Ok, its starting to smell good.


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blarby
February 6, 2013, 03:48 AM
The powdersmoke, that is.

I'm not new to the concept of blackpowder.

My father was a re-enactor, as a youth I just didn't "get" it.

I'm starting to.......

Now, with that said, its gonna be a bit before any blackpowder pieces come across my doorstep, and I want to make sure I select the right one ( two, actually).

And thats where I need your help !

I'm looking around for a both a rifle, and a pistol.

I'd prefer something fired by a cap. Flintlocks are cool and all...... Just not what I'm looking for.

I reload. I cast. I know how to, and have made, fine grade black powder as a youth with my father. I haven't done it recently, but I will again.

Now, onto the pieces......

I'm up for suggestions on a revolver, and a rifle.

I'd honestly prefer something in a current manufacture. Despite all of the awesome history of these items- Historical metallurgy and its failings don't excite me in the least.

I'd like something in 44 cal for the revolver... The concept of removable cylinders is interesting. Still haven't made up my mind on that'n- and I'll need the most help in that area. Are there any BP revolvers that use an elongated "bullet" not simply a round ball ?

That should tell you about my knowledge level.

Ok- let the schooling begin !

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ofitg
February 6, 2013, 08:18 AM
It's hard to go wrong with the reproduction 1858 Remington, especially if you want the option of "speedloading" with spare cylinders. Uberti used to make the best repros, but now Pietta has caught up with them.

Most any percussion revolver can be loaded with an elongated conical slug OR a round ball. Your choice.

Garmangabis
February 6, 2013, 08:28 AM
When you get around to trying speed loading with black powder, practice without the caps in place, because it's pretty easy to set off one of the charges by hitting them against the gun or dropping them.

Noz
February 6, 2013, 09:37 AM
I'd start with an 1860 Army and a Trapdoor Springfield.

Jaymo
February 6, 2013, 07:33 PM
Remington NMA .44 reproduction and a Lyman Great Plains Rifle would be a great start.
I would recommend a TC Renegade, but they're out of production and may be hard to find. You may be able to find one in beautiful condition, for a good price. I didn
You could also get a TC Hawken.
The Lyman Great Plains rifle is sweet.

loose noose
February 6, 2013, 07:56 PM
blarby, How 'bout a 58 Remington and an 1873 Winchester, for a start. Pedersoli sells a sweet 1873 Winchester for right near $900.00, and a 1858 Remington Army is right at $299.00, both are highly accurate and sweet shooting firearms. So for right at $1200.00 you're right in the ball game.:D

Doak
February 6, 2013, 09:18 PM
I've shot in allota local rifle matches. The flinters always out-perform the cap guns. Hang fires & misfires alone put the cap guns off the back.

This testament applies only to BP, since the flash in the pan will only, reliably, ignite BP.

EljaySL
February 6, 2013, 09:36 PM
The most generic starting advice is a Pietta 1858 Remington and a Lyman Great Plains Rifle.

If you take a look at those and aren't impressed say why and people can steer you to something else. (I find the Lyman kind of unattractive but it's accurate and reliable and pretty fuss free so it's hard to argue with it for a first rifle.)

re: using something other than a ball in the revolver - yes, search for "conical" but as far as I can tell they're kind of a pain to keep absolutely straight, etc. I'm sure others will disagree, but that's my impression.

Jaymo
February 6, 2013, 09:54 PM
IIRC, the Lyman Great Plains Rifle is available in caplock and flintlock versions.
Flintlocks are fun. I wouldn't trade my rock lock for anything.

Packman
February 6, 2013, 10:30 PM
I started with an 1851 and quickly upgraded to an 1858. I rather enjoy the 58, it's a stupid amount of fun for not much money. I haven't taken the plunge on a rifle yet, but it's in the cards.

Percussion has kept my attention, but I'm coveting a flintlock.

EljaySL
February 7, 2013, 12:25 AM
I'd save the flintlock for the single shot pistol which should be the third one he gets. :-)

blarby
February 7, 2013, 02:23 AM
Ok, the remington is getting a lot of nods.

I think a rifle is out of the way for at least this year- with all of everything thats going on, I'm going to be lucky to sneak in a pistol.

