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Help me pick a BP Revolver

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by samualt, Apr 1, 2003.

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  1. samualt

    samualt Member

    Jan 19, 2003
    I'm a BP newbie and want a BP revolver replica. Basically I want a good inexpensive big caliber BP revolver to test the BP waters, as it were.

    1. It must be cheap, around $200 or less.
    2. No kits unless kit is really cheap and/or value really high!
    3. Easiest BP revolver to load and use.
    4. Big caliber .44. I like things that go boom.
    5. Should be of good quality because I will shoot it regularly for fun.

    1. Should I get one with a brass frame or steel? Does it matter?
    2. Which model is best? Army, Navy, Other?
    3. Which brand is best: Uberti, ASM, Pietta, ect.
    4. Which brand is worst?
    5. What specific things should I look for in a BP revolver?
    6. Are any of the BP revolvers double action?

    Feel free to add absolutely anything as I am walking into this blind with no BP experience at all. Thanks! :scrutiny:
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2003
  2. 444

    444 Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    I can tell you what I bought. I don't know if it meets all your requirements. I bought a replica 1860 Army from Cabellas for $119. It is made by one of those Italian companies you mention although I forget which one. It is .44 caliber. It loads like any other BP revolver. I don't know how well it will hold up. I don't shoot it very often. I think I have taken it out maybe three times since I owned it and probably fired less than 75 shots out of it. So far, so good. It looks very nice.
  3. Colt46

    Colt46 Member

    Jan 29, 2003
    Hope this helps

    Not exactly a complete list of everything you wanted to know, but here goes:
    I'd stay away from brass frames as they tend to stretch over time and even quicker with the higher charges of powder.
    The diferrence between Army and Navy tends to be one of caliber. Army is .44 and Navy .36
    As far as quality I've heard most about the Uberti's and Pietta's. Uberti's seem to exhibit finer fit and finish and are a bit more expensive. Pietta's are maybe a bit less in that department but are usually less expensive. I have doubts about most others. Many retailers don't advertize who actually makes the guns they have for sale.
    Starr made a double action Army and Navy Model of 1858(?) I think Uberti made a replica of them quite recently. I think they were a rather primitive double action only(not positive on that note) but don't know anything about how well they were received.

    As far as what historical arm you'd want I guess that depends on what you like. I prefer the 1858 Remington Army. It may be the strongest, most accurate arm out there. It also can be very quick to reload if you have spare cylinders. Think of them as old time speedloaders! The 1860 Colts have a good rep and seem to possess a natural pointability that others can lack. The 1851 Navy Colt has the same. They both lack a top strap which may not make them as strong as solid frames.
    I'd avoid any of the Colt Dragoons, big and cumbersome. May get you 'cool' status on the line though. I'd avoid the Lematt(9 shot cycinder around a shotgun barrel) as just more hassle than it's worth. One arm that you ought to look into was the Roger's and Spencer. I've heard from a few people that it is the ultimate blackpowder revolver(Ruger Old Army aside). I don't know who has them for sale, but an internet search may turn something up.
    Hope this helps you in your quest.

    Good luck
  4. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Pietta most likely.

    I, too, bought my cap and ball from Cabella's, a beautiful 1858 (Pietta).
    To this day I cannot believe how well it handles for such an archaic design. It makes the "wild west" concept less alien.
    A few years back, a friend and I were taking shots at scrap 2x4 that were placed on end at 100 yards (roughly). We managed more hits than I thought possible.

    However, I also learned the ballistic incoefficiency of round ball.
    At 10', the round ball on 25gr Pyrodex Pistol would tear clean through the pressure treated 2x4, but at 100 yards, it would just bounce off, leaving a dent. However, they do my conical projectiles for cap and ball revolvers, which I'll be purchasing soon. I sincerely doubt there will be nearly as much energy loss with those puppies.
  5. Gerald McDonald

    Gerald McDonald Member

    Feb 12, 2003
    I have a Pietta 1851 Navy, there are two versions, one is the authentic 36 cal the other is a 44 cal. Mine is the 44. The only problem with the 44 cal version is if you use wads behind the ball instead of grease on top you can only get about 20 - 25 grains of powder in the chamber. Enough to put a hole in anything, but not real commanding. The 1858 Remington and the 1860 Colt have more chamber capicity. I agree about the Dragoons and Walkers, great fun to shoot but not much fun to lug around, they were not considered horse pistols for nothing. The Texas Ranger Museum in Waco has a display of a Texas Ranger on horse back in the 1850's or 1860's. He is wearing an 1836 patterson or 1851 navy (dont remember which) with a couple of either Dragoons or Walkers haning from either side of the saddle horn with a percussion rifle of some sort mounted in a saddle scabbard. Its been years since I wenr there, I may try to go this weekend and give it a look see.
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