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Proper loading of brass framed 1858 Remington & a couple other concerns

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by KSUJedi, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. KSUJedi

    KSUJedi Member

    I have a brass framed 1858 "Buffalo" Remington that I received one Christmas morning long ago which I've always had a fun time shooting, however it's been a couple years since I used it last, and I've honestly forgotten the powder charges I was using, and after browsing around the forum some here, I have concerns on if I have been loading it appropriately all along.

    I've always used Pyrodex "P" powder, what would be the appropriate charge to use with this? I've read about the concerns with brass framed guns & the possibility of them warping/stretching, so would like to load conservatively to maximize the life of the revolver. Would another powder be more appropriate, or is the choice simply a personal preference?

    I've always loaded it by putting in the powder, then the ball on top of the powder, then greese patch over each ball. I've never had any problems with this setup, but is there a more correct way of loading? :confused:

    I've found that after shooting it if I don't remove the cylinder from the revolver before heading home from the range for a cleaning, the gun will seize up pretty good. :banghead: Should I be doing more at the range to clean between cylinder loads? Does the greese patch I'm using have anything to do with this problem? I also have an 1851 Navy style revolver which I haven't shot yet because I'm concerned about the same problem, especially with the open top design and the more difficult manner in which the frame must come apart to remove the cylinder. Any suggestions on how to approach shooting it at the range & cleaning?

    Finally, considering the brass frame vs steel frame issue, is there any concern in the steel framed revolvers with brass trigger gaurd & backstrap durability? Or are these enough removed from the forces of shooting to be a non-issue?

    Thanks for any tips you've all got here, I'm looking forward to getting back to shooting this fun gun, and appreciate any help you can give.
  2. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Well-Known Member

    By "grease patch" over each ball, do you mean a felt disc impregnated with grease, or a small dollop of grease?
    If you use the former, the greased patch, that should go under the ball, not over. I use "wonderwads" which are felt discs impregnated with grease.
    If you don't use these, then you can use a dollop of grease, or crisco, there's a commercial product called "Butterbore" I think which will work.
    Brass frame revolvers tend to stretch over time. The Remington will probably be better 'cause of the topstrap, but I would still use light loads. The steel frame guns aren't known to stretch, but I suppose if you shot it a REAL LOT you might eventually manage to deform it, but they're better than the brass ones, IMHO.
    I have never bothered to remove the cylinders before I get home; but I haven't had your problem. You should do what works best for you.
  3. arcticap

    arcticap Well-Known Member

  4. JediJJJ

    JediJJJ Well-Known Member

    Pietta recommended load

    I just purchased a Pietta 1858 New Army in brass from Cabela's. My first BP. In the manual from Pietta they recommended 12-15 grains as the load. The guy at Cabela's said that was way too low and originally tried to sell me 30gr Pyrodex pellets. I eventually left with a pound of 777 and when I got home e-mailed Pietta. They responded:

    Dear sir,
    you can start from 20 grains and then reach 30 grains.
    20 will be enough.
    the best regards,

    So, when I eventually get to the range with this I'll probably start at 15 and work up from there, as I understand 777 is a bit hotter than Pyrodex or true BP. Will be a couple of weekends though because of everything else that is going on.
  5. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Well-Known Member

    The manual for the Pietta 1858 Remington that I got via UPS from Cabela's yesterday gives 35 grains of 3Fg as the maximum load.

    If I had a brass framed gun I'd stick with light loads, i.e., around 20 grains, to prolong its life.
  6. J.T. Gerrity

    J.T. Gerrity Well-Known Member

    If you use a light load (20 grs powder in a 35 grain chamber) I suggest you use an inert filler to make up the difference so that, when loaded, the ball sits just below the chamber mouth. Two reasons for this: if you try to seat the ball using the pistol's loading lever with only a light load, you may not compress the powder correctly, and run the risk of having a space between the ball and powder, which is not good. Secondly, with the ball shoved that far down the chamber, upon firing it will atain too high a velocity before engaging the rifling which can affect accuracy, lead the barrel, and increase pressure on the frame, something you really want to avoid in a brass framed gun.
  7. KSUJedi

    KSUJedi Member


    Thanks for the tips everyone. I've been using I believe CVA brand "grease patch." It's a white greasy material that I put on top of (after) the ball, with the ball directly on the powder. I think the stuff is marketed as reducing fowling & making the pistol easier to clean, but I've wondered if it might actually be partly to blame for my revolver getting "gunked up" and freezing up. Anyone else use the stuff, or have any first hand experience compairing it to a greased patch between the powder and ball?
  8. Smokin_Gun

