are there da bp revolvers


September 28, 2008, 02:51 PM
id love to buy a double action for some range fun and self defense, and a single action for lots of fun (doesnt hurt that its 150$)

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September 28, 2008, 03:03 PM
Black powder can be used in any DA revolver.

BP Cowboy action loads are available in many common claibers:

Course cleaning a DA after shooting BP loads is gonna be a little bigger chore then most guns.

There are DA cap & ball revolvers if thats what you are asking about:

None for a $150 bucks though I betcha!


September 28, 2008, 04:42 PM
its more an age thing with me id buy a model 19 if iwas 21

September 28, 2008, 05:19 PM
The Adams & Trantor was an English double action percussion revolver. The revolver had 2 triggers, the lower operating the cylender and hammer and the upper releasing the hammer. There were a few repops built a number of years ago, but I haven't seen for sale in a long time.

I would post a pic, but the "manage attachments" dosn't seem to be operating.

Livin in Texas

September 28, 2008, 05:24 PM
If you are too young to buy a Model 19, buying a BP revolver for self-defense probably isn't a very good idea either.


September 28, 2008, 05:48 PM
I believe to the contrary, rcmodel. If he or she is not yet 21, buying a C&B revolver may be the only option for a self-defense pistol. If it is for home defense, though, I would recommend a shotgun since it is easily purchased, easily cleaned, and easy to learn to use accurately.

September 28, 2008, 06:58 PM
i do have a shotgun. it is my hd gun. i need A. pistol marksmanship practice. B. hunting sidearm. c. carry weapon in iffy neighborhoods

September 28, 2008, 07:17 PM
I've said this before, and sometimes it starts a CrapStorm, but just because you do not need a permit to buy or own a BP revolver, it does not mean that you are able to carry it as a concealed weapon. Maybe I'm wrong concerning your state or region but you should check it out before you get into some trouble.

September 28, 2008, 07:38 PM
concealed weapons permit is shall issue 18and up and open carry state, although id only oc in the woods hunting

September 28, 2008, 09:01 PM
Back to the OP...there were several DA revolvers. The British-made Adams and Tranter designs were the most popular, but the Starr was also made. The only repro available is of a Starr - and they have a lot of problems.

My advice is to buy a repro Remington. Contact the North-South Skirmish Association - they are the experts with the percussion revolvers.

October 6, 2008, 06:41 PM
I believe the .38 Spl may have originally been a black powder round, so some older DA Colts and S&Ws may fit the bill.

Cartridges, but black powder rounds.

October 6, 2008, 10:05 PM

October 6, 2008, 10:11 PM

October 6, 2008, 10:16 PM
Here's my DA C&B revolver. It's a very nicely made copy of an Adams. Five shot .34 caliber, engraved, with a lanyard ring on bottom of grip.
I think it's European, but there's not a single manufacturer's or proof mark anywhere on it, so I think that would rule out England or Beligium.

October 6, 2008, 10:23 PM
The '51 Cooper DA is resembles the 1851 Marshall or Sheriff...


October 6, 2008, 11:02 PM
Smokin Gun,

Thanks for this '51 Cooper. I saw one a decade or mor ago at the Air Force Armaments Museum near Ft.Walton Florida and my Google Fu was not strong enough to find out a thing about it. I seem to recall the card Identified it as a .36 cal Cooper and nothing else and no one there that day knew didly about it.

I did wonder how they could fit a DA mechanism into what appeared to be a Colt 1851 sized frame.

Were they DA Only or selectively with SA?

How many were made and through what dates?

Have there been any repros?

more! More!

BTW you seem to have triple posted, though the first post failed to show the Cooper.

-Bob Hollingsworth

October 6, 2008, 11:48 PM
That double action cooper is amazing, how come they weren't tremendously popular, or enter service in the civil war?

Was the DA mechanism not reliable enough?

October 6, 2008, 11:49 PM
This is my double action/lever action Savage & North

I'd like to find one of these (any relation to the owner, Bob Hollingsworth?)
...Rare Prototype Colt Model 1860 Army Percussion Revolver with Mershon & Hollingsworth Cocking Device
Serial no. 3803, .44 caliber. Standard cylinder and 7 1/2-inch barrel with New York markings. Custom brass frame with case-hardened hammer and oil-finished walnut grips. Right side of frame with circular German silver fitting inscribed: Mershon & Hollingsworth/Sept. 8th 1863. Left side of frame fitted with wheel-shaped steel panel cocking device with folding rim. Evidently designed to create a self-cocking revolver similar to the later British Fosbery revolver. Rear of frame with fire-blued lever engaging the hammer and evidently serving as a safety. Elongated hammer.....

