Black Powder pistols?

Sid Post

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2007
Messages
261
Location
Texas, USA
With today's scarcity of primers in general, I'm probably not at a good point in time to pick up a more modern black powder pistol however, it is an itch I want to scratch! :)

I am thinking about Uberti and Pietta versions in their various disguises out of Italy. The classic 1873 version looks attractive to me but, I am thinking seriously about an 1858 Remington with its top-strap and ability to load with the revolver itself.

What should I be looking for and what should I avoid? Is loading off the revolver really a detriment to the 1873? Are reloading supplies really hard to acquire (mailorder is my only viable option in East Texas)? Is the stainless 1858 Remington a better option for a black powder novice?

I am mainly looking for a fun plinker and my only 'power requirement' is for an aggressive dog (unrestrained 'pets' in a rural setting from the drug element living out here).

In terms of pistol vendors, I'm seeing a good variety of 'store brands' and wonder if there are real differences in quality and price to be aware of. MidwayUSA appears to have an 1873 in stock for $500 plus shipping and, a stainless 1858 Remington appears to be ~$80 less. What are the thoughts about their predecessors without the top strap and calibers less than .44?

TIA,
Sid
 

Carsyn.22

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Joined
Feb 6, 2018
Messages
69
Location
Warman, Saskatchewan
between your choices I would go with the stainless 1858 in .44 cal and whichever length barrel you prefer. I have no personal experience though as I would have to find an original in order to be able to shoot it around the farm legally, copies don't count.
 

RT2506

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2008
Messages
2,143
If you could find a Ruger 44 cal BP revolver you would be in high cotton.

Of your listed choices I would go stainless steel. I had a Remington 1858 blued pistol about 25 years ago that I shot a good bit. Can't remember who made it. Was made in Spain I think. Found that you REALLY need to clean EVERYTHING including taking off the grips and cleaning the inside to keep it from rusting.

Don't get a brass frame pistol if you intend to shoot it a lot. They don't last as long as steel I have been told.

I was using real black powder FFFG.
Mine needed a smaller #10 size cap but most use standard #11.

As for ball size you need to use a ball that is large enough to leave a complete donut of lead cut off it when you seat in the chamber. This is necessary for good accuracy.

I loaded with the pistol as it was designed to do.

ALWAYS cover your cylinders completely with Crisco or some other "bore butter" substance. This will prevent chain fire of cylinders and also keep the fouling soft in the bore for the next bullet to push out of the way when fired.

If your really want a MAN'S pistol get a Dragoon or Walker.
My friend has a Walker and that thing is about like a 44 mag. LOL
 

RT2506

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2008
Messages
2,143
As to the single shot muzzle loader pistols they are a hoot and they can be REALLY accurate. My first was the CVA mountain 50 cal. that I put together from a kit. With 50 grs FFFG and a .490 patched ball that thing was a POWERFULL tack driver.

I picked up a Traditions Vortex 50 cal. single shot this winter and got to shoot it for the first time Thursday. I had put a red dot sight on it with a high rise mount thinking that I could use the open sights if needed. I found that the red dot sight did not have enough elevation travel to adjust low enough to be sighted in.

Instructions for the pistol says 70 grs loose Hodgdon 777 or Pyrodex P powder with a 250 gr sabot bullet is max. I loaded 60 grs FFFG Hodgdon 777 to start with fired by a Fed 209A and a .452 Hornady XTP and a crush rib sabot but only shot two shots before finding out that the sight would not adjust enough. I did not want to waste my components since they are almost impossible to come by these days.

There was a lower mount that came with my red dot and I came home and used it to mount the sight. It should work fine. Next time it quits raining and wind stops blowing a gale I will give it a try.
 

Sid Post

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2007
Messages
261
Location
Texas, USA
If you could find a Ruger 44 cal BP revolver you would be in high cotton.

Of your listed choices I would go stainless steel. I had a Remington 1858 blued pistol about 25 years ago that I shot a good bit. Can't remember who made it. Was made in Spain I think. Found that you REALLY need to clean EVERYTHING including taking off the grips and cleaning the inside to keep it from rusting.

Don't get a brass frame pistol if you intend to shoot it a lot. They don't last as long as steel I have been told.

I was using real black powder FFFG.
Mine needed a smaller #10 size cap but most use standard #11.

As for ball size you need to use a ball that is large enough to leave a complete donut of lead cut off it when you seat in the chamber. This is necessary for good accuracy.

I loaded with the pistol as it was designed to do.

ALWAYS cover your cylinders completely with Crisco or some other "bore butter" substance. This will prevent chain fire of cylinders and also keep the fouling soft in the bore for the next bullet to push out of the way when fired.

If your really want a MAN'S pistol get a Dragoon or Walker.
My friend has a Walker and that thing is about like a 44 mag. LOL

Thanks! That's a lot of good detail for a newbie to absorb and avoid some common mistakes and errors.

Regarding brass, besides being soft I don't want the upkeep.

Stainless is high on my want list.
 

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