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The lack of .22 bulk pack on the shelves around here has got me falling back on my cap and ball stuff. Oh, I still shoot the .38s, the 9, the .45 caliber stuff, but cap and ball is fun! :D I have a '58 remmy that I particularly like, a Pietta 5.5" barrel I got on sale last year from Cabelas for 179 bucks shipped to my door no FFL necessary. Recently, I picked up two spare cylinders for it. Gives me 18 rounds before having to stuff more ball and cap more nipples. (not a sexual reference for all you pervs) The gun will shoot 3" groups all day long to POA at 25 yards off the bench and is quite handy compared to my Ruger Old Army which, admittedly shoots better, but not by all THAT much. My Remmy likes 30 grains of Pyrodex P under a .454" round ball with cornmeal filler. It's quite powerful with this load, too. Just sitting down lookin' at the gun, I think I like its classic lines better than a 73 colt. I'm a sucker for ANY single action revolver, though, but I have NOT found a BARGAIN handgun quite to match the Pietta, not new. Ball and Pyrodex are on the shelves as well as caps, though I can already cast my own conicals (need a round ball mold) and make my own percussion caps via a tool called the "tap o cap". My next step is to get into making my own black powder, then I'll be independent of any ammo and primer shortages.

I know folks complain about the slow reload time of percussion revolvers, but honestly, I shoot in my back yard, come in to load my cylinders or can do it sitting on the back porch, it ain't that bad and i got all day to mess with it. I'm on no schedules now that I'm fully retired. :D And, heck, I have to reload my .38s and .45s. I don't need brass for the Remmy. :D
 

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I'm envious.
Makes me yearn for those days of my youth in small town Kansas - shooting off the back porch.
 

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I've thought a few times about buying a cap and ball revolver. How long does it take to reload the cylinder, on average?
 

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I'm not into the revolvers as much as I am the Black Powder Cartridge Rifles and Muzzle Loaders but I have an old Pietta Brass Framed 36 cal Navy Colt Replica that I used to shoot quite often. It had gotten pretty loose after all the years of use so I retired it. I may buy another if I can find a deal on something I like. I would like to find another Old Army but the prices have kept me from owning another one. I think I paid $104 for mine back in the 70's and sold it for over $200 a few years later.
 

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I've been eyeballing black powder revolvers for some time now, but I need that last push to take the plunge. I like the Remington 1858 and I've seen them under glass in Sportsmans Warehouse for reasonable money. Is there a reason to use Pyrodex instead of black powder? I know BP is dirty and the gun needs to be scrupulously cleaned after shooting, but other than that ...? What the heck is a tap o cap and how does it work? It must be cheaper than buying caps, else why do it?
 

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Black Powder ignites better and if I could find it anywhere close, I'd use it. But, there are stringent laws regarding the storage and shipping of BP as it's classed as a "low explosive". Pyrodex IS black powder, has a retardant in it that keeps it from being an explosive, is classed as a "propellent" like smokeless and can be stored in the shop and on the counter and doesn't require hazmat transportation. I have heard one shop in Austin stocks BP It's a couple of hours to Austin, then you have to drive IN Austin. I'll stick with what's available until I'm set up to make my own BP....coming soon. :D The components, sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate can be shipped without hazmat fees. 40 bucks just in hazmat fees to ship black powder, so if you buy holy black, you must buy in large bulk to make it reasonable. Again, I'll stick with Pyrodex. If you can get BP near you, you're very lucky. When these shipping and storage laws came out in the late 70s, BP disappeared and Hodgedon developed Pyrodex specifically to address this problem. It's not that it's superior, it isn't . In fact, in side lock percussion rifles, it is not as easily ignited and it CANNOT be used in flintlocks for this very reason.

I've thought a few times about buying a cap and ball revolver. How long does it take to reload the cylinder, on average?
It takes me less than 5 minutes, probably closer to 3, even with a light load and charging with a cornmeal filler. I load out of the gun on a cheap traditions ball press. I want a better quality press, but the cheap one does the job. I think it was 15 bucks. I have a powder flask, measure the cornmeal via a dipper, and press home the ball. I'll charge all chambers first with powder, then top 'em with cornmeal, then top 'em with a ball and press 'em, cap each nipple, install iin the gun, ready to shoot. The Remmy is really easy to swap cylinders in, one thing I REALLY like about it. A colt, you must remove the wedge and barrel. The ROA, the load lever is loose when you remove the cylinder. I've never bought spare cylinders for the ROA, though, kinda expensive. The Pietta cylinders were on sale for $49.95 each at Cabelas, 10 bucks off regular price.

One can also buy conversion cylinders for these guns. Light loads and lead bullets only are recommended. In .45 Colt, use "cowboy" loads and you're fine, even burning smokeless. NEVER try smokeless in a BP cylinder!

