Can a blackpowder revolver be left loaded indefinitely?


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andy_cc
August 15, 2008, 10:49 AM
Hi all,

I need you expertise on this question. Can a blackpowder firearm be left loaded indefinitely? I donít plan on doing this myself of course, its just I was wondering whether it was possible, and if not, how often would soldiers carrying these weapons would have to unload and clean their firearms before any damage was done?


Thanks all,

Andrew

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dirty dave
August 15, 2008, 11:17 AM
Had a 1858 remington copy I left loaded for over a year once.Fired every shot

Prepster
August 15, 2008, 11:30 AM
I'd say yes if it's stored in a dry place with tight fitting caps. I know a guy who keeps one loaded for home defense (he isn't a felon or anything like that, I haven't the slightest idea why he doesn't get something more practical), and he keeps it in a drawer with a large desiccant (spelling?) pack that he changes out every so often. Seems to work well enough when he gets to the range.

DavidVanVorous
August 15, 2008, 11:54 AM
I know a guy who keeps one loaded for home defense (he isn't a felon or anything like that, I haven't the slightest idea why he doesn't get something more practical), and he keeps it in a drawer with a large desiccant (spelling?) pack that he changes out every so often.

Makes perfect sense, even iffen he misses the flash is enough to scare someone into submission, particularly in the dark. Then theres the smoke screen effect... :D

D.

mykeal
August 15, 2008, 12:02 PM
Yes. There are many instances of Civil War weapons found loaded that were viable and successfully shot.

PRM
August 15, 2008, 12:40 PM
The powder will not degrade any faster in the cylinder than it does in the factory container. I am very meticulous in cleaning my revolvers as well as loading them. I keep 2 loaded in the house all the time. I usually fire, clean and reload them at least every 6 months or so. I have gone longer at times. Sometimes not long at all, depending on what I am taking to the range. Been doing this for over 30 years now, and I can honestly say I cannot remember a misfire on the initial charges at the range. I have had the typical problems (not often though) of a cap dropping in the action after firing. But a failure to fire - never.

Having said that, I will add my guns are pretty much kept in ideal conditions.
Exposure of the powder to dampness would be my only concern, more so prior to loading (that will be obvious). Your powder is not going to fail unless it is exposed to moisture.

I dug a can of powder out of a locker that I had forgotten about, been close to a year ago now. It had to date back to the early 90's. Still shot good.

I also shoot black powder cartridges. I have some of those that are several years old and they are as reliable as any smokeless cartridge.

Short of fording creeks or going swimming with your gun, you most likely will be wanting to go to the range long before the load componets go bad.

The problem with black powder firearms is not so much leaving them loaded, but not cleaning them after they are fired. Once fired, the powder residue is extremely corrosive.

StrawHat
August 15, 2008, 12:45 PM
In another thread, I mentioned leaving one loaded for over three years with no noticable affect on the charges. All went off with the same recoil and point of impact I experience with fresh charges.

At no point in the three years did I pamper the revolver. It was a daily companion in my vehicle and on my person. Rain, snow, heat, humidity etc. No problems.

andy_cc
August 15, 2008, 03:01 PM
Thanks for all the replies guys, its interesting to know it can be done.

But seriously, a blackpowder firearm for home defense??? Well I guess the sheer size of it, (in comparison to most modern handguns) would deter most people. :)


Andrew

the-ghost
August 15, 2008, 03:46 PM
you clean right, load it right, store it right you can bet your butt it'll fire. folks relied on black powder for home protection for allot longer than smokless has been around. if i load my remmie or roa you can bet it will kill you just as dead as my 1911 or glock 36. only difference is the 45's won't burn your shirt and eyebrows off if your too close.:neener:

PRM
August 15, 2008, 03:51 PM
Anywhere outside of a Black powder forum you would be asking to be flamed for saying they were an adequate firearm for defensive purposes. Even on the forum, I think most would agree that a modern gun generally reloads faster. As far as being effective - major wars and smaller skirmishes were fought using these guns. Families were fed, livestock was protected, and the peace was kept. During the time of Westward expansion and most of the settling of this country, they were the state of the art weaponry. Has technology improved, you bet ya. Do the older guns still work - absolutely!

andy_cc
August 15, 2008, 03:59 PM
Well its definitely true that its easier and quicker in the vast majority of cases to reload modern firearms,

ÖÖÖbut if one did need to use a blackpowder firearm to defend their home, (Im asking myself) would a full cylinder really be needed, I mean its not the kind of firearm that you can just empty quickly, you'd be taking fairly slow (and hence presumably, better aimed) shots, and I donít think these engagements normally end up in a lengthy firefight.

