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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  The Darksider's Den (Moderators: Marshal Halloway, Major 2, Capt Quirk)  |  Topic: Which cap and ball revolver? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Which cap and ball revolver?  (Read 3086 times)
Tn.45Colt
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« on: June 28, 2017, 08:42:57 am »


This will be my first cap and ball revolver, I'm looking for a .44 to carry for a backup while I'm hunting. I'm looking at the 3rd model Dragoon, the 1860 army and the Remington, I would like pros and cons of each, common issues and general recommendations...

Thanks in advance
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Coffinmaker
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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2017, 09:03:09 am »

Cool Question Tn .......

As a "backup" you might find a 3rd M Dragoon to be like carrying another rifle.  They are BIG and HEAVY.  A bit slow to get into action.  Plenty of wallop but will need work to be 100% reliable.

The 1860 will be a bit more like carrying a hand gun.  Plenty of wallop but will need work to be 100% reliable.

Try and get a chance to shoot a Remington before you buy one,  Most find the trigger guard wallops you middle finger almost as hard as the ball wallops a target.  Has plenty of wallop, will need a little work to be 100% reliable.

In the mid to latter part of the 19th century, when Percussion Guns is all there were, packing percussion made sense.  Today, not so much.  A 44 Cap Gun will actually shoot clear through most critters your likely to encounter.  So long as you don't hit bone.  Now, if that critter has a little short tail, roundy ears and weighs 300 pounds, DO NOT shoot at it with a Cap Gun.  You'll just make it mad and they are really really FAST.

Personally, I'd be more inclined to pack a max loaded 45 Colt or 44 Mangelem.  There is just something a little more comforting about a 240 or 250Gr hollow point at 11 or 1200 FPS when fecal matter hits a recirculating rotary.  Trust Me.

Coffinmaker
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Tn.45Colt
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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2017, 09:25:24 am »

While I prefer my 45lc I can't carry it during muzzleloader season  Undecided
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Dick Dastardly
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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2017, 10:18:09 am »

Ruger Old Army.  It's the best for reliability, accuracy and balance of weight vs power.  Then, if you wish, Kirst Konverter 45 Colt cylinder should you want more power.  I won't say here, but the ROA is built as strong as a Old model Vaquero and the Kirst cylinders have been tested with smokeless powder pressures.  As a C&B gun, the ROA will reliably give you absolute tops in energy and accuracy.

The many replicas existing are not near as strong and reliable as the ROA.

I have spoken.

DD-MDA
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hellgate
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2017, 11:10:10 am »

The Remington is probably the most foolproof out of the box. A 6" barrel may be more convenient to carry then the usual 8" barrel as on the standard Remington or Colt 1860 Army.

You might check with the fish & game department as to whether you are allowed to carry a handgun while muzzle loader hunting. Some states prohibit it unless you have a concealed carry permit. Other states don't care but may not want people tempted to shoot a deer with a hand gun regardless of its ignition system. I've carried a .44cal 1851 Navy to finish off deer as well as a '61 Navy and Remington Navy but this is while hunting in the general smokeless rifle season.
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"Frontiersman: the only category where you can shoot your wad and play with your balls while tweeking the nipples on a pair of 44s." Canada Bill

Since I have 14+ guns, I've been called the Imelda Marcos of Cap&Ball. Now, that's a COMPLIMENT!

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« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2017, 02:21:36 am »

Ruger Old Army.  It's the best for reliability, accuracy and balance of weight vs power.  Then, if you wish, Kirst Konverter 45 Colt cylinder should you want more power.  I won't say here, but the ROA is built as strong as a Old model Vaquero and the Kirst cylinders have been tested with smokeless powder pressures.  As a C&B gun, the ROA will reliably give you absolute tops in energy and accuracy.

The many replicas existing are not near as strong and reliable as the ROA.

I have spoken.

DD-MDA

For the purpose intended by the OP. I agree 100% .
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Baltimore Ed
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« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2017, 02:33:50 pm »

I also had blued Ruger Old Army. Absolutely loved it. Very accurate revolver.
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Jubal Starbuck
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« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2017, 04:34:46 pm »

   One more vote for the Ruger Old Army, top o' the heap for what you want it for, at least in my humble opinion.
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hellgate
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« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2017, 06:32:00 pm »

The Ruger Old Army is indisputably THE best cap & ball revolver ever made. If you are not sure you are going to continue to shoot such revolvers you might want to start with an historical reproduction. If money is little or no object then get the ROA but they've gotten pretty spendy lately since they are no longer made. You can get a new Remington for ~$200 ($125-$150 used) and a ROA for anywhere from about $350-$1000 depending on the model and condition.
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"Frontiersman: the only category where you can shoot your wad and play with your balls while tweeking the nipples on a pair of 44s." Canada Bill

Since I have 14+ guns, I've been called the Imelda Marcos of Cap&Ball. Now, that's a COMPLIMENT!

