Re: Brass frame Pistols?
Most black powder revolvers of long ago had steel frames, not brass.
Brass was adopted by the Confederacy for a few revolvers they made, only because the Confederacy didn't have a history of working in steel. However, its foundries had experience with brass and bronze.
The Confederacy never made a lot of their own revolvers. They preferred to buy them from England, or confiscate them off the battlefield or captured shipments.
Brass-framed revolvers (original or modern-made) should not be fired with full loads. Over time, the higher pressures damage the frame: the higher pressures slam the rear of the cylinder back against the brass frame, battering and stretching it.
For that reason, it's best to keep loads no more than what Hawg suggested above: 18 grains of FFFG black powder for the .36, and 25 grains for the .44 caliber.
And note, it's grains and not grams as was posted above. A grain is a unit of measurement: 7,000 grains equal 1 pound.
Generally speaking, modern-made cap and ball revolvers with brass frames are not as well made as their steel counterparts. Finishing and fit are not as good as with steel-framed guns.
Brass-framed revolvers typically have rougher bores and chambers, more burrs in the action, and lack the finishing that steel models have. Yes, there are exceptions but from what I've personally observed at gun stores and shows since the 1970s, this still holds true.
Brass-framed guns are more cheaply made, and the maker spends less time in final fit, finish and polish. It's why they cost less.
There are a few exceptions, when brass-framed revolvers are made as exacting replicas of a Confederate revolver, but most brass-framed revolvers are not actually replicas of an authentic model.
It's best to buy a steel-framed revolver. If you MUST have a brass-framed revolver, use moderate loads in it.
Incidentally, Hodgdon does not recommend the use of its 777 powder in brass frames. It's not intended to be a straight-across substitute for black powder, like Pyrodex is. Hodgdon 777 is in a class of its own, and more powerful than regular black powder. It should only be used in steel-framed revolvers.
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