Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Electricmo, Mar 6, 2021.
It might be interesting if they were to chambered it for the 45 Special cartridge.
.44 spl or .45 auto rim would work too, Ill wager.
.45 special? What is that?
Handloader magazine (April 2020, No. 325) on the "Uberti Smith & Wesson Model 3 Russian". The sample gun (chambered in .45 Colt) was imported by Taylor's & Company but is also available from Cimarron Firearms. The revolver is chambered in .45 Colt, .44 Russian, .44-40 Winchester and .38 Special and retails for $1,189.00 (gulp!).
Mr. Pearce noted that though the guns "...feature lock-work engineering changes (from the originals) that allow them to pass required import safety regulations" he, nonetheless, "...strongly suggests to only carry the revolver with five cartridges with the empty chamber resting directly under the hammer."
That sounds an awful lot like a .45 auto-rim.
I do agree with him in that S&W hasn't listened to it's customers desires since it first installed the infernal lock and started cutting corners to lower production cost.
First off, let me apologize for saying the Italian replicas of Schofields will not handle Black Powder well. In all honesty, I do not own one and have been listening to the comments of others who have used them with Black Powder. In my defense, a lot of shooters agree with what I said.
Here is the cylinder from an original 1st Model Schofield that left the factory in 1875. Notice the prominent bushing pressed into the front of the cylinder.
Here is the way the cylinder lines up with the cylinder arbor under the barrel. When assembled, the extractor rod will slide inside the arbor. Notice the helical clearance threads on the arbor. These provide a place for any Black Powder fouling that got past the bushing to be deposited without binding the cylinder.
The bushing is larger in diameter than the arbor, and remains outside the arbor.
When the cylinder is fully seated, the arbor provides horizontal separation between the barrel/cylinder gap and the front of the bushing. So the bushing shields the arbor from fouling blasted out of the barrel cylinder gap. When shooting Black Powder, fouling that reaches the cylinder arbor, or the cylinder pin on a Colt style revolver, is the chief culprit in the cylinder binding up. Not fouling deposited on the face of the cylinder as many believe, the culprit is fouling that makes its way between the cylinder and the cylinder arbor/cylinder pin. Colt dealt with this problem similarly, also with a bushing on the front of the cylinder.
This photo shows a Schofield cylinder made by Navy Arms in front, and a cylinder with the traditional bushing at the rear. The Navy Arms cylinder is chambered for 38 Special, hence the smaller diameter chambers. Notice how small the bushing is on the front of the Navy Arms cylinder.
Here is a photo of the Navy Arms cylinder assembled to the barrel. While it is true the cylinder has not been seated quite all the way, it should be obvious how the shorter bushing does not provide as much horizontal separation from the barrel/cylinder gap as with the originals.
To further my honesty, I don't much like shooting my Schofields because it is more effort to remove the cylinder for cleaning. I much prefer shooting the New Model Number Three with Black Powder.These are chambered for the 44 Russian cartridge, not the 45 Schofield cartridge. The 44 Russian was the most popular chambering of these revolvers as well as the Russian Model the 44 Double Action.
Take down of the New Model Number Three is simpler than with a Schofield because S&W redesigned the barrel latch for that and later models, making removal of the cylinder easier. All one has to do is lift the latch, and rotate the cylinder while exerting a little bit of upward pressure to remove the cylinder. Removing the cylinder on the Schofield is a little bit more complicated, a screw needs to be rotated or removed, and the latch assembly must be rotated up as can be seen in previous photos to remove the cylinder for cleaning.
The bushing is just as prominent on the NM#3 as on all the Smith and Wesson #3 Top Break revolvers.
Notice the helical clearance threads on the arbor, as well as the interrupted thread at it's front. That thread is engaged when rotating the cylinder off the arbor.
When assembled, there is pretty much the same amount of horizontal separation between the barrel/cylinder gap and the front of the bushing as with the Schofield model.
My pair of New Model Number Threes can go through an entire CAS match without binding, and without needing any attention or cleaning at all during the match.
However, I will endeavor in the future to state that it is just my opinion that the Italian reproduction Schofields tend to bind up more quickly than the originals.
