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So educate me on blackpowder revolver.

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by rugerfreak, Jul 26, 2003.

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  1. rugerfreak

    rugerfreak Member

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    Local Dealer has Ruger Old Army's for a steal-----is it a hassle or a hoot to play with these??


    Can I load magnun charges??-----etc.........

    Educate me. I have no experience with black powder.

    Thanks.

    RF


    Ooooppps----just noticed there is a blackpowder section----wrong forum----Sorry.
     
  2. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    "Magnum charges"?

    No, you can load only black powder, and you're limited by the amount of powder that you can get into each chamber in combination with the bullet.

    I THINK, in the Ruger Old Army, that's about 35 grains of FFFg powder, which is a pretty hefty charge no matter what, really. With a conical bullet you're in the same power range as BP .44-40 or .45 Colt loads from yesteryear.

    What's your local dealer asking?

    Are they stainless or blued?
     
  3. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    If you want a shooter, and don’t want an exact duplicate of a 19th century revolver the Ruger “Old Army†is by far the best black-powder revolver you can buy, Hindsight being what it is the Ruger eliminated many of the problems found in clones of original Colt’s, Remington’s, etc.
    As for magnum loads, no you can’t. This is a cap & ball BLACK POWDER gun. But magnums aside, they are a hoot too shoot.
     
  4. Majic

    Majic Member

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    The Old Army is the strongest revolver on the market, so in terms it will be the magnum amoung the BP revolvers (except maybe a Dragoon).
    If you don't mind the mess and cleanup associated with shooting BP then they are most definately a hoot to play with.
     
  5. rugerfreak

    rugerfreak Member

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    They had 10 NIB--cardboard box and all---behind the glass case for $259 each------all blued ---no stainless left.

    I'll give the name of the place on Monday----after I put one on lay-a-way------closed Sunday.
     
  6. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    CRAP!

    That is a killer price for the Old Army!

    Where is this shop located?

    The best I've seen one going for here in Northern Virginia is close to $350.
     
  7. Lancel

    Lancel Member

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    Had one, it's a hoot.
    Can take as much black powder (Pyrodex, Clean Shot, etc.) as you can put in the cylinder and fit the ball or bullet in.
    Used a .457 round ball weighing 143 gr.
    With a full house load, I punched a hole in one side of a hollow cinder block at 15 yds. (This was before gelatin testing :))

    My old 1975 Lyman Blackpowder Handbook gives the following info:

    Code:
    143 gr Ball        41.0 gr ffffg    1036 f.p.s.
    185 gr Bullet     35.0 gr ffffg       905 f.p.s
    It was very accurate - able to punch holes in quarters at 25 yds. :D

    Larry
     
  8. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    The weird thing is, at moderate ranges (out to at LEAST 25 yards if not more) the "round lead ball" actually has a lot of stopping power. Aerodynamics suck wind (literally), but by the same token, once they hit flesh...well, they're not QUITE hollowpoints but the net effect isn't that far off.

    Somebody did some gel testing with a 36cal C&B, and found wound channels not far off from decent 9mm fodder.

    And that's a 457 :eek:.

    Upshot: if you need a "no paper trail" defensive gun...the Ruger C&Bs aren't all that crazy.
     
  9. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    Stupid question: what happens if you use a 185grain Gold Dot JHP sized 454 (available as a reloading component)? 900fps is enough to get those to expand :D.
     
  10. Majic

    Majic Member

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    If the Gold Dot completely seals the chamber and provides enough tension to the chamber to allow the black powder to burn then it should work.
     
  11. Lancel

    Lancel Member

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    The Lyman Handbook also listed .454 lead bullets for use with the Ruger "Old Army" Revolver: Lyman #45467 and #45468.

    Best loading of a Cap & Ball is with a ring of lead being shaved off as you ram the ball into the cylinder. This helps insure against a flashover causing multiple cylinder discharges. Covering the end of the cylinder with lard or lube completes the protection.

    That said, I wouldn't be afraid to try a .454 jacketed bullet but I would look closely at the fit when I rammed it and use plenty of Crisco or lube to cover the cylinder hole over the bullet.

    Larry
     
  12. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    Majic,

    You don't need bullet tension or crimp for black powder to burn. Unlike smokeless powder, which is progressive burning, BP burns at a constant rate no matter whether it's in the open or under pressure.
     
  13. Majic

    Majic Member

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    Ok, let me reword it then.
    The tension, which is the results of the bullet sealing the chamber, allows the full force of the burning gases to propell the bullet to the bore of the barrel.
     
  14. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    OK, you're talking about the base of the bullet swaging into the tapered chamber.

    Yep, you're right. That's going to be tough to get a jacketed bullet to swage into the chamber.

    That brings up not only the issue of gas leaking around the bullet, but also the issue of the other chambers may not be sealed, either, making a grease top wad over each chamber ever so much more important.
     
