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Black Powder

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by billc, May 14, 2009.

  1. billc

    billc Albany Member

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    I'm considering a black powder gun. Specifically this one from Cabela's.
    It is an 1851 Confederate Navy, .44 Caliber Revolver.
    (I believe it is a 'Navy' Colt replica)

    Any thoughts, suggestions, warnings???
     
  2. Natty Bumpo

    Natty Bumpo Clackamas County Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I have not owned this specific revolver, but have owned several of the genre over the years. I would imagine that this particular revolver is fine as far as getting started in b.p. revolvers goes. Yes, this one is a 1851 Colt replica. Personally, I have always felt that the 1858 Remington pattern with it's "top strap" is superior to the Colt and that the Ruger Old Army, loosely based on the Remington design, is the top of the line.

    The Remington frame design and construction is inherently stronger and is easier to sight and to shoot. Their accuracy is clearly superior to the 1851 Colts. The 1851 Colt pattern is a bit more primitive.......not that there is anything wrong with that.

    Based on the price and the design/materials the one you have in mind is probably on the lower end of the quality scale....but should be fine for starters.

    If your are not familiar with cap and ball revolvers, get a decent book (such as the Blackpowder Handbook by Fadala.......among others) and at least peruse the safety sections.

    For example:

    Chain fires are not unusual unless appropriate precautions are taken when loading. These are usually harmless but they will certainly get your attention. Excessive loading of any b.p. firearm is really asking for trouble.

    If you are not familiar with types of powder and the range of appropriate loads, then take the time to get acquainted with that info before loading and shooting.
     
  3. Box13

    Box13 Beavercreek Member

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    1858 remington is the better choice...Ive had a few different models and it is the most shootable.Also try to stay away from the brass frames...they can stretch over time especially with full loads and your accuracy will go away sometimes to the point of the cylinder not turning properly.Also with some models you can get an aftermarket cylinder conversion that holds 44 or 45 cases...and they shoot great loaded of course with black powder...
     
  4. Spad

    Spad Kennewick,WA, the desert side Active Member

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    Stay away from brass frames is a good piece of advice, especially if you are just starting in black powder. Look around you should be able to pick up a steel framed BP piece at a reasonable price. Don't worry about the caliber. BP is a lot of fun.Spad
     
  5. billc

    billc Albany Member

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    Thanks for the replies, I've ordered a copy of The Complete Blackpowder Handbook.
     
  6. billc

    billc Albany Member

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    OK, right or wrong I went a head and ordered the gun from Cabela's. Your feedback notwithstanding, I've read a ton of favorable feedback on this revolver. I plan on using Hodgdon fffg 777 powder,(nice, clean burn; easy clean up) I picked up a can of it at Bi-mart today for 20 bucks. Now I need some caps. What I've read is to stay away from the cci caps with this powder. I need to find some Winchester 777 or #209 caps, makes clean up with water possible!

    If you are local, or can meet in the Corvallis, Albany, Lebanon area, I have 2 bricks of Thunderbolts .22lr to trade for the right caps!

    (The .22lr has NO cash value to me. Please don't ask to buy them, offered for listed trade only!)
     
  7. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    Congrats on your new revolver. Trust me you'll soon become addicted with this technology!! Hey, I'm certainly no expert, but have been training with cap & ball revolvers since 1976 after watching Clint Eastwood in the movie The Outlaw Josey Wales three times at the movie theather. (Run out and buy this movie and you'll get hooked even more!) I started with one revolver and ended up training with all the models including single shots from the earlier eras. 1976 puts me back in the "before the Pyrodex" days...we didn't have any synthetic choices.

    IMHO, these revolvers perform better with black powder as that is how they were originally intented to be shot. Also there is something about the ambiance of shooting old technology with black powder the way it was shot by our ancestors. Call me old fashion but that's me.

    By the way, black powder cleans extremely easy so don't that incorrect perception scare you away from shooting the the real stuff!!!

    Anyway, I've tried both synthetic and many pounds of authentic black powder and in my limited experence I confident you'll enjoy using fffg Goex 100 times better than the fake stuff. Quickly shoot up this sythenic propellant (its technically not powder) and then walk, no run, to The Gun Works in Springfield as quickly as you can. They have powder and everything you need for black powder shooting. They'll have many choices for percussion caps and will give you advice on what to use and what to stay away from. The Gun Works has the largest selection of black powder firearms and accessories west of the Mississippi.

    I wish I would have seen this post sooner as I would have encouraged you to run down and visit with Joe and Suzy at the Gun Works first...they are the real deal and Joe is an authentic black powder expert - hunting all over the world using black powder technology and winning many competitions in his career. If you go to there shop, plan on spending an hour in there - at least!

    Anyway enjoy!
     
  8. billc

    billc Albany Member

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    I've got the address in my GPS!! Next time I'm done that way, I'm there!!! Thanks.
     
  9. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    Bill,

    Your C&B revolver show up yet? Shot it? Come on...talk to us...does it live up to your expectations?
     
  10. billc

    billc Albany Member

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    Yep, the big brown truck brought it on Thursday. (cracks me up how you can buy one of these like this! I wonder if the "gun control" people know about this?) Wasn't too happy with the condition of it though. 3 chambers had rust, one of them was pretty bad, the nipple was clogged even. After scrubbing on it for a few hours I was able to get it looking good. No pitting. I took it out on Satuday. For the first shot I loaded 20gr of 777, wad and a .451 ball with a #11 cap, pointed, closed my eyes and pulled the trigger! (when I left, my wife said for me to come back with all my fingers!) It shot just fine(don't know where for sure the ball went, my eyes were closed!) The cylinder however would not rotate at all when pulling the hammer. Pretty sure the exploded cap was NOT blocking it. I had to grab it and twist it back and forth a bit to get it to move. Loaded 1 shot again this time with 15gr and all went well. Tried all 6 with 15gr and had to do the twist 1 time. No difference really using 15 or 20grns, #10 or #11 caps. Put about 50 rounds out of it. Shot about a 6" group at ~20yards, high and to the left. Me or the gun? Over all I'm happy with the gun. Cleaned up nice and easy with soap and water after shooting. Might have to get some Brasso. It's a keeper!
    I do wish I'd known about The Gun Works before buying though! I made it down there and spent about an hour and a half there!! My next one will be an "army" model, fits my hand much better than the Navy.
     
  11. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    congrats!! Who waited on you at the works? Great folks.
     
  12. billc

    billc Albany Member

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    I am horrible with names, he had a slight Southern accent, I think he mentioned Virgina. I could have spent another hour or so there!
    Good thing that shop is not in Albany, I'd go even more broke than I am now!
    Highly recomend The Gun Works if you're interested in shooting black powder!