Numbered chamber and shot both colts (pictures)


October 20, 2013, 07:54 PM
I took these 2 to the range today and shot em both. usins 2 hands wresting my for arms on a sand bag.

I started at 7 yards to get an idea where they were close. They didnt seem to far off so i moved the target out to 15.

The .36 is a hawes firearms older from the 70s i think. It has had a broken bolt in the past and i got one to work with some dremel work. To me the cylinder is still kinda loose once it locks up the cylinder can still wiggle a little.

The .44 hasnt had anything done to it. Both dont shoot very good IMO the .44 is slightly better.

.36 i used a level scoop from a .40 cal case (about 20grains) 2F Tripple 7
.44 i used a level scoop from a 45ACP case (about 26grains) 2F Tripple 7
No wads, bore butter over ball and remington #10 caps

Can anyone see a problem? Is it my shooting? Im about ready to get rid of them both.

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October 20, 2013, 08:45 PM
Two questions.

How good a pistol shot are you?

What were you expecting?

October 20, 2013, 10:53 PM
I havnt been able to do any good with the 2 colts.

The 2 remingtons im decent with at the same distance.

Im trying to figure out why i cant get them to shoot as consistant as the remingtons.

I dont know what to expect really these are the only 2 ive shot so i dont know if this is just how thry are going to be or if i have an issues with them.

October 21, 2013, 12:54 AM
Have you tried reducing your load? Maybe 20g and 15g.
What about filler?

Also, why t7 in the Colts and Pyro in the Remington? Have you tried other powder in them?

October 21, 2013, 03:08 AM
I just wanted to try the pyrodex again and i forgot how much i hate it. The fouling is like sticky tar the T7 is more dry i prefer it.

I had some 2F pyrodex so i tried it to see the difference. Its about the same as far as accuracy but the fouling is bad.

I havnt really messed much with the filler. Will a lower charge give a more consistant shot? tighten groups?

I like the T7 because its slightly hotter, the 2F is slower so i increased the charge of it so it takes more volume in the chambers to bring the ball up but still feels to have about the same pop.

I was shooting 20G 3F T7 in the .44 and 13G 3F in the .36. My groups got better switching to the 2F so i just figured the same charge in the colt would be ok.

I dont really know what im doing and i know some of my questions are dumb and silly but it never hurts to ask plus its something to do when im not shooting.

October 21, 2013, 04:55 AM
Isn't the .44 the same gun that has the bulged barrel in your other current posts?

May have something to do with the accuracy despite what some of us wrote about that......

Some around here are apt to come on shortly and tell you that brass frames are the spawn of Satan and that is your problem with the .36. They seem to think Brassers are not put together as well as steel frame guns and so not much should be expected of them.


October 21, 2013, 11:29 AM
These 2 i have the most trouble with. I thought numbering them would help identify a problem. I may just need to shoot them more and try different loads i guess.

I think i should of numbered the remingtons wich im having better luck with sept for a few flyers

Yes that .44 is the one with the wrinkle in the barrel. I guess i shouldnt expect to much from that one.

October 21, 2013, 11:57 AM
Most black powder guns shoot a bit more accurately with less than full charges. Many people use a filler. If you have a damaged barrel you MAY never achieve the accuracy you desire. However there is still a large amount of experimenting you can do to maximize your guns potential. I'm not one of the "brassers are junk" people. Many brassers shoot very well. You just need to be aware they are not as strong as steel guns and should be used with more gentle loads (which are often more accurate anyway). Good luck.

October 21, 2013, 12:45 PM
I would definitely play with the load before giving up. I found 18g of Swiss 3F with filler, or 13g of Goex 4F with filler to shoot best in my 44 at 25 yards.

Start with 2g increments from 14g to 30g (with filler) and see what gives you the best group. Then work that load +\-1g.

After you find the "best" load for the cylinder, I would then try and isolate the chambers by numbering them as you have.

October 21, 2013, 12:46 PM
On your .44 1860 i would shorten the barrel back past the bulge, but if you are not able to do that kind of work then your best bet would be a new barrel, then you would have a shooter. The .36 prolly just needs some tune up to make sure it is locking up right and the chambers are aligned to the barrel good. On the other hand, you can part them out on ebay and get more for parts than the guns are worth most times.

October 21, 2013, 02:43 PM
If the cylinder chambers are too small they won't shoot well. Mike the chambers and the bore and see how close they are.

