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Replica 1858 Remington


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#1 Honky Cat

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 12:32 PM

I have read several of the topics and comments on black powder guns on this forum. This seemed to be a good place to deposit my questions so here's my story.

I had my wife buy me a Traditions 1858 Rem. Bison because it looked like a possible hunting weapon and I wanted a more involved shooting experience. Former police officer and Brink's armored car messenger, I have sent too many 9mm and .38's down range and honestly was getting bored with just pulling triggers. Some dude at an outdoors store told me he had taken deer with a cap & ball revolver. He was older and worked at an outfitting store what more proof of fact do you need right? So I found one online and it came in the mail. Read the owners manual about ten times, looked the gun over everything seemed fine. I found a great little store in Tipp city Ohio had the word Pioneer in the name but that wasn't really important to me. This place seemed to be the best resource I had found. easiest way to describe it is to tell you what they sold me.
APP fffg powder, which seems to be preferrable by the members of this forum
pretreated wads
flask, fixed measure, capper, lead balls, and a nipple wrench
I was told to load powder, wad, ball, then some lube
when placing the caps on the nipples he told me to then carefully lower the hammer on each cap and press to firmly seat the cap on the nipple.
The first outing went well, I thought the burning powder and lube smelled like BBQ and made me hungry. The gun was extremely accurate off hand (well trained hands). I could see the ball traveling downrange in the sunlight though and began to wonder about muzzle velocity. It cut clean holes through a milk jug at 50 yards without moving the jug but would only slightly penetrate or dent a pressure treated 2x6.
I noticed a hang-up in the triggger pull. I fully disassembled the gun, cleaned it and filed the trigger(which looks like some type of lead alloy). I also broke my first nipple wrench and I think it's worth mentioning to any other BP newbies reading this to put a little grease on their nipple threads before shooting it.
So, all that to get to my question, this gun is fun to shoot and I would like to shoot it often. However it seems self distructive in operation. I also feel it necessary to completely dissasemble the gun in order to get it really clean after shooting. I don't live near that Pioneer place anymore or I would ask that guy. What I'm afraid will happen eventually is that the parts will wear loose from use and bind or worse, catastrophic failure resulting in really cool facial and hand scars.
Should I keep going about my business or make a display of this gun.
Don't pray for a light load. Pray for a strong back.

#2 cayugad

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 01:08 PM

I have a 1858 New Army revolver as well. I shoot 3f APP powder, then a wad, then a .451 ball and finally I grease the cylinder. I use a #10 cap and like you said, its a very accurate revolver. Although if I were going to hunt deer, I would demand that the deer be 25 yards or closer. As you noticed, longer distances and that roundball looses energy real fast. Also aim for major organs and be ready to track as it will not most likely knock the deer down.

Yes the anti seize on the nipple threads is important. And then before you load, blow a cap through them to clear the fire channel. I like the APP powder because I do not have to break the revolver down so often when on the range to clean.

At the end of the day with APP the revolver is much easier to clean. I used to shoot Goex 3f and it was a real PITA at the end of the day.

Also let me take this opportunity to welcome you to the forum.. its good to have you here.
"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, a total wreck with a big smile on your face."

#3 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 03:34 PM

Welcome Jr Potters06. This is from a fellow former Brinks employee, a courier. I have no experience with any bp revolver but it sounds like you have some handgun experience. Here is the way I look at it. You have a short barrel a limited amount of powder and a gap between the cylinder and barrel. You also get a limited amount of pressure escaping back through the nipple. All of these combine to lessen bullet speed. Also black powder and the substitutes are not as powerful as modern gun powders and the black powder revolvers are not built to take the pressures of modern powders.

In my Black powder Loading manual a 30 gr load of 3f black powder in a Uberti 1858 Rem Target Model the muzzle velocity averaged 766 fps and a muzzle energy of 235. At 50 yds this drops to 680 fps and 185 foot pounds of energy. In my opinion that is just too little energy even at the muzzle for deer size game.
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#4 Honky Cat

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 05:52 PM

Thank you for the quick replies. I'll take the absence of cautionary tales as an encouragement to keep shooting. I found a book at the library that showed some different loads for my type of revolver. I was using a measured 30 grains on each shot. this book showed better accuracy with a lesser charge. It just so happens that if I put my finger over the top of my flask spout, fill it, then measure, it comes out just a little short of 30 grains. Because of the simplicity of that motion compared to using the measure, I believe that'll be my new load. And I'm not even going to try to kill anything with it. At 25 yards I could probably put a shot in a deer's eye, but it might not penetrate. I have some hunting buddies that would love to see me try :evilgrin: .
Don't pray for a light load. Pray for a strong back.

