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New to black powder pistols, which one to buy

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Big Bore Dan, Mar 8, 2010.

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  1. Big Bore Dan

    Big Bore Dan Member

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    Hello, I am finally in the market for my first black powder pistol. I like the Colt Walker and the Dragoon models. The only company I can find that makes these is Uberti? If this is the only choice, are they relaible and well made? I cant find a Pietta in these versions. The Walker version I saw did not have a latch in the front and the 60 grain charges opened the lever ?ANY HELP OR THOUGHTS WOULD BE APRECIATED
     
  2. oldpuppymax

    oldpuppymax Member

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    Uberti makes a nice weapon. You'll find the Walker for $375.00 at the Possible Shop, along with everything else a BP shooter will need, except the powder. That's at Powder Inc, if, like me, no one in your area sells real BP. Pyrodex is everywhere, of course. I've ordered from both outfits.
     
  3. NCWanderer

    NCWanderer Member

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    Dan

    The Walker and Dragoons are both good choices. I'll eventually have one or the other......or both. :D But you might want to take a look the others as well before you choose. Lots of good choices out there. Don't know which is the best first BP gun, but the 1858 Remington was.....is my first and I love it.

    BTW welcome to the dark side.
     
  4. Foto Joe

    Foto Joe Member

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    Beware of Dragoons!!

    Shooting either a Walker or a Dragoon will become an addiction in short order, it's a sickness you see which most of us choose not to receive treatment for.

    At the risk of being labeled a trader, might I suggest that your first one be of a slightly milder gender though, they don't eat near as much powder. That way when the Dragoon or Walker of your dreams appears there will be NO guilt when it follows you home.

    On that note, don't rule out used guns. You never know what you're gonna find at a Pawn Shop or gun shop. I've learned that a lot of gun shop owners know VERY little about black powder guns and are quite happy in their ignorance. That can mean a good deal. There is a thread on this forum listing the makers marks and proof date codes that can be very useful when looking at used guns also.

    Buy what trips yer trigger and have fun, it's gonna be a learning experience to say the least.

    Joe
     
  5. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Pick the one you like the looks on and buy it. I had a Navy, but really prefer the round barrel look of the dragoons. I'd like another Navy, don't mistake, but I'll get one in proper .36 caliber this time. They're a little handier size. The Walker is a HUGE beast, but if that's what you want, go for it. I'm also kinda wanting a 5.5" barreled 58 Remington, not really authentic in that barrel length, but then, I'm more a shooter than a realism buff. If someone would just poop a grand my way and specify it HAD to be spent on firearms, I'd have fun shopping, put it that way. :D I have 3 and look for more in the future. I'd really been thinkin' stainless Remington, but 777 is pretty clean burning and less corrosive and I've about totally converted to it. I can't easily get BP down here, so it's Pyrodex or 777 and 777 is the winner. Shooting a blued gun is way less hassle with 777.
     
  6. Big Bore Dan

    Big Bore Dan Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I was also considering the Remington in Stainless steel but a friend said the Remingtons were problematic? Any truth to this?
     
  7. azyogi

    azyogi Member

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    The only problem I have ever had with a remmie was in fitting a spare cylinder. Didn't take too much work and was worth the time. It was an older lyman revolver and I was fitting newer pieta cylinders to it, again no biggie.
     
  8. Calibre44

    Calibre44 Member

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    Beware ... I was only going to buy one Uberti BP revolver and this happened!:)
    [​IMG]
    Each has pros and cons but I couldn't pick one that I love over another if I tried ... all excellent!
     
  9. Big Bore Dan

    Big Bore Dan Member

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    Nice collection ! The one on top is a Walker? It seems to have a support for the raming bar? Or is this a Dragoon???
     
  10. mykeal

    mykeal Member

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    The top gun is an 1848 Horse Pistol, aka Dragoon, 2nd Model, I believe. The middle gun is an 1860 Army, and the bottom one is an 1851 Navy.

    To answer your questions:
    Uberti is a fine company. In general their products are well made and reliable. They can produce the occasional lemon, as all the Italian manufacturers have been know to do, but it happens rarely and the distributors have all been willing to replace them.

    Uberti is the only company currently producing Dragoons and Walkers. I'm not aware that Pietta has ever made any. ASM (Armi San Marco, no longer in production) was the other major manufacturer of those designs. And of course there's the famous 2nd and 3rd Generation Colt lines, also no longer in production.

    The Walker has no front latch for the loading lever. The original Colt design, copied faithfully by Uberti, is a latch near the hinge point. The Whitneyville Dragoon was the first to incorporate the front latch on a production basis.

    The only issue with a Remington design that might be called problemmatic is a tendency to become fouled and jam; most people have success with using lubed wads to reduce this tendency.

    Now to address the question of first bp revolver. Don't get a Walker - they are not for 'greenhorn' bp shooters. It's a big, big gun and takes some familiarity with bp revolvers to shoot well. There's a good chance you will become frustrated with it. A much better choice for starting out is the 1860 Army. 1851 Navy or 1858 Remington New Army. I consider them equal in terms of accuracy and enjoyment, the only thing separating them is how well the grip fits your hand. You should handle each one before choosing.
     
  11. azyogi

    azyogi Member

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    On the off chance the gods smile at you and a Ruger Old Army [ROA] at a reasonable price, comes your way consider it as well. Though not copy or historic in any way, they are damn fine shooters and are built like a brick outhouse. My first BP pistol was a ROA and I still like it best. Out of production now, they comand a premium in the market, and for that reason alone are not considered an entry level gun.
     
  12. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Member

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    I'd get the Remington.I've had ''Colts'' really too numerous to mention,a Rodgers and Spencer,Spiller and Burrs, and really for simplicity and reliability, it's tough to beat a Remington.Stainless? Even better. Just remember, even if it is ''stainless'' you still gotta clean it when you get home.
     
