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Cap n' ball POA

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Pyro, Dec 22, 2010.

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  1. Pyro

    Pyro Member

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    My Pietta 1851 Confederate tends to shoot high even at 25 yards (about 6-7 inches) with 16g of Pyrodex P. I remember shooting 3 inches in front of a can at about 7 yards just to hit the darn thing. I've seen similar performance with other "older" military weapons, they all shoot high so the weapon does not need to be sighted when engaging at medium ranges. Did they design this pistol with the same thoughts in mind?
     
  2. rdstrain49

    rdstrain49 Member

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    I have a no name pocket navy, LePage, a Belgium Colt Army, and a Pietta Army. Every one shoots high and most shoot a little or a lot left. For comparison I have a S&W No3 in 44 Russian. It is zeroed at 100 yards. Who would have thought.
     
  3. Pyro

    Pyro Member

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    Phew! Ok good, it was a bit embarrassing missing the can 4 shots out of 6 in front of my friends until we noticed the impacts occurring over the can. Last two shots where spot on.
     
  4. robhof

    robhof Member

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    robhof

    My ROA was shooting high also even with rear sight bottomed out, I filed the rear sight some and now it's dead on at 20yds. You can't do it with the fixed sight guns though, you can play with the charge a little, I got closer dropping my charge to 20gr and adding more filler, I didn't want to go any lower so I decided to file down the rear notch, if I had ruined it, it was a cheap fix.
     
  5. 45-70 Ranger

    45-70 Ranger Member

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    Colts= High, Rem= Low (Mostly!)

    Folks, I've been popping rounds with these weapons for a touch over 45 years. Those few originals I've owned/shot did go a might high with standard loads. The reproductions did the same. Colts almost always hit high. Short front sight....makes sense. Remingtons almost always hit low. Tall front sight...again, makes sense.

    I have a 2nd Mod. Dragoon made in 1965 that hits 2" high at 25 and dead on at 50. Great hunting range and the weapon has taken dozens of deer and hogs. However, I just recently got my hands on a slightly used Pietta Remington 1858 .44. This weapon is dead on at 12 yards, but almost 4" low at 25. Simple solution, find a load that prints a tight group, and then file the front sight down (GENTLY!!!) till I get about 2" high at 25. (I'm thinking hunting range again as usual)

    As a former gunsmith for about 30 years I've made some adjustments to some pistols at the custimers request to shoot POA involving shallow dovetail rear sights and blade sight up front on the Colt style weapons. The Remington style revolvers were far easier to adjust. It is my opinion that the design was first intended as a close quarter weapon and was never intended as a "target" pistol.

    Studies of historical events where these weapons were deployed in combat clearly show that most lethal shots were made at a few feet and not at 25 yards taking your time to aim. I have many letters that my family had saved from two ancestors that were in the Civil War. Reading some of them told of intense battles that they were involved in. One was a cavalryman, the other was in the infantry. The cav member spoke of shooting so close that some shots caused uniforms to smoulder from powder burns. Judging from the descriptions of the combat these two were involved in, the pistol shooting was just point in the general direction of center mass and fire.

    So, I'll shut up now and if your Colt style shoot high, it's kinda the nature of the beast to do so:)

    Wade
     
  6. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

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    I shoot cowboy action matches with fixed sight Ruger Old Armies and Uberti 1851 Navy .36s.

    The Rugers were spot on out of the box. All 4 of them.

    One pair of 1851s shot high. I worked the hammer notch down with Dremel and file so they now shoot to point of aim at competition distances, 5 to 10 yards. More crude than installing a new dovetail front sight, but cheaper and faster.

    The second pair of 1851s shot to competition point of aim as they came from the factory. I was expecting to have to adjust their sights also, but I got lucky.

    Every gun is a snowflake...each one is a bit different from all the others.
     
  7. scrat

    scrat Member

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    Thats good. Its supposed to shoot high. at 75 and 100 yards it will be right on target. thats the way the original design was. so you just have to spend more time on the range to get used to where the right spot is for your gun at 25 yards. Then aim right dead center for ranges at 75-100 and you will hit right on target.
     
  8. Beerme

    Beerme Member

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    good to know ill do this when i get my walker

    thanks for the info scrat!
     
  9. Millwright

    Millwright Member

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    Perhaps a "stupid question".....But who waits until 25 yds. to shoot at a charging opponent ?

    These are, after all, combat weapons mostly intended for calvary. IMNSHO the large tall front sights on most of these are practical for their intended purpose; which was to be able to target an opponent starting at 100 yds. ! Even at that distance its unlikely anyone would be able to get off more than two aimed shots in a charge.

    FWIW, the speed of a galloping horse is 30 mph plus or 45 fps plus. Three hundred feet - decreasing - divided by 45 equals.........< six seconds to fire........IF your opponent isn't "charging" you simultaneously....... >MW
     
  10. alienbogey

    alienbogey Member

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    I would think 25 yards might still be too far to open fire in a cavalry charge. 100 yards would be ridiculously far even if it's only seconds to close the distance.

    Crude sights, on the back of a horse at a dead run, one handed, and hit a target at 100 yards? 25 yards? What is the likelihood of an effective hit?

    My guess is that the experienced trooper held his fire until in the meleé where hits were near certain and he was far more likely both to get a hit and desperately need one to avoid receiving a saber cut?

    Only 5 or 6 shots and you're going to waste one at 100 yards from charging horseback?
     
  11. Foto Joe

    Foto Joe Member

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    The popular theory (I call it that because I've been too lazy to research and confirm it) is that during the heat of battle and the threat of death, it was much easier to shoot your enemies horse than the enemy himself. The idea wasn't to kill the horse, but to stop it or slow it down.

    Once the enemy was dis-mounted so to speak, you had more time which to aim your rifle and kill him. Also, keep in mind that the typical soldier did not have just six shots from his pistol. He had as many six shots as pistols that he carried. Re-loading a pistol on the battlefield was the option you used last, usually just before you got killed.
     
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