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If you were currently limted to carrying firearms of a certain era (or replicas of that era), how early could you go and still feel "comfortable" about being armed?

For myself, I would consider the 1850s as early as I would want to go. This would provide me the choice of a Colt Dragoon, Colt Navy or maybe Remington 1858 as primary carry, and a Colt 1849 Pocket for a BUG or discrete carry.

Not ideal, but FAR from being unarmed.

I wouldn't think twice about being limited to guns from the pre-WW II time frame- I carry weapons from the 1900-1945 era frequently already.
Late 19th, with double action metallic cartridge revolvers. Some large caliber Webley, a Belgian "Bulldog", one of the European DA service revolvers.

Even better, once you start getting into the smokeless powder era.
 

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There are a few votes for cap and ball era pistols. Can someone who favors this explain how to keep the ignition reliable, or what level of ignition reliability/failure you are comfortable with? Metallic cartridges seem like a better place to start, even with black powder.
 

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There are a few votes for cap and ball era pistols. Can someone who favors this explain how to keep the ignition reliable, or what level of ignition reliability/failure you are comfortable with? Metallic cartridges seem like a better place to start, even with black powder.
Heh. Sorry, but gotta post Steve Earle lyrics here --
"My very first pistol was a cap and ball Colt
Shoots as fast as lightnin' but it loads a might slow
It loads a might slow, and soon I found out
It'll get you into trouble but it can't get you out"
 

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Probably when the 357 revolver came out, as I don't much like carrying a Full Size 45 1911. A Commander or Officer size 45 is okay for me.
 

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Widespread smokeless powder use for sure, but I agree with the above...1930s when the .357 mag came out hits the sweet spot for me!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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There are a few votes for cap and ball era pistols. Can someone who favors this explain how to keep the ignition reliable, or what level of ignition reliability/failure you are comfortable with? Metallic cartridges seem like a better place to start, even with black powder.
I don't know "the favored method of the old west" OR what other's here, whom shoot black powder fire arms do. I own a percussion revolver, & carry tube of grease to use as bullet lube above the "seated ball in the chamber". I have rubbed a "small amount" of the same grease over the cap, when seated on the nipple, to keep moisture out. It "wouldn't save my pistol from an "In Range TV wheelbarrow test", but does protect the caps from "light water exposure".
 

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@Pete63 you carry cap and ball regularly? How often do you reload? Have you test fired for reliability? Can you determine what causes failure, and what minimum practices keep your pistol reliable?
 

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@Pete63 you carry cap and ball regularly? How often do you reload? Have you test fired for reliability? Can you determine what causes failure, and what minimum practices keep your pistol reliable?
I don't carry it regularly, no. BUT when shooting it, most time's I'm in the woods, and not a range (covered roof!) Reload as needed, when I'm in the woods.Questions 3, 4 & 5 . I assume you mean when I'm out shooting it, which by doing what I mentioned, I don't test fire, but "just make sure the powder & percussion cap's STAY DRY"! I've not had an miss-fire's (but I'm most probably just doing what it takes to prevent them). The "MOST common issue is the "cap's". They CAN be dried out though, if moisture is introduced. There's an old saying (used here occasionally): "keep your powder dry". The "true rule of thumb" when it comes to black powder shooting! Hoped that answers your questions. Feel free to post more!
 

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Probably 1912ish.
The first 40 Colt M1911 pistols were assembled on 28 Dec, 1911 for the military.
The first 43 Colt Government Models (civilian models were not called 1911s) were assembled on 09 Mar, 1912.

:p
 

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I am reasonably comfortable enough, today*, with the US Army Model Of 1873, a.k.a. Colt Model P, a.k.a. SAA, or its better design copies, though a redesign with modern springs would be better, long-term. Some of these old revolvers were being so modified, by some time in the 20th Century, according to Elmer Keith’s writing, though today, of course, we have several options built with modern springs and small parts, at the factory.

Being a natural lefty, continuity of fire with the SAA-pattern weapon is somewhat sImpler, for me, than for a right-handed shooter, giving me an advantage, if most of my opponents could be expected to be similarly-armed. So, with handguns, I would be comfortable with the time that the Model 1873/Model P/SAA became generally available for civilian purchase. I would want to upgrade to the version that could use smokeless powder, at the earliest opportunity.

On the rifle side, well, I have no personal experience with the Winchester repeater designs before the 1892, or tube-magazine-fed repeating shotguns before the Winchester 1897, so if a complete ensemble is a desirable situation, and smokeless-powder Colt revolving pistols are more-desirable than those limited to black powder, let’s say some time around 1900, for the complete set of weapons, for weapons with which I have hands-on experience.

*I am not saying that I actually regularly carry single-action revolvers. I have several USFA Single Action revolving pistols, and could be comfortable enough, carrying a pair of them, in most foreseeable situations, if some disaster were to take my modern handguns away from me.
 
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