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1851 NAVY REPLICA

YIMMYTHEFITZYIMMYTHEFITZ Member Posts: 23 ✭✭
OK, no pictures of this but..........I bought a brass framed, '51 navy square back with no loading lever, no back strap, no grips. $35, fixed it all up, unfired sharp lookin weapon. Here's the question: no makers mark, no proofs of any kind, the only thing stamped on the gun is "17" on the frame, barrel and cylinder. VERY well made,better than my Uberti '51, has anyone seen or own something similar and what do you know about it. Super accurate @ 50 yards with .375 RB. Thanks boys! Happy forth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comments

  • YIMMYTHEFITZYIMMYTHEFITZ Member Posts: 23 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    just bought an 1851 navy revolver replica in .44 caliber. This will be my first venture into the black powder realm and of course, the gun didn't come with any kind of paperwork. So, what I need to know is what kind of powder, caps, balls, etc. I will need? I see lead balls in .451, .454, .457, etc. are these all ok to shoot? I have seen may different powders and so on. also do I need patches, grease or both? any info would be helpful, thanks!
  • hickeynyhickeyny Member Posts: 30 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    hi i am new to this to i have a colt 1851 in 36cal and rem in44cal my load is 20gr of 3f pyrodex fff my ball is check with mikeing the cyl. the ball for my 44 cal is .454 and #11 cap this my be diferent from what you have you need to check the cyl to know the ball size the caps can be 10 or 11 i had to buy some to find out hope this helps you tom
  • hickeynyhickeyny Member Posts: 30 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    to add i use bore butter on top of ball so the gun will not blow up
  • dsmc1dsmc1 Member Posts: 112 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    HI Yimmy
    You Probably want 451 ball, but make sure they are a tight fit. Might need 454, but not 457. Some guys say you should actually shave off a ring of lead as you press them into the cylinder. 20 grains of Black powder or Pyrodex sounds about right, you can get a flask from most black powder gun sellers with the correct spout to measure the correct charge for a 44. in any event, you should be putting enough powder to fill the chambers up to where the ball has to be seated; there should NOT be air space behind the ball. Number 11 caps are Usually the correct fit, but some Italian nipples MAY be smaller. Worse comes to worse, pinch the caps a bit before you put them on, and they'll stay on better. "Bore butter" or grease is placed on top of the balls in the loaded chambers to lubricate the bullets & barrel and to prevent "chainfire" (meaning the flash could travel to the front of an adjacent cylinder and ignite THAT charge too. (the gun will NOT blow up from not using grease.) Patches are not used, though some shooters use a greased wad UNDER the ball.
    Always a good idea to go to the range and see if there's anyone else there shooting black powder; guys are always happy to share their knowledge and experience.

    Also wear shooting glasses: these revolvers have been known to spit pieces of the caps backwards.AND NEVER NEVER EVER USE SMOKELESS POWDER IN ONE OF THESE GUNS.

    Go out and have some fun.

    PS, you can clean it with soapy water afterwards, just dry it good and oil it well, so it doesn't rust; black powder fouling is very corrosive if you leave it on the gun
  • YIMMYTHEFITZYIMMYTHEFITZ Member Posts: 23 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Some great info, thanks!
  • mbsamsmbsams Member Posts: 1,076 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Everything you want to know and should know will be found in Lyman's Black Bowder Manual. What you have been told so far here is incomplete and in some cases inaccurate. You can find this book on the web many places - you can get a used one on ebay - find a mentor if you can - there are lots of variables with black powder guns - Black powder is an explosive - handle it properly. The substitues are not explosives but not the "real thing" either. Get a book or two - tripple check everything you read on the www.
  • BergtrefferBergtreffer Member Posts: 629 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I started with smoke poles when my wife bought a .58 caliber Zouave rifle for me for Christmas back in the 1980s. I didn't know squat about a front stuffer, and I didn't know anyone around there who did. Consequently I purchased several illustrated books on the subject of muzzle loading and I read and studied the texts and photos. Then I boldly ventured into muzzle loading, carefully observed all the guidance regarding loading, seating the bullet, marking the ram rod for depth when the charge and bullet are seated, etc etc. And I did some target practicing, burned about a half pound of Pyrodex, and generally had fun. Then I actually took the rifle out on a deer hunt and shot a nice 4-point Virginia buck. My advice is to buy one or more illustrated books on the subject matter, study up on it, carefully observe all the guidance, and give it a go. It isn't complicated; it is just way different than shooting cartridge rifles or handguns.

