Totally New to BP


March 23, 2011, 12:58 AM

I carry a glock for duty, I shoot an ar for fun and consider my favorite firearm to be the Marlin 39. I do tend to like most things related to shooting and this is an area I have never explored.

Having said that, a co worker was showing me a couple of pistols the other day and when I showed an interest in in an old fashioned percusion muzzlle loader he offered to sell it to me for 90 and I bought it. The looks like like it has never been fired and I figured its worth 90 even as a display piece,

The pistol appears to be a "kentucky" type, it has a 10' octagnal barrel, black with the brass sights set in dove tail mounts. ( The rear sight is slightly loose )

It has a percussion lock that appears to be color case hardened on one side with decorative dimples around the plate, and a plane brass plate on the other side. Please forgive me if I am getting the terminology wrong here.

The pistol is marked Made in italy, cal .44 with Pedersoli in tiny print over the letters DAV set inside something that looks like a W with extended arms on it

on the side it is marked xxvi ( the i is faint so not sure if thats a i or just part of the stamp ) I think this is some sort of date code it also has what I think is a proof mark, with PN below it.

What I would like to find out is, well everything about it.

What do I have? What do I need to shoot it? ?
How do I properly operate and maintain this?
What do I need to shoot this and where can I find it?

I have been doing some research, and from a search on here I think what I have is an older pedersoli "kentucky" pistol that should be fired with .430 round balls and .20 patch and around 18grains of a black powder or bp sub.

I am going to try to attatch a couple of pics

Thanks for any information on this.

If you enjoyed reading about "Totally New to BP" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
March 23, 2011, 02:16 AM
XXVI = 1970
You need :
powder.. 3f (fffg)
percussion caps #10 or #11 more'n likely
round balls
cloth patches (NO synthetics)
lube for the patches (Crisco?)
Mebbe an adjustable powder measure
MIDWAYUSA has LEE powder dipper set ... about $10
an' sumthin' to aim at...
GOEX is one brand of powder...subs will work ie... PYRODEX 'P'
18 gr 3f is a good place to start..
I clean with hot water and DAWN liquid dish soap.
scrub it ...dry it good...and oil it up... 'bout that simple...
Oh,... an you gonna need a nipple wrench to remove and clean the nipple...

March 23, 2011, 02:23 AM
P.S. There should be a drum clean-out screw on the right side...under the nipple..
Hopefully that is not frozen or rusted..
I use anti-seize on nipples and drum clean-outs...
I don't mean to sound condescending... I don't know how familiar you are with muzzle loader terminology.

March 23, 2011, 03:28 AM
nice find. you're gonna have a LOT of fun!

Chasing Crow
March 23, 2011, 06:35 AM
Welcome to the wonderful world of gray clouds! I always totally clean a new bp gun with hot water and dish soap. Dry compleatly and lube with wonderlube 1000. I also Wonderlube the threads on the nipple. Every thing will clean up very easily with just hot water after that. Shoot straight and keep your powder dry!
Chasing Crow

March 23, 2011, 08:07 AM
First of all, welcome to the forum, and as we like to say, the dark side.

A $90 Pedersoli in very good to excellent condition is a fantastic buy; you did very well.

What do I have? What do I need to shoot it? ?
How do I properly operate and maintain this?
What do I need to shoot this and where can I find it?

I have been doing some research, and from a search on here I think what I have is an older pedersoli "kentucky" pistol that should be fired with .430 round balls and .20 patch and around 18grains of a black powder or bp sub.

You pretty well have it nailed - an older, in fact almost 'vintage', good to very good quality Italian made pistol. Pedersoli is a relatively expensive, high quality brand. It's hard to tell from the pictures but it appears to be in very good to excellent condition, so I'd say you got a very good buy.

Pop's list is pretty complete and he's right about the date code. I'd add a cleaning jag, a patch puller and a ball puller rod attachments plus some cleaning patches to the list. And a short starter - you'll need one with your choice of ball and patch.

Assuming it's a .45, I'd start with .440 ball and 0.015 (or even 0.010) pillow ticking patch. Patch lube is the stuff of legends - everything from spit to carefully prepared home concoctions of 'moose milk'. To get started, just use spit and look into the other stuff as you get more familiar. You can certainly use a .430 ball and 0.020 patches; experiment and see what the gun likes - it'll tell you.

