Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by scrat, Feb 18, 2008.
Actually loading Pickett bullets in a Walker isn't so difficult : I use the Pedersoli mould for the bullets looking quite the original thing, and I drilled the business end of the ramrod to match the conical design, so centering is not a problem. Accuracy with these bullets is still an issue I haven't solved so far. Energy and penetration are not an issue though. I'll dig in my archives and see if I can find some pictures I shot some years back of an old oil-bath electric radiator hit lengthwise by soft lead conical Pickett bullets from a range of 15 yards, impressive results...
Can you get me an o.d. and o.a.l. for an as cast Pedersoli pickett bullet? It reportedly (per The Truth About Guns) produces a 170 gr needle nose bullet (i.e. lighter than the original pickett bullet). My custom bullet was right on for weight of an original (220gr) and sealed well due to the hemisherical rear cross section, but one test bullet didn't center well as I noted. Until I perfect this I will continue shooting with Dragoon/Colt style cast or Lee cast conicals or rb.
Here's my conical bullet with a round ball base
1849 Report on Colt Revolvers
Here's your data:
mean o.a.l. 0.704 (ranging from .703 to .705), o.d. 0.452 (no variation), weight varies (based on a batch of 20) from 167.9 to 169.2 gr, mean weight 168.4. If I may ask, from which source did you get the 220 gr original weight?
The original design spec as required by the govt. for the Whitneyville-Walker was that it be capable of firing both round ball at 36 balls per pound or conical bullets at 32/pound. I believe this is discussed in "Colts Own Record - 1847" and Whittington's book on the Walker.
In shooting your Pedersoli conicals are they accurate at a distance of say 50-100 yds., if you have had the chance to shoot them at such a distance, do they tumble or keyhole?
Ronnie aka Elhombre
Fifty round balls per pound is roughly equivalent to .44 caliber; 36 balls per pound would be around .52 caliber. Lead ball, per pound.
The "Memorandum of an agreement made this 4th day of January 1847 between Samuel Colt. inventor of Colt's Patent repeating pistols - and Samuel H. Walker Capt in the U.S Army - and acting by authority of the Secretary of War" says:
- Haven and Belden, A History of the Colt Revolver.
Uberti Walker with slight customization
Permission to join the Club. Here are pics of my new to me Uberti with it's three extra cylinders ( one of which is a .45 conversion ) and a small Franklin Mint knife I picked up to go in the cabinet with it. The revolver came from a listing on Armslist and the previous owner kindly dickered with me on the price. I'm very happy with this massive six shooter. Of note is the redone loading latch and the tritium front sight and the widened notch on the hammer. ( provides a nice sight picture )
Thank you for the welcome! ;o) That is the Denix replica I purchased over a year ago to shape the holster for the LeMat Calvary model I finally found late last year. I keep the Denix in the cabinet to show folks and the LeMat upstairs close by.
So if my maths are correct, with 7,000 grains to the pound and 32 balls to it, the exact weight should be 218.75 gn, so Pedersoli has it wrong by nearly 50 gn. No tumbling whatever the distance, but the accuracy is not there. With the Walker held in a vise, round balls give groups often under 2 inches at 25 yards, with the Pickett, the best I can say is that it stays in the black.
I haven't tried my custom half-round ball/half-conical 220 gr bullets yet to check their accuracy, but per the Walker grail story, the Walker with the original pickett bullet was accurate at great distance...as good as a Mississippi rifle...quien sabe?
First of all, as far as ballistic equations are concerned, the main parameters are initial velocity (in close relation with the powder load and the weight)/center of gravity/shape (among many others such as number and depth of the grooves in a rifled barrel/length of the named barrel/temperature/hygrometry and so on...), the 19th century approach was a combination of using the emerging physics/engineering sciences and lots of trials and errors. Sam Colt and his bunch of engineers surely found the perfect combination for an accurate Walker. I don't think Pedersoli's R&D department spent much time or money in designing their Pickett bullet. Second thing, define accuracy with a 19th century frame of mind, might be a bit different from ours. So if your design makes for tights groups,, I'd love to get one of your molds.
36 balls to the pound would make them 194.4 grns each, which would make it well over .50 cal. Are you sure that figure is correct?
It's a special gun; very large and heavy, capable of firing rifle loads. In general I would not recommend it as a first cap and ball revolver. The 1851 Navy, 1860 Army or 1858 Remington New Army would be a better first choice.
In used black powder revolvers, condition means everything, so it's difficult to say whether $275 is a 'good' price or not. New Walkers run $100 to $150 more. Assuming the gun is used but well maintained (that is, no significant rust in the chambers or barrel), $275 would be a good price, even a very good price with the box and tools.
Look for rust in the chambers and barrel, a loose cylinder arbor (the large pin the cylinder rotates on) and good solid lockup of the cylinder when the hammer is in full cock.
If you are talking about toting around, then yes it is a lot of weight to tote.
One negative thing about the Walker is the week loading lever catch that tends to drop due to the recoil of firing, locking up the cylinder until you latch it back to the barrel.
Would it be a good first cap and ball revolver? That depends. For most of those that the originals were issued to, it was likely their first revolver, and they learned to shoot it. Shooting it is not rocket science. Except for the loading lever catch problem, I do not think they are any worse to shoot than other Colt style open top cap and ball revolvers. Now, detailed disassembly and assembly for cleaning is a bit trickier than other Colts due to their unique hammer spring.
sawdeanz, for a first BP gun i recommend either the 51 army or 60 army (both 44's) not too powerful and just the right balance for a beginner.
i use pyrodex p, remington caps, lubed wads and .454 round ball with full power loads for free shooting. competition shooting i found that my iver johnson/uberti 58 remington fires better and more accurately with 40 grains and my lyman/uberti fires better and more accurately with 32...
each gun is different so you must have more than 1, or 2, or 3 or.... crap i have a problem...
"you will hear a loud BOOM! and there will be smoke and fire and flying debris! it will be awesome!!!"
suzukibruce, first remove the loading lever from the revolver. This exposes the spring that holds it in place. If you feel confident leave the spring where it is, or remove it, the choice is yours. Look at the notch that is by the tip of the spring. From the factory, they can be rounded and mushy looking. I use a three cornered fine file and take one or two strokes at a time to make the notch more "square". Put the loading lever back on and see if it is harder to use. You want it to be a bit harder to use but not so hard as to be "locked". It is hard to explain but you should get the idea.
Mike Beleveau (Duelist1954) has a couple of videos on youtube on the Colt Walker replicas. In one, he shows how he modified the loading lever catch on them, doing the same modification as you described. As you can seen in the video, on his particular Uberti made Walker, it helped, but did not completely eliminate the problem of the loading lever dropping under recoil. I am glad it completely eliminated the problem for you. I guess each individual revolver is unique.
I know that some people use a piece of leather to wrap around the barrel and loading lever to keep the lever in place. Of course, this issue has been discussed numerous times on this and other forums.
He needs to use the file a bit more. It will solve the problem. If you are not careful and file a bit too much, you can lock the lever in place.
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