I dont know where to start?


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Usmc-1
June 21, 2011, 09:14 AM
I really dont know much about black powder weapons , I do know I wouldnt want to be on the recieving end!

I always been a fan of the rifles but after checking a museum the handgun look like they would be a bear to operate (which intrigues the hell out of me) ,I wouldnt even know where to get one , wouldnt no what to look for if I did get one? Anyone want to shed some light on this category for me?

What to look for when buying a black powder weapon ?

What do I need to know about ammo?

THE POWDER ITSELF?

Thanks!

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Loyalist Dave
June 21, 2011, 09:35 AM
Semper Fi Marine,
Now..., what exactly are you looking to do? Are you interested in flintlocks or percussion? A single shot pistol, or a cap-n-ball revolver like Josey Wales?

In rifles you have small stuff like a .32 (similar sorta to a modern .22) up to the rifles of the Civil War which are properly called "rifled muskets" in .58. Caplocks are simpler than flintlocks, and are good to start with, but it's not a requirement that you do. There are also smoothbore shotguns and muskets, which you can shoot for fun or for hunting.

Flintlocks are also out there a la Daniel Boone. I own both types.

Do you want to hunt or do you want to simply punch paper as you get started? In hunting rifles there are the modern looking "in-line" pieces, which can be inexpensive.

A lot of folks on this forum started with a cap-n-ball revolver. So many folks like the cap-n-ball revolvers in fact, that those are the only black powder guns that they own and I think cap-n-ball ought to be its own sub-category on the menu of the site. Anyway, a good, steel framed, Remington model 1858 revolver in .44 is a very good choice for the beginner. They are fun to shoot, they are strong, simpler than other revolver designs, and good reproductions are available for not too much money.

You will need powder, caps, and bullets, and the instruction manual that comes with the piece will fill you in on the basics and what to buy for ammo. You can buy that style revolver from Dixie Gun Works, or Cabela's, as well as other places

Let us know how you narrow down you wants so that the folks can advise you better. :D

LD

Usmc-1
June 21, 2011, 10:12 AM
Wow, tons of info ! I thank you (and SF) , nOT SURE WHERE i WANT TO START BUT THE CAP-N-BALL DOES SOUND FUN!!!

ofitg
June 21, 2011, 10:35 AM
USMC-1, One of the best ways to start is to buy the Lyman Blackpowder Handbook. Tons of info on various weapons, loading instructions, ballistic data, etc....

BTW, I second the motion for a steel-framed 1858 Remington....

Legionnaire
June 21, 2011, 10:56 AM
A lot of folks on this forum started with a cap-n-ball revolver. Yeah, that would be me. I'm a relative newbie, too, and I'll warn you, the black powder bug bites hard! In several months I've accumulated several cap'n ball revolvers, a muzzleloader barrel for my Encore rifle, and am awaiting delivery of my first flintlock rifle--the latter to be used in PA's late muzzleloader season.

I think a cap'n ball revolver is a great place to start, and while I don't own one (yet), Dave's recommendation of an 1858 Remington is a good one. I started with a pair of 1848 Dragoons (Uberti reproductions of Colt's classic) for historical reasons. But have also added a brace of Ruger Old Armies, which have no historicity as they are "modern" black powder guns that have a somewhat similar look to the 1858 Remington.

There are lots of black powder substitutes out there, but thus far, my guns have only seen basic black (Goex). There are a couple of great threads stickied to the top of this forum that can provide you with good info on what you need to get started.

