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Pietta 1851 brazzer for Xmas. Questions

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by toddbg, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. toddbg

    toddbg Member

    Hi Guys -
    My daughter got me a Pietta 1851 brass frame "confederate navy" 44.

    I have 1) never owned a gun and 2)never shot black powder but am fascinated with the old style guns and seeing reenactments.

    I have a couple of questions as I have seen a ton of information on the web today and am pretty unclear as to what would be best.

    Can you guys offer some help?
    1. What powder should I shoot in this? (I have seen arguments on both sides bp / subs)
    2. What grain count should I use? (pietta manual says: 12-15rec, 35max, 28pyrodex. Cabela's manual says: 35bp, 28pyrodex)
    3. Any recommendation on a display case?
    4. what are the best accessories to buy? (brands) (powder flask, measure, cap holder etc.)

    I appreciate all the help.

    Thanks and Happy Holidays!
  2. EljaySL

    EljaySL Well-Known Member

    You might want to poke through the sticky at the top of the forum: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=238769

    That being said, here's a couple of comments.

    1. If you can find real black powder in your area, do so. If you can't you can probably find the substitutes easily enough. I use 777 powder in my cap and ball revolvers.
    2. Most people take it fairly easy on the brass frames. If you shoot a heavy load repeatedly you can damage it. Something along the lines of 15 grains should be fine.
    3. I have no idea.
    4. Well, Ted Cash stuff is good. Here's some links to some online stores, if you poke through their offerings most of it's pretty decent.

    To shoot it you'll need powder, caps (#11s probably), balls (.454), and I'd get some pre-lubed wads (Wonder Wads). A nipple pick. Flask, measure. Get an adjustable measure.

    To clean it (after every time!) you'll need a nipple wrench, some choke tube lube (anti-sieze lube, it keeps the nipples from sticking), and some more natural lube such as Bore Butter for the rest of the gun.

    Am I missing anything critical?

    Oh - and you can get powder and caps and other stuff via a couple of online places. http://www.grafs.com is good and they have flat rate shipping which means they're a good place to get balls.
  3. arcticap

    arcticap Well-Known Member

    This outfit makes some of the most affordable display cases whether for hanging on the wall or for placing on a flat surface:




    Every powder has its own advantages and disadvantages.

    Black Powder has the lowest ignition temperature but tends to leave more residue, except that some brands and granulations burn cleaner than others. BP can be hard to find for sale in some areas.

    Pryodex P (which is 3F pistol powder) has a higher ignition temperature but produces more velocity than most black powders except for Swiss BP. Swiss BP is more expensive but also burns cleaner than most all other black powders.
    Pyrodex is also the most widely available substitute powder, and is easy to find for sale at almost any gun shop.

    American Pioneer Powder is a slightly weaker powder that produces higher velocity when it's compressed more during loading and ramming. Only the 3F can be recommended for C&B revolvers. It's also one of the easier powders to clean using water, but it's harder to find available in stores.

    777 is one of the most potent substitute powders but also the most expensive. It produces a noticeably sharper felt recoil and the volume should be reduced by 15% to equal any black powder load. If not careful, loading too much 777 can damage a brass frame revolver just as overloading with any powder can over time.
    But 777 will harm the brass revolver more quickly if conservative loading recommendations are not adhered to.

    Many folks on this forum recommend to only load 25 grains or less of any 3F powder in brass frame .44's, and 15% less volume of any granulation of 777.
    More of any brand of powder can be loaded from a safety standpoint, but no one knows how many rounds can be fired without starting to cause damage from wear & tear, battering of the recoil shield, loosening the arbor, or possible frame stretching.

    I strongly prefer the large Traditions brass powder flask because it has a simple to manipulate thumb operated push button release valve. It can last a lifetime. Traditions also sells a smaller compact version of the same flask.
    These brass flasks are available with free super saver shipping from Amazon if purchasing $25 worth of accessories which is easy to do by adding a Traditions pistol powder measure, capper, loading stand or any of the other Traditions C&B revolver accessories to the purchase that are sold directly by Amazon from their own warehouse, but not from other Amazon resellers.



    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
  4. blaisenguns

    blaisenguns Well-Known Member

    Check the Cabelas website for the display case, they also sell BP revolver "starter kits" which will work great for you if you are a first time shooter! I only use Goex (authentic BP). I have a pieta n .44 as well, I have found the 12-15 grain load does almost nothing. I saw some information saying the origional military load for the 1861 .44 was 25 grains so that is what I use, and it works very well.


    Good luck and happy shooting!
  5. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Well-Known Member

    I like 20 grains of 3F Goex, a wonder wad and .454 round ball in the Pietta .44, touched off by a Remington #10 cap, or CCI #11. CCI's tend to be tighter than the stated size. I like the wonder wads because with reduced charges for brass framed guns, you run the risk of an uncompressed charge, or worse an air space beneath the ball. The wonder wad is not as messy as useing grease for a seal, serves to clean the barrel a bit with each shot, and takes up space in the chamber, all of which are good things.
  6. dwh4784

    dwh4784 Member

    I have the same gun as you. Expect to spend $150 or so getting yourself ready to shoot. Here's what I ended up with.

    I bought a powder flask from Cabelas, a "Colt" repro style that distributes 24 grains from the spout each time. For some reason I can't link to it, but it's made by Pedersoli.

