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1851 navy

This is a discussion on 1851 navy within the Black Powder forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; Just ordered a pietta 1851 navy in 44 from midway. $212 on sale. Never had a cap n ball before. Any advice appreciated. It is ...


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Old January 21st, 2015, 07:07 PM   #1
 
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1851 navy

Just ordered a pietta 1851 navy in 44 from midway. $212 on sale. Never had a cap n ball before. Any advice appreciated. It is steel frame.



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Old January 21st, 2015, 08:06 PM   #2
 
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Good choice, excellent design, well balanced even though it is in .44 instead of the original designs .36. I'd start out feeding it 25 grains of Goex Black Powder 3Fg if you have access to it. If not you may have to go with Pyrodex, Triple 7 or any of the other Black Powder Substitutes. Just follow their instructions to try and come up with a similar quantity of grain equivalency.

Pure Lead Round Balls are the traditional projectile. If you have to use cast Lead ones, center the sprue mark (a round flat spot on one side of the ball) in the middle of the cylinder hole facing up. If you get a box of Hornadys Swaged lead balls they do not have a sprue mark and do not require any directional assistance.Make sure you seat the ball down on top of a felt wad over the powder or make sure the ball goes all the way down onto the top of the powder charge. A layer of either Black Powder Lead Ball Lubricant or just plain old Crisco needs to go over the top of the seated ball. The lubricant will help to soften the inevitable Black Powder Fouling that comes with shooting the stuff.

After you shoot your new pride and joy make sure you take it apart and clean it well with generous amounts of hot soapy water. Rinse it well with more hot water and the heated water will aid in evaporating the water from your gun parts. Scrub out the barrel with traditional brass wire round gun barrel brushes on a rod to remove the lead fouling. Then oil it up well to displace any water you may have missed. All that care will ensure your 1851 Navy will shoot just like it did when you first got it.

Oh yeah, if you don't have any luck finding Black Powder Lube, don't assume that the little lady in your life will take kindly to helping yourself to her kitchen supplies in the way of Crisco or sharing her pots and pans to heat and clean your gun parts in. Go buy your own, second hand stores have lots of cheap kitchen gear, it will save you nights on the couch, meals without Crisco, not to mention no pies, Crisco being a key ingredient in Pie crusts as well as cake batter.
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Old January 22nd, 2015, 05:09 AM   #3
 
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Thanks for all the info. I greatly appreciate it. As for using kitchen stuff well my wife freaked when I was using her pans to wash my brass in.
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Old January 22nd, 2015, 10:08 AM   #4
 
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What size caps should I use? 11? 454 ball ?
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Old January 22nd, 2015, 10:31 AM   #5
 
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I use 11's on mine, hornady 44 round ball is about the best you can get, USE BORE BUTTER!!! its a trademark product that works like Vaseline to seal each cylinder after loading with powder and ball... best thing is it lubes the barrel and mechanism with each shot so cleaning is an absolute piece of cake! almost boiling water from a tap ... EASY!!! just remove the barrel and cylinder and give em a good soaking then put em someplace warm right away after drying with a cleaning cloth and Presto ! evaporated water and parts ready for a little oil (or use the bore butter as an oil substitute!).

I have three colts by pietta and a buntline remy from Uberti with the 10" barrel ... you will be amazed at the groups you will get with the colt

You will also be amazed by the balance and natural feel, its like no other pistol in this regard, a perfect shoot'ists pistol.
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Old January 22nd, 2015, 11:11 AM   #6
 
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As TF57 says #11 caps work just fine.

While Hornady Swaged balls are the best of the best to get for your shooting, don't turn your nose up at cast lead. They were what these guns shot from the beginning and were what they made their reputations on. Being an old caster from way back, I prefer them. I get my lead from wheel weights and when casting for my black powder firearms I skim off the other metals from the top of the pot once it heats up. This leaves me with lead that is mostly just lead to pour.

Cast Lead is a bit less expensive to shoot even if you have to buy it from the gun shop or online purveyor like Gander Mountain, Midway, Brownell's or other sources.
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Old January 22nd, 2015, 11:22 AM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treadhead1952 View Post
As TF57 says #11 caps work just fine.

While Hornady Swaged balls are the best of the best to get for your shooting, don't turn your nose up at cast lead. They were what these guns shot from the beginning and were what they made their reputations on. Being an old caster from way back, I prefer them. I get my lead from wheel weights and when casting for my black powder firearms I skim off the other metals from the top of the pot once it heats up. This leaves me with lead that is mostly just lead to pour.

Cast Lead is a bit less expensive to shoot even if you have to buy it from the gun shop or online purveyor like Gander Mountain, Midway, Brownell's or other sources.
I used to cast myself... old fishing shot and weights (now non eco friendly thus illegal ... I also used to visit local recycling centers to see if I could buy up any lead they had handed in (roofing lead more often then not.)

