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.445 round balls in Pietta 1858 Remington New Army

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by TwangBanger, Oct 3, 2019.

  1. TwangBanger

    TwangBanger Member

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    I have a Navy Arms (made by Pietta) 1858 Remington New Army in stainless steel. I haven't shot it yet. I ordered a box of Hornady lead round balls that are .445 size. After ordering them, I see on forums all over the web that Pietta recommends .451, and many folks are using .454. This has me concerned. Is it OK to shoot .445 in the pistol, or should I scrap them and buy some .451 or larger?
    Thanks . . . .
     
  2. beag_nut

    beag_nut Member

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    My "Santa Ana" Remi 1858 repo uses .454 balls (Hornady). When loading a small shaving of lead comes off the balls when entering the cylinder chambers. That tells me that the balls are fully filling the chambers. I suggest that you check for that.
     
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  3. TwangBanger

    TwangBanger Member

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    Thanks. Will do. I intend on making paper cartridges from cigarette rolling papers, if that makes a difference.
     
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  4. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Member

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    .445 is too small. I used .454. That's a big difference.
     
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  5. whughett

    whughett Member

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    Your not going to be able to shoot it. My guess one or two shots and the loaded chamber balls will be moving forward under recoil and jamming the cylinder, at best. At worst the round balls will just roll out of the chamber. A receipt for disaster.
    Just not a good idea.
     
  6. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    You can patch them if you want. But yeah, you need .454s.
     
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  7. noelf2

    noelf2 Member

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    Not a good idea to patch them. The patch will probably separate at the forcing cone. At best, no accuracy. At worst, patch obstructs the bore.
     
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  8. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    I agree it's not ideal, but Hickok45 did it multiple times... and it's a way to use them if you have no other use for them.

    I also disagree that they wil separate at the forcing cone. Maybe I'll try a test.
     
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  9. skeeterfogger

    skeeterfogger Member

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    Get a .454 mold and recast them. Then all you need is soft lead and you can make all you will ever need.
     
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  10. mjsdwash

    mjsdwash Member

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    I have a friend who destroy a Colt Navy clone using .440 ball, after the second chain fire. If you have them, and want to use them up, do it one at a time.
     
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  11. TwangBanger

    TwangBanger Member

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    Thanks for all the info. I have an old Jukar long rifle in .45 caliber, so it's not a total waste. I just ordered a box of .454 RB from MidSouth.
     
  12. Shanghai McCoy

    Shanghai McCoy Member

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    You'll need a thin patch with that .445 ball but it should/might work. May be a tight load tho.
     
  13. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    Hickok45 did do this multiple times, enough to prove it can work in a pinch, although it does add a step x6rds.

    Put it like this... as long as we have .454" ball available/on-hand, use them. In absence of .454's, we can be a certain degree of creative, but pay attention. These cap&ball models are a thinking man's gun.
     
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  14. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    Probably a .010" patch is the thinnest I can think of. I wouldn't go any thicker as you're dealing with about .005" thicker than usual.
     
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  15. Stormson

    Stormson Member

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    Not to mention the possibility of a chain fire!

    Nope.. scrap em, OR keep em for that single shot meant to shoot em with a patch.. Theres ALWAYS a single in the future of anyone who gets hooked LoL
     
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  16. noelf2

    noelf2 Member

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    You'll need a slow mo camera to see if the patch is still wrapped around the ball when it leaves the bore. My bet is that it wouldn't be unless the ball was completely wrapped. So, you will still have a ball going down the bore without the benefit of the patch gripping the rifling, and a patch close behind it.
     
  17. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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    Don't use the .445" round balls and don't patch them. You want a tight seal that only a properly sized round ball swaged into the chamber by the loading lever can achieve. I would save these balls in case you might wish to melt them down if you choose to start casting your own round balls.

    You can use .454" balls if you really want to, but it isn't necessary. The .451" balls will provide a tight seal in just about any Italian replica revolver, as long as they are perfectly spherical and pure lead and don't come from an el-cheapo replica Italian mold where the hemispheres do not align well. Any quality Lyman, RCBS, LEE or other quality mold will give you what you need, as well as the Hornaday .451" swaged balls of course.

    I own a Pietta Remington .44 now, and owned a Euroarms .44 Remington way back in 1972. In both cases the .451" round ball is a snug swaged fit and is perfectly safe. In fact back in the 1970s and for many years afterward .451" was the recommended ball size for all Italian replica revolvers. The only real exception in fact seemed to be the U.S. made Ruger Old Army which used a .457" ball just to be contrary.

