In order to participate in the GunBroker Member forums, you must be logged in with your account. Click the sign-in button at the top right of the forums page to get connected.

First BP pistol

gotstolefromgotstolefrom Member Posts: 1,479 ✭✭✭✭✭
I'm considering my first BP purchase and I am interested in a pistol.
I have a question regarding reproductions of the 1858 New Army pistols, which have a topstrap. Reproductions of earlier models do not have a topstrap. Is there any strength function here in terms of charge capacity ?
In looking through literature on this type of weapon, I see the " 44 Walker" which could be loaded with 60 grains of powder. It is difficult for me to consider a loading greater than this in a pistol, topstrap or not.
ANY enlightenment would be appreciated.
Thank You


  • 62fuelie62fuelie Member Posts: 1,069 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    That Walker load explains why it was the most powerful revolver until the .357 mag in the 1930's. The repros of the 1858 Remington range from very good to awful. Buying a reputable brand helps to ensure better quality. Mine is a Uberti stainless steel. One thing I like about it is that I can shoot it then just take the grips off and slip it into the dishwasher(when the wife isn't looking)let it dry from residual heat and oil it. With either the 1858 Remington or the 1860 Colt repros you need to respect the design was intended for BP only. Loads should be kept to the equivalent of 30 grains of fffp with the round ball. The Ruger New Army is a more modern design and much stronger, but pricier. I don't know what their load parameters are.
  • allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 35,143 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    fuelie is right, if you want the strongest and well made repro, get the Ruger. No longer made but readily available.

    On the other hand the Ruger is not really a reproduction, no gun like that ever existed in the 19th century. It has adjustable sights etc.
    But if you are not bent on 100 percent historical accuracy the Ruger is a great gun, I wish I had one.
  • 44caliberkid44caliberkid Member Posts: 925 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    All Remington reproductions have a top strap. always have. Colt repros, whether 1847, 1851, 1860,or 1861, do not have a top strap. That is just the Colt design. There is no difference in stregth with or without the top strap. The Walker is a massive horse pistol that has a cylinder that will hold a 60 grain charge (and it doesn't have a top strap, being a Colt design) but shooting charges that big can stretch the wedge slot, so most folks just use 40 grains or less. All 44 caliber cap and ball revolvers shoot just fine with a 30 grain charge. The advantage of the top strap is accuracy. They have better sights and a frame mounted barrel like a modern revolver.
    A Uberti or Euroarms 1858 New Model Army would be an excellent choice for a first C&B pistol.
  • flyingcollieflyingcollie Member Posts: 197 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    What do you want to do with a BP pistol? That Walker .44 was intended for cavalrymen to be able to blow ground troops to smithereenies at short range. It's not a target pistol. Open top Colt's repros are not at all problemtic if they are well made, but it would be a good idea to stay away from brass frames . . . the 1861 Navy (.36cal) is considered to be the ultimate perfectly balanced pistol for snap-shooting . . . gunfighter style. Any road, a cap and ball revolver is a ton of fun to shoot. Read other threads in this forum, there's a lot of good info on 'em here ! Enjoy !
  • centerfiremancenterfireman Member Posts: 70 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    i have had a Ruger "Old Army" for over 30 years. They are very reliable, very rugged and extremely accurate (especially with an adjustable sight model). Though they are not reproductions of any specific historical firearm, they look similar and would be an excellent suggestion for getting started in BP handgun shooting.
Sign In or Register to comment.