How Do You Load Your 1858 Army ?


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red rick
April 21, 2012, 10:56 PM
I just ordered a Uberti 1858 Army.

How do you load them?

What caps, powder and balls do you use?

Who do you buy from?

Do you use a capper or your fingers?

Do you use wads, grease, crisco, or nothing to prevent a chain fire?

What powder measurer and or flask do you use?

Can you use 777 or Blackhorn in it?

I guess you can tell buy now this is my first BP revolver. I would like to shorten the learning curb and have what I need when it gets here next week.

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4v50 Gary
April 22, 2012, 01:31 AM
See Black powder essentials at the top of this forum.

wittzo
April 22, 2012, 01:37 AM
I'm no expert compared to a lot of the guys here that have been shooting BP revolvers since before I was born, but I've been reading their advice to other people and myself and experimenting on my own with what limited local resources I have. If it wasn't for the Internet, I wouldn't be able to shoot blackpowder.

It should come with an instruction manual that shows how to load it, but there are lots of Youtube videos that can demonstrate the process. Look up duelist1954 on Youtube, he's probably the best guy to watch. I think he's demonstrated and reviewed almost every BP revolver made.

#11 caps from CCI or Remington. 3Fg black powder, 777 pistol powder, or Pyrodex P will work well. .454 round balls should work fine, just so they leaves a nice round ring of lead after it's pushed in to indicate they're tight in the cylinder.

PowderInc.com has the best deals on black powder. They sell Goex, KIK, and Sheutzan Swiss which are all good. Dixiegunworks.com sells #11 caps, but there are several other sites that sell them and you might be able to find them at Walmart, Dick's or other stores during hunting season. Buying them locally helps you duck the hazmat fee.

I don't think there's a capper made that will work with an unmodified Remington, you have to use your fingers to cap the nipples, then seat them firmly with a wooden dowel.

If you use a round ball large enough to shave a lead ring off during the ramming stage and use properly seated nipples of the correct size, the cylinder is sealed against chainfires. Wads (lubed felt wads, dry felt wads, or wonder lube pills) over the powder or Crisco/Wonder Lube over the ball do more to soften fouling to make the gun easier to clean if you use the right balls and nipples.

A flask with a safety valve and any powder measure that can handle up to 40 grains will work fine. Thompson Center and Ted Cash make some nice ones.

For all practical purposes Blackhorn only works with #290 shotgun primers. #11 caps don't have enough oomph to ignite it by themselves.

red rick
April 22, 2012, 01:45 AM
You did good I think you hit on all of my questions.

Hammerdown77
April 22, 2012, 10:23 AM
I'm a newbie to cap and ball myself (but not to reloading). I recently bought an 1860 Army by Pietta and shot it last weekend.

I will say this on the #11 CCI caps. On the Pietta nipples, these caps are loose and required a little pinch to stay on the nipples while firing. Not a big deal, just an extra step required in loading. I didn't use a capper, nor would I have been able to, because of needing to pinch the caps to get them to fit. Your Uberti may have different size nipples, though.

I used .454 Hornady round balls. They were perfect. Thin ring of lead shaved off when they were seated. Excellent accuracy. I loaded and seated the balls with the rammer on the gun (as opposed to removing the cylinder and loading on a loading stand).

I used FFFg black powder from Goex. I have a flask with a nozzle that is sized to throw 30 grains. When I weighed the charge on the scale, it is not 30 grains, closer to 26.5, 27, but I used it anyway. I just poured in the powder, seated the bullet firmly, directly on the powder (no wad or anything), and put Wonder Lube down in the cylinder over the ball. This combination proved to be very very accurate for my gun, and the over ball lube kept all the fouling very soft. All fouling pushed right out of the bore with one wet patch.

A word of warning though.......this stuff is addictive :D

raubvogel
April 22, 2012, 10:46 AM
I used FFFg black powder from Goex. I have a flask with a nozzle that is sized to throw 30 grains. When I weighed the charge on the scale, it is not 30 grains, closer to 26.5, 27, but I used it anyway.

I think the reason is that those flasks are measuring by volume. Since the powder is not uniform, specially at that amount, you are bound to get variations.

mic214
April 22, 2012, 11:23 AM
Congratulations and welcome to the "Dark side"!

I picked up my first Pietta New Army back in November from Cabela's for $179.00. Since then, I have added two more to my collection, so now I have two with 5-1/2" barrels and one with an 8" barrel....They are very addicting!

