Author Topic: How to use percussion revolvers in SASS matches.  (Read 11880 times)

Offline Wahkahchim

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How to use percussion revolvers in SASS matches.
« on: December 02, 2011, 03:30:16 PM »
Hi all...

my 2012 goal is to develop my 1857-1867 persona to the degree that I can shoot SASS matches with some sort of percussion pistols and a .44/40 Henry in 2013. Any advice? What makes a good SASS percussion program? I tried it last year and my misfires created some discontent on the part of the waiting shooters. So I want to get really good before I go back, especially about the misfires. What do you use for a shotgun? Do you shoot duellist? Advice welcome!

Offline Mako

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Re: How to use percussion revolvers in SASS matches.
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2011, 06:51:10 PM »
Hi all...

my 2012 goal is to develop my 1857-1867 persona to the degree that I can shoot SASS matches with some sort of percussion pistols and a .44/40 Henry in 2013. Any advice? What makes a good SASS percussion program? I tried it last year and my misfires created some discontent on the part of the waiting shooters. So I want to get really good before I go back, especially about the misfires. What do you use for a shotgun? Do you shoot duellist? Advice welcome!

Wahkahchim,
I tend to run to the tune of a different piper... I shoot Gunfighter style with 1860 revolvers.  Technically I am not even shooting in any of the Black Powder Classes, I am shooting in Gunfighter against anyone who want's to shoot mouse loads in a Ruger Vaquero if they so choose. I keep hoping they will create a Frontier Gunfighter class, I'd even start shooting my Richards type 2s as main match guns if they made a Frontier Cartridge Gunfighter class.  Some matches have had that as a "not SASS official" class.  I use those  pair of .44 Spl Army Conversions as my rain day pistols if I can't keep my loose powder dry while loading.  I also shoot either '66 rifles or carbines in .44 spl or Russian, or a Henry in .44WCF.  I use a reproduction of a Colt's 78 Hammered Double Shotgun all with BP of course.  If you need some help loading those then you might want to come over to the Darksider's Den and we can get you on track.

I'll point you to two posts I made concerning technique.  The first will be about Percussion Pistols in general.  I'll also tell you that I use Treso Tubes on all of my competition revolvers.  I know you have read my Primer on Percussion Caps http://www.cascity.com/forumhall/index.php/topic,39098.msg497584.html#msg497584 because you left a post.  You are already well on your way if you apply what you have learned there.

This is my routine:
http://www.cascity.com/forumhall/index.php/topic,36006.msg461584.html#msg461584

As you read in the above link, I use an off frame reloader as shown in this post:

http://www.cascity.com/forumhall/index.php/topic,36006.msg461352.html#msg461352

And I use this style flask:
As you can see they get used a bunch but they are spick and span clean on the inside:


I'm showing you those flasks and the loader because they are germane to the discussion and my technique.  I have carefully chosen my equipment and loading technique and rarely have problems.  I find those flasks and the short stumpy measuring tubes give me consistent results, I have other flasks, I have just gravitated to that style.

Now I am going to link you to a post about Percussion Pistols being used "Gunfighter Style" (which is actually directly related to the "Double Duelist" style you mentioned).  This is something you should read carefully because everyone who shoots needs to learn how to "think and work through problems" that may arise.  I actually don't have many problems and 95% or more are cap fragment related.  I have also had a hand spring break during a match, plus one in casual shooting practice.  You can even work through those by cocking the pistol with the barrel lowered until you can finish the stage and repair the problem or grab a spare pistol.

http://www.cascity.com/forumhall/index.php/topic,26387.msg346989.html#msg346989

If you look in my custom "title" I am self professed Frontier Gunfighter #1.  I enjoy it and every once in a while at a state level BP match there is even a real class for me.  One of my daughters wanted to shoot Gunfighter so she started from the beginning shooting "double duelist."  If you do that you can officially shoot in the Frontiersman class.  It is a good way to learn Gunfighter and is actually required on stages where you shoot five and move to another station before shooting the other pistol.  You can't reholster a loaded pistol in a SASS match once it is drawn on the line.  She is very ambidextrous, she's actually left handed but does everything except write with her right so she actually has an advantage over me.

Is this the kind of information yo were asking about? If not let me know.

Regards,
Mako

A brace of 1860s, a Yellowboy Saddle Rifle and a '78 Pattern Colt Scattergun
NRA, TSRA, MCA, MCAA, ANA, MOAA, ASME, SAME, BMES, STS

Offline Wahkahchim

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Re: How to use percussion revolvers in SASS matches.
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2011, 08:35:41 PM »
This is really good stuff, Mako. Thanks.

Why the 1866 instead of the Henry?

And where did you get your repro Colt shotgun?

Thanks!

Pete

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Re: How to use percussion revolvers in SASS matches.
« Reply #3 on: Today at 08:26:22 PM »

Offline Sacramento Johnson

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Re: How to use percussion revolvers in SASS matches.
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2011, 10:33:16 PM »
Howdy Pard!
Check out my pics on the hat thread; I've been doing what you plan on doing! I started just under a year ago shooting duelist cap and ball pistols at SASS matches (Frontiersmen class, which requires cap and ball shot duelist). (I had been doing duelist BP cartridge for a decade prior).  No disrespect to Mako, but I would not recommend starting out with gunfighter cap and ball!  (Master gunfighter with cartridge and duelist cap and ball first, then think about combining them!) I, too, use a Henry in 44-40, or a '66 carbine in 44-40 (depending on how strong my arms are feeling that day!).  For shotgun, I use either a Rossi hammered 12g or a Zabala hammerless 10g double.

