BP Defense Gun Question


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KenHulme
March 29, 2012, 08:37 AM
Short, true story: I live aboard a small boat at a marina. Awhile back I was awakened at 4 AM by an "unauthorized visitor". Not having a firearm, I had to 'repel boarders' with a large knife. It worked, but I never want to go through that again...

Fast forward a bit. I have acquired a black powder percussion pistol. I can load it without oiled patches, so there is no migration of moisture to the powder charge. Further, I waterproof the nipple/cap junction with a drop of wax. I don't particularly care about the condition of the barrel except from a safety standpoint.

How long can I reasonably expect to keep the gun in this loaded state before I will need to pull the charge and reload? A week? A month? Longer?

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4v50 Gary
March 29, 2012, 09:14 AM
Depends on humidity. IMO, Use oversized balls that leave a small ring shaving is more important than greased patches.

Somebody living near a coast chime in.

fineredmist
March 29, 2012, 09:15 AM
Why would you want to trust your life and limb to a firearm that may or may not work? If you are concerned about the law then consider the fact that a "non weapon" such as a unloaded cap and ball becomes a real weapon once it is capable of being fired. Buy a real gun for personal protection and use the cap and ball for enjoyment.

KenHulme
March 29, 2012, 10:30 AM
FRM- our ancestors trusted their lives and limbs to just such weapons for hundreds of years. It's not a question of weapon vs non-weapon, accountability or anything else; and I'd rather this discussion not get into philosophy.

mykeal
March 29, 2012, 10:35 AM
Anyone who really thinks a charged and loaded black powder revolver isn't a dangerous weapon is dangerous themselves. Yes, a modern cartridge handgun would be a better choice on all levels, but to say a black powder revolver isn't a real weapon is simply unrealistic.

Two points:

First, the powder and caps will remain viable for years if reasonable protection from humidity is maintained. Seal the chamber mouths and the nipple areas from ambient air. Those are the plain and simple facts. But, there's more, a lot more.

Which brings me to the second point - if you are going to bet your life on that gun, you better do a whole lot more than load it and keep it dry. I'm constantly amazed at the number of times this question comes up (about every other month on this forum) and the person asking the question completely ignores the question of proficiency with the weapon. Practice. Practice. Practice. It's a simple fact that you cannot be proficient with the gun if all you do is load it and store it away.

So, the question about how long the gun can remain loaded and still work is moot. It doesn't matter. Since it's necessary for you to frequently (at least weekly) fire the gun in practice to maintain your skills, why worry about how long it can sit without cleaning and reloading?

Or are you one of those guys who is so good he doesn't need to practice? With the gun he's counting on to save his life.

KenHulme
March 29, 2012, 10:45 AM
I've been maintaining my marksmanship skills for something over 50 years. Weekly practice? I didn't do that when I was as a competitive pistol shooter or in the military. Cops don't shoot weekly either.

If I can't hit a human at under 15 feet, in the heat of battle, something is really wrong. Did it before, got the bloody uniform to prove it. It's not a question of my skills.

Gary - oversized balls and over powder wad are both on my list...

mykeal
March 29, 2012, 10:48 AM
Yep. Just what I thought.

Driftwood Johnson
March 29, 2012, 10:59 AM
Howdy

Well, without getting into the philosophy, there are dozens of recorded stories of old C&B pistols being found in attics after having been stored loaded for 100 years or more. With fresh caps applied, they fired.

Black Powder can be stored just about forever, as long as it is sealed from moisture, and can be depended on to perform just as well as when it left the factory.

The question is, really, how well sealed are your charges against moisture in the humid environment you are talking about.

Frankly, you cannot 100% seal a percussion charge against moisture, no matter how much wax you put on the nipples. It will find a way in. I used to work in the electronics field and we had to hermetically seal the products we made. We knew that given enough time, moisture would find its way in, even though we were welding the units shut.

If you really want to know how long your charges will remain fresh in the environment you are talking about, the only way to find out is to experiment yourself. Store the gun for a month, then take it out and fire it. See what happens.

Wild Bill used to practice daily, cleaning his pistols and then reloading them. He was depending on them for his life. If you truly want to trust your life to a Cap & Ball pistol, you probably do not want to leave it loaded for months on end. Take it out and shoot it and see how reliable it is.

By the way, I would put a felt wad between the ball and the powder for a little bit better seal than the thin ring of lead that gets shaved off when the ball is seated.

loose noose
March 29, 2012, 11:07 AM
I believe Florida is pretty humid; at least it was when I was there last. Plus staying on a boat, I would definitely fire and reload at least every other month. I too was a police officer at one time, and involved in several shootings, but mine was with a .45 auto. Good luck with your choice of defense.:scrutiny:

$$Midge$$
March 29, 2012, 11:17 AM
I've used BP for all my life starting at age 6; now 63. I still have my and my Dads double barrel shotguns. My Father kept a BP Pistol loaded in the house (after our house was broken into) as a protection pistol. He loaded it dry patch just like you mentioned; I never saw him do anything special to the nipple or cap. The one thing I do remember is he would fire the weapon on a regular basis during the summer, maybe once a month and the other thing that brought a smile to my face when I read your post. He collected every one of those packets that you get in orders that is desiccant. The little moisture packages that come in so many things. He'd store the gun in a wooden (cigar display box), box with those packets and the packets were in a canvas bag next to the gun. About once a month during the summer or if my Mom baked anything after the oven was turned off he'd toss the bag of descant in the oven and remove it after the oven was cool. I don't remember him ever having to pull a ball from that gun due to fouled powder. Thanks for the memories.

Loyalist Dave
March 29, 2012, 12:44 PM
Gosh, some huge misconceptions...,

Some facts folks..., black powder weapons were used for centuries for SD. The caplock replaced the flint because it wasn't as reliable as caps. The revolver replaced the single/double barreled pistol, as 5-6 shots were better than 1-2, AND..., cartridge ammunition was developed because..., caplocks weren't as reliable. All of that being true, a caplock revolver is a viable SD tool in some cases, and I know first hand of several men and women living in Washington DC who owned them and used them on their own property for SD prior to the change in the DC gunlaws. Actually they still use them..., as DC really hasn't made it possible yet to own a modern handgun.

(Since the thread isn't about what I would chose, I won't offer my opinion on the merits of the cap-n-ball vs. a cartridge handgun.)

Other facts to consider..., police training levels are not a good standard to gauge your own need for, or level of, training. Most LEO are very undertrained in the use of firearms.

It's fine that one has combat experience, be it Europe, the South Pacific, SE Asia, Central America, or the Middle East. Consider that the weapons used bu US forces were semi-automatics, and folks that went to those conflicts were trained prior to being sent into the field, regardless if they wre novices or had been hunting and shooting since they could walk. Being proficient with a 1911A1 or a newer style pistol may be the same as with a Colt 1861 Army when it comes to accuracy when the trigger is pulled..., it isn't the same when talking about function and clearing jams.

So you should practice, not just for marksmanship, but to understand the weaknesses of the revolver you have chosen. I have seen novice single action revolver shooters short-cock their revolvers under stress when at a CAS match..., stress is a bit higher, wouldn't you say, when facing an actual intruder? Another example, 20 grains of BP might just "blow" your caps, and blown caps can dislodge and fall into the mechanism, jamming the revolver. 20 grains might not blow your caps, and no worries..., but you don't know until you try it. (I know this from personal experience) Reducing the load by just a few grains can stop blown caps in some cases, while leaving you with a still viable SD load. If the problem continues, and you continue reducing the load, you may find that you need after market nipples on your revolver to keep a proper SD powder load while not blowing caps and risking a jam. Again, how do you know until you test this?

Also,... Do you need two Colt style revolvers, or do you need one Remington, and one spare cylinder to reload, or are you figuring 6 shots is enough? One famous lawman and shooter of note, Mr. Hickok, carried two Colt Navy revolvers for some reason. It's your choice. If you go for a Remington and a second cylinder, shouldn't you practice swapping out the cylinders?

