1851,1860 colt C & B powder charges


May 17, 2009, 08:10 PM
Hi all,

I am new to this forum and this is my first post. I am also new to cap and ball revolvers. I have shot nothing but centerfire and rimfire, so black powder is totally new to me. My friend bought a 1858 Remington replica from Cabela's and when I saw it, I knew I had to have one also. I ended up with an 1860 Colt Army by Pietta ( from Cabela's ). When I saw the 1851 Colt Navy .44 cal on sale, I snapped that up too. My 1860 shoots about 8" high at 25 yrds. The 1851 is about 2" high at 25 yrds. (both with 30 gr of FFFG). My question is: what is the safe max load in grains of BP for these guns? I have shot 30gr in both of them, I'm thinking that 35 gr is also safe, but can I load these bad boys up to 40 grains? I love the "boom " these things make with just 30 gr., I would love to try them with 40 gr (if it's safe)
Any info any of you folks have for me would greatly appreciated.

If you enjoyed reading about "1851,1860 colt C & B powder charges" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
May 17, 2009, 08:19 PM
back off. Especially the 1851. Thats a brass frame. rule of thumb for both. caliber divided by 2. so about 20 grains will do. For the 1858 that can hold more in fact about 30 grains is safe as you need that much otherwise the ball will not reach the powder when compressed. make sure you take a minute and go through black powder essentials. it is pretty normal for colts to shoot high. you need to back down the load a tab then just aim a little low. The reason being when your shooting at 25 yards you will be high. aim that thing the same way at 50-75 yards and you will be hitting right on target. maybe not for the 1860 that is really high

May 17, 2009, 08:53 PM
My 1851 is a case hardened steel frame, not brass. I purposedly stayed away from brass frames. I just got the 1851, but the 1860 Colt, I have been aiming low, and it hits the mark consistantly

May 17, 2009, 10:26 PM
They are both natural shooters. I love my 1851. You sill find that shooting lower loads usually gives you better results. try out 20-25 grains.

May 17, 2009, 11:09 PM
With steel frame percussion replica revolvers you can safely fire them with the chambers fully loaded with as much powder as you can get in them.

However, accuracy will suffer; percussion revolvers are universally less accurate with full chambers. One needs to experiment with each gun to find the load combination (ball, wad, grease, powder amount, powder type, compression, etc.) that gives the most accurate result (as measured by group size).

May 17, 2009, 11:35 PM
Amen, Brother Mr. MyKeal! Amen!!

May 18, 2009, 12:30 AM
Shooting 30 grs in the 44s is a lot of fun. I shoot mostly cowboy Action Matches and 30 gr loads will begin to foul the guns so they won't run as smoothly and I get more blowback of the hammer which causes the caps to drop into the action causing jams. In the Remingtons, I often shoot 30grs in a match as they are less proned to cap jams but I do get fouling to build up more quickly. My match load is 20 or 23 grs FFFg+wad+.454 ball+grease. For giggles I shoot 30 grs and a LEE home cast 200gr conical. There is not enough room under the barrel to allow you to load a conical bullet in the Colt Navy 44. The Pietta 1860 Army also does not have enough room whereas an ASM, Uberti & Cimarron will clear one for ramming.
I doubt you could get 40grs into a Colt without shaving the top of the ball off with a jacknife. 30grs is about it. The Remingtons will hold 35grs without a wad using the round ball.

May 18, 2009, 12:36 AM
Wow and thats why i prefer around 20-25 grains. caps fall off fouling quickly. if anything start off at or around 15-18 grains and shoot a full cylinder load. then work up to where you feel you are getting the best accuracy. once in a while shooting full cylinders is fun. But then thats why i have a Walker. otherwise i shoot what works good

May 18, 2009, 02:57 PM
Thanks guys, that was very insightful. With the 1851 I started with 25 gr, and then went to 30 gr. Both loads shot very similar to each other. The next time out, I'll lower load and give it a whirl.

Gaucho Gringo
May 19, 2009, 12:44 AM
I shoot 22-25 gr of 3F 777 in my .44 Remington and Colt Navy type .44. I have no problems with caps falling off and both guns are fairly accurate. Just my experience, yours may be different.

May 19, 2009, 07:15 AM
It looks like this: 18gr Goex in the 1851 brass frame. 25 to 28 gr in the 1860. And 28 to 30 gr in the '58 Rem. As most of our posters will tell you, every piece has its "sweet" load. Keep experimenting, you will find yours.

If you enjoyed reading about "1851,1860 colt C & B powder charges" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!