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CptCurlAdministrator
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Colt .36 cal 1851 Navy Revolver
      #311407 - 01/02/18 12:28 AM

Ok, so I am nuts and I admit it.

Been thinking about buying a Uberti (Cimarron) replica of the 1851 Navy.



Does anybody shoot a cap and ball revolver?

The latest issue of Muzzle Blasts has an article on shooting cap and ball revolvers. The power of suggestion is very real.

Curl

P.S. About 40 years ago I had an Italian copy of the 1860 Army. I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with it. That was then, this is now.

Comments?

--------------------
RoscoeStephenson.com

YOUR DOUBLE RIFLE IS YOUR BEST FRIEND.



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tinker
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Re: Colt .36 cal 1851 Navy Revolver [Re: CptCurl]
      #311410 - 01/02/18 02:50 AM

Do it!

I have several cap/ball revolvers.
They're slim and light and handy. Often quite accurate too.
I really like my 61 Navy.

The 72 cartridge revolver is also extra slick and sexy.



Cheers
Tinker

--------------------
--Self-Appointed Colonel, DRSS--



"It IS a dangerous game, and so named for a reason, and you can't play from the keyboard. " --Some Old Texan...


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Iowa_303s
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Re: Colt .36 cal 1851 Navy Revolver [Re: tinker]
      #311411 - 01/02/18 02:58 AM

Cap’t,
Follow tinkers advice and get one!
They a a hoot to shoot and the ones my son and I have are very accucrate.
Jacob likes to take his out while pursuing rabbits and squirrels.
I’ve seen him head shoot a squirrel at 20 yards.
Jabob also has a cartridge conversion ‘51, now that is even more fun!

--------------------
Matt

formerly known as Iowa_303

"Once your reputation is ruined you can live your life quite freely."

"Enkelkinder über alles"


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Rothhammer1
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Re: Colt .36 cal 1851 Navy Revolver [Re: CptCurl]
      #311418 - 01/02/18 04:33 AM

Quote:



P.S. About 40 years ago I had an Italian copy of the 1860 Army. I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with it. That was then, this is now.

Comments?




Not crazy at all. I hear the Cimarron are well fit and finished.

My first handgun was a (very) used "1960 New Model Army" Belgian made Colt replica. It was a hoot to shoot and there's always the 'romance' of shooting a Civil War arm, even if it's a replica. I traded that away years ago (they're quite collectible, now) but still have a Japanese made reproduction 1861 Springfield Rifled Musket that hasn't seen powder for a couple of decades.

Buy it, shoot it, enjoy it. One recommendation - get the steel framed version.

Colt 1960

More:

More 1960

--------------------
Citizen of the Cherokee Nation


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Wayne59
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Re: Colt .36 cal 1851 Navy Revolver [Re: Rothhammer1]
      #311420 - 01/02/18 04:57 AM

All the ones I have owned shot well but high. if yours shoots high take it to a machinist and cut a dove tail in it and replace the front sight with a taller one. You will have a blast.

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Rothhammer1
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Re: Colt .36 cal 1851 Navy Revolver [Re: Wayne59]
      #311422 - 01/02/18 05:12 AM

Quote:

All the ones I have owned shot well but high. if yours shoots high take it to a machinist and cut a dove tail in it and replace the front sight with a taller one. You will have a blast.




From what I was told by the 'old boys', accurate reproductions of Civil War era Colt revolvers will always shoot high 'out of the box'.

The reason, I've been told, is that the originals were made that way intentionally so that new recruits (most of which had never handled any firearm, let alone a pistol) were taught to aim for the big, shiny, brass belt buckle of their opponent (visible through the powder smoke) and get a chest shot.

When I brought my repop musket to a shoot with a few of the same 'old boys' present, I was asked to bring it again to the next shoot. When I did, all of the surviving original members of their club arrived with original 1863 Springfields.

The club (in Santa Cruz, Ca.) had started in nineteen thirty something when one of the 'old boys' (then young) was talked into buying an original, unopened crate of one dozen 1863 Springfield Rifled Muskets for $12.00 (IIRC) from the local hardware store. He gave several to his buddies and the club was formed.

Shooting them in volleys was a blast!

From an old Sears, Roebuck - a trapdoor, no less:


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Daryl_S
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Re: Colt .36 cal 1851 Navy Revolver [Re: CptCurl]
      #311423 - 01/02/18 05:40 AM

Curly - the Uberti's are the best of the repros.

I shot one for years, a civilian model 1860, with fluted cylinder.
At times, you have to open up the chambers a bit, to about .377/.378", then use a .380" ball. , making them a couple to 3 thousandths larger than the groove to groove diameter - THEN they really shoot well, as well as about any modern revolver, that is.

