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Who Has the Best Repro BP Revolvers?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Nalapombu, Apr 28, 2003.

  1. Nalapombu

    Nalapombu New Member

    Mar 22, 2003
    Spring, TEXAS....USA
    Hey all,

    I have become interested in this Black Powder thing, I have never shot one before and it looks like fun. I started looking at some of the options for buying a gun to try and it seems that everyone and their brother has them for sale.
    I am talking about the 1851 Navy, 1860 Army and the 1858 Army; I can't make my mind up which one I like the best. Anyway, i have seen the ones from Cabelas (both the normal finish and the antique finish), Navy Arms, Uberti and a few others that I cannot recall right now.
    Are all of the guns at each different company the same? Is one company better than the others? I have heard a few say that they like the antique finish guns from Cabelas, are they as good or better than the other company's stuff?
    I know that I would rather have a genuine Colt Black Powder gun, but alas, my bank account cannot handle that. I could get all 3 for the price of 1 Colt.
    So what is the best ones to start with? I don't want a piece of junk that I will be unhappy with.

    Thanks for the help and advice.

  2. MrAcheson

    MrAcheson Participating Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Newark, DE and APG, MD
    There are essentially two Cap and Ball BP revolver makers, Pietta and Uberti. Both are Italian. Piettas are cheaper than Uberti but also of lower quality, especially their Colts. IIRC Cabelas carries mostly Piettas.

    Incidentally I don't think the Colt Custom Shop BP revolvers are actually Colts either. I believe they are just a dressed up Italian gun.
  3. RobW

    RobW Active Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    Henderson, NV
    I also try to dive in that BP thing and I am in the stage of reading everything I can get about the topic. MrAcheson is right, the Ubertis are considered the best replicas (Colts are just rediculous expensive, they say they are made with original tooling in Belgium).

    Check out www.taylorsfirearms.com

    They have marked in their price list if the revolver is an Uberti.
  4. sandy4570

    sandy4570 Member

    Apr 22, 2003
    I ordered a few black powder cap and ball revolvers from Cabela , they have very good customer service and no hassle return policy a very good thing when you don't really like the look and feel of the one you order.I also order a Colt Dragoon repro from Dixie arms which is Ubertie made. I can not tell the difference in quality between Pietar and Ubertie .They are all shoot fine but very very high at 25 -50 yards. You should get the Army 60 because it is the most popular revolver ,it is very nice looking ,well balance and trouble free revolver .Most of the cap and ball revolver shoot at my local range are Army60
  5. winwun

    winwun Member

    Apr 26, 2003
    Blount County in East Tennessee
    I have a Ruger Old Army, one of the first ones, that shoots the .457 bullet or ball, and I have tried every recipe I can think of and it still barely puts them all on a paper plate at 25 feet. I have an old brass frame Remington replica something or other in .451 that my wife bought me from Cabela's 10 or 15 years ago for $79.95 and it is a little better, but not much. I hear other guys talk about how accurate their BP pistols are, and I envy them.
  6. rfennick

    rfennick New Member

    Apr 30, 2003
    U.P. of Michigan
    I bought a Pietta Remington 1860 New Army Replica in stainless steel with target sights a couple years back. Excellent shooter!!!
    Got extra cylinders for it about six months after and they both fit and function flawlessly. I was skeptical because it looked like some hand finishing was done to the frame to get the original cylinder to fit, but it does not affect fit or function. It took a little getting used to shooting and shoots high out to about forty yards, but I can put all six balls in a snuff can out to about 60 yard from a rest. Stainless cleans up really easy too.
  7. Oleg Volk

    Oleg Volk Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 19, 2002
    Nashville, TN
    Shot a .44 Pietta yesterday. Groups are 1" at 20ft with round ball. Best trigger of any SA repro of a Remington design I've fired. Finish was not impressive though.
  8. Ian

    Ian Senior Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Ubertis are of better quality than Piettas, but that doesn't mean that the Piettas are bad. I have a pair of Pietta 1860 Armies for cowboy action shooting, and they work great. My only complaint is that they shoot pretty high. Still, at 50 feet, I've been able to get a 6-shot group in a 2 or 3 inch circle. Like Oleg said, the triggers are very nice - especially if you're used to DA autos.
  9. Hal

    Hal Active Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    N.E. Ohio
    FWIW, Colt Black Powder shut down last June.