For kicks- what do you think about this :

http://www.basspro.com/1858-Remington-44-Caliber-New-Army-Revolver-with-RediPak/product/57045/

Any thoughts on this brand ? The kit ?

By 44 cal- are they talking .430, or something else .... ? ( .432-.433etc)

Thank you everyone for chiming in- I appreciate it !

BullRunBear
February 7, 2013, 03:01 AM
Check out Cabelas. They have a Remington 1858 with a STEEL frame (always better than brass) and starter kit for less money.

C&B revolvers use slightly oversized balls. In this case the Remington usually takes .454 round ball. I never use conicals in mine so I'll leave those specs to others. When ramming the ball down there should be a very small ring of lead shaved off. That's why it tale a little effort to seat the ball.

As to a rifle: If buying new, here's another vote for the Lyman Great Plains. I've found MidSouth Shooters supply often has the best price on these but you'll want to shop around when the time comes.

Don't dismiss the idea of a used rifle. My Renegade has been utterly reliable for 30 years. The 1 in 48 twist barrel that it comes with can handle round ball or conicals. If cared for, a Renegade or T/C Hawkin should last for generations.

Good luck with the search.

Jeff

swathdiver
February 7, 2013, 04:10 AM
Which gun fits your hand best? Is your old man still around? What did he use?

How about a Colt 1860 Army or a single action Starr?

As for rifles, How about a P-58 or P-60 Enfield?

Might you also consider a double shotgun or a Kentucky rifle too?

BHP FAN
February 7, 2013, 11:14 AM
http://www.cabelas.com/ensemble/1858-New-Army-Revolvers-and-Starter-Kits/4338.uts?WTz_l=DirectLoad%3Bcat108601380

loose noose
February 7, 2013, 11:51 AM
blarby sorry 'bout the rant about the Winchester 1873, when I read your post I thought you said something a bit more modern. I would go with the TC Hawkins, or even the Lyman Great Plains Rifle, both have nice lines. Further I checked the cost on the 1873 Winchester, forget the "at about $900.00 try $1200+. Man they went up quite a bit.:o

EljaySL
February 7, 2013, 10:29 PM
Definitely Cabela's if you go with a Pietta. They seem to be the big Pietta importer and often have great sale prices.

rio nueces
February 7, 2013, 10:49 PM
'58 Remington and .58 caliber rifle musket.
Minie ball rifles load fast and without messing with patches. Better handing than Hawken replicas.
Besides, I can't stand double triggers.

blarby
February 8, 2013, 12:14 AM
Its ok loose- I meant modern production, not necessarily a modern design.

Its all good :D

I like the idea of not having to use a patch for the rifle- thats a bonus to me. The less components, the better- I'm looking at this as a 100% self sustainable shooting activity.

Got in touch with pops on the pistol............. 58 remy :D Guess that settles that one :D

Most of what he uses for rifles are patch required guns- and he doesn't cast, so he's of limited help there.

And, he's about 1500 miles away, so a short trip to go test some firing is a little out of order.

EljaySL
February 8, 2013, 10:53 AM
re: patches - you don't need to use pre-cut patches. You just get a strip of cloth of a good thickness, kind of drape it over the muzzle, push the ball in, and take your pocket knife and cut off the excess. Means the ball is centered in the patch, too.

blarby
June 24, 2013, 04:53 PM
Ok, I took the plunge !

Model 1858 New Army 44 -Navy Arms Co

Seems to be in pretty good shape !

Got a new roundball mould for it too- Can't wait till thursday when I can try it out !

rodwha
June 24, 2013, 06:29 PM
Nice start! I need one of those too.

Did you give up on wanting conicals?

Have you been considering a rifle yet?

blarby
June 24, 2013, 06:31 PM
Given up on them ? Not yet... But I'll start with the RB's, and see where it goes !

rodwha
June 24, 2013, 06:48 PM
I'm not familiar with that brand and how well a conical will fit.

I assume you want to cast your own? If not I know where you can get some 180 grn RNFP (with a small flat point) at a very reasonable price. I think I paid $10/100. I buy all of my projectiles from a guy who casts, and has a page on another forum.

There are several molds out there specifically made for cap n ball guns, or you can go custom. As there isn't much specifically what I want I've thought about spending the ~$175 for a mold from Lee.