Big Lube Bullets: Since they have been mentioned, let me say that they are the only bullets I use in my Black Powder cartridge rifles and revolvers. I experimented for years with different combinations of bullet types, lube cookies, and every configuration imaginable to get my revolvers, and particularly my rifles to perform well with Black Powder.
In this photo, on the left is one of my Black Powder 44-40 loads, on the right is one of my Black Powder 45 Colt loads. Next to each are the Big Lube bullets I use in them. One of each bullet has been stripped of its lube, revealing the huge lube groove that contains enough SPG lube to keep the barrel of a rifle coated with soft lube for its entire length. These bullets will perform exceptionally well in a revolver too, they are all I use in my Black Powder revolver cartridges.
I use the same Mav-Dutchman 200 grain Big Lube bullet in both my 44 Russian and 44-40 cartridges.
So to Dave T: I suspect your new to you Model 2000 Schofield will do just fine with Big Lube bullets. I use the Big Lube PRS 250 grain bullet in my 45 Colt loads, I use the 200 grain J/P 200 bullet in my Schofield loads. Your choice. Disclaimer: I designed the J/P 200 bullet a number of years ago when there was no Big Lube bullet that weighed less than 250 grains for 45 Colt. I do not receive any money in any form for the design, it was donated to the Black Powder cartridge shooting fraternity and it has become a very popular bullet style. Next time you want to find some 45 Schofield brass, check out Starline. I always buy all my BP cartridge brass from Starline and they seem to always have 45 Schofield in stock.
Finally, a note about the 45 Cowboy Special cartridge, then I will shut up. Left to right in this photo are a 45 Colt, 45 Schofield, 45 Cowboy Special, 45 Auto Rim, and 45 ACP.
The 45 Cowboy Special was developed probably close to twenty years ago now, by a friend who use to go by the alias of Adirondack Jack. It was developed in response to those Cowboy Action shooters who were trying to load down the 45 Colt to recoil about like a mild 38 Special, so they could shoot really, really fast without having to deal with much recoil. The 45 Colt does not do all that well because of the huge amount of empty space inside when loaded with very light loads. AJ designed the 45 Cowboy Special to have the same rim configuration as the 45 Colt, so it could be chambered and fired in any revolver chambered for 45 Colt, but it was the same length and had the same internal powder capacity as the 45 ACP. Smokeless data for 45 ACP can be used with the 45CS because they have the same internal powder capacity. Of course those same gamers who were trying to load the 45 Colt minimally had to do the same with 45 CS in order to achieve about the same recoil as a 22LR. (Just kidding). Notice the 45 Auto Rim cartridge has a different rim configuration, the rim is .090 thick as opposed to .060 with the others, to allow for not using moon clips for revolvers chambered for 45 ACP, such as the Colt or S&W Models 1917.
Sir, thank you so much for such so well done posts, one of few best I had ever seen. Incredible...
Talking about Schofield from the first post, unless somebody is hard core collector, price is quite stiff.
If I want a shooter top brake revolver, I would consider Beretta Laramie:
Many said that this revolver is high quality piece. However, prices are more reasonable:
The only problem is they are getting quite scarce.
Very nice! That would make for an excellent companion piece for my Beretta Stampede!
The Beretta Laramie was a replica of the Smith and Wesson New Model Number Three. Marketed by Beretta, it was actually made by Uberti. Beretta owns Uberti.
Here is an actual New Model Number Three.
Like the New Model Number Three Target model, the Laramie had a windage adjustable rear sight, but had the same half moon shaped front sight of a standard New Model Number Three. This is a NM#3 Target model. Notice the windage adjustable rear sight and the raised front sight with a bead on top
Interestingly enough, Uberti has recently revived their replica of the New Model Number Three and is calling it the New Model No. 3 Frontier.
Just like the Laramie, Uberti is using the same barrel assembly from their 3rd Model Russian for their New Model No. 3 Frontier. This barrel assembly has the same style barrel latch and thumbwheel on top of the top strap that the 3rd Model Russian had. That is actually incorrect for a New Model #3, S&W had improved the barrel latch design by the time the real thing came out in 1878. If you look closely at the photo of the Laramie that Onty posted you can see the thumbwheel. Clearly Uberti is using the same tooling they were using for the Laramie for their current New Model No.3 Frontier.