I picked up a cylinder loading stand and that makes loading a breeze. I use a charge of 25-30 grains of fff black powder or pyrodex "P" powder, followed by a lubed wad and then topped off with a .457 round lead ball. I have been using Remington #10 caps and they seem to work pretty well.

I cap with a straight line capper and then do a final seating of the cap with the eraser end of a pencil. I use an adjustable brass powder measure.

The local gun shop here in town carries a good supply of black powder gear....

Here is a pic of my loading setup:

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y71/mic214/Black%20Powder/Loadingstand.jpg

Ryden
April 22, 2012, 07:47 PM
I shoot an original NMA and I load with a .38 Special case (24gr) of either FFg or Pyrodex RS depending on what's in the can at the moment.
Then I add an equal measure of polenta and a .457 RB covered with beeswax/tallow grease.

I've got less and softer fouling if I put the grease under the bullet, but then you really need a wad over the powder as the grease will harm it if left for a while before shooting. If you put the grease over the bullet, the bullet will scrape it of the walls of the barrel and new fouling will be added to what's already there, with the grease under the bullet it will coat the barrel with atomized grease that will work wonders softening up the fouling and the next bullet with just push it out.

I use RWS 1075 and cap with my fingers, I dont seat them extra or anything, just put them on. Never had a misfire or a lost cap.
I just bought a Ted Cash inline capper and that seems to work great, mainly to stop fiddling around with those pesky sub-miniature caps. The rifle takes musket caps and that's a blessing.

The key element to easy capping is the fit of the nipple, If you have to seat your caps with a stick or similar then you should get better nipples.
The secret for the original guns is to buy the long Colt version and cut them down to the correct length, if you buy the short Colt nipples they are to wide and won't fit standard caps.

scrat
April 22, 2012, 07:56 PM
very easy pointed down range. put the gun in half cock. Open the loading gate slide in a 45colt, turn the cylinder, repeat 4 more times. Then place hammer in safe area. Now ready to fire.

Ryden
April 22, 2012, 08:01 PM
So, do you cap with your fingers or do you use an eraserhead?:D

scrat
April 22, 2012, 08:10 PM
well if your talking about the loading gate. yep forgot when done i close the gate no tools needed just push with my pinkie :neener:
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q77/scratm3/Copy2ofPicture045.jpg
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q77/scratm3/Copy2ofPicture047.jpg

red rick
April 22, 2012, 09:11 PM
What cap fits the Uberti 1858 the best?

scrat
April 22, 2012, 09:23 PM
Depends on where you are. IN CA cant find remington caps so we settle for #11 CCI. they are pretty cheap in price though. If you find a shooting range that has them on hand you can try them both.

Kaeto
April 22, 2012, 09:30 PM
I used FFFg black powder from Goex. I have a flask with a nozzle that is sized to throw 30 grains. When I weighed the charge on the scale, it is not 30 grains, closer to 26.5, 27, but I used it anyway. I just poured in the powder, seated the bullet firmly, directly on the powder (no wad or anything), and put Wonder Lube down in the cylinder over the ball. This combination proved to be very very accurate for my gun, and the over ball lube kept all the fouling very soft. All fouling pushed right out of the bore with one wet patch.

BP should only be measured by volume not weight.

hogshead
April 22, 2012, 09:39 PM
Thats cheating Scrat.

mykeal
April 22, 2012, 10:26 PM
BP should only be measured by volume not weight.
Real black powder can be measured either way. The largest part of the difference between the weight and volume results attained by Hammerdown77 is probably due to inaccuracies in the volume measure. I've compared results from four volume measures and found as much as a 13% disagreement. And since grains by volume is not supported by any official standard, it's impossible to say what the 'right' answer is when using volume. And I doubt if anyone could really tell the difference in 2 grains.

junkman_01
April 23, 2012, 07:24 AM
Mykeal wrote
Real black powder can be measured either way.

This is true. Folks who don't know or never tried weighing black powder, always spout the myth that you can ONLY measure BP by volume. I guess they have never witnessed a real BP match!

Hammerdown77
April 23, 2012, 08:39 AM
I need to weigh the charges thrown again; after a day of shooting, the nozzle got a nice layer of soot built up on the inside of it, and the powder charges seemed to be more consistent. No flakes of powder left in the spout. I still don't think it's 30 grains (weight), though.

