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Curio & Relic/Black Powder Curio & Relics and Black Powder Firearms, Old School shooting fun!

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  #1  
Old 01-14-2013, 9:54 AM
af240z af240z is offline
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Default Learn me on BP revolvers...

So, if I want to get started with BP revolvers... I am looking at something like these:

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Piett...ver/740536.uts

or

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Piett...ver/705443.uts

There's also a starter kit that's good for 30 rounds... but I am a BP newbie, so what should I use (pyrodex?), what are some dos and don'ts of BP world? Any tips are appreciated
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  #2  
Old 01-14-2013, 11:39 AM
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Both are good revolvers. Pietta has a good reputation.
I have several Pietta's and they have all worked perfectly.

There's nothing like real BP, but it's going to be easier to find Pyrodex P rather than real BP FFFg. Plus, there are limits/amounts you can legally have of real BP at one time.


Don'ts:

Don't repeatedly (or at all) dry-fire your revolver as it can cause damage to the nipples.
Don't ever use smokeless powder.
Don't smoke while loading, shooting or handling black powder or black powder substitute.
Always use a powder measure. Don't ever eyeball a charge.
When loading, don't cap/prime your nipples first. Powder-wad-ball or powder-ball-grease your chambers first (make sure the balls are fully seated) then cap when you're ready to shoot.
Don't rush out and buy a cartridge conversion cylinder (for steel frames only). Learn your revolver first and the art of shooting Cap n' Ball.

Do's:

Follow all factory recommended powder charges/weight for your iron.
Keep in mind, Brass framed revolvers require a lighter load than a steel frame.
Do wear eye protection when charging your chambers.
Clean your revolver the same day after shooting. Preferably with hot soapy water. Dry thoroughly, lube and reassemble.
I've also found that CCI #10 caps stay on the Pietta cylinder nipples better than #11's.
Treat all muzzle-loaders just like you would any other firearm.
Do have fun!
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  #3  
Old 01-14-2013, 11:58 AM
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I've been getting a black powder pistol itch too, thanks for the info!
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:50 PM
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goex: thanks for the info, that's great!
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Old 01-14-2013, 2:33 PM
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i have a question as well about BP from something that i was told a long time ago and this seems to be a good place to ask.

i was told some number of years ago that brass framed BP revolvers have a tendency to warp and or torque due to repeated heat from firing rounds and to stay away from them and pony up for a steel framed model, does this carry any truth in anyone's personal experience? or does this sound like an issue of overloading/ firing numerous rounds in a very short time period?

to the OP: i found a website the other day with what appears to be some decent deals as well while looking into BP myself, maybe worth checking out

http://www.dixiegunworks.com/product...ducts_id=14235
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Old 01-14-2013, 3:24 PM
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Also a newb, but here are some of my newb observations, but take them with a grain of salt since I've NOT SHOT BP YET.

1) The Remington 1858 is a popular BP replica because you can easily take the cylinders off the gun, so in theory, you can have multiple cylinders (uncapped, of course! Only cap on the gun for safety) loaded and ready. Plus if you look, the 1858 has a top strap which probably made is stronger back in 1858. (with modern steel, it probably doesn't make a difference, but I'm not an expert)

2) Cartridge conversion - I ordered one, despite never having fired my 1858 as a BP pistol. The reason being that the only ranges that are convenient to me are indoor ranges and they forbid black powder (I'm guessing that includes BP cartridges!). So in order to be able to shoot the darn thing, I had to get the convertor! Now the price of the pistol & the converter together add up to almost the cost of a used Glock, but I have modern pistols, I want to try BP when I get a chance to get to once of the outdoor ranges.

Oh yeah, Rem 1858, check out at about 55 seconds

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Old 01-14-2013, 6:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by af240z View Post
So, if I want to get started with BP revolvers... I am looking at something like these:

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Piett...ver/740536.uts

or

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Piett...ver/705443.uts

There's also a starter kit that's good for 30 rounds... but I am a BP newbie, so what should I use (pyrodex?), what are some dos and don'ts of BP world? Any tips are appreciated
Minor things about the two you posted. The 44 1851 is historically inaccurate (if your in to that sort of thing) You can find synthetics at most stores including cabelas. I buy BP from grafs (I buy 1 pound of their brand + 1 pyrodex can).

There is one CA regulation to be aware of. You are limited to 1 pound of the real stuff and or 20 pounds of the synthetic.
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Old 01-14-2013, 6:46 PM
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re: brass frames - they used to be pretty bad but the modern Pietta ones are pretty consistent. Sill, you need to be careful about loads in a way you don't have to with steel. I'd get steel for a first gun.

I also think the 1858's easier for a first timer than the Colt designs (1851, 1860). You'll probably find yourself trying to slam the wedge out with a hammer and punch the first time you clean it and it's pretty nerve wracking. The 1858's more newbie friendly.

