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power of a BP revolver

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by CoachSuper, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. waterdog

    waterdog G&G Enthusiast

    let someone shoot you in the azz if you holler the BB gun is correct, If you need medical attention I'd say your wrong , witch will it be?JK........LOL
  2. linx

    linx G&G Newbie


    I think the key to this conversation is "hitting" something. It takes a great deal of personal trial to get good with a cb handgun. The built-in distractions are legendary and it is a completely different experience than playing with fixed ammo. As for power:

    My first handgun was a 1949 Colt pocket model .31 with a 5 1/2" barrel. It would not put a ball through both sides of a steel beer can at 15 feet. A buddy of mine managed to get himsel a .44 Remington army model and it became crystal clear that the ballistics changed radically upward with size. At the 25 yard burm, you couldn't tell the differnce between bullet strikes from the old Remington or the Colt goldcup at the next bench! With conical bullets, I believe the bigger cb guns hit pretty hard at normal handgun ranges.

    I enyoyed the comments of all. Thank you -

    Maxmillian -

  3. don5544

    don5544 G&G Evangelist

    I only use 25 grs of pyrodex. Thats just enough to give a little kick and smoke.

    Its literally a blast to shoot.

    No way I'm going to use 40 grns. I like my eyes and hands.

    A 44 mag works better if you are trying to shoot someone. Its a lot more powerful.
  4. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson G&G Newbie

    You can get up to 1,229 fps at 470 ft-lbs of muzzle energy with 40 gr of 777 and a .454 140 gr round ball. That compares with the 1911 .45, and is no pea shooter. People have humanely taken deer, boars, and even black bear with cap and ball revolvers like the Remington 1858.
    Big Dog likes this.
  5. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson G&G Newbie

    From an 8 inch Remington 1858
    jwrauch likes this.
  6. Big Dog

    Big Dog Retired IT Dinosaur Wrangler Forum Contributor

    My only trouble with my cap&ball revolvers is their much lower reliability compared to a good cartridge revolver. "Powerwise", I do not feel undergunned with them. Even my .36 cal. 1851 Navy repro has decent knockdown power. I'd put up alongside any cast lead .38 Special.
    Accuracywise, the .44s are quite good. They surprised me when I shot them on paper. The .36 doesn't shoot as tight, but I haven't yet tried finding a load it really likes.
    PAPA G, jwrauch and chesterwin like this.
  7. Now i want to chrono my bp revolver.
    Rondog is right though
    Slowslowslow to load and keep clean and functional .
    No WONDER all those guys had swords and bayonettes.
    In the heat of battle maybe six shots and then a 5 minute time out to reload
    And after the 3rd cylinder another time out to clean it so the cylinder will rotate
    neophyte, TXplt and jwrauch like this.
  8. Felix's Tattoo

    Felix's Tattoo G&G Evangelist

    I remember when we were kids. A friend had an original Remington .44 cap and ball. We were out shooting it one day. We shot into some granite outcroppings, and recovered some of the balls. They had flattened out to the size of the old silver dollars. It made us shudder to think what a shoulder or elbow or knee or skull wound would look like, from that thing. Amputations were the order of the day.
  9. Big Dog

    Big Dog Retired IT Dinosaur Wrangler Forum Contributor

    Every good military medic and western town doctor had a bone saw and sharp knife in his MD bag.
    I visited a Civil Museum once, close to Marianna Caverns on Fl State Road 90, west of Tallahassee. Upper floor of a horse tack and leather shop. They have some genuine CW revolvers and rifles, and a full doctor's bag with all the tools. Some were downright scary! And consider they rarely had any kind of anesthetic for the patient!
    neophyte and PAPA G like this.
  10. Rex in OTZ

    Rex in OTZ G&G Evangelist

    They are fun to shoot, if you want more speed and power . . . . Then shoot a centerfire cartridge handgun.
    Over the years Id noticed these revolvers have deep chambers, in fact with my ASM 1860 .44, the powder flask measure can throw two charges a powder under a 142gr .458 lead round ball and ram it all to nicely seated into the cylinder well below the cylinder mouth.
    My guess that extra room was for over powder wad and conical bullet.

    With double charged revolver the recoil and muzzle flip are heavy, you increase the chance of stripping out the frame/arbor pin thread (that scant few threads hold the whole colt revolver together) risking it shooting loose.
    A properly loaded percussion revolver shouldnt recoil and flip muzzles, this also batters the cylinder and the back the revolver recoil shield.
    I remember out in Wyoming seeing .36cal lead balls ricochet up a ravine first striking near the target 50yds distant then next puff of dust further up the ravine, alternating from side to side up that revine due to that hardpan.
    That last 5th puff a dust being over 260 paces from where we were firing.
    That was just using a load shook from its powder flask measure.
    You can stoke them hot and make them buck and bellow but that wont last long.
    Remember these revolvers are made of easily machined mild steel and not forged of modern day ordinance steels.
  11. DWFan

    DWFan Handgunner

    I've always wondered about a Taurus Judge/Circuit Judge chambered for the .45 BPM (Black Powder Magnum), but never enough to pursue it.
    PAPA G likes this.
  12. Big Dog

    Big Dog Retired IT Dinosaur Wrangler Forum Contributor

    I bought a conversion cylinder for my steelframed Colt 1851 and 1860 repros, but it only functions at all with one 1851 Navy. Even then it jams occasionally, and misfires. It seems the six firing pins are a tad short, giving light strikes. Too bad, as I invested in brass, bullets and dies for .45 Colt. Another problem is the factory .45 Colts can be a smidge long in COL, and cause jamming. So I got brass for .45 Schofield, a slightly shorter case.
    Still working with it as time permits.
    PAPA G likes this.
  13. Felix's Tattoo

    Felix's Tattoo G&G Evangelist

    My father was born in 1909. He said that there were still lots of old-timers around with empty coat sleeves and empty pants legs, back when he was a boy.
    neophyte, PAPA G and Big Dog like this.
  14. PaleHawkDown

    PaleHawkDown G&G Evangelist

    If you had gone with the five shot you probably would never have had a problem. It's hard to get a flat pin to hit an angled cartridge with any force.

    The jams, however, sound more like a "bought the gun from a huge company whose name begins with "C"," problem. That can be fixed by buying the proper hand rather than the flat, poorly beveled one found on the budget models.
    PAPA G likes this.
  15. Kaybe

    Kaybe G&G Evangelist

    Isn't there conical shaped bullets for BP revolvers?
  16. Big Dog

    Big Dog Retired IT Dinosaur Wrangler Forum Contributor

    Yep, but they are heavier than balls, so velocity with same powder load drops. Some shooters think them less accurate too.
    Using my .45 Colt factory cowboy loads with the conversion cylinder, accuracy is less than with .451 balls.
  17. 25 paces

    Attached Files:

    neophyte likes this.
  18. I had to ain about 2 feet low to get close to the x
    I guess in battle you aim at the knees?
    neophyte likes this.
  19. PaleHawkDown

    PaleHawkDown G&G Evangelist


    Yep. We sell them as well. Velocity is generally slower than a ball with a wad, but is similar to a ball without a wad in .44.

    Accuracy within 30 feet seems no different. I perceive that conicals have an edge with accuracy at 100 yards, but I have to qualify that by saying that I may have just been having a good day.

    Terminal performance is wildly different.

    In wet phone books the conical gets better penetration and flattens slightly. The round ball does more damage, and while it doesn't go as deep they have a tendency to yaw, tear up more paper and deform more.

    In coyotes the conical hits and often goes through along the same trajectory, while the round balls seem to go in and drill downwards.