In closing, I for one sincerely want you to stay secure, and would much prefer to one day read that you are safe and sound and survived a deadly encounter than to read that your revolver jammed, or misfired, or fired a squib load and your next shot blew up the revolver as the first bullet didn't clear the barrel. I'd think the best way for that good scenario to happen is for you to practice with your chosen handgun.

LD

Coyote Hunter
March 29, 2012, 02:08 PM
A few years ago I lost everything due to a bad divorce and business decisions. I ended up living at a cabin on a local lake. I was broke and all my guns had been liquidated. Because of tight funds, I went to a local gun store and bought a CVA brass framed .44 navy for $99.00. I had no idea how to even load the thing right, but the salesman sold me a can of BP a tin of nipples and a cheap flask with a 30 gr. nozzel and showed me what to do.

Now I had been a gun owner for years, but I knew NOTHING about BP guns. I shot that gun until I knew what I was doing and where it hit. It sat on my bedside, was carried to the water when I needed to fish for dinner and in my old beater car when I went to town. I killed an unknown amount of snakes (sorry, don't take the time to see if they bite or not) shot a squirrel for dinner once and became pretty good with it.

Once a week, if it had not been used, I would det up a target and discharge it to put in fresh powder.

Now here's the kicker. Years later, I am a BP nut!. Even though I'm back on my feet and use a Glock 22 for CCW, I own several BP rifles and Pistols and .45LC revolvers and rifles. I even reload .45 and 12 ga with BP. In other words, I got hooked on the joy and confidence that old CVA gave me.

Is it a good defense? With today's guns of course there are better, but if that is all you have or can afford, then 5 or six shots of Cap and Ball are better than nothing. The only thing I found is you may get hooked you on the holy black stuff!

I can remember the difference between actually having to depend on it, instead of now just shooting for fun. Oiling and cleaning takes on a diffenert meaning when you have one in your hand at 3:00 AM because something is outside your door!

Cosmoline
March 29, 2012, 02:34 PM
We're talking about BP on a boat. So what did the Marines of old used to do aboard ship? I'm not sure if their muskets were kept unloaded prior to general quarters, or kept loaded. I'm also not sure what the practice was for clearing out the old loads. But I'm sure that information is around somewhere. Anyone know?

SixxshootinSam
March 29, 2012, 02:38 PM
Hey Ken,
Don't mind some of the more cranky members here, they post too much for their own good.

As for your question, I had stored a 'loaded' pietta 1860 (no percussion caps on it, just ball and powder, no wad, no wax on the nipples) 2 years ago in a small box with one of those moisture absorbing packets (the little white packets you get in OTC pill bottles and such).
I fired it last month and it went off without a problem. I think the packets might have been an important step in keeping the moisture away, but who knows.

David E
March 29, 2012, 02:43 PM
FRM- our ancestors trusted their lives and limbs to just such weapons for hundreds of years.

No, they bet their lives on the best gun technology at the time. Many lost that bet.

It's not a question of weapon vs non-weapon, accountability or anything else; and I'd rather this discussion not get into philosophy.

Isn't it a question of what would work best should you need a weapon for defense, possibly (probably) against multiple assailants?

If that's not the real question, then enjoy your quaint choice for defense.

Cosmoline
March 29, 2012, 02:46 PM
I don't think that's the question at all--he's asking about keeping the BP viable on a boat.

I suspect that a "less is more" approach would be best, since the more wax you dribble around the more chance there is of clogging important holes or gumming up the lockwork. But again why not look to what marines did for hundreds of years in much damper conditions.

David E
March 29, 2012, 02:48 PM
As for your question, I had stored a 'loaded' pietta 1860 (no percussion caps on it, just ball and powder, no wad, no wax on the nipples) 2 years ago....I fired it last month and it went off without a problem.

I had a BP rifle loaded for only a week 7 days) that took 3 caps to set off.

but who knows.

Exactly.

If Ken MUST use a BP firearm, that's one thing, but he hasn't stated being restricted in any way.

SixxshootinSam
March 29, 2012, 03:21 PM
Look David E, I'm just answering the guy's question with my own experience.
Too bad it took you 3 caps to set yours off after only a week, you obviously did something different than I did.

If he does not have access to a modern firearm for whatever reason, that's his business. I don't believe the fellow asked for your opinion on what firearm to use, and I am fairly sure he would be aware that there are more reliable ones out there (duh).

DoubleDeuce 1
March 29, 2012, 03:31 PM
Without sounding repetitive...
First, if you are restricted to a black powder weapon only for defense, that is one thing. If you have only a PISTOL as stated, I would have several. If you have a REVOLVER, that changes things greatly.

As for sealing the caps and nipples, I would consider using nail polish instead of wax. It would collect less debris than wax over the long run.

Practice your failure drills on a regular basis. Any handling of the weapon is good training. You don't have to shoot every time to make it training. Also, take into consideration the amount of smoke that will be generated in close quarters, inside the boat.

If you are not restricted to black powder only, then I would look to a good stainless revolver or semi-auto pistol.:cool:

arcticap
March 29, 2012, 03:55 PM
I have acquired a black powder percussion pistol. I can load it without oiled patches, so there is no migration of moisture to the powder charge.

I agree with DoubleDeuce 1 that it sounds like the gun is a percussion pistol and not a revolver.
A stiff over powder card that will fill the rifling grooves could help to seal any moisture from spoiling the powder charge for a longer period of time.
Placing a small balloon, a finger cot or a piece of tape over the muzzle could also help to seal it. That's what many hunters do to seal their bore when hunting in cold and inclement weather.
No one should care what it looks like as long as the gun will fire reliably.
I hunt deer with a small balloon stretched over the muzzle that's secured with a rubber band. It's just like buying some insurance against a misfire. :)

Busyhands94
March 29, 2012, 04:39 PM
You aught to get a Remington New Model Army, mine has never had a misfire except for the time I loaded a chamber without powder. You could load it with 40 grains of Triple Seven and have one hell of a hand cannon, that's for sure. Just seal the caps with nail polish, and put some candle wax over the chambers. You should be good to go, I've kept mine loaded for a month before firing, it shot all six chambers without hesitation. I know I've got cartridge guns, but I'd rather have my Remington because I've put over 1000 rounds through it without a misfire.

Another good choice would be an NAA Super Companion. You can load it with two grains of Bullseye and the 30 grain bullets that North American Arms sells and have a pretty darn good firearm minus the paper trail. The cool thing is that it's reliable and more powerful than the cartridge version, I've actually fired mine underwater with all the chambers going off without hesitation. It's a great little revolver and is built like a Swiss watch! Another great thing about it is that you can load it with percussion caps and .22 airgun pellets for a good parlor load, so you can practice often. If (God forbid) you had to use it in a self defense situation you'd get a nice big fireball out the muzzle, and it's really loud too. It sounds like a .38, it would probably scare off a potential attacker.

Levi

SixxshootinSam
March 29, 2012, 04:57 PM
Just realized what arcticap said, it probably is a pistol (which in my opinion fires even more reliably since the hammer usually strikes a lot harder than a revolver).
I have a loaded Kentucky pistol as well sitting in the safe,
I put these two super magnets on the side that I can barely even get off.
They are the same size as a cap, so I just slid them on there as a fast access method. Works really well. Something to consider if you don't want your gun capped but have the caps right there with it.
pic:

BHP FAN
March 29, 2012, 05:13 PM
Col. Colt used to charge his revolvers, bee's wax over the caps, and drop them in a tank of water, while extolling the virtues of his revolvers, then take them out of the tank of water, and fire them, regularly as part of his sales exhibitions...of course he also sold laughing gas
to finance his business. Interesting character.

Pyro
March 29, 2012, 05:42 PM
I had a small rubber tube that fit over the nipples. I cut small slices of it, big enough just to cover the leading edge of the cap, covered it in lacquer and pressed it over the cap edges all the way down to the nipples to dry. Shot fine.

David E
March 29, 2012, 05:42 PM
Too bad it took you 3 caps to set yours off after only a week, you obviously did something different (read: wrong) than I did.

There is a plethora of possibilities as to why it took 3 caps.

