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Thread: What is best BP revolver available today

  1. #1
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    What is best BP revolver available today

    So for years I've thought about getting into BP shooting, but since I never had any problems obtaining 45ACP ammo for my 1911's...

    I kind of thought that if I were to buy a BP revolver, I'd get a Ruger, but alas, I now find that they aren't made any more. I'm leary of buying anything used, especially since BP, if not cleaned properly, could be a problem. (I once bought a used FIAT with only 6,000 miles - learned a lot about cars from it )

    So it looks like if I now want to buy a BP revolver, it has to be something made in the same country as my FIAT was.

    I know enough that I want steel and not brass for a frame, but considering that I want quality, and price isn't a factor (I have SIG P210, X-Five...), what do you in the know suggest that I should get? I don't especially want an entry level to see how it goes because if it is junk, I might just be turned off from the whole BP scene, and it be unjustly so. I want something fairly accurate, most most importantly durable. Although I've done several trigger jobs on 1911's, I'm not interested in becoming a pistolsmith on BP revolvers either

    Thanks in advance for your input and patience.

  2. #2
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    In my opinion Uberti is the best of the current imports. The ones imported by Cimmaron firearms are a cut above in finish and fit.

    As for accuracy and durability the clones of the 1858 Remington fit that requirement very well.

    The best pistol shot at our club fired a 2 inch 5 shot group with my Lyman Remington clone at 50 yards. I wish I could do that.

  3. #3
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    Go with yor instincts, Ruger Old Army,
    That way you only buy one,once.
    robert
    "Be like the serpent,son;keep your mouth shut,till the strikes begun. "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntt3wy-L8Ok

  4. #4
    Hmm, are the Remington 1858's (made by US Firearms) available, I've never bothered calling for info? http://www.remington.com/products/li.../revolvers.asp

    One could always try to find an original but then shooting it heavily might not be so good an idea...but then, you could just buy a Ruger Old Army. Yeah it'd be used but just inspect it good, they were well made.
    Sic semper tyrannis

  5. #5
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    Uberti has made good quality guns for years, but I agree with robert.

    Look around for a Ruger Old Army, even if you have to buy used. The Old Army is a premium gun. There is a better chance that the first owner took care of it.

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    I'll scout around in the area gunshops, but I don't have a lot of faith that I'll find a Ruger. I don't want to buy used over the internet.

    The link for Reminton was interesting, I'm glad to see that they are still in the Mohawk valley. They had a very interesting display in their lobby. I used to have to wait in their lobby in order to be escorted into the plant.

    Anybody have any idea where to get a Cimmaron? Cimmaron-guns.com doesn't show any BP revolvers.

  7. #7
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    You can still find a ROA that is NIB on Gunbroker. Most of the imports well require a little fine tuning to get perfect. The Pietta shooters model of the 1858 NMA is possibly the most accurate. The 2nd and 3rd gen Colts are excellent revolvers if you don't mind the price. Owning a cap and ball revolver well start you on a second career as a gunsmith.
    A Veteran, whether active duty, retired, national guard, or reserve, is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America” for an amount of “up to and including my life.”

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    Owning a cap and ball revolver well start you on a second career as a gunsmith.
    Well that is kind of scary; is it because of the poor quality of the imports i.e. do they employ old Fiat workers?

    I looked at Gunbroker as you suggested. I was a little surprised at the price. Have they gone up a lot since Ruger stopped making them?

    Also, I was surprised that they are available in both Blued and Stainless. I had heard about the stainless, but didn't know that they made the blued version.

    How does this work with Gunbroker; I noticed that on the new stainless that for one of them you could "buy it now" for 620 and on another one it was for 570, and the seller is the same??? If the seller doesn't get any bids at the end of the auction, do they typically start another auction for less money?

    I don't recall ever using Gunbroker, but I tried logging on and it accepted my standard userid and password and said I was "verified". This getting old and forgetful really stinks.

