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  1. #1
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    Default Help me make a decision: 1858 remington in .44, or 1860 colt in .44?

    The wife told me this morning I am to order one or the other......I am REALLY torn. I love the looks of the 1860 colt, but like the functionality, ease of cleaning, and shear strength of the 1858.....Eventually, I want both......but for now, only one. I also am going to pick up a good holster for it, along with some other must haves like powder, caps, etc.......oh, will number 11 caps work? And how expensive is the shipping for a 6.00 tin of 100 caps? Is the hazmat fee so bad as to be prohibitively expensive, as in, paying 15 bucks to ship a 6 dollar tin?


    But which would you go for? This will be my first black powder firearm.....Again, the ease of cleaning with the 1858 really appeals.....I have read a lot of reviews on both, and people love both....but some say that pietta doesn't fit the barrel wedge very well on the 1860 colt.....usually way to tight......

  2. #2
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    oh, and would you buy one from cabelas with the kit, or without? I have NOTHING so far.......

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruskiegunlover View Post
    The wife told me this morning I am to order one or the other......I am REALLY torn. I love the looks of the 1860 colt, but like the functionality, ease of cleaning, and shear strength of the 1858.....Eventually, I want both......but for now, only one. I also am going to pick up a good holster for it, along with some other must haves like powder, caps, etc.......oh, will number 11 caps work? And how expensive is the shipping for a 6.00 tin of 100 caps? Is the hazmat fee so bad as to be prohibitively expensive, as in, paying 15 bucks to ship a 6 dollar tin?


    But which would you go for? This will be my first black powder firearm.....Again, the ease of cleaning with the 1858 really appeals.....I have read a lot of reviews on both, and people love both....but some say that pietta doesn't fit the barrel wedge very well on the 1860 colt.....usually way to tight......
    Being a Brit, I can't help you with shipping costs in the U.S. What I can tell you is that I have owned a Pietta 1858 New Model Army .44 for over 10 years and it has been a pleasure to shoot (with No.11 caps). One thing I hear from guys that shoot Colts, is that they have an annoying habit of caps falling off the nipple and jamming the hammer. That being said, I don't think it would put me off buying a Colt, lets face it you would be buying into a piece of history.
    ukrifleman

  4. #4
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    I've always had Colts and got a couple Remingtons recently.

    I do believe that you only need to completely disassembele any of these only periodically.

    You can clean a Colt barrel and cylinder in your sink in a few minutes.
    More complicated with the Rem.

    I got a good deal on a 1860 Army that had wedge issues-the channel in the arbor just needed some filing.

    If you have no gear, a kit might be a good idea.
    You can find caps in some farm home stores that have sporting goods.
    You can order them in bulk-1000 lots from midway or someplace aren'too bad.aren't too bad.

    Use only real black powder-substitutes are unholy. I think that wads and breakfast food fillers are a waste of time, but that's only me and 50 years of personal shooting.
    Grease over chambers is also your choice.
    Eventually you'll have a chain fire, but they are no big deal-NEVER put any part of your hand in front of the cylunder when firing.
    Experience is a good teacher.
    Have fun.
    You will be wanting variations shortly.

  5. #5
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    won't a chain fire destroy the gun? I thought that was when several cylinders fire, hitting the frame, etc?

  6. #6
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    Ive' owned both. The Reminton is the strongest design with the top frame adding strength and ridgidity. My favorite is the Ruger old army
    Oldgoat46
    " In Biblical times Samson slew 40,000 Philistines with the jawbone of an ass. Everyday an equal number of sales are killed by the use of the same weapon."

  7. #7
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    Get the 1858 Remington (Pietta). I got one with the target sights and it is dead-on accurate.
    Nothing worthwhile ever comes easily.

  8. #8
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    I like the Remington.I put a little crisco over each ball.Keeps the fouling soft so the pistol doesnt bind up from fouling.Also its said that it helps prevent chain fires.Tell you what i"ve used for caps when there werent any at hand.They make a soft plastic cap for kids toy pistols that are little round versions of percussion caps.Often red in color they come 50,or so to a pak,and are hooked together in a square.They set off phyrodex loads in mine.Easy to find locally.

  9. #9
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    I don't honestly think this is a question we can give you a good answer to.
    Looks aside, both work very well, & are equally strong, but the grip is different. The Colt grip is thicker higher up, the Remington slimmer. Come time to fire the pistol for real its going to be your hand holding the grip, not mine. Hows the sight picture for you (some find the notch in the hammer "distracting" unlike the notch in the frame). Can you actually handle both somehow before buying? This was what I based my decision on & so far it has not let me down.

    Incidentally I have small hands & picked the 1858Remington, but many with larger hands say the trigger guard slaps them when firing.