#5 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 06:41 PM

I got my info from the Gun Digest Blackpowder Loading Manual expanded 4th edition written by Sam Fadala. You may want to look at Sams books as they are a wealth of info on all types of black powder guns including bp revolvers.
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Remember the Ark was built by amateurs, the titanic by professionals.

#6 Spirithawk

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 08:43 AM

Hmmm, interesting thread. I have a Richland Arms Colt model 1860 Old Army .44, 7 1/2" barrel. I've owned it for over 30 years. It's very accurate and at 30 yards will blow right through a 2x4. I use FFF Pyrodex in it these days. I load it powder, felt wad, ball, and another felt wad. No grease. The mechanical problems with your pistol, and I mean no disrespect, sounds like a poorly made pistol and there's lots of them out there. Mine shoots as smoothly as the day I bought it.

#7 cayugad

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 09:39 AM

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I really like shooting mine. I have rabbit hunted with mine and that was a hoot!! My friends have the same model as mine but theirs are not the target model. When we get a snow shoe rabbit running the line, it sounds like a battle down in them marshes. We don't hit to many, and that's all right by me. More fun to be out with friends, shoot at something, do no damage, and then laugh about it all the way home ... sometimes.
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#8 Honky Cat

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 06:36 PM

I looked at some reviews for my particular model of rem. Most people were very happy with the performance right out of the box. couple mentioned having to smooth out the trigger. One guy even claimed that he was putting 50 grain loads through it. I don't even think that would fit in the cylinder but more power to him... literally. I bought a holster and plan on researching this the old fashioned way now. Shoot it 'till it breaks. If it doesn't, then I'm happy. And if it does, then I get an excuse to buy a new gun. Yes, I'm married and need to carefully articulate reasons to buy new guns.
Don't pray for a light load. Pray for a strong back.

#9 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 07:51 PM

Isn't it interesting how creative we guys can be when wanting a new gun.
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#10 cayugad

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 09:02 PM

50 grains in that model is a no no. If it were a Ruger Stainless, yes. If it were a Colt Dragoon.. maybe.

Another thing.. if you have a cylinder loader, I have shot 200 grain .451 bullets out of mine. Personally I think the roundballs were more accurate, but its hard to judge accurate when you point shoot a revolver. I like to practice combat style shooting. And with a revolver it is a lot of fun, although I am not pounding the range. I like to practice 15 yard point shoot.. like at that plank. I draw slow, then ###### the hammer and point shoot. I am sure without doubt that with that revolver I could give someone a real bad day out to 50 yards.
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#11 SixgunForFun

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 04:29 PM

50 grains in that model is a no no. If it were a Ruger Stainless, yes. If it were a Colt Dragoon.. maybe.

Another thing.. if you have a cylinder loader, I have shot 200 grain .451 bullets out of mine. Personally I think the roundballs were more accurate, but its hard to judge accurate when you point shoot a revolver. I like to practice combat style shooting. And with a revolver it is a lot of fun, although I am not pounding the range. I like to practice 15 yard point shoot.. like at that plank. I draw slow, then ###### the hammer and point shoot. I am sure without doubt that with that revolver I could give someone a real bad day out to 50 yards.


I have to agree with the previous post concerning a cylinder loading tool. I used to use a wooden loading stand that held the revolvers while loading. But you still had to push hard on those stubborn balls to get them started. Seems to me that loading in the frame puts a lot of stress on the firearm.

#12 Spirithawk

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 11:00 AM

Hey, welcome to the site sixgun.

I've never used a stand with any of my pistols. I just never saw the need. I've owned the Remington 1858 New Model Army .44, Colt Navy .36, Colt 1860 Old Army .44, Ruger .44 and the only pistol where a stand would have been handy is with the Kentucky Flintlock .45 or the CVA Plains Pistol .50. Both being single shots with no loading lever.




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