I sense a debate coming on :)


Andrew

rondog
August 15, 2008, 04:28 PM
I'll say this - I loaded mine, and put some of that lube grease over the balls in each chamber, and that grease leached down into the powder and ruined all the charges.

Had to strip the pistol down, remove the nipples, and poke the bullets out. I've since changed to using the lubricated felt patches over the powder, but I don't know if those would ruin the powder or not.

I don't leave it loaded anymore, that's what my 1911's are for.

AdmiralB
August 15, 2008, 04:48 PM
I loaded mine, and put some of that lube grease over the balls in each chamber

Don't know why you'd need to do that on a 'home defense' piece. The grease makes the fouling soft, easier to clean, and probably keeps the gun shooting precisely for a longer period of time...but none of these things are requirements for an armed-response scenario.

rondog
August 15, 2008, 05:06 PM
Don't know why you'd need to do that on a 'home defense' piece. The grease makes the fouling soft, easier to clean, and probably keeps the gun shooting precisely for a longer period of time...but none of these things are requirements for an armed-response scenario.

I didn't do that for home-defense reasons, the pistol was still pretty new and I'd loaded it up for "practice" a few days before I actually went to the range with it.

It's an 1851 Navy clone from Bass Pro Shops, and I hate that gun. I've never seen where any of the shots have hit. I'm going to need a target in the center of a 4x8 sheet of plywood to figure out where it's hitting.

With 7 autos to shoot, plus numerous rifles, that BP revolver just isn't worth the time. I only bought it because they were on sale and I've always wanted one. Waste of money, IMO.

AdmiralB
August 15, 2008, 05:11 PM
Gotcha.

Having said that, if I were loading a piece that I knew might have to sit for a long time, I'd use no lube or felt. Yeah, it'll foul harder and after six shots might not be as accurate/work as smoothly...but I could live with that.

If you only lubed it a few days prior to shooting, I'd say you had undersized balls (huhuhuheheheh), and/or the cylinder bores are eccentric. No way you should have any kind of significant bleed-through in that small an interval.

mykeal
August 15, 2008, 06:51 PM
There's a big problem with what some of you are saying about the gun you use for home defense - for some reason you think it's ok to load it and just leave it loaded for long periods of time.

That's just wrong, but not because the load might deteriorate. It's wrong because you need to be proficient with that gun - you're depending on it to save your life or defend your family. How can you NOT practice with it frequently to stay proficient?

PRM
August 15, 2008, 07:45 PM
Some of mine stay loaded for awhile because some trips to the range I shoot:

My Walker
My 51 Navies
My Pocket Police
My Pocket Navy
My Howdah...

Then there are the long guns...

I'm with ya on the practice - I just don't shoot all my guns everytime I go to the range.

4v50 Gary
August 15, 2008, 09:33 PM
Yes, provided the humidity doesn't affect the powder. Kept in a warm, dry place, it'll last indefinitely.

mykeal
August 15, 2008, 10:00 PM
I'm with ya on the practice - I just don't shoot all my guns everytime I go to the range.

Nor do I. But IF I'm going to count on one gun for defending my family I'm going to shoot at least THAT gun every chance I get. And you should count on one gun - one that you know as well as you know your own hand, one that does exactly what you want it to do without having to think about it. You know the sight picture, the feel of the grips, the trigger pull, everything.

I just don't understand these people who keep a loaded bp gun around for self defense and then go long periods of time without shooting it.

DixieTexian
August 15, 2008, 10:20 PM
The BP for self defense debate has been revisited many times here. Now, as far as the OP goes, yeah, you can leave it loaded as long as you want as long as it is not submerged in water the whole time or left to rot in the rain forest.

crstrode
August 15, 2008, 11:03 PM
According to several books I have read about Wild Bill Hickok, he fired off each of his Colt 1851 Navy revolvers each day and reloaded them anew.

