Quantcast

The life of an 1858 repro

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by James84, Aug 23, 2020.

  1. James84

    James84 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2020
    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    South eastern CT.
    So I began shooting black powder about a year and a half ago. Many mistakes were made in the beginning of what would become a hobby and maybe even an obsession. What i didn't think was possible has become reality, and that is that I've come to enjoy shooting bp guns more than center fire weapons.

    I started with a brand new 1858 Remington which had an issue with the loading lever falling down while firing. So i did some research, bought some needle files and was able to remedy that issue with a bit of elbow grease. The gun also had a very rough action. Further research, some 400 grit sand paper, steel wool and more elbow grease made the gun really slick.

    I still had issues with cap jams or cap fragments jamming up the action. More research, some slixshot nipples and problem solved! After all this effort, I could now fire the 1858 up to 120 times in a range session without a single failure, meanwhile people next to me with modern semi autos are having failures to feed, light primer strikes and a host of other malfunctions.

    So at this point i've got a couple hundred rounds through the gun and still haven't really figured out how to be reliably accurate with it. After some trial and error and some filing to the front site i get her on target and am often more accurate than people next to me shooting modern hand guns.

    My next screw up would be that I read how great windex with vinegar is at removing bp fouling. I somehow missed the part that it would destroy bluing... and that it did. So I soaked the gun in vinegar and brought it 100% into the white and really liked the way it looked.

    Fast forward a couple hundred more rounds and the gun soaked up fouling like no other and was alot more difficult to clean after 100 round range sessions in 90% humidity weather. I tried to sand, polish and maintain it, but it didn't really seem to matter. The gun looked like crap and started to have spotted black fouling stains all over it.

    So I decided that if the gun was going to look like crap, I was going to try and made it look old and weathered with some cold bluing and birchwood casey brass black. Here is how it looks today, and that is how it will stay.

    The life of my 1858, 1300+ rounds later.
     

    Attached Files:

    Monac, TWC, theotherwaldo and 4 others like this.
  2. TheWarhammer

    TheWarhammer Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    Messages:
    307
    Location:
    North Texas
    Kinda funny that you accidentally ended up with that finish. There are lot's of instructional videos on how to purposely give a c&b revolver that aged look. Personally, I like the look! I'd just do a little work on the wood grips to make them look equally aged.
     
  3. James84

    James84 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2020
    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    South eastern CT.
    Yeah, I will probably buy a cheap pair of unfinished grips and will then find a nice dark wood stain to use. I spent a good long while getting the cold bluing residue off with 0000 steel wool. It's all a learning experiance.
     
    bannockburn likes this.
  4. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    7,530
    Location:
    Virginia
    Not bad looking at all.
     
  5. Mike 56

    Mike 56 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Messages:
    644
    +1 I like the look as well. This is a pick one I stripped and polished I applied Johnson's paste wax to protect metal this gun was shot not a safe Queen. Sorry about the pic I found it on Goggle by accident.

    [​IMG]
     
    TWC likes this.
  6. arcticap

    arcticap Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Messages:
    8,303
    Location:
    Central Connecticut
    I like the way that the grips look.
    Is it a Pietta or Uberti?
     
  7. Mike 56

    Mike 56 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Messages:
    644
    It is a Pietta.
     
    arcticap likes this.
  8. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    22,945
    Mike 56

    Nice job with the refinishing; looks nicely aged!
     
    Mike 56 likes this.
  9. James84

    James84 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2020
    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    South eastern CT.
    Thanks. Can anyone recommend a nice dark stain for the grips? Something very dark, but not so dark that it makes it look synthetic or like a fake wood.
     
  10. woodnbow
    • Contributing Member

    woodnbow Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Messages:
    770
    I use alcohol or water based dye. Woodcraft is the supplier I’ve used most recently.
     
    TheOutlawKid and Mike 56 like this.
  11. Mike 56

    Mike 56 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Messages:
    644
    I am a retired Flooring installer I color-matched a lot of hardwood moldings. If you want to mix your own buy these dry Rit dye colors, yellow, dark brown, and red. These colors will make any color wood stain mixed with 91% isopropyl alcohol. This type of stain drys fast you can apply coats minutes apart and it will on even. A good over the counter stain dark brown leather dye drys fast goes on even. For a hand-rubbed oil finish, I like linseed oil that buy at a craft store in the area where they sell oil paints. It costs more hardware store linseed oil about ten dollars for a small bottle but it goes a long way. you put a few drops on the wood and rub it in with your fingers. When I use stain polyurethane I add 25% paint thinner to cut the gloss and thins it so you can rub it in with my fingers in thin coats. The box in the pic is one coat dark brown leather dye with four coats of hand-rubbed linseed oil.
    IMG_0369.JPG
     
  12. 45 Dragoon

    45 Dragoon Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2013
    Messages:
    1,962
    CAP JAMS !!!!

    That's not possible with a Remington according to some folks around here!!! Lol!!!