    Whichever you get, don't worry overly about "chainfires" its nowhere as common as many would have you believe & rarely destroys anything other than your shorts.
    Grease over the balls, or lubed wads under the balls & caps that fit without pinching will prevent them 99.99% of the time. What size caps #10 or #11? Dunno, get a tin of each & use the ones that work best. (Seriously these are pre mass production items so consistency & standardization will be the first casualties of "modern engineering") the number designation varies less than vendor specs so some #10 will be bigger than some other #11 ones.

    The kit will get you started. Based on that alone it's not a bad idea. Bear in mind you'll probably replace 90% of it within the first 3 months, as you find you get sucked into the BP world though. These suckers are habit forming smelly, dirty, messy FUN!
    Last edited by plonker; 12-04-2010 at 05:03 PM.
    When the entire world is PO'd at you maybe its you, not the whole world that has the problem!

  10. #10
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    Go with the Remington. I had a chain fire ONCE and it was unpleasant, to say the least. The bottom cylinder was the only one to not go off. It was like shooting a .44 Mag deringer. The grease I was using was melting to fast, as it was hot and we were doing some serious blasting. The Remington has a stronger frame IMHO.
    During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.
    George Orwell

  11. #11
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    won't a chain fire ruin the gun?

    I am still torn.....although in the end, within a few months, I'll get the other too.......I also am looking for a GOOD quality, reproduction civil war rifle......probably an enfield, not sure where to look......

    I am leaning towards the remington. But, I am still not sure.....

  12. #12
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    how hard are the colts to dissassemble?

  13. #13
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    No, a chain fire won't ruin the gun. At the very worst the chamber in line with the loading lever will hit the plunger or rammer and may break it but in the very few times I have had a chain fire ( about 3 in 50 years of shooting black powder weapons ) I have nvere had any damage done to either my Colts or Remingtons ( I shot two originals for years when there were no reproductions ). Both guns are easy to disasemble for quick cleaning. Use a brass or wood or nylon headed mallet to tap out the barrel wedge on the Colt, and if the cylinder pin on the Remington is stuck due to fouling a few taps with the same mallet ( a small one of course ) at the rear of the pin head will get it started. I like both revolvers, the Colt has graceful lines and has a better grip for large hands but the Remington is a solid citizen in the black powder world and the sights seem to be a little better. Like you I would have a hard time making a choice so will leave the agony up to you. Joe

  14. #14
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    The only chain fire I ever had was with a Sile copy 1860. Four cylinders went including the bottom one. Really bound things up. I got it apart and had to replace a wrecked wedge, a broken cylinder stop and trigger spring. The slot in the cylinder arbor was piened a bit, but surprisingly the arbor remained solidly in the frame. I had expected the worst and it didn't happen.
    It had broken but it wasn't ruined. That one made its way back on to the range again. With a new set of nipples too! Since then I always pay closer attention to their condition.

    I remember the recoil from that time too. The revolver canted to the left and lurched forward. Being my first and only experience with a chain fire I stood there befuddled for a short while.

  15. #15
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    The thing with chainfires is that they happen away from the barrel, this is both good & bad.
    Bad in that they will definitely get your attention, good in that B/P needs a barrel to burn in, & a fairly long one. When you get a chainfire the actual energy imparted to the ball is massively reduced, but the flash & visual effects are increased as most of the powder burns in air as it is blasted from the cylinder unburnt.
    If you look at a C&B revolver from the (yes, Eugene, safely unloaded) muzzle end you'll see that the only chamber to actually "shoot into the front of the pistol" is the bottom center one. Frequently in a chainfire the top 3 fire each other, all 6 firing is even rarer than the chainfire itself. From everything I've read by those who've actually had one the balls are lucky to go 10' before hitting the ground so little energy being contained in the other chambers.

    Seriously using balls of the correct size & checking for a complete circular shaving when ramming, using a thick grease over the seated ball, or lubed wad between the ball & powder, & having properly fitted caps will reduce the likelihood to close to zero.

    Personally I go with the wads. Partly as chainfire protection, but mainly for the convenience. They allow me to lay the pistol down when loading to pick a ball up as the wad keeps the powder from spilling out of the chamber mouth (another possible cause of chainfires, loose powder grains stuck in the axis spindle flashing over during firing).
    When the entire world is PO'd at you maybe its you, not the whole world that has the problem!

  16. #16
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    Why not cozzy up to her and order both guns?

  17. #17
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    eh, thats not going to happen......but I'll be happy with one. I am really leaning towards the 1860 colt, and am considering NOT getting the kit, instead just buying the measures, brass powder flask, balls seperatly......I will probably skip the wads, just use crisco instead or bore butter........Where can I find 30 grain and 35 grain spouts? Or the measures for those charges?

  18. #18
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    You can get adjustable powder measures from on-line places like "Track Of The Wolf" or powder flasks with a built in measure from the same place.
    As a short term alternative you can get a 29 Gr measure from an empty .357 magnum pistol case.
    When the entire world is PO'd at you maybe its you, not the whole world that has the problem!