FYI, the best and most respected Wild Bill biographer is a fellow named Joseph G. Rosa.

andy_cc
August 16, 2008, 04:47 AM
These issues on self defence with firearms are something Ill never have to face unless I move country. My guns are and have to be unloaded, made safe, and locked away, unless im going to the range. Over here in Britain you could get put away for a very long time for just having a gun out of the gun cabinet for self defence, let alone a loaded one.


Over here the rule seems to go, if someone enters your home for malicious purposes, then if they do something to you then you can do it back. So if im stabbed, only then can I stab someone back?!?!?!


Andrew

Voodoochile
August 16, 2008, 06:05 AM
I've heard about the "sorry to say this" funky laws of the UK & other European countries, but that is a subject for another discussion.

I've said this on here & on the Firing Line forums.

About 20 years ago while I was in College my only home defence firearm was my Pietta 1860 Army, I would load the first chamber in line to fire with 20gr. FFFG & 30 pieces of Lead BB's & the other 4 chambers with 30gr. FFFG & a .457 ball keeping the hammer on an empty chamber.
Now being in College & working at the time I may have had time once every 3-6 months to go to a range & like was mentioned it fired as reliably as if I had loaded it that day but my knowledge of those weapons were far superior to any other weapon I had put my hands on at the time so I knew what I was doing with it as well.

I agree 100% that your defence weapon should be used to the point that proficiency is second nature but like many today where thay may get to the range once a year with a modern firearm I would think that with them instead of a plinking session a perfect prectice session during that time should be in order.

Today I still keep a loaded C&B Revolver but mostly because I can & I usually opt to take it to the club property for trapping, scouting & what not instead of my trusty M1911A1 mostly because they are a bit more fun to shoot than my modern weapons & who knows I may find a onry stump that needs my attention, but I usually shoot that piece within a month & most times within a week or two.

andy_cc
August 16, 2008, 08:23 AM
Sorry, I wasnt starting a new debate or topic, I was just stating in a round about way that I wish I could contribute to the self defense posts cropping up, but with the situation here, I dont have enough experience with those matters to give a good contribution.

Again though, thanks for the replies on this everyone, a definate answer has come up which is always nice to get.


Andrew

Voodoochile
August 16, 2008, 09:26 AM
Oh no I understand your point exactly, I was just pointing out for my own reference that this discussion is for another time because I'm a firm believer of the right to defend ones self with any means necessary and available but your government wants it where that right does not exist.

I sometimes think that the government makes rules & advice in it's populaces intrest but not really knowing what the citizens really want or need.

PRM
August 16, 2008, 12:13 PM
Stated well - I too have other guns, but I just like the Cap and Ball revolvers. There are days, that will be what I have with me for no other reason than their fun. I average a good shooting session once or twice a month. Since just about all I shoot are single actions, the particular model has never been a major concern for me.

Jim K
August 16, 2008, 12:46 PM
I don't have enough experience with BP substitutes, but BP itself is hygroscopic, which is a way of saying that it will absorb moisture. In a metallic cartridge gun, there would probably be no problem, but I would hesitate to leave a percussion revolver or a muzzle loader loaded with BP for a long period of time.

It was common practice in the military to pull the bullet in a musket after a rain or moist period, fire the cap, and reload with fresh powder. Revolvers were a bit less of a problem, but again, careful users would fire off the cylinder every so often (somewhere in the direction of the enemy if possible) and reload. Revolver skin and foil cartridges were more moisture resistant than the paper cartridges used in muskets, but many users did not like to take a chance once the cartridge was crushed by the rammer.

Jim

Smokin_Gun
August 16, 2008, 02:29 PM
Yes in a word...I'd call 150 years indefinately.

Smokin_Gun
August 16, 2008, 02:42 PM
But seriously, a blackpowder firearm for home defense???

Here's why Andy http://users.adelphia.net/%7edanwagner/loaddata.html ,complaments of http://www.voy.com/60048/
Along with no FFL fees, no waiting period, Very anti-burglary effective no lights required for target aquisition, And I dig the heck out using Cap & Ball Revs...
Hope this helps you understand why???