And unless you give him your gun and load it FOR him with the exact same powder, bullets, caps, in the exact same humidity as it was two years ago, then your anecdotal incident is totally moot. You can't guarantee it'll go off next week, much less in two years.

If the OP has a reason he's choosing BP, we'd sure like to hear it.

arcticap
March 29, 2012, 05:46 PM
There are also plastic cap guards that can be used to easily seal the caps on the nipples.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=8012372&postcount=3335

BCRider
March 30, 2012, 02:27 AM
The answer to the original question is simple. Since conditions are far from normal for most of us clean, oil and load the pistol. Inspect every couple of days for signs of corrosion. If you don't see any after one month take the pistol and fire it. Clean, oil and load it again. After a month fire it again. You'll need to do this each month. This will tell you that you're OK with your method for cleaning and oiling and loading that the bore and exterior do not rust after one month of exposure. It also tells you that your methodology is sufficient to seal the powder from moisture for up to one month. If you want to trust it for a while repeat using a two month interval.

But to load it and expect it to shoot 4 months or a year later? I seriously doubt if anyone can assure you of that.

Now.... You don't have anything other than a single shot percussion pistol to use for self defense? I'm sorry but that seems a little odd since you say you manage to shoot often enough to maintain your skills. I love my BP guns but if I were looking for a reliable and long term storage self defense firearm a BP single shot percussion pistol would be far from my first or tenth choice.

1858remington
March 30, 2012, 04:11 AM
For ease of cleaning, and the ability to change out cylinders for reload, I would suggest going with a 1858 Remington style revolver.

Get one in stainless, to reduce the chance of rust.

R&D and Kirst make 45colt drop in conversions to give your gun more versatility.

Load your powder, ad a wonder wad, and seat your ball then cap off the chamber with a dollop of bore butter/wonderlube 1000+.

Cap wise, CCI caps are good and hot, and magnum caps will help with ignition should the powder be a little damp.

I dont oil my C&B revolvers. instead I coat them in bore butter/wonderlube 1000+. It prevents the rust, and keeps fouling from becomming an issue.

I bought a Remmie from a lady who's deceased husband kept it in the house for protection. The gun was loaded when I bought it, and had been loaded for 5 years prior to me getting it. When I took it to the range, all chambers fired, even after having been loaded 5 years ago.:D

Avoid synthetic powders that are hydrostatic, as they will attract moisture.

You may find that 30gr 44cal pyrodex pellets will fit your needs. Makes loading a snap, and eliminates the need for a powder flask. My gun loves em!:D

StrawHat
March 30, 2012, 08:01 AM
Rereading the OP, he already has a pistol so I doubt he is interested in getting something else.

As far as why he wants to use blackpowder, it none of my business. He doesn't owe me, or anybody, an explanation.

It's kind of funny how these threads unravel.

StrawHat
March 30, 2012, 08:05 AM
BHP FAN ...Col. Colt used to charge his revolvers, bee's wax over the caps, and drop them in a tank of water, while extolling the virtues of his revolvers, then take them out of the tank of water, and fire them, regularly as part of his sales exhibitions...

BHP FAN,

I am aware of the lectures and the demonstrations but I am not aware he used onything on the caps to waterproof them. I was given to believe he merely used the proper sized caps and a tight fitting ball (no grease or sealant on either end of the cylinder). After 5 or 10 minutes, he would reassamble the revolver and shoot it. Any references you can cite would be apprecaited. I enjoy research.

Robert
March 30, 2012, 09:29 AM
Fellas, if y'all can not act like gentlemen and abide by the High Road this will get locked. I had to clean up a few posts. Let's make sure that is the last I have to do.

KenHulme
March 30, 2012, 09:37 AM
Arcticap - Ballons on the muzzle? In 'Nam we used condoms - second best use you can put them to;)

Gentlemen:

I choose to use BP in a double barreled pistol, not revolver because
1) it's unregistered;
2) it's adequately deadly;
3) I've built and shot them for decades; 3) with a big enough bore I've got a legal mini-shotgun,
4) at boat cabin distances most adequate man-stopper cartridges will penetrate a perpetrator, my boat and the two or three boats next to me before stopping in something significant. This is not true of cast lead BP projectiles. There is such a thing as too much gun.
I've shot competitive pistol with BP and a variety of cartridges for decades; and I've had to use a handgun in combat.
Handgunning is like riding a bicycle - you don't forget how to point and pull. If you need to shoot weekly to "keep up your skills", I can only offer you my sympathies.
The most useful posts have been the couple that actually addressed my question, not questioned my abilities and choices:
Use of dessicant packages in a container with the pistol.
Use of a ballon, finger cott or condom over the muzzle.
Estimates of one to six weeks useful life of a loaded pistol.


Thanks for your time and efforts.

BCRider
March 30, 2012, 04:10 PM
Good point on the penetration issue. And given your explanation in this last post I can see why you're considering the option.

If you agree that it's a good idea to work on your own particular length of trust time by discharging the gun periodically to test it then perhaps set up to shoot one of those rounds through a slab of meat or gelatin which somewhat replicates a BG and set a hunk of whatever your boat is made from in behind it. Again, such a test would build up your trust in your load both from the time of exposure to the salty moist air as well as knowing more about how far it'll penetrate if you do need to shoot.

From what I've read about round ball there's no lack of penetration with them. Maybe not as much as with heavier and more ballistically "dense" conical or modern bullets but there are still lots of stories about shooting through a body. Especially if your pistol is one of the heavier calibers. Or have you already considered this and would load a reduced strength charge?

KenHulme
March 30, 2012, 07:57 PM
BPRider;

I know I'm going to have to field test the "trust time", but posted this question to get some starting parameters so that I could skip a few stages from say Every Day to Weekly Weekly to Monthly.

Penetration tests are on my horizon too, even though some of that can be calculated by comparison to say .38 wadcutter

Franchise42
March 30, 2012, 08:08 PM
I've found out that I really have to push the caps down on my Pietta replica 1858 Remington. Once I started doing that, I've had no problems. Simple, I know, but until you do it a few times, you don't know how hard to push 'em down. Just my experience.

theicemanmpls
March 30, 2012, 08:42 PM
Ken,
I don't know who has access to your dock. May I suggest you put a motion detector that will alert you to unwanted boarders. It should serve as a early warning.

http://www.homesecuritystore.com/p-1345-cwa2000-chamberlain-wireless-motion-alert.aspx

Nothing wrong with a black powder defensive weapon as long as one takes the time to understand its limitations. IMHO.

dober83
March 30, 2012, 08:44 PM
Maybe it's just me but it seems like the broken caps jam the mechanism pretty often. I think as a self defense weapon, one shot is all you can really count on. It would make a decent club if need be.

mykeal
March 30, 2012, 08:50 PM
As I said in my initial post, there have been many previous threads on the subject of the longevity of black powder loaded in a firearm. Most of those have been from people interested in keeping a black powder revolver around for self defense. It's not inconceivable that someone with just 23 posts on this forum who asks that question again would be unfamiliar with the idea that it takes practice to be proficient with a handgun, especially when self defense is involved.

So, I made that assumption. There was no intent to question your ability; I still am surprised you would take what I wrote as a personal affront. It was a general statement about a philosophy.

I remain personally convinced that the question of long term reliability of black powder in a personal defense scenario is moot. It is my opinion, backed up by many tactical shooting instructors and schools, that regular proficiency exercises with the weapon that is to be relied upon is not only important but mandatory.

I understand your opinion of your skills makes that unnecessary. That's fine. You may be that three sigma individual to which that applies. I've never seen you shoot, so I couldn't possibly have an opinion about your personal skills or capability, and I don't. I do have an opinion about the subject in general; it applies to the general population, not any one individual. How you could infer that was a personal statement is a mystery to me, but since you did I'll take the initiative to apologize. It was not intended.

Foto Joe
March 31, 2012, 11:33 AM
As has been stated before, the viability of Black Powder over a long period of time has been proven time and again via vintage firearms being left loaded for decades and still firing. Personally I tend to re-load BP guns after cleaning just 'cause an unloaded gun is a paper-weight. Although BP isn't "my" first choice for self/home defense.

