Black powder snake shot for BP revolver?


April 9, 2011, 04:54 AM
I will be making my first leap into the black powder world through

I was wondering if it was possible to make some for of shotshell to load snake shot? Is this a good pistol to start into the black powder world? What is your experience with this gun?

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April 9, 2011, 08:04 AM
A good classic Colt revolver is always a good choice as a starter gun. Buying it in the starter kit is also an excellant idea, you are getting very good value for your money, for something, you may, or may not develope into a serious interest. Dixie, and several other outfitters offer similar starter kits for similar prices, however I think Dixie's kit is a bit more money.

As far as loading various types of loads into the gun is concerned, as long as you are using pure lead projectiles, not hardened lead ones, you will not harm the barrel of the pistol at all with widely different loads of round ball, conical, or various types of the larger beads of bird shot. When loading with shot, do remember that a cork pad, between the shot and the powder is necessary, and, that a top thin cardboard pad is needed to cap the shot off on top. Most persons use two thin cardboard pads, one directly on top of the powder, then the thick cork pad, then the shot, then a thin cardboard pad on top of that to cap it all off. Alot of persons, slice the cork wad in half, seperating it into two thinner round cork wads, then layer in some sort of thick lubricant, such as a home made lube made of 60% beeswax, 20% lanoline, and 20% olive or vegitable oil, forming a little cork and lube sandwich. In prior times, our ancestors, used ingrediants which were common then, but rather exotic now, like, bear grease, rattlesnake grease, whale oil, what have you. Cost concious persons generally opt for just using plain, ordinary, crisco vegitable grease as their bore/bullet/wad lubricant, they all swear, it's as good as anything else, and ALOT less expensive. For more exotic calibers/bore gauges, you can purchase, from several online outfitters, such as Dixie Gun Works, or Lee Precision, hand punches that do not need to be mounted in a press, just tapped with a hammer, sized exactly to the size you need. For the thin cardboard pads, milk cartons make an excellant carbboard pad, you can generally purchase large cork sheets from most major home suppliers like home depot, what-have-you's. For a small pistol bore, I think I would just fore-go splitting the cork wad in half, and generously lube the top of the load over the cardboard top cap, something that would be pretty messy to do in a long barrel muzzel loader.

For a really fun larger bore smooth bore pistol, that can be loaded with either a patched solid ball, or a shotgun load, take a gander at this lil puppy, it's available from "Middlesex Village Trading Company" for $375.00, which is alot less than a Howdah Pistol, and nearly the same pistol. It measures out at 6-12" barrels, and 62 Caliber, which works out to a 20 Ga Shotgun size. Being a double barreled gun, it's twice the gun of a single shot.


ElvinWarrior... aka... David, "EW"

April 9, 2011, 09:22 AM
Is this a good pistol to start into the black powder world? What is your experience with this gun?

Folks usually limit the amount of powder loaded into the brass frame Colts to 25 grains or less to not batter the brass recoil shield. This helps the softer brass frame to last longer and the arbor connection to not loosen up over time.
On the other hand, the steel frame Colts can be safely loaded with as much powder as will fit in the chamber.

April 9, 2011, 09:49 AM

That is true, for a pistol that is actually made out of brass, such as the lower end, really cheap, made in India pistols, or original pistols actually cast with brass. But the high end manufacturers, such as Pietta, Uberti, Pedersoli, et all, don't acutally cast the frames with brass anymore, they use an alloy of bronze, that looks like brass, but is harder, stronger, and more durable than brass is. Brass has alot of lead added into it, making it soft, Bronze has tin, alot harder.


ElvinWarrior... aka... David, "EW"

April 9, 2011, 10:34 AM
There was a TFL poll that asked,

Colt replicas, brass or steel frame cap and ball revolvers, which do you prefer and i

The results were 45 - 7 in favor of steel.

Brass frame open tops are historically correct. I have some confederate replicas with brass frames and I have a few other brassers and they shoot well, you just need to know that you can't fill them up with powder like some folks do.

Foto Joe
April 9, 2011, 11:57 AM
The brass frame "Confederate" Navy from Pietta is really an excellent gun.
The one issue that you may run into, which isn't restricted to this particular gun, is that you might find yourself changing to a different set of nipples. Factory nipples in my experience are a 50/50 deal, sometimes they're great, others not so much. If you have to replace them go with Treso Bronze or Stainless Steel.

Powder charges in the brass guns are recommended to be kept at a minimum. This is a good idea for more than one reason. First being not wanting to beat the snot out of your gun. Second is that accuracy is seldom achieved using heavy powder charges, it's the nature of the beast.

I've got a 1,000+ plus rounds out of my brass (fake = .44) Navy. It gets loaded with 16gr 3f Goex and about 25gr of cornmeal. That sounds like a lot of filler but the stuff compress very well. That little charge of 16gr has turned this into one of the funnest guns I own. It's cheap to feed and it's a tack driver.

"Starter Kits"
Some say go for it, others say don't waste yer $$$. If you have absolutely no supplies, knowledge etc., I would opt for the starter kit. It will at least give you an idea of what you are going to need. The flask is junk, you do get a few wads and some bore butter that might come in handy and the ever needed nipple wrench is included. You will want to replace EVERYTHING in the starter kit in short order but it will give you time and experience to figure out exactly what you want to replace these items with. If you skip the starter kit, you're going to have to go out and buy these things and will probably pretty quickly realize that at least some of the items you've purchased are not really what you needed and you'll wind up replacing them.

Will you be happy with the gun?
In my experience, you will. Don't be tempted to skip a very thorough cleaning BEFORE you go shoot it though. The nipples will likely be plugged with packing oil/grease and the chambers will also be similarly contaminated.

As you've probably already figured out, If you've got questions, there are plenty of people on this forum to give you answers. Don't hesitate to ask.

April 9, 2011, 10:32 PM
thanks guys for all the info I started thinking about this the other day when I nearly stepped up on a 3 foot cotton mouth. The trail I was on is called "Homesteader" and is dotted with civil war graves and the foundations to several homesteads. For some odd reason I wanted a black powder pistol to carry to sort of honor all the civil war graves on the trail. I am even going to get an authentic civil war outfit to wear when I go hiking on it. Maybe make some of the other hikers think I am a ghost ;)

April 9, 2011, 10:45 PM
For $199 I'd rather have a steel framed 1851 like the 1851 Navy Model .36 Caliber Revolver (|/pc/104792580/c/104701680/sc/104503680/1851-Navy-Model-36-Caliber-Revolver/705021.uts?destination=%2Fcatalog%2Fbrowse.cmd%3FN%3D1100201%26WTz_l%3DSBC%253BBRprd740135&WTz_l=SBC%3BBRprd740135%3Bcat104503680). I'm not very high on brassers nor an I big on Pietta's very liberal take on a .44 caliber "not-Navy". JMHO tho.

April 10, 2011, 03:03 AM
My snake load was to put about 15 grs powder in the chamber, seat a card wad onto the powder. Fill the chamber almost full of #9 birdshot and seat another card wad on top of the shot. The patterns are horribly spread out and thin. You need to be very close to what you are shooting at. I killed a squirrel that popped up onto a tree trunk about 6 ft away from me once using my C&B with #6 shot but it was dumb luck that the squirrel froze in place for me to draw, cock, shoot and actually hit him. Often the wads blow through the middle of the pattern and the riflings rotate the charge so you get some flimsy patterns. You really oughta shoot it onto paper and experiment a bit. You might actually find a sweet spot load. If so, let us know what you found.

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