I have a brass frame .44 Navy. My first one, bought in the early 70s, was a brass Navy and I stretched it. To avoid this with the brassers, one must load LIGHT. Pietta recommends no more than 25 grains black or 25 grains equivalent (by volume) of Pyrodex. I shoot 21 grains just to keep it mild. The Colts all seem to shoot high and my Remington is a bit mroe accurate, anyway. I much prefer the '58 Remmies to the open top Colt replicas. BUT, they're all fun! My advice, get a steel frame and it will outlast you. Brass is cheap, but if you load it very hot, it will stretch in a few years and become useless. Actually, what happens usually is the cylinder pin gets loose in the frame. At any rate, excess headspace develops. Steel frames avoid this. The Remmy design has a bit of a strength advantage over the Colt. The Colt USUALLY can be fired more rounds before the cyoinder starts to bind from fouling due to the design of the cylinder pin. If you want the absolute BEST cap and ball revolver ever made, shoot forever without binding, sub 2" at 25 yards accuracy, powerful as a magnum revolver if you feed it full charges of 777, get a Ruger Old Army. They're no longer made, though, and used prices are up there around 600 bucks now days. I've had mine a long, long time. It's still the best shooter. However, I wanted a handier 5" model, Vaquero style fixed sight version. I no longer feel the need as the Remmy really fills the bill well. :D
 
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I used to in the 70's used crisco to seal the cylinders. Wore out one Italian pistol. Don't care for it now weven though i have a few BP firearms. I have been stocking up ammo since the 94 ban ended. i won't ever run out of ammo. Expexcially 22.
 

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What the heck is a tap o cap and how does it work? It must be cheaper than buying caps, else why do it?
Not cheaper, just sometimes more available. I live in the sticks, nearest LGS with caps is 40 miles away. I can find roll caps at HEB. :D

They're no longer available, got mine from Dixie Gun Works years ago. You cut pieces of aluminum can, the tool cuts and forms the cap with a whack from a mallet. Then, you punch out roll cap (toy cap gun) centers ad put several in each cap body. Works great on revolvers, not so much on sidelock rifles.

For further explanation with pix....

https://beartoothbullets.com/open_sight/archive_open_sight.htm/9
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I used to in the 70's used crisco to seal the cylinders. Wore out one Italian pistol. Don't care for it now weven though i have a few BP firearms. I have been stocking up ammo since the 94 ban ended. i won't ever run out of ammo. Expexcially 22.
I just enjoy cap and ball. I shoot my cartridge guns, but I really like the cap and ball stuff for fun.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I should get a capper, would make capping faster. :D

This really helps in reloading. There are far better quality presses available, but this works pretty well and is affordable.



Cabela's: Revolver-Cylinder Loading Stand
 

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I've thought a few times about buying a cap and ball revolver. How long does it take to reload the cylinder, on average?
As you guessed, my answer above was not entirely factual. :laugh:

I haven't timed loading up my Pietta 1860 Army (Colt copy), but speeds vary for me depending on how I'm loading.
http://www.taurusarmed.net/forums/members/4403-albums446-picture33263.jpg

Quickest (results = not so accurate and fouls the cylinder after three cylinder loads)
1. pour in powder using spout of flask as measure (maybe 23 to 27 grains)
2. seat ball
3. repeat
4. cap nipples

Next quickest (results = not so accurate and fouls the cylinder after four to five cylinder loads)
1. pour in powder using spout of flask as measure (maybe 23 to 27 grains)
2. seat ball
3. repeat
4. cover balls with Crisco
5. cap nipples

Slowest for me (results = about as accurate as a centerfire revolver from 20 yards and fouls the cylinder after four to five cylinder loads)
1. pour powder into powder measure to fairly precise measurement of 30 grains
2. pour powder into chamber of cylinder
3. seat ball
4. repeat
5. cover balls with Crisco
6. cap nipples

I'm still a newb and keep it simple. I haven't tried filler or wads like others have and recommend. :angel:
 

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It's been so long since I've shot BP that I actually used my old .44 lead balls to add weight to the Pinewood Derby cars my son and I just built.

Oh, by the way...the race was today, and HE WON!!

No longer have the revolvers, but the balls also make darned good slingshot projos. Sounds like Native Texan had fun, too, though. :)
 

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I just picked up a 5 ½” 1858 NMA that was on sale. I shot it for the first time the other day and all I can say is WOW, what a hoot to shoot! I ordered a conversion cylinder to shoot 45 long colt out of it. Nothing like having two guns in one.
 

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I just got my first Cap and Ball Revolver a Pietta Griswold Gunnison from Cabela's for $199 my Wife got me it for Christmas this year. Haven't had a chance to shoot it yet but I plan on going on the 2nd of February.

Firearm Gun Revolver Trigger Gun accessory
 
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