Basically what you're proposing is being a "test pilot" on this question. Given where you live I'd be interested in knowing how this works out. I'd ask that in a month or so you test fire your pistol and let us know your results. Also, I as well as others would be interested in "exactly" what this pistol is. From your description what comes to my minds eye is the word "Howdah".

ChrisHarris
April 1, 2012, 08:15 PM
Let's see...
You're on a boat, presumably alone
You need personal protection, so the logical choice is a defensive handgun
You're concerned about penetration into surrounding vessels

You chose a BP percussion pistol?

I'd go get myself a .22LR semi-auto pistol or a .25ACP.

NOBODY wants to be shot. NOBODY.

Not even with a teensy weensy little .22

NOBODY.

The idea that you'd make a conscious choice to pick a BP weapon over a modern weapon is, in my opinion, crazy. Sorry. Thats just..... well...... crazy.

If you were ever convicted of a federal crime and therefor legally prohibited from owning a modern weapon, then I'd understand your choice. Afterall, a BP gun is better than no gun at all. But if you're not a convicted felon and you CAN posess a modern weapon - you SHOULD. I know I sure as heck would.

snakeman
April 1, 2012, 08:45 PM
did clint eatwood practice?

BHP FAN
April 1, 2012, 08:46 PM
OK, a DOUBLE barreled pistol. this is making a LOT more sense. no parts to jam, and a quick follow up shot, too. I have a .44 Corsair pirate pistol, made back in the '70's, but I think the Howdah pistol another member mentioned would be about perfect, in a 20 ga. smooth bore double configuration.

Jaymo
April 1, 2012, 09:18 PM
BHP Fan, I have a 20 gauge Howdah pistol and love it. With .61 caliber round balls cast from wheel weights, it makes big holes and penetrates deeply.
We're talking 348 grains per ball. Pure lead would be heavier and flatten out better on impact, but I can guarantee that nobody wants to be shot with this thing.

Then, you have buckshot or buck 'n ball loads in it. They're also impressive.
After all, it's a sawed-off double barreled 20 gauge without the legal hassles.
I was going to get a Serbu shorty, but the percussion Howdah did away with the legal hoops.

If you haven't tried the Howdah, you really should get one. It's 4.5 pounds of fun.

Yeah, it's as heavy as a Walker.
Yeah, it's only 2 shots.
BUT, those 2 shots are devastating.

While I prefer my 12 gauge coach gun or my Mossberg 590 for HD uses, one could do a LOT worse than a 20 gauge Howdah pistol

I do believe that if I lived on a boat and was using a double barreled BP pistol for HD, I'd also buy a Cold Steel 1917 Naval Cutlass. The blade is longer than a big knife, yet shorter than a saber. They were designed for naval boarding parties and repelling boarders.
It's really sharp from the factory and hell for stout. I love mine.

snakeman
April 1, 2012, 09:45 PM
sorry meant to say clint eastwood! OOPS!!!!

kBob
April 1, 2012, 09:53 PM
SO store the gun in a ziplock gallon sized bag with a couple of fresh baked desicant bags........

-kBob

RedwolfConchoman
April 1, 2012, 10:12 PM
Static deleted

Jaymo
April 1, 2012, 10:30 PM
You could always store it in a ziplock Zerust bag.
The only thing I don't know is if the volatile corrosion inhibitor will adversely affect the priming compound.
I guess I need to test it by putting some caps in a Zerust bag for a few months or so, and then load up the C&B and shoot it with them.

To those who rail against the OP's choice of an HD weapon, all I can say is, "To each, his own".
My Howdah may not be my first choice for HD, but it sure wouldn't be my last, either.

Busyhands94
April 1, 2012, 10:39 PM
You could get two or more pistols, that way you would have two rounds instead of one. Plus it would kinda go with the whole boat thing, having more than one would probably tend to make you feel like Blackbeard.

BHP FAN
April 1, 2012, 10:40 PM
Howdah's aleady two shot's Busyhands. Seems to me like it would kick butt. I also seem to remember someone made nipples for musket caps that would fit the Howdah....

Busyhands94
April 1, 2012, 10:43 PM
I'll take two howdahs and a Remington with a .45 Colt conversion cylinder!! :)

Jaymo
April 1, 2012, 11:14 PM
The Pedersoli Howah nipples are threaded 1/4"x28, just like TC.
Convenient, ain't it?

I've thought about putting musket nipples on mine. So far, CCI #11s work just fine.

BHP FAN
April 1, 2012, 11:49 PM
Good to know, Jaymo!

http://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/product/productId/18310

BHP FAN
April 1, 2012, 11:51 PM
not that I think 11's are wimpy, they work really well, but if I lived aboard a boat, I might get the upgrade.

Jaymo
April 2, 2012, 12:09 AM
I agree. You can't have too much ignition with caplocks.
I had wondered which nipples fit the Pedersoli shotguns, and had read that 1/4"x28 fit them, so I tried the nipple from my TC Renegade and it fit perfectly.
I bought a pair of TC nipples to use as spares in the Howdah. #11 caps fit the TC nipples better than the Pedersoli nipples.
The Italian nipples are tapered and caps will often fall off if the gun is held muzzle-up with the hammers cocked. The TC nipples are straighter and the caps don't fall off.

BHP FAN
April 2, 2012, 03:35 AM
Having the caps not fall off on a defensive arm would be a good thing.

grimjaw
April 2, 2012, 03:47 PM
Cosmoline, from post #16:

From what I understand, for a ship that carried guns (or at least cannons), they were kept loaded and fired on a periodic basis for training and to load up fresh powder. That's age of sail times, though.

jm

Busyhands94
April 2, 2012, 03:56 PM
I'm telling you guys, get some nail polish when the wife is out and use it to seal the caps. If you've already got tight fitting caps then you can do this as an extra bit of prevention. I've fired a blackpowder handgun underwater with this method, it shot all five chambers (It was a five shooter) without a problem.

Levi

BHP FAN
April 2, 2012, 04:16 PM
clear nail polish?

Busyhands94
April 2, 2012, 04:42 PM
That should work, although I've tried orange nail polish I pilfered from Ma' and it worked just fine.

BSA1
April 2, 2012, 05:30 PM
How long can I reasonably expect to keep the gun in this loaded state before I will need to pull the charge and reload? A week? A month? Longer?

Probably the most noted gunfighter of his era was Wild Bill Hickok who was reported to fired his revolvers daily, cleaned them and put fresh loads in them. When asked why he did this he reportedly said that when a man needed his guns he needed to be sure they would fire so he wanted to be very sure (I am badly parphasing him as I don't have have references handy). And this was in the middle of the U.S. far from a ocean.

So the question is how sure do you want to be? This is something only you can determine through trial and error.

Also it isn't just the powder in your gun you need to worry about but also the BP in the can and how it is stored.

kBob
April 2, 2012, 05:37 PM
Levi

you shot your '63 pocket remmie under water?

Zounds! BTW what load do you use with the conicals cast from the little brass mold?

Back on topic if not a ziplock bag how about a GI ammo can of some sort
with desicant pack?

Boat or not I am not seeing much difficulty here.

I am sitting here looking at some single aught buck and Ill bet either the pedersoli or the Indian 20 gauge with a hefty charge of holy black behind ten or a dozen or so of these little balls in each barrel could get someones attention across the width of a small yatch..

FOr that mater any of the smooth bore .54, .58, .62 or .69 calibers (28 to 16 gauge) single shots might beat the heck out of shouting and shaking a finger at a bad guy. Back in the 1980's when there was some danger of boat jacking in the gulf I recommended to someone they look into one of the stainless/ brushed nickled Mariner type pump 12 gauge guns to repell boarders and a stainless Mini 14 or .30 carbine (if it was proven reliable) to discourage folk that might be threatening from a distance. He went with the shotgun and carbine BTW as he was very experienced with the carbine and did shoot several hundred rounds through the stainless to ensure it worked well enough to suit him then he added a High cap 9x19 crunch-n-ticker for himself and a 6 inch barreled .357 Mag revolver for the spousal unit.

