1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Experience with shorter-barrelled Colt models?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by scotjute, Jul 21, 2003.

  1. scotjute

    scotjute Active Member

    Jan 15, 2003
    Does anyone have experience with some of the shorter-barrelled Colt models out there? Specifically some I've seen advertised are 1849 Pocket Revolvers, 1860 Sheriff's Model, 1862 New Model Police, and 1862 Pocket Navy. Most of these are in .36 caliber, and have barrell lengths ranging from 3 1/2" to 6 1/2". I've shot the longer 7 1/2" barrelled Colts. Was curious what these smaller versions shot like? Action, accuracy, etc.? Recommedations?
    Also noticed that many are listed as being around 24-27 oz. vs. the 40 + oz. of the 7 1/2-8" barrelled models. Assume they used same action, but had smaller 5-shot cylinders and shorter barrells that accounted for the decreased weight. Is that correct?
  2. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Senior Elder

    Dec 24, 2002
    The larger frame so-called “Sheriff Models†are based on regular Colt 1860 Army (.44) or 1851 Navy (.36 or .44) revolvers with shortened barrels – usually reduced from 7 ½ or 8 inches to 5 ½ inches. Others are duplicates of original Colt “Pocket Models†of various kinds – usually in .31 or .36 caliber with 5-shot cylinders and barrels running around 4 to 5 inches.

    They are fun too shoot and generally about as accurate as the longer-barreled ones. However it is harder to seat the ball or bullet with the shorter rammer. I solved this by carrying a short piece of iron pipe that I could slip over the rammer and extend its length for additional leverage when seating the ball. Otherwise they are loaded and fired the same as any other cap & ball revolver. The shorter lengths have proven to be popular with some Cowboy Action Shooters – enough so that Ruger brought out a shortened version of their “New Army.â€

    Since less powder burns in the short barrels (black powder is very slow burning by modern standards) they are slightly less powerful the same charge fired through a longer one, but I don’t think this makes any difference. If you’re intended use requires maximum velocity use the full-sized guns.
  3. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2002
    Centennial, CO
    The best one I ever fired was the .36 cal Colt 1862 "Police" model, (ok a ery well crafted replica), shot way better than the .31 cal 1849 pocket pistol.

    As far as velocity and smoke, the full sized navy takes more powder, and seems to burn it all. The 36 pocket model had a lot more residue than my Full sized 1851 Navy, which leads me to believe its not burning all the powder.

    Also the smaller the ball or bullet the harder it is to manipulate into the chambers. For this reason alone I'd leave anything smaller than .36 alone.

Share This Page