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.445 round balls in Pietta 1858 Remington New Army

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

  1. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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    News to me. I have never, ever heard of, or read of, or viewed such a thing in over 45 years of shooting, reading gun publications, and (more recently) watching You Tube videos.
    A patched round ball is a must in a single shot muzzle loading pistol, just as it is in a rifle, because they are identical in all but barrel length and stock.
    In a revolver it's going to do pretty much what Noelf2 illustrates in Post #21.
    It's pointless and potentially unsafe.
     
  2. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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    Well, lo and behold, after checking You Tube I found one guy who actually tried this.
    Certainly not a competition shooter by any means.
    And as you can see, with very doubtful results. He hit a fairly close gong only once.
    Also, before firing, a patched ball lacks the tight gas seal that a lead ball forced in to the chamber does.
    Each time that the revolver fires, the incandescent powder gases from the flash gap flash across the face of the cylinder and into adjacent chambers.
    Do you really want to trust a cloth patch to prevent a chain fire?
    You might get away with it for a while, but it only takes one time ......
    And, why bother? Just use the right size balls.

     
  3. roscoe

    roscoe Member

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    In pinch, I guess. But I would want to grease the end of my cylinder to prevent a chainfire.
     
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  4. Malachi Leviticus Blue

    Malachi Leviticus Blue Member

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  5. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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    I would refer the OP to the duelist1954 channel on You Tube presented by Mike Belivieau. He is pretty much the resident expert on all things relating to loading, shooting, tuning, cleaning, and the history of black powder revolvers, as well for all kinds of other muzzle loaders and 19th century Old West guns.
    He was the black powder editor for "Guns of the Old West Magazine" until recently and his numerous videos are chock full of information.
    He even set up his own range on an acreage and shoots videos there.
    He's pretty much done it all for many years and knows his stuff.
    If you want to learn from an expert, pay attention to him.
    None of of his videos ever recommend using patched balls in a cap & ball revolver though.
    But, it's your gun.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2019
  6. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Do you KNOW that about anything???
     
  7. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Member

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    FWIW and not calling you out, just relating my own experience...

    I shoot .454s in all my Italian repro .44s: a couple recent* production Pietta Remingtons, a Euroarms Remington, and a Euroarms Rogers & Spencer. Everything else being equal, the .454 balls will give a longer bearing surface in the chambers and barrel which should result in a better seal and more lead for the rifling to grip for better accuracy. They remain easy to seat using the gun's loading lever.

    Similarly in my Uberti and Pietta .36 revolvers I use .380s not .375s. The difference is more noticeable in those guns. The .375s group poorly but the .380s shoot very accurately.

    *By recent I mean built since 2005 at the earliest.
     
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  8. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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    The longer bearing surface in theory sounds quite reasonable for better accuracy and I would not dispute that you are correct in some cases.
    It really depends on the individual revolver.
    I have always used .451" round balls in both my Remingtons because that is what was always previously recommended. The accuracy in both of my revolvers was and is very good, and I never saw any reason to change to the .454" size.
    Logic dictates that a larger diameter ball takes more effort to swage down to the chamber diameter when loading, and videos that I have watched suggest to me that this is the case. But, I confess that I have not tried using .454" round balls so I can't claim to have personally compared the two.
    And comparisons are relative, I suppose. What one person thinks is easy, another might not.
    And like I said, I suppose that it depends on the individual revolver. If a larger ball is accurate and a smaller one is not, then you will use the larger ball.
    With solid frame revolvers, It really makes little difference if more loading pressure is a needed.
    But, I think that open top revolvers are another matter. These are weak by comparison to a solid frame. The loading process puts a lot of stress on the wedge and wedge slot, and I would prefer to use the smaller ball size if it gives good accuracy.
    However, if a larger ball is needed for accuracy for .36 caliber revolvers, as you say, what choice do you have but to use them?

    Any thoughts on using patched round balls in cap & ball revolvers?
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2019
  9. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    It's a matter of risk. How much risk attends attempting an unknown practice with a firearm?
    I'm not saying I KNOW that if you load a cap & ball revolver with patched balls it will explode. It may or may not. It may just jam if the patching gets stuck in the forcing cone. Considering the possible consequences resulting from misusing firearms, I'd like to think people would not try things when they cannot assure themselves it is reasonably free of risk.

    I know even loading a BP gun correctly could go sideways. Maybe it's an old gun, metal fatigued....maybe it's a brand new Italian repro with an unknown defect. Disasters happen.

    But we don't have to ask for them.
     
  10. TwangBanger

    TwangBanger Member

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    Good info. Thanks.
    The only .44 I have is the solid top Pietta Remington. I also just acquired a Uberti .36 caliber 1851 open top. I've ordered .454 balls for the Pietta, and .375 for the Uberti. I already had plenty of #11 and musket caps on hand for some rifles, but I had heard that #10's fit the revolvers better, so I also ordered a couple tins of those.
     
  11. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    If y'all notice, in my hypothetical scenario the patches get trimmed flush with the chamber mouths. The patches are lubricated regardless whether or not extra grease gets used. In that regard, it's no different to using grease, Wonder Wads, or both. While it is different to "conventional wisdom" and the way C&B revolvers are usually loaded, I see nothing that says it's bound to chain fire or that it otherwise won't work.
     