There was a discussion of this quite recently here on this forum.
Here's what I got my eyeball on.
That is the American model. The American model was the first of the S&W Top Breaks, it appeared in 1869 but it was chambered for the 44 S&W American cartridge which used a heeled bullet.
Cimarron has recently introduced a replica of the American model, made by Uberti, chambered for 45 Colt, 44-40, 44 Special, and 44 Russian. Cimarron says they are the sole distributor of that model. (I suspect your photo is the Cimarron version)
Notice how long the ejector housing is. Every time Smith and Wesson released a new #3 Top Break they kept modifying the ejector mechanism, resulting in shorter and shorter ejector housings.
This is not an American model, it is a 1st Model Russian. Physically identical to the American model except chambered for the 44 Russian cartridge rather than the 44 American cartridge with its heeled bullet. But other than that this model was identical to the American model. Identification features: the grip is almost straight up and down and it has the longest ejector housing of any of the #3 Top Breaks.
Compare to the much, much shorter ejector housing of the New Model Number Three and completely different grip shape.
Tell us (me) the secret of your success.
What is your Black Powder load?
Brand of brass, primer-standard or magnum, type of powder, granulation, how much, bullet type, weight, bullet lube?
Inquiring mind wants to know.
I ordered the Cimarron 1st Model American.
Now I need a double rig to pair it with my Schofield.
I don't think I have any secrets, or necessarily much success. I am a solid middle of the pack at best shooter in SASS.
As you know, I am a big fan of your bullet design, the 200 grs Big Lube J/P. And I think the additional lube it provides diminishes fouling, or at least keeps it nice and soft.
For revolver and rifle (mainly use a Marlin 1894) my load is whatever large pistol primer I have to hand, usually CCI or Winchester, the Lee 1.9 cc dipper full of Olde Eynsford 3 Fffg (about 28-30 grs), with a .455" card wad on top and the Big Lube bullet seated for about 1/10" or so of compression. I used to add a lube cookie, but with the Big Lube bullets, that's not necessary. Probably don't need the card wad either, frankly.
In 45-70 and 9.5x47R, I use large pistol primers as well. I use rather more compression in 45-70 than is conventional and 67 grs of 1.5 Fg OE. I like the 540 grs Lyman Postel. In 9.5x47R, I use a .365" 250 grs slick paper patched to .375" over 50 grs 1.5 Fg OE. I use a lube cookie in each and about 1/8" compression in the 9.5x47R. All pretty conventional stuff.
In cap and ball (mainly shoot a pair of Euroarms Rogers & Spencers, sometimes the Uberti RNMA come out), I use paper cartridges made up with cigarette papers 25-26 grs of 3Fffg OE with a card wad and a dollop of lube under .454" ball.
iI am aware of the 45 Government/45 Short Colt and the 45 Revolver. The 45 Government was developed by the government, case length of the Schofield, with a 45 Colt rim, went on the commercial market as the 45 Short Colt. The 45 Rrevolver had the schofield rim on a 45 Colt length case, loaded to 45 Schofield performance. (Some sources say the case was a frog hair longer the the 45 Colt. This one was meant for the 1909 New Service.
Thanks for the vote of confidence in the Big Lube 45 J/P 200. I did not realize you were using it. I developed it based on the earlier PRS 250 grain Big Lube bullet. I simply shortened it a bit, and made the lube groove a little bit less 'huge'. I do suspect the lube carrying ability of all the Big Lube bullets make them perform better in a revolver fired with Black Powder than most other designs, including your Schofields with their reduced cylinder bushings. I suspect you could dispense with the card wad and not suffer any unpleasant consequences. I am a bit confused though. The J/P 45-200 does not take up as much space inside a case as a PRS 250 does. I use the J/P-200 pretty much exclusively in 45 Schofield brass, I use the 250 grainer in 45 Colt brass. My standard 45 Colt load is 2.2CC of Schuetzen FFg with about 1/16" of compression. It comes to something like 33 grains. The few times I used the J/P-200 in a 45 Colt case, the case could accept more than 2.2CC, I think probably 2.5CC. So are you using 45 Colt brass or 45 Schofield brass?
