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New to BP pistol

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by RandyRay41, Aug 13, 2013.

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  1. RandyRay41

    RandyRay41 Member

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    I ordered a pietta 1858 new army with the 5 1/2 barrel today. I am new to BP pistols. I do own a BP rifle though. I would like any helpful advice. Powder type, grains, balls or conicals. I am very confused about grease or patches to protect from chain fire. Does the patch go under or over the ball? Also the best primer


    Thanks for any help
    I am new to this site
     
  2. mykeal

    mykeal Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Cap and ball revolvers do not use a patch. The ball, or projectile, is sized to be slightly larger than the chamber diameter, so that a small ring of lead is shaved off when the ball is loaded. This swaged ball, along with proper fitting percussion caps, is the primary means of preventing a chain fire.

    Some folks use grease over the chamber mouth, while others use a lubed fabric wad between the ball and the powder. These provide a small amount of additional insurance against the chain fire, but are primarily intended to soften the fouling in the barrel to allow more shots before it becomes an issue.

    Your 1858 Remington New Army will use soft lead round balls of 0.454" in diameter (0.457" will also work). Real black powder in 3f granulation is the most popular, although some occasionally use 2f with acceptable results. Avoid using 1f or 4f. Black powder substitutes of equivalent granulation are also popularly used.

    As far as the amount of powder, anywhere from 15 to 35 grains (measured by volume) can be used. Experimentation will be required to determine the load your gun likes best for accuracy.

    Some folks add an inert filler (Cream of Wheat or corn meal) on top of the powder to bring ball up to the end of the chamber mouth, with the idea that it improves accuracy. This may or may not be worthwhile in your case. Again, experimentation will be necessary - another excuse to go shooting!
     
  3. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    I think I've usually read that people get the best fit by using #10 caps, though I'm not sure of the brand or if it matters.
     
  4. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    Conicals can be hard to find it seems unless you or someone you know casts them.

    If you are interested I can ask 2 casters on another forum if they cast for your caliber and at what cost.

    But most seem to get better accuracy from a ball.
     
  5. RandyRay41

    RandyRay41 Member

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    So I don't need a wad ( I used patch and Meant wad in my original post). Is pyrodex P an acceptable powder for my pistol? I even see where some us 777. That is what I shoot out of my accura V2. I won't get into the powders to much. But I would assume if you can shoot 777 you should be able to shoot blackhorn 209. Just a curiosity.



    As far as conicals I will wait to see how far I get into the pistols. I love my BP long guns!
     
  6. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    Pyrodex is acceptable, though many don't care for it, myself included.

    Blackhorn 209 needs a 209 primer to set it off. It won't work.

    Most any black powder or substitute will work fine for getting started.

    If you buy in bulk (3 lbs or more) it may be a good thing to look online and pay the hazmat fee for real BP as it's generally much cheaper.

    Is this pistol just a range toy or might you use it to hunt with?

    I've been using Triple 7 and Olde Eynsford, which is a new BP similar, but cheaper than Swiss. I've also used Pyrodex.
     
  7. RandyRay41

    RandyRay41 Member

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    Just a range toy at this time.
     
  8. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    A loading stand is a very handy thing to have as well. Especially if it's a folding compact one, and even more so if it's made for you by a stranger (thanks again Jim!).
     
  9. BADUNAME30

    BADUNAME30 Member

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    WELCOME Randy.
    Welcome to the forum and welcome to the world of the brothers of the soot.
    Many very experienced and friendly fellers here. All more than happy to share their collective knowledge with ya.
    " Range toy" hahahaha. Yer soon gonna learn that this is just the beginning of an obsession. You'll be showin off yer collection in due time.
    Oh, did I mention the enablers here? You'll find out what I mean soon enough.
    I'll give ya a hint. I was you once. A one smoke pole kind o' guy. Here I am now, 4 smoke poles and 8 pistolas later.:D

    Stranger huh? I'll give you stranger. [​IMG]
     
  10. RandyRay41

    RandyRay41 Member

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    Thanks Jim, You are most likely correct. Pistol arrives Friday and I am learning what I need to safely shoot it this weekend. I am still confused on the correct diameter balls, cap size. 10 or 11. Powder brand and charge. I am aware the correct charge for accuracy comes with experimenting


    I am already looking at a walker. But wife will be po'd if I buy 2 in a matter of a few day.
     
  11. 1858remington

    1858remington Member

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    The easiest load for a BP revolver is the Pyrodex pellets for 45 cal pistols (45/30gr). No measuring, just drop one in each chamber. Then seat your balls on top of them, and grease the chamber, and cap.