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Lefty Dude
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« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2017, 09:08:45 pm »

If you like carrying Bricks, you will love the ROA !!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Jake C
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« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2017, 07:46:04 am »

I think any of those options will do what you need them to do. If you're looking for a BP revolver for purely utilitarian purposes, go for the Ruger if you can find one. If not, I say the Remington. Good and sturdy, and . I like the Colt style guns plenty, but the Dragoon pistols are a bit on the heavy side for carrying all day. As for the 1860 Army, it'll handle BP fouling better than the Remington generally, but I don't think you're going to be firing off more than a cylinder. If you did, you can swap cylinders with a Remington (a purely modern practice, but it works), though I wouldn't carry the spare cylinder capped.

Granted, the 1860 feels more comfortable in hand than the Remington in my experience and won't rap your knuckles, so both have their advantages.
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treebeard
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« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2017, 09:48:28 am »

A note on the Remington's is that you may find them with two grip sizes. I found the larger more comfortable but I shot more accrurately with the smaller so that is what I used in competition.  If I am not trying to put all shots in the smallest X ring at 25 yards then I prefer the larger grip. I would also try the Slixshot nipples.
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hellgate
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« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2017, 12:48:55 pm »

As to Remingtons:
Each manufacturer made them to different dimensions but same barrel lengths (8"):
Pietta: Largest, most beefy (i.e. heaviest), thick grips
Uberti: Smaller frame slightly smaller grips.
Armi San Marco: Never owned one so I don't know how it "hefts".
Armi Sam Paolo: Lightest frame, smallest grips, similar to the Beals Remington rather than the New Model Army of the above versions.

None of the grips will reliably interchange with other manufacturers and dimensions can vary with the same maker over time.
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"Frontiersman: the only category where you can shoot your wad and play with your balls while tweeking the nipples on a pair of 44s." Canada Bill

Since I have 14+ guns, I've been called the Imelda Marcos of Cap&Ball. Now, that's a COMPLIMENT!

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« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2017, 03:22:56 pm »

Since the OP didn't include the ROA in his choices, I didn't include the ROA in my quick simple response.  Since Ruger had ended production of the ROA, they have also become some expensive.  In most cases, double the original MSRP.  At least that has been true of the fix'd sight guns.  The adjustable sight guns are not quite as expensive and might be a better choice for lugging around the bushes.

It will quickly be found, why they have the reputation for being built like a tank.  They weigh as much as a tank  Shocked

Coffinmaker
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Scattered Thumbs
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« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2017, 04:00:18 pm »

Since the OP didn't include the ROA in his choices, I didn't include the ROA in my quick simple response.  Since Ruger had ended production of the ROA, they have also become some expensive.  In most cases, double the original MSRP.  At least that has been true of the fix'd sight guns.  The adjustable sight guns are not quite as expensive and might be a better choice for lugging around the bushes.

It will quickly be found, why they have the reputation for being built like a tank.  They weigh as much as a tank  Shocked

Coffinmaker

And the 3rd model Dragoon as much as 2 tanks.  Roll Eyes

And if you want 3 tanks you can take a Walk(er).  Grin
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Lefty Dude
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« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2017, 05:49:54 pm »

Tanks sound better than bricks !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Arizona Trooper
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« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2017, 07:21:41 pm »

If you are actually going to stake your life on it, get good cones (nipples)! The ones that come on repros often do not reliably hold a cap, and the last thing you need is to find out that a cap fell off after a day jostling around in the field. I like Trescos, but there are other good ones too. If you have to pinch caps to get them to stay on, you need to replace the cones.

I carried a Navy Arms Remington NMA in the New Mexico back country many years ago, and it always went off. They hold a lot more powder than a Colt 1860 too.   
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Baltimore Ed
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« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2017, 09:18:08 pm »

When I used to deer hunt with a muzzle loader, before I left the house for an AM hunt I made it a habit after capping to put a drop or two of candle wax around the nipple to keep the morning moisture out. The gun always went off fine. I would think that a revolver in a nice full flap holster would be ok but I don't see why you couldn't seal the caps and it should keep the caps on for an all day carry. I've never tried it on a pistol though.
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« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2017, 09:36:08 am »