SG

Smokin_Gun
August 16, 2008, 02:55 PM
lube grease over the balls in each chamber

That wasn't the revolvers fault...who told you to lube the cylinder for storage?
That's like storin' cornflakes with milk in the box. You store and originally loaded in the day a BP Rev Dry, or naked.
I keep at least two Revs of Cap & Ball persuation loaded and within arms reach(Have kept one loaded for 1 1/2 yrs fired with NP)...and an open safe with a 12ga Ithica D.S. Police loaded also.
Oh and I use Lube Pills on the powder under the ball not crisco or grease, use waxes and an veg oil recipe(mine) when shootin' for the day.


SG

andy_cc
August 16, 2008, 03:00 PM
Thanks for that information. I hadn't collected that data on my 1858 yet.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Andre

Smokin_Gun
August 16, 2008, 03:04 PM
It's an 1851 Navy clone from Bass Pro Shops, and I hate that gun. I've never seen where any of the shots have hit. I'm going to need a target in the center of a 4x8 sheet of plywood to figure out where it's hitting.


If it's a steel frame I'll give ya $50 for it.

Smokin' Gun

Smokin_Gun
August 16, 2008, 03:41 PM
Thanks for that information. I hadn't collected that data on my 1858 yet.

Andre' you are very welcome, you have a good weekend too.

SG

Jorg Nysgerrig
August 16, 2008, 03:49 PM
Here's why Andy http://users.adelphia.net/%7edanwagner/loaddata.html
I'm afraid I don't follow how this is a reason. Most of these loads have less energy than a 9mm.

Smokin_Gun
August 16, 2008, 03:55 PM
I just don't understand these people who keep a loaded bp gun around for self defense and then go long periods of time without shooting it.
Let me try to help you understand me and why...I will normally hit the range twice a week, bring a minimum of three Revs outta 15 or so. Se7en of them are 1858 Remingtons and two of which I may keep loaded. One I had loaded for a year and a half was a third HD Rev that I was conducting a destructive test on leaving it loaded with BP. The other two Rems Were both Euroarms...and a 12ga Ithica D.S. Police Pump in the safe which is unlocked when I'm home. I am very well practiced and would not have a problem conducting a defensive firing manuver at 10ft promoting deadly force upon the assalent. Pardon the spellin' but I think you can follow my explaination/description.
So if I want to keep a rev loaded for an extended Period of Years/ and /or/ time, I know that I can.

SG

Smokin_Gun
August 16, 2008, 04:08 PM
I'm afraid I don't follow how this is a reason. Most of these loads have less energy than a 9mm.


Ever shoot anbody with a 9mm?

Those Data Loads are standard loads for beginers or people with questions. Do you know the Energy and velosity of a real bullet like the .45 Auto compare them both in a senario of an enemy trying to kill you very fast. Tell me your results of the impact diameter and the wound cannal .45 vs 9mm.
If a .457 C & B can drop a 200lb Buck at 25 yards what would it do to an intruder?
A 9mm has nothing to do with using a BP Rev for home defence. How you say apples' & oranges'

SG

Jorg Nysgerrig
August 16, 2008, 05:23 PM
Ever shoot anbody with a 9mm?
Nope. How many people have you shot with your BP revolver?

Those Data Loads are standard loads for beginers or people with questions.
Why did you post those as a reason for using one for SD then?

Do you know the Energy and velosity of a real bullet like the .45 Auto compare them both in a senario of an enemy trying to kill you very fast. Tell me your results of the impact diameter and the wound cannal .45 vs 9mm.

Ok. Let's do that, at least to the best of our abilities because I'm not sure which ballistic table includes the information of "an enemy trying to kill you very fast." Are some guns more effective if the enemy is just trying to kill you slow?

The most powerful load on the chart you show there is .451 with 37 grains producing a muzzle velocity of 1032 fps and energy of 326 ft/lbs.

A Federal 9mm 124gr Hydra-shok would produce 1120 fps and 345 ft/lbs. However, since you seem to be of the sort that thinks diameter is more important, let's compare a .45 caliber to .45 caliber.

A Federal Hydra-shok 230 gr .45 reaches 900 fps with an energy 414 fps and expands to over .6 inches. How big do those balls flatten? It certainly seems that this "real bullet" blows away the BP loadings you listed.