  15. Crimper-D

    Crimper-D Member

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    The Ruger Old Army in Stainless is the way to go

    Got one and it is a really fun shooter!:D

    Be advised ,however, shooting Black Powder gives new meaning to the word "FILTHY!" :evil: That's the beauty of Stainless = take off the grips and drop the whole thing into a deepsinkfull of hot soapy water for cleaning :evil:
     
  16. Majic

    Majic Member

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    I once saw 2 chambers go off when the trigger dropped on a repro .36 Navy. It was not a pretty sight. The revolver somehow survived (it was just scarred), but the shooter needed several stitches and lead was removed from his hand and arm.
    Please Please seal those chambers, Crisco is real cheap.
     
  17. tex_n_cal

    tex_n_cal Member

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    now, for true charcoal nirvana, get a Walker replica, which holds something like 60 grains of FFFg under a roundball. Mine was quite accurate, at least until the barrel started leading. Come to think of it, it usually was accurate for only the first cylinder full of shots.

    I gave mine to my brother, who was so mortified by the thing he sold it at the next gun show.

    Has anyone tried the cartridge cylinder conversions for the Old Army? I have seen them in Brownells catalog - they allow you to shoot light .45 Colt loads in it.
     
  18. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    $259 is dirt cheap. :eek: BTW, you can stuph those cylinders with as much blackpowder as it can hold and it'll still be safe to fire. In my young foolish days I learned this by doing it. :uhoh: Later, when I got to the factory for school, they told me it was OK.:) Get a .457 round ball mould to make it affordable. .457 will seal the bore and leave a thin ring of lead. Airtight.

    BTW, I think Elmer Keith once wrote that you get multiple discharges when the percussion caps are loose. So, pinch the cap before you apply it to the nipple. That and either use a wad (wonder wad) or filler (I use corn meal or farina) to act as a safety barrier between the ball & powder and cover the ball w/Crisco (more safety and keeps the fouling down).

    Final thought: I use to use my Old Army to clear out the pistol line and get shooting spots for my buddies. :) Somehow the non-BP crowd just didn't like the smoke and grease and mess I made.
     
  19. RandyB

    RandyB Member

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    blackpowder is great. Grew up shooting the stuff. Just crisco the heck out it when you load the cylinder so you don't have the hwole cylinder go off at once.
     
  20. RON in PA

    RON in PA Member

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    Go to the black powder section, there have been a few threads re: the OA and the conversion cylinder. That price is fantastic.
     
  21. rugerfreak

    rugerfreak Member

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    I decided to pass on it---didn't want to mess with the grease and clean up.

    Anyway---its Guns Unlimited in Omaha that has those for that price---there were still as least 8 of them in the case---just tonight.

    I went ahead and picked up a nice .30-06 for $375 NIB.


    Also--if anyone is interested---they had NIB Beretta 92's for $470. And various other deals.
     
  22. chaim

    chaim Member

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    I have a BP Rem New Army copy (not a clone since it is one of the brass framed versions). It is work, but darn is it fun.

    A ton of smoke and flash at every shot. I find I only shoot a few cylinder fulls per trip (it is a lot of work and it gets dirty after a while). However, it puts a smile on my face for that first few cylinders like few other handguns can ever do. It also seems to get a lot of curious attention when I shoot it at the one indoor range that allows it ("what the heck are you shooting" :what: ).

    The price is great for the Ruger. However if you aren't sure if you'll really like shooting black powder (it is a lot of work) go with one of the cheaper brass framed Remington or Colt clones and you can get one for about $120-140 ($150 for one in a "starter kit" including most of what you need, minus the powder, to get started). Don't give up on blackpowder before you tried it. It is a ton of fun and for well under $200 to start it is worth giving a chance (heck if you don't like it use it in trade as a downpayment on another gun).

    Hodgedons has a new powder out that is supposed to be about as clean burning as regular gunpowder yet safe in a blackpowder gun. I forget the name of the stuff and I don't know how accessable it is yet (I know that my last two Natchez catalogues had it), but it is out there. Also, the previous clean BP champ, Pyrodex, is quite easy to find. Not clean by any stretch of the imagination, but better than blackpowder.
     
  23. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Rugerfreak: are they fixed or adjustable sights and can you give us the phone #? I've got two (blue & stainless) already but there may be others who are interested. Thanks!
     
  24. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 Member

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    The new tricks abound for charcoal-burners...

    Hodgdon's 777 blackpowder substitute or the neat Pyrodex Pellets for the revolver, conical bullets, and over-powder WonderWads in lieu of the Crisco lube. Choices, choices! :D
     
  25. rugerfreak

    rugerfreak Member

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    They had adjustable sights.

    http://www.gunsunlimitedomaha.com/Order.htm


    They have quite a few in store specials right now---but I don't see why they wouldn't give that price for shipped orders too.

    That .30-06 I bought is listed on their web page for $440.99-----but I got it for $375 plus tax.

    I know this is a handgun section---but I have to mention another deal they have---Remington Syn 7400's in .280 Rem only----for $299----they appeared to have 6 or 7 sitting there---and who knows what's in back-----again NIB. I'm still pondering if I want one of those---just put it on lay-a-way.
     
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