd say a good screwdriver kit should be on the "must have" list. You need a really good fit between the screw and the driver.

mykeal; Your 03:50 AM post is really good. I second it.

scrat
July 25, 2008, 11:47 PM
ok lets not scare the guy off.

1. you do not need to remove all the screws down to the very last one.

2. you do not have to have a million dollar screw set

The most important thing about black powder revolvers is just learning about them and shooting them. At the top of this forum is a link to black powder essentials. there is a lot of good information there put together on black powder revolvers. As far as the screw drivers. What i have done and many others is go out and buy a regular screw driver. then file it down to where it fits the screws on your revolver. Thats it. just make sure you apply firm pressure to the screws. Your first goal is to get a revolver that you like and feel is right for you. weather its historicly correct or not does not matter. When ever i see a post saying Thinking about a BP revolver i laugh grin and think about how long it will take before this person is addicted and is buying more and more and more. So not everyone thinks a like not everyone has the same ideas and not everyone is going to try to stir you away from black powder.

Pulp
July 27, 2008, 12:26 AM
A word about cartridge conversion cylinders. Mine is from R&D. They recommend using Black Hills Cowboy ammo for smokeless. I have used others in mine as well, but it's not near as much fun as when they're reloaded with BP.

Another thought: some folks are complicators, some folks are simplifiers. Complicators will have you totally dismantle any gun after shooting it and meticulously clean and polish every single part. Simplifiers clean the cylinder and barrel and leave it at that. The true answer is somewhere in between. I usually totally clean mine a couple of times a year, and simple clean the rest of the time. I've never had any rust or corrosion problems.

AdmiralB
July 27, 2008, 01:07 AM
Invariably when one 'recommends' a gun people take that position to be a statement that the gun is 'the best' of all the designs, and a big debate ensues.

I agree with this. I wondered the same thing, and on paper, I thought (still do think) that the Remington was 'the one' if I was only to have one.

But I don't have any BP revolver dealers near me, so I had to bite the bullet and order via mail. Now I own a Walker, an 1860, and a Remington. And I have an 1851 Navy London model on order, whenever Uberti gets around to making them.

I found that, of the three I own, the 1860 fits me the best - it's just a perfect natural pointer. The Remington isn't bad, but my hand rides higher on it and it's just not as comfortable. However, from a practicality perspective I think it's a superior design.

So, you really have to handle them to decide what's gonna work best for you.

Smokin_Gun
July 27, 2008, 04:05 AM
Well put AdmiralB

But in answer to this question;
Any particular reason everyone seems to recomend the Rem 1858 NMA over other C&B revolvers?

Cause they are the best and I have a half a dozen of Rems and half a dozen various models of Colts. Almost bought a Starr DA tonite but i want the Single action preferably used. If I still want one...LoL!

Anyway if you get a Rem you'll get a Colt 1860 or 1851, then another Rem and another Colt. So you'll see for yourself...have fun and be safe.

SG

PRM
July 31, 2008, 09:50 AM
You can't go wrong. Black Powder revolvers are just plain fun, functional and accurate. A lot of folks regulate these to relics or high priced toys - they seem to forget that for over half of the history of this country - they were "the guns." There is something about the whole process; casting your balls, working up the most accurate load, seeing the flame, smelling the smoke, that just gets in your blood. I bought my first black powder revolver the day I turned 21, that was 32 years ago. Although, I do own a couple of semi-autos and DA Colts, the Cap and Ball revolvers still have a special place. I have always liked the Second Generation Colts, not being negative about other models or brands, just personal preference. There are a lot of great black powder guns out there. A few years back I started dressing out my old friends in pre-ban ivory.

Would I trust one? One of my favorite house guns is a double barrel .20 guage Howdah loaded with .60 calibre patched round balls and topped off with #4 Buck.

sundance44s
July 31, 2008, 10:23 AM
If you are considering the pistol , for carry on your trecks through the woods and back country , or even a hunting side arm ..I`d say 1858 Remington with conversion cylinder ..or Ruger ROA with conversion cylinder ..The reason I`m stuck with the idea of the solid frame and conversion cylinder ...is because I have these type for my what I call boondocking ..I`m not going target shooting but just want a side arm because of the fact I`m going into the wild country ...I may not even need the pistol at all so I don`t shoot it ...and with the conversion cylinder in it ..when I get back home I can unload it very simple ..wipe it off and back in the gunsafe ...I like to carry what I shoot the most , and haveing the best of both worlds with these pistols ...Keeps me a sharp shooter when I need one ...after hours of shooting them with the black powder and cap and balls , they are alot of fun , but can be a serious side arm ....I know alot of the Colt open top guys say get a Colt open type and a conversion cylinder ......But in the real world , loading and unloading one of these guns for useing the conversion cylinder ...means takeing a wedge out of the barrel that holds things together ...then takeing the barrel off .............Too much for a guy new at this sport . The open tops will come later ..They are alot of fun to shoot too ...I have many of both .