Welcome to the dark side!

arcticap
June 21, 2011, 11:18 AM
Muzzle loading requires that the guns be thoroughly cleaned after every shooting session or they can become rusty and/or not function well. Some folks find that to be an unexpected chore.
And some extra accessories are needed for shooting that can often cost an extra $50 or more.
Also loading is slower than with cartridge guns. The loose powder needs to be measured out and then the projectile is loaded separately using a rammer. Then the gun needs to be capped or primed for each shot. So it's a slower form of shooting which takes more time and effort.
Cabela's has many black powder guns for sale from traditional to modern rifles to cap & ball revolvers.

http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/browse/shooting-black-powder/_/N-1100199/Ns-CATEGORY_SEQ_104701680?WTz_l=SBC

Legionnaire
June 21, 2011, 11:47 AM
^^^ arcticap's note on the "chore" of black powder shooting is worthy of consideration. For me (and I trust others), the hobby is more than the simple act of lining up the sights and sending lead down range. I find that the careful steps taken to load the guns for accuracy are engaging and part of the fun. And I find cleaning the black powder guns more fun than cleaning my smokeless guns (go figure). It is a slower form of shooting that takes more time and effort, but it involves you in a way that shooting smokeless doesn't ... unless, of course, you're into reloading. :D

tpelle
June 21, 2011, 08:28 PM
Yep, I agree with Legionnaire. Cleaning is all part of the fun - especially since you don't need all of those smelly modern chemicals. Just plain water works fine.

Cabelas is one of the best places to buy a percussion revolver. I suggest either a Remington New Model Army (sometimes referred to as a Model 1858) in .44 caliber, a Colt 1860 Army also in .44, or a Colt 1851 Navy in .36 caliber.

Authenticity means a lot to me, so I suggest avoiding the brass-framed "Confederate" revolvers (except for the possibility of a few "specials", there really weren't any such beasts), or abominations like the 1851 Navy in .44 caliber. (In Colt-speak, an "Army" revolver was ALWAYS .44 caliber, and a "Navy" was ALWAYS .36.(

Also you don't want to spend you money on a "starter kit". Yes, you get most of what you need to get started, but they are inferior items for the most part, and you pay more for them than they are worth. What you need, besides the revolver, is properly-sized lead round balls, percussion caps (buy just a tin of 100 of Remington or CCI #10 or #11, until you figure out what fits best on your revolver), a pound of black powder or black-powder-substitute such as Pyrodex-P, a powder flask in the size recommended for your revolver (it will have a spout that throws the appropriate size charge), some mineral oil for a lube, and an appropriately-sized cleaning rod and jag, as well as a set of gun-specific screwdrivers (as you will eventually have to totally disassemble the revolver for a good cleaning). Note that a lot of this stuff does NOT come in the starter kit.

72coupe
June 21, 2011, 08:46 PM
I was told by several dealers in Oklahoma City that was no Black Powder for sale in Oklahoma.

Cosmoline
June 21, 2011, 08:49 PM
If you can get the real powder (Goex, swiss, etc), you should try out a flintlock. I've found them to be the single most fun thing to shoot. It's real alchemy, and once you learn the basics it's very simple. Don't be scared off by smoothbores such as trade guns, either. They're a breeze to load and you "use the force" to aim them.

4v50 Gary
June 21, 2011, 09:46 PM
Suggest you find a rendezvous (black powder meet) and mingle with them. If possible, attend a NSSA shoot. The black powder fraternity is one of the best there is.

Usmc-1
June 22, 2011, 09:29 AM
OK , Im getting psyched!!! I love it , Im getting that feeling like when I bought my Ruger Redhawk!!

So much great info , makes you wonder how in the world those guys got shots off in the civil war , they must have had to shoot in succession , in other words every other guy shot a round then likewise , it seems like a whole lot of malfunctions ,must have taken place , with all the confusion and being scared , it must've been bloody hell!

Noz
June 22, 2011, 10:16 AM
http://www.sassnet.com/clubs/index.php

Use this link to put yourself in contact with a SASS cowboy Club near you. These people shoot more in a weekend than anybody else. They will have a variety of guns in use, from cap and ball to modern guns.