    Grease wise I found that Thompson Ceneter Bore Butter is the best stuff on earth. It prevents fouling build up so your gun wont bind up after a few shots. It also makes cleaning the gun a breeze, and can be used a a lube or all your gun parts. Usually after I've cleaned and reassembled my revolver, I wipe it down with the stuff, and I haven't had rust issues since.

    Percussion caps can be finicky things. I have found the RWS and CCI caps to give the best performance. Remington caps are.... just plain aweful. I would go with #11 caps. Just give them a little pinch to make them fit tight. The #10's tend to be very snug, and if not fully seated on the nipple may need a second hit to go off, since the first hit just seated them. The other benefit to the #11 caps is that they tend to fall off after firing, where as the #10's sometimes stick and need to be pryed off.

    Round balls tend to all work well, but if it has a sprue, it can vere off target. I like using round balls made by Hornady, and Speer, since they are spruless.

    For cleaning, soap and hot water is the trick. Just dissassemble the gun and wash the parts in a bowl with dish soap and water as hot as you can stand it. Notice I didn't say to wash it in the sink. The sink drain is a fast way to loose your small parts. After the parts are clean, rince them in HOT water then dry them off, best you can, and set them aside to finish drying. Wipe each dry part down with the bore butter, to lube and protect it from rust, and reassemble.

    Dont use WD40 on your gun!!! This stuff is evil:evil: It will bead up and let rings of rust appear on your gun.
     
  12. 1858remington

    1858remington Member

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    Now, as for the Colt Walker. Sure they look cool but they weigh a whopping 5 pounds. Like many of the Colt style pistols, its gonna shoot high. The old addage about aiming for the belt buckle to hit them in the chest is true. A gunsmith can put a taller front sight on them to make them hit to point of aim.

    The biggest Walker pain is the hammer spring, the reason I sold mine. Its a leaf spring affair that hooks to a notch on the brass grip then under the hammer. Putting it back in place during reassembly is quite a chore. Mine gave me many a cut and blood blister till I finally found a way to compress it into place. If you dont now curse, you soon will learn.

    The walker is also known for its loading leaver to become unlatched during firing. as the lever falls the rammer will catch on the cylinder chamber keeping the cylinder from rotating till its put back in position. This is not a serious issue, just a minor PITA.
     
  13. mykeal

    mykeal Member

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    Balls: 0.454" or 0.457". Either one. Doesn't matter.

    Caps: Caps are a crap shoot. First of all, there is no such thing as "cap size". It just amazes me that people can't get that through their heads. Remington No. 10's ARE NOT THE SAME SIZE as CCI No. 10's. Remington No. 11's ARE NOT THE SAME SIZE as CCI No. 11's. You have every right to be confused about caps for that very reason. So, when someone tells you to use No. 11's without also saying what brand, he's not giving you any useful information at all. To make matters worse, nipple dimensions vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and over time, so what worked on an 1858 Remington New Army made by Pietta in 1986 will probably not work on one made by Uberti in 2012, so what works for me may not work for you. Bottom line on caps is, as I said, they're a crap shoot. Buy a few and try them out. Hey, its a good thing - its another reason to go shooting.

    Powder: Which is better, Chevy, Ford or Chrysler? There is no one best answer. The most popular brands of real black powder are Goex and Swiss, with KIK and Schutzen close behind. They each have their own characteristics, and thus committed constituency, but I'm not going to say one is really better than the other. Over the years you'll develop a preference but starting out it doesn't really matter. Same goes for the substitutes. Most popular are Pyrodex and 777, but that's not to say they're 'better' than the others. Bottom line: pick one, and have a ball.

    Charge: Somewhere between 15 grains/volume and 35 grains/volume. Again - pick one and have a ball. Try everything in between and see which is most accurate in your gun. Another good excuse to go shooting.
     
  14. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    You'll also need (eventually) gunsmith's screwdrivers for the screws when you disassemble it. The screws are also soft steel that a standard screwdriver will eventually mar.

    Seating the ball on the powder is absolutely necessary. I'm not sure if a 15 grns charge sits high enough for the rammer to seat the ball on the charge. You may need a felt wad or some inert material (Cream of Wheat, Malt O Meal, etc.) to fill it in enough so the ball crushes into the powder. Others will likely help you with that as I don't own that revolver.
     
  15. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    In my .44 C&B's I find that the 28gns (as weighed) of 3F black powder dropped by my flask fills the chambers just well enough to seat a ball on top before I run out of rammer travel. I suspect that your 1858 will be the same. So lighter charges will likely require a topping off filler such as the Cream of Wheat or corn meal or some other non abrasive filler to avoid the potential air space as warned of by rodwha just above. You DO NOT want an airspace in a black powder charge or with any of the BP substitutes.