To get real BP if you live in the east bay you have to drive a couple of hours out to Jamestown to find a store that carries it. 777 and Pyrodex are relatively easy. I last got it at BassPro but a lot of gun stores that carry reloading supplies carry it, or you can mail order it. You can mail order real BP too but since you can only buy one pound the hazmat eats you up. You need real BP to run a flintlock but the synthetics work very well with the percussion revolvers. Note that 777 powder has no sulfur so it may not smell quite right, but you do get the big cloud of smoke despite it legally being "smokeless" (it's about ignition temperature, not smoke).
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Old 01-14-2013, 7:19 PM
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"Learn me on BP revolvers..." WTF, kind of English is that?



Quote:
Originally Posted by realgreenfire View Post
i have a question as well about BP from something that i was told a long time ago and this seems to be a good place to ask.

i was told some number of years ago that brass framed BP revolvers have a tendency to warp and or torque due to repeated heat from firing rounds and to stay away from them and pony up for a steel framed model, does this carry any truth in anyone's personal experience? or does this sound like an issue of overloading/ firing numerous rounds in a very short time period?

to the OP: i found a website the other day with what appears to be some decent deals as well while looking into BP myself, maybe worth checking out

http://www.dixiegunworks.com/product...ducts_id=14235
For brass to heat enough to warp it would burn the skin off of your hands first.
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  #10  
Old 01-14-2013, 8:23 PM
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Here's some info on the Cabelas Pietta 1860:
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...d.php?t=374735

And a Uberti Walker 47 (badass as BP revolvers go):
http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...7-range-report

I like the Remington 1858 also, but prefer the Colt style (open top) for ease of cleaning and overall balance in my hand. YMMV.

The Piettas are great value if you get them on sale from Cabelas. All of mine are steel frame, but for the most part I think brass frame would be fine as long as you don't hot-rod it.

I prefer real black powder for these revolvers. It ignites better and is more consistent than Pyrodex, in my experience.
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Old 01-14-2013, 8:58 PM
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A rule of thumb I use on brass framed revolvers is I load just under half of what the caliber is. I only have one brass frame revolver (1860 Colt) and its in 44 cal so I load 20-22 grains. Its like shooting a 22lr revolver and accurate too.
BP revolvers are a blast (literally) and quite addicting.
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  #12  
Old 01-15-2013, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sousuke View Post
Minor things about the two you posted. The 44 1851 is historically inaccurate (if your in to that sort of thing) You can find synthetics at most stores including cabelas. I buy BP from grafs (I buy 1 pound of their brand + 1 pyrodex can).

There is one CA regulation to be aware of. You are limited to 1 pound of the real stuff and or 20 pounds of the synthetic.
I'm planning on using pyrodex, so i think I should be fine. I was aware of the 1 lb law.

Just to clarify: are we talking about the older versions of 1851s, or the current production that Cabelas is selling, that is inaccurate? I've almost decided on a steel frame .44 I linked above.

Fjold: I'm a product of the American education system. What did you expect?
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by af240z View Post
I'm planning on using pyrodex, so i think I should be fine. I was aware of the 1 lb law.

Just to clarify: are we talking about the older versions of 1851s, or the current production that Cabelas is selling, that is inaccurate? I've almost decided on a steel frame .44 I linked above.

Fjold: I'm a product of the American education system. What did you expect?
I think what Sousuke is talking about, is that historically, the 1851 was in .36 cal. not .44. The 1860 Army was the standard .44 cal revolver of the Civil War.

If you're not going to be a re-enactor where historic accuracy can be paramount, there is nothing wrong with a .44 cal 1851.
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  #14  
Old 01-15-2013, 10:17 AM
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That's correct, I'm not planning on reenacting, and I don't care about absolute historical accuracy. Thanks for the clarification!
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:28 AM
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Old 01-15-2013, 2:23 PM
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Alright, couple more questions:

Why would I choose a .36 over a .44, or vice versa?

When i look at ball ammo prices, I am presented with several options:

.44 .454
.44 .457
.44 .451

How do I know which is the correct diameter I should be using?
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Old 01-15-2013, 2:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by af240z View Post
Alright, couple more questions:

Why would I choose a .36 over a .44, or vice versa?

When i look at ball ammo prices, I am presented with several options:

.44 .454
.44 .457
.44 .451

How do I know which is the correct diameter I should be using?
Slug your gun?
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Old 01-15-2013, 3:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by af240z View Post
Alright, couple more questions:

Why would I choose a .36 over a .44, or vice versa?

When i look at ball ammo prices, I am presented with several options:

.44 .454
.44 .457
.44 .451

How do I know which is the correct diameter I should be using?
All those ball sizes will work for a .44. cal.