But the OP is in a marina and not out on the flats somewhere being threatened by drug runners. If a BP handgun is what he is comfortable with let us help him make it work as best as it can for him.

-kBob

BHP FAN
April 2, 2012, 06:01 PM
''But the OP is in a marina and not out on the flats somewhere being threatened by drug runners. If a BP handgun is what he is comfortable with let us help him make it work as best as it can for him...''

best post yet. thanks for keeping us on track, KBob!

MCgunner
April 2, 2012, 06:55 PM
I recently ran an experiment. I loaded 2 cylinders, one with wax over ball and nipples, one with clear fingernail polish over nipple and ball. I let them sit up 3 months in the garage. The wax hangfired a couple, but all fired. The nail polish fired with no hangfires.

Now, I live in Corpus Christi and it's humid all year down here, just as hot and humid ans Florida. I did this in the fall, started about early November, shot 'em out early February. I've decided that if I were to rely on a cap and ball (don't have to, have modern firearms) I would do BOTH nail polish, then wax just the nipples. Why? Well, on my navy, the wax did keep the caps from falling into the hammer after firing. That's a pretty good deal right there as this is a hazard with open tops.

sirsloop
April 2, 2012, 07:47 PM
HAHAHA... given the modern alternatives, IDK why anyone would trust their life to a BP gun! Srsly. Get a $200 shotgun and throw some buckshot in there. Done deal.

I can see the headlines now. "Man kills intruder with muzzleloading flintlock dueling pistol". Thats like a gold star on your man card, but geez its ludicrous.

SixxshootinSam
April 2, 2012, 09:11 PM
Have you not read the entire thread sloop? I thought we were already past the 'durrr buy a modern gun hurrr" part. some people's kids....

BHP FAN
April 2, 2012, 10:04 PM
on a boat, especially a live aboard there's not a lot of room. my dad, after a nasty divorce lived some of his last years aboard a boat down at Black Point. He left most all of his guns up north with me, keeping only his NAA [cartridge] mini revolver.that's about all he had room for. Oh sure, he could have bought a Mossberg PGO shotgun, or a decent used S&W, but he was broke...after a divorce broke. he already owned the tiny revolver, and the threat level was low. I don't know that he made the right choice, but it was his choice to make.

MCgunner
April 2, 2012, 10:13 PM
HAHAHA... given the modern alternatives, IDK why anyone would trust their life to a BP gun! Srsly. Get a $200 shotgun and throw some buckshot in there. Done deal.

I can see the headlines now. "Man kills intruder with muzzleloading flintlock dueling pistol". Thats like a gold star on your man card, but geez its ludicrous.

It's a Jersey thing, right? :rolleyes:

I just got through watching South Park. Funny thing, I read this post and was hearing it in Eric Cartman's voice.

sirsloop
April 2, 2012, 10:59 PM
W

Sure keep your BP gun in your boat and hope it goes off when you need it. Don't come back and complain when you had to beat some drugged out fool over the head with it when it FTF.

No I didn't read the entire thread because the OP post was pretty out there, all things considered.

Heck i'd rather have a single shot TC encore/contender in like .22LR than a BP gun. At least you can be reasonably sure the thing will go off. If it doesnt you can quickly toss another round in.

Tinpan58
April 3, 2012, 12:30 AM
If you were to shoot a howdah on a boat, make sure you aim above the water line. I have a howdah make a cartridge using rolling papers, put 3 .319 balls and some lead scraps from casting in there melt some candle wax to hold it all together fold the top and glue it to a dime sized piece of cardboard and ram it on-top of a .600 ball, 35 grains of 777 ff. At close range ouch! game over. But have reliability issues with the howdah cci caps no go, remington fires most of the time, going to have to try some of those tc nipples or maybe the cci magnum.

Where I live in so, cal, I load up cylinders all the time and leave them uncapped some have been sitting for up to 2 months that way, never had a problem, I also keep a couple loaded cap remmys all the time, never had a problem. Make cartridges some sitting for probably 3 months never had a problem. I go shooting 2 times a month, but now I have 12 guns and 17 extra cylinders so some sit for awhile with powder and balls in them. But living on a boat salt air dose bad thing to stuff, you need to experiment.

bubba15301
April 3, 2012, 01:29 AM
Tinpan58 that .454 ball will go thru wall and thru someone elses. do some penetration tests i think you may be surprised at the penetration of the roundball

BHP FAN
April 3, 2012, 02:44 AM
lead balls from a cap and ball gun killed plenty of stuff before they came up with cartridges, and they will surprise you, for both penetration and power.

Tinpan58
April 3, 2012, 02:46 AM
You are absolutely right bubba I donít Know for sure what that ball might do, and I hope I never have to find out, so I deleted that comment from my post.

Voodoochile
April 3, 2012, 07:17 AM
I agree with the statements of using the weapon of choice as often as one can to keep familiarity & proficiency up but I see the OP's reasoning as well.

First, after you clean your weapon, use 91% rubbing alcohol with a patch to get any moisture out of the weapons barrel as possible, then a dry patch, & then wait 5 minutes before loading.
Second what I would suggest is to use real Black Powder, there are many firearms found still loaded from the Civil War that will still fire the shot with no issues today.
Third is a dry over powder wad or card, this way there is no lube from the wad that can contaminate the powder from long term storage.
Patched Round Ball or Shot of at least BB size.
Since this is a single shot or doubble barrel, after the projectile I would load a lube pill over the projectile.

Now with loading it this way there will be no place that moisture will get into the powder charge & all you have to worry about is the primer.
I would suggest a good make of caps like Remington & seat it onto the cone then you can do one of two things to seal this.
(1) WAX over the cap where its skirt is onto the cone.
(2) finger nail polish over the cap where its skirt is onto the cone.

Either one of these methods will make the round that you loaded just as water proof as modern ammunition & as long as you have good caps "which I would seal the unsused ones in it's tin in a ziploc baggie with a desicant pack."

Loading my Pietta 1860 Army in a similar manner when I was in college I didn't have the chance to fire it for over a year & I would even go out with it to do some farm work which on one occasion it was in the rain with me but after all that it still fired all 5 chambers with the same authority as if I had loaded it that day.

hang fire
April 3, 2012, 04:17 PM
Over a half million men died in the civil war from black powder wounds, nuff said.

Billy Shears
April 3, 2012, 04:51 PM
Over a half million men died in the civil war from black powder wounds, nuff said.
By that logic, you should get a sword. Millions more were killed by swords for century after century before firearms were invented.

BHP FAN
April 3, 2012, 05:02 PM
I HAVE one...it never runs out of ammo!

Certaindeaf
April 3, 2012, 05:15 PM
When they used those single shots, it was invariably in conjunction with a cutlass, very large Bowie or some other large, edged weapon.

Busyhands94
April 3, 2012, 07:51 PM
So which would be better for defense, steel shot or lead? Keeping a good bowie knife handy is a good idea, I keep my bowie knife by my bedside along with my revolver, my rifle, and a couple other surprises. I'd sure feel sorry for the poor home invader who breaks into my house. They'd get one heck of a surprise! :D

Levi

Certaindeaf
April 3, 2012, 11:59 PM
^
I don't know how I got in this thread anyway.. saw the BP and had something else on the brain maybe.
Anyway, I can see how steel balls/shot could provide some certain and perhaps additional utility but one could/can get some nasty bounce back.. I'd just use hardish lead.

hang fire
April 4, 2012, 12:03 AM
Billy Shears: By that logic, you should get a sword. Millions more were killed by swords for century after century before firearms were invented.

This thread is about a black powder gun for defense. If you want to discuss the lethality of swords, then by all means, start your own thread about them.

sirsloop
April 4, 2012, 01:48 AM
Yes, a BP gun is lethal and you can use it for SD if that's how you wanna roll.

If any other suggestion is shot down I don't really see much need for discussion.

/thread

Rogue Coder
April 4, 2012, 02:10 PM
I agree completely. I have a Brass-Frame 1858 Remington. I keep it loaded. It was my first pistol. I will use it for self defense and will never feel unarmed or defenseless with it. That being said, you need to PRACTICE with it. TRAIN with it. Don't ever just buy a gun and decide that you feel comfortable to use it for protection without training.

