Author Topic: Something new  (Read 4776 times)

Offline Slowhand

  • Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Something new
« on: July 10, 2010, 02:11:22 AM »
I collect cartridge revolvers and semi-automatics. I've been doing a lot of research into Replica Percussion Revolvers. I already have a Uberti 1871 Richards-Mason Conversion of an 1851 Colt Navy Revolver in .38 Cal Spec. I'm interested in starting a collection of replica percussion revolvers.

I have recently purchased the Lyman Black powder Handbook & Loading Manual by Sam Fadala plus Percussion Pistols And Revolvers: History, Performan and Practical Use, by Mike Cumpston. I been on a lot of web sites and I am thinking about acquiring a Colt Dragoon, Colt Navy or Army Revolver and a Remington. I have fired a couple black powder revolvers in the past and realize that there is more to it than just buying one at Cabelas or Taylors, with a starter kit.

Any suggestions and additional information would be appreciated.

Offline Rock Island

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 100
    • View Profile
Re: Something new
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2010, 06:37:38 AM »
Welcome to the forum Slowhand, I am new to it ( the collecting of these revolvers, not the shooting of them) myself having been adding this and that to my revolver lineup for ten years or so after 20 of owning only one brass frame Pietta navy.  So far I have not been disappointed by the quality of the Uberti made revolvers I bought off Dixie gun works, most of them back in 1998-2004, prices have shot up some since then, but not out of reach for most shooters. The only problem I have encountered in the nine or so Uberti made guns I own was a 1858 New Army Remington .44 that has a very slightly out of time cylinder.  The majority of my revolver shooting is with my Uberti 1860 Army, .454 Hornady round ball and 35 grains of FFFG will have it smacking the target out to 75 yards, it's been my experience that most of these revolvers tend to shoot high at closer ranges, so I backed it up a bit and had no problems.  I also own a number of Pietta manufactured revolvers, all of them made in this century and I have to say that Pietta has greatly improved it's quality control in recent years.  Uberti tends to have the edge in fit, and finish, they avoid producing guns in calibers Colt did not make like the .44 "Navy", but Pietta's guns are catching up fast.  I just picked up a used Pietta '58 Remington from a nice fella on Gunbroker who bought it last year at Cabela's the finish is beautiful, and the cylinder timing is perfect.  Due to the current heat wave here were I live I have not been able to range test it, but I see nothing that would cause me to think there will be problems in that area.
          I always suggest to new BP revolver shooters that before they drop $400 on a nice dragoon or massive Walker that they get themselves one of Cabela's under $200 brass frame "Navy" models  and play with it for awhile to see if they enjoy shooting these types of guns.  There is more to it than just buying a gun stuffing it with powder and ball to bang away.  Every gun has it's sweet spot were powder charge and ball size are concerned, you need to spend time on the range trying different powder charges to determine the best for your revolver at the ranges you are shooting, the books only give you the basic guidelines, just because you can stuff 50 grains of FFFG into a Dragoon does not mean it will shoot it's best with that amount of powder.  Some .44's like a .451 ball, others do better with a .454, or .457, something else you will have to determine once you have the gun.  Some shooters like to fill unused chamber volume with cream of wheat cereal before they seat the ball so the ball sits closer to the end of the chamber, others like to stack wonder wads to achieve the same result, and still others do not worry about it so long as the ball sits on the powder tight.  Trial and error will determine what works best for you and your gun.
           Not all replicas are created equally, all of the Italian gunmakers will produce runs of revolvers to a customers specifications.  They are all made to a certain basic standard of safety, and proof tested, but they can vary widely in fit, and finish.  Cimarron Arms for example offers some very nice custom finishes that you will not find at Cabela's, but you will have to pay for such things.
           I am assuming that you are shooting smokeless "cowboy action" loads in that open top?  The Cap, and ball revolvers use black powder, or black powder replacement like 777 or Pyrodex.  Cleanup becomes a big part of shooting, black powder fouling must be scrubbed off the guns and sometimes new shooters are turned off by this ( the reason I got that Remington .58 after the guy had it less than a year)  It takes a good hour to clean a BP revolver for someone who has done it a hundred times, it can be messy.  There seem to be as many ways to clean a BP revolver as there are shooters of them.  Some guys like modern cleaning chemicals they buy at the store, others use old fashioned soap, and boiling water with a scrub brush.  Me, I am a BP shooter from before there were any fancy new chemical cleaners, I use soap and boiling water, in over 30 years not a spot of rust has dared to show it's face on any of my flinters, cap locks or revolvers.  Some guys even bake the revolvers metal parts in the oven to dry them off. 
        All that long winded crap out of the way ( and I am sure I forgot stuff that others can add later) collecting and shooting these firearms is a huge lot of fun, and it's a real way to connect with our American firearms heritage.  If you compare the cost of even a high end Uberti '60 Army to just about any Colt, or S&W modern revolver of comparable size you will see that even with the higher prices of today's replicas they are still a bargain.
If it shoots then I have it, am about to get it, want it, or plotting to get it