What about rifles? I'd look at a Lyman's as many others have suggested, but I'm not sure what it is you have in mind. What would you use it for?

Jaymo
June 24, 2013, 07:31 PM
Shiny.

blarby
June 24, 2013, 08:06 PM
I think the rifle may have to wait a bit longer.

Its primary use would be deer.

mykeal
June 24, 2013, 09:59 PM
Navy Arms is - or rather, was - an importer/distributor, not a brand. They sold many different brands, usually with the manufacturer's logos replaced by their own. Look under the loading lever near where the barrel enters the frame; sometimes they missed that one.

4v50 Gary
June 24, 2013, 10:29 PM
I'd go with a rifle first. Easier to use than a revolver. More fun if you go to Rendezvous.

blarby
June 24, 2013, 10:50 PM
Uberti

Unfortunately, Gary, that ship has already sailed !

Now I have a somewhat ........ interesting........ question :

I'm one of those folks who, of sound mind, choose to have loaded firearms about the residence.

I'm trying to determine the way to do so on this'n without it being problematic. On top of everything else, I've hit an interesting snag : Corrosive.

I was taught to clear the nipples before loading by firing a cap through each one, and then loading and firing as normal. Everyone also says that you have to clean these things immediately, or they'll basically dissolve. My CCI primers state they are non-corrosive... I assume I can believe that to be true ? It matters in that I'd be clearing the nipples as indicated, charging the weapon, and placing it on a stand. For the most part at my bedside, next to the other 44. I don't want this nice little piece to corrode simply sitting in an "unfired" state, but at the ready.

Thoughts ?

Lunie
June 24, 2013, 11:00 PM
I'd go with a rifle first. Easier to use than a revolver. More fun if you go to Rendezvous.
That is a matter of opinion... Or at least, not an absolute.

rodwha
June 24, 2013, 11:07 PM
I load mine up after cleaning, and I do not pop caps. I run my parts through the dishwasher's heat cycle to dry and then assemble and lightly oil. Afterwards I swab with an alcohol patch then run Q tips through the chambers, and load. I've yet to have a misfire or hangfire. But I also don't oil the nipples, and very lightly oil the chambers.

If deer or other medium game is all you'd likely hunt I'd suggest a .50 cal, and a Lyman. Depending on terrain and style you can get a Deerstalker with a 24" barrel 1:48" twist and either deep grooves better for PRB or shallow for sabots. There's the 28" Trade Rifle which is 1:48" twist and deep grooves, or their Great Plains which gives you the choice of a slow twist with deep grooves or fast twist with shallow grooves with a 32" barrel.

I chose the Deerstalker as I figure a handy rifle you can stalk with made more sense to me to begin with. I'll be using PRB unless given a chance for elk or something. But I do intend on buying another barrel and adding a Malcolm scope for hunting fields and such.

blarby
June 24, 2013, 11:27 PM
I'm also very curious as to what folks are using in terms of conicals ?

And what charges of FFFg everyone is using on this model ? The retailer advised 20 grains to start, progressing up to 25+ if I so chose, using a 138(ish) .451 RB

Thoughts ?

When it does come time for a rifle, I doubt sabots will be in the picture. I can't cast Sabots...... The business part, sure. But not the plastic.

This is going to be one of those fun segways that ends with me churning out small amounts of home made and corned BP, and somehow making caps....

kituwa
June 24, 2013, 11:56 PM
There are not a lot of choices for conicals unless you have a custom mold made.Pretty much there is the Lee mold, they come in two sizes i think, a .450-200 and a .457-225, the later is for the ROA. The other is the kaido bullets,i think they come in 240 and 255 if i remeber right and he says they will fit all cap and ball guns.Have read that they are not soft lead but he may cast you up some that are pure lead but not sure.He might sell the molds too.It seems that most people dont get as good accuracy from conicals as they do with round balls, prolly due to the slow twist in most of the repros. They are still fun to mess with though and you may have good luck with them. If you had a custom mold made then you could more likely get them to work better.Something with a wide flat point to keep the length short so they would stabilize better and still be able to be seated with the cylinder in the gun and the flat point would aid in killing power.They would need to have a rebated base so they start straight in the chambers. If i were going to leave one loaded and ready to go i would not use a lubed wad under the bullet, put lub over the ball and i would use 777 powder as it wont corrode sitting loaded like some of the other powders.

mykeal
June 25, 2013, 07:24 AM
I have to admit the idea of keeping loaded guns around without being 'problematic' is a bit, well, interesting.