The gun will handle up to about 40 grains by volume of powder; above that and you're looking at (unlikely but possible) stock damage, and accuracy will start to fall off. 18-20 grains is a good start. BTW, actually measuring to the grain is not only quite difficult, it's unnecessary.

Lots of cleaning solutions - everyone has their own favorite that works for them (and for some, it's only for them...). Warm water works just fine for me - I don't even use soap any more.

As to where - Cabela's (stay away from the starter kits), Dixie Gun Works, Track of the Wolf, Jedediah Starr, The Possible Shop, The Log Cabin Shop, October Country, S&S Firearms all have web sites. Box stores include Cabela's and Bass Pro.

March 23, 2011, 10:04 AM
These older Pedersoli Kentucky pistols are .44 caliber and not .45 so they have slightly different load requirements. pohill has one and measured his bore to be .4375.
Track of the Wolf sells .429 cast balls and Hornady factory .433 balls.

The #11 caps are usually the right ones to use and they can be squeezed slightly if they were too large.

The muzzle measures out at .4375 according to my crude measurements which is also what a .440 ball measures out to be.
Would a .430 ball make more sense?

Pedersoli still makes a number of .44 caliber pistols some of which have either smooth bore or rifled barrels.
According to the Pedersoli manual, the loads listed for .44 rifled pistol barrels generally range between 18 - 30 grains of powder by volume. That's what is specifically listed for both the Mortimer and the LePage .44 target pistols along with a .435 ball and .010 patch.
Pedersoli recommends to load 5 more grains of powder for the flintlock versions of the same pistols.

March 25, 2011, 01:20 AM
From having just today shot my first muzzle loading rifle I'd also add a "ball starter" to the list of useful bits to bring along. It's a wooden ball with a short brass starter on one side of the ball and a slightly longer "deepener" on the other. I bought one based on some other threads here from these same helpful souls and I'm glad I had it with me today.

And if you find a place that has pre-cut patches suitable for black powder muzzle loading shooting then likely you'll also find that they have both plain and lubricated patches. The lubed patches seem to be done with "Bore Butter" if the yellowish colour is any indication. Price was the same for each so I'd suggest buying the lubed patches.

March 25, 2011, 07:18 PM
thankyou for the info, i printed some of it out for future reference and I found one somewhat local shop that says they have some black powder stuff so i plan to bring it in, or may see if midwayusa carries everthing I need. I can't wait.

March 25, 2011, 09:10 PM
Welcome to our wonderful, historical world of fire and smoke.
Here, homemade is held in is frowned upon.
Every shot is a "reload"
*You may be a black powder enthusiast if:
Your favorite cotton shirt can end up as patches for your rifle.
An old felt cowboy hat can become wads for your cap'n ball revolver.
You find yourself looking for things like beeswax, mutton tallow, moccasins, bear grease, moose milk, and plumber's lead.
A chunk of deer antler and a broken ramrod become a ball starter.
You need to explain why your clothes smell like brimstone.
You need to explain why your wife's bathtub smells like brimstone.

March 26, 2011, 10:44 PM
Welcome to THR and for sure everything they say is correct. The ball starter is a good idea. you can get most things online one stop place like cabelas. Heck you can even watch some videos on you tube on loading and shooting. get your self familiar. ONe thing for sure before you shoot it the first time. make sure its clean run some dry patches down the barrel to remove any oil. Then fire off a couple of caps to clear the nipple and chamber. then you can load up. If not sometimes guy s will load up then go to fire to and find it wont fire it failed to fire. As the powder got contaminated when you loaded it with the oil. I find alcohal works pretty good on getting out the oil as well. then thats why you fire some caps with out powder to get that lube out.

royal barnes
March 27, 2011, 04:05 PM
Since you bought it used I would do one more thing if you haven't already. Take your ramrod and measure the length of the barrel on the outside then put it inside to see if the measurement is the same. It wouldn't be the first time someone bought a used M/L only to find that it was loaded.

Foto Joe
March 27, 2011, 08:44 PM
Finding a Pedersoli "anything" for $90 bucks is great!! Have fun and I'm glad somebody finally mentioned making sure it isn't already loaded. These things do happen.

Try to find some real Black Powder but if you can't Pyrodex P will do until you find some. Just keep in mind that Pyrodex is sightly harder to ignite and in my opinion far dirtier than the real thing.

If you enjoyed reading about "Totally New to BP" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!