Offline Slowhand

  • Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Something new
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2010, 09:37:54 AM »
 ;D
Good stuff.  You and I are on the same page regarding starting out with a .36 cal and all the necessary accouterments. I appreciate all the information regarding the different makes and the details in loading, firing, cleaning and maintaining the revolvers. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Offline Rock Island

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 100
    • View Profile
Re: Something new
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2010, 11:27:45 PM »
No problem, glad to help.  Actually that lower priced Pietta brass frame Navy Colt is a .44.  Pietta makes them in .44 on the 1851 Navy frame and sometimes calls them "Reb" revolvers because the South during the States War often used brass for revolver frames due to steel shortages.  They did not however make a .44 Navy model, that is an invention by the Italian gun makers.  It's no matter .36 or .44, either will get you started.  Original Colt 1851 Navy revolvers were all .36 caliber, Army models were .44 caliber.  Brass frame revolvers can shoot loose over time if you shoot heavy charges, keep it under 25 grains and you will be fine for a lifetime, I have one that has been shot over 1000 times, probably more.
You will need a nipple wrench to remove the cap nipples from the cylinder for cleaning, a powder measure so you can measure out the powder for each cylinder, a flask so you do not need to carry the entire pound of powder around with you, wonder wads to seal the chamber, they go under the bullet and help prevent multiple chamber ignition, wonder wads come in caliber specific sizes .31, .36 .44.  No 11 caps, and FFFG black powder, or bp substitute.  As you have the open top revolver you will already know how to strip down a Colt SA, and being a gun guy you have proper screwdrivers and such already.  You may have a holster already, they make carrying the gun around on the range much easier.  You will also need a small brass punch and hammer to tap out the barrel wedge to remove the barrel for cleaning, they are always tight on these revolvers. The caps will fit loose, this can be corrected somewhat be gently squeezing the cap a bit before sliding it on, the caps will sometimes drop off the nipple into the back of the cylinder and jam the gun, this is normal welcome to the 1850's just carefully pick, or flip them out and continue shooting.  BP is measured by volume, not weight, so never use a scale as you would for smokeless powder, always use the powder measure.
If it shoots then I have it, am about to get it, want it, or plotting to get it

Offline Smokey

  • Domain Administrator
  • Administrator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 157
  • Smoke has no form, it simply is.
    • View Profile
    • Black Powder Smoke
Re: Something new
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2010, 05:08:13 PM »
Welcome to the forum. Hope you like it here.
This forum is set up as a collector's forum. The emphasis is on collecting, but other topics will come up from time to time.
For more details on  topics which you may find of interest, please visit us here.http://blackpowdersmoke.com/forum/index.php
For a Complete Directory of Black Powder Specialty Forums, Please Visit BlackPowderSmoke.com

Offline WALKER

  • Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Collecting reproduction
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2010, 12:52:04 AM »
I have always to loved to collect things that are connected with history and they don't have to be original to be collectible.  At present I have one Jukar 45ca flintlock colonial pistol,  1858 Rem Buffalo 44ca with 12" barrel, TC Renegade 50cal percussion, and my favorite, CVA Hawken's 50cal flintlock.  None of them have been shot as much as I used to shoot but health issue cause that.  Best results I had was when I let my grandson fire off the Colonial 45.  When the smoke cleared and you could see the smile on his face with eyes wide, and all he said was  can I do it again.  I have since help several start the trip to the dark side and how to do it safely.  I quit BP back in the late 70's and have returned in the last year, guess I'm lucky because my wife will buy me anything that she thinks I need or want. She was shopping tonight for a larger display cabinet.  I am not an expert, but I know most of the basics, I am willing to work with anyone that wants to learn but it has to SAFE- no safety and the lesson is over. 

Offline Rock Island

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 100
    • View Profile
Re: Something new
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2010, 05:32:56 AM »
Welcome to the forum WALKER, great to have you with us :)  I still have a number of CVA BP guns from the 70's, all caplocks in my case, I didn't get into flinters until much later.  These days I shoot a Brown Bess long land, a Bess ships carbine, and a selection of pistols that are pictured in another post, as well as a recently acquired 1740 Potsdam musket.  I hope the health issues do not prevent you from expanding, and enjoying your collection in the future.
If it shoots then I have it, am about to get it, want it, or plotting to get it