Re: Should I buy a used Uberti 1858 Remington?
Seems like, from what I've seen, most cap and ball revolvers don't get formally offered online or in stores. They're used as trade with another shooter, at gun shows or in yard sales. Most of the time they're not taken very seriously, certainly not as seriously as a .38 revolver.
I'd be a little wary of buying a used cap and ball revolver. If it's not clean when you inspect it, pass it by. That tells me that the owner didn't care enough to keep it up. If it is clean, inspect the chambers and bore carefully for pitting.
It is not uncommon for the old, original revolvers to have pits so deep in the chamber walls that they create a hole between the chambers. Obviously, pass this gun by unless you want it for a wall hanger and it will never be fired.
Like any revolver, ensure that the cylinder locks up tightly, and in line with the barrel. DO NOT dry-fire it or you'll damage the nipple.
Check the bore for pitting. Go over the cylinder and barrel carefully with a magnifying glass, looking for hairline cracks. It's not unheard of for some jackleg to try a little smokeless powder in these revolvers.
People seem to abuse cap and ball revolvers more than any other gun, through experimentation or neglect.
Do NOT buy a brass-framed gun, not even a new one. Get a steel-framed revolver. Most brass-framed cap and ball revolvers are not as finely made as their steel-framed counterparts. The brass frames are not as strong, either.
Yeah, they look "purty" and the slack-jaw crowd often buys them. They're okay for starting out, or for use with light loads, but avoid strong loads in brass-framed guns or you'll strain the frame.
"Therein do I see an ugly cat. Smoke. Fire. Brimstone. A vast desert. Holes in parchment. The ugly cat is much amused." --- The quantrains of Gatodamus (1503-1566)