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Original Remington 1858 New Model Army

StradivariusStradivarius Member Posts: 51 ✭✭
Hello guys and girls :o) - Could omebody please help me and tell me if it is safe to load 35 gr of Hodgons 777 instead of the rekomended 30 gr in my old ORIGINAL Remington 1858 New Model Army.

There is hundreds of threads on the internet about the Uberti and Peitta copys anf their max powder loads, but nothing on the original antik revolver.


  • stegsteg Member Posts: 871 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Personally, I wouldn't do it.When dealing with antique firearms, never exceed the recommended black powder loads with modern substitutes.
    If you have not fired your Remington before, have it checked out thoroughly with a gunsmith who is familiar with black powder firearms. In addition, if you have a metalurgy company or lab near you, I would have the cylinder magnifluxed before fireing.
    You must realize that Iron and Steel that sits idle for long periods of time tends to crystalize and becoms brittle.
    So, after having your Remington checked out thoroughly, I would "break it in" by firing several roounds of reduced blanks out of each chamber of the cylinder. Start with 5 rounds of 15 grains powder in each chamber and give the gun an overnight rest; then do the same thing with 20 grains. If all works out well, let the gun rest again and repeat the process with then a 25 grain blank load.
    When you have done all of this, you should be able to safely load bullets into the gun. I would not recommend exceeding 25 grains, because you could easily damage a valuable antique with heavier loads....and you can't repair an antique revolver whose action has loosened up without ruining its collector value. A 30 grain load may be OK in a modern replica, but not in an antique. The reason is that the modern steel used in the replica is much stronger and tougher than anything used in the original guns.
    If you want to shoot a cap and ball pistol regularly, you would do far better with one of the Italian replicas. At least you won't be out of a lot of money if something goes wrong.
  • StradivariusStradivarius Member Posts: 51 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thank you for the advice. Strange but i would never have thoght of breaking it in gradually with smaller amounts og powder ! - You probibly just saved my gun, and lessend the risk of the gun blowing up in my face ! _ Thanks bud :o)
  • stegsteg Member Posts: 871 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    You're welcome.
    I learned this from the late chief armorer at tne Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. He explained it this way: Lets say you were in an antique store and found a cold chisel in mint, unused condition, dating from around 1900. And lets add that you had another cold chisel in the bottom of your tool chest, dating from the same period, that was all beat up from being used regularly. You could pound all day long on that chisel with a hammer and it would function and cut as if it were brand new. But the antique store chisel would have a good chance of shattering with the first hammer blow. The reason is that when you use an iron or steel tool with some regularity, the stresses set up in the metal force its molecules into a random pattern, thus giving the metal its strength.
    However, when iron or steel lies idle for long periods of time where no stresses are imposed upon it, its molecules tend to lie up in neat orderly rows, thus making the metal brittle.
    One of the most recent big examples of this is the USS Olympia, Admiral Dewey's flagship, which had been a floating museum in Philadelphia. She has had to be closed because her hull is in bad shape and needs urgant repairs for which there is no money. It isn't just that she leaks, her plating, which is almost 130 years old and hasn't been under stress from being underway in almost 90 years has become very brittle to the extent that they will have to put her into a floating dry dock to take her anywhere.
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