One thing not said yet... until you know all there is to know about your pistol and its structural limits use ONLY cap en ball powder pellets, don't even think about free pouring powder. I knew a lad who got the measure way wrong one time (turns out he had the wrong mixture as well) and now wears a lovely glass eye.

If you can... get some lessons in from someone who knows what he/She is about. I didn't free pour for the 1st year... then again , I am over cautious most of the time

Last edited by TF57; January 22nd, 2015 at 11:24 AM.
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Old January 22nd, 2015, 11:33 AM   #8
 
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I am old school on muzzleloaders I use real black powder and use crisco to seal the cylinder mouths. I have done this since 1974 and it still works. I would use 3 f powder. You do have to clean the gun with hot soapy water the same day though. The replica powders need cleaning soon but not necessarily the same day.
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Old January 22nd, 2015, 12:03 PM   #9
 
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You have been given some good advice and some that is questionable. I have been shooting muzzleloaders for 40+ years and I am a NRA certified muzzleloader instructor. I have the same pistol and speak from experience. Almost all cross fires, where more than one cylinder fire, are caused by sparks coming from the cap of the fired cylinder, getting into and under other caps, not from the ball end. Your pistol was designed to use #10 caps, and they fit tighter on the nipple than #11 caps. If you all ready have .445 or larger, up to .447 balls, you can use them, but they will be hard to load. Your gun was designed to use .441 balls. When the ram pushes the ball into the cylinder, it will cut a circle or ring of lead as it goes in. This ensures a tight seal. Grease over the ball is not necessary and it is messy. I load 20 grains of 3fg black powder, into the chamber, then a .44 caliber lubed felt pad, then the ball. If you want a heavier load, use the same measure of 777, it is more powerful than black. Your pistol has a brass frame and continued use of heavy loads, in excess of 25 grains, can cause the frame to stretch. In lieu of the felt pad, (they are available from several venders, like Track of the Wolf, October Country, or Midway U.S.A.), you can use 5 to 10 grains of corn meal or cream of wheat, between the powder and the ball. If you have any further questions, PM me or send an inquiry to rcamp01@cfl.rr.com. Keep yer powder dry......Robin
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Old February 23rd, 2015, 03:26 PM   #10
 
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I am pretty sure all my pietta manuals say 454 balls. I have tried 451 but are pretty loose and use 454 on my uberti i might go to a 457. Just learning that gun so we'll see. I'm afraid a 441 would pretty much just slide in the chamber....I could be wrong though.
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Old May 14th, 2015, 01:12 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lethemgo View Post
I am pretty sure all my pietta manuals say 454 balls. I have tried 451 but are pretty loose and use 454 on my uberti i might go to a 457. Just learning that gun so we'll see. I'm afraid a 441 would pretty much just slide in the chamber....I could be wrong though.
As long as it shaves a ring of lead when swaged into the cylinder, it doesn't matter whether you use a .451, a .454 or a .457 ball. I always load powder, usually 20 grains of 3Fg, a lubed felt wad then the ball. I use #10 caps, I think 11's fit too loose and could cause cross firing. The felt wad ensures that no blow by can cause a chain reaction, and makes clean up easier. Pyrodex P or 777 can be substituted for BP but NEVER use smokeless powder, you will blow up your gun and probably your hand as well. Keep yer powder dry.......Robin
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Old May 15th, 2015, 05:41 AM   #12
 
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Second on using Bore Butter. If you use petroleum-based lubes, fouling increases. I wipe my guns (1860 Army, Ruger Old Army, Walker and 2nd Dragoon, as well as a Knight and a T/C Hawken) with Bore Butter before storing them.

I am a little paranoid about a chain-fire, so I use powder, felt wad, ball and then Bore Butter. I also use the Pyrodex pellets in my revolvers.
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Old June 2nd, 2015, 10:08 PM   #13
 
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I have a .36 cal Pietta 1851 Navy, and I can say that Remington #10 caps are the best fit on the Pietta nipples. For lube, I use the Precision Lube 2000 from Muzzleloaders Originals. It probably works just like Bore Butter, but the PL 2K was recommended to me.
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Old August 16th, 2015, 06:13 PM   #14
 
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The .44 caliber bullets are for using a patch.
You place a small patch of cloth over the chamber mouth after placing the powder then you place the ball and ram it in to the cylinder then you need a patch knife to cut the excess cloth material
Wonderwads (the felt discs everyone uses) are a wonderful alternative to patching a ball.
Get the proper size balls for your pistol.
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Old August 16th, 2015, 06:34 PM   #15
 
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I always had best accuracy in 44s with 457 round balls.
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