Call first and tell them what you are interested in doing. They can steer you to a "mentor" that can help you get started.

robhof
June 22, 2011, 10:50 AM
I'm a reloader and enjoy customizing my ammo to my gun for best accuracy, requiring lots of bench time and very precise wts or it becomes very dangerous. With B/p you can do the same with less precision and no bench time as you load as you go, and with real B/p there's a large safety margin. Clean up is simply soap and water, dry and oil of choice, no dangerous chemicals.

tpelle
June 22, 2011, 12:08 PM
That's really not true, except to some extent regarding speed of reloading. And reloading was much faster than is typically the case today because, for the most part, the soldiers were using combustible cartridges (paper or gut envelopes containing the powder and bullet). I bet that you could load an 1860 Army revolver with paper cartridges almost as fast as you could load the 1873 Peacemaker with metallic 45 LC. (Remember, they didn't have to eject the empties.)

Reliability with the percussion system was nearly as good as we achieve today, with maybe a slightly greater propensity to misfires due to moisture.

It's an historical fact that a lot of notorious old west figures kept using their percussion revolvers for years after metallic cartridge revolvers came into use. And lots of them cited reliability as the reason, curiously enough. Also many percussion revolvers were converted to fire metallic cartridges - it could be done for about $3.00 where replacing the percussion revolver with a new-fangled metallic cartridge revolver might cost $20.00 to $30.00. And if you kept the percussion cylinder, if you ever got into the situation where you couldn't obtain the proper metallic cartridges, a quick cylinder change would put you back in business with "loose" ammo. Check out the Kirst or the Howell conversion cylinders available over the 'net.

steelbird
June 22, 2011, 12:50 PM
Surprised it wasn't brought up here- but the '58 Remington did have a quick reloading capability in that the cylinder could be easily swapped out for another one, already loaded. In a way, this was the "speedloader" of its time. It also makes quick cleans on the range a little easier when the cylinder starts to get sticky from powder fouling. It also qualifies as a "Clint Eastwood" gun- his weapon as the "Preacher" from Pale Rider - a bit of a "coolness factor", as far as I think.....

Usmc-1
June 23, 2011, 08:10 AM
not sure about the clubs a little too rich for my blood , but I am really interested ! Look forward to purchasing and experiencing this myself , but it isnt gonna happen right away , I need to do alot of research first, I appreciate all the help!

Cosmoline
June 23, 2011, 12:50 PM
You should be warned that once you cap off some of these you're not going to be able to stop. Oh you can put the horns away for awhile and tell yourself you'll just leave them for decoration, but come some sunny day you'll be back out there getting black soot all over yourself and grinning.

Usmc-1
June 24, 2011, 08:57 AM
gotta love it!!

Pulp
June 24, 2011, 05:27 PM
I've got several, two Hawken style Thompson/Center rifles, and six cap and ball revolvers. While I can't find any fault in the advice given to start with a Remington, I just like the Colt style better.

I've been using a shot timer while practicing (sorry about the foul language:))
with my concealed carry guns. Oddly enough, my fastest time from leather to shot on target is with an 1851 Colt Navy, 8 inch barrel and all. The Navy is such a natural pointer (at least for me) that I don't have to spend any time looking for the sights, like I do with a 1911 or .38 snubby.

I understand your reluctance about joining any clubs, but try to go to a SASS match. Most likely someone will have a percussion or two to let you look at and handle.

If you're close to OKC, I'll be up there next week. I hope to go to H&H Gun Range Tuesday night. I'll have one or two of my Colt style guns with me. My son-in-law has a friend that's never shot, we'll start him out with .22's, and work him up to a Colt Walker.:)

I also sent you a PM.

ElvinWarrior
June 24, 2011, 09:24 PM
If your in a place where black powder or even black powder substitutes are difficult to find, I would suggest doing what alot of people do, mail order your powder, caps, flints and what nots.

Because there is a $20.00 Hazmat fee involved in shipping powder, caps or both for each shipment sent to you, most people bulk up their powder needs with a large order once every 6 months or a year.

