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Shooting black powder in Uberti topbreaks

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We all know the problems. I’ve been trying to think of a way to do it. The Schofield is actually chambered for .45  Colt and my Russian made in 2011 is actually chambered for .44 Special. I figured that by using the longer cases I can get the powder charge I want, a card wad, and a lube cookie in. Then it’s a matter of trimming the case to length with the compression you want and everything else.

I make sure my revolvers have well cut forcing cones, use the shortest case I can use, (45 CS, 44 Russian) a full case of good 3f powder (Olde Eynesford or Swiss) and a bullet of this general design. http://www.accuratemolds.com/bullet_detail.php?bullet=43-215C

My lube is a mix of Beeswax and Olive oil.

I would make sure the cylinder has a proper black powder bevel on the front edge. (New production has none!)  I have swapped off or bought/sold my top breaks until all are now Navy Arms imports, which have the best bevel of all the importers observed. (IMHO) That does make them all 2006 or earlier.  This is a 5" Schofield, a 7" Schofield, and a 3rd Model Russian.

 In addition, the early 3rd Model Russians have a gas collar twice as long as all other Uberti top breaks, comes only in 44 Russian, and is the best performing of my Top Breaks with BP, though the 7" Schofield is almost as good. 

 The 5" likes 777 best.   I have found 777 to be a good performing powder in all my top breaks, increasing reliability in a more marginal gun, like the 5" Schofield.  I prefer real black for its milder corrosion properties, but the revolver tells me what it likes best.  Plenty of water is key with 777.

All 3 of these revolvers will shoot a complete match without cleaning with these components.

I’ve been looking at other black powder revolvers. The C&B Colt and Remington revolvers has no cylinder bushings. The Colt has a reputation for shooting a little longer than a Remington. Perhaps because of the top strap collecting a little more fouling? The frame of the Beals covered the barrel threads the old and new models didn’t.  Could the reason be to reduce fouling in that area? While I’m sure the cylinder bushing in a Colt helped it keep shooting longer it was used to set the headspace. My original S&Ws have relief cuts beneath the top strap to provide more clearance. Also the originals have.004 more barrel cylinder gap.
All this leads me to believe that the less metal around the barrel cylinder gap the better. The new S&Ws have very little clearance relatively speaking in this area. This and the lack of cylinder bevels I don’t believe helps matters any.

While the gas collar is important, I don't believe enough attention has been paid to the topstrap barrel junction, as you have observed.  The dramatic cut-aways used by the originals could not be duplicated by Uberti, because of the pressure profile of smokeless loadings.  Clearances here are critical, and I suspect the variations here are what help produce both BP shooters and non shooters.  Thus my thinking that a well beveled cylinder will help, as will a well cut forcing cone to divert as much fouling as possible down bore.  A tight cylinder barrel gap is also a plus, with the smaller open volume leading to higher gas velocities, helping blast fouling out of this critical area, minimizing buildup. 

At least, seems to work on my revolvers.

Cleaning one of my Colt DAs, I wonder if you put a little "Scoop" in the underside of the topstrap like Colt does on their DA revolvers, if that would not help a great deal on these revolvers.



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