    Mike
     
    TheOutlawKid, Mike 56 and woodnbow like this.
  13. James84

    James84 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2020
    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    South eastern CT.
    I don't know man, but with the slix shot nipples, the caps kind of just blow outward to the side and stay flat on the nipple. They stay inside the nipple recess until I' m done with all six rounds. I only use Rem # 10's but am unfortunately out of them.
     
    Mike 56 likes this.
  14. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2019
    Messages:
    1,452
    With Piettas it's kind of a crap shoot that depends on when they were made and other factors.

    My Pietta Remington only required that the mainspring be thinned a bit to get the hammer draw down.
    Otherwise it's great. The sights are close enough for twenty yard point of aim shooting, timing is great, cap jams are not a problem, and the machining is smooth. With natural over-ball lubes, fouling no longer troubles me. It's satisfyingly messy but clean-up is easy enough.

    I also owned a Euroarms Remington back in the 1970s which also needed the mainspring thinned to reduce the hammer draw. The front sight was too low and I made a replacement that worked out very well, which looks much like the Pietta front sight today. That gun had few problems with cap jamming as well.
    The base pin was not as smooth as the Pietta and I did not understand about natural over-ball lubricant concoctions, so fouling and dragging was more of a problem back then. It was a very nice gun though.

    I also own a .44 caliber 1851 Navy that isn't so good. The upper half seems fine but the grip straps are fubar. Misaligned placement of screw holes, no fitting of the hammer and trigger sears resulting in a very light trigger pull, wrong grip angle. I will need to replace the grip straps and the grip as well no doubt. I already did some grinding and stoning of the back of the trigger to deepen the engagement of the sears. It's safer now with a bit of a creepy trigger pull, but not ideal. The angles are still not right and I am not going to mess with that. I have a spare parts kit though, so maybe in future I may attempt more.
    The revolver performed okay at the range, though it shot 8" low at 10 yards! With the hammer notch rear sight, apparently this was a common (and authentic) characteristic of open-top Colts, according to "duelist1954" on his You-Tube channel.
    Cap jams were an issue with some 45 year old German caps that found nasty ways to latch on to the nipples. But CCI were about par, and cleared the action okay, though not as well or as smoothly as with the Remington revolvers. Slix Shot vented nipples do help a lot though, reportedly.
    All in all it seems worth replacing and fitting some brass grip straps, and maybe the grips, because the upper half of the revolver is well-made and works well and accuracy is good. And I got it new in the box cheap as a mail order gun.
    (I think that I know why.)

    The point is that, in general, Remington revolvers do have less problems with cap jamming than open-top Colts do, and this is agreed upon by those that use C&B revolvers a lot and and write professionally about them.
    And, if you buy a nice Uberti Remington or open-top Colt, this is still true.
    But if you buy either a Pietta Remington or Colt replica, you may get a good one or you might not.
    Quality varies from excellent in some cases, such as my Remington, and in particular my 1873 Colt SAA, to partially abysmal in other cases such as this open-top Colt.
    It has nothing to do with whether it is a Colt or a Remington or a Spiller & Burr or whatever.
    It's just about Pietta and perhaps other lower-priced replica makers.

    I suggest that you peruse the many knowledgeable C&B revolver and BP gun videos by Mike Beliveau on his You-Tube channel "duelist 1954".
    His views are impartial and practical, and you will learn a lot about buying, tuning, cleaning, shooting, and modifying C&B revolvers and BP guns in general.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2020
    Mike 56 likes this.
  15. Onty

    Onty Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2003
    Messages:
    252
  16. Onty

    Onty Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2003
    Messages:
    252
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2020
    TheOutlawKid, woodnbow and Mike 56 like this.
  17. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2019
    Messages:
    1,452
    Caps on a C&B revolver split, flatten, and shred, and often fall off the nipple when the hammer is cocked for the next shot.
    In my experience with a Remington however, this usually only results in the cap remaining confined inside the clearance area around the nipple in the cylinder, thanks to the small slot that the hammer passes through in the frame.
    Also, thanks to the flat and smooth face on the hammer the cap does not stick to the hammer face.
    As a result, fired caps usually just fall off onto the ground as the cylinder revolves to the right when the hammer is cocked. There is a clearance cut in the recoil shield to permit this.
    On a Colt open-top revolver, however, the cap is able to fall off and into the action in front of the hammer, thanks to the full-width opening that the hammer passes through.
    Also, the safety pin notch cut into the hammer face encourages what has been described as cap-sucking.
    Fired caps are sometimes pushed into this slot by back pressure and stick to the hammer.
    They can then fall off into the action.
    As a result, cap jams are more of a problem with the Colt open-top design.