A 9mm has nothing to do with using a BP Rev for home defence.

I picked 9mm as the low end of what many people consider adequate for SD to illustrate the loads you gave as an example are outmatches, at least ballistically, by even the puny 9mm. The question was posed why you would use one as opposed to a modern cartridge. I think a comparison against a modern catridge is apt. We can compare them against most modern SD catridges and find BP doesn't compare favorably.

There are bigger, more powerful, and more reliable choices in modern cartridge firearms. I really can't see any advantages of using a BP for self-defense aside from some misplaced nostalgia for days gone by or if for some reason you can't acquire a modern firearm. I suppose a full load Walker would be more impressive, but I would still say one is better off with a .357 Mag or .44 Mag if that's what your bag is.

I certainly enjoy my BP guns, but I wouldn't be caught dead relying on any of them for SD.

I have no doubt that based on your previous post you will not find this information convincing or even relevent and I certainly don't think I can sway your opinion. Perhaps someone who is wondering about BP for SD will find this information interesting when it comes to forming their own opinion.

All that said, I think all shooters should own at least one C&B revolver. They are too much fun not to. :)

sundance44s
August 16, 2008, 05:58 PM
Been thinking of leaveing a loaded 1858 Remington in my Truck since laws were passed here a few years ago allowing our cars to be protected as an extension of our homes ..( Castle Law) The reason for the cap and ball in my case would be the fact I payed little more than 100 bucks for several of my 1858`s ..years ago and I have 7 of them .
I could afford to be ripped off and lose one . So the storys I hear of them being loaded and left in trucks and cars with out problems are interesting ...I`ve foiled 2 robbery attempts on myself back in my trucking days , useing a Ruger Black Hawk 357 ..By me produceing such a large bore hand gun ..in both cases the bad guy took off running with out me fireing a shot , I suppose if I were Dirty Harry I would have shot the punks ..But in my real world ..letting them run was enough...made me chuckle ..You know that make my day punk sort of chuckle ...The shocked look on their faces when I cocked the hammer was priceless.

drdirk
August 16, 2008, 06:07 PM
I did not have as much luck as some of you guys leaving it loaded. My experience is that you get about a 50% chance (half fired) on a BP revolver that has been left loaded for extended periods of time. Here in Texas, the main problem is moisture so I think the powder just gets too wet. I do try to seal the caps but who knows, I just can't get all of the rounds to fire reliably. I have used it as a bedside gun but most of the time I use my smokeless for that.

Jim K
August 16, 2008, 07:36 PM
I personally do not use a percussion revolver for home defense, but anyone who says it is inadequate can ask one J.E.B. Stuart, who had an encounter with an 1858 Remington (original).

Jim

Jorg Nysgerrig
August 16, 2008, 08:00 PM
I personally do not use a percussion revolver for home defense, but anyone who says it is inadequate can ask one J.E.B. Stuart, who had an encounter with an 1858 Remington (original).

Plenty of folks killed by .22LR and .25ACP over the years too, but given the choice I'd choose something else. :)

Bayou Runner
August 16, 2008, 09:10 PM
Years ago, I left my 1858 Remmy loaded and capped in the back "bed" of my 76 Dodge Street Van for I know a minimum of 18 months, probably longer. I lived in Louisiana then and still do. The humidity is always high. When it was hot the windows and the roof vent were open. The weather here changes every 5 minutes and my Remmy went through all of it, including not getting the windows up or the roof vent closed in time a time or two. One Saturday morning I went out to the Atchafalaya Basin levee to shoot my 61 Navy and figured I'd see what the Remmy would do after all that time in the van. 6 out of 6 without a hicup! Still have that Remmy and she still shoots good. The only problem I've had leavin my BP Revs loaded for long periods is not shootin em.

Voodoochile
August 16, 2008, 10:37 PM
Not to start a fight in here but here’s my take on the subject of the Ball.
I kinda like the ball over the Hydrashock for a few reasons but my main reason is:

143gr. .457 Ball
230gr. .452 Hydrashock.