We've (Taylor and I)have also 'taken' to replacing the front blade ((soft)silver soldered into a longitudinal slot, not dovetailed) to a taller one as well as opening up the notch in the hammer nose, and perhaps moving it one side or the other a bit to get them shooting on the front blade.

Taylor is using a pair of ivory stocked, engraved Uberti's 51's for cowboy action. Unfortunately, the balls do not knock over all of the poppers, unless hit right at the top edge and even then, sometimes not.

Fun guns. A Walker, with the cylinders re-bored (1970's) that Taylor had, sold then recovered, still makes 1 1/2" groups at 25 yards, shot off bags. Seems to me, that one needed a .480" RB mould.

Some guys seem to have fun with them, unmodified, which is what it's all about. BUT - the accuracy is there if you want it.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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Rothhammer1
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Re: Colt .36 cal 1851 Navy Revolver [Re: Daryl_S]
      #311432 - 01/02/18 06:53 AM

For accuracy, wouldn't a repro. Remington 1858 be the better choice with its solid frame?


--------------------
Citizen of the Cherokee Nation


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Rothhammer1
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Re: Colt .36 cal 1851 Navy Revolver [Re: Rothhammer1]
      #311434 - 01/02/18 07:07 AM

Looky what I found on the 'net:
Kirst Converter

For 'Army Colt':
Kirst

And 'Navy' Colt:
Kirst

--------------------
Citizen of the Cherokee Nation


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tinker
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Re: Colt .36 cal 1851 Navy Revolver [Re: Rothhammer1]
      #311437 - 01/02/18 08:02 AM

If you're going cartridge, just go 1872


https://www.cimarron-firearms.com/products/revolvers/open-top-revolvers/1872-open-top-army-1.html

The cap/ball revolvers have their own kind of charm though - and I like them for that.




Cheers
Tinker

--------------------
--Self-Appointed Colonel, DRSS--



"It IS a dangerous game, and so named for a reason, and you can't play from the keyboard. " --Some Old Texan...


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Wayne59
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Re: Colt .36 cal 1851 Navy Revolver [Re: tinker]
      #311447 - 01/02/18 01:33 PM

JMHI for balance nothing beats a 36cal navy.

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Huvius
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Re: Colt .36 cal 1851 Navy Revolver [Re: Wayne59]
      #311450 - 01/02/18 01:58 PM

I have both the 36cal Navy and the 44cal version called the Civilian from Pietta.
The 44 feels a bit lighter as the barrels are the same, the 44 just having a bigger hole in it.
As nice as the 36 points, the 44 is even better feeling and the power of the bigger load is quite gratifying.
I think they may call the 44 “The Yank” now.
Regardless, the BP revolvers are super fun!

--------------------
He who lives in the past is doomed to enjoy it.


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Daryl_S
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Re: Colt .36 cal 1851 Navy Revolver [Re: Huvius]
      #311458 - 01/02/18 03:49 PM

The 1860 and Walker, both loaded with round ball of course, were favourites for "running" buffalo.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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CptCurlAdministrator
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Re: Colt .36 cal 1851 Navy Revolver [Re: Daryl_S]
      #311479 - 01/02/18 10:41 PM

Well, these are certainly some enthusiastic recommendations. Just what I would expect from a group of enablers!

Does anybody have any pointers as to loading the .36 Navy?

Thanks,
Curl

--------------------
RoscoeStephenson.com

YOUR DOUBLE RIFLE IS YOUR BEST FRIEND.



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NitroXAdministrator
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Re: Colt .36 cal 1851 Navy Revolver [Re: CptCurl]
      #311481 - 01/02/18 10:49 PM

Quote:

Just what I would expect from a group of enablers!




Ha ha.

--------------------
John aka NitroX

...
"I love the smell of cordite in the morning."
"A Sharp spear needs no polish"


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Rothhammer1
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Re: Colt .36 cal 1851 Navy Revolver [Re: Daryl_S]
      #311483 - 01/02/18 11:26 PM

Quote:

The 1860 and Walker, both loaded with round ball of course, were favourites for "running" buffalo.




My G-G-grandfather (Siegmund Maria Rothhammer), a transplanted Bavarian, joined the Union Army at Sioux City, Iowa in 1862. When it was revealed that he was a university (Regensburg) trained naturalist, he was made Hospital Steward, 6th Iowa Cavalry. They were attatched to the 'Sully Expedition', whose purpose was to harass and attack factions of the Sioux Nations and to destroy the product of the Sioux hunts.