In my .44 Pietta's, I use .451 or .454.
.457 seems to be a bit tight and the more carbon that builds up in your cylinder chambers as you shoot, the harder it will become to seat the ball firmly against the powder, without constantly cleaning them out.

What you want, is to have a ball diameter that is just slightly oversized, so when you start to seat it down the cylinder chamber, it will shave off a small full ring of lead from the ball. Having a fully shaved ring is important because the ball acts as the primary sealer (in addition to grease or a wad) to keep the cylinder/chamber flash from possibly igniting other chambers, which is commonly called a "chain-fire". As long as the ball shaves off a complete ring as you seat it, you're gtg. If it doesn't, it is too small to properly give a good seal.

I've shot loads without a wad or grease and haven't had a chain-fire yet, but it can and does happen. So in addition to a properly ball seal, you should always use a wad or grease (bore butter or even Crisco over the ball works fine) for extra safe measure.

As to either a .36 or .44 - it's all about preference really. A .36 cal will have a bit less recoil...and in the long run, you use less powder loads than a .44 which makes a can of powder last a bit longer. But it's all the same principal, regardless of caliber you choose.

Oh and I should mention that Pyrodex makes a drop-in, pre loaded/weight compressed 44-45 Caliber 30 Grain Pistol Pellet. http://www.hodgdon.com/pyrodex-pellets.html
However, inside of the cylinder chambers, right before the nipple, there is a recessed lip.
Some folks don't like using the pellets since it doesn't sit right up against the nipple's flash hole and claim they have gotten mis-fires on the first cap with them because of so.

Though, I've used them with good success, especially on a windy day where you don't have to deal with the wind blowing your powder everywhere. YMMV using pellets.
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Old 01-15-2013, 5:30 PM
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A very much Newbie Question I would like to post here. I own several weapons, but like many, considering Black Powder as something fun to shoot. After doing a bit of research regarding California Law, I have a question regarding purchasing Black Powder weapons.

I have a buddy that owns a pawn shop out of state. He has a 1901 double barrel shotgun that's BP, or so he states. He also has BP reproduction revolvers. Can he send the shotgun to me directly, or does it have to go through a FFL. The BP revolvers I am pretty certain that he can send them to my door. Am I right?
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Old 01-15-2013, 5:30 PM
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A very much Newbie Question I would like to post here. I own several weapons, but like many, considering Black Powder as something fun to shoot. After doing a bit of research regarding California Law, I have a question regarding purchasing Black Powder weapons.

I have a buddy that owns a pawn shop out of state. He has a 1901 double barrel shotgun that's BP, or so he states. He also has BP reproduction revolvers. Can he send the shotgun to me directly, or does it have to go through a FFL. The BP revolvers I am pretty certain that he can send them to my door. Am I right?
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Old 01-15-2013, 5:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Pastor View Post
A very much Newbie Question I would like to post here. I own several weapons, but like many, considering Black Powder as something fun to shoot. After doing a bit of research regarding California Law, I have a question regarding purchasing Black Powder weapons.

I have a buddy that owns a pawn shop out of state. He has a 1901 double barrel shotgun that's BP, or so he states. He also has BP reproduction revolvers. Can he send the shotgun to me directly, or does it have to go through a FFL. The BP revolvers I am pretty certain that he can send them to my door. Am I right?
The SXS shotgun (if it's indeed made in 1901) will have to go through an FFL either to an 01 or 03. Just because it's "rated" for BP, has no exemption unless its a "matchlock,
flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system". If neither of those and he/you can prove it was made in or before 1898 then it would be ok. But all firearms manufactured Post-1898 shipped across state lines and in to CA must be sent to an FFL. The reproduction/replica Cap n' Balls can go to you directly.

Quote:
16170. (a) As used in Sections 30515 and 30530, "antique firearm"
means any firearm manufactured before January 1, 1899.


(b) As used in Section 16520, Section 16650, subdivision (a) of
Section 23630, paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 27505, and
subdivision (a) of Section 31615, "antique firearm" has the same
meaning as in Section 921(a)(16) of Title 18 of the United States
Code.
(c) As used in Section 17700, "antique firearm" means either of
the following:

(1) Any firearm not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or
conventional center fire ignition with fixed ammunition and
manufactured in or before 1898. This includes any matchlock,
flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system or
replica thereof
,whether actually manufactured before or after the
year 1898.

(2) Any firearm using fixed ammunition manufactured in or before
1898, for which ammunition is no longer manufactured in the United
States and is not readily available in the ordinary channels of
commercial trade.
*emphasis mine*
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Old 01-15-2013, 5:55 PM
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Thanks, that was my thinking, too.
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Old 01-15-2013, 6:08 PM
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Np, and Welcome to Calguns, Al Pastor.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:47 PM
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I was wondering how hard it is to port the 1858 Pietta for a load from the rear conversion cylinder. I have a dremel but I don't want to mess up the gun...
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Old 02-01-2013, 8:47 AM
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Finally pulled the trigger on the 1851 navy revolver in .44 cal. Now, the delivery waiting game begins...
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Old 02-01-2013, 9:08 AM
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af240z:
Bring your goods out to Chabot, range 5, any second Sunday of the month (rain or shine) and we will walk you through loading and shooting.

