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1851 colt reproduction

desertsubedesertsube Member Posts: 8 ✭✭
New to black powder and would like to know how long you can keep a revolver loaded before it wont fire or do damage?


  • oldgunneroldgunner Member Posts: 2,466 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    They can still fire after being loaded for years as long as they stay dry, but probably should be emptied and cleaned at least once a month or so. My opinion of course. There's no set rule.
  • allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 34,336 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I am doing an experiment with two cap and ball revolvers. I am keeping them loaded for 1 1/2 to 2 years. Then, I fire them. They are shooting flawlessly, even after being loaded for such a long time.
    I can detect no damage to the guns.
    I have been doing this for 3 years now.
    No air can get past the cap, and no air can get past the ball. This is in the high humidity of the North Carolina mountains.
    I bet you could keep them loaded for ten years, but so far I haven't gone past 2 years.
  • amsptcdsamsptcds Member Posts: 679
    edited November -1
    Good points, but you need to know that I kept one in a dresser drawer next to the bed. On one occasion I used it with no problem.
    I put it back in the drawer and it sat there a couple of months I think. We had some rain out in this desert and the relative humidity got to the powder. When I took it out to empty it so that I could get it a good cleaning, the first two sputtered and left the ball wedged halfway down the barrel the third popped out about 20 feet and only the fourth one fired properly.
    One can talk talk talk about maybe this or that, but they were capped and sealed in the proper way.
    JB Hickock unloaded his daily, according to some reports. This would stand to reason as folks like him could not chance a misfire.
  • desertsubedesertsube Member Posts: 8 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    What size balls are you people using?
  • allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 34,336 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I am shooting 1860 Colt Army guns and using the .457 round balls.
    The important thing is that the ball be very tight. You should shave a lead "donut" off the ball when you load it into the cylinder.
    With a ball fitting that tightly, and a cap on top of the nipple, air is not going to get into that chamber. Using black powder, my experiments here in the very humid North Carolina mountains show that the pistol may be left loaded for quite a long time.
    I understand that Civil War cavalry troops, who, unlike me, had to have their guns out in the weather, would drip paraffin around the caps and over the balls to seal out rain.
  • surbat6surbat6 Member Posts: 485 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Most of my .44's work well with the .451 balls...except the Walker, which prefers .454.
    The .36's all accept .375 balls.
    I haven't shot the .31 yet, so I don't know what size will work best in this particular Pocket Model Colt.
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