However, on to the question of corrosion. Yes, today's caps qualify as non-corrosive, at least when compared to earlier designs that used mercury fulminate. Much of the concern about corrosion caused by cap combustion byproducts comes from that era and is not fully justified today.

But, and it's a big but, the contemporary cap combustion byproducts aren't completely corrosion free, so it's still good practice to clean thoroughly. Clearly, some compromise between clearing the flash channel and keeping corrosion at bay is necessary.

For me, the solution is simple: if I'm going to rely on a gun to protect my life and property, I'm going to use it frequently to reach and maintain proficiency. This both keeps me proficient and assures the gun is in top operating condition by performing regular maintenance. This means that the period of time the cap combustion byproducts have to cause corrosion is minimal; yes, there is a tiny bit of corrosion, but it gets cleaned away thoroughly and frequently.

There are those people who feel they don't need practice with their self defense gun to maintain proficiency, and they don't need to maintain that gun to assure it's in top operating condition. How they deal with the compromise between a clear flash channel and preventing any corrosion I'm not sure.

blarby
June 25, 2013, 01:03 PM
Thats a good answer.

Lunie
June 25, 2013, 09:55 PM
Uberti

Unfortunately, Gary, that ship has already sailed !

Now I have a somewhat ........ interesting........ question :

I'm one of those folks who, of sound mind, choose to have loaded firearms about the residence.

I'm trying to determine the way to do so on this'n without it being problematic. On top of everything else, I've hit an interesting snag : Corrosive.

I was taught to clear the nipples before loading by firing a cap through each one, and then loading and firing as normal. Everyone also says that you have to clean these things immediately, or they'll basically dissolve. My CCI primers state they are non-corrosive... I assume I can believe that to be true ? It matters in that I'd be clearing the nipples as indicated, charging the weapon, and placing it on a stand. For the most part at my bedside, next to the other 44. I don't want this nice little piece to corrode simply sitting in an "unfired" state, but at the ready.

Thoughts ?
Verify this for yourself with plenty of testing (you were wanting to shoot often to practice, right???), but I would recommend that you clean and oil normally, and when you are done, wipe away the excess oil from the cylinders, and do the same to the nipples with a pipe cleaner. You should find that clearing the nipple with a cap is unnecessary in this situation. (Generally speaking, I only use caps to clear nipples if I haven't cleared them manually.)

blarby
June 25, 2013, 10:52 PM
Good to know.

Proceeding in baby steps...

Well, I went ahead and finally cast some RB's today. Can't just sit around with a gun and no ammo..... grates against my grain.

Nifty segway : the lee .451 RB mould I got is the first one I have that ever needed smoking to work right. Whoulda thought.

It seems like the 20g charge, using a storebought .100 thickness lubed wad, and this ball mentioned above, leaves quite a bit of room in the cylinder.

Thoughts on that'n ?

I'm not unfamiliar with bullet travel / forcing cone jump dynamics, and this makes me wonder.

ontarget
June 25, 2013, 10:54 PM
I only do the snap a cap to clear the nipple thing on my percussion rifles. never found it necessary on my revolvers.

rodwha
June 25, 2013, 11:29 PM
I believe the Remington will handle 45 grns and a ball.
What many often do is add dry cereal (Cream Of Wheat or other) to fill in the space with the idea that less jump to the forcing cone helps with accuracy.

My minimum load so far has been 25 grns, 1/8" hard dry wad, and ball in my Ruger. A bit different, but not much. I still have plenty of room. But I don't notice much difference (group wise) from a stout load, but I'm no pistolero either

kituwa
June 26, 2013, 12:06 AM
One thing to watch for with light loads is make sure the rammer is able to seat the ball against the powder.If its not against the powder charge it wont be a light charge anymore and can blow your gun up.I am not sure if 20 grs with no wad or no filler will compress the powder in all guns.

blarby
June 26, 2013, 06:52 PM
Well, first firings today !