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Old 02-01-2013, 10:24 AM
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And if you can't make a Sunday but can make a Friday afternoon at Chabot send me a PM and we can coordinate. I'm often out there Friday afternoons, and these days usually shooting BP anyway.
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Old 02-01-2013, 4:55 PM
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Awesome, will have to take you both up on that!
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Old 02-02-2013, 5:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thecrazyone1 View Post
I was wondering how hard it is to port the 1858 Pietta for a load from the rear conversion cylinder. I have a dremel but I don't want to mess up the gun...
I'll let you know, I'll be doing that in the next day or so.

I have the gated kirst converter in .45 colt.

Oh, a note on conversion cylinders too, if you want to get one eventually, then buy the .44, not the .36 caliber gun. The converter for the .36 is the .38 special, which I believe is .357 in diameter, but the ".36 caliber" is actually .375 or something. In other words, you'd have to load up hollow base .357 bullets so that the base will expand to fill the barrel and meet the rifling... or so I've been told. The ".44 caliber" is like .451 or something, same as .45 ACP and .45 Colt.
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Old 02-12-2013, 7:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by af240z View Post
So, if I want to get started with BP revolvers... I am looking at something like these:

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Piett...ver/740536.uts

or

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Piett...ver/705443.uts

There's also a starter kit that's good for 30 rounds... but I am a BP newbie, so what should I use (pyrodex?), what are some dos and don'ts of BP world? Any tips are appreciated
I would go with the steel frames only, brass frames don't last real long.
Your second choice is the best to get in my book. The 1851 steel frame.
I been shooting them since 1977, and I love my BP 1851's, 36 cal.
I have hunted with them to.
You can mold your own balls, and even make your own caps too.
"Tap-a-cap" I believe is the name of the company.
Have fun and be safe ! Robin47
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Old 02-12-2013, 7:15 PM
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If you look at post #25 you'll see he already bought one, so probably doesn't need advice on which one to get.

Speaking of which - do you have it and have you shot it yet?
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Old 02-12-2013, 7:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eljay View Post
If you look at post #25 you'll see he already bought one, so probably doesn't need advice on which one to get.

Speaking of which - do you have it and have you shot it yet?
Yeah I was just replying to his first post, I guess I should have read them all, good point !
Anyway another BP brother to arms Robin47
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Old 02-12-2013, 7:46 PM
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Easy to miss!
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Old 02-12-2013, 7:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eljay View Post
If you look at post #25 you'll see he already bought one, so probably doesn't need advice on which one to get.

Speaking of which - do you have it and have you shot it yet?
Not yet, it is back ordered and will ship in a week, I hope
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  #35  
Old 02-12-2013, 7:59 PM
Eljay Eljay is offline
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Usually Cabela's has good estimates on backorders but with Piettas sometimes they slip. Just takes one Italian dock strike or whatever. Were you able to find all the other stuff OK? (Balls, etc.)
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Old 02-12-2013, 8:22 PM
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Thomas1190 Thomas1190 is offline
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I just picked up a Pietta 1858 from Cabelas. I'm a total newb to this stuff as well. It seems well built, cant really complain for $229 lol. It locks up nice and tight. There's some slight filing/smoothing marks but it'll work for me. Now I need to try and find some black powder.
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Old 02-13-2013, 3:38 PM
af240z af240z is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eljay View Post
Usually Cabela's has good estimates on backorders but with Piettas sometimes they slip. Just takes one Italian dock strike or whatever. Were you able to find all the other stuff OK? (Balls, etc.)
i picked up 100 .451 swaged balls, 1 pound of pyrodex +P, some lubed wads.

I still need to get a measure, flask, some misc tools.
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Old 02-13-2013, 3:45 PM
Eljay Eljay is offline
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Don't forget the caps! :-)
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Old 02-13-2013, 3:48 PM
af240z af240z is offline
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Oh yeah, got a 100 remington #10 caps. Forgot about that. I was hoping to get .454 balls, but the store (imbert and smithers) only had .451 and .457 in stock. I'll definitely be sending you guys a PM when the stuff comes in!
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Old 02-13-2013, 4:21 PM
Eljay Eljay is offline
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.454's are kind of hard to find right now. I was at the Bass Pro in Manteca the other day and they had .457's but not the other two. I think Hornady's been busy making more mainstream products.

The worst case you won't shave a full ring with the .451's but with the wads there's no real risk of chain fire.
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