Billy Shears
April 5, 2012, 03:24 PM
This thread is about a black powder gun for defense. If you want to discuss the lethality of swords, then by all means, start your own thread about them.
I was making a point, and could have used any pre-gunpowder weapon, like swords, or bows, or spears, or whatever, to make it -- namely, to say "millions were killed by... 'nuff said" is not really correct. It's not enough. What also needs to be said is that obsolete weapons, while they are still as deadly, and certainly as capable of killing as they ever were, are still, at the end of the day, obsolete. It's like picking a new fighter plane and saying "the P-51 Mustang shot down thousands of planes. 'Nuff said." But would anyone put the Mustang in front line service today? Of course not. It's obsolete. It was great in its day, but there are more effective fighters around now.

If an obsolete weapon is all you've got, then it makes sense to use it. If you have any choice in the matter, however, you would be taking needless and unjustifiable chances using one for self defense when far better tools are available for the job nowadays. If it's a matter of self defense, then nothing less than your life is at stake (and possibly that of your loved ones as well), I can't think of any good reason to deliberately choose a less practical weapon for that job. It's different if you have the choice forced upon you; then you make the best of your situation and use the most effective tool you can get. But if you have a choice, a modern cartridge handgun, using modern self-defense ammo, is incontrovertibly a better choice.

iLikeOldgunsIlikeNewGuns
April 6, 2012, 01:57 PM
It's funny how many people go out of their way to chime into a black-powder defense thread about how much better modern options are.... It's like someone asking questions about rimfires and someone else comes along declaring how wonderful .357 magnum is. I read your posts and see that you have plenty of firearms experience. Also, I have many cartridge-firing guns that are my primary go-to's for defense, but as someone already said, my blackpowder guns are certainly not the last guns I'd reach for... I don't have any larger than .44, but the .61/20 gauge seems awesome for the OP's criteria!

anyhoo, I've read this whole thread (took me a while) and there have been some worthwhile posts here and there :neener:. When my black powder guns are clean, they are loaded. I don't get to shoot them as often as I'd like, as the indoor range I'm a member-with does not allow black powder shooting. Mine have gone several months between shoots more often than not. Also my two 1851's and 1847 have each spent a year+ loaded in the safe, with the anti-moisture packets, (each at a different point in time) before firing, just to see how it goes after all that time. After the year+ tests, I remember at least one shot delayed by a half-second or so, but that is the only problem to report. Granted I do not live in a Marina, but I'm not far from the coast, close enough to smell it. The luxury of a boat, is you can go a couple miles out, and shoot without bothering anyone! (Not sure on the legalities...) If you have the gas, you can always pull a monthly or bi-monthly "Bill Hickok" check.

The nail-polish suggestion sounds like it could only help. Not sure if anyone mentioned this yet, if not this can be considered the most important part of my post: Keeping the NIPPLES CLEAN is possibly one of most important parts of reliable ignition (just my opinion, could easily be proven wrong by wet powder but anyway). If you are going to trust your life to your percussion gun(s) don't forget to fire caps on the empty gun after you clean it, if anything fire TWO caps on the empty gun(s) after you clean 'em before you load 'em. Nipple-picks are your friend. The only times I've had failures to fire with my percussion guns, were when I was too busy, too lazy or too miserly to do this! Whoever posted the photo of the magnets on the side of the gun with extra caps is brilliant!!! In the event of a misfire, another advantage of a single or double bbl percussion gun, is you don't need to turn a cylinder to recap and retry, you can just pull the hammer back and throw another cap on without risking blowing your hand off (keep pointed in safe direction of course).

I LOVE my single-shot percussion gun, now this thread has me itching for a Howda, and double .44!!!

Billy Shears
April 6, 2012, 03:48 PM
It's funny how many people go out of their way to chime into a black-powder defense thread about how much better modern options are.... It's like someone asking questions about rimfires and someone else comes along declaring how wonderful .357 magnum is.
Not really. If you were talking about rimfires, one would assume that you were discussing sport or recreational shooting, and bringing up .357s might be completely irrelevant to the sporting or recreational use under discussion. We are discussing self defense, however, and the greater efficacy of modern firearms to that purpose is in no way whatever irrelevant to that discussion. Quite the opposite, it's central to it.

If you're determined to pick a BP arm for that purpose (as opposed to making use of whatever firearm you happen to have with you when the excrement strikes the rotating blades), there's certainly nothing stopping you. But it's basically not a good idea, and ought to be discouraged, the same way any reasonable person would discourage someone from taking unnecessary risks. From every conceivable standpoint: practicality, versatility, safety, reliability, stopping power, legal defense ramification, etc. a modern gun has got it all over a BP arm. If I had to use an 1860 army to defend myself because that's all I had, or because that's what was with me when I was attacked, I would do it, and I'd feel reasonably well armed. I certainly wouldn't feel sorry for myself. But there's no way I'd select one over a modern gun if I had any choice in the matter at all. Defense of one's life or the lives of one's family is no time to indulge in capricious, romantic, or fanciful notions. The truth of this seems so blindingly self evident to me that I genuinely marvel to see people stepping up to take issue with it.

BHP FAN
April 6, 2012, 04:29 PM
Some folks aren't into being on ''paper'' as owning guns, and are looking for the most lethal, ''non-regulated'' [meaning not needing to be registered in most states] arm they can legally own.In my own case, that ship has sailed, I'm a collector and Life NRA member, but I can certainly understand why someone who isn't as into guns as I am might want to own just one, for utility/defense. of course the Winchester Defender 12 ga, or other inexpensive shotgun is an excellent choice, but in my state you must register long arms [new sales] and some folks just aren't willing to do that, and ''label'' themselves. I'm not sure if that's where the OP was going with this, but it's a consideration that might be taken....

Busyhands94
April 6, 2012, 04:51 PM
There is another excellent point on this issue. I'm sick of California gun laws, but I own a gun to protect myself and my family from the evil we know is out there. That's another fantastic reason why I love blackpowder, no registration or any of that garbage. I can order a .44 and have it shipped right to me without any forms or anything to fill out, having paperless guns is great!

I already have cartridge guns, but I feel safer with my New Model Army because it's proven itself to be reliable. I know how to load it, I know how to hit with it, and I can be sure it's reliable. And if that fails, there is always the paperless .22 Magnum sold my NAA that gives better ballistics than the cartridge version.

So BP guns kind of fill a self defense niche. Say you didn't own any kind of firearm and needed one ASAP for whatever reason, perhaps that one guy got out of prison who threatened to kill you several years ago and slipped through the cracks of the prison system. I wouldn't wait ten days and fill out a bunch of paperwork to be able to have a firearm to defend myself. If that is the case then get a good cap and ball, some powder, caps, and ammo, then you are armed and have a formidable weapon. I've seen what a hefty load in a .44 blackpowder can do, it's something I'd hate to be shot with. No doubt a bad guy wouldn't care if it was a cap and ball, it looks like a gun and shoots bullets that can be used to kill bad guys. A .454 ball under a load of 35 grains of Triple Seven would absolutely be stout enough to light your attacker up like the fourth of July.


Levi

ZVP
April 9, 2012, 10:33 PM
Hickock found it necessary to clear and reload his Revolvers every day as the srories go and since he was likely the leading expert on BP Revolver use for all time, I'd follow his lead!
He may have not target shot his pistols frequentlly, but he shot them very often (Likely in a plinking sense when recharging for the day).
I gotta agree, Pratice a LOT.
I shoot my BP revolvers at least once a week and still my groups go out to3 1/2" many times. You need to keep them closer to 2 1/2"!
ZVP

BHP FAN
April 9, 2012, 11:26 PM
I think daily is a bit much ... when I got out of the Navy, I shot a .36 left loaded [but not capped,in my safe] for about a year, and it went off without a hitch, at a shooting session not long after, and back east you still hear about someone getting shot with great grandpa's Civil War gun from up in the attic, every now and again.

arcticap
April 10, 2012, 03:56 AM
Wax paper could also be used under the patched balls to protect the powder.
Wax paper could work in revolvers too by pressing it to fit the shape of the chamber using the ram.

rajb123
April 11, 2012, 03:50 PM
I took some 14 year old percussion caps (CCI #11) to the range a few weeks ago..... every cap went "pow"! ....they were stored in my humid basement.