    Good news/bad news for me anyhow.

    I wanted one,,,but I just know I wouldn't (couldn't?) have resisted shooting it. Methinks the Colt BP are going to skyrocket in value in the next few years.
  10. CARSON

    CARSON New Member

    Feb 4, 2003
    Nepean, Ontario
    Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought most fixed sighted (elev. wise) shot high out of the box. I thought the point was to find a load you wanted to shoot the most and at a certain distance, then the file comes out to file down the front sight until you are on target. I asked a gunsmith this question a few years ago and this is what he told me.
  11. Coltdriver

    Coltdriver Senior Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    I have a Walker Colt that is one of the Colt Signature series guns.

    It is cool. The fit and finish rival anything I have in centerfire guns.

    I wish someone would definitively say what the deal is with the Colts. I have heard that they are Italian guns but then why would Colt have had a black powder division?

    Anyway what you get depends on what yer gonna do with it. If I shot a lot, I might go get a cheaper Italian gun just so I could bang it around at the range without fear of ruining somthing really pretty. Just by the nature of having to load the powder and the wad and the bullet and then seal the cylinder and then cap the thing you will handle the pistol a lot more than you do your regular centerfires.

    The Italian guns are nice looking and they function fine. I have never heard of one of the Ubertis or Piettas blowing up.

    My Walker is very accurate and consistent shooting at 25 to 50 yards is no problem. They had a special on TV the other night about Magnums and the Walker was the most powerful handgun available up until the 80's (according to the documentary). In any case it will whip a .44 cal ball out the barrel at over 1200 FPS with a boom and a whoosh of smoke that will put a smile on your face all day:D
  12. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Senior Elder

    Dec 24, 2002

    Most of the replica C&B revolvers have front sights that are way too low. Thus you can't file them down - at least very much. Back in the 19th century it was a common practice to have the barrel dovetailed and a new sight mounted. It could be driven in the dovetail to correct for windage and filed down (because it was higher in the first place) for elevation.
  13. kentucky bucky

    kentucky bucky Active Member

    May 25, 2003
    Eastern Kentucky
    colt signature series

    Dittos to what Coltdriver said about the Colt Signature Series Walkers, I love mine just to look at it. It shoots consistant, but high. I've heard that this is common for all makes and models of the colt BP revolvers. As for the Colt being made in Italy, I believe that they were made by a company in Brooklyn, NY owned by a fellow with an Italian name, like Joe Imperato or a similar sounding name. I don't know if they made the guns from scratch, but they had a hand in building the guns. Maybe the Italian name started the rumor.???
  14. TooTaxed

    TooTaxed Participating Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    Columbus, Georgia
    The Uberti replicas have the best finishes...look like show guns. I've fired my 1860 Army .44 Uberti...loved it the best of the replicas. Had two Remington 1858 .44's...forget who made 'em, but liked the Colt replicas better for looks and ease of changing cylinders...traded both away. Also have a modern-made 1851 Navy .36 (to me the prettiest gun ever made) from the Colt shop, unfired, and an 1862 Colt Pocket Police .31 by Navy Arms, also unfired. By far the most accurate is my Ruger New Army .44.

    Frankly, for shooting fun you can't go wrong with any of them! Go for what you feel is the prettiest.:D
  15. mainmech48

    mainmech48 Participating Member

    Jan 23, 2003
    The "Colt" Signature series repros were assembled and finished by the John Jovino outfit in NY. All of the component parts were of Italian manufacture purchased under contract to their specs.

    Colt had nothing to do with their manufacture. They licensed the use of the name and the facsimile signature markings to Jovino.

    The level of fit and finish on them may have edged Uberti a bit, and Pietta a good deal. But then again, they retailed for over twice as much, too.

    Colt actually did manufacture some BP repros several years ago. They weren't hot sellers, and bring collector prices now.