Now if it was that I grabbed my loaded 58' Copy loaded with the .457 ball.
(1) that Revolver has 5 shots that I know will go BOOM with lots of smoke, so a possible scare tactic & my own smoke screen.
(2) for a house that is 10 yards long & roughly 10 yards wide, any Man in the way of that ball will have a very bad day.
(3) Ball looses energy quickly as it strikes a surface so if there was a miss the likely hood of my kid recieving that ball that hit the wall or door is lessened by 50% minimum.

Now if I grabbed my M1911A1 loaded with Hydrashocks.
(1) that pistol has 7 shots that I know will fire as fast as I can pull the trigger.
(2) for a house that is 10 yards long & roughly 10 yards wide, any Man in the way of that Hydrashock will have a very bad day.
(3) That Federal Hydrashock has a lot of energy, so much so that in 10 yards I can shot clean through 3 panels of 1/2" wall board & still have enough energy to kill well past 10 yards after that.
Unless it hit a Stud my wife or children will more than likely be killed by the very weapon used to defend them with if I "or my wife" was to miss.

Don't get me wrong, I prefer my M1911A1 .45ACP over most any other weapon in my collection but from a stand point of a BG being just as incapacitated & my family is safe I wouldn't hesitate to use my 58' NMA either.

Oh & if you don't think that a lead Ball will not expand & cause a severe wound..

http://imagehost.vendio.com/a/7323983/aview/Bullets.jpg

Each ball recovered weighed 135gr. - 141gr. the Ball that was extracted from a cylinder weighed 143gr.

Smokin_Gun
August 17, 2008, 12:11 AM
I certainly enjoy my BP guns, but I wouldn't be caught dead relying on any of them for SD.


Then the only differance between us here is the above quote...cause you see son I have been there done all that. I Do know quite a bit more about about what you think you are telling me than you believe I do, and maybe then some, but no need to add to your confusion about what I had said ... the Data Chart "Jorg"---the chart does not list all the options..so apparently you do not know alot about BP Revs(this is 1 forinstance that gives you away) 2nd Instance you wouldn't just have one BP Rev if you ha alot of C&B Rev shooting time in. 3rd you'd know about 200-255gr heeled boolits for a .44cal .451-.457" diameter backed with up to 40-50gr of the Holy Black. And .45 Long Colt Drop in Coversions, 255gr with 35gr BP in a Brass cased primed configuration. 4th What the hell do you care what I carry if you are happy carrying a 9mm Auto loader? By the way I have picked up slugs from a .44 C&B Rev at a 100yd plate about the size of a Nickel.
Now I suggestif you want to continue to try and make trouble and using your
9mm auto loader as a topic of agression that you do it in a Modern Auto Shooters Site, and or not with me. As I know enough about you that I need know no more.

Thank you very much

Jorg Nysgerrig
August 17, 2008, 12:37 AM
It's a shame you had to reduce this to personal attacks and claim that I was here merely to start trouble instead of sharing your vast experience and explaining such things without the barely coherent rant.

It's too bad, really, there was room to have been some interesting discussion, but you've make it clear that you have no little interest in comparing the merits of each or helping the newbies, as I apparently am, to understand the virtues of such things.

Perhaps if you'd taken the time to explain these other options to us neophytes, rather than just pointing at what is obviously an incomplete chart, we would have a better appreciation. Instead, we're left with an almost rabid rant laced with personal attacks.

And for the record, despite having rather diverse shooting tastes, I even don't own a 9mm. :)

My apologies for instigating such fervor, I'm just always interested the rationalization different people use for different SD choices. With the vast majority of people here seeming to have 1858 and 1860 revolvers, it seems that the SD load choice as somewhat limited without resorting to conicals, drop-in cylinders, and the like. Perhaps if there are other people with such interest a thread could be started to discuss the various options for the various popular C&B revolvers.

Sunray
August 17, 2008, 12:44 AM
"...how often would soldiers carrying these weapons would have to unload and clean their firearms..." At least every day. Just like today's troopies do.

Smokin_Gun
August 17, 2008, 01:18 AM
Perhaps if you'd taken the time to explain these other options to us neophytes, rather than just pointing at what is obviously an incomplete chart, we would have a better appreciation. Instead, we're left with an almost rabid rant laced with personal attacks.