October 6, 2008, 11:59 PM
Here's whatI got on the Cooper...

Sorry bout the Tripple Postings ain't as good an editor as I am Shootist!:cool:


Loyalist Dave
October 7, 2008, 08:35 AM
I believe the Starr was originally a double action, BUT they went quickly to making a single-action as the double had some function problems. Due to patents, it's capable of replacing a whole cylinder as with a Remington, but swiveled the barrel away from the reciever to release the cylinder, instead of removing a pin as with the Remington.

The repros are single action variety I believe.


October 7, 2008, 09:20 AM
My understanding is some replica Starr revolvers are double-action, although some single-action models are also available. I believe Pietta offers a DA Starr revolver. Some of our members may wish to check and confirm this.

As for the accuracy of a DA Starr revolver, I have no direct experience with one. Perhaps one of our members can shed some light on this subject.


October 7, 2008, 10:50 AM

I do not think this inventor or manufacturer is kin but this might be worth looking into.

Semi good idea with overly complex execution, obscurity and a market failure......well maybe he was kin at that.

-Bob Hollingsworth

October 7, 2008, 10:56 AM
SMokin Gun,

Thanks again. Does look like the frame is a bit deeper in thatlinked shots. I note only one screw by the trigger where the Colt has two.

Given the number produced maybe some repro outfit SHOULD consider making a modern repro. Use as many 1849 parts as possible and just make those parts necessary to make the change over.

-Bob Hollingsworth

October 7, 2008, 10:58 AM
Loyalist Dave,

The problem with the DA Starr is that it was more expensive than a SA and delivery time was not as fast.

The Union Army asked for the change to have a cheaper and more reliable source of handguns.

-Bob Hollingsworth

October 7, 2008, 12:50 PM
The "trigger-cocking" mechanism on the Starr is relatively delicate, but most of the parts failures I've seen are due to folks trying to operate it incorrectly.

Generally, they've tried to operate it by thumb-cocking the hammer, something the design doesn't have any provision for. Doing so damages the action and ruins the spring that allows the sear and its releasing lever to engage the hammer.

The difference between the Starr's system and (for want of a better term) "conventional" DA mechanisms is that the hammer must be cocked via the trigger. All that little "selector" on the guard does is stop the sear release (the "real" trigger) from being tripped "automatically" at the end of the cocking stroke.

Briefly, to use the "SA" firing mode the "trigger" is drawn back until the cylinder has rotated to the next chamber and the hammer has been engaged by the sear. The trigger finger must then move to the sear lever (that little gizmo at the very rear inside the guard, the "real" trigger) and release it manually.

While you might be able to pick up a repro that somebody's broken in the $150 range, repairs aren't generally a DIY project unless you're highly skilled and intimately familiar with how the Starr system is supposed to work. Parts are expensive and hard to come by, and adding the cost of having a competent professional do the work would almost certainly erase any 'savings' over the retail cost of a new repro, and then some.

If you are prohibited from carrying a modern handgun, openly or concealed for whatever reason due to a statutory age restriction don't expect to be cut any slack whatsoever by any LEO or court for doing so with a C&B handgun. While they may not be subject to the same sales, etc. restrictions, they're still considered to be "deadly weapons" and subject to the same carry and usage rules as anyone's 1911 in most all jurisdictions.

I'd highly recommend that you choose not to open that particular can of worms.

October 7, 2008, 04:56 PM
In the late 1990's, Pietta produced a line of single and double action Starr replicas for Navy Arms, Cabela's and Dixie Gun Works. They were poorly made and required frequent repairs. Cumpston and Bates devote a chapter to these guns in their second book, Percussion Revolvers, A Guide To Their History, Performance and Use, describing the problems and fixes in detail.

The Blue Book of Modern Black Powder Arms, Fifth Edition (2007) lists them as being available from Taylors and Co., Cabela's, Dixie Gun Works and Traditions. However, I believe that information to be outdated somewhat.

I own one of the Single Action Starr revolvers and find it is too large for my hands. I rarely shoot it any more. The action is problemmatic, and although I've not had to repair any parts lately I do find it to be unreliable for the most part.

October 7, 2008, 09:39 PM
that smoking gun picture of the Cooper is nicer than the one I took. Neat looking gun.
Somebody in Europe is or recently was making a copy of the double action Adams but it would cost you several thousand dollars.

October 8, 2008, 12:26 AM
Would a cooper/replica be a fun gun to shoot? I mean, it looks like it was a self defense gun at the time. If I'm not mistaken, it's a double action only right? so no switching to SA for an accurate shot, or am I wrong?

Now if we think about DA trigger pull on something with a stiff leaf spring, I'm not sure it would do well against the single actions, but that's just my guess.