His actual assignment was to make studies of the geography, flora, and fauna of the Dakota Territory. His samples are stored at the Smithsonian in the trays in which he packed and labeled them, and some of his journals and other writings have become cirriculum for the North Dakota schools (though they butchered his name).

Why am I telling you all of this? ----- Buffalo and an 1860 Colt. Among his journals is a rather amusing tale of Siegmund's first encounter with the American Bison.


During their first year out, and while 'Sig was still enthusiastic about the entire affair, he was out scouting for interesting specimens while a fellow bluecoat or two stood guard for hostiles. This time that duty fell to Captain Cram.

Coming over a rise, several grazing bison came into view. Excitedly, 'Sig drew a .44 Colt, jumped down and started firing at one of the beasts that was facing him at some distance. He had been 'chomping at the bit' to get a shot at one, it seems. As I recall what 'Sig wrote (I have copies of his journals here, somewhere) - the good Captain dismounted, the bison charged, both horses took off as ol 'Sig was firing away, standing firm.

'The fifth ball brought froth to the beast' (or something close to that), he wrote, yet it was still charging and it took a shot from the Captain's carbine through the skull to fell it, right about where 'Sig had been standing.


I'd imagine there was some inspired conversation between the two as they went after their horses... .







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Rothhammer1
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Re: Colt .36 cal 1851 Navy Revolver [Re: CptCurl]
      #311484 - 02/02/18 12:00 AM

Quote:


Does anybody have any pointers as to loading the .36 Navy?





First the powder, then the ball.

--------------------
Citizen of the Cherokee Nation


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Maxim
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Re: Colt .36 cal 1851 Navy Revolver [Re: Rothhammer1]
      #311487 - 02/02/18 01:21 AM

In the 70's when thousands of Italian brass framed versions came to the US, I happened to buy a 1856 .36 Navy for what I believe was $45. No permits or anything just hand over the cash and walk out with it and a pound of FFFG and bullets. Soon to have to cast my own bullets as I went though them at a rapid rate. I would shoot cans until my hand would get a blister on the loading lever. I used mostly conical's as they seems to go well in it. It is still with me though a little loose, the brass frames ones would get that way after firing so much. I did replace the springs, pawl, trigger. The first handgun I owned.
Yes it points well and hangs in the hand well. The load I do not recall, but 16 grs of FFFG comes to mind, as that is about all you can get in the cylinder with a conical. There is a measure cut just for it so I never did weigh the charge. I would load all the cylinders and mash a glob of Crisco (vegetable shortening for those who do not know what is it) with my pinky finger on each. If it was to be carried, only 5 cyls were loaded.


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tinker
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Re: Colt .36 cal 1851 Navy Revolver [Re: Maxim]
      #311490 - 02/02/18 03:03 AM

On loading and running these revolvers, listen to Daryl on the topic of chamber bore VS groove diameter.
I've touched up a few cylinders which had burred chamber mouths which sized balls under groove diameter. I've also gone as far as reaming cylinders which had undersized chambers.

For fun it might not be necessary to ream cylinders, but some attention can greatly enhance accuracy.

I use real black powder only. No substitute.
I also cut and grease my own felt wadding. Felt can be sourced via McMaster Carr or other supplier, or just order wads from Track or October County.
Also I've replaced and/or upgraded the nipples on many of these revolvers. At least remove all of them, inspect/clean/deburr/grease and reinstall.


Cheers
Tinker

--------------------
--Self-Appointed Colonel, DRSS--



"It IS a dangerous game, and so named for a reason, and you can't play from the keyboard. " --Some Old Texan...


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Wayne59
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Re: Colt .36 cal 1851 Navy Revolver [Re: tinker]
      #311491 - 02/02/18 03:47 AM

Revolvers are just like any other firearm. A little tinkering is involved. ( no pun intended). Tinkers advice is pretty solid. Have fun.

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Daryl_S
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Re: Colt .36 cal 1851 Navy Revolver [Re: Wayne59]
      #311492 - 02/02/18 04:01 AM

Best results will come with a cylinder full of 3F - with room, slightly compressed for a thin lubed felt wad, then oversize ball.
Measure and make sure the cylinders are larger than the groove to groove diameter, the get a mould corresponding to that diameter.
Some guys pour the powder, seat a ball THEN fill the chamber mouths with some form of grease - Crisco Shortening is often used.
This will work, but is really messy and runs with a hot cylinder. Normal BP bullet lube is better, as-in a concoction of beeswax/Vaseline. More beeswax makes it stiffer, but 60:40 works well. By Volume.
Lyman's BP BP Gold or SPG can also be used - made a bit softer with added Vaseline or some oil, like Olive, Grapeseed or Avocado oil.
Better accuracy will usually appear without smearing grease over the ball, and using a felt wad, as taught by Elmer Keith.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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cordite
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Re: Colt .36 cal 1851 Navy Revolver [Re: Daryl_S]
      #311502 - 02/02/18 07:41 AM

I like the big ones! I have two ubertis, a walker and a first model dragoon. They shoot great, especially the big walker. I'm not a big handgun shooter but I shoot the walker as well as any centerfire handgun. Lots of fun.