As for me, when I started with C&B, I figured reliability was key.  I changed out to Treso nipples and Remington#10 caps, and then took my pistols to the range (Remmies and 1860s) and made sure each pistol would go 30-36 rounds without any significant intervention.  (No disassembly, major relubing, or cleaning etc.)  It helped to prep the entire pistol with straight ballistol, use copious amounts of bore butter on the cylinder pin and notches, put wonder wads over powder with extra bore butter on them, clean out any lube from the nipples  and wipe out the cylinder chambers the night before, clear the nipples at the range before the match, etc.

I then practiced dealing with cap fire without chamber ignition (it will happen on the line eventually!) I made sure I had extra caps on my person (either in a capper or a cap pouch lined with sheep skin), a small knife that I could get to with one hand (to take stuck dead caps off nipples) (neck knife/patch knife works fine!), a nipple pick, and small cap seater (dowel rod with leather covered tip or a piece of #2 pencil with eraser on it (not PC but very portable and it works!)).  

I also made sure all my gear fit me, was comfortable to wear for hours at a time, and securely did whatever it was suppose to do (hold guns, caps, 10 rounds of spare 44-40 ammo, etc)

As for loading the C&Bs, I decided to go with just what I thought was needed and no more.  This all fit in a nice leather  possibles style bag (which I do not carry to the line).  This held a powder flask with spout, ball bag, larger leather tipped dowel rod style cap seater, tins of caps and wads (enough for an 8+ stage match), small rag, 2 spare nipples, and nipple wrench.  I also use a cheap wooden loading stand.  (I do not remove the cylinders from my pistols to reload them, and I do not use multiple cylinders for a match; only the one that came with the pistol. I don't want to have to clean all those extra cylinders and nipples!)  I tried to keep things period correct looking when possible, but am not a slave to authenticity.

All this has worked out well for me, with hardly any changes since I started.  If you'd like to ask me any questions, please feel free to contact me!

Offline Wahkahchim

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Re: How to use percussion revolvers in SASS matches.
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2011, 11:33:28 PM »
Thank you! What designs have you used in SASS? 1860 Colts? 1858 Remingtons? What design of Treso nipple: bronze or stainless steel? Also Henry VS 1866? Thanks.

Offline Mako

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Re: How to use percussion revolvers in SASS matches.
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2011, 12:28:11 AM »
This is really good stuff, Mako. Thanks.

Why the 1866 instead of the Henry?

And where did you get your repro Colt shotgun?

Thanks!

Pete

Pete,
I shoot a bit over 37 grains of FFg under a Mav Dutchman bullet in the Henry, and after the 8th round it is getting a might warm. BP is much hotter than smokeless powder.  If I didn't shoot Gunfighter I would wear a glove on my left hand like some of the other guys do. The '66s fit the bill, but I like the lines of a Henry better.  I also have a spacer in the Henry magazine that keeps the follower lever from hitting my hand, otherwise I have to shift my hand position on the last two rounds.

The Shotgun is a TTN '78, I've had three.  The first one was a great shooter, but plain and ugly, I upgraded once for one with better wood and then I found the one I have now.  This one has a color case finish on the receiver and decent looking wood.  When Walt imported the first ones under the TTN name he sent a few out to have Color Case finished for Taylor's to evaluate.  Taylor's originally wanted to carry them, but the deal didn't work out.  Walt liked the results and selected a hundred with the best wood and sent them out to have them refinished.  I looked for three years trying to get one of those until I was finally contacted that a guy who had bought two sold one back to the dealer he had gotten them through.

Cimarron is importing them now and they are sending some of them out to have them color case finished instead of the plain black oxide finish.   Cimarron calls it their "American Finish."  http://www.cimarron-firearms.com/Shotgun/Shotguns.htm

~Mako
A brace of 1860s, a Yellowboy Saddle Rifle and a '78 Pattern Colt Scattergun
NRA, TSRA, MCA, MCAA, ANA, MOAA, ASME, SAME, BMES, STS

Offline Sacramento Johnson

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Re: How to use percussion revolvers in SASS matches.
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2011, 09:49:45 AM »
Thank you! What designs have you used in SASS? 1860 Colts? 1858 Remingtons? What design of Treso nipple: bronze or stainless steel? Also Henry VS 1866? Thanks.

Howdy!
 I've used both pistol types you mention. I prefer the '58 Remmies and my pard (the fellow in the sombrero in the pictures!) prefers the lines of the 1860 armies.  We both use bronze tresos (one less thing to rust, easier to spot dirt on when cleaning, and besides I think the brass color looks neat on the pistols!) Have used both the '66 and the Henry.  The Henry is probably more period correct for the time you've chosen.  It is heavier and I do do the Henry 'hop' (I don't stick a dowel rod in the magazine like Mako. I'm not concerned about shooting fast, just accurately!)

Offline Wahkahchim

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Re: How to use percussion revolvers in SASS matches.
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2011, 11:46:25 AM »
I copied all this info into Word for reference through the year. Thanks! I'll be back as questions arise.

Offline Sacramento Johnson

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Re: How to use percussion revolvers in SASS matches.
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2011, 07:57:24 PM »
Howdy!
 I made an error when I mentioned above about putting bore butter on the cylinder notches.  What I meant was the notched area at the anterior end of the cylinder which is engaged by the hand/pawl.

Offline captmack

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Re: How to use percussion revolvers in SASS matches.
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2012, 11:35:28 PM »
I shoot them all. Walker, Dragoons, 51 Navy, 58 Rem & 60 Army. It is all personal pref. the 58 are prob the best all around for Frontiersman. Most all of the local guys that shhot BP use a '66 in 44WCF. Old Army Mako gives great advice. He helped me with my start into C&B.

Gig 'Em
Capt Prather Scott "Mack" McLain
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