    Never mind about the money questions. I just noticed that the auction ends in 11 hours. I hope $600 isn't too inflated, but if it is - so what. I have a Sig P210, X-Five, etc. what the heck is $600? I went for the stainless - hope that was a good choice. However, I'm still interested in some of the replicas, and would appreciate guidance.

    I went to Bass Pro's shop today. They didn't have any 45ACP, but they had FFFg!!!!!
    Last edited by Princi; June 5th, 2009 at 12:44 AM. Reason: My head was where the sun doesn't shine

  9. #9
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    Get a Ruger Old Army and forget about this imported stuff (unless you require a specific model for some re-enacting scenario) -- and that it comes in stainless steel is an added bonus...

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    Princi - Anybody have any idea where to get a Cimmaron? Cimmaron-guns.com doesn't show any BP revolvers.
    Try this one http://www.cimarron-firearms.com/ and look in handguns under percussion...

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    Well that is kind of scary; is it because of the poor quality of the imports i.e. do they employ old Fiat workers?
    Fiat...Fix It Again Tony. It is not uncommon for the reproductions to need some 'finial' fitting. I consider the Italian guns to be semi finished 'kits'. For me, working on them is part of the enjoyment of ownership.

    $600 for a new ROA in stainless is about the going price, well used models run as high as $400. The ROA is available in blue and stainless, fixed or adjustable sights and 5.5" or 7.5" barrels. It is the finest cap and ball revolver you can buy.

    A word of warning. Cap & ball revolvers are very addictive, one can lead to a dozen or more before you know it.
    A Veteran, whether active duty, retired, national guard, or reserve, is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America” for an amount of “up to and including my life.”

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    I have two Pietta's (1851 & 1858) and one Uberti (1849). None of these have given me any trouble.

    Yes, the ROAs are nice revolvers, but there is something to be said for shooting something that is more like the originals.
    Lew Wallace was an optimist.

    I want my country back!

  13. #13
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    Yes, the ROAs are nice revolvers, but there is something to be said for shooting something that is more like the originals.
    I couldn't agree more. There is such a rich history of these cap and ball revolvers. The reproduction makers are just scratching the surface of what was made back in the day. I have considered buying a few originals but can't justify that much money for a single revolver. I have found that there are many reproductions that have become collectible and even they command a high price.
    A Veteran, whether active duty, retired, national guard, or reserve, is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America” for an amount of “up to and including my life.”

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    Couldn't wait

    Since I'm getting the Ruger, I decided I couldn't wait and picked up an 1860 Army in steel from Cabela's for $229. I figure if I screw something up, it would better be on it vs on the Ruger.

    I probably should see a shrink... it doesn't bother me having something inexpensive as long as I have something that is expensive. For example: I usually wear a fake Rolex that I bought in Shanghai for $40. I wouldn't feel right about it except I have a real one in the safety deposit box at the credit union. In addition to my good guns I have a couple of Jennings, a Hi-Point, etc. An expensive gun is expected to give good results, but when you buy something inexpensive and get good results, then you really have something.

    I shot it, brought it home and cleaned it. I made the mistake of removing the barrel and then cleaning it. I should have totally disassembled everything before taking any water to it.

    Everything came out looking good with the exception of the area at the bottom of the cylinders where the nipples were. How the heck are you supposed to get that out?

  15. #15
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    Everything came out looking good with the exception of the area at the bottom of the cylinders where the nipples were. How the heck are you supposed to get that out?
    Hot soapy water and a tooth brush. I'll take as many as a dozen revolvers out for a days shooting. When I get home I strip the wood grip panels, remove the cylinder, put everyone in the dishwasher. After the dishwasher has run the wash cycle I blow dry them with compressed air and spray them down with ballistol. About twice a year they get a complete strip and clean. So far I have seen no adverse effects of this cleaning procedure.
    A Veteran, whether active duty, retired, national guard, or reserve, is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America” for an amount of “up to and including my life.”

