Cap & Ball

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J.Johnson

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 21, 2011
Messages
273
Location
Southwest Nebraska
I don't know why, but I've recently had a hankering for a cap and ball revolver. I don't really have a need for one. It would just be a novelty.

What is your experiences and what brand/model would you recommend. The modest research I have done has me thinking a Italian Colt Navy reproduction. I know, I know, I should be thinking Old Army but they are a little more than I would want to spend for something I would use a few times a year.

Please share what you experiences are and pictures are always welcome!!!
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
5,546
Location
Richmond Texas USA
You get what you pay for. I have a Colt Walker, 1860 Army clones and a couple of Old Armies. If you want a GOOD dependable C&B go for a used adj. sight Old Army. They go for a fair price on Gunbroker and will ship to your door. Trust me there is nothing worse than a C&B that is a PITA to mess with. It will take all the fun out of it for sure. I have seen just about everything that could go wrong go wrong shooting them in SASS :wink: :wink:


 

schloss

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
360
Location
Soldotna AK
I shoot a Pietta 51 Navy. My wife bought it for me for Valentines Day a few years back. I just do recreational shooting with it, and have never had high expectations of it. The internals are pretty rough, as was the bore. Not smooth to operate, but I really like it. I love the mess and stink of black powder, it's just a whole lot of fun.

If it's just for fun, you can get them from Cabela's every so often for about $170. I don't think much of the quality of the Pietta, wouldn't use it for much more than paper punching, although I've met people that use them for small game. I prefer the grip frame on my 51 over any of my cartridge revolvers. Perfect fit for me.

There are definitely a lot better made revolvers out there. If your budget is $200 or so, you won't have too many options, though. For some reason people don't sell these things when they don't use them anymore. Asking around at a local range or club may produce a decent revolver for a very low price.
 

Sacramento Johnson

Blackhawk
Joined
Jun 1, 2005
Messages
549
Location
Nevada
Howdy!
Unless you want to deal with caps falling into the mechanism, and having to take the barrel off every time you clean it (that barrel wedge was definitely a design aspect with limitations!), try looking at the Remington '58 (I like Uberti better than Pietta). Like the Ruger Old Army, it has a top strap, and the cylinder can be easily removed without dissasembling the rest of the revolver. Caps don't normally fall into the mechanism and jam it up, either.
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
5,546
Location
Richmond Texas USA
Yea the 51 Navy is probably the best balanced of the C&Bs. The 51 Army was 44 cal with longer grip frame same as the 1860 Army and the Navy was 36 with the shorter grip frame. It is the same as the Colt SAA grip frame. Now most of the Navies are 44 cal but you can also get it in 36 but I wouldn't. I like big balls :wink:
Old Wild Bill had 51 Navies :D
 

eveled

Hunter
Joined
Apr 3, 2012
Messages
4,241
If you get the Ruger, you won't loose money when you sell it. :D

The Ruger is probably the best cap and ball revolver ever made, so the price is not that high considering the quality.

The Italian revolver I had was junk, my Ruger is a dream.

I really really wish they still made them, Ed
 

ADP3

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 23, 2001
Messages
481
Location
SC
Ditto on the 1858 Remington. Colt sights consist of a V-Notch on the upper lip of the cocked hammer and a conical brass front sight. The Remington's sights are an improvement.

Best Regards,
ADP3
 

GunnyGene

Hawkeye
Joined
Nov 23, 2013
Messages
7,039
Location
Monroe County, MS
I've had a CVA reproduction 1861 Navy Colt (.44) for 25 years or so. Also have a repro Kentucky pistol. They don't make either of them anymore, but BP is a lot of fun. Lately the major problem is findng FFFg powder and caps locally and properly sized balls. Ordering on line is really expensive. The problem is that since the modern BP rifles have gotten popular for hunting, not many shops carry the loose powder anymore - at least not around here. I recommend getting the gear you need to cast your own balls at least, stock up on caps, and learn to make your own powder. You'll need the usual accessories also - powder measure, etc.

Brass framed revolvers are not designed for a lot of shooting, so you might want to stick with steel frame if you plan on shooting it a lot. I've probably only put 4 or 500 balls thru mine. Typical load for me is 28gr FFFg or Pyrodex equivalent, although I have used 30gr sometimes for a bigger bang :mrgreen: .

