Suggestions for 1858 New Army .44 Caliber Revolver Starter Supplies/Accessories?

Discussion in 'Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns' started by sstephenson, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. sstephenson

    sstephenson New Member

    Feb 5, 2010
    I just purchased a Pietta 1858 New Army .44 Caliber Revolver from Cabelas and I'm looking forward to trying it out. I'm new to black powder firearms and I'd like some suggestions from you experienced folks on what I should purchase in the way of supplies and accessories in order to get started. Here are a few questions, and I'd also like your thoughts on anything else I may need. Thanks in advance for your help!

    1) Powder - I'm looking for a good non-corrosive black powder substitute. Something convenient (like a pelleted powder charge) would be great. Or am I better off using black powder?

    2) Patch or No Patch (or wad?) - I've watched Cabella's video showing how the revolver is loaded. It seems to me that the big glop of lubricant that they put over the ball is dirt magnet and inconvenient to carry that way. Can you use a pre-lubricated patch or wad before the ball is loaded to prevent the mess and any potential accidental ignition of the other cylinders? What do you suggest?

    3) Ball size - Any recommendations?

    4) Cap/Primer - Any recommendations?

    5) Everything Else - What else do I need to get started?
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2010
  2. 22shot

    22shot New Member

    Oct 30, 2010
    U.S.of A.

    A nice BP revolver!

    Everybody will have their own opinion about what you would need/want; and I am no different!
    I am not aware of ANY non-corrosive BP subsitute; I use Pyrodex.
    Bullets: .451 180gr. conicals.
    #11 caps; German RWS.
    I use that combo in a .44 3rd. Model Dragoon (same chamber size as yours)
    O.K.; that's my 2 cents worth.

    Check out Dixie Gun Works; they have info/stuff for that gun that you never knew you needed!
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2010

  3. ofitg

    ofitg Active Member

    Feb 25, 2010
    Don't forget the nipple wrench.

    I've had good results with Triple Seven in my 1858.
  4. The Count

    The Count New Member

    May 29, 2010
    i just started shooting a 1858 army and a 1851 navy, both pietta from cabellas, just had to order them at the current fantastic sale price.

    i am using pyrodex P powder. 25 grains. 451 hornady bullets and pre-cut/pre-lubed wads. the wads are pretty thick so no need to seal each chamber with pig fat or anything to prevent chain fires. the caps i got are # 10, thats what most have recommended. kind-of a tight fit though, might try #11 next time.

    hint: be sure to push the loading lever down as far as it will go for a nice tight. didnt really do that the first couple of loads and some bullets just went 'poof' and bounced off the cardboard target and hit a friend on the head!

    extra important hint: if you think a round did not fire properly (just the cap went off) KEEP HOLDING THE GUN IN A SAFE DIRECTION FOR AT LEAST 30 SECONDS. these suckers can go off with a long delay some times.

    extra extra important hint: squib loads are a serious potential problem with cap and ball guns. do not try weak loads, 20 grains is the minimum in my opinion (also do not go over 25 if you have a brass gun). if you think the bullet did not come out, stop wait and check the barrel is clear before firing the next round.
  5. Night Driver

    Night Driver New Member

    Nov 3, 2008
    This is a post I added to a thread similar to yours;


    I shot an 1858 replica for years and years. It was brass framed and when cleaned up and the brass shined it looked really nice.

    I always shot .451 round ball with very satisfactory results. I modified the spout of my flask so it would throw enough powder to all but fill the chamber after the ball was seated. I then put wheel bearing grease over the ball with a cake decorator to prevent flashover ignition and to help keep the fouling soft.

    Some days I fired over 100 rounds thru it without cleaning. I just wiped the fouling off and removed all the bits of fired percussion caps. Those bits can get into the mechanism and appear to be a jam but by helping turn the cylinder while cocking it they would eventually clear to allow normal functioning.

    After the shooting sessions I would break it down completely for cleaning. I never ceased to be amazed at the amount of black powder residue that found its way into every nook and cranny of that revolver.

    I always shot genuine FFFg black powder (no substitutes for me) and Remington #11 caps. I cast my own round balls and after a time began making my own percussion caps with a Forester Tap-O-Cap tool.


    I have to ask why buy a replica black powder revolver and then not want to shoot black powder in it? All the substitutes still require immediate cleaning and still produce a great deal of smoke. So why bother? You may not know this but the man that invented pyrodex, the first black powder substitute, was killed when his powder mill exploded with him and others in it. The substitutes are or nearly are as dangerous as the real thing.

    This nonesense with powder substitutes, powder pellets, sabots, jacket bullets, scopes and inline ignition with #209 shot gun primers really gets to me.

    Personally I only shoot genuine black powder, cast lead bullets and percussion caps. I even took the adjustable iron sights off my Thompson Center .54 caliber Renegade and installed a buckhorn style rear sight. I've removed the blueing from the metal and created a natural rust brown finish. I guess I'm just a lunatic without a cause.
  6. 22shot

    22shot New Member

    Oct 30, 2010
    U.S.of A.

    The Pyrodex thing is a matter of preference...

    The first time i shot BP at an indoor range; I smoked myself out (I was asked to leave; the patrons were teary eyed and coughing after a few rounds....).

    So I switched to Pyrodex; which produces noticibly less smoke.

    Never did go back to that indoor range to test it out, though :)
  7. rammed

    rammed New Member

    Dec 25, 2009
    Centerville Ohio
    Maybe a little less smoke but it smells like you are burning rubber bands.:eek:
  8. 22shot

    22shot New Member

    Oct 30, 2010
    U.S.of A.
    The "targets" don't mind!
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2010
  9. okmac

    okmac New Member

    Nov 4, 2010
    Like you, I too bought a 1858 Army .44 caliber revolver from Cabelas recently. I certainly do not consider myself an expert but here are the accessories that I purchased.

    The revolver starter kit.

    A brass funnel to fill the flask .

    A lb. of Hodgon FFFG Triple Seven powder.

    A revolver loading/Display stand

    A revolver-cylinder loading stand. Which is still backordered.

    For what it is worth, I use the powder wads, from Cabelas , no. 10 caps and .451 round balls. People have told me I probably should use a .454 ball to get a better seal so I guess I will try them next

    I use about 23 grains of powder in a load and it works well and is accurate.

    Enjoy your purchase and I hope you have as much fun as I am

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