  16. #16
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    Everything came out looking good with the exception of the area at the bottom of the cylinders where the nipples were. How the heck are you supposed to get that out?
    For what it's worth; I use Q-tips to reach the back, inside the chambers. The backs of my chambers are still shiny blue after many hundreds of rounds. The outside back of the cylinder requires a tooth brush. I clean the outside of the cylinder fairly well, then remove the nipples and clean around and inside the threaded holes. A good cleaning means taking the gun down completely. Some on here will shoot a few times before doing a complete take-down of the interrnals.

    You'll want to keep a spare set of springs for the import at least. I always figured a gun's springs were there for life, but people on this forum have been saying a spare spring set is a requirement (competition shooters I know replace their springs on a regular basis, whether they need it or not). I then had a Pietta trigger/bolt spring break recently. Out of commission. OK then, so I got a replacement plus a spare, and a spare mainspring. A complete spare set of screws is a good idea also-- they can shoot loose (I once lost a trigger spring in the field while shooting) plus you're removing them so often for cleaning they can get lost or damaged.

    Get (or modify) screwdrivers to perfectly fit all your gun's screws. Very important.

    Be sure to read the stickys on this thread also.

    Have fun.

  17. #17
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    Omnivore, very helpful information - thanks much. I was wondering how someone could clean in there with a toothbrush. Then I thought about some that I'd seen at Cabela's that had a small end, and I thought maybe that was what people used. I confess that I'm cheap and I use real toothbrushes. I used to fly business class on Lufthansa a lot, and I each flight segment they give you a new tooth brush. I kept them and the little bags too because they are handy for putting ammo in there.

    I hope I haven't screwed the gun up by not cleaning well at the bottom of the hole. I'm going to go shoot it this morning and I'll take it apart and clean it properly when I get home.

    Where do you buy spare springs, screws, etc. for these things?

  18. #18
    I kind of thought that if I were to buy a BP revolver, I'd get a Ruger, but alas, I now find that they aren't made any more. I'm leary of buying anything used, especially since BP, if not cleaned properly, could be a problem.

    get the Ruger, they have no peer in blackpowder c/b revolvers. A 35 year old Ruger is stronger/more accurate/more valuable, than a brand new Uberti.

  19. #19
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    I have an 1851 Colt Navy clone that I got at Bass Pro Shops, I "think" it's a Pietta. $200 for the whole kit. Anyway, it's the biggest PITA to shoot I've ever seen, not nearly as much fun as I'd hoped.

    And I've NEVER seen where ANY of the bullets hit! I have no idea where it's hitting. I'd have to put a target in the center of a 4x8 sheet of plywood to figure that out.

    Sure looks nice though.

  20. #20
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    rondog, my Pietta 1851 will put the rounds on the paper just so long as I do my job. It sounds like either:

    1) you got a lemon, or
    2) something isn't set-up right (Is the wedge seated properly?), or
    3) you are using an undersized ball (Does it shave lead while seating?), or
    4) your loading is inconsistent.

    It might be #1, but my experience tells me that the other items are probably the culprit.
    Lew Wallace was an optimist.

    I want my country back!

  21. #21
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    My 1860 from Cabela's is a PITA to clean, but we were very pleased today with the accuracy in shooting it. We (my shooting buddy and I) were loading with 25 grains of FFFg, and it was shooting high. I'm not sure if I need to increase or decrease the amount of powder to lower the POI. I'm also not sure if I'll find out too soon either. My wife had a whole load of things for me today and I spent the day shooting and cleaning this thing. I really want to practice (mostly on cleaning) on this before my Ruger arrives. ($25 for shipping and they sent it Priority Mail vs overnight???)

    I don't really understand why with a round ball that this revolver is as accurate as it is. It is no Sig P210, but it far exceeds my expectations for accuracy.

    Incidentally, if you load the cylinder and shoot it 3 times, what do you call that - you can't say 3 rounds?