October 21, 2013, 03:27 PM
Is that front sight installed backwards?

October 21, 2013, 04:03 PM
Definitely play around with the loads. At 7 yards even trying every 5 grains you might get some pretty amazing variations. I also find that the first couple of shots are often not that great until it gets dirty, and then the gun will shoot more consistently for a few cylinders until it gets gummed up. You might also play with ball diameter a bit - if you go a bit larger you can get more material in contact with the rifling (so .454 versus .451 as an example).

Just to give you some idea here's some notes from my .45s
1858 - more accurate 25gr 777 with .454s and wads, but with 35gr with conicals.
1860 - shoots more accurately with 30gr and the .454s
Walker - likes 35gr best, .457s and wads.
And then I have one of those ahistoric but fun brass 1851s that runs really well at 17gr 777, .454s, wads.

Update: I also noticed that you're using 2F for some reason. All my #s above are for 3F. Speaking of which, you should try 3F and see if they like it better.

October 21, 2013, 08:00 PM
20 grains of T7 in my 36 is a really stiff load. But it will hold the black at 25 yards. (

October 21, 2013, 10:08 PM
I have no problems with my brass framed guns, they shoot as well as the steel. Guess I may see a difference after I shoot them for another 25 years.

October 21, 2013, 10:52 PM
I think there is some 4F goex around here some where ill have to find it. My dad used that with his flintlocks.

Ide rather get rid of it before cutting the barrel down. They are still fun to shoot but blackpowder is more atracting at the range when poeple see how well they can shoot.

Its embarrassing shooting the colts when they are all over the place like this.

I may have to put the Rogers and Spencer in the pile also unless i can figure it out.

The remingtons came around fast it seems like.

Cabelas has a .44 just like my .36 ide rather have a .44 over the .36 but i still like the way the .36 looks.

October 21, 2013, 11:12 PM
I was just looking at the photos of the Colts and I'm wondering if they have excessive cylinder gaps. Take a piece of typing/copy paper and see how many layers fit between the cylinder and the back of the barrel. Two thicknesses would be ideal. Most copy paper is .0035" thick so two thicknesses gives a .007" gap which is what I like. Three layers would put it to over .01" which is pushing it. If you have an automotive feeler guage kit that would be the best to determine cylinder gap.

October 21, 2013, 11:36 PM
The .44 is good the .36 has a HUGE gap but i cant get it any tighter the arbor wont turn in any more.

The better the gap the better it will shoot? I wasnt sure what this did if the gap is to wide.

The .36 i can get 4 sheets to slip threw it, the .44 i cant get one, the remington shooter i can get 1 to slip threw but its tight, the brass trigger version i can get one threw loose.

Maybe i need to add some gap to the .44? and take the gap down on the .36?

Also you want to measure it when holding the cylinder pushed back as if its being fired the recoil pushes the cylinder back right?

October 22, 2013, 12:14 AM
A large cylinder gap is going to bleed off a lot of the powder of the powder charge. Your 36 may be "shot loose" (the cylinder pin may be pulling out of the frame or the back of the cylinder may be battering the recoil shield or both) and that will allow the barrel to migrate forward or the cylinder to go backward to open up the gap.

Since both guns shoot poor groups, the problem may well not be the gaps since only one has an excessive gap.

Did you mike the chambers? They often are too small for the bore diameter and the ball has less contact with the barrel and poor accuracy results. The chambers ought to be about .001 (one thou) larger than the groove diameter of the barrel.

October 22, 2013, 12:39 AM
Yeah i noticed it when i shot a 20G load of 3F T7 it felt really loose when i got home. Its been kinda loose ever since.

Its never shot good though so nothing really changed sept it got a little loose.

October 22, 2013, 01:22 AM
The T7 is a hotter powder and equivalent to about 25 grs FFFg BP. 15grs T7 in the 36 would be easier on the gun.

October 22, 2013, 02:50 AM
ok i shimmed it behind the cylinder with some R/C car parts i have. I put a little metal shim that pushed the cylinder forward enough that now its gapped 2 sheets of paper.

Ill try it tomorrow and see what that does.

I also backed out the screw on the .44 wich opened its gap a little.

What about 20G of T7 2F in the .36?

Right now im using a 9mm scoop of 2F wich is about 13-15g but will 20g of 2F T7 be ok on the brass frame?