  13. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    I can't think of why he would make such a statement unless he bought a defective revolver or one with some noticeable flaws.
    That's why it's recommended to buy from an outfit that has a no questions asked return policy like Cabela's. They'll accept a pistol back even if it has been fired.
    It does take a few minutes to learn how to insert the cylinder because it can be a little tricky at first, but for the most part they're very reliable and trouble free.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2010
  14. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    When someone broke into my house and ripped off my stainless ROA (among other guns) I went looking for a new one and found a used one for $97.50 at a local gun shop. Not believing my eyes, I asked and he said he just wanted out of BP stuff. I had a hard time writing the check I was shaking so bad. I wonder if that guy remembers that sale, now? :D

    Remingtons problematic? Well, the only problem I can see is keeping up with powder and ball. :rolleyes: I've got friends with 'em, though I've YET to get one, and they shoot quite well. As a shooter, I prefer them to my old Navy Colt. Sighting is better if nothing else.
     
  15. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Member

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    the ''trick'' with the Remington cylinder swap is: with the barrel pointed away from you,and in a safe direction, put the revolver on half cock [the point at which the cylinder spins freely] drop the loading lever, pull the cylinder pin, and roll the cylinder out to the right.To re-install the cylinder,reverse the process,that is, the cylinder goes in from the right to the left.as the cylinder rolls into the frame you should notice the tip of the hand [the little metal arm that pushes the cylinder up to align the next chamber] in the way.This is no problem,as the cylinder has machined ''divots'' in the back to accommodate the ''hand''.as you rotate the cylinder,just make sure the hand finds it's way into one of the half circular depressions,always rolling the cylinder slowly,until it's back in it's original position,slide the pin home,and raise the loading lever until it latches in place.really, this is much simpler than it sounds,and takes about three trys until you are an expert,swapping cylinders as nonchalantly as Clint Eastwood, in Pale Rider.
     
  16. Big Bore Dan

    Big Bore Dan Member

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    What a bunch of GREAT replies. I want to thank all of you. The Ruger would be a first choice if I could find one reasonably priced. The Dragoon seems to be on the top of my list though. However, I do like the Remington's closed frame design. Nice to hear that my friend's mention of them being a problem is not warranted. I think I want new though, just missed a real Colt 2nd generation Dragoon on Gunbroker. For some reason it sold for only $360 or so?? I'll keep looking and find a fun gun Again, Thanks all
     
  17. Gatofeo

    Gatofeo Member

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    Been shooting cap and ball revolvers since about 1970, so I've learned a few things along the way.
    I would not get a Walker or Dragoon. Not a good gun for beginners.
    I'd suggest a stainless steel Remington .44 as a first gun. Beginners are notoriously negligent about scrupulously cleaning their cap and ball revolver. The stainless steel will give you a little extra time before the rust begins.
    If one could buy .380 balls readily, I might suggest the .36 caliber. Unfortunately, about all you can readily find are .375 inch balls for the .36, which are too small, in my experience.
    The manufacturers (chiefly, Speer and Hornady) offer balls of .451, 454 and .457 inch. Buy the .454 inch, or the .457 inch if the .454 are unavailable.
    I don't like the .451 inch balls, they don't stay put as well as the larger balls during the recoil of full loads.
    Remington .44, in stainless steel. You can also get these with modern, adjustable sights if you desire. My blued Uberti-made Remington has fixed sights, but I've modified them to hit to point of aim at 25 yards.
    Go with Uberti first, for the quality, followed closely by Pietta. Either one makes good guns, but the Uberti is slightly better finished and has slightly deeper rifling to shrug off the buildup of fouling.
     
  18. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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  19. ontarget

    ontarget Member

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    Some of these guys on here are a lot more knowledgible on the subject than me but I was very happy with my '51 Navy to get started with and you can get them from cabelas for around $140.00 most of the time.
     
  20. azyogi

    azyogi Member

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    When I spoke [ah wrote] of having trouble "fitting" a cylinder, the gun was brought to me with the original cylinder, and two that were too long [.0035"] to fit in the frame. The gun and cylinders were differing brands. I hand honed these to fit, one with very little gap, and one with a little more gap, advising the guy to use the tight one first, then the other new one, then the original. My best friend later wound up with the gun in a trade and had me hone the tightest one down a tad more to keep it from binding. We would often shoot together, me with a brace of ROA's and him with the three cylinders till we could no longer see downrange due to the smoke.
     
  21. Jefferson Herb

    Jefferson Herb Member

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    58 rem

    BHP!!! 1858's are nice ar'nt they?? I got a 5 1/2 in recently,looks like new,BHP gave me pointers on rolling out the cylinder.I'm not ready to impersonate pale rider,but I don't look like a novice now.
     
  22. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Member

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    I've been a fan of Remingtons since I had my first Italian Colt.the clones now are a lot better than what I used to play around with.
     
  23. Big Bore Dan

    Big Bore Dan Member

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  24. Fingers McGee

    Fingers McGee Member

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  25. messerist

    messerist Member

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    I would get a Pietta 1858 New Army from Cabela's. They are selling for about $230 and are a very good starting pistol. They do pop up with a sale now and then and I have seen it priced around $189. Check out the Cabela's website for more current info. Buffalo Arms and Dixie Gun Works are other good sources for the 1858. If you hang around THR for any amount of time you will have more cap and ball revolvers than you can shoot...not that this is a bad thing. You'll soon find out who are the go-to-guys for sterling information and who the "leg-pullers" are. I trust the lot! Good Luck and don't be a stranger. We demand gun porn of any new arrivals!:D
     
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