LoL!!! Show me in my last post wher I attacked you, or did not speak the truth and tell you something you did not know.
I see a 155mm Howy SP and a barrage HP attacks hurled at me in the above post. All I did was give Andy cc some info and he thanked me... sorry but not my fault you jumped into it.
I've been in here since 5/2005 and the thread you suggested to start is mostly what we already have and do discuss on a dailey basis. Here and on 5 or more other forums like this.
As a relatively new person familiar with C&B Revs I would invite you to take on the BP C&B attitude and hang around for some fun.

SG

DixieTexian
August 17, 2008, 02:24 AM
I did not have as much luck as some of you guys leaving it loaded. My experience is that you get about a 50% chance (half fired) on a BP revolver that has been left loaded for extended periods of time. Here in Texas, the main problem is moisture so I think the powder just gets too wet. I do try to seal the caps but who knows, I just can't get all of the rounds to fire reliably. I have used it as a bedside gun but most of the time I use my smokeless for that.

I live in humid East Texas and have never had a problem leaving my guns loaded. I have a brass framed remmie that I like to abuse because it wasn't very expensive, and I have loaded it directly after shooting (without cleaning) for a few days without much problem. Only time I have failed to have one go bang was when I left out the powder and the one time I had a cap that was a dud.

As far as self defense goes, I used to leave one loaded near me (including in my truck) until I was able to afford a modern handgun. Now I leave my trusty XD .40 loaded and my BP handguns are nice and clean and unloaded. Unless you don't have a modern handgun, I would shy away from BP for self defense. That said, Smoking Gun's explainations for why he keeps one loaded (the part about going through walls and such, not necessarily the load data-history tells me all I need to know about the lethality) is interesting.

PRM
August 17, 2008, 06:53 AM
Has technology got better since the 1850s? Yes, Yes, Yes. To me, in this forum, the point is not the evolution of firearms or if newer is better. Its about the traditional C&B revolver. Its not about knowing more than the next guy or ridiculing their choice. It is about the merits of fine traditional arms, they were state of the art weaponry during the mid-1800s, and did the job for decades during a critical time of our history.

I own both as a lot of you have also stated - there are days I will have a C&B with me, just because there fun, I have a lot of experience with them, and after 30+ years they are truly old friends. Confrontation imminent, given a choice, and the time, I would probably choose a shot gun. Thats not a good CCW choice either. But, I have never felt unsafe with a C&B.

crstrode
August 17, 2008, 10:37 AM
Smokin' asked:
Ever shoot anbody with a 9mm?

Jorg retorted:
Nope. How many people have you shot with your BP revolver?

//////////////

I'd guess that nobody here has shot any bad guys with a BP revolver, however, there have been thousands of folks (mostly good guys, and some bad guys) that were.

One good guy that shot a bad guy did so in the Springfield Missouri courthouse square in 1865 - the first documented case of the classic gunfight at high noon (actually it was about 6:00 PM, on July 21).


The combatants were about 75 yards apart (yes, I said 75 yards). This is very well documented by several eye-witnesses, newspaper reports, and transcripts from the subsequent trial. The distance has been verified by actual measurements of the site which still exists today.

The winner's gun was a Colt revolver, commonly referred to as the 1851 Navy - 36 caliber cap and ball.

Both men fired nearly simultaneously.

The Coroner (Dr. Edwin Ebert) said this: "The bullet had entered on the right side between the 5th and 7th rib. From his sudden death, I am led to believe that some of the large blood vessels were wounded". The ball that killed him was not found.

Let me translate: He was shot through the heart and the bullet then went clean through.


The winner (James Butler Hickok) said this to some of the dead man's associates that had pulled their own guns: "Aren't " yer satisfied gentlemen? 'Put up your shootin-irons, or there'll be more dead men here."

The looser (Davis K. Tutt) said this: "Boys - I am killed" Then he dropped dead on the courthouse steps.

Before the duel, Davis Tutt bragged he could, "Shoot a bird on the wing", Bill Hickok was quick to reply, "Did the crow have a pistol? Was he shooting back? I will be."

