buying a cap and ball


rusty bubbles
March 7, 2012, 12:31 PM
I keep seeing these legendary pistols-but do tell-what should I look for before
buying?--I would be wanting to load and shoot my purchase, BTW

-thanks guys for any advice

rusty b

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March 7, 2012, 12:39 PM
1. You might want to post this in the Blackpowder forum. Maybe a mod could move it for you?

2. Do you want to hunt down a real one? Or do you want to purchase one of the many fine replicas? In either case, the Blackpowder forum has some stickies you may want to read.

rusty bubbles
March 7, 2012, 03:24 PM
thanks Ultravox- I'm now in the right place-I guess I'll be looking at a replica-
more in my price range!

March 7, 2012, 03:27 PM
I'd definitely go for a steel framed piece over a brass frame. Other than that Cabelas often runs some of the steel framed Piettas (1858 Rem, 1851, and 1860 Colt models) on sale for around $179. Catch them with a $20 off $150 coupon and you can have a very nice firing replica for a pretty good deal.

Just be aware that loading and cleaning are a bit more involved with the cap and balls versus more modern guns. Despite having a blast (no pun intended) shooting mine I just can't bring myself to bring it out to the range more than a couple times per year.

March 7, 2012, 03:32 PM
ruger old army

March 7, 2012, 04:27 PM
I keep seeing these legendary pistols-but do tell-what should I look for before
buying?--I would be wanting to load and shoot my purchase, BTW

Good luck with waiting for any steel frame Pietta to be on sale again for $179 anytime soon at Cabela's. That was the sale price for a long time last year but there could have been a permanent price increase since then.
Many of us recommend buying at Cabela's because they have a no questions asked return policy and often have among the lowest prices anywhere, especially when they're on sale.
But right now $229 is on sale and we may need to get used to it, at least for now until there's a super sale.
Most folks are quite happy to start out with a Remington 1858 because they don't seem to have as frequent cap jams, but they do require more lubrication of the cylinder pin between loadings.
The choice is mostly about the differences between the Colt open top frame design and the Remington solid frame with a top strap.
The Colts also seem to shoot higher more often than not due to the rear sight being comprised of a notched hammer which can be more difficult to correct. But they are considered to have more comfortable grips.
The Remington models have either a grooved top strap or an adjustable rear target sight which can be somewhat easier to make adjustments to if necessary.

In the end what to look for depends on your choice of revolver, caliber and of course there's always the features of each brand and their price.

Multiple Voting - Which Of These C&B Models Do You Currently Own?

What's Your Favorite C&B Revolver Pattern?

March 7, 2012, 04:37 PM
The Ruger Old Army is unquestionably the best cap and ball revolver ever made, at least in the popular price range (and at that it was damned expensive). However, 1) it's no longer being produced so you'd need to find a used one on one of the auction sites, and 2) it's not really a replica of anything from the cap and ball era. So, if you want the best, regardless of historical significance, get an ROA. If the history matters, well, the popular choice would be an 1851 Colt navy pattern or an 1858 Remington New Army. Or perhaps the 1860 Colt Army. Or maybe a Rogers & Spencer. Or how about a Colt Dragoon?

Hmmm. That wasn't very helpful, was it?

rusty bubbles
March 7, 2012, 05:03 PM
Many thanks guys for your advice-I'll be seeking out a used replica methinks-

the real thing ia waay too expensive for me!

Thanks again


March 7, 2012, 05:41 PM
with the ruger old army,which you can buy on,you will only buy it once,because it will never break

March 7, 2012, 06:29 PM
Grip shapes and sizes vary from one model to another. Don't buy anything without handling it first. Balance, how much pinch there is between the grip and trigger guard, how high the hammer spur is...all these contribute to your shooting pleasure.

Get to a Bass Pro Shop, Cabela's, or a cowboy action shoot for tactile evaluation.

March 7, 2012, 06:32 PM
I prefer the Uberti over the Pietta. Better fit ,finish ,adjustable sights. Just my 2 cents worth.

March 7, 2012, 07:00 PM

Blue Hill
March 7, 2012, 08:00 PM
Ruger Old Army

March 7, 2012, 09:06 PM
The best 3 letters in muzzeloading.......Coil springs,Antique status,Idiot proof,Made of the finest steele in the usa,One of the most accurate production pistols ever made.:cool:

March 7, 2012, 11:43 PM
Although I like the colt open tops and know that they can be fussy with cap crap jamming.They just fit my hand. The larger framed guns like the 60 Army and 61 navy have fewer problems than the pocket colts.
Another aspect not mentioned is that it takes a particular mind set to spend a day at the range and only shoot 100 rds. and leave happy. If you are able to slow down your pace and truly leave the realm of high capacity autos blasting your way through 500 rounds in mere minutes. What ever gun you buy won't be your last. Like start stashing away money for ROA

March 8, 2012, 12:21 AM
What Andrew said....wish I had more than the four I have now

March 8, 2012, 12:42 AM
The cap should fit your head, and feature a logo of your favorite team. The ball can be hard or soft.:D

Definitly go with a steel frame over a brass frame just for the durability alone. The 1858Remington style revolvers have a top strap over the cylinders making them a bit more robust than the Colt open top style. The remingtons also tend to shoot to point of aim, where the colts seem to shoot a bit high. I would also reccomend a 44 cal, because down the line you may want a Kirst or R&D 45 colt cartridge conversion.

March 8, 2012, 10:02 PM
Brassers are fine if ya dont shoot heavy loads. If ya dont want to spend the extra $$ for a steel frame, that is fine. Ya can get a ton of enjoyment out of a 1858 Remmy Brasser. The important part is to get something, shoot it, and have some fun!!!!

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