1858 New Army .44 cal brass frame revolver


October 16, 2008, 06:28 PM
I just bought a 1858 New Army .44 cal. Revolver (Pietta) with the brass frame from Cabelas. The problem I have is the pietta book says to use a 12 min. and 15 max. fffg powder charge, a patch and 454 ball (is says nothing about using a filler). The next page says the ball when seated should be .040 (1mm) below the cylinder edge but with 15 grains fffg a patch and a ball, the ball is at least 3/8 below the cylinder edge also the plunger that pushes the ball to seat it won't push the ball against the charge ( not long enough) as I had to push it on in (with a wooden dowel) about a 1/8 inch further to get it to seat on the charge. My question is am I missing something or do you have to use a corn meal filler and if so why didn't the book say so. Any info. on this gun (brass frame as the steel frame is different) would be appreciated.
Thank You billhilly

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October 16, 2008, 07:20 PM
Why the Pietta manual says what is does is a mystery that will never be solved. Yes, it makes no sense. Why it makes no sense is anybody's guess.

What I can tell you is that you can shoot up to 25 gr fffg real black powder in that brass framed gun and be both safe and sure of not damaging the gun. Going above that will start to incur damage; routinely shooting 30 gr and more will drastically shorten the useful life of the frame.

You can also use either filler or lubed felt wads to make up the distance needed to get good compression with the loading lever if you stay with the 15 gr load (and there's no reason not to). Loading with filler/wads to put the ball at the manual's recommended location is actually a good idea; many people have found that seating the ball close to the chamber mouth improves accuracy.

Mike 56
October 16, 2008, 10:29 PM
I have a 51 brass frame Colt Mine likes 22grains of fff Goex or Pyrodex P (a 38SP case full of powder). When i use filler i add a 9mm case full of grits on top the powder. I cover the balls with Crisco after loading some guys don't.


October 17, 2008, 07:33 AM
hi ,guys Mikes on the proper track good to see someone with a little bit of knowhow.

October 17, 2008, 03:03 PM
Opinions are as common as anything else mOst of us close minded humans have.:cool:


October 21, 2008, 03:19 AM
In brass framed .44's I favor 20 grains of 3f Goex,a Wonder Wad and a .454 round ball,preferably Hornady.Speers work but they seem not to be as soft.

Mike 56
October 21, 2008, 11:52 AM
While i like to use 20gr Goex in my 58 Remingtion i like to use some filler on top the powder because the loading arm bottoms out and i don't think the ball close enough to the powder.


October 21, 2008, 02:17 PM
The wonder wad under the ball cures that problem and keeps fouling down as well.

paco beliver
February 8, 2010, 07:45 PM
I know this is an old thread but I have an answer from Pietta to update it.

I recently purchased the Pietta brass frame colt and the charge listed in the manual did not make any sense, so I sent them an e-mail.

Their reply was that the 44 caliber uses 20 to 22 grains of FFFG. We shall see how long it takes them to update their online manual.
You can contact Pietta at the e-mail address listed on the manual to verify the correct load data. When I asked them for the correct load, I included the serial number and a photo of the gun.

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