Before I found out about the Big Lube bullets I was pan lubing regular hard cast bullets with a mixture of 50/50 Crisco and Beeswax. Those bullets simply did not carry enough lube in their skimpy lube grooves to keep the bore of a rifle coated with soft lube for its entire length. They did OK in a revolver with its shorter barrel, but did not do so well keeping the cylinder from binding. I would up adding all kinds of extra lube under the bullets, which proved problematic to say the least. When I found out about the Big Lube bullets I never looked back, never added any lube cookies or wads or anything after that.
Here is a thread that explores some of the 45 S&W, 45 Frankford, mysteries.
Thanks for that info.
Mr. Johnson, I've already taken delivery of Star-Line 45 S&W brass and they are prepped and waiting for the arrival of the 200g Big Lube bullets from Mark Whyte. I wish when you designed the 200g you had made it a 225g or even better a 230g to duplicate the original for the 45 S&W. To get sufficient lube I will have to make do with the 200s. Still, I'm looking forward to taking this Scofield out for it's initial range trip.
Oh, and I load the Big Lube 250 over 36g of FFFg for my 45 Colt ammo. It does thrash about a bit when you drop the hammer but being a history buff I get a real kick out of knowing what it was like back in the late 1870s and into the 1890s to buy a box of 45 Colt ammo at the mercantile and shoot it in my SAA Colt. (smiley face goes here)
Perhaps I should explain the genesis of the J/P 45-200. The idea was not to duplicate the original 45 Schofield 230 grain bullet, the idea was to come up with a 45 caliber bullet significantly lighter in weight than the 250 grain PRS bullet.
I had been shooting 45 Colt cartridges with the PRS 250 grain bullet for some time in my Colts, still do. But I had just gotten a 45 Colt cartridge conversion cylinder for a 1858 Remington Cap & Ball revolver that I had owned a long time. The frame of the Remington is quite thin in cross section where the loading lever pierces it. I was concerned the pounding of a 45 Colt round filled with Black Powder, along with the weight of a 250 grain bullet might strain or even crack the thin walls of the frame where the loading lever pokes through.
There were far fewer Big Lube bullets available at that time, the only 45 caliber bullet was the Pigeon Roost Slim (PRS) 250 grain bullet that Slim had designed. I wanted something with significantly less mass, so I set 200 grains as the goal. At the time I was working as a mechanical designer and had a pretty good 3D CAD program at work, so I designed my bullet on that. I could assign mass to the computer model, so assigning it the mass of lead I could come up with the bullet I wanted. Starting with the dimensions of the PRS I started trimming here and there until I came up with a design that met my weight requirement and retained the Big Lube features I thought were important. Then I contacted Lee Precision, who were making the Big Lube molds at the time, and had them make me a mold from the dimensioned drawing I sent them. After I cast a bunch of bullets and tried them out I contacted Dick Dasterly, who is the owner of Big Lube bullet molds. Actually, as I remember it I had probably been in touch with him while I was designing the bullet. He had Lee make up some more molds and started selling them. The J/P 45-200 was a big hit right off, because it offered a significantly lighter bullet than the PRS 250 grainer.
Over time, Dick altered my original design slightly, it is no longer as flat and squashed as my original design, and if you go to Dick's web page he says it now weighs 210 grains after the slight modification .
I have not cast my own bullets in several years, the lead count in my blood was too high, but I still have a pile of my original squat J/P 45-200 bullets left from when I was casting my own. These days I buy all my Big Lube bullets from Mark Whyte. I actually seldom use the J/P 45-200 these days, most of my BP loading is with 45 Colt, 44-40, or 44 Russian. I use the 200 grain Mav-Dutchman bullet for both 44-40 and 44 Russian.
The two cartridges in the center of this photo, are original, copper cased, Benet primed cartridges. The one on the left is a 45 Colt, the one on the right is a 45 Schofield. On the outside are two of my Black Powder loads, a 45 Colt on the far left and a 45 Schofield on the far right. This shows how really 'squashed' my original J/P 45-200 bullet was. Compare it to the drawing of the mold that Dick is currently offering.
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