    The more recent idea of using .454" round balls seems to be more about being double safe. Pietta also only recommends light powder charges in their owner's manuals, which is lower than the powder charges which were standard in previous years. Neither precaution is necessary.
    A .451" round ball and a 28 grain charge of FFFg black powder (or substitute equivalent) is perfectly safe in just about any .44.
    In fact, the Remington chambers will hold a bit more, and this too is safe in solid frame revolvers, but unless you are hunting, why bother?

    The problem is that .454" round balls require considerably more force on the loading lever to seat them. While this may only be a bit annoying with the solid steel frame of a Remington replica, it puts a lot more stress on the wedge and wedge slot of a Colt open-top revolver replica.
    And with a brass frame open-top replica revolver it could contribute to the loosening of the cylinder arbor in the frame.

    If you have not bought percussion caps yet, you will find that Remington #10s fit the nipples the best, rather than the more common #11 caps.
    However, I have never had any problems using #11 caps. Just pinch them a bit to make them very slightly oval-shaped and they will stay in place on the nipples and fire properly.

    Enjoy!
     
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  18. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Makes zero sense to me...
     
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  19. Malachi Leviticus Blue

    Malachi Leviticus Blue Member

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    There are competition folks that SWEAR by patching their ball in their C&B revolvers. You could definitely do that for plinking.
     
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  20. whughett

    whughett Member

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    So the ball would be used to push the patch into the bore, thereby wrapping it. Same as single shots. But how does the patch make it thru the forcing come with out being turned inside out. ;)
     
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  21. noelf2

    noelf2 Member

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    Maybe a picture will help. The cylinder chamber with a patched ball is before ignition. The barrel shows what I think will happen after ignition. The forcing cone strips the patch from the ball but the gasses keep it right behind the ball. The ball doesn't have a patch engaging rifling anymore, and the ball is too small to engage the rifling much on it's own, and will not be as accurate as a properly sized ball. The gun will shoot, and recoil will probably not disturb the other patched balls, but the ball will not have a patch on it through the barrel, and will not be accurate. patch.jpg
     
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  22. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Betcha a nickel it will. Patch will stay on the ball until it leaves the bore.
     
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  23. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Nice pic though
     
  24. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    If post #21 is the case, what of the competitive shooters referred to in post #19?

    Personally, after thinking about it...

    What happens when you patch one in your muzzle-loaded rifle or pistol? Unless you're using pre-cut patches, you'll lube a piece of pillow ticking which you'll place over the bore with your round ball, use your short-starter to seat the ball just inside the muzzle, then use your patch knife to trim a perfect patch even with the muzzle and ahead of the ball before ramming the ball home to compress the powder. The ball is pretty well wrapped and the patch will do its job all the way. I've loaded enough pre-cut patches to see that a properly sized and centered patch and ball aren't much different... the ball is still effectively wrapped.

    Now, let's say we remove the cylinder from our C&B revolver, powder the chambers, and use a bench-mounted press to seat the balls. Many times, and depending on powder charges and filler vs no filler, there'll be space in the chambers ahead of the balls. Let's say we load a .440-.445" ball and patch it .010-.015"... those pre-cut patches will have to be centered, and I believe it'll be just enough patch to keep the ball wrapped. Let's say we use pillow ticking which will be cut flush with the chamber mouth... again, depending some on seating depth... there may be a bit more patch ahead of the ball.

    Depending on ball diameter, patch thickness, and several other factors, I don't see a problem.
     
  25. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    Does anyone really think it's a good idea to experiment with patches in a revolver, when it is not something that is part of any known protocol for the use of cap and ball revolvers? It could work three times and blow up the gun on the fourth.
    And no, I don't "know" it will do that.
    I don't want to find out. That's why I load these guns as per instructions, using appropriate black powder as a propellant. I also don't try mixing BP with modern powders .... or trying to use a small charge of modern powders in them because I know old cartridges like .44-40 and .45 Colt started out with BP but commercial ones sold now have modern propellants. They're loaded by people in facilities where they can load and test the cartridges and find out what pressures accrue and have determined that the guns can handle said pressures -- even old guns, because people still have them and sometimes use them.
    How does one do that on a Uberti Colt 1860? Are you SURE you will ALWAYS seat the ball exactly right?
    Do we KNOW that a patched BP revolver will ALWAYS work safely???
     
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