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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  SCORRS (Moderator: Bull Schmitt)  |  Topic: How much powder in Pietta 1858 New Army? Confused. 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: How much powder in Pietta 1858 New Army? Confused.  (Read 22848 times)
Daybreak Dave
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« on: August 07, 2010, 07:09:25 pm »


I know this question has probably been addressed before, but my search of this forum did not really come up with anything exactly.  I am a complete rookie at this particular facet of shooting. 

Have a Cabelas Pietta .44 New Model Army.  Hornady .454 balls. Some wonder wads and wonder seals for ends of cylinder.  Pyrodex P (fffg equivalent)  loose powder. Ready to go bang!  There are 2 books with the revolver - Pietta's and Cabelas.  Pietta says 12-15 gr. fffg is the minimum to maximum range.  .454 balls.  OK. ;  The Cabelas book says .451 balls, with 35 gr. fffg black, but only 28 gr. Pyrodex P.  OK.  What gives??  Using black powder, we have a recommendation which is over TWICE what the factory says.

I did check on old Lyman Pistol and Revolver Handbook, and it's 44 loads are for the 1860 Colt, and they would agree about dead-on with Cabelas book.

I don't have a clue where to start - and what to consider maximum.  Any suggestions based on personal knowledge?  I know, no guarantees, shoot at my own risk, etc.

Thanks folks.
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Wolfgang
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« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2010, 07:22:57 pm »

I use ff and throw charges with a spout that throws aprox 28-30 gr.  I have another spout that I sometimes use that throws about 38-40 gr. The smaller charge is fine for everyday shooting.  With the larger charge the ball seats just inside the chamber and is a max. charge.  fff will be hotter.  If yur new to this type of shooting you might do the 15 gr. charge and then increase if you feel like it.  You may need to put some "filler" ( corn meal ) in on top of that 15 gr. charge.  The ball must be seated against the charge.  I tried "wonder wads" at first and soon stopped bothering with them.  I do "over lupe" with 50/50 mix of olive oil and toilet bowl wax.  Lard works good too . . but is a bit messy.  Hope this helps. 

ps.  I had those Cabelas ..451 balls at first and leaded the barrel badly with them.  your .454s should do Ok.  I use .457s now. 

Good shootin'. . . .  Smiley
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Daybreak Dave
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« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2010, 08:53:35 pm »

Thanks for the reply - that info should get me started in the right direction.  I still am puzzled why the drastic difference between the 2 books that came with the gun.  I am used to different loading charts on other applications, but nothing with this big a difference.  I probably will do as you suggest and start with the 15 gr.

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Montana Slim
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« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2010, 11:16:07 pm »

My NM Renmington & numerous Colt 1860's work well with the same basic load: .454 RB & 25 grains of FFF...topped with a dab of Crisco/Beeswax lube. Sometimes I use 30 grains of FF for extra boom, smoke & flames. Using BP, you cannot overload the pistol...bt be careful to leave room to seat the ball flush or below the chamber mouth  Grin

Regards,
Slim
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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2010, 09:47:16 am »

If yur new to shooting cap & ball / black powder you may not know that petroleum based lubes are a NO, NO.  The will combine with black powder fouling to gum up the gun REAL BAD.  If your pistol is brand new in the box it is probably in a plastic bag and real oily with olive oil.  Just wipe it down good to get the excess off, . . . you might also clean the cylinder good with hot water to make sure there is no oil in the chambers or nipples, . . . then load it up and SHOOT IT ! 

Clean up is pretty easy with "Weazil Whiz".   I've found it to be the best for cleaning. 

Good shootin', . . . .  Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2010, 03:50:44 am »

What Montana Slim said - as long as you can fit the ball in the cylinder you're not going to overload it.

I use a 30 gr measure. I also have smaller spouts, but haven't touched them in forever. 30gr FFFg gives a great boom, and the Remington's so heavy that recoil's not bad at all.

Also, in case you weren't aware - that load data you have for BP vs Pyrodex is most likely by weight. Pyrdodex is not as dense as BP, so by weight you get more power with Pyrodex.

However, BP is traditionally measured by volume, and by volume Pyrodex matches BP. So, if you measure by volume you can switch between BP and Pyrodex, as long as you stay in the same class, that is. (FFFg to P or FFg to RS)
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GunClick Rick
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« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2010, 07:06:23 pm »

Be carefull when you milk them weasels !!! Little critters have sharp teeth Shocked Grin
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« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2010, 07:12:49 pm »

GCR;  I didn't think "Wolfie" was talking about milk! Cheesy Cheesy
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Wild Billy Potts
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« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2010, 09:01:01 pm »

The 1861 Ordnance manual list 30 grains as the charge for Army (.44cal) revolvers. I like to use original sources Grin
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Montana Slim
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« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2010, 09:33:21 pm »

The 1861 Ordnance manual list 30 grains as the charge for Army (.44cal) revolvers. I like to use original sources Grin

With a conical ball or round ball ?  Wink

Slim
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« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2010, 06:32:34 pm »

You may not be able to get 35 gr of powder behind a conical and fit in the cylinder, if so it will be scraping the forcing cone.

As someone mentioned, if you are using real black powder, 2f or 3f, if you can load the cylinder and still seat a ball that will clear the barrel enough to rotate, it is not overloaded.

These modern made repro revolvers are made of much better steel than the original revolvers by Colt and Remington, whose cylinders were equivalent to wrought iron.  The only original guns that blew up were the Walkers and some Dragoons, and Colt changed the material in the 1860 Army to a British Sheffield steel (American steel was not as good in the 19th Century) to allow the smaller cylinder.