Actual real black powder can be purchased, online, from a black powder supplier, such as the Maine Powder House, or several others. The Maine Powder House carries three different brands of actual real Black Powder (BP), Goex, which tends to be the least expensive, and two other brands. The nice thing about ordering in bulk, from The Maine Powder House, is that, if you order 25lbs or more (Up to 50lbs per shipment), not only will they cover the Hazmat Fee, but they pay for shipping as well, saving you on or about $40.00 on your order. Of course, that's a pretty darn big order, 25 cans of Goex, at on or about $15.00 a pop adds up to an order of on or about $375.00, kinda pricey, but the way I shoot, 10 cans of 2F, 13 Cans of 3f and 2 Cans of 4F, lasts me over a year to a year and a half, so, I don't have to pay that bill very often.

http://mainepowderhouse.com/

Cabela's sporting goods, is a good online mail order source for percussion caps and Black Powder Substitutes. The same $20.00 Hazmat fee applies to their orders as well, for either percussion caps, powders, or both in the same order.

http://www.cabelas.com/

Of course, you don't have to order in bulk, you can just order a few pounds at a time, 3 or 5 lbs, if you don't mind parting with the Hazmat fee and the shipping charges.

http://i1176.photobucket.com/albums/x330/ElvinWarrior/product-express.jpg

http://i1176.photobucket.com/albums/x330/ElvinWarrior/s7_213009_999_01.jpg

http://i1176.photobucket.com/albums/x330/ElvinWarrior/jason.jpg

Sincerely,

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

Sunray
June 24, 2011, 09:49 PM
"...not sure about the clubs..." Find a way. It'll cut the learning curve and open doors. Definitely buy a copy of the Lyman BP Handbook and Reloading Manual. tons of good info. Starting with BP being loaded in grains, but by volume, not weight.

mykeal
June 24, 2011, 09:56 PM
The same $20.00 Hazmat fee applies to their orders as well, for either percussion caps, powders, or both in the same order.
I believe caps and powder cannot be shipped together, so they each require a hazmat fee.

Usmc-1
June 25, 2011, 08:48 AM
all these "fake" fee's add up , Ill make it somehow , I dont think I can get to OKC next week , I own a business and Im pretty stocked all the time

mykeal
June 25, 2011, 11:45 AM
What do you mean by 'fake fees'?

You own a business, so perhaps you have some experience on how to avoid the regulations on shipping explosives. I'd sure appreciate knowing how to do that (other than picking them up at the seller).

Tomcat47
June 25, 2011, 12:02 PM
A lot of folks on this forum started with a cap-n-ball revolver. So many folks like the cap-n-ball revolvers in fact, that those are the only black powder guns that they own and I think cap-n-ball ought to be its own sub-category on the menu of the site. Anyway, a good, steel framed, Remington model 1858 revolver in .44 is a very good choice for the beginner.

I agree with Loyalist Dave on two points!
1) The Rem 1858 is good place to begin in BP and
2) Cap and ball should have its own Sub-category! :)

This in MO is the funnest entry tool into Black Powder Firearms!
My kids loved it as they were growing up, and it can be your only interest or it will start a habit...I hunt with all kinds of BP rifles in different calibers and those kits are nice too! Am looking at BP Shotgun now....Double Barrel 12 Ga.

I also would even suggest to the somewhat mechanically inclined to even get a kit and build it!.....It will be personal gratification when you fire the first round through it! :D

Example: Dixie Gun Works Remington 1858 Kit RK0834 $175.00 ;)

ElvinWarrior
June 25, 2011, 02:25 PM
Mykeal,

The last time I ordered powder and caps from Cabellas, which was just last month, I ordered three pounds of black powder substitute that they had a sale on, and a 10 pack of Remington #10 caps. I was only charged one Hazmat fee for the entire order, they did not charge a seperate Hazmat fee for the caps and the powder.