    The folks who bought the "Signatures" thinking that they were genuine Colts (and would greatly appreciate in value over time) got taken. They aren't Colts, just a up-market repro. They will never bring what the genuine 2nd generation Colts will.

    Functionally, an Uberti will work, shoot, and last every bit as well as Jovino's stuff at half the price. For the money, Piettas are a good value for the person who wants to try BP revolvers without breaking the budget.

    In my personal opinion, Davide Pedersoli makes some of the very best of the C&B and cartridge repros anywhere. More expensive, but very high quality.
  16. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 19, 2002
    Was talking to a gunsmith who has worked on many Italian guns. He told me that the metallurgy is bad (sears & hands to rotate the cylinder wear) in many of them but that Uberti is probably the best of the lot. Stay away from the brass frame jobs too he told me.
  17. JoeLee

    JoeLee New Member

    Sep 27, 2009
    Pietta Stainless .44 Cal

    I bought a Pietta .44 cal in stainless last year. I have only shot it a few times and cleaned it very well as I do all my guns after shooting. I recently noticed some slight pitting on the hammer and cylinder pin. At first I thought it was powder residue I missed but then realized it was corrosion. Come to find out some of the parts are magnetic stainless, 400 series and not the better 300 series that I thought these pistols were made of. Any one encounter the same thing????

    TNX..... JL
  18. JamesKelly

    JamesKelly New Member

    Jun 27, 2009
    JoeLee--all "stainless" guns are made of magnetic, nickel-free stainless with about 12 to 13% chromium, (types 410 and 416) no nickel. The non-magnetic stainless grades, such as type 304 (18%Cr 8%Ni) are much more corrosion resistant but are softer, lower in strength and do gall like hell. 410 and 416 will pit from salt, specifically chloride salts. So corrosive caps, if there still are any, and definitely Pyrodex will pit them.
    "Stainless", or "Inox" to our European members, is a nice marketing term. Around 1910 either the British, or more likely Krupp, invented these high chromium grades. They were, and are, so much better than plain carbon steel as to deserve the term "Stainless/Inox"
    Clean your stainless gun anyway.

    Best repro? I just got into percussion revolvers this past year. I was extremely disappointed in my Uberti 1860 army, the hand (pawl) digs in to the ratchet with heavy loads of black, so that it will not rotate. Got a Spiller & Burr and it only locks up when cocked s-l-o-w-l-y. I don't shoot it as I am concerned one day I'll be in a hurry & send 1/4 of the ball off to the side somewhere.

    Yes, I too envy those who are happy with their Italian concoctions.

    Got a Ruger Old Army, still available on gunbroker.com New in Box around $500-550. Oh it is a joy. It shoots, no bad habits. On a good day, a really good day, I can make 3" groups @25yards one-handed. An associate in our club tells me of much tighter groups off a rest. It so far has not jammed badly from cap pieces, nor does it stop from fouling at least for 36 shots.

    I prefer the Colt styling but I really do like guns that actually shoot. Which for me, so far, is the Ruger.
  19. zimmerstutzen

    zimmerstutzen Participating Member

    Jul 30, 2009
    banks of the Susquehanna
    The absolute best cap and ball revolver. I can't speak from experience because I have never handled or seen one, but a German company makes a Rogers and Spencer repro that is supposed to be very much superior to even real colt or Ruger Old Army. They are very rare in the US and generally for top notch target shooters or guys with too much money.

    There are some other manufacturers and brands that are seldom encountered.

    For the most part Uberti is the Buick and Pietta is the Chevy. Ruger would be a Lincoln.

    That being said, quality today is much better than thirty years ago. I have an older Uberti, which has some timing issues and has been rarely fired. I have a recently made Uberti pocket police that is very frustrating from caps falling into the works, but otherwise is top notch.

    for what is supposed to be the rolls royce of C&P revolvers: poke here;

    Last edited: Sep 28, 2009
  20. sundance44s

    sundance44s Participating Member

    Feb 6, 2006
    Who has the best B/P revolvers ?? I do of course ...bet everyone feels that way .

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