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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone. Some time ago, I inherited some fire arms from my Grandfather. He was big on the whole cowboy/old west thing and two of the weapons I got were black powder. Both are reproductions and both are in great shape. The only problem is that I don't know squat about shooting them. One is a Hawken and the other is a 1860 Colt New Army.

It bugs me that I've got these two "safe queens" that I don't use. They have sentimental appeal to me and I wouldn't consider selling them so what I want to do is use them. I know I'd get more use out of the Pistol if I could convert it to cartridges and I know there are conversion cylinders made for these things. What spooks me is the giant "FOR BLACK POWDER ONLY" written across the barrel. Does that mean that I shouldn't get the conversion cylinder? I can hand load for it if it needs a special diet. It's just more useful to me if I don't have to shoot it with BP.

Who knows. Perhaps finally using it will get me to try it the way it was intended to be loaded.

Here are some pics.
 

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Howdy Oldbrass,
From the pictures I see that you have a Lyman copy of the Remington 1858 not a Colt 1860.
Most of the Lyman Remingtons were made for them by Uberti so a conversion cylinder for the Uberti Remington should fit it.
Is it a .44 caliber or a .36 caliber? It should be stamped on the left side of the barrel.
If you get a conversion cylinder for it, you can buy "cowboy loads" to use in it. I use mainly Winchester cowboy ammo in mine.
Black powder loaded ammo is also sold. It is just like the original black powder ammo.
I have two Remington copies that I shoot with conversion cylinders and love them.
I can't make out the roman numerals in the picture of the right side of it. That is the date code for when it was made. It looks like maybe XX?, that would make it between 1964 and 1974.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Lee,
Sorry about the fuzzy pics. It was the best I could manage at the time. I went and checked it and it says .44 cal New Model Army on the side. The date stamp you mentioned is XX9. Do the cowboy loads come loaded in Black Power or are they loaded with smokeless? I haven't had much in the way of black powder instruction in the past 20 years or so and am therefore a bit leery of getting into it with out some one showing me the ropes. That's mainly why I'm interested in the conversion.

I love the feel of that pistol. It comes up right where I want it to be and feels so solid. To me, it seems like everything a hand gun should be. I borrowed a friend's Glock 30 a while ago and it left me cold. I threw a lot of led down range, but it felt more like a toy than a firearm. I really would like to get my Grandfather's handgun out and try my hand with that.

Thanks!
 

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Yup-Thats an 1858 remington,I have 2 sets of twins just like her.THE best handgun ever made in my opinion.Truest straighest shootin.mine are .44's and your pic "appears" to show a .44.

Stick with BP IMO too.To ME half the fun of it all is Creating a cartridge not just sliding one in the chamber.Relaxing as hell to me to load-shoot-clean-and not to mention the smell and sound.loading is simple.BP -Patch&ball Then just ram er home,Slip on a cap and fire.easier than reloading to me.

Just my humble opinions.Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone. I really do love the feel of that pistol and look forward to finally shootig it. What's your opinion on the pelletized Pirodex for this pistol? I recall reading about it some time ago and wondered if it was any good. Thoughts?
 

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Thanks everyone. I really do love the feel of that pistol and look forward to finally shootig it. What's your opinion on the pelletized Pirodex for this pistol? I recall reading about it some time ago and wondered if it was any good. Thoughts?
Shite.

tac
 

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Discussion Starter #9
any particular reason?
 

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Shite.

tac


I agree, there is no reason to use any of the BP substitutes. In many cases they are just as corrosive and in some cases they are harder to clean up after. As long as you can find it, use the real stuff. The more people who shoot the "shite", the less reason for manufacturers to make BP, then where will we be, especially flintlock shooters who simply can't use substitutes.
 

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Real black for me. If I want to shoot modern powder, I just shoot modern centerfires! The soot and smell is the only way to tell how much fun I'm having.
 

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In many areas local ordnances make it impractical or illegal to order or possess BP. That makes subs the only option.
Triple 7, American Powder, and Shockeyś Gold clean up with just water and seem easier to ignite than Pyrodex. A little detergent and they just dissolve away. Triple 7 and Shockeyś are about 15% more potent than BP. Triple 7 has more consistent grain size. Burned APP/Shockeyś smells like burned sugar (caramel) to me. I think itś made from sugarcane. :D But, itś an option where BP isnṫ practicable.
D
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm not sure what the deal is with BP here in Maine. I know it's a pain for the shops to stock it and most don't bother. I'll tip my hand here and ask you all... how much "more" careful do you have to be when storing BP? Is it that much more volatile than smokeless?
 