As far as, "Getting around federal regulations regarding the shipment of explosives" is concerned. My advice is DON'T GO THERE. Play by the rules, pay the fees, beleive me these ATF guys have even less of a sense of humor than the IRS Auditors do !!! You really, really, really, DON'T want to lock horns with these guys, they play MEAN !!! Currently, you may ship, in one shipment as much as 50 lbs of Black Powder in one shipment at a time. However, there is no specified limit on how many shipments you may have comming in at any one point in time. The problem with having bulk quantites of Black Powder in your personal possession does not stem from the shipping regulations, it comes into play with storage. The ATF wants your powder stored safely, in safe explosion resistant powder storage chests, vaults, or for very large quantities bunkers. As you may surmise, most communities have regulations and limits on how much of these kinds of things may be stored in residential or combined residential/business zoned areas. In most communities, very large quantites of Black Powder, or similar explosives, cannot be stored in a residentially zoned or combined comercial/residentally zoned property. Large quantites of such items would need to be stored in some sort of submerged bunker, far, far away from neighbors and buildings, which means, a pretty big piece of land, way far out away from the city limits. Obviously, the cost of such a storage bunker would be prohibitive for a private hobyist, but not for a business, which would classify that expense as a necessary business expense.

The only legal way I know of, to "get around" these kinds of regulations regarding the shipment and storage of explosives, is, not to ship or store explosives, as such. If you buy Black Powder kits, in which, the components of the black powder are shipped out to you, not mixed, none of those components are classed as explosives by themselves. Shipping and storage of saltpeter, sulphur, charcoal, gum arabic, graphite powder, and such, unmixed, are not treated as explosives in their unmixed form.

A major pyrotechnical chemicals and kit supplier, starlight.com, does this with their flash powders, shipping them as component kits, and not mixed.

http://www.starlight.com/pyro.html

Just an FYI

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

arcticap
June 25, 2011, 03:43 PM
AFAIK vendors will ship sub. powders along with percussion caps for one hazmat fee but they will not combine black powder with percussion caps.

Usmc-1
June 25, 2011, 08:38 PM
fake fees are just that , I dont have business in firearms I own rental properties , in my business the fake fees are by the cities and counties , yes I call them fake because its just a way the atf grabs "free" money for doing nothing !

mykeal
June 25, 2011, 11:16 PM
You are correct; I should have included the word 'black'.

I have no intention of avoiding any Federal, state or local laws or regulations. My statement was a challenge to the poster to justify the use of 'fake' in describing hazmat fees. Cabela's doesn't set those fees and is required to show that they have been paid. They don't deserve such criticism. I note he has failed to answer.

Usmc-1
June 26, 2011, 09:05 AM
look above your post , I did answer , unless you consider those legitimate fees , just what does the atf do to garner those fees? Please enlighten me?

mykeal
June 26, 2011, 10:20 AM
Hazmat fees are not imposed by BATF. They are determined, charged and collected by the common carriers to defray the additional costs of complying with DOT (not BATF) regulations for shipping hazardous and dangerous materials using the public infrastructure. Note that neither BATF nor DOT play any part in determining hazmat fees nor do they receive any of the money.

Be aware the amount you pay a retailer for a hazmat fee may or may not be the fee charged by the shipper. Those fees are like any other cost of business, they're in effect negotiated between the shipper and the carrier. Some large shippers may elect to cover the complete fee for large orders and good customers, and some smaller shippers may be forced to pass along the entire fee to their customers if their margins are small.

What do the fees actually cover? Consider this: The DOT or international agencies such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulate when a commercial common carrier transports hazardous materials. The shipper must properly classify, package, document, and handle the hazardous materials to comply with shipping regulations. The regulations often dictate how a certain material is handled and packaged, and frequently require specific transportation options (like certain highways, no airline flights, etc.). The penalty for noncompliance is a sliding scale, small fines for minor paperwork issues to huge fines and even loss of the ability to carry goods in interstate, intrastate and international commerce.

Hazmat fees are by no means 'fake'. Like any business cost, they may or may not be an accurate reimbursement for the real expenses they're supposed to cover - that depends on how efficient a carrier is at complying with the regulations. But they are a real cost of doing business just like insurance, taxes, rent, electricity, salaries, pensions, etc.

Do a search on 'hazardous materials shipping fees' and enlighten yourself.