    For both my Uberti Reminingtons and my mix and match Colt 1860's the 28'ish grains with no filler shoots as well as I can hold any six gun. If I were a more steady arm and keen of eye or shot from wrist rests I'd likely play around with other loads. But as it is I'm able to produce 1.5 inch groups at 15 yards pretty consistently and keeping the groups at or under 2 inches isn't hard. And that's as good as I can do with any handgun. So obviously these basic loads are already able to shoot better than what I can hold.

    Besides, the 28gns plus round ball delivers a very satisfying "THUMP!" to the hand and a great puff of good ol' BP fog..... :D

    This results in the nose of the ball sitting a good 1/8 to 3/16 inch below the face of the cylinder. Due to the mess that would result from filling the rest with over ball grease I've opted for using Canola oil. One drop applied in the "V" between ball and chamber wicks around neatly to seal off any tiny gaps that may be there and it lubes the ball nicely. The barrel fouling I get remains soft and greasy and cleans away super easy later on.

    Best of all a drop of this same Canola cooking oil applied to the cylinder pin after seal oiling the balls keeps the cylinder turning freely loading after loading as it cuts the fouling very well.
     
  16. Jaymo

    Jaymo Member

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    The 5.5" Remington is a very fun BP revolver to shoot.
    I think you'll love it, unless you somehow get a dud.
    38 grains of 3f Goex lets you know you have some power on tap.
    It's not necessary to use that much powder. I just like mine loaded full tilt.
     
  17. Pancho

    Pancho Member

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    Mykeal did a fine job of explaining the crap about caps and therefore nipples. It has always been a pet peeve to me that there are no industry standards.
    The best you can do is to buy aftermarket nipples and there are a few to choose from.
    The main criteria that I use in choosing my nipples is to use the phone and ask the manufacturer of the nipple what cap manufacturer and size did they use to design their nipple. The only company that I found that was readily accessible and could answer such a simple question was TOW they designed and machine their own nipples in house.
    Why is that such a difficult concept for the industry?
     
  18. Pancho

    Pancho Member

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    You may hear from the "cap pincher" group of shooters stating that buying loose caps and pinching them to make them stay on is the way to go. I don't agree. Pinching a cap to make it fit is no substitute for proper fitting caps.
     
  19. Ifishsum

    Ifishsum Member

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    My Pietta Remmy works best with .454 size balls, 28-30 gr of powder. Goex FFFg is my first preference but it can be hard to find sometimes. Pyrodex P is a good substitute in my opinion - either way make sure to clean the revolver well the same day you shoot it.

    I also prefer to use Wonder Wads or something similar between the powder and the ball. I've got no interest in covering the cylinders with BB or crisco and the wads do a good job of keeping the fouling soft. They also add a layer of protection against chainfire. Remington #10 caps fit best, CCI #10s do not fit at all but I have used CCI 11s and Dynamit Nobel 1075s with acceptable results. But if you can find Remington #10s they are most likely to fit the best.

    Enjoy!
     
  20. BADUNAME30

    BADUNAME30 Member

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    What cap did they design their nipples for Pancho ?
     
  21. Crawdad1

    Crawdad1 Member

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    Jim, TOW will tell you in the description what caps to use and what revolver to use them on, type thread.
     
  22. RandyRay41

    RandyRay41 Member

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    TOW is the acronym for what company?
     
  23. Crawdad1

    Crawdad1 Member

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    Randy, Track of the Wolf. Great site for muzzleloaders and buckskinners. I buy revolver supplies from them all of the time.
     
  24. Pancho

    Pancho Member

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    Jim, they stated that CCI's were used to design their SS nipples for my 62 colts. The CCI caps fit perfectly. Seated without the need of a wooden dowel but I would suggest using a dowel especially with the pocket pistols. I experienced no misfires and no cap fragments (cap crap). Did have some spent caps split and fall off into the hammer channel but these were easy to detect and clear at least I didn't have any small "cap crap" fall into the action which would have put the gun out of action for the day.
     
  25. BullSlinger

    BullSlinger Member

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    Caps and Pietta's

    I have found that on the Pietta Revolvers that the CCI #10 fit just right. #11 fall off unless pinched out of round. Other brands not sure.
    I have used both loose powder/Pyrodex and pellets. Pellets are easy to load but cost per shot really goes up. 100 for $18 as compared to buying a pound of pyrodex powder about the same cost but 300 plus shots. I usually load 15 to 25 and find in my Piettas that 20 is best. You will have to find what you like.
     
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