Yesterday I loaded up some 45 Colt rounds using 35 grains (weighed) of FFg Goex. My friend loaned me his adjustable powder measure, the one with the sliding scale marked in graduations of 10 grains (looks kinda like a tire pressure gauge). That one seems pretty accurate with FFg Goex powder. The scale is about midway between the 30 grain mark and the 40 grain mark, and it weighs out 35 grains on my Dillon scale.

scrat
April 23, 2012, 11:10 AM
When working with Black powder you should only and always go by volume not weight. Regardless of what your scales show or if you have differences between one manufacture and the other. Remember real black powder is hygroscopic. Meaning it will absorb moisture this will effect the weight of the powder. In revolvers like the 1858 it is important that you stick with proper loading volumes not weight. WHY because the loading lever only goes so far for one. So if you weigh out your charges and think you are going to go with 25-30 grains of powder on a powder scale on a humid day in the south of florida or texas. Guess what go ahead and drop that charge. Then put your ball in when you ram down that ball you will have a huge gap between the powder charge and the ball. You will feel no resistance when you push down that ball. You just created a black powder hand grenade.

Now think about it when shooting you are looking for consistancy. Knowing this you go by 35 grains of powder by volume using what ever brand powder adjustable powder volume measure. I dont care if its different from others. USE IT. then shoot. now measure your results then adjust accordingly to find the best charge level for your gun using that powder measure.

Hammerdown77
April 23, 2012, 11:37 AM
I agree with you on the moisture absorption issue, but I disagree that you can't weigh out the charges on a NEW can of powder and calibrate your measure accordingly. You do the same thing with smokeless powder, too. Granted, it won't absorb moisture as fast as black powder, but it still happens. Even if it didn't happen, you still have VMD variations between different lots of powder. So, if you want to be especially precise, you crack open a new jug of smokeless powder, weigh out several different charges, and then calibrate your powder drop (which meters out powder by VOLUME) accordingly.

For example, I've had a lot of smokeless powder that threw X grains out of cavity Y in my Lee Pro Autodisk. When I ran out and bought a new jug of that same powder, I tried throwing that same charge with cavity Y and the weighed charge was actually X + .2 grains. It threw this variation consistently. Now, given that this was a slower powder where .2 grains increase or decrease didn't really make much difference, I didn't worry about it. If it had been a fast powder like Clays, and I was near max, I would have used a different cavity, or used the adjustable charge bar.

Don't see why you can't use this same method on a fresh, unopened can of black powder. Adjust your measure to throw the charge you want, measured on a scale. Now, that measure's VOLUME will be set to throw a certain weight of that type (FF, FFF, whatever) of powder. As long as you don't adjust that volume to account for changes in weight of the powder later on, as it absorbs moisture, you will be fine.

Or at least that's my take on it. Makes the most sense, when you think about it.

junkman_01
April 23, 2012, 12:14 PM
Hammerdown,

You make sense, scrat does not.

mykeal
April 23, 2012, 04:16 PM
Remember real black powder is hygroscopic. Meaning it will absorb moisture this will effect the weight of the powder.
Yep. Sure will. How much? Turns out black powder is only mildly hygroscopic; the amount of water absorbed at saturation is between 7 and 8.5 percent by weight. The popular volume measures sold by most sutlers are less accurate than that.

You can check this hygroscopic characteristic yourself with a very simple experiment. Simply weigh out a given amount of black powder in a dry environment - I suggest 100 grains by weight to keep it simple. Run the hot water in your bathroom shower until the mirror fogs up and place the dish containing the powder in the room with the door closed. Repeat the hot shower fogging the mirror every half hour or so, until about 6 hours have elapsed, then weigh the powder again. The powder should have saturated by that point so you will get a good measure of the maximum amount of water the powder can absorb. If there's any visible water condensed in the dish with the powder you need to start over because the powder will be oversaturated and give a false reading.

Driftwood Johnson
April 23, 2012, 04:40 PM
Howdy

I don't shoot Cab & Ball too often anymore. When I do I just pour in a spout full of FFg, usually Schuetzen or whatever else I have on hand. Then I seat a Wonderwad or the Cabelas' equivalent, then I seat a ball. I have not bothered gobbing Crisco or anything else over the ball for many years. Not once I discovered Wonderwads. Much simpler and just as effective to use a wad between powder and ball. No messy melted lube running out of the chambers, which it will do on a hot summer day, trust me on this. The wad will scrape out most of the fouling and the rifling will not fill up with hardened fouling. I just seat the cap with my fingers. I don't use a loading press, there is a perfectly serviceable loading lever built into almost every C&B revolver.

As for weighing or measuring Black Powder by volume, don't sweat it. I get so tired of this baloney that you can only measure powder by volume. I have been doing both for years. Which ever is more convenient in the situation at hand.