  22. #22
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    Thanks to Ruger fans

    Thanks to y'all that recommended the Ruger, and to whomever suggested Gunbroker. I picked up my Ruger at the Post Office today (I have a PO Box), and it is a beautiful gun. Now to shoot the life out of the Pietta to learn all I need to learn about cleaning and maintaining a BP revolver before I start shooting the Ruger.

    What a difference between the Pietta and the Ruger. Of course for 3 times the cost...

  23. #23
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    Princi,

    The funny thing is dependent on how long your shooting sessions and the type of powder you're using you might find the Colt designs to be more reliable.

    The Ruger is loosely based on the Remington Army and Navy. In the original period the Remington design was considered by some to be problematic because the powder fouling binds up the pin and because of the solid frame under the strap powder fouling is also issue-which can slow or bind the cylinder. The Colt design has somewhat more tolerance for fouling, and its easy enough to knock the wedge out wipe down the cylinder and so keep it running. Additionally an open frame is somewhat less prone to cap binding, although when they do its usually screwdriver time because it's deep in the works.

    Not an issue if your going to use a pyrodex type of powder, but it will be if you choose to use traditional black powder.

    The Colts (even the actual various generations of Colts) are often not as accurate as a solid frame Remington/Ruger design. And can be variable depending on such things as wear or placement of the barrel wedge. But they are a design which is much more suited to prolonged firing. Although a picket ball, if you can find a mold is considerably more accurate in both designs, albeit more trouble to load.

    Rounds=charges, In Cpt. Marcy's "Overland Traveler" he mentions blowing (or pulling) the charges out in the mornings, or when its been wet. Although greasing the chamber mouths and using some beeswax about the cones used to be a partial solution to that problem.

    And incidentally if you decide to make nitrated paper cartridges, make very sure to check the chambers, before loading again. Sometimes they don't burn out completely.

    And last, weirdly enough in the Gold Rush era in California, and in the Pikes Peak rush in Colorado-there were actually people who made money cleaning and loading peoples pistols and revolvers.

  24. #24
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    rondog, my Pietta 1851 will put the rounds on the paper just so long as I do my job. It sounds like either:

    1) you got a lemon, or
    2) something isn't set-up right (Is the wedge seated properly?), or
    3) you are using an undersized ball (Does it shave lead while seating?), or
    4) your loading is inconsistent.

    It might be #1, but my experience tells me that the other items are probably the culprit.
    Thanks! This is my first b/p weapon, so I'm very cautious and deliberate with loading it. No k/b's please!

    The bullets were the right size, right powder and right amount, and I used a pistol rest to hold it steady, firing very carefully to see where they hit. Never did.

    To be fair, I've only had it out 2-3 times, while teaching the grandkid to shoot at the same time. I need to take it out for some one-on-one time and have a Come To Jesus meeting with it.

  25. #25
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    And last, weirdly enough in the Gold Rush era in California, and in the Pikes Peak rush in Colorado-there were actually people who made money cleaning and loading peoples pistols and revolvers.
    I completely understand that. I'm wondering if the cowboys heated water over a campfire and used it to clean their revolvers. How the heck did the Indians (better Native-Americans before I get fined by the PC police) ever lose? You can reload a bow quite quickly, and it never has to be cleaned.

    Although I probably would trust someone to clean, I don't think I'd trust someone to load for me. (I'm projecting myself back in time). Suppose the loader tried to save money by not putting in so much powder? Or he could have been paid off by one of my sworn enemies not to put in any powder. Or he could have designs on my wife.

    Taillebois (name french?), that was very informative, and makes a lot of sense. The first time I shot the 1860 Army, when I took it apart, I found two spent caps underneath the hammer.

    Another observation I made was when using the 15 grain load that Pietta recommended, most of the caps stayed on the nipples. However, when using the 30grain pellets my friend gave me, the caps went into orbit. Speaking of which - is it normal to have this much flame coming out of the nipples?

    Could it be that I didn't have the nipple in tight enough and this is actually the powder burning?

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