The strongest sub is 777, and it is safe with a full cylinder.  Most other (Vitamin C) subs are less powerful than real BP, except Pyrodex gives a bit more velocity.
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Wild Billy Potts
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« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2010, 07:42:04 pm »

With a conical ball or round ball ?  Wink

Slim

To be real honest it doesn't say, but I am gonna guess it was probably conical. Does say the diameter was .46"
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robtlah
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« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2010, 03:34:58 pm »

I've been using 25 gr of loose powder in either Pyrodex or 777 for CAS and have been totally happy with that charge. Less recoil and noise than 30 gr. Sometimes I use the 30 gr Pyrodex pellets in a match and I can really feel the difference.  I top it off with Crisco. I prefer the .454 balls.
Lawdog Bob
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PLMCCALL1951
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« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2015, 03:36:15 pm »

i have a pietta 1858 i am shooting 32gr.right now and it shoots just fine thinking about going to 40gr. but the man is right like my old grind dad said if it feels right do it you can not over fill it i use a 454 ball and pyrodex fff-g and the pyrodex pellets do have a little more to them
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Coffinmaker
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« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2015, 12:14:03 pm »

First and foremost, Pyrex is VERY corrosive.  For BP subs, the key is to clean the gun with plenty of warm/hot water and maybe a drop or two of dish soap (I like Dawn).

Take it out and play with it!!  With BP and Subs, you can't hurt it.  You may not like the recoil with a full load, but you can play with that.

Coffinmaker
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Crow Choker
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« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2015, 07:48:34 pm »

Use the same charge in my Pietta 58 Army as I do in all my 44 Colts (except Dragoon and Walker) which is 30 grains of FFF, greased wad, and .454 lead ball. I've tried less around 25 of FFF with passable results, but have better results with 30 of FFF. Have tried a few more grains, but accuracy wasn't improved, so I've stayed with 30 grains. The manufacturers and sellers downgrade the use of any more than 'mouse squeak' loads to cover their behinds so they're able to say what they recommend in case someone tries to turn one of their cap and balls into a artillery piece and then tries to sue. Same as some of the more modern developed firearms that don't recommend the use of reloaded ammo. Heck, Uberti in their 'how to' book they furnish with their 44 cap guns I've bought recommend 22 grains as a minimum and 30 grains of FFF as a maximum, even with their Dragoons and Walker. My min for those guns is 40 grains, and use 45 FFF as a max. My first cap gun back in the early 70's was a Euroarms 51' Navy(said Army Model on the barrel-I thought it was the truth) was calibered in 44. I used .451 balls in that gun back in the early days, but switched to .454's for better results. Most info I see recommended by shooters for the Colt 1860 and Remington 1858 sized guns is around 30 grains. Some like the less recoil of the 25g loads, some pack as much as they can into the tubes. Moral of the story, they are fun shooting firearms, only thing I hate is cleaning around the area of those dang nipples and inside the bottoms of the cylinders, but I tolerate it. Grin Grin Grin
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« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2015, 09:57:11 pm »

The manuals that come with the guns are basically useless.  With BP you can use as much powder as will fit in the cylinder and still allow you to seat the ball.  That is always a good starting point.  If that produces to much recoil you can go down with the charge.  Just make sure that as you reduce the powder charge the rammer on the gun will push the ball down far enough to touch the powder.

Also, what are Wonder Seals?
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wildman1
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« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2015, 06:17:25 am »

OP was last active in 2010 he may not be around to respond. wM1
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« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2015, 09:38:11 am »

OP was last active in 2010 he may not be around to respond. wM1
Good Grief!!!!!! When I posted I never noticed the date of the original post by the OP or any other posts, usually check that info. Noticed the post by Coffinmaker was new, so I chimed in. Nothing wrong with that I guess, stand by what I posted, someone may get use of the information, but as wildman posted, the OP "may not be around" or even into shooting cap guns.  Oh well, got caught one eye closed, the other looking the other way. Grin Grin
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« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2015, 04:18:05 pm »

Good info here and as a somewhat new comer to the Cap and Ball world I appreciate all the posts I can read. Grin
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« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2015, 08:49:30 pm »

Oh darn, someone responds to an out of date five year old post and we get suckered in.
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wildman1
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« Reply #21 on: November 25, 2015, 07:27:23 am »

Nothing wrong with replying to old posts but responses from OP's may be slow in coming.  Tongue wM1
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« Reply #22 on: November 29, 2015, 02:57:52 pm »

i have a pietta 1858 i am shooting 32gr.right now and it shoots just fine thinking about going to 40gr. but the man is right like my old grand dad said if it feels right do it you can not over fill it i use a 454 ball and pyrodex fff-p and the pyrodex pellets do have a little more to them
well i went up to 34gr.can not even fill it have not had the chance to get to the gun shop want to try out some of them pellets got to find a little better way to clean this thing going to try that hot water see if that will be better the bore cleaner just is not getting it well you boys have a good one see you all seen about a 200lb. doe the other morning had the gun in the boot it was her lucky day are mine one  Grin Shocked
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Cliff Fendley
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« Reply #23 on: December 05, 2015, 10:22:58 pm »

Well the original poster may not see this... but if anyone else cares I shoot around 34 grains of fffg under a 454 ball. Tongue

I will load it up to around 38 grains if I'm carrying it during deer season or just taking longer range shots.

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