Tinpan58
April 12, 2012, 12:46 AM
Wild Bills guns werenít sitting in a nite stand waiting for someone to break in, they were with him in all kinds of weather, plus he had no shortage of people that would not mind seeing him 6 feet under so shooting and cleaning everyday was the prudent thing to do, just look at what happen when he left his guard down and didnít sit with his back to the wall. If he was around now days I donít you would see him riding into Afghanistan on a horse with his 1851s blazing?

gunner69
April 12, 2012, 01:41 AM
You have your reasons for choosing a BP handgun, I would do what it takes to legally obtain a modern firearm myself. That said, my Remington .44 would stop some sleeqy ass night "zombie" as well as one of my center fire pistols. I would go with the moisture pack idea and practice a lot. This is much like the old "WD-40 contamination" idea. Swap your ammo, in this case shoot it, monthly if not sooner.

I have a friend who can't own modern firearms. He has BP firearms instead. Receintly had a breakin by illegals and it was nip and tuck for awhile. When the police responded they took his side. Their were "blood trails" but no bad guys. It's been 6 months of peace for him now so looks like BP worked for him.

kBob
April 12, 2012, 05:39 PM
I keep seeing this "can't own modern guns, so they have a BP gun" over and over. When asked within the last month an ATF ageant inspecting a friend books said that convicted felons could own traditional BP arms.....but that is was still a felony for them to posses ammunition or components to include BP, caps, and bullets.

That is of course only that federal agent's view of how only the feds feel about it. Various states may have more restrictive laws.

I would hate to see someone mess up based on seeing information on here that is less than Jake.

-kBob

Busyhands94
April 12, 2012, 07:25 PM
I used to shoot my revolver dry every morning, clean it, and reload it. But the sound of the five shots carried too far even with the shop ventilation on, so I had to keep it on the down low for a while. I do go out to the woods and shoot my pistol about once a month and then clean and reload. I hope someday I'll be able to buy a piece of property big enough to shoot my New Model Army every morning. That would be sweet!

Levi

StrawHat
April 13, 2012, 08:24 AM
What a lot of folks lose sight of is you can leave a hammer on the seat of your car all the time with no problem. Smash someone's head in with it and you are charged with murder and the hammer is declared a deadly weapon. It is not the tool, it is the action. I neither know why nor do I care why the OP wants to use black powder. It is a fine choice and I hope he has recieved the information he was seeking.

Nite Ryder
April 24, 2012, 02:29 PM
In your post #6 you stated: "If I can't hit a human at under 15 feet, in the heat of battle, something is really wrong. Did it before, got the bloody uniform to prove it. It's not a question of my skills". Having been employed as a LEO for my state, I've seen trooper after trooper miss targets at 7 yards, so don't tell me something is wrong if you miss at 15 yards. You might be good, but I doubt that you are that good. In the heat of battle/gunfights trained FBI agents get killed because of misses at short range. Absolutely nothing takes the place of practice, and I mean the right kind of practice where you are moving or behind cover. I love BP guns and have many, but using one of them for protection is fool hardly. Our ancestors used and depended on BP guns to protect them, but they didn't have anything that was better, they had no choice.

Busyhands94
April 24, 2012, 04:02 PM
"I love BP guns and have many, but using one of them for protection is fool hardly."

This weekend when I went out to shoot I had several misfires with my .357, I haven't had a misfire in a long time with my 1858 Remington. I also shoot it more than any other pistol I own, know what load it likes, know what loads put a hurt on whatever is downrange, know how to make it go boom when I want it to, and keep it by my bedside as my home defense gun with a smaller caliber revolver as a backup. Best pistol I own, period. Best $175 I ever spent, period.

When I'm out fishing or checking the trot line I'm always armed with a pistol, and that pistol just so happens to be a small percussion revolver that I practice with all the time.

Don't underestimate blackpowder guns as defensive weapons. Let's pretend you didn't have any kind of firearm, cartridge or otherwise. If you knew someone legitimately wanted to hurt you but didn't have solid proof he wanted to do so you'd probably want a gun. In California you can't just go into a gun store, buy a gun, and walk out of the place with your new firearm no matter how dire the situation. You have to wait ten whole days before you can go pick it up and if it's a handgun then you need to pass a safety course. If you needed a gun, a New Model Army or a ROA would make an excellent choice. I bet 40 grains of Triple Seven and a ball would be a great defensive load in the Remington, even if you miss your bad guy will probably be cleaning out his shorts from the noise. Or perhaps even a BP gun with a conversion cylinder, that would work as well.

If it goes boom everytime and has .45 Colt ballistics you can count me in as far as defense goes.

Levi

BHP FAN
April 25, 2012, 04:08 AM
Good points Busyhands! with that load in a .44, even a near miss will suck the oxygen right out of an your opponent's lungs, and make him pass out!

StrawHat
April 25, 2012, 08:59 AM
Anybody shot the 40 grain charge of 777 with a round ball over a chronograph? As big a fan of the round ball as I am, it is nowhere near what the 45 long Colt is, ballistically.

With the 45 long Colt, black powder and a 260 grain lead bullet I get about 950 fps from a 5 1/2" revolver.

Rogue Coder
April 25, 2012, 09:15 AM
Anybody shot the 40 grain charge of 777 with a round ball over a chronograph? As big a fan of the round ball as I am, it is nowhere near what the 45 long Colt is, ballistically.

With the 45 long Colt, black powder and a 260 grain lead bullet I get about 950 fps from a 5 1/2" revolver.
StrawHat a bad guy is really not going to care about what a chronograph says about BP and a roundball vs .45LC. (Personally I could care less what a chronograph says about roundball. All I have to do is visit the Gettysburg cemetary to see actual results.) A bad guy is not going to care about if you hold a BP revolver or a modern gun. I have a Hi Point C9. I love that pistol! Now, it has jammed numerous times on me. My Brass Frame 1858 w/8" barrel has yet to fail me. (I know there are those that would say because it's a brass frame I should never rely on it for SD/HD). Anyone starring at the business end of my Remington (unless they are high or drunk) will think very carefully about their next move.

arcticap
April 25, 2012, 09:17 AM
Anybody shot the 40 grain charge of 777 with a round ball over a chronograph? As big a fan of the round ball as I am, it is nowhere near what the 45 long Colt is, ballistically.
With the 45 long Colt, black powder and a 260 grain lead bullet I get about 950 fps from a 5 1/2" revolver.

mec chronographed some 35 grain loads of 777:

It can be kind of odd stuff. I was shooting a .457 ball in my Remington/Uberti and it was spactic at any charge beneath 35 grains. It liked that charge fine:

35 Gr/Vol. H777 1061 28(spread)
A couple of charges worked well with the RamLok Bullet:
RamLok 194 Grain Bullet
30 Gr/Vol. H777 937 30
35 Gr/Vol. H777 1106 33

35gr/vol seems to be the majic number with my ruger old army and .457 balls:
35 Grains Swiss FFFg 1088 90spread 376 ft.lbs.
35 Gr/Vol.H777 1046 89spread ................340
35 Gr/Vol. Pyrodex P 992 88 spread......313

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=239538&highlight=velocity

Donny
April 25, 2012, 09:45 AM
Black powder pistols are very deadly and more than adaquite for self defense. My Remingtons never choke on caps and are accurate if I do my part. The only time I would consider them inadaquite would be if I were up against gang bangers using hi cap glocks. My cap and ball revolvers go with me on hikes and fishing trips and I'm confident that they would handle any two or four legged trouble I might encounter save a large bear.

Don

Rogue Coder
April 25, 2012, 09:49 AM
Yeah but Donny if there is a group of gang-bangers all pointing their guns at you, IMHO the SMART thing to do is run. OTOH the chances of a group of gang bangers all coming at you with their guns is even less than actually having to defend yourself against a single BG.