My first thoughts would go to one of Dragoons, most likely my 2nd Model as it is my favorite percussion revolver. For weight considerations, I'd say my 1860 Army. Picked the Colts as they are my favorite cap and ball's as far as looks, feel, history, etc. I do have a Remington 44, would get consideration for weight. Most of the time, if not all of the time (high 99%) when I pull the hammer back and squeeze the triggers on my cap and balls they go 'bang', but there is always the possibility that the one time I would 'really' need a 'bang', there would be a dull sounding 'clack'. If I wanted as many have posted of the reliability and the power they have, I'd stick my ROA in a holster. If all you want to do is maybe finish off a deer that didn't succumb to a rifle shot and it's laying at your feet, any cap and ball if the first shot doesn't go off, you have four or five more depending how many you loaded up. All the years I've hunted deer a 2nd shot in brush with a revolver may not present itself anyway as the venison has disappeared in the brush or any shot that was at rifle range wouldn't be possible with a accurate and killing shot with a revolver in the vitals. JMO! A wounded deer at your feet would give ample time to load Ol' Mr. Smokepole, again JMO. If your thinking of carrying as a backup for defense from big critters with teeth and claws, I'd do as Coffinmaker posted, 45 Colt or 44 Mag or at least powered up 44 Specials. As Hellgate mentioned in his first post, your state laws may prevent you from carrying a handgun while hunting with a rifle, even with a CCW permit, so all this discussion and wondering is a mote point.


You might check with the fish & game department as to whether you are allowed to carry a handgun while muzzle loader hunting. Some states prohibit it unless you have a concealed carry permit. Other states don't care but may not want people tempted to shoot a deer with a hand gun regardless of its ignition system. I've carried a .44cal 1851 Navy to finish off deer as well as a '61 Navy and Remington Navy but this is while hunting in the general smokeless rifle season.
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« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2017, 08:44:36 pm »

Funny nobody has mentioned the Rogers & Spencer which the Ruger Old Army most resembles. I have read that Ruger used it as a model for their ROA. I have a reproduction with a conversion cylinder and the lockup is tighter than the two Ruger cartridge revolvers I have owned in the past. The only thing I don't like about my R&S revolver is the high hammer spur but I have gotten used to it.
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« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2017, 06:32:58 am »

If you cant get a ROA , I personally would get a 5" 1860 Pietta .
Debur the gun , lighten the hammer spring , and install slick shot nipples .
Run 30gr of 777 hot powder and use the biggest Conical I can fit in the pistol .
Should put you close to a factory 357 .

I used to hunt this way with a ROA .
And yes it did pack a walop !
Just saying .
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« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2017, 09:46:21 am »

When I used to deer hunt with a muzzle loader, before I left the house for an AM hunt I made it a habit after capping to put a drop or two of candle wax around the nipple to keep the morning moisture out. The gun always went off fine. I would think that a revolver in a nice full flap holster would be ok but I don't see why you couldn't seal the caps and it should keep the caps on for an all day carry. I've never tried it on a pistol though.

This- when I handed coyotes in Kansas with a cap-gun (back in the way-backs) I'd use a birthday candle too fill the area around each nipple with wax then press the caps into it. Sealed it up good and held the cap well.
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Bunk Stagnerg
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« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2017, 08:21:44 pm »

there is a Third Model sitting on my bench. Interesting gun to shoot with plenty of oomph if you want to stoke it up, but the thing really needs a wheels and trails.
If you are a young whippersnapper and feel strong go for it, but a .44 caliber 1860 Army for a finishing shot is plenty big enough.
With one caveat, the game laws in some states forbid carrying a hand gun so if the law allows it do it, otherwise a big NO
Lots of folks had their tickets punched by .44 caliber revolvers during the late unpleasantness 1861-1865 so a small critter like a deer using a slug rather than a ball should do the trick. Check the you-tube video  by Bottom Dealing Mike on .44 Army ballistics.
Yr' Obt' Svt'
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Bunk Stagnerg
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« Reply #23 on: September 23, 2017, 08:27:12 pm »

here is the link to part 1 .44 ballistics
https://youtu.be/pGzAuC3O3HM
copy, paste you know the drill to a youtube video
Worth the trouble
Bunk
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« Reply #24 on: September 23, 2017, 09:43:31 pm »

there is a Third Model sitting on my bench. Interesting gun to shoot with plenty of oomph if you want to stoke it up, but the thing really needs a wheels and trails.

Ah My Dear Bunk -
You have voiced my feelings exactly!

I "always wanted" a Walker, until I handled one.
Then I "always wanted" a Dragoon, until I lucked into a pair of "fixer-upers" ... and tried to hang them from holsters.

These are Definitely Horse Pistols, to be hung from saddle-holsters!

yhs
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