Usmc-1
June 26, 2011, 10:47 AM
no need to , get back on topic , I dont need to get in a discussion on politics with you on here , Ive already been reprimanded for my political views (you'll be reprimanded for this as well) , with that said believe what you want ! Not to mention that you dont say WHO gets the fee's ? If atf or dot dont who does? another govt agency?

Now for everyone else , stainless I suppose is the best bet for cap & ball ,probably holds up better , I dont care whether its pretty , but i seen this one http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=132907
Gets great reviews , so is this a good purchase ?

mykeal
June 26, 2011, 12:06 PM
Let me help:
determined, charged and collected by the common carriers
means the common carriers get the fees.

You're the guy who asked to be enlightened. I apologize for believing you; my mistake.

Ghost Dog
June 26, 2011, 06:26 PM
usmc-1, Thats a good price for a Brass frame. As a starter it might not be bad as a plinker but threads on this sight repeatedly remind us that the Brass frames will become deformed if heavier loads are shot out of them, keep that in mind when concidering the type of shooting you will be doing.
When I purchased my first BP pistol I went to Cabelas as they had the largest sellection locally and they were happy to let me handle the different ones I was interested in. I ended up with a '58 steel frame, 51/2 inch barrel, the ballance was the selling point for me. I had to handle it to find that out. Once you know what you want another option would bee sights like Gunbroker.com. Look for sellers with lots of possitive feedback, or that have an inspection period. I've only been shooting BP for about a year but it's become a fun hobby.

Good Shooting, G D

Usmc-1
June 26, 2011, 07:47 PM
thanks for the enlightenment , Ill do some more research, I dont believe government agencies arent making any of the pie!!

mykeal
June 27, 2011, 06:54 AM
The government makes it's piece by selling licenses to manufacture and transport explosive materials, and by prosecuting and fining noncompliance. And believe me, there are enough people who try to get around the regulations to make that plenty lucrative.

skipjack
June 27, 2011, 07:26 AM
Check out graf and sons. They will ship subs and caps together
for one hazmat, and have really good prices.

I don't recall if they will ship black and caps together for one fee.
I just ordered a case of cci 11 caps and three lbs of triple 7 3f,
and paid one hazmat on it.

If you have a c&r, you can also check to see if they will extend
dealer pricing to you.

tpelle
June 28, 2011, 06:43 PM
AFAIK vendors will ship sub. powders along with percussion caps for one hazmat fee but they will not combine black powder with percussion caps.
Maybe all except for Bass Pro Shops! If you buy, say, 10 tins of percussion, Bass Pro will charge you 10 Haz-Mat fees. And some marketing weenie is probably wondering why they don't sell many tins of caps!

stormborn
June 29, 2011, 08:31 PM
Those who are recommending Cabelas, looks like they carry Pietta (ie: http://www.cabelas.com/product/Pietta-Model-1858-New-Army-44-Caliber-Revolver/731695.uts). Any particular reason for recommending this gun over Uberti, or another maker, or is it just a question of availability?

arcticap
June 29, 2011, 09:49 PM
Many recommend Cabela's Pietta's because of their no questions asked return policy and cheaper sale prices for guns that many feel are comparable to Uberti's and represent the best bang for the buck.
But some folks also believe that Uberti's are better in some ways by having a few more features for comparatively more money.
Because the similar quality of each product most folks feel comfortable recommending and buying the less expensive one.
Plus Pietta probably makes and sells about 10 times more guns per year than Uberti does which helps to keep their prices low and customer satisfaction relatively high.

ElvinWarrior
July 1, 2011, 02:57 AM
Call me weird... but...

There is just something bothersome about an Itallian Gun maker, building reproduction guns of American Guns, American Designs, back to the same decendants of the very people who invented the damned things to begin with...

It just bothers me...

Just me I guess...

Sincerely,

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

arcticap
July 1, 2011, 06:42 PM
The Italians are not bothered the same way when you order a pizza pie! :D

mykeal
July 1, 2011, 09:19 PM
So don't buy any. I'm sure USFA would be more than happy to accommodate your tastes.