I tend to agree with mykeal, the amount of moisture taken on by Black Powder from a humid atmosphere is going to be insignificant.

Far more significant is the fact that all Black Powder does not weigh the same.

It ain't like making Unique, where the factory strives to keep the powder the exact same from year to year and lot to lot. Different companies vary the details of the way they make Black Powder. Try weighing a known volume of different brands of powder some time. They will not weigh the same. Neither will they weigh the same even within the same brand but from a different lot. The bottom line is, unless you are shooting for pin point accuracy with a rifle at many hundreds of yards, it simply does not matter. If you have one of those adjustable measures that looks like a tire gauge and you want 30 grains, set it to 30 grains. The simple fact is, if you set it to 30 grains and portion out Schuetzen, or Goex, or Swiss, or Kik, or whatever you have, the actual weight will vary. What is important for shot to shot consistency is to always have the same amount of powder in the chamber, no matter how you portioned it out. I'll let you in on another little secret. Even if you have 27 grains by actual weight in one chamber, and you have 28 1/2 grains by actual weight in another chamber, you will not be able to tell the difference and neither will your pistol. Black Powder simply is not that sensitive to variations in charges. It ain't like an extra half grain of Bullseye, which can make a huge difference.

Just set the darn thing to 30 grains and forget about how much it actually weighs.

I keep a chart in my loading notebook of how much the common charges I use in cartridges actually weigh. I can tell you that Elephant was heavier than Goex, which in turn is heavier than Schuetzen. Does it make a hill of beans when I point a 45 Colt at the target?

No.

hang fire
April 24, 2012, 05:29 AM
The load by volume chatter started when the faux BP brands which have different densities than BP appeared on the market. So it was logical for the mfg's to produce it to be used in equal volume to real BP, for if by weight, would lead to confusing loading instructions up the yazoo.

BCRider
April 24, 2012, 02:42 PM
On the matter of weighing the charge thrown by a "30grain" spout. Consider that the classic way of filling the spout is to stick a fingertip firmly on the opening, open the gate than flip the flask spout down and release the gate lever. The finger holding back the powder from pouring on the ground domes up into the end of the opening. Typically by the time I flip the flask back up and if I look at the end the powder level is actually a good 1/16 inch below the edge. I suspect that represents around a 2 to 4 grain amount. If the spouts are "designed" for a specific volume/weight of dry powder on the drawing board without consideration of the flexible fingertip used to cap it off then I'm not surprised that a 30 gn spout throws more like 27gns.

Hammerdown77
April 24, 2012, 06:55 PM
On the matter of weighing the charge thrown by a "30grain" spout. Consider that the classic way of filling the spout is to stick a fingertip firmly on the opening, open the gate than flip the flask spout down and release the gate lever. The finger holding back the powder from pouring on the ground domes up into the end of the opening. Typically by the time I flip the flask back up and if I look at the end the powder level is actually a good 1/16 inch below the edge. I suspect that represents around a 2 to 4 grain amount. If the spouts are "designed" for a specific volume/weight of dry powder on the drawing board without consideration of the flexible fingertip used to cap it off then I'm not surprised that a 30 gn spout throws more like 27gns.
You're exactly right about the finger over the nozzle causing a doming effect.

I weighed out some charges using this 30 grain spout on the end of my flask again, using FFFg Goex powder, but this time I held a small flat piece of metal over the spout opening instead of my finger, and I shook the flask up and down three times to settle the powder in the spout before releasing the cutoff lever.

Weighing these on my beam scale, they were all pretty much 30 grains on the nose.

Using the finger on the spout method, it was a grain or two less than that.

scrat
April 25, 2012, 09:52 PM
Hammerdown you are correct under ideal conditions. Those who live in the south florida texas. It will work when your indoors. However you get to the range when the humidity plays in the works and you might as well just toss that idea out the window. Go with a powder volumetric measure. use 35 grains and shoot a full cylinder. From there go up 2-5 grains or down 2-5 grains and try it again. When you get to a load that works for you stick with it. You may have to adjust again next time out. However you will have a starting point to deal with.

Shoot i remember i was working one time in Corpus Christi Texas. 11am and 11pm felt the same exact way. You could get all dressed up for work. go outside to your car. Get in turn on the ac full blast within about 3 minutes from the time you went outside till the time the ac starts to kick in your soaking wet. Felt like you took a shower and just put your clothes on without drying off. Weighing a powder charge in that kind of environment is useless.

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