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Well, for one it is listed as an explosive vice propellant/flammable solid. So stores donṫ want to deal with the paperwork and storage requirements.
And yes, it is much more susceptible to heat, static, and shock than smokeless powders. I know guys will say they donṫ treat it special, but it isnṫ smokeless propellant. I suspect BP will eventually be regulated away by fire marshalls, DOT, and the ATF for ¨safety¨ and 911 reasons.
DOT and ATF have documents explaining their classification systems, testing procedures, storage requirements, etc. available online.
 

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I like Triple 7 in my C&B revolvers - I consider it the best of the substitutes. It is not corrosive, although it is hygroscopic. If you store your gun in a low humidity environment, you can put it away dirty for a year or more without a problem. If the storage area is damp your gun will become a junker real fast. Clean-up with Triple 7 is a breeze, it rinses clean with water and just a patch or two. I don't like any of the substitutes in B.P. cartridge. They are too restrictive as to allowable charge weights. In B.P cartridge rifles the seating depth of the bullet is basically adjusted by increasing or decreasing the powder charge. My .45 - 3 1/4" Sharps has a very long throat and requires a lot bigger powder charge than the maximum listed charges of Triple 7, Pioneer Powder, etc.

I agree with Mr. Foley in that we do need to keep using real black powder - I would hate to see it go away. That would make wall-hangers out of our flinters. The easiest way to get black powder is to mail order it (at least if you live in the non-communist portions of the U.S.) There are at least two companies to order from - somebody help me out here, I can't remember their names! I'm out of state at the moment and don't have access to my files. I order in 25 lb. lots - I think one outfit will let you order a 5 lb. minimum. All this assumes you have safe storage facilities at home (you don't live in a restricted apartment building or live above a crack lab, etc.)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hmmm. I really don't have a great place to keep BP at home, though I could remedy that with some work. I'm thinking I'll try the Triple7. What kind of load should I be using? What about bore butter? Any reason to use it?

I know this is getting sorta OT, but you guys have been a wealth of information. Makes me sad that I didn't post about this years ago!
 

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Bore butter is your friend, use lots of it. Lubricate all moving parts with it after cleaning and use it to seal each chamber after seating the ball. This is an added safety measure and makes the gun a bit easier to clean afterwards. Do not use petroleum based lubricants on a bp.
 

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Oldbrass,

Yeah, Bore Butter is great. I have my own concoction that is about 1/2 T.C. Bore Butter and 1/2 beeswax by volume. I blend them in a large coffee can over low heat. It's just a bit stiffer and works well in summer heat - but straight Bore Butter will work fine.

As to 777 loads: I use 20 or 25 grains (by volume measure!) of FFFg in my 1860 Army. FFg will work fine with just a bit less oomph. I consider 25 grains a maximum charge load and it about duplicates a full charge of real black powder. I have developed my own technique .... I punch out .45 cal. ~ 1/2" thick felt wads to go over the 777 charge to bring the ball up closer to the end of the cylinder. I believe this produces better accuracy. I then use the Bore Butter stuff over the balls. Sometimes I also lube the wads but it isn't necessary. As long as your rammer is long enough to seat the ball on top of the powder without any airspace you don't need the wads. I only use the wads with the B.P. substitutes because you have to use smaller maximum charges and you can't fill up the cylinder volume.

Note: McMaster Carr (McMaster.com) sells felt in various grades, thicknesses, and sizes.
 

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Hmmm. I really don't have a great place to keep BP at home, though I could remedy that with some work. I'm thinking I'll try the Triple7. What kind of load should I be using? What about bore butter? Any reason to use it?

I know this is getting sorta OT, but you guys have been a wealth of information. Makes me sad that I didn't post about this years ago!
Bore Butter IS your weapons BEST friend !

Have you ever "seasoned " a cast iron pan ? Well,That is what bore butter does for your weapon.

After firing your weapon,there are two ways to clean it.take the grips off and soak it in warm soapy water then rinse with warm water followed by (after drying) rubbing the whole thing down with borebutter(pretend your on your 3rd date with a real cutie :p;)) .

OR MY prefered way is take the grips off and run it through the dishwasher with the DRY cycle ON. Then-after dry- rub down with borebutter.

ONE extra hint ,like finite said,do not use petroleum products.BUT do use borebutter to seal the ball,THEN IF you are going to store it loaded on the bedside table like I do,Light an old fashioned candle(not one of the new perfumed ones) and drip just a drop or two over the cap,This act will give you a sealed cartridge.You could soak the gun in water for ten minutes and it would still fire.

Hope this helps.
 
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