When i measure the chambers they measure .370 wich seems right because im using .375 balls and they almost drop right in with little to no effort. The barrel seems slightly tighter. If i measure the barrel i get different measurements dpending on where i measure because of the lands and grooves.

I like how easy the colts are to clean but they seem easy to mess up.

IMO removing the front of the barrel can make it easy to put back together different each time you clean it changing its accuracy every time you take it apart.

Thanks for the info on the gap i never knew what it was supose to be at, this might make all the difference.
October 22, 2013, 06:57 AM
It is very difficult to shoot a pistol from a rest. A pistol must not be something
hanging out there off your hand or something your trying to aim off a rest.
A pistol must be a part of you. An extension of your hand and body. You must
be one with it. Hard to explain exactly, but pistol is very difficult, the revolver
being the hardest style to shoot accurate . Mostly when we are looking for
ways to make a pistol shoot more accurate we overlook the most important
thing, that is to look in the mirror.

October 22, 2013, 07:47 AM

SO what you are saying is......

"At Last! My arm is whole!"



October 22, 2013, 12:11 PM
If your brass gun was battered a bit it's entirely possible that the Arbor has loosened in the frame (see heligates post above). Many of the inexpensive Italian imports from the 60s and 70s were damaged by excessive force applied to the loading lever, loosening the arbor where it enters the frame. For most guns I use a loading tool to avoid stressing the load lever and ram. If your ball is almost a slip fit in the cylinder it may be undersized. Most guns prefer a ball is slightly oversize or that at least fits tightly. The old "rule of thumb" was that it should shave a small ring of lead when the ball is rammed home. Some shooters lightly chamfer the front of the cylinder so the ball is slightly swaged in, rather than have it cut that ring. My Rogers & Spencer is one of the most accurate guns I've ever owned.

October 22, 2013, 03:21 PM
All ive been able to find so far is .375 i should order some .380 but right now ide rather just stick with .44 if i cant get this thing to come around.

Its been fun to pittle with it but im about ready to give up on it.

Today might be its last session with me.

If this doesnt help then im done with it.

Ide prefer everything be the same size. I dont really like going and buying 5 different size balls, 3 different size caps and 3 different types of powder. Ide prefer if they all use 1 ball size, one cap size and one powder type but all 6 shots make one hole haahaa! :rolleyes:

October 23, 2013, 12:38 AM
Well i think you guys are right it is me. I dont understand why i can shoot the Remingtons so good but the colts i just cant seem to do very well with at all.

Loaded both before i left so i quickly got shooting. First the .36 shooting like i normaly do. 6:00 hold

The first shot was off the paper so i slowly started to bring it up a little and got it on the paper and then got it in the general area.

Next shot the .44 same hold, it seems a little high to the left. Then a guy who works at the range shot 6 shots threw it off hand standing, no bench wrest or anything. His groups looks ALOT better. 4 are in a nice little group but still high left like mine. He had a couple fliers (5&6)

I shot it again got a couple in a little group but not like his groups. Last group i aimed a little lower.

The .36 got a little better but it still seems to have a problem.

October 23, 2013, 10:22 AM
Coupe, that 62 Police not only looks good but gets the job done as well. :)

Bower, its kind of obvious that your 1860 Army does NOT like what the load your feeding it. However, I see your point, labeling powder flasks for different types of powder, keeping all the balls and priming caps and wads in order is a PITA.

October 23, 2013, 10:33 AM
But, you could if you want JB Weld up the original 'V' notch on the hammer and recut it to the right a bit. That's what I did for my Colt. Works good and you hardly notice it.

October 23, 2013, 11:35 AM
777 is VERY sensitive to compression. The label says don't compress it. Some of your dispersion may be due to variation in the amount of powder compression from one chamber to another.

Get a can of REAL black powder. 2F or 3F, NOT 4F. Throw a 20 grain charge. Your discretion on whether or not to use a cookie between powder and ball. See if it makes a difference.

October 23, 2013, 01:42 PM
This is from Hodgdon's loading notes:

Triple Seven In Cartridges: Use data specifically developed for Triple Seven FFG only. Cartridge loads should be used exactly as listed in this pamphlet. You may safely use a card or polyethylene wad up to .030" in thickness to protect the base of the bullet. Loading density should be 100% with light compression not to exceed .100". Testing has shown that Triple Seven will perform best when the bullet just touches the powder.