ElvinWarrior
July 2, 2011, 05:50 AM
I know !!!

I will custom order a bunch of really crappy barrels from some garage sweat shop out of New Delhi India...

I will custom order the imitation brass frames from a Spanish outfit that casts fake brass from colored white metal used to make toy cap guns...

I will custom order, from Brazil, the cheapest, crappiest cylinders and other parts American Money can buy.

I will rent a garage outside of Mexico City, and have all those parts sent there, where I will pay starving homeless children 35 cents an hour to assemble the "Fine Reproduction Guns" from the parts.

I will spend, a total of $12.75 to make the guns, and sell them to Americans for $525.00 Each...

I will take dried llama droppings and mix them with oil soaked Mexican Mud, from the oil soaked beaches of the Mexican Coastline, and package the sludge in dried pellets, marketed as "Marco Polo Black Powder Pellets"...Any excess sludge will be dried into 2" bricks and sell them to Home Depot as self starting "Gourmet" Mesquite Charcoal Briquettes !!! ($25.65/10 lb bag)

I will call the gun company... the... "Yura Moron Gun Company"

Or... Perhaps

The "F.U. Pooperti Company"

I will laugh all the way to the bank making my deposits into my Cayman Island Bank, with the back of my Mercedes Benz Panel truck stuffed floor to ceiling with stacks and stacks of crisp, new, American money, fresh off of my HP Laser Jet Printer Money Press, and made from re-cycled Mexican News Print, which, by the way, is a better quality of paper than what the U.S. government pays their Phillipino peasant workers to make U.S. Money with.

LOL !!!

Sincerely

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

mykeal
July 2, 2011, 06:31 AM
Somehow I'm missing how this is helping anyone out.

racky
July 2, 2011, 06:41 AM
hey guys, i learned alot from reading this thread. i'm on the verge of ordering the Pietta Model 1851 Confederate Navy .44 Caliber Revolver and the Pedersoli Colt Pattern Powder Flask from cabelas.

quick question, how do i know which size .44 ball to buy? cabelas list 3 different 44s: .451, .454, and .457

mykeal
July 2, 2011, 06:45 AM
In general one doesn't know which size is best until you have the gun and can measure the bore and chambers. There is inconsistency even within a given manufacturer's line. However, starting out with .454 is a good compromise when you don't have the dimensions. Look for the ball to shave a thin ring off when it's swaged into the chamber by the plunger. If no ring, or an incomplete ring, go to a larger ball. If the ball is difficult to load, requiring a lot of force, and the ring is thick (say, over .002" thick), or if you don't get a ring shaved off but rather the ball just forms a little collar that stays attached to the ball, go to a smaller ball.

If you're stuck with a hundred undersized balls, they can still be used safely but you need to include either a lubed felt wad between the powder and ball or chamber mouth grease; I prefer the former.

ElvinWarrior
July 2, 2011, 06:57 AM
Racky,

The basic rule of thumb is, the .457 is generally used for Ruger Old Army (ROA), the .454 for the Remington New Army (RNA), and the .451 for everyone else including Colts and Walkers.

However, this is not cast in concrete. Just keep in mind that revolver round balls and conicals need to be a tad oversized, so that when you seat the projectile down into the cylinder chamber, you shave off a thin edge of lead, insuring a good tight fit. Single shot patched projectiles, except for Minnie Balls and Sabots, need to be a tad undersized, say, .490 or .495 for a 50 Cal barrel, allowing for some space for the patch to fill in.

It's mostly just common sense, we aren't rocket scientists, just a bunch of old boys who still like to play cowboys and indians with their buddies, except today, our toys are alot more expensive than they were when we were 8 or 10, and our friends, alot bigger than they used to be... LOL

And remember, if you do get stuck with a bunch of lead the wrong size, just pick up a cast iron pot, and a mold from Cabela's for $19.97 , melt the lead, and cast some new ones of a better size.

Sincerely,

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

racky
July 2, 2011, 08:24 AM
awesome! thanks for the info guys!

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