Author Topic: Shooting Johnson and Dow conicals in my 1858 NMA Pietta  (Read 906 times)

Offline Cannonman1

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Shooting Johnson and Dow conicals in my 1858 NMA Pietta
« on: February 06, 2021, 09:34:53 AM »
I recently picked up a J & D conical mold and have found out, to my surprise, that I cannot seat the conicals in the cylinders. I use a hand press after removing the cylinder from the gun and even with that leverage, it is not seating. Soft lead and just bare bullet over powder so I assume some modification needs to be made (reaming possibly?) or maybe the Pietta just needs to be fed round ball??   I would really like to shoot conical paper cartridges !!
Anyone had this experience?

Thanks
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Offline Lucky R. K.

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Re: Shooting Johnson and Dow conicals in my 1858 NMA Pietta
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2021, 09:52:16 AM »

If you are using pure lead it sounds like the diameter of the conical is too big for the cylinder.

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Offline Cannonman1

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Re: Shooting Johnson and Dow conicals in my 1858 NMA Pietta
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2021, 10:09:15 AM »
I should mention that the press is really designed for round ball and it deforms the nose severely.. I need to find one that is made for conical bullets. Base of bullet drops right into cylinder. I wonder if I am expanding the bullet due to the round ball designed press and making it expand rather than pushing it??  I am looking at the Powder Inc loadsr.. Anyone have experience with these.??. My current one is too light weight I believe.

Offline hellgate

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Re: Shooting Johnson and Dow conicals in my 1858 NMA Pietta
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2021, 10:57:25 AM »
A pic would help me understand it better. I suspect the bullet is tall/long and the subsequent driving band(s) is/are too large in diameter so the ramming force deforms/mushrooms the bullet. I don't mind if the ramming plunger is cupped because it still makes the bullet a round nose rather than so pointy. Pointyness just takes up powder space.
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Offline Cannonman1

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Re: Shooting Johnson and Dow conicals in my 1858 NMA Pietta
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2021, 03:56:55 PM »
Driving band is .460 with the diameter at the base of the olgive at .451..  I think the main issue is that the loading press i have is not designed for a conical. It contacts the conical at a slight angle and driving pressure is not straight down into the chamber. I will try the powderinc model and I bet that solves it.


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Re: Shooting Johnson and Dow conicals in my 1858 NMA Pietta
« Reply #5 on: Today at 06:20:41 PM »

Offline hellgate

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Re: Shooting Johnson and Dow conicals in my 1858 NMA Pietta
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2021, 08:46:10 PM »
I got a look at the bullets on their website and I think the off angle for ramming is the culprit. The pointy tip probably makes tipping even worse rather than keeping the bullet centered.
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Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: Shooting Johnson and Dow conicals in my 1858 NMA Pietta
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2021, 08:52:46 AM »

 :)  Cannonman   ;)

I would also like to jump in here.  So I will.  The Conicals you are trying to load are "Over Large" for application in Pietta Cap Guns.  Pietta Cap Gun cylinders will, and are suppose to shave lead from a 451 Round Ball.  Your stated diameter for the driving bad is WAY OVER size.  Also the diameter at the base of the ogive will/should be shaving lead.

You have two choices, either of which are recommended.  #1 - Ream the chambers.  Then your stuck with Over-Size balls as well.  #2 - Bevel the chamber mouth.  this will "start" the projectile and the chamber will swage it down.  The bevel will produce a bunch of unanticipated fouling of the arbor.  (Don't ask how I know this fact).  The Projectile, swaged into the chamber will be mostly "stuck."  Chamber pressure will go through the roof.  Perhaps literally. 

Were these conicals actually intended for Ruger Old Army perhaps??

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Offline The Pathfinder

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Re: Shooting Johnson and Dow conicals in my 1858 NMA Pietta
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2021, 10:09:47 AM »
Check on You Tube and search for either the Johnson and Drow or for using/firing conicals in Remingtons. I believe either Dustin Winnager(?) or Bottom Dealin' Mike (Duelist1954)? have a video about the plungers and either modifying or swapping with one that works. Good luck.

Offline Cannonman1

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Re: Shooting Johnson and Dow conicals in my 1858 NMA Pietta
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2021, 03:05:53 PM »
I have mostly Pietta's but I do have on old LYMAN NMA and lo and behold it has a little bigger chamber size.. It fits that conical like a dream!! ... So that will be my conical shooting iron and I will load round ball in the Pietta's..  Thanks for all the insight into this. Always learn something when on these forums and this is no exception.. Much obliged Gents

Cannonman1

Offline Drydock

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Re: Shooting Johnson and Dow conicals in my 1858 NMA Pietta
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2021, 02:45:36 PM »
 What kind of lead are you using?  These molds are cut for pure lead, which will shrink considerable as it cools.  Harder lead alloys shrink less.  Anything with antimoney will hardly shrink at all. 
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Re: Shooting Johnson and Dow conicals in my 1858 NMA Pietta
« Reply #10 on: Today at 06:20:41 PM »

Offline Grapeshot

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Re: Shooting Johnson and Dow conicals in my 1858 NMA Pietta
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2021, 06:08:21 PM »
Hi guys, It's been awhile since I was here.  I also have the Johnson & Dow mold for .44 Conicals.  I realized that the rammer on the Remington isn't made for conicals.  So I went on You-Tube and plugged into Mike Belleview's channel Duelist1954 and found is video on modifying the ram to handle conicals.  It's relatively simple and plan to modify mine some time next month.
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Offline FriscoCounty

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Re: Shooting Johnson and Dow conicals in my 1858 NMA Pietta
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2021, 02:45:02 PM »
Many of the CapN'Ball revolver rammers are set up for round ball and not conical.  Gary Barnes (Hoofhearted) modified mine when I had him doing some other work on my Pietta 51s so I could use conicals without mashing the tip.
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Offline Oregon Bill

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Re: Shooting Johnson and Dow conicals in my 1858 NMA Pietta
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2021, 10:03:24 AM »
Here is a Youtube directly bearing on this issue by Mark Hubbs of Eras Gone Bullet Molds.


 

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