Percussion Firearms: Select the proper charge from the loads listed in this brochure. Set powder measure as indicated. While holding the firearm vertically, slowly pour the measured charge of Triple Seven or Pyrodex into the barrel. Seat the projectile firmly against the powder .

I've emailed them a few times asking to clarify what firmly is as I've often read people state very mild compression, but I never received a reply.

October 23, 2013, 04:07 PM
I have always been a fair shot with a pistol. Had days when I was even good. I find that no matter what pistol and no matter what the quality, my groups don't really shrink until I have fired about 50 shots through it.

My Uberti 1862 police was that way. Started with problems hitting a 24 inch target at 25 yds. By the end of the first box of 100 balls, I was down to 6 inch groups. Every gun has a different feel, different balance, each has different trigger pull, trigger travel and some have a different "jerk" from the hammer fall.

I recently picked up an old brasser 1851 Navy which according to the previous owner had been professionally tuned. It is very tight where it needs to be. The trigger is a very smooth, but light 6 oz with no travel. Range time will have to wait for new nipples though. The prior owner's son, dry fired the heck out of it, smashing the nipples.

October 23, 2013, 06:03 PM
What j-bar said. Get a can of real black powder. Generally it meters better than the substitutes and in my mind gives more consistent results.

October 23, 2013, 09:18 PM
Im not doing anything different then im doing in the remingtons and im pretty decent with those.

I shot the same load as scott and he put 4 balls in a nice little 2" group at 15 yards.

He shot it second so it was nice and fouled up.

My dad got these guns in the 80s and they have had plenty of use.

I got 300 balls from Phil 2 weeks ago im down to about 90 balls left.

Ive read that about T7 before but like i said im not doing anything different then im doing in the remingtons and those IMO shoot better.

I have some goex 2F and 3F ill try those 2 next 20g 3F and 26g with the 2F

October 23, 2013, 09:32 PM
Im not doing anything different then im doing in the remingtons and im pretty decent with those.
maybe youre just a remington guy, no shame in that, if it works for ya no sense in making yourself crazy with the colts :)

October 23, 2013, 09:42 PM
Ill just get 2 new ones that look the same but both in .44

October 25, 2013, 10:56 PM
Well for these i think Tripple seven is the best way to go. Its easier to find and so far it has less fouling then the Goex.

After a day of shooting the goex it reminds me of the pyrodex the way it sort of tars up. IMO the tripple seven has more pop for the same load and accuracy for me.

I dont find the Goex any more accurate and its about a 35-40 minute drive to get it or 15 minute drive for the T7

October 25, 2013, 11:54 PM
BowerR64, I am with you. I use the subs cuz they are easier to find (10 minute drive vs 45 minute drive one way) and shoot just as well as the Sacred Black and are easier to clean up after.

October 26, 2013, 12:29 AM
I almost gave up on these till i tried tripple 7 and things got a little better.

If i go back to 3F im sure clean up will be better with it also.

Its still fun trying all the different powders and brands and speeds its all fun

October 27, 2013, 11:59 AM
Experimentation is at the heart of Cap and Ball shooting. Great fun, and an almost infinite number of variations in charge, ball, caps etc. I guess I'm lucky, I have a dealer who sells Holy Black, only about 15 minutes away.

October 28, 2013, 02:22 AM
I solved their issues today at the monthly gun show.

Traded em both to some dealer for a new Remington. I would of rather sold em and bought a new colt but couldnt pass up on a new one.

Took it home cleaned all the factory grease off and then took it to the range. First 6 shots i had 4 chambers that didnt fire. The nipples were still greased up or something i had to take me all out then wiped them off.

They shot fine after that.

Dang i forgot how heavy the stock trigger pull on these are jeeeesh. :eek:

Now i have 2 identical so if i wanted to do any 2 handed shooting :cool:

October 28, 2013, 03:04 AM
You have discovered that Triple Seven is better than Pyrodex, and Remingtons are more accurate than Colts. I can't fault your science, and happen to agree with the results.

October 29, 2013, 03:41 PM
You have discovered that Triple Seven is better than Pyrodex, and Remingtons are more accurate than Colts. I can't fault your science, and happen to agree with the results.
Im still up in the air about Tripple 7 and Goex though. Im starting to lean to Tripple 7 because it takes a whole lot less powder then Goex to get the same pop.

It seems about 20-26 grains of Tripple 7 is the loads my guns prefer and it feels like im shooting a .44

With the Goex i have to use ALOT more powder to get the same pop as the Tripple 7

My thinking is less powder = less flouling and less fouling is what i want.

