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Copper Bullet member
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And now I'm addicted to this AND Mosins...

Anyway, I got a Cabelas credit card and ended up maxing it out on the first day with a Pietta Remington New Model Army as well as the starter kit and all the accoutrements. Well it languished in my range box for all of 4 days before I couldn't resist it any longer and dragged it to the range today... and now I'm hooked on black powder. To put that in perspective: I generally detest pistols of all types (unless they have a stock), so when I picked this thing up on a whim, it was thoroughly out of character for me, but wow, there's nothing quite like creating a massive bank of fog of war on the bench, then running for fresh air when it becomes just a little too hard to breathe :laugh:

So, now that I'm hooked, is it worth getting a Walker replica? Or should I just go straight for the 3 Dragoon models?
 

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Platinum Bullet member
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20,186 Posts
Dad brought home an 1861 Colt Navy back around 1969. Had a buncha fun with it growing up. Fast forward to after Christmas, when Cabelas had a big sale - got the Remington Army Police .36 cal, and a few days later while it was still in transit, Cabelas had an even better sale - ordered the .44 Sheriff's model. Yet another sale with free shipping around March and a 2nd Sheriff's model arrived on the front porch.

Since then I dragged home a 45 year old 1860 Colt Army in a cased set with shoulder stock, flask, bullet mold & stuff. Almost forgot, there's that stainless, 35 year old Ruger Old Army I stumbled across at a show a while back.

Damn things kept multiplying when Midway had a sale + $30 off discount code on a Colt Dragoon. Just last week, the only retaill-available 1864 Colt New Police .36 in North America fought its' way into the collection. Keep an eye on Midway for sales and coming availability, since they don't charge sales tax, & there are some good discount codes out there.

I've found that for the first cylinder or so, load it to maximum capacity with either 3F Black Powder or Pyrodex. Once you've got firing those hot loads outta your system, then you can settle down to some incredible accuracy. Notice how TALL that front sight is? Bring a file to the range, since it will usually shoot quite low.

I've settled on 23-25 gr of either 3F Black Powder or Pyrodex P, since both perform the same in all my guns. Groups are amazing - even in my hands.

I use a paper wad over the powder, since it evenly compresses the powder charge & gives unbeatable accuracy: Cut a bunch of 2 ply toiletpaper sheets into quarters. 2 pieces for the .44 & 1 piece for the .36 loads. I fold the corners into the center, then stuff it into the chamber & pack it with the loading lever. I put a tiny dab of ball lube on the base of a ball, then seat it firmly - too much lube will squeeze past the wad & into the powder, causing uniform ignition problems.

Using either TP or even the pricier felt wads minimizes lube residue the Crisco-lovers are fond of gooping up all over the cylinder face. Using the wads, I can shoot all day (a tin + of caps) with very minimal residue build up.

Which Remington did you get - the 5 1/2" barrel or the 8"?

If you plan on shooting it a lot & maybe adding to the black revolver arsenal, consider getting one of those benchtop loaqders, since it's much easier to just drop out the Remington cylinder & charge it with powder on a benchtop then add wads & seat the balls. Look around, too, for on-sale Remington Cylinders, since extras can be loaded up in advance & unlike the Colt design revolvers, the Remington cylinders swap out in seconds.

Before you shoot it, be sure you have a proper fitting set of screwdrivers ( & a nipple wrench), since, for clean up, everything but the grips goes into the kitchen sink to first spray down with Windex to remove most of the soot, then into hot soapy water for scrubdown with nylon bore brush & toothbrushes - rinse & hose down with WD-40 & it's all ready to reassemble.

You'll end up with a buncha stuff, such as powder dispensers, powder measures & in-line cappers.

Black powder smoke? You're gonna LOVE IT!
 

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The Walker may be nice, if you can find a good price on one. Otherwise, the Whitneyville was my first choice (but neither in stock or on sale @ the time). My Dragoon of choice is the 2nd Model, with the squareback trigger guard. Dragoons weigh in at a little over 4#, so they're substantial to fire all day, and MUCH easier to manage than the Walker.

Again, load up the first few rounds with about 50 gr BP & let it fly. The sound of a full-load Dragoon is quite distinctive & even struck fear into a .44 Mag shooter down at the end of the firing line. Nevertheless, that 25 gr. load gives the Dragoon amazing accuracy, even with the rear sight notch in the hammer.

Just because the Remington design is easier to load & much easier to disassemble for complete cleaning, I find myself firing them more often than the Colts, although the latest Colt 1864 (pocket sized) New Police .36 will see a lot of more frequent use.