    Slix Shot nipples help to eliminate the problems in the Colts by venting the back pressure gas through the side vent holes in a controlled and safe manner, rather than out the nipple hole itself.
    As a result the fired cap remains less damaged and usually stays on the nipple and out of the action.
    It just falls off at the side like it is supposed to, or gets picked off when the revolver is reloaded.
    I have not heard of any chain fires caused by this.
    The internal bore of Slix Shot nipples is larger than standard nipples which helps to reduce the back pressure as gas emerges from the nipple flash hole.

    A couple of videos from duelist1954 about this.
    You can learn a lot from this guy (and others).



     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2020
    shootstraight57, Onty and Mike 56 like this.
  18. Malachi Leviticus Blue

    Malachi Leviticus Blue Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,303
    Location:
    Michigan
    Used motor oil can make a nice darker stain that is hard to replicate (in my experience)
    The wood needs to be in a condition to "accept" the oil
     
  19. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2019
    Messages:
    1,452
    The only oil that should be used on any gun stock is boiled linseed oil with dryers, obtained from the home center. Tru-Oil or Linspeed can also be used if you don't mind a half-varnish finish.

    Motor oil or gun oil will soften and damage the wood as many owners have discovered when they repeatedly over-oiled a pet long gun and left it standing in a corner.

    Fiebings leather dyes are aniline dyes which work equally well on wood and come in different shades of brown. Available from leathercraft stores. They work great on knife handle projects.
     
    woodnbow, robhof and arcticap like this.
  20. James84

    James84 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2020
    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    South eastern CT.
    Thank you all for the advice. I've watched a million videos to be honest with you. I feel as if black powder/cap and ball is a lost art, and it's up to all of us as individuals to master said art. I've learned a lot in this past year and a half and this hobby has only gotten better and better. Too bad it's bad an affect on my wallet though, as I've collected a total of six revolvers/muzzleloaders.
     
    woodnbow and robhof like this.
  21. Malachi Leviticus Blue

    Malachi Leviticus Blue Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,303
    Location:
    Michigan
    I'll keep an open mind, but do you have any evidence of this?
    Willing to share a link to documentation?
    I've not seen this first hand.
    Not "over oiling" but just oiling.
    Thank you for sharing.
     
  22. woodnbow
    • Contributing Member

    woodnbow Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Messages:
    770
    I certainly don’t have proof but I do know that waste oil is chock full of nasty carcinogens and metals that I prefer not to be in intimate contact with. Also that color with a bit of experimentation with dyes can be replicated easily. Not that a quality set of walnut stocks need much in the way of augmentation. The best thing about dye is that the figure or grain of the wood comes through clearly, it’s not muddied up by the stain.

    6A45F529-832C-491D-A34A-72F4A814DB06.jpeg FC14B183-FEA7-4E1B-9C84-C716897687AA.jpeg
     
    Mike 56 likes this.
  23. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2019
    Messages:
    1,452
    Any good book on gun care or gunsmithing written in the last century will confirm that petroleum based oils soaking into stocks is to be avoided.
    Though it should be obvious.
    But if you wish to do it, knock yourself out.
     
  24. Malachi Leviticus Blue

    Malachi Leviticus Blue Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,303
    Location:
    Michigan
    It's only obvious to someone who is unwilling to consider that their assumptions might not be correct.
    There are lots of folks who have utilized new and used motor oil on wood.
    I'm sure there are much better treatment against weather etc., but...
    The OPs stated goal was "to try and made it look old and weathered"
    I've seen pistol grips, furniture and flooring where used motor oil was utilized to help give it an old "antiqued" look.
     
  25. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2019
    Messages:
    1,452
    The only oil that should be used on a gunstock is boiled linseed oil with dryers, or a similar product.
    Common sense dictates that a wood finish is used that will actually dry, harden, and protect the wood, and not fill the pores with anything that will cause it to become soft and punky.
    I'm sure that some people have used dirty motor oil to darken gun stocks over the years. But it is definitely not recommended.
    Farmers have used dirty motor oil and diesel fuel to treat and stain fence posts and rails for generations, and I'm sure that for this purpose it works okay.
    But a gun stock or hardwood woodworking project is a far cry from a fence.
    Over the years people have tried all sorts of home-brewed concoctions that often did more harm than good.

    And there are so many other stains that can be used that won't harm the wood:

    - Fiebings leather aniline dyes.
    - Commercial wood stains.
    - Vinegar and steel wool (iron acetate) to darken it or ebonize it.
    - India ink.

    Just to name a few.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2020
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice