Soot Apprentice First time out

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by jamesb, Feb 15, 2013.

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  1. jamesb

    jamesb Member

    Jun 1, 2007
    Indianapolis, IN
    I hunt with an inline and shoot BP shot shells in SASS but this is my first time out with cap and ball. I decided this year at one of the clubs I shoot at I wanted to shoot Frontiersman. The quest started last October and ended today on my first range trip. I acquired a Spencer Carbine in 45 schofield, an 1851 navy and a 1861 navy. This goes along with my theme of a late civil war/early indian wars cavalry captain.
    The spencer is slower than my 1873 Winchester but has more cool points and at this particular club we only shoot 4 stages and only load our rifles to 8, which is what the spencer holds. My spencer is a Taylors (Armi Sport) and required a bit of work to get it running right. I removed the sharp edges and burs in the action, rounded the leading edges of the breech block, smoothed and polished the breech blocks, re-formed the groove on the upper breech block and reformed the trigger plate. I also opened up the rear sight, as it came you couldn't even see the front sight in it. My load is a 200gr LRNFP over an almost full case of APP. It group well and made lots of smoke.
    The 51 navy is a cabela's pietta. This gun seems to work right out of the box. The load I used was a .380 LRB over 20gr of FFFG GEOX and a #10 rem cap. I used TC Bore Butter as lube over the balls. This load was not to stiff and produced a lot of smoke. The only issue is that it shoots low at 12 yards so I may need to adjust the sights. I shot the same amount of shots I would shoot in a match and had no issues.
    The 61 navy is an uberti. I used the same load in this gun and it shoot POA at 12 yards. With this one I did have issues with the cylinder binding and caps coming off and getting stuck in the recoil shield. This happened at least once every time a went through a sting of 6 shots. This one also will need to have the cylinder face wiped down and a shot of moose milk between each stage.
    I was not happy with my capper, I have a TCB snail type and it seemed to drop caps or turn them sideways as much as put them on the nipple.
    All-in-all I am happy with my first outing and if I can get the 61 to work better I should have no problem becoming a Soot Lord by the end of this season.
  2. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

    Nov 24, 2010
    Springfield, MO
    Welcome to Frontiersman category!

    It's uncommon for the revolver to shoot low out of the box, most hit quite high. I have reground the hammer notch to bring POI down but have no experience getting one to shoot higher, sorry. The only thing I would recommend is to shoot some groups at match speed, because typically you will not take as much time refining the sight picture and you are likely to hit higher on the target as a result. You might not have to adjust as much as you think.

    I have several Tedd Cash snail cappers and have had to tweak the openings with a file to get good results. You might have to deepen the "U" to allow the cap to be completely exposed, and you might also have to file off the tip of the "floor" on which the cap sits so the capper can be inserted into the gun a bit deeper. A set of diamond files for hobbyists works fine and comes in handy in other spots too.

    Replacing the factory nipples with Ampco/Treso or Slix-Shot nipples is the best move you can make. Remington #10s are your best choice for caps so stick with them.

    Lube the arbor and inside of the frame generously with Bore Butter before shooting and you won't have to wipe them down as often.
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