  19. #19
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    maybe a local gun shop would give me a 357 case. Just fill the case to the top?

    Is there a particular type of pyrodex I should buy? Or triple seven? No traditional black powder around here......all just the immitations. Eventually, I will try to get some....but right now just going with what i can get locally......Seems like all of the stuff i have looked at says its good for ALL black powder firearms, does not differentiate between rifle and revolver....


    OH, and I already made the toughest decision: I went with the 1860 colt in .44....already on order......later, I will pick up the remington.....went with the kit anyways, used a 20 dollar off deal, total shipped to me was 257 and change.....they had free shipping a while back, but I missed out on that. So at this point, ALL I seem to need for the first outing is powder and caps.....going to TRY #11 remington, as thats all the local gander has......haven't seen this stuff at the wal marts.......and probably pyrodex or triple seven.......

  20. #20
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    I looked, thinking about this flask.....
    http://www.trackofthewolf.com/Catego...um=FLASK-PEACE

    with the 30 grain spout....I have read that cabellas recommends ONLY 15 grains, but most use 35. I think 30 is a decent amount......

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruskiegunlover View Post
    The wife told me this morning I am to order one or the other......I am REALLY torn. I love the looks of the 1860 colt, but like the functionality, ease of cleaning, and shear strength of the 1858.....Eventually, I want both......but for now, only one. I also am going to pick up a good holster for it, along with some other must haves like powder, caps, etc.......oh, will number 11 caps work? And how expensive is the shipping for a 6.00 tin of 100 caps? Is the hazmat fee so bad as to be prohibitively expensive, as in, paying 15 bucks to ship a 6 dollar tin?


    But which would you go for? This will be my first black powder firearm.....Again, the ease of cleaning with the 1858 really appeals.....I have read a lot of reviews on both, and people love both....but some say that pietta doesn't fit the barrel wedge very well on the 1860 colt.....usually way to tight......
    Buy both of course ! I have both . . though I'm realy a '58 Remington shooter, . . have a bunch of them. Both '58 and '60 Army are on sale at Cabelas. # 11 CCI caps work on mine. I intend to convert my '60 Army to cartridge for vistitor shooters who don't want to bother with cap& ball loading.

    Good shootin', . . .

    ps. Get a holster from Cabelas for $ 17.00 ( ie. Western Style open top )

    www.drburkholter.com/cf6.html

  22. #22
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    I have a Remington 1858 from Pietta I use 30 grain Pyrodex pellets and round balls that when you tamp it in it leaves a slight lead ring. There fore no chain fires, grease, or measuring. The Remington has a stronger frame due to the top strap.
    "Si Vis Pacem Parabellum"

    NRA Life Member since 1978

  23. #23
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    Everyone should get a Remington . . . after they get a Colt.

  24. #24
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    I intend to use some grease, but hopefully not much.......I will likely get the flask and spout next, along with 100 round balls.....any other options for bullets besides the round ball?

  25. #25
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    I think the colt has a more traditional, period correct look.....the remington is next for me though....

  26. #26
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    Does anything hold the barrel wedge in on the colt? Or is it just a tight fit? Anyone ever had one loosen up while shooting?

  27. #27
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    If you have a brass frame then 15Gr is about it to prolong frame life. With a steel frame you'll find 25~27 Gr of either FFg, or FFFg will work fine & be a very accurate load. Heavier loads are possible, but most end up dropping back to the 27Gr area for accuracy.
    That flask is for a musket BTW, you might want to look at pistol flasks of a similar design. One thing to consider is the tip of the spout should be smaller in diameter than the opening into which you're going to drop the powder. This reduces spillage.
    If you go with grease, don't skimp. Fill the whole ding-dang-doodle front of the chamber with it, flush with the mouth.

    Alternatives to RB are basically "conical bullets" unfortunately they tend to suck massively. This is because they are very hard to load from the front without canting & so tend to be off kilter when loaded. For sheets & giggles you can load the weight of a ball in small (7 1/2 or 8) shot from a pulled down 12 Ga shell, just remember to put a top wad in as well so they don't escape & get into the mechanism.

    maybe a local gun shop would give me a 357 case. Just fill the case to the top?
    I dunno, just ask 'em it's their choice. I usually find some laying about at the range, or you can use a .45ACP case for a similar volume. Remember you don't need a reloadable case any one of the right volume will do fine.
    Yep just fill it level across the top of the case.
    When the entire world is PO'd at you maybe its you, not the whole world that has the problem!

  28. #28
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    so maybe I'll go 25 grn....I want this thing to last for as close to forever as possible. But, I don't want LIGHT loads either......I do want to feel the gun go off.....