Dragoon and New Police.jpg 1858 Rem .44 to post.jpg
 

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Oak Leaves with Clusters Member
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Marry your Mosin interest to BP cartridges. I have 2 Berdans; one is a collector's version and one is a beautiful Afghan refurb 85 Sestroryetsk. I shoot it every month at the range unless I take my .43 Egyptian rolling block. I cast my own bullets and reload with BP. I also only shoot my 2 Nagants with BP.

I started with a Colt Navy replica and also have a flintlock pistol that I shoot too.
 

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Now you need to venture into BP rifles. First a percussion and then a flint. Real hoots at the range as the smoke clears! We've all seen the black plastic crowd give us funny looks when we pull out the Mosins. Love pulling out my CVA Hawken and punching .50cal holes in paper. Shooting BP is WAY less expensive than center fires.
 

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Platinum Bullet member
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Now you need to venture into BP rifles. First a percussion and then a flint. Real hoots at the range as the smoke clears! We've all seen the black plastic crowd give us funny looks when we pull out the Mosins. Love pulling out my CVA Hawken and punching .50cal holes in paper. Shooting BP is WAY less expensive than center fires.
Been shooting mostly the 1858 Remington .44 & .36 lately & got some wisea$$ comments, from some hotshot .44 Mag shooter a few benches away, about my "popguns" & how weak those old relics are.

Then I pulled out the brand new 4# Colt Dragoon.

He had no concept of relative force, so when I told him at 1100 ft/sec it generates around 500 ft lbs with a full load, he apparently didn't want to take any chances & backed away & shut up after I challenged him to a shootout on paper targets of his choice.

Later, he sent over his daughter to apologise (you can FEEL the concussion from a full black powder load more than you can hear it), so I asked her if she wanted to try it out.

I was able to correct the swayback teenage girl stance & right away she actually shot a 2 1/2" group with the Dragoon (and the lighter & very accurate load). She couldn't wait until cease fire came to go get the target so she could show daddy how she outshot him with a 'weak old relic'.

Apparently she's the boss, & later Daddy came over to find out more about shooting black powder. I already gave the girl the Cabelas and Midway websites & she had Daddy's credit card # already ...

I suspect Daddy's gonna get Cabelas and Midway credit card charges for Christmas ...
 

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"Loaded Up" Horse Pistols tend to change their prospective on Fire & White Smoke don't it.

00
 

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Gold Bullet Member and Noted Curmudgeon
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Marry your Mosin interest to BP cartridges. I have 2 Berdans; one is a collector's version and one is a beautiful Afghan refurb 85 Sestroryetsk. I shoot it every month at the range unless I take my .43 Egyptian rolling block. I cast my own bullets and reload with BP. I also only shoot my 2 Nagants with BP.

I started with a Colt Navy replica and also have a flintlock pistol that I shoot too.
I know there were two Berdans in Russian service - a trapdoor-type (Berdan I) and a single shot bolt (Berdan II). But not much more. Do you have both, or which ones?

Also a Krnka cartridge conversion of the last M/Ls - have you ever seen one?
 

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Oak Leaves with Clusters Member
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I have 2 Berdan IIs. They are seen from time to time on Gunbroker. I have only seen one Berdan I and it was in the $4 or $5 thousand dollar range. I gave about a $1,000 for one and $850 for my "shooter." I'll be taking it to the range this week. Got me 40 loaded cartridges but usually shoot about 20.

Don't know anything about the Krnka conversion.

The Berdan II is quite interesting. The bolt is in place at about a 45 degree angle rather than the normal 90 degrees or so of other rifles. It does not have any locking lugs - it locks on the somewhat square area where the bolt handle is attached - like some .22s. And when it is ready to fire, you can see a little of the cartridge rim.
 

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From one Mosinitus infected board member to another, get the Walker. My wife got me one for my birthday earlier this year after losing alot of Mosins on auctions and I was getting frustrated. I had mentioned a very small interest in BP revolvers and she thought it would take my mind off Mosins for a while. It is AWESOME!! I love my Uberti Walker. With 22 grains of Pyrodex P it shoots POA all six shots in a 50 cent piece @15 yards. Double that up and the group spreads slightly but still shoot POA. Since then I have picked up an 1860 Colt and I am looking at an 1851 Colt Navy.
It got me looking into single action 45lc revolvers (Vaquero) and I picked up a Henry Big Boy in 45lc to match. The whole loading process "pushed" me into finally starting to handload for my other guns.
Now Im looking at other things on the auction sights (as well as Mosins), Springfield Trapdoor, Dragoons (not the ones your thinking of;)). Ive learned theres this whole other world of "Old West" guns and I like them.
So get the Walker, you will love it.
And FYI, theres actually 4 Dragoons. The Whitneyville is like a pre-Dragoon and deserves a place if you have the other 3, I feel.
 
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