Hard to tell any real difference of 20 and 25 gr at the cans and clays I was shootin at.

They both worked.

Gonna try some paper and a rest next go-round, and see if I see a difference.

What would the max load be... 30 ?

rodwha
June 26, 2013, 07:00 PM
About 45 grns of 3F is what I understand. At least 40. These numbers without a wad...

rodwha
June 26, 2013, 07:06 PM
I'm interested in what type of hunting you'd likely be doing. Stalking or hunting through thick brush where you're not likely to get a shot past 75 yds, or lots of open space? From a fixed position or walking?

Do you want a traditional rifle or a modern one? Does a combination of the two work for you? I chose a rifle with fiber optic sights as I've shot a hog at dusk, and had a hard time looking down from a tree blind and aligning all three. It also has a recoil pad as I thought these things kicked more, though I've yet to try a heavy conical.

And are whitetails all you'd likely hunt, or do you have hogs or other game animals?

You could use as little as a .40 cal for medium game, but if you have the potential for large hogs or mule deer (we have axis here) then maybe a .50 would be better. I went with a .50 mostly because it's the easiest to find things for. If the game can get bigger than I'd be more inclined to use a .54 or larger.

rodwha
June 26, 2013, 07:10 PM
I'm not sure how the modern inlines will work with a heavy conical. I suppose well?

blarby
June 28, 2013, 12:18 AM
20 grains of FFFg it is !

I can only wonder how much more improvement a conical could really give this- my guess is not a whole lot.

Never thought a pistol of this vintage could shoot like this... I have a new respect for the "holy black".

rodwha
June 28, 2013, 09:02 AM
Nice shooting!

From what I've read a conical just doesn't shoot as well. But in my Old Army the difference isn't as great as with the repros.

rodwha
June 28, 2013, 11:05 AM
Is 20 and 25 grns all you've tried so far? Did it give you similar groups?

I've often seen claimed that 17-28 grns is the accurate sweet spot except with the Old Army.

blarby
June 29, 2013, 12:03 AM
So far, yes.

blarby
July 18, 2013, 01:08 PM
Looks like as close to 21 grs as I can get is my sweet spot.

Took it out with an old pistolero and shooting buddy....... After getting 3 in the same hole, he stated he might be interested in that particular gun if I ever wanted to be rid of it.

I don't.

It is rapidly becoming one of my favorite, and most accurate, arms.

rodwha
July 18, 2013, 01:17 PM
What ranges of powder did you try? And what was your group sizes?

Do you intend to use your pistol for hunting, especially as a primary weapon?

blarby
July 19, 2013, 12:03 AM
I tried from 15- 35 grs.

At this point, its not going to be primary for anything, except perhaps having a good time !

I've gotten groups from 1.5 inches- all the way up to something that looked like I shot buckshot at a moving target from 50 yards away.

Its getting better, but I still don't think I'm confident enough with it to hunt with it.

If it was all I had however, I don't think I'd feel as undergunned as I thought I would before I fired it the first time !

rodwha
July 20, 2013, 11:21 AM
Have you put any more thought into a rifle?

One thing I considered, per what it seems you are talking about, would be an "1858" revolving carbine so as to be able to share balls/conicals as well as cylinders with your pistol (if it's made by Uberti for them). Not a powerhouse, but good for medium game to maybe 75 yds. But you have to keep the offhand behind the cylinder!

blarby
July 21, 2013, 01:44 AM
Thought into a rifle ?

Heck ya !

Money for a rifle ?

HEavens no.... It was a lucky break that I got this pistol. Unless I want to sell one of my other firearms, a BP rifle is probably at least a year into the horizon.

Getting on our own land *finally* and getting my company up and running takes heads over anything else at this point.

raa-7
July 21, 2013, 06:10 AM
Very good choice, going with the 1858 model :D I took my son out yesterday, shooting and he shot the Pietta .44 and he really liked it.I like the idea that parts are so easy to get and plentiful.We shot .454 rnd ball ammo and we were picking off soda cans at 40 yards easily ! That's good in my book:)

perchieboy
July 22, 2013, 08:37 PM
Blarby...you are right..the smell is addictive...Enjoy your new sidearm!

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