On the Colt, the frame behind that nipple in the 12-o'clock position is wide open. Occasionally a previously-fired cap will fall back from the nipple when you cock the hammer, and jam the hammer....
On the Remington design, the hammer nose falls through a narrow slot in the frame. The caps cannot fit through this narrow slot, which eliminates cap jams....
The Remington has a couple other advantages - the topstrap makes the frame inherently stronger than the Colt design, and the cylinder can be swapped out (ie, rapid reloads) without pulling a wedge and dismounting the entire barrel/loading lever assembly.
To be fair, though, some people prefer the Colts. The Colt's cylinder pin design will not gum up with fouling as rapidly as the Remington's.... and in theory, if you had a damaged barrel/lever assembly, you could just swap in a new one with your bare hands.
Most people agree that the Colt has a better "feel" to it - the grip on the Remington feels a bit skinny - but you can fix this by installing thicker grip panels.
I have a 12" 1858 brass frame I purchased from Cabellas about two years ago. I have been shooting it with 25 to 27 gr. of pyrodex and 451 or 454 ball.
I also used a lubed wad over the powder. It has shown no sign of stretch to the frame(i have checked it periodically with a feeler guage) and it has performed flawlessly. I do know a fellow B.P. shooter who also has a Pietta 1858(8") and uses a spare cylinder which works perfectly. G'day - Stew
Location: Remote Utah desert, separated from Oblivion by a screen door.
Re: So who makes the best BP revolvers
I much prefer steel-framed revolvers because they are generally better made than their brass-framed brethren. Yes, there are some well made brass-framed revolvers but most of what I see in shops and gun shows lack decent fit and finish: tooling marks abound and the bores are often rough with machine marks.
It definitely seems that manufacturers put more effort into steel-framed guns.
The Ruger Old Army is perhaps the best made cap and ball revolver. It's not authentic, and some folks prefer authenticity. I do, but that's just me. Production was halted a few years back, and prices immediately rose.
As for authentic models, the best quality ones that I've observed over the years, from best to worst, are:
Colt 2nd generation (1970s to 1980s production)
Pietta (in the past five years or so, Pietta quality has come up considerably). Traditions sells guns made by Pietta, as do others.
I hear conflicting reports on cap and ball guns offered by Navy Arms. Sometimes they're wonderful, other times they're terrible. I don't know what to believe, or if Navy Arms can be generalized.
And the worst ... Palmetto! Comments from those with Palmettos seem to agree: what junk!
Spanish-made cap and ball revolvers of the 1960s and 1970s are notably junk too.
Belgian and Italian made cap and ball revolvers of the same era varied considerably; some were very good, others abysmal.
"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)
if you want the best ,not sure if you mean price or quality but in my extensive search i find that the 1858rem. from traditions seems to strike a good balance of both they are offering a so called factory second in stainless steel for the very handsome price of only 369 and they will ship for about 20 bucks to your door wich is nice and there are extra cylinders available from cabbellas for about 69 bucks so if you go to the feild you can just take an xtra loaded cyl instead of trying to reload in the feild
Ruger? Well made, without a doubt. Better black powder gun, I'm not so sure. Biggest drawback for me is the lock work. I much prefer the Colt and Rem clones and the much simpler innards. I clean every part, every time. The Colt and Rem clones are simple, the Ruger is not so. Just my opinion. Just picked up a Pietta Rem on sale at Cabelas. Well made, good price, shoots better than expected. Good luck, have way too much fun.
I like the ROA it is the best of the BP handguns as a shooter. My next pick is the Euroarms Rogers and Spencer. This gun will keep up with the ROA in about every respect. They are accurate and powerful. Ruger engineers copied many aspects of the R&S when designing the ROA. This is stated in the history of the ROA by Ruger.