Hobby Percussion Pistol Advice

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Thread: Hobby Percussion Pistol Advice

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array sid1's Avatar
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    Hobby Percussion Pistol Advice

    Several years back I was invited to spend a weekend with a gun club for a weekend of shooting. I had the pleasure of shooting many guns I may never get a change to shoot again. But one type of gun I shot that really sticks with me was black powder, both rifle and pistol. I remember how much fun I had with the pistol, and always wanted to get one of my own. So I've been thinking about picking up a cap & ball percussion pistol. And from what I see there are a lot of choices, But just dont know enough about them to decide.

    So I'm asking the forum experts on what to look for in a percussion pistol and what to stay away from?
    Since this is strickly a hobby range gun I would expect to only get out once a year maybe twice.

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    I've built of few of the kits guns, although it was a long time ago.

    I'm not sure if they still do, but Thompson Center Arms once built a kit called the "Patriot Pistol" which was a single shot .50 cal percussion pistol. It was a good kit, and basically just required assembly and fitting up. It did come in the white and needed to be hot blued or at least browned or parkerized.

    Rifle kits are the same way. About the only advice I can give is to take your time, go slow and be patient. I've seen kits put together that looked like a 5 year old done it and I've seen some that were absolutley beautiful...far better than a factory gun.
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    Distinguished Member Array sid1's Avatar
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    Thanks HotGuns, I am going to look into this right now. Is the powder of choice Pyrodex ? Why not black powder, is it just unstable?

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    Uberti of Italy makes a line of good black powder revolver replicas. I don't own any charcoal burners but I've shot a bunch and the Uberti hardware (sometimes sold under private labels) is decent stuff. Check 'em out at uberti.com.

    For just plinking and fun, the .36 cal guns will make soda cans jump (assuming you can hit 'em!) at a slightly lower cost than the .44s. The .44s up the power level a bit, and if you hanker after modern cartridge gun power, then the .44 Walker is what you're after - if you can handle a four and half pound handgun!
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    Personally, I like Black-powder and don't use Pryodex. Some people swear by it and its much easier to clean a gun shooting Pyrodex than it is black-powder.

    Blackpowder isn't unstable, but it is shock sensitive. Remember the old cap guns that used caps? Those caps had a few grains of BP in them.

    The reason that many shops quit carrying BP was because of the storage requirement and the License that it took. Pryo didn't have those requirements so it was easier to sell.

    Pryo requires a bit more compression to properly ignite. Its just a personal preference really,BP takes some effort to clean, Pyro can use regular water.
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    Distinguished Member Array sid1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Uberti of Italy makes a line of good black powder revolver replicas. I don't own any charcoal burners but I've shot a bunch and the Uberti hardware (sometimes sold under private labels) is decent stuff. Check 'em out at uberti.com.

    For just plinking and fun, the .36 cal guns will make soda cans jump (assuming you can hit 'em!)
    Amen! I do remember not hitting a thing.

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    There are a lot of different ones on the market and most are good but what you have to do is pick a style/year if memory serves me right they run from 1847-1865 but there are some years that stick out because of the style and that is a navy 1851 and an army 1861. The army 1861 in very popular and the difference is the size of the ball. The 51 navy is a .36 and the army is a .44. Another difference is the army locks the ramming rod down so if you holster it or fire it doesn't fall and jam the cylinder. it really counts on what style you want, me I have an 1861 army.

    Clint Eastwood had 1851 navyís in the movie outlaw josey wales and they were modified to take metallic cartages for the movie. The army 1861 is the basically the early model of a colt peace maker; great balance. Itís been a while since I shot my black powder because inside ranges donít allow it due to the smoke. Kit guns for muzzle loader are fun to assemble and finish but 6 shooters are as is from the factory

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    If your looking at revolvers, I'd go with the 1851 Navy replica, or the 1860 Army replica. I have a 51 Navy in .36 cal. that is a blast to shoot. I also have a Lymans Plains Pistol in .54 cal.

    Best recommendation for shooting revolvers is use Wonder Wads, instead of greasing the cylinder. Grease is messy, gets hot and runs, and is still susceptible to chain fires (where 2 or more chambers fire at once). Wonder Wads solve that problem.

    I prefer true black powder, though I'm not sure of the availability of it in many places. BP will give you a much better ignition than Pyrodex. BP if you touch a lit cigarette to it, will light immediately, Pyrodex you can put a cigarette out in. I used to do it in my shop, to demonstrate the faster ignition.
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    Thanks for all the great info and tips. I do like the idea of a pistol kit. Something about building it yourself gives it special meaning and personal satisfaction.
    And then again one cant beat the classic look of the revolvers.

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    Ex Member Array barstoolguru's Avatar
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    Pistol kits will be more in line of single shot flintlock or percussion cap models. Revolvers are 6 shooters and you can get into the era with dress and powder flasks. I started to make my own powder horn out of a bull’s horn but never finished it. Check out crazy crow trading post out of Dennison TX. I have one of his original catalogs that was nothing but 20 pieces of paper stapled together and now he has a big glossy catalog

    Native American Indian Craft Supplies- Indian Craft Supply- Buckskinner Supply
    this is good stuff

    here is an 1847 walker and see how the ram rod does not lock
    Uberti 1847 Walker Black Powder Revolver, .44 Caliber, 9" Barrel

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