After Hickok was found by a jury to have acted in self defense, he said this:

"Whenever you get into a row, be sure and not shoot too quick. Take time. I've known many a feller to slip up for shootin' in a hurry".

http://img.groundspeak.com/waymarking/0c54a0a6-6ef8-49f0-acc5-dc3e60c7262c.jpg

Smokin_Gun
August 17, 2008, 12:38 PM
crstrode, xlint posting thanks for the James Butler Hickok vs Davis K. Tutt information and Marker...Had not seen that before.
I'd guess that nobody here has shot any bad guys with a BP revolver, however, there have been thousands of folks (mostly good guys, and some bad guys) that were.
and thanks for your input.

SG

scrat
August 17, 2008, 02:00 PM
The most powerful load on the chart you show there is .451 with 37 grains producing a muzzle velocity of 1032 fps and energy of 326 ft/lbs This person has no idea what they are talking about. i wish i read this earlier. looks like smoking gun has done a good part of taking care of it.

mykeal
August 17, 2008, 05:49 PM
The most powerful load on the chart you show there is .451 with 37 grains producing a muzzle velocity of 1032 fps and energy of 326 ft/lbsThis person has no idea what they are talking about.

Scrat - please explain what you mean by that. I don't understand your comment.

Jorg Nysgerrig
August 17, 2008, 10:07 PM
scrat, if you are questioning my ability to read the chart Smokin' Gun provided, I'm a bit baffled. If you're questioning the fact I should have known that those weren't good examples of SD loads, that has been covered rather thoroughly at this point.

As a relatively new person familiar with C&B Revs I would invite you to take on the BP C&B attitude and hang around for some fun.
Perhaps in the spring. I sent my 200 or so balls downrange this year and now the blackpowder stuff is packed up while pursuits turn to things more shotgun in nature. Then again, I still haven't shot this inline that was given to me... maybe there is time before the dove hunt for a bit more smoke. ;)

Smokin_Gun
August 18, 2008, 12:59 AM
Jorg, Wish I was going bird hunting too...If I was to go with you and used a 10ga SxS you'd have to shoot first or take turns do to a very large smoke cloud.
That smokelss powder will never catch on.
Come back and keep in touch Jorg.

SG

MISSEDSHOT
August 21, 2008, 11:02 PM
Here's my three-cents worth since the price of everything has went up..Being a subscriber and fan of Backwoodsman magazine I also own the Best of Backwoodsman 1,2,3.In one of these the author tells of his use of a brass-framed colt on the trapline and leaves six chambers loaded in a drafty fur-shed for a year, the result, five of the cylinders fired right now....the sixth was a slight hang-fire he thought maybe from a loose cap or moisture.He did not use any lube for long term loading.I have an accquaintence who logs for a living and carries daily a remington revolver on his hip for rattlesnakes of all kinds, walking and crawling, one day while climbing on his skidder, the hammer caught a limb and fell on a cap,that shot went through the holster, his leg, his boot,foot,put a hole in the skidder and almost killed him due to blood loss were it not for other workmen close by to administer emergency medical treatment..Kill a man? Oh yes......They'll kill anything in Tennessee right know dead with one to the heart...

bigbadgun
August 22, 2008, 07:59 AM
I do alot of hunting and fishing here in the south Florida swamp. I carry a 1858 Remington .44 cal with me all the time when in the bush. Keep 5 loaded at all times. When I get time to goto the range I make sure I takr this little honey of a gun. Now we are talking about South Florida and very High humidity longest I ever left it loaded was 6 months. And every shot fired without a problem.

Voodoochile
August 22, 2008, 08:40 AM
I have an accquaintence who logs for a living and carries daily a remington revolver on his hip for rattlesnakes of all kinds, walking and crawling, one day while climbing on his skidder, the hammer caught a limb and fell on a cap,that shot went through the holster, his leg, his boot,foot,put a hole in the skidder and almost killed him due to blood loss were it not for other workmen close by to administer emergency medical treatment..Kill a man? Oh yes......They'll kill anything in Tennessee right know dead with one to the heart...

Kinda why it's a good idea to load only 5 & have the hammer on the empty chamber.

Glad that he got medical attention as quickly as he did.

Trigger Hippy
August 22, 2008, 05:44 PM
I think the longest I've ever been able to leave my Colt loaded before emptying it again is 4.69 seconds.

--T

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