October 29, 2013, 03:49 PM
I also prefer the 777 over Goex uses less and cleans up easier.
I have found Remington's and Colt's patterns to be equal in accuracy. Still working on getting my ROA to shoot as well.

October 29, 2013, 04:01 PM
What about swiss? have you tried it?

I read on another powder post that swiss is about as hot as Tripple 7

Now that sounds like the best of both worlds right there.

Accuracy of Goex with the power of Tripple 7?

October 29, 2013, 04:19 PM
I have never tried it but understand from others that it has a bit more bang to it. If I run across some will give it a try.

October 29, 2013, 04:42 PM
Swiss, Olde Eynsford by Goex, and Triple 7 all have much higher velocities than all of the other powders (excluding BH 209).

I have 3F Olde Eynsford and it's quite similar in recoil to Triple 7. And I've also used Pyrodex P and RS, which are both much dirtier. I don't like it at all.

Olde E is only $1/lb more at Grafs than standard Goex. Olde E performs very similarly to Swiss, which is what they designed it for (to compete with Swiss).

Olde E is dirtier than T7, but I haven't found it to be horrible.

I'm about swayed to use Olde E for most everything and use T7 during those special occasions.
October 29, 2013, 05:25 PM
I never did get around to chronographing my revolvers, but here is what I got
between Goex and Swiss powders in our .32 caliber. Might be useful.

October 29, 2013, 05:28 PM
I've tried a number of substitutes and finally settled on Goex black powder. Still the most consistent and easy to ignite propellent. I have never seen ANY accuracy differences between remy copies and colt copies.

October 29, 2013, 05:55 PM
kwhi: I assume that the equal weight charges gave Goex powder a larger volume charge. By about what would you guess?

Does humidity not effect the weight so much?
October 29, 2013, 07:08 PM
This was two years ago. Don't really remember.

October 30, 2013, 12:51 PM
Humidity in my area is a bear. Thats one of the reasons I dropped most of the substitutes. Some are hydroscopic and if not tightly sealed will absorb moisture resutling in some pretty erratic performance. Black powder solves that problem, and meters very consistently. It's now my first choice for all my cap and ball shooting.

October 30, 2013, 12:59 PM
I'm pulling away from Triple 7 as my standard powder to Olde Eynsford.
October 30, 2013, 08:49 PM
Wife won a pound of Olde Eynsford FFF at our last shoot this month. Can't wait
to try it out next spring with her permission of course .

October 30, 2013, 09:28 PM
Ok you last two,
Please give us a report on how Olde Eynsford performs. I am curious about any sub since I have shot them all (except Shockey's Gold) [Black Canyon, Black Mag 3, APP, Clear Shot, Clean Shot, Pyro, and T7). So far, for cartridges I like T7. 12ga: anything that smokes (see above list). C&Bs BP only.

October 30, 2013, 09:39 PM
Could you make T7 better if you rescreen it? or what ever its called?

Run it threw some kind of process that makes the powder particles more uniform like the better powders?

When i look at swiss it looks more uniform from granual to granual where pyrodex looks like gravel. T7 looks a tad better but not like Swiss.

October 30, 2013, 11:34 PM
Olde E is a sporting grade black powder and not a sub.

I don't have any good means to quantify my observations as I don't have a chronograph. But the recoil is very similar to what I feel when using T7. It's certainly more potent than the same volume of Pyrodex P.

I bought a pound of 3F to try since it was fairly inexpensive compared to Swiss or T7, and I had been wanting to try real BP as long as it gave the higher velocities known by the prior powders mentioned.

From what little I've seen posted it gives very similar performance to Swiss and T7, but at only $1/lb more than standard Goex. Since it is new it hasn't been thoroughly tested by those in shooting competitions, but the few who have really like it. Some even more so than Swiss.

I've heard a fellow state it gave better consistency than Swiss, but that's not what I've seen from the few who have compared it and posted their results. But it wasn't far behind in any catagory (fps or extreme spread).

I think its worth giving it a try if you have the time and motivation. And I especially think it worthwhile due to the cost.

October 31, 2013, 03:41 AM
Ide like to try it, Phil gave me some swiss to try but i figured i cant even get what i have to shoot good ill just waste the swiss.

Ill try it one of these days, i have other problems in my shooting i learn more each day that im overlooking.

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