  29. #29
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    Then get a .38 Spl case.
    You'll feel some recoil & get smoke & flames too, but unless it's a brasser then 27 will be fine you're not going to overload a cap 'n ball B/P revolver.
    My '58 Rem is like a full house 9mm with a 28Gr load & a round ball. Surprisingly accurate as well.
    Not too shabby for a "duellist" (one hand) 25 Yd group, particularly as it comes from an old, blind fat guy who mostly shoots rifle.
    When the entire world is PO'd at you maybe its you, not the whole world that has the problem!

  30. #30
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    also, what type is FFg and FFFg? Are these brands, or types?

  31. #31
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    FFG and FFFG refer to the grain size of black powder. I prefer to use FFG in my 1858 Remington. Many of us have experimented with different grains sizes while trying to come up with accurate loads. Generally speaking black powder comes in FFFFG ( used as flint priming powder by some folks ), FFFG in .36 caliber pistols and some rifles, FFG in .44 cal. pistols, rifled muskets, black powder cartridges, FG in large bore muskets and in small bored cannons. I am being very general here as far as applications-I am sure that the folks here will make some useful reccomendations as to powder. Joe

  32. #32
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    So, find a pyrodex or triple seven in FFg?

  33. #33
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    Go with the '58 Rem...much more durable. I've seen several Navy's that have had issues. Of course a Ruger is the cat's meow. I enjoy them all but would not feel too undergunned with the Rem. On a cold night like tonight (29F) I'd go for that bowl of chili before any of them. LOL

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  34. #34
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    The "F" designations are for actual black powder (or some of the substitutes) I believe the Pyrodex equivalent is called "Pyrodex "P" as opposed to "RS" (rifle & shotgun) which is more like an "Fg" replacement. I'm not sure what the triple seven equivalent is.
    When the entire world is PO'd at you maybe its you, not the whole world that has the problem!

  35. #35

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    If the Colt has a steel frame, it will last as long as the Remington, no problem - you will never wear either one out in this lifetime. I prefer the Colt but that's just me.

  36. #36
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    Remington.

    I have had mine for almost 30 years and it works as well today as ever after 5000+ rounds. The sights are better too.

    By comparison, I just got a .36 colt for in an estate sale for $20. It is a kit gun that was started in the 70's and never finished. The first time I shot it, the wedge fell out and is gone for good. Now I need to find another wedge before I can shoot the thing again. Accuracy is was not great, but I also needed a slightly larger round ball mould.

  37. #37
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    Ruskie, I think you did well. I recently faced this same decision, went with the 1860 Army with the starter kit. I have no regrets, and it was almost too easy after that. I'm sure you've used the internet to read and research--lots of opinions out there, both good and bad. When you shoot your 1860, just do the flip to the right after each shot, look to make sure the spent cap is off the nipple and gone, and enjoy the next shot. Most folks say the .454 balls are more accurate. Don't discount the .451 balls, though. With only a few cylinders fired, the .451's are looking to be more accurate. For safety's sake, I used wads with the .451's, and after the wads ran out, shot some .454's seated on the powder with Crisco on top. No chain fires, but I'm just a newbie. The Cabela's starter kit is fine for getting you to the firing line and enjoying your pistol. As with any hobby, you can escalate from there. You're gonna love the look and feel of that revolver.

  38. #38
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    Ha, I appriciate all opinions, and know I will. I have to say, I REALLY like both equally.....it was like choosing which of your kids you love most......I will eventually get the rem.....

    Now, its just getting caps and powder, and a better brass flask and spout.....I need a good 25-27 spout for a pistol, and a good flask that will work with it......

  39. #39
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    Geez, plonker... you must really hate the ace of spades.

    Nothing worthwhile ever comes easily.

  40. #40
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    Remember that Colt pistol copies tend to shoot pretty high & Remington copies tend to shoot very low. Use a big backboard for that first volley.

    Geez, plonker... you must really hate the ace of spades.
    It was an entry in an on-line shooting match on a cap & ball/western forum, so I went all Wild Bill Hickok for giggles.
    When the entire world is PO'd at you maybe its you, not the whole world that has the problem!

  41. #41
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    Remmie or Colt. Age old question like Mary Ann or Ginger? No wrong answer. I went through the same thing and ended up getting the colt. I ended up with a Remmie not long after that anyway. When you want to really man-up, get a Walker (like Dusty Bottoms).



    I use lube pills in all my revolvers. Keeps'em clean as a whistle while shooting and i've never had a chain fire. The local gun shop sells Goex so that's what I use (FFFG). Pyrodex sucks in a revolver.
    Last edited by Osage; 12-14-2010 at 09:14 PM.

  42. #42
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    I have two 1858 Remingtons and like them quite well. Also the sight is on the frame, not a notch on the hammer like the Colt. I did have a colt for a while, but enjoy the Remingtons more.
    Rudy N
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