    One very important thing that you must keep in mind is that the propellant charge needs to be nicely "set" in the bottom of rifle barrel, or revolver cyclinder. Put the propellant in and then thump the weapon several times to make sure the propellant is nicely set in the bottom. Then ram the bullet or ball (with a patch if that is needed) and make sure that the projectile is set firmly against the compressed propellant charge. I have three muzzleloading rifles (two .58s and one .50), and for each one I have a favored propellant charge, and a favored projectile. The ramrod for each of the rifles is marked at a point where, with the propellant and projectile rammed into the barrel, the mark on the ramrod is right at the end of the muzzle. That way I know that I have properly seated the entire charge. This safety precaution and observation is all about making sure that the entire charge is seated properly. BECAUSE -- if the propellant dumped in just fine, and the ball or bullet is run in supposedly "just fine", and if there is an air gap in side the barrel, you would risk damage to the weapon or injury to yourself. A muzzleloader absolutely can not have an airgap inside between the propellant charge and the projectile. That is a definite no no. Hence, you must make sure that the projectile is seated all the way down, against the powder charge. And that is why the ramrod should be marked with a line at the muzzle so that you know positively that the entire charge is properly seated.

    How could a person not know that the bullet or ball is properly seated? That is easy to answer and explain. I speak from experience with the .58 caliber Zouave rifle, firing Civil War-style miniball bullets. The miniball has a pointed nose and a concave, hollow base. The miniball projectile is a little smaller than bore diameter, and it depends on the concave, hollow base to form a gas seal. The concave base of the bullet is a thinned "skirt" that expands when the propellant gas pushes against it. My Zouave is not really accurate with miniballs until the third shot. This is because fouling from spent gas puts layers of deposit on the inside of the barrel. With the first shot a lot of the propellant gas pushes against the expanding skirt of the bullet, but at that instant some of the gas leaks past the bullet. With a clean barrel, the first shot at 25 or 30 yards will always be several inches high and about 12 to 14 inches left of center. The second shot with a fouled barrel places the bullet about one inch high and about 7 inches left. The third shot with the barrel having increased fouling will place the shot pretty much dead on center. Subsequent shots in the increasingly fouled barrel gets to be difficult around shot number eight, because with that much fouling it is difficult to seat the bullet. This is where it is possible to have an air gap between the propellant and the base of the bullet. The fouling crude tightends up the clearance and simply trying to ram a bullet down the bore becomes difficult or impossible. Hence it is very important to have the ramrod marked so that one knows for certain that the bullet has been rammed home.

    My experience with this is real. Being a newbie and on my own to learn how to shoot the thing, I made a number of shots and the bullets were getting more difficult to ram home onto the propellant charge. Finally, at about shot 7 or 8, when I pulled the trigger the rifle felt different when it shot, and the hammer recocked itself. High pressure gas/air blew back out of the nipple, blowing the spent cap away, and resetting the hammer. There was an air gap between the propellant and the bullet, and the ignition of the propellant also compressed the air in the gap that caused a blow back of higher pressure gas/air. That is what recocked the hammer. I realized what had happened and I quickly learned to swab out the barrel after several shots, using pieces of ordinary paper napkins. Appropriately cut pieces of paper napkin (I like to use napkins from McDonalds, Burger King, or Wendy's), slipped through the eye of a cleaning rod, and swabbed up and down the bore is a good way to keep the fowling crude at a reasonable amount. Dry patching with paper napkins is a great way to control the amoutn of fouling. A certain amount of fowling is needed in the barrel for the miniballs to shoot well.

    Many or most muzzleloader shooters will load and shoot off one or two fowling charges so the their weapons will shoot good for a first scoring or hunting shot.
  • andrewsw16andrewsw16 Member Posts: 10,728 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    As far as what size ball to get, each C&B cylinder seems to have its own preferences. Your cylinder may be bored one or two thousandths tighter or looser than a friend's identical copy. What I did was to take the cylinder off the gun and take that to the ammo store. The best way to check for the proper size is to start at the small end of the range of sizes, say .451, and try to drop a ball into the chamber. If it rolls in, it is TOO SMALL. Dump that ball out and try the next larger. After a couple of tries, you will finally find one that is just a BIT too tight to fit into the chamber. That's your size. You want it snug, but don't go overboard and get them too big! Like others will tell you, there is nothing wrong with a TINY ring of lead being shaved off during ramming. But, if you have to really lean and grunt to get the loading lever down, the lead ball is too big. It should just be a firm but smooth seating.
  • andrewsw16andrewsw16 Member Posts: 10,728 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    If you are going to put lube over the balls, try to avoid Crisco, except maybe on cold days. It melts way too soon in hot conditions and makes a mess. There are lots of products and lots of individual preferences. Ask around at your range and see what some of the others are using. Some use commercial grease and lubes while others have their own recipe they mix up at home. Have fun. Get dirty.
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