J.T. Gerrity
July 31, 2008, 12:12 PM
First, read the "Black powder" essentials sticky at the top of the forum page. It will get you started.

Second, don't worry about "conversion cylinders" at this point. You're getting a Blackpowder revolver so use it as such; it's the way they were designed to be used and the conversion stuff can come later. I shoot B.P. for the history as much as anything else, and the conversions came late in the life of these firearms. Don't let conversion considerations guide your choice.

Thirdly, a lot of folks on this forum like to use hot water to clean their firearms. While it's the tried-and-true way of cleaning these guns, it's not the only one. The Blackpowder solvents from Hoppes or Birchwood Casey and the like work just as well with the benefits of being able to clean your piece in the field, and the fact that straight water never touches the gun. I know I'll get flak for saying this (I'm used to it by now ;) ), but I've never seen a gun cleaned with water that didn't have some rust starting on it - though I've certainly not seen every gun in existence and there will be those die-hard water fans that will take exception to this. I'm just pointing out the alternatives.

And, finally, the Remington and ROA fans like to consider their guns superior because of the top strap. They say it makes the gun stronger and that the open-top Colts will shoot loose; also that the sights will wander due to the rear sight being a part of the hammer etc. etc. etc. Don't listen to them. If you like the look and feel of the Colts, then get one of them and you'll not be sorry. The Remingtons can come later (though I, personally, eventually gave away my Remington because I found I never used it, and preferred the Colts). At this point, get whatever tickles your fancy; Remington, ROA or Colt. They're all just a heckuva lot of fun and you'll end up with more than one, and this is something we ALL can agree on.

Happy shooting, and as Mr. Walsh likes to say: "Welcome to the Club".

mykeal
July 31, 2008, 12:31 PM
know alot of the Colt open top guys say get a Colt open type and a conversion cylinder ......But in the real world , loading and unloading one of these guns for useing the conversion cylinder ...means takeing a wedge out of the barrel that holds things together ...then takeing the barrel off .............Too much for a guy new at this sport .

Boy. Either people have gotten incredibly stupid in the last 30 years or I was unusually intelligent when I started shooting bp revolvers. And you can rest assured that nobody has indicated to me that my intelligence back then was anything to write home about. So...

sundance44s
July 31, 2008, 12:57 PM
Mykeal ..your statement could be true but lets put it another way ..you wouldn`t beleive how many used open top Colts I`ve bought , and spent hours sanding the dings and dents out of the barrels , because someone new to the sport bought them and couldn`t get the wedge out of the barrel looked like they used a frameing hammer on them ....does this mean they were stupid people ...I don`t think so at all ...I just know what happens and don`t like to sugar coat anything . The man said he wanted one for carry in the woods ..That doesn`t always mean a target shooting session or a history lesson ..and it`s not time for a learning class eaither ...I know the truth hurts ....Remember I like my Colts too ...But I had already owned 7 1858 Remingtons before I bought my first open top Colt ...It was new and very hard to get the barrel wedge out ....It isn`t rocket science ..but it helps when one knows a little more about how these guns work .
Funny thing about those used Colts I`ve bought ...beleive it or not they all came from up north ..where most folks are born knowing everything .

Voodoochile
July 31, 2008, 01:10 PM
Funny thing about those used Colts I`ve bought ...beleive it or not they all came from up north ..where most folks are born knowing everything .

Ooopps :rolleyes:

Yeah, my first C&B Revolver was a Pietta 1860 Army that I still have today but I have to admit, I had learned from my grandfather how to handle & treat them before I had enough allowance saved to buy mine & I still love mine but when I bought my 1858 Remington copy a few years later I too saw the advantages to it's design.

Now a days if I want to go trapsing in the woods & I want to cary a piece but not my .45 I'll grab one of my Pietta 58's to come along for the ride.

sundance44s
July 31, 2008, 01:47 PM
Mother was from New York my father was from New orleans ...So my brain works both ways ...lol

mykeal
July 31, 2008, 02:25 PM
Too much for a guy new at this sport...does this mean they were stupid people ...I don`t think so at all ...

Well, instead of dancing around it, what does it mean? For Pete's sakes, man, say what you mean.

sundance44s
July 31, 2008, 02:44 PM
OK MyKeal ..it`s like this some folks get into the black powder guns with out haveing friends or family to help them ...like Voodoochile said his Grandfather taught him ...He knew full well what he was getting into ...last year I ran into a guy at my black powder club that saw me shooting a 1858 Remington , he asked to see it after watching me for an hour or so ...He wanted to know if it was a modern revolver like a ROA ..he didn`t know ...his next words were he had bought a 1851 Colt Navy a few years ago ...and it was nothing like the Remington ..much harder to deal with ..so he hung it on a wall ...it ended his love afair with the black powder revolvers ..Next time I saw the guy he was shooting a 1858 Remington and grinning from ear to ear ..Some day I bet he takes the Navy off the wall and gives it a go again ....If he would have started into the sport with a 1858 ..he wouldn`t have hung it on a wall ..The guy had been shooting black powder rifles for 30 years , and thought my 1858 was a new fangle modern revolver ...........get it .