Donny
April 25, 2012, 09:52 AM
You couldn't be more right Rogue.:D

Don

Tinpan58
April 25, 2012, 01:25 PM
The problem with the question of self defense is there is no real answer, every situation is different, every wound is different. When KenHulme started this thread he said he fended off intruders with a large knife, so in that situation a knife was good enough. If you look at history in law enforcement they have not carried the biggest and badest guns yet it is there job to go into dangerous situations every day, look at the wells fargo .31 used for concealed carry by some officers, or the pocket police .36 or the .36 cal the navy used, all of these men could be facing down guys with walkers and dragons, or in more modern times the 38 special or the 9mm not exactly powerhouses, yet they go into dangerous situations every day. most go thru their whole life as a peace officer and never have to shoot anyone some probably never even take it out of the holster, so just having a gun in your hand gives you a certain amount of protection, as for stopping power, do a search, i did and have seen figures that 85% of people that are shot survive, stories of people being shot 20 times and living to tell about it, some people survive multiple sots from a large caliber gun and some die from a single shot from a .22. If you look at any war ever fought the number of wounded greatly out numbers the number killed. I have seen figures that in the civil war 200 rounds per kill and in Viet nam 200.000 rounds per kill. I you go on the naa web site you will see their idea is no one wants to be shot by a gun of any kind. Most intruders want your stuff and would just as soon you not be their, they aren’t looking for a confrontation, they don’t want to get shot and they don’t want to be captured, you could probably control the situation just as well by shooting a round thru the floor or in the mattress, because they most likely wont be hanging around. I have a alarm system, a camera system and a dog, that is my first line of defense, my guns are plan B and the one I shoot the best is my defense gun. and always goes to the range with me. If you have to ask others if what you use is good enough that means you are not confident in your choice or ability to use it.

hogshead
April 25, 2012, 01:45 PM
I think he was asking how long he could keep it loaded. He hasn't been on here since Mar 30.When he explained why he was using bp though he didnt have to.

Jim NE
April 25, 2012, 02:27 PM
Yes, a black powder weapon is lethal, but so is a crossbow, a sword or a vial of anthrax...does that make those items a smart choice for defense?

Who would trust their lives to ONLY 150 year old medical technology? Some people, maybe, but not many. So why would you trust your life to only 150 year old firearms technology? At least move up to the 1870's when they had cartridges. BPML can't be unloaded (except by firing) - that's what I don't like. (As always, jmo :))

Busyhands94
April 25, 2012, 03:33 PM
"Anybody shot the 40 grain charge of 777 with a round ball over a chronograph? As big a fan of the round ball as I am, it is nowhere near what the 45 long Colt is, ballistically."

I dunno man, if someone were to shoot 40 grains of Triple Seven and a roundball (or a conical if you could fit it) at a bad guy he'd probably need to change his shorts. A remmy can be loaded pretty hot, close to .45 ACP, .44 Special, or even .45 Colt ballistics I suspect. Someday I will own a Chronograph and a steel framed New Model Army and I'll be able to test this for myself. But until then I still feel pretty safe having my Remmy by my bedside, I've seen what it can do.

If you'd use a .380, .22 LR or magnum, 9mm, .38 special, .32 ACP, .25 ACP for self defense you still are going to kill if you nail the bad guy in the heart or brain. Are they the most effective rounds? No. Can they kill a bad guy given you properly place your shot(s)? Yep. Plenty have been killed by a .22 short, and that's the smallest caliber you can get. I heard about some teen that got killed because his friend shot him with one of those Aguila pipsqueak rounds just to see what would happen, there probably was beer or pot involved I would imagine.

The gun I usually carry when I go to check the trot line isn't a big .44, it's my NAA Super Companion. I know it's only a .22 Magnum equivalent percussion revolver, but I know how to shoot with it and could easily defend myself with the little single action. The other bonus is it is really, really, loud with 2 grains of Bullseye. If I were to touch that gun off in the general direction of a bad guy he'd probably turn around and start running. But my Remington is louder and more powerful, indeed a better weapon.

My point is that if you have a gun, know how to shoot it accurately and effectively, and you are comfortable with it, and you choose it as a defensive weapon, then by all means use it if you need to. I am not saying there isn't better weapons than a blackpowder revolver, but if you know how to shoot effectively then you will have a very lethal self defense weapon. Of course it all comes down to the shooter and what he/she is capable of, heck maybe the bad guy has never fired a gun before in his life and just wants to rob, rape, or harm you.

I highly doubt that bad guys ever get out to the range to practice on human silhouettes. But if it were me, I'd choose my New Model Army. The boom would make them soil themselves or scare them away, the bullet has quite some force behind it, and the big bore and fat cylinder just looks nasty on the other end.

Just my two cents.

Levi

Rogue Coder
April 25, 2012, 03:35 PM
I completely trust my life in my Brass Frame Remington. I have YET to have a miss-fire or a hang-fire or a chain-fire. I literally spent weeks studying YouTube videos and forums before I went out to the range. I practiced with that revolver many times. I am trained with it. Besides that, carrying such a large revolver has one HUGE (pun intended) feature: it has loads of intimidation. Any BG that sees me walking somewhere carrying this large gun will think twice before coming at me.

Busyhands94
April 25, 2012, 04:24 PM
I completely trust my life in my Brass Frame Remington. I have YET to have a miss-fire or a hang-fire or a chain-fire. I literally spent weeks studying YouTube videos and forums before I went out to the range. I practiced with that revolver many times. I am trained with it. Besides that, carrying such a large revolver has one HUGE (pun intended) feature: it has loads of intimidation. Any BG that sees me walking somewhere carrying this large gun will think twice before coming at me.

Same here. It goes boom and will kill anything short of griz with a well placed shot. It's my handgun of choice, and if someone were to break through my back door that would be the gun I'd grab. It's got a big bore, big holes on the cylinder, and looks like a magnum handgun. No question whether or not the caliber begins in 4 when you are looking down the barrel.

Smokepole14
April 26, 2012, 12:06 AM
The best defense gun anyone can own is one they are most proficient with. It's easy to see where people can say bp handguns are a poor choice for personal defense but I have to disagree. I have never had not the first misfire with my 58 Remington and no cap jams. To me it's just as reliable as any other gun in my house. As of right now I have a conversion cylinder in it with 250 gr .45 colt. Either way I wouldn't feel unarmed with it at all, I'd hate to know I was staring down the barrel of a c&b revolver or any gun as a matte of fact. The bottom line is use what you are most accurate with and most confident in. If that is a cap and ball revolver then that's good enough. For me im using my big 12 ga automatic but if I got to my remmy I'd feel just as good as josey wales:D

StrawHat
April 26, 2012, 10:18 AM
Rogue Coder Quote:
StrawHat a bad guy is really not going to care about what a chronograph says about BP and a roundball vs .45LC. (Personally I could care less what a chronograph says about roundball. All I have to do is visit the Gettysburg cemetary to see actual results.) A bad guy is not going to care about if you hold a BP revolver or a modern gun. I have a Hi Point C9. I love that pistol! Now, it has jammed numerous times on me. My Brass Frame 1858 w/8" barrel has yet to fail me. (I know there are those that would say because it's a brass frame I should never rely on it for SD/HD). Anyone starring at the business end of my Remington (unless they are high or drunk) will think very carefully about their next move.

Most of the graves in Gettysburg were filled because of either the Minie bullet or infection. Check the records, very few documented revolver casulties. And the paper cartridges for the revolvers used a conical bullet.

I wasn't asking about the BGs reaction to a chronograph, I wanted that info for myself. As I said, I am a fan of the roundball, preferring it to the conical of the same era. But I know the black powder loading in the 45 long Colt will penetrate a white tailed deer from chest to ham. I also know a round ball will not.

How many people stared " ...at the buisnees end of your Remington... "?

StrawHat
April 26, 2012, 10:24 AM
articap,

Thank you for that information.

Rogue Coder
April 26, 2012, 03:24 PM
Yes thanks man! I didn't realize the ballistics were so close to 45.

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