    I bought a black plastic "Muzzle-loader" case that I'm able to fit the gun in as well as;

    powder (Pyrodex-P)
    lead balls (Hornady .454)
    caps (CCI #11's, but I would like to try Remington #10's. DON'T waste your time with CCI #10's, they won't fit)
    reloading stand (a must have)
    cleaning supplies
    powder flask
    lubed wads
    brass punch (for removing the wedge)
    nipple wrench/pick

    This all packages up smaller than your average tackle box and I have everything I need when I take the BP gun shooting.
  7. J-Bar

    J-Bar Well-Known Member

    Prepare for a journey of discovery. I have never known two blackpowder shooters who do everything exactly the same way. All of the advice given above is usable, even though it differs in some details from the way I load and shoot my guns.

    Enjoy finding your own path, grasshopper!!
  8. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Well-Known Member

    just remember, seat the ball firmly. don't bend your loading lever, but don't leave any air space between the ball and powder charge either.
  9. cmars

    cmars Member

    well I have the same revolver and the powder load I use is 20 grains of pryodex and I get great accuracy . Your daughter gave you a great starter revolver reason being is you can tune the trigger and hammer pull by tightening the screw on the sear spring for trigger and the screw on the hammer spring. you should invest in a holster and at the least a 20 grain powder scoop so your revolver will last longer since the problem with the brazzers are they expand faster than a steel frame. here is a little heads up with a little tuning you can unload all six shots faster than you can reload and USE WAD CUTTERS OR CRISCO ON THE CYLINDER unless you want to risk losing the gun or a finger or two
  10. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Well-Known Member

    Right. You meant Wonder Wads, though, didn't you cmars?
  11. Noz

    Noz Well-Known Member

    Chain fires (more than one shot per cap detonation) can occur and are easily preventable with lubed wads between ball and powder or liberal amounts of grease of some sort over the ball. The vast majority of chain fires that occur are of no consequence. The gun just sounds funny. No damage to gun or shooter.

    Personal experience speaking.
  12. toddbg

    toddbg Member

    Thanks for the information everyone!

    Cost me a bit more than intended due to bulk ordering and hazmat fees, but I have a bunch of new toys coming.
    • Triple K leather holster
    • 1000 remington #10 percussion caps
    • 500 Hornady .454 balls
    • traditions flask, flask funnel, adjustable measure, nipple wrench
    • 6 new nipples SLiX-Shots
    • Muzzleloader box
    • 30 premade paper cartridges
    • OX-Yoke revolver seals
    • Wonder Wads
    • misc cleaning supplies and revolver pocket kit

    Thanks again for all the help!
  13. dickydalton

    dickydalton Well-Known Member

    Where did you get the premade paper cartridges?
  14. toddbg

    toddbg Member

    Dixie Gun Works has them listed - so we will see how those work out sizing wise.
  15. Dellbert

    Dellbert Well-Known Member

    I have two of those brass Colts in .44 like yours Todd. There good little pistols. One is the 7.5" bbl and the other a 5" model. I keep my loads at 20 grs for both. I use Pyrodex P for all my bp pistols. People around here don't sell the real black powder anymore. Sometimes if a few friends go in together I can get the real stuff then. but untill then just Pyrodex and not worry about it. These guns will last a long time if folks take care of them. If you want more power go with the steel frames. .454 rd ball works just fine. I got the Triple K leather holsters for all my Remmies and Colts. Looks like your on the right road. I will pass this on to you. I found out a few days ago that the paper cartridges are most likly cause of a spark being left in the cylinder or barrels of rifles if folks are pouring their powder right out of the flask tube. Some of you guys may fill different about this if so I'd like to hear what you think about it. I know all the books tell us not to pour the powder charge right out of the powder flask tube into the guns but folks do it anyway and I'm one of them but I don't use paper cartridges in my guns either. On a bp rifle leave the last fired cap on the nipple while reloading than replace the old cap with a new cap befour firing. Yes, No, Maybe. What you guys say about it? :uhoh:
  16. arcticap

    arcticap Well-Known Member

    If the cap debris is removed and the hammer is left on 1/2 cock, then the air that escapes out of the nipple hole during ramming helps to whoosh the powder into the powder chamber and flash channel, and closer to the nipple for improved ignition.
    So it's probably better to remove the spent cap from blocking the nipple hole and to put the gun on 1/2 cock right after firing it off to help not to forget about keeping the nipple hole open during reloading.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  17. frontiergander

    frontiergander Well-Known Member

    in the brass frame, i wouldnt load more than 15 grains 3f. Had them before and 20gr pyro p was to much for them. Havent shot one since it came apart in my hand.
  18. Dellbert

    Dellbert Well-Known Member

    Thanks arcticap. I been at this a while and was watching a fellow on boobtub that was what he was telling folks to do with their rifles. I never gave it much thought till I watched that. I still have room for learning stuff from you guys. :p

    frontiergander which brass pistol you talking about the .36 or .44 cal pistols or both? I been using 20 grs of Pyrodx P in my Colt .44s and there still holding up pretty good. Might could use Pyrodex RS and get a better result. :confused:
  19. toddbg

    toddbg Member

    Would 28 grains of FFFg Goex be alright to fire in this pistol?
    Turns out the premade paper cartridges from Dixie are 28 grains instead of 20.

  20. squid841

    squid841 Member

    As a confirmed semi-auto shooter, I want to thank everyone who replied to this thread. I have a MUCH better idea of what the early settlers had to go through to defend themselves.
    I feel like a piker...........:D

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