finaly shoot my 1860

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by csa77, Apr 10, 2014.

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  1. csa77

    csa77 Member

    Jun 14, 2011
    I had the gun for almost a year before I had got around to shooting it
    took it out last weekend and shot 3 cylinders before I put it away.just became way to fouled, I was shooting it dry with no lube no wads.
    this was my first time ever shooting a BP gun. was a ton of fun I plan to shoot it again next week.

    anyway I was using .454 balls with 25gr of fffg 777 powder. and #10 caps(fit very loose). a guy I meet wanted to chronograph it to see what velocity I was getting. with the 25gr of fffg 777 I was getting 860 fps.

    I do have 3 questions tho,

    1st how much fffg 777 powder can I feed it, someone else I met was telling me 40grains. is this true?

    2nd what do you lube your black powder pistol with , I know bore butter or crisco can be put over the top of the balls , but is there something I can use to lube the arbor and hammer with? my hammer had enough of fouling to cause light stikes after then second cylinder and my arbor very very fouled.

    3rd how many times can you shoot of BP pistol( if its properly lubed) before its just too fouled and has to be cleaned
  2. BCRider

    BCRider Member

    Nov 15, 2008
    Pacific North"Wet" Coast of Canada
    LOTS of fun, ain't it! ! ! ! :D

    With black powder or Pyrodex you can load as much as it can take and still let the balls not sit proud of the front face of the cylinder. That much will be up around 40 grains give or take a few grains. I know that with 30 the balls seat fairly deeply in my own 1860's and it sure seems like there's room for around 10 more if I were so inclined.

    But then of course Hodgdon recommends cutting down the loads for 777 by around 15%. So you really shouldn't load up more than around 35 to 36gns.

    For myself I find that the 30 gn loads that my flask drops is just right. It's a pretty good thump for recoil and it's a recoil energy that I'm pretty sure will ensure a long life for the guns. I'd think that 40gns or so would be getting up into the sort of recoil where it would not surprise me to see the guns becoming loose fitting after a few hundred such shots. But maybe I'm worried about nothing.

    Try lubing the cylinder arbor with Canola cooking oil before you start shooting at the beginning of the day. And put one to two drips into the front face joint and spin the cylinder a few times with each loading. I found that Canola oil really cuts through the fouling and frees up my guns even if they have become quite stiff with packed in fouling. Following this treatment I get a full 6 loadings and firings out of my 1860s during a day of cowboy action shooting. After the first cylinder it stiffens a little to a smooth greasy feel with the added oil. From then on it stays the same for the rest of the day. It never gets to where it won't spin easily. That Canola really cuts through the fouling.

    I didn't have any issue with my hammers fouling up but if they did my little bottle of Canola oil is at the ready.

    DO NOT rely on the Canola for regular lubricating and surface protection though. It's actually very good at both. But it will harden and gum up after a few months of exposure to the air. For two day weekends I'll lube it with Canola after cleaning at the end of the first day. But for putting the guns to sleep for more than a few weeks I clean and then use Ballistol as it is both BP and replacement powder friendly and doesn't gum up.

    Do not use any petroleum based oils. Regular gun oils other than Ballistol will gum up badly when mixed with fouling from BP or the replacements. Gets rather tar like in fact.
  3. INGarand

    INGarand Member

    Dec 23, 2011
    csa 77, you do realize that shoot a cap and ball dry without wads or lube over the balls can result in a chain fire. Not real fun and can damage your pistol. I have found around 32 grains of FFF with a .454 ball shoots good in my pistol. At the range I use blue and gray lube over the balls, if I carry loaded I use lubed wonder wads under the balls. Keeping the cylinder pin greased also prevents fouling.
  4. Crawdad1

    Crawdad1 Member

    Sep 13, 2012
    For general target practice I routinely shoot upwards of 50 to 60 balls in my 1860 Army and can shoot 60 more if I needed too. Fouling should not be a problem even using real black powder if you keep it lubed. I would suggest off the bat to replace the factory nipples with a good replacement nipple of your choice, a pick to occasionally clean out the nipples while shooting and lube it up. After that, you should be able to shoot all day long and then some. ;)

    A 454 ball With 25 grains behind her is churning out at 860 fps, that's good information, Thank you!!! :)
  5. Noz

    Noz Member

    Dec 3, 2010
    Southwest Missouri
    I frequently shoot major cowboy shoots that offer 10-12 stages with 5 shots per pistol per stage.
    I will shoot 6, take the cylinder out, wipe off and relube (Bore Butter) the arbor and shoot six more stages.

    Spray with CLP or Ballistol or Barricade and put them away til I have time and the inclination to mess with cleaning them

    I do shoot only real black, no subs at all.
  6. Skinny 1950

    Skinny 1950 Member

    Jul 2, 2010
    Vancouver B.C. Canada
    It may take some effort to find real black powder but it is worth it, I tried 777 in my cap and ball revolvers and the fouling seemed to work it's way into the inner parts (trigger,hand and bolt) this required taking the whole gun apart to clean. After switching to black powder I only have to take them apart when a spring breaks which seems to happen with alarming regularity.
  7. 45 Dragoon

    45 Dragoon Member

    May 18, 2013
    The breaking of springs isnt an indicator of when one should clean his gun, it IS an indication of too much tension. There is no reason for springs to break with regularity, fowling comes from the ability for it to get there, meaning, too big of a barrel/cyl. gap.

    45 Dragoon
  8. 44 Dave

    44 Dave Member

    Apr 9, 2012
    Northern Wisconsin
    I think you guys that dunk your pistols in water sometimes don't get all the little nooks completely dry and oiled. An old clock and watch repair friend told me "what causes springs to brake is rust"
    I picked up a project gun, there are rust spots on all of the springs. The hand spring lost it (got weak) where it attaches to the hand. the loading leaver spring (in with a pin through the latch) was most solid rust.
    I gave up running guns through the car wash years ago when I was introduced to Black powder solvent, now I mix up my own and at times use a little Balistol and oil with non-petroleum oil. When I open a gun all of the way up there is some black slime to clean but no rust.
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