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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I just got my first blackpowder firearm. It's an 1860 Pietta colt replica. The starter kit came free from cabelas. All I need is percussion caps and I'm good to go, I think. I went to sportsmans warehouse the other day and got triple 7 powder and thought I was getting more round balls for the .44 but picked up .45 cal by mistake. It says they are Hornady.445 diameter. Will these work in my 1860? It looks like hornady makes .44 cal balls from .431 to .454. Anything else I'll need for my first trip out with it?
 

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The .445's are for a .45 rifle. The ones you got from Cabela's are .451. They will probably work ok just make sure they shave a ring when you load them. .454 would be a better choice. If you don't have wads you will need to put a little Crisco or other vegetable based lube over the balls. Make sure you scrub all the packing grease out of the chambers and pop a cap on each one before you load it. Cap size will most likely be #10 but I have seen a couple that took #11 so don't buy a lot before you find which size works best. Cleanup is with hot soapy water. Don't use any petroleum based lube in the bore or chambers, in the action is ok. If its a steel frame you can go up to 35 grains of powder. If its a brass frame stay at 20 or under. Oh, you said you have T7 so you have to reduce your loads by 15% by volume. Always measure bp subs by volume.
Take note of how far the wedge protrudes on the off side so you don't drive it back in too deep. The wedge screw doesn't need to be removed. Its only purpose is the catch the wedge spring to keep it from coming all the way out on disassembly.
 

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You want the .451 balls. And #10 caps. You might try some of the ranges out there.
There may be somewhere in Sac'to with Goex and other supplies. Or not.
dc
 

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You want the .451 balls. And #10 caps.
dc
Many times .451 balls fit too loose and move under recoil resulting in an airspace which you really don't want. .454's don't have that problem plus they shave more lead resulting in more bearing surface for the rifling to grip. I have bought two new Pietta 60's and #10 caps were too small, #11's worked just fine. Most of them have taken #10's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys! I'll keep my eyes out for #11 caps and let you all know after I take it out the first time!
 

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I also have Piettas and the .451s shave a nice ring. And need a whole whole lot of lever force to do it.
I'm sure the .454s would break the lever. Those levers do break.
I have heard of the #11s being too big. And needing pinching to get them to hold on. I never heard of #10s that were too small.
Hopefully warri will get the right ones, the ones that fit.
And Hawg is right, don't shoot loose balls.
dc
Hey Hawg, have I seen you on another forum? Or is it this one?
 

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I've always used .454's in my Pietta's and the only lever I ever broke was on a Rigarmi but that's a whole nother story.

You probably have. I belong to several. I have my own and am an admin on another one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
For cleaning the cylinder do you take the nipples out everytime with the nipple wrench or just fun hot water through with them still in? The #11 caps seem to fit fine but sometimes they kinda blow apart and get stuck between the cylinder and the frame, does that mean that I need #10's? The action is sweet on this pistol and its a great gun to shoot. Plus after watching Josie Wales use his I may need to get a short barrel model to go with it!
 

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Remove the nipples every time and clean them. Apply anti-seize to the threads. Do not over-tighten the nipples - just snug.
 

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Cleanup is with hot soapy water. Don't use any petroleum based lube in the bore or chambers, in the action is ok.
Could expound on why no oil in the bore?
Granted, my black powder days were 20 years ago and strictly black powder not pyrodex. I would use a solution made of equal parts Rubbing alcohol, Murphy's oil soap and hydrogen peroxide to clean up. It worked well. I would then send a couple of patches soaked with Clenzoil down the barrel. The Clenzoil is a petroleum base product. Never had a problem with it in my cap or rock guns.
 

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Petroleum mixes with black powder fouling and turns into hard crap.

Stay with natural lubes - beeswax, crisco (which is vegetable shortning), lard, mineral oil, things of that nature, and you don't get the hard crap.

Occasionally somebody comments on the cowboys in old movies, bringing their arms back and then snapping them forward when they shoot. Usually it will be something sarcastic like, "They think they are throwing the bullets?"

What that is, is whoever taught them to use their guns learned on Colt cap and ball revolvers. That "snap back and forward" thing is to keep the cap fragments out of the action.

>The #11 caps seem to fit fine but sometimes they kinda blow apart and get stuck between the cylinder and the frame, <

It's a Colt thing.
 

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The #11 caps seem to fit fine but sometimes they kinda blow apart and get stuck between the cylinder and the frame, does that mean that I need #10's?
I have had blown caps when using Italian made caps, in a Colt Walker and Remington reproduction. If I used Remington caps, they don't blow apart. The Remingtons have a foil seal over the priming compound and the Italian just have exposed priming compound.

Another oddity, when using Remington caps, on my TC 45 Hawkin (100 gr fffg), the hammer will blow back to half cock with Remington caps and don't with the Italian caps. The Italian ones blow apart and the Remington sort of seal the nipple port, off. This doesn't happen with a reasonable powder charge, though. The gun is just too accurate with my 290 gr minié ball load with 95 - 100 gr fffg, to not do that, though.

YMMV:)
 
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