October 8, 2008, 08:41 AM
Here is some additional information that the OP may find useful. The topic of BP revolvers for self-defense is one that pops up here-and on other websites-occasionally. The general consensus is a person should consider modern cartridge firearms for self-defense since they possess greater reliability and speed of reloading. That said, a large caliber bullet fired from a BP firearm will kill just as surely as a modern bullet. Those interested in this controversial subject can find previous discussions on it here by using the search feature. Hopefully, some of those previous discussions may prove both interesting and informative.


October 11, 2008, 05:34 AM
I've toyed with the idea of getting a cap and ball revolver. I live on a college campus, a "weapon-free zone", but the school code of conduct's definition of a weapon doesn't say anything about cap and ball guns, just firearms--the .gov says these are two different things, and it is a public university. Still, I don't want to risk it--even if, technically, I could get away with it, it could still cause me a whole mess of trouble in the mean time.

We've had two or three armed robberies just around the dorms already, and this is my first semester. But the university, in all its wisdom, has decided we are better off disarmed. And, for the sake of my education, I must obey.

October 11, 2008, 06:14 AM
Again, a cap and ball might not legally be considered a firearm, but once you load it and conceal it, or bring it onto a campus, everything changes. I have two kids in college, and I simply leave my guns at home when I visit. Would I like to see them armed if they wanted to be? Absolutely. But there's a compromise in this situation - if you want to attend the school, you will not be armed. Don't want to abide? Then leave the school. That is the reality of college life.
That said, there are other ways to protect yourself if a firearm is not an option. Awareness is the key actor, that and a sense of community where people watch out for each other (strength in numbers). What about a self defense course? You can kill a person with a pen, a key, etc.

October 11, 2008, 04:12 PM
I disagree that "everything changes". If it's legal according to the code of conduct, you can do it. There is no fundamental change in the nature of the universe that occurs when you actually take the steps, allowed in principle by the law, to defend yourself. The question is not "does everything change" but "do cap and ball guns fall under the category of 'firearms' and is it worth whatever trouble I might get into until I can prove that I am protected under the school code of conduct". I've decided it's not worth it. To rectify this situation, I don't have to leave the school, as you suggest--I can try to get the law changed. Worked in Utah.

Thanks for the advice.

October 11, 2008, 04:34 PM
I'd also go the Remington route eventhough it's not a DA. It does have easily replaceable cylinders that could really speed up reloading time.
It should do fine for OC in the woods but about any C&B revolver is either too big to carry easily or too underpowered to be of a whole lot of use.
I agree on the legalities -
If you can afford a C&B revolver you can probably afford to save for another month or two to get something better for CCW and if you can't carry a cartridge gun you'll probably still get in trouble for carrying a C&B gun.
But it's your money...

October 11, 2008, 06:36 PM
Artigas, you can play with words all you want, but, you see, I was trying to help, not confuse. It is a fact of law in many places that if you carry a loaded cap and ball handgun concealed, the protection that the weapon once had as a non-firearm changes. That's all I meant. No cosmic realities invoked. But there might be a "fundamental change in the nature of YOUR universe" when you end up in court, paying a hefty fine, or worse.
The suggestion to leave the school was only if you could not abide by their rules and regulations, and if you cannot protect yourself without a firearm. Get the law changed if you can. If not, live with it.

October 11, 2008, 06:46 PM
It is a fact of law in many places that if you carry a loaded cap and ball handgun concealed, the protection that the weapon once had as a non-firearm changes. That's all I meant.

When you originally made such a statement, I was led to believe you meant it for all locales. Hence my criticism of your statement. Thank you for clarifying.

I already said, both in my original post, and the one following it, that I have decided against the idea of packing on campus for fear of repercussions, even should the law turn out to be on my side. I have, however, made steps towards becoming active in Students for Concealed Carry on Campus. So I thank you for the advice you gave which supports me in my chosen course of action.

Artigas, you can play with words all you want, but, you see, I was trying to help, not confuse.

I often play with words when they seem to indicate something I disagree with, as was the case with your original post. Now that you have clarified, it's settled.

Have a nice evening.

October 13, 2008, 11:58 PM
Not being 21, could spuscg get a C&R license? If so there are some interesting handguns in the C&R class that might suit his purpose.

November 2, 2008, 08:03 PM

Most late 19th century western European handguns were DA.

Tons of stuff from Belgium (Maquaire, Drissen), and virtualy every French revolver from 1858 onwards.
They can generally be bought for cheap in the US.

Here are mine:

November 2, 2008, 08:23 PM
Barman has a good point. You can find cartridge guns that are pre-1898 but are DA for reasonable prices if you look around. You might have to scrounge for ammo, but it would arm you legally.

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