NavyColt1861CVArepro.jpg~original


One of the most fun things is if you have relatives/friends over for turkey day or something, is to break out the BP guns and let everyone learn how to load and shoot 'em - assuming you have the room to do it of course, and the law/neighbors don't freak out. :mrgreen: :roll:
 

CraigC

Hawkeye
Joined
May 27, 2002
Messages
5,197
Location
West Tennessee
I've got one or two topless Colt replicas, some are percussion, some are cartridge. You'll notice there are no Rugers and no Remingtons. A Remington is on the wish list but the Ruger just doesn't appeal to me. They all have their pluses and minuses. The Ruger is bigger and heavier than it needs to be and while based on the Remington, is not a historic replica. The Remington is theoretically stronger with its solid frame but with blackpowder pressures, it's not really the issue some make it out to be. They are also more prone to stoppages dues to fouling. The Colt designs usually take top honors in the feel, balance and handling department. I also find them to be terribly attractive but the Remingtons are good lookin' sixguns too. Uberti has constantly improved their product over the years with Pietta running a distant second. Well, Pietta has greatly improved their guns in recent years and the new stuff is really well put together. They're timed right, fairly smooth, not terribly oversprung, well polished and well finished. Typically, the only complaint is their lettering and proof marks.


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IMG_2551b.jpg


IMG_2281b.jpg
 

woodsy

Blackhawk
Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Messages
762
Location
Seymour, CT
The advantage of the Ruger Old Army, and the Rem. 1858, is the full frame, which, at least in principle, makes them much stronger. The Ruger is SS, a really big advantage in black powder, but doesn't eliminate the need for cleaning. I happen to have a now-discontinued Santa Ana Rem. 1858 replica, which I bought used and not knowing much about the company. Now I recently found out (couple years ago), that the Spanish Santa Ana is a superior version of the Rem. But like most replicas the sights suck. There is a Remington 1858 forum out there, and those people are a little "out there" with their love of those guns.
 

Poco Oso

Buckeye
Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
1,970
Location
Central Orygun
I have a Pietta 1851 Navy in .44 cal. I love this gun. It was my first BP revolver. It's a brass frame, and I lost track of rounds fired, a long time ago. Inexpensive and fun. What else do you need? :mrgreen:
 

Kanook

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
1,123
Location
FL
If you are going to buy used, make sure the nipples are not rusted in. I've bought some off the net and then have to the cylider away to have a rusted in place nipple removed.
 

bogus bill

Hunter
Joined
Dec 25, 2009
Messages
3,969
Location
utah
I have this original but refinished Remington 1858 New Model Army. I havent shot it in many years but when I did it was accurate and dependable. I once owned a ruger old army when they first came out back in the early 70s and mine, the rammer would fall with recoil! I also owned and shot some replica colt navys that were nice.
This remington has been reblued many years ago, a king red post front sight added, and the hog wallow squared up. Going by the long obsolete king sight, I would guess the work was done in the 40`s or 50`s. I know I bought it back around 1970. Its a fine shooter.

 

Flash

Buckeye
Joined
May 21, 2005
Messages
1,164
Location
Pennsylvania, USA
The best part about the Old Army that I like is that I can shoot Trail Boss in it with no cleaning needed. I've even evolved to using Unique and Red Dot however, I'm not recommending it.
 

Modernhoglegs

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 11, 2014
Messages
28
I favor...uh, all of them!

I have a 5.5" barrel Remmie clone from Cabelas that fits the szme holster as my Super Blackhawk.
A buddy of mine has a Starr clone that is a hoot because it is double action, sort of.

For practical shooting I like the Old Army and Remmie clones due to the better sights for abing eyes
 

NorEaster

Blackhawk
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
554
I have ROAs and at one point had a pair of 5 1/2" Uberti Remingtons. They were pretty rough in comparison to the Rugers.
I have checked out the Pietta's at Cabelas and really didn't find them all that bad.
If you get an adjustable sighted ROA you'll have the Cadillac. Fixed sighted ROAs are running at a premium now.
If you get an Italian clone, get some good nipples.
I use American Pioneer Powder in my ROAs and am very happy with their performance with that powder when I use them in cowboy action shooting.
 

toysoldier

Hunter
Joined
Aug 23, 2006
Messages
3,332
Location
Hutchinson, KS USA
As previously noted, stay away from brass frames. I picked up a junker Colt replica for parts, the cylinder had slammed into the brass frame enough that it wouldn't turn. I favor the Remington 1858, and found a couple at the local pawn shop, a blued .44 and a stainless .36. Each was well under $150. You can carry extra loaded cylinders, a la Clint Eastwood.
 

Uncle Howie

Buckeye
Joined
May 28, 2004
Messages
1,191
Location
MN
J.Johnson said:
I don't know why, but I've recently had a hankering for a cap and ball revolver. I don't really have a need for one. It would just be a novelty.

What is your experiences and what brand/model would you recommend. The modest research I have done has me thinking a Italian Colt Navy reproduction. I know, I know, I should be thinking Old Army but they are a little more than I would want to spend for something I would use a few times a year.

Please share what you experiences are and pictures are always welcome!!!

No dog in hunt, but I think it would be hard to beat this one for a good starting point:
http://www.rugerforum.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=199373

I'd love to see you buy it, that way I don't have to! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
(My toy fund is in the red.)
 

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