My review of the Pietta 1858 with R&D cylinder.


March 19, 2011, 09:43 AM

Here it is:


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March 19, 2011, 09:51 AM
Getting Norton message of site being unsafe


March 19, 2011, 09:54 AM
That is weird... I just have a regular installation of Wordpress there, nothing "unsafe!"


March 19, 2011, 11:46 AM
I'm getting 404 .. not found.

*now it's back...

March 19, 2011, 12:53 PM
from his site
Pietta Remington 1858 Review.
Posted by gil on February 20, 2011

Thanks to the Italians, we have numerous replicas of mid-1800s cap-and-ball revolvers to play with. I used to buy these guns as a teenager because I was too young to legally buy a modern gun. Guns manufactured before 1898 and replicas of such designs, as far as I know, are not considered firearms according to BATF regulations, as long as the replica is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire ammunition. Remington, to improve the Colt open-top design created a frame with a top strap, making the 1858 Army model stronger and more reliable. That is the main reason I bought my Pietta 1858 from Cabelas; for a mere $200.

A cap-and-ball revolver does not use cartridges. You pour a charge of powder into each cylinder chamber, place a lubricated wad or some other filler on top of the powder, and then seat the lead balls or conical bullets using the built-in lever under the barrel. The last step is to place percussion caps on each nipples, and the gun is ready to fire. A great advantage of the Remington is that you can pre-load and quickly switch cylinders, as done by Clint Eastwood in “Pale Rider.”

My first impression upon opening the box was that Italian replicas have come a long way since my teenage days. The gun is beautifully finished. Everything fits tightly and the cylinder-to-barrel gap is very small. Timing is good. I love the unfluted cylinder. The gun would still be a good buy if it cost twice as much.

Pietta Remington 1858 Army
I also bought an R&D conversion cylinder, which allows me to shoot .45LC cartridges, provided they are lightly loaded. Legally, that makes the gun a firearm, but only when the special cylinder is installed in the frame, which has not been modified. The distinction is important when transporting the revolver. Cartridges will last pretty much forever, and you don’t have to worry about humidity. Shooting black powder though is more fun!

This will be the first time I shoot my Remmy. I got Hogdon 777 FFFG powder and CCI #10 caps. I cast my own conical bullets from a Lee 200 grain .450 mold #90382.

On to the range…

I started with the R&D cylinder and five .45LC “cowboy load” cartridges. My concern with the R&D was that when pointing the gun and looking at the firing pins, they were not centered in the hammer notch (if that’s what it’s called). So, the hammer would strike the pins off-center. After inspection, it appeared however that the cylinder chambers were aligned with the barrel. I only had to worry about proper ignition.

What a pleasant gun to shoot! The cowboy loads gave a good kick, but not too bad. I held the revolver with both hands. To my surprise, the group was about 3”, 3” above POA (point of aim), right on target for the 15′ firing line, slightly left. The primers show a slightly off-center firing pin strike, but all five went off.

I do not recommend you use the loads mentioned on this page or anywhere on my blog. Use at your own risk!
Moving on to the original BP cylinder. I first tried 24 grains of 777, topped by an Ox-Yoke Wonder Seal, and a Lee 200gr conical. The bullet is a pain to place and seat. I wish I had brought round balls as well. They shave a thin lead ring upon insertion, which is good. I did not lubricate the grooves. I actually removed the cylinder (which is very easy) to pour the powder in from my (pre-filled from a flask) .45LC shells, insert the ward, put it back in the frame to insert the bullets and caps. Note that even though the reviews on Cabelas suggested using CCI #10, I find them to be too small. I had to press every cap gently with the hammer (not that safe), and even then, had numerous misfires (as seen in the last part of the video). They all went off the second time, so the caps were obviously not seated deep enough. Now I have about 950 caps I don’t want to use! Into storage I guess, for “rainy days.”

Review by hickok45 (above).

From what I remember of my black powder teenage days, 777 has some oomph! It detonates noticeably faster than black powder and is supposed to be 15% more powerful. My group was not as tight as with the .45LC rounds (about 4”), and again, to the left. Shooting rested on the table though really showed how good the 1858 Army is. I got a 2” group, 3” right above the bullseye. I need more practice! It is nice not to have to file the front sight also.

30 grains of 777 kicks as much as the .45LCs! Again, a nice 2” group rested, with three rounds in the same hole. I think that will be my maximum load in this gun with the conical bullet. It should prove to be a nice load with a round ball. The misfires were annoying. I will definitely order #11 caps or Remington #10, which are supposedly bigger than the CCI. Also in my next order is a Lee .454 round ball mold, more Wonder Seals, a 30gr flask spout and Ampco brass nipples (maybe they’ll work better with the CCI #10 caps).

Cleaning was much easier than real black powder. I used hot water and dish detergent. You will need a few different flat-head screwdrivers to take the gun apart. Scratching the frame is very easy. I came close to disaster twice.. I would definitely suggest using the right tools here. It is too easy to strip a screw or gouge your nicely blued frame. I made sure everything was dried before spraying oil and putting the grips back on. The internal parts are easy to figure out, so I had no problem reassembling the revolver.

I still can’t believe how cheap and good the gun is. Once I streamline my loading procedure and use the right components, it will be even more of a pleasure to shoot. This one is a keeper!"

there you go :neener:

March 19, 2011, 12:59 PM
One thing you hit on the head. number 11 CCI caps fit way better than the number 10. I usually bought my caps at the firing range i go to. There they had both CCI #11 and CCI #11 MAGNUM caps. Seriously though i could not tell the difference in the magnum caps. I am sure the piece of cardboard i was shooting at could not tell the difference either. So if you see the magnum and regular caps. just buy the regular caps

March 21, 2011, 07:40 AM
Hello Scrat,

I never tried the magnums.. I think they are for rifles, where the fire from the caps has to travel a bit further before igniting the powder. My next experiment will be to try the Remington #10 caps, if I can find them without having to buy 1000 online..
I will also get a Chrony and measure speeds with 777..

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