  12. Blackpowdershooter44

    Blackpowdershooter44 Member

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    Yep, looks like you got all the accessories you need now. .454"s for the .44 Remington, .375"s for the .36, and .445" for the .45 Kentucky rifle will work just fine. Like you said #10's are optimal most of the time for revolvers. All set to put lead downrange. :thumbup:
     
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  13. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Member

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    The only reason I can see for trying that is if that was the only way to shoot it. I'd be concerned about the potential for balls coming unseated during recoil. Seeing as how in 2019 percussion revolvers are basically toys for 99%+ of shooters, I can't envision a realistic scenario when it would be necessary. Even if one were limited to a percussion revolver for defense, there's no reason not to procure an adequate supply of the correct balls when you're buying powder and caps.
     
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  14. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    There are people who live in jurisdictions, even in the U.S., where a C&B revolver is all the defensive sidearm they can have. Not every gun shop or other sporting goods retailer has the correct components on the shelf at all times. Sure, stock up on the correct balls/powder/wads/caps when you can. Better yet, know how to make your own BP and ball, but then, what about caps. But know/have a Plan B because we live in an imperfect world.
     
  15. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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    Rather than using patched balls in a revolver cylinder, it makes more sense to just melt down whatever round balls that you can find and cast the correct size balls that you need using an inexpensive Lee mold and a small melting pot and ladle. That should be your Plan "B" for balls.
    Similarly, soft lead should be available from scrap yards or roofers who advertise it and sell it for beer money. With a little effort and networking you can scare up a sufficient supply of soft lead.
    Back before Hornaday started selling round balls, casting your own round balls was pretty much universal.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2019
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  16. Malachi Leviticus Blue

    Malachi Leviticus Blue Member

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    If there was only one way to shoot there wouldn't be a nearly incalculable number of well documented (and safe) options. e.g., different powders, different calibers, different power volume, different cartridges, different ignition sources, different projectile types, different projectile materials, different barrel types, different grips, different everything

    Face it, plenty of folks have their favorite way of doing things that may or may not have any sound reason (to others) for being their chosen method. That doesn't make it wrong, and doesn't mean everyone needs to do it either.
     
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  17. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    Who says there's only one Plan B?

    This I agree with.

    Know several loads that work and you're not as likely to be left holding a gun-shaped brick.
     
  18. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    I would vouch for Kwhi as being an extremely knowledgable and accomplished pistol shooter over a long period of time.
    If he saw others doing it at national NMLRA matches then not only do I believe it but it would also indicate that it was a safe practice.
    I can't imagine that the NMLRA would allow an unsafe ammo or an unsafe loading practice to be used in a national competition.
    I wouldn't advocate that it become a universal practice for everyone but it does indicate that it's not inherently dangerous.
    A cloth patch alone shouldn't create a barrel obstruction if it's loaded correctly and seated on top of the powder with the PRB inside of the chamber.
    The forcing cone or barrel isn't going to explode or rupture as long as the ammo fits into the chamber.
    Just beware of squib loads, misfires [and ball creep] as with any other accepted loading procedure to not cause a potential barrel obstruction in between shots.
    That would be an extremely rare possibility under any circumstances and even then may not cause a rupture but maybe only a barrel bulge that others have mentioned here as having happened to them.
    So that can and does happen loading bare balls too.
    Chain fires? Perhaps the patches actually helps to prevent them, who knows?
    If potential chain fires could happen either way then be prepared and realize that there's nothing to really worry about any more than normal.
    Just keep your hands on the grip and behind the chamber mouths.
    No one said not to load with wads, cards or filler just because one loads a patched round ball.
    So where's the additional risk of chain fire, from potential ball creep?
    Loose bare balls may present just as much risk.
    That would depend on how tight the fit is of any balls that are loaded, whether they are patched or not.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
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  19. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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  20. noelf2

    noelf2 Member

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    Isn't NMLRA for "Rifles"? Did kwhi43 (from TFL, Phil Piburn) ever say he saw others shooting patched balls in revolvers? Where are you getting that from? I would ask him but he died a couple years ago.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
  21. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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    delete
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
  22. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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    You seem a bit obsessed with bare balls. :rofl:
     
  23. Malachi Leviticus Blue

    Malachi Leviticus Blue Member

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  24. Malachi Leviticus Blue

    Malachi Leviticus Blue Member

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    I'm not sure why you're implying The High Road is not a good resource or why you believe folks on the other forums (several of the same folks here) are "the best".
    Most of the discussions here are civil and full of good information, then someone comes along and gets stubborn and digs there heels in defending unsupported speculation ignoring all the facts presented to the contrary.
     
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  25. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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    No need to apologize. :)
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    OP, the resources that I listed are chock full of wonderful information that you should avail yourself of. I am quite sure that the most knowledgeable black powder shooters of THR most certainly do. Nobody said that you can't be a member of another forum that specializes in muzzle loading as well as THR, or that you can not watch You Tube videos from a muzzleloading authority as well.

    Some members here have given you excellent advice, while others are just blowing smoke. Check out the resources listed and decide for yourself.

    After all, why would anyone with your best interests at heart NOT want you to do this?
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
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