    Smokin_Gun Well-Known Member

    Jedi, I use to use Crisco, Young's 103, Bore Butter over the ball(what a mess and melts other chambers as soon as you fire)... Rev would still bind up, basically all the lube on top of the ball does is seal the chambers. That's why I mke my own Lube Pills to go between the power and ball. Bolwax or Beeswax, Parafin, Olive oil or whatever lude you want to use. Melted and mixed cut out in a .44 or .36 cal X 1/8" thick Lube Pill. The wax carries the lube and is melted and folows the ball coating the bore, cylinder face and forcing cone, arbor or cylinder pin...lube/wax keep fouling soft and act kinda like a gas check when pushing ball thru the grooves. I use Goex fffg BP don't much like how anything else works. Have tried 777 ffg liked it ok, but not as consistant as BP is. If ya follow me on this it lets you keep shootin' without bindin' up and keeps the fouling in the barrel soft and for the most part blown out...helps with accuracy of the Rev therefore and the shooter. You can use the Pills on top of ball also but they don't seem to do the same job as between the Powder and Ball.
    I swear buy it. Try it with your lube see and see how it works.
  9. Low Key

    Low Key Well-Known Member

    Hey SG,

    I use the lube pills myself and load pretty much the same way as you do. Do you use anything between the powder and lube pill to prevent contact? I've been using dry vegetable fiber wads, .030 thick, between powder and lube pill but have been wondering if I am just wasting my time and cash with an extra step to prevent contamination of the powder. I've tried loading without the wads between and to my ear I can't tell any difference in the boom when I shoot but it could be a difference that the ear can't pick up.
  10. dwave

    dwave Well-Known Member

    About your 1858 binding up, it really is natural for it to. It has no place for the powder residue to go when it hits the pin and will bind it up. I usally clean mine every 2 cylinders full, just to keep it running smooth. The Colts can go longer because they have grooves cut for lube to go in, and the fouling can get in it too, letting it shoot more.

    As far as the lube pills contaminating the powder, I don't think that you would have to worry about it unless you let the gun sit a while after loading, but that is my take on it.

    I have been away from the forums too much, lots of threads to catch up on reading. Guess that is what I get for becoming a truck driver.
  11. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Well-Known Member

    Lubricate the cylinder base pin well with Ballistol and you should be able to get a few cylinders through it without binding. After it starts getting a bit harder to cock, pull the base pin, wipe it off, and reapply the Ballistol, and you'll be good to go. This works really well in my Euroarms 1858 Remmie.

    I learned that tip in this here forum. :)
  12. sundance44s

    sundance44s Well-Known Member


    The remmies aren`t so prone to binding after ya get a few miles on them .. when they are new out of the box .. (can be a problem ).. i have always made a 50/50 mix of beeswax and crisco ..useing only a dab over just 2 cylinder holes each time i load her up and it doesn`t matter which 2 holes eaither ... and have shot 100 balls in a day this way with no binding ..done this with a Pietta and a Uberti remmington 1858 . Now that my remmies are old and grey i can shoot them completely dry for 6 cylinder fulls before i get any stiffness ..and even then a little wipeing down on the cylinder pin and a splash of water and ..good as new ........ the only reason i don`t use just the criso is because in the summer months it melts with the temps over 90 ...and it won`t with the beeswax added .. During the winter crisco only no problem . ya just have to keep that fouling soft and Pyrodex is worse than real black powder about the fouling getting hard and sticky .
  13. dwave

    dwave Well-Known Member

    I hate using Pyrodex anyways. True Black powder is what I prefer, but I also will use 777 is select guns, my 1858 .44 likes it, but my 51 navy hates it. I normally just clean my pin with water and then put bore butter on it after 2 or 3 cylinders, but I also clean the barrel out too so I can keep accuracy too.
  14. sundance44s

    sundance44s Well-Known Member


    I haven`t used the 777 in my Remmies but i did try the APP 3f .. its ok it doesn`t bind anything ..but the fouling that it does leave behind is real hard and crusty .. but breaks down easy with a splash of cold water .Real hard to get consistent loads with it too ..sometimes it just don`t sound right or feel right ..and sure don`t smell right ..LOL
  15. dwave

    dwave Well-Known Member

    Here is the funny thing APP worked great in my 51 navy. I got good accuracy with it, but I didn't have a problem with hard build up though. Easy to clean up too. Different powders work in different guns. I have tried 777, APP, and Pyrodex, and different guns like each of them differently. The one that works great in all of them is the true stuff, black powder.
  16. Low Key

    Low Key Well-Known Member


    Inconsistency from 777 comes mainly from big variations in velocity from chamber to chamber. Those velocity variations come from ignition problems. 777 ignites at a higher temperature than bp or pyrodex and sometimes regular #10 or #11 caps have problems reaching the temperature needed to instantly set off the load, expecially if the powder is compressed...hence the unpredicatable velocities under compression and the pop...boom syndrome that 777 is becoming famous for.

    Try using 1gr or 2gr /volume of a 4F granulation powder loaded in the chamber first then drop in the charge of 777/wads/ball etc and that will make your loads more consistent in ignition/velocity. I've been using that process with pyrodex p and it works like a charm. I'd like to claim credit for that info, but the Mann at bigiron explained it to me in a dicussion about ignition problems.

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