Black Powder Pistol ?

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by Model60, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. Model60

    Model60 New Member

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    When I inherited my Dad's guns, one was a replica 1857 Army Colt 44. I think my dad put it away without cleaning it because its locked up. So I was thinking of soaking it in something to free it up. What should I use without causing damage to the finish or is this a bad idea? Any other recommendations?
    Thanks in advance.
  2. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Kerosene.
  3. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    +1 on Kerosene. It may take anywhere from a day to three months depending on how bad its rusted but kero will free it up. BTW there's no such thing as a 57 Army. The army model 44 was the 1860. The 1851 Navy model was a .36 but Italians make it in .44
  4. Model60

    Model60 New Member

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    Thanks for the help.
  5. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Model60:

    Just so you know regular gun cleaning solvents are worthless on black powder guns unless they are water based. The problem is the salts, generated by the firing of black powder, are anhydrous and draw moisture from the atmosphere to rust the metal in the gun. The gun should be cleaned immediately after shooting it (a day later may be too late!) with soap and water which dissolves the salts, then with regular gun solvent, and then every part of it wiped down with an oily rag. Oil all the pivots with gun oil too. Failure to do this results in what you have.

    I have a pistol similar to yours that I shot several times but really tired of the cleaning regime. I cleaned it completely and put it in a display case on the wall. I had bought mine as a kit and had to put about 40 or more hours into it to get the finish right and was proud enough of the results to display it. Needless to say I am NOT a fan of shooting black powder guns.

    LDBennett
  6. Model60

    Model60 New Member

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    I love firing the Black powder guns. I have a 50 caliber rifle(very accurate) and now this pistol which is the 1858 Army version(I was off by a year) This pistol has a 1 foot long octagon barrel. The 1860 model had a round barrel. I always thought that the 51's and 58's were available in 44 and 36 from Colt.
  7. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    The 1858 was a Remington.

    Colt made both the 1851 and the 1861 as 36 caliber Navy revolver. The 1848 Dragoon and 1860 were 44 Army revolver.
  8. ignats

    ignats Member

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    Kroil works well to free up rusted parts another good one is Wurth Rost Off it comes in aerosol cans. There is a new version called Wurth Rost off Max Ice here's the sales pitch. We use it at the dealership to release rusted on exhaust studs etc. I don't think it will damage the finish, but to be safe dab a little on a spot that is not visable. Kroil is safe on gun finishes. I find it best to let it sit or soak for a couple days.


    "This product represents the latest breakthrough in penetrating lubricant technology. By combining rapid freezing action with an advanced, rust eating formula, seized or rusted parts are easily released. Shrinkage of sprayed parts quickly breaks open micro fine fissures allowing the lubricant to easily penetrate through the toughest rust. The innovative rust eating technology then dissolves rust making the job a snap and future maintenance easier as well. "

  9. Model60

    Model60 New Member

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    Thank's for the info Alpo. Kroil is worth it's weight in gold, I use it whenever I'm working on old motorcycles. I went out to my shop and saw the kroil can and decided to give it a shot. 30 minutes later it was apart and cleaned. Now I just have to polish up the brass a little and put it back together.
  10. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    What Alpo said. The 58 was available as an Army model (44) and a Navy model (36) but the long barrel is a modern fantasy. Colt never made a 51 in .44 caliber and neither Colt nor Remington made army/navy revolvers with brass frames.
  11. Model60

    Model60 New Member

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    I got the pistol all clean and polished, looks great. I didn't get any documents with this pistol, need help finding the right size ammo.
    The manufacturer is Pietta and it's a 44 caliber. Went to sportsman's warehouse and found 4 different sizes of 44 caliber: .440-.451-.454 and .457. Had a guy say it was the .451 ,but the Pietta website listed a .454 and another website listed the .451.
    So if anyone has a Pietta 1858 New Army 44 Caliber Buffalo or Texas Model, please tell me what size ammo yours uses.
    I have a digital micrometer, however it only displays 10ths and not 100ths so it only shows .44 for the cylinder.:rolleyes:
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2012
  12. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    .451 or 454. I've used both. When you load it, as you are using the rammer to press the ball into the cylinder, you want to shave a very fine ring of lead off the lead ball. That is why the 45 size ball is recommended rather than 44 ( I made that mistake when I first started, and wound up with with a box of sling shot ammo ).
  13. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    My Remington NMA 1858 likes .454. .451 will work but .454 gives better precision. I use 10 or 11 caps (pinch them to keep them on the nipples) and the satandard Pyrodex charge of 24 gr. Not convinced this is the best combination, but it goes bang and hits the target.

    I put the powder in first followed by a wad, then the ball.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2012
  14. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    I usually use .457" diameter in my Pietta Remington .44s...but .454 is usually the correct choice. You want to be sure that you're shaving a nice clean ring of lead all the way around the ball when you're seating it.
    A larger ball also stays seated a little better than one that's too small. I.E. typically, a .451" will creep forward in all of the Pietta .44s that I've fired (Remington or Colt copies).

    Unlike BlackEagle, I prefer real black powder over Pyrodex for some odd reason. The stink from Pyrodex just curls my nose hairs in the wrong fashion. :)

    I have steel-frame Remingtons and I load em with 35gr of FFFg black powder. I usually use Ox Yoke Wonder Wads over the powder, under the ball. I have played around with using patch grease over the balls to seal em when I ran out of wads too...but it's a slimy mess.
    35gr is a pretty stout load, so if you have a brass-frame pistol, do NOT use it. Stick with the "standard" 25gr load.
  15. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, the 440 is for a 45 caliber rifle. 440 bullet with a patch.
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