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fsrmg1
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Re: Colt .36 cal 1851 Navy Revolver [Re: cordite]
      #314617 - 28/03/18 08:57 PM

Any range reports yet? If not, why?

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Cheers,

Rich


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CptCurlAdministrator
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Re: Colt .36 cal 1851 Navy Revolver [Re: fsrmg1]
      #314642 - 29/03/18 09:33 AM

Quote:

Any range reports yet? If not, why?




So far I haven't taken the plunge. We'll see. . .

Curl

--------------------
RoscoeStephenson.com

YOUR DOUBLE RIFLE IS YOUR BEST FRIEND.



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Vladymere
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Re: Colt .36 cal 1851 Navy Revolver [Re: CptCurl]
      #314648 - 29/03/18 01:08 PM

At the age of 16 I purchase a steel framed reproduction 1858 Colt navy pistol. I shot that pistol loose. I was at the range and having ignition troubles, because it was loose, so I unscrewed each nipple one turn. All was fine initially but then trouble reared it's head. I had a flash over and five out of six rounds went off. I had a ball hung on the wedge on the left, a ball stuck in the loading lever and part of a ball on the wedge on the right. I didn't know it happened until I tried to cock the pistol for the next shot and the cylinder wouldn't turn due to the ball wedged in the loading lever which was also still partly in the chamber.

I was able to make repairs to this pistol by turning the cylinder pivot pin further in 1/2 turn. This caused the cylinder pivot pin wedge hole to now be in the wrong place but a file fixed that. Two new screws for the loading lever as they where bent and all was good again.

I stated that five out of six rounds went off. Being at the range I would load six at at time. If i was carrying it, as I sometimes did camping, I would only load five chambers and leave the hammer on the sixth.

Subsequently when Ruger came out with the "Old Army" I had to have one. Again I put a lot of rounds through it. This pistol is made with notches between the chambers so the hammer can be placed in a notch and six loaded chambers can be carried safely.
the Ruger "old Army" pistols have the nicety of being made with all modern materials including coil springs instead of flat springs. Later on they also made them in stainless steel, advantageous when shooting black powder.

I left my Ruger loaded and unfired for two years one time as it was the only firearm I owned and I thought it might be handy to keep a loaded firearm around. I didn't need it fortunately.
When I did fire it I found the chambers where pitted. I didn't realize that black powder was hygroscopic in the unfired state. I guess it was moisture and oxygen from the nitrate that caused the pitting. Learned a lesson there.

A few years ago I purchased a from the husband of a coworker that had multiple strokes and could no longer use the pistol a reproduction .44 caliber Remington New Model Army. I have yet to fire it but it seems like a nice pistol. It has a nicer trigger than the Colt Navy pistol as it is wider and centered in the trigger guard where as the Colt is thin and offset.

Not a BP pistol but I also have a Thompson Center .50 caliber Hawken's rifle. I owned it for over 25 years before taking it hunting. (I started hunting late in life) and took my first deer with it. It was actually my first time out hunting (a friend took me under his wing and taught me the ropes). I fell asleep in my stand and woke to the sound of leaves crunching under the hooves of this deer. I shot the deer. At the time I didn't know if I could pull the trigger on a living creature. Yeah I could, it was only a target. I didn't get a good heart/lung shot. I was elevated and the shot went through it's right front shoulder and out its side. The deer went down right where I shot it. Tried to stand up once but didn't make it and went back down. The hard part was sitting in the stand and watching the life pump out of this deer, seeing the eyes change as it dies.

While waiting for the deer to die four more bucks came around, again, first time out hunting and I'm thinking I can kill another deer. I pulled out my speed loader and stuffed the bullet in the muzzle. Damn, I didn't put the powder in. I pulled my knife out and tried to pry the bullet out of the muzzle while these four bucks are cavorting around in front of me taunting me. Needless to say, I did not score another buck that day.

Back to Capt.Curl's question. Yes you definitely need to buy a BP pistol but make sure it is a steel framed pistol or it will shoot loose fairly quickly compared to a steel framed pistol.

Vlad


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