mykeal
July 31, 2008, 04:31 PM
Nope. I guess I'm just too dense to read between the lines. But, somehow, I managed all on my own to figure out how to remove the wedge from a Colt without damaging the gun or getting frustrated with the sport. Go figure.

sundance44s
July 31, 2008, 05:33 PM
I`ll take a pic of some of the Colts I buy off gunbroker some time and post them ........no kidding last one a Walker ..looked like someone took a jack hammer to the wedge and missed and just dinged the heck out of the barrel around the wedge ... the other side same thing ..guess he figured he`d try to get it out from the other side ....the bad of it is ..he never even shot it ....sold it to me on Gunbroker ...The new Pietta Colts have the wedge drove in purdy good from the factory too ..Like said it`s not rocket science ...some folks just get a new Colt ...know nothing about it ..get flustrated ..and beat the hell out of them trying to get the wedge out . I buy whats left of them cheap that way ...but I really hate to see new guys come into this forum ..never even handled or shot a B/P revolver ...hear us talking about all the fun stuff ...Then they buy one because it feels nice in their hand and has that sexy look ...you know what I mean . I really enjoy teaching new people how to handle these fine revolvers ....but when you learned to drive a car ...someone went with you and showed you what to do ...right .

PRM
July 31, 2008, 07:14 PM
Both you guys got some good points...

I have to agree with mykeal that a wedge moving from left to right or vice versa dependent upon the gun is not a real difficult concept to grasp.

I have also seen the abuse that sundance44s is talking about.

I have known individuals, and I am sure all of us have, the "homegrown gunsmith." The guy that always knows more than the engineers who designed the gun.

One guy, I used to work with, over the years owned untold 1911s. He was always modifying parts, stoning parts, replacing parts, filing parts, and then selling the gun when it failed to work.

Then there are those who just abuse their guns, cars, tools, and just about everything else they own. Either out of ignorance or lack of appreciation for what they have.

Most of these individuals won't ever get it - thats why they have putt putt golf.

Jenrick
July 31, 2008, 07:52 PM
My first BP gun is a 1860 Army, bought it today. Got admit it took my about 10 minutes to figure out how to get the barrel off. Got the wedge taken care of no problem. The barrel was a different story. The manual was very explicit on how to handle the wedge. The problem was the next sentence was: remove the barrel. Doesn't help much.

-Jenrick

Voodoochile
July 31, 2008, 10:13 PM
My first BP gun is a 1860 Army, bought it today. Got admit it took my about 10 minutes to figure out how to get the barrel off. Got the wedge taken care of no problem. The barrel was a different story. The manual was very explicit on how to handle the wedge. The problem was the next sentence was: remove the barrel. Doesn't help much.

-Jenrick

Not a problem.

After moving the wedge to where the wedge spring touches the retining screw, place the hammer to half cock, lower the loading lever down as though you were loading a bullet into the weapon, then when the rammer touches the cylinder inbetween the chambers you give steady pressure on the loading lever to assist in removing the barrel.

This method is especially helpfull when the revolver has had a good ammount of shooting & fouling has made it a little stiff.

Omnivore
July 31, 2008, 11:47 PM
Yeah, the whole barrel assembly should slide straight forward, off of the cylinder axle (or "arbor").

I remember seeing the old Colt design for the first time and being really curious how the hell such a thing could hold together. It's held by the arbor with the wedge through the arbor, like some very old wooden furniture construction styles.

Jenrick
August 1, 2008, 12:44 AM
Yeah I got it figured out. However to one used to wheel guns, the whole idea of pressing something against the cylinder just seems wrong. I mean it could bend the yoke, or mess up the timing, or... Wait a minute there is no yoke....

Neat how the whole thing goes together though.

-Jenrick

PRM
August 1, 2008, 08:43 AM
The 1860 is a great choice. I had a 3rd Generation Colt that was cut down to a 5 inch barrel. The gun carried and shot great, sorry to say I sold it. Needed funds to by a 3rd Generation Walker (which is another great classic). Boy, did that Army carry and shoot well. Keep us posted on how you like yours. Check out this link. This is great for displacing water (alcohol based), and you can't hardly get a gun to rust after you use it. A friend of mine who teaches a Tactical Officer Shooting School, had some SIMS guns (training weapons) in his trunk while at a school. Two of them had been cleaned with Gibbs, four had not. The trunk leaked during a heavy rain and the two that had been cleaned with Gibbs were ok, the rest had surface rust from the moisture. Since it is alcohol based instead of petroleum based, it does not leave a residue that affects guns in cold weather.

www.gibbsbrandlubricant.com

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