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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The ASM Dragoon that I bought the other day still has yet to be fired. Hopefully later today if the wind dies off enough to measure powder but I have one last issue to address before sending a ball downrange.

My 1851 Navy shoots a .454 and does it well. When I purchased the Dragoon the guy at the gunshop measured the muzzle and told me to shoot .445's out of it. This seemed small to me. When I got home I loaded a .445 & a .454 into the cylinder with no powder.

The .445 DID NOT shave and went in way too easy. I'd be afraid that the recoil would knock the ball out when I fired it. The .454 went in with a nice ring but took a little umph to get 'er in there (loaded dry which I usually don't do).

I am assuming that if I can reasonably (didn't beat it in with a mallet) load the ball in the chamber that this is safe to fire.

I personally would like to load a .451 to see how it works but I'm 40 miles from the gun shop and won't be going into town until tomorrow.

I am also assuming that since the gun shop deals almost exclusively with smokeless that the guy didn't really know what he was doing. I personally asked why he wasn't measuring the cylinder and was told that wasn't the way it was done.

Thanks again guys (and girls?) for helping out the rookie. My wife says I might have to go into BP re-hab if I buy another one in the next week!!


Joe


Ignorance is curable, stupidity is terminal.
 

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The guy might not be an idiot, but he is certainly ignorant about perrcussion revolvers. The ball must fit the cylinder, not the muzzle. Undersized balls loaded in the cylinder will result in chainfires, which can certainly ruin your day, along with your hand and possibly the revolver.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Even though I have a whole two weeks experience and maybe 150 rounds out of my Navy, I figured that I'd better trust my experience more than the "Smokeless Gun Shop Employee".

I just went out with a couple of friends and put about 40+ rounds through the Dragoon. I used my .454 balls 40gr fffg P and 10gr cornmeal as a filler plus wonder wad. I'm not thinkin' that I'll load this thing to 50gr very many times. The 40gr load is GREAT!! The cornmeal is a pain in the @#$%. The .454 shaved perfectly when loading.

Accuracy is pretty good at 25 yards, shoots high as I figured it would but considering the wind I'm surprised I hit the target.
 

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Was that outdoor wind or your wind that made accuracy difficult? :D

Yep, use the .454 inch balls. I don't own a Dragoon but I've fired a few. All Colt-pattern percussion revolvers hit high at 25 yards. I've yet to encounter one that didn't.
Use a greased felt wad between that 40s grs. of FFFG and .454 inch ball and you shouldn't need a filler. Corn meal filler is good for target loads, but offers no lubrication. I prefer to use a greased wad as a filller, for its lubricating qualities.
Use lard, bacon grease, Bore Butter, SPG, Lyman Black Gold or any other natural grease for the wads. If you wish, you can also put some kind of natural grease over the ball, though it's not needed if you use a greased wad.

Go to the thread at the top of this page entitled, "First Time Revolver Shooting." Lots of good info in there.
You're spot-on to use .454 inch balls. And if you run across some .457 inch balls on a bargain table, you can use those too.
Last summer I found a box of Speer .457 inch balls on a bargain table. There were 92 in the box, for which I paid $3. A good buy. They'll be used in my reproduction Remington and Colt .44-caliber pistols to good effect. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My Learning Curve is Steepening

Well...since I put that post up originally, I've fired 60 to 75 rounds through the Dragoon. I went with the .454's and they cut a nice ring when loading, but...

I had a friend out with me last Sunday who shoots inline pistols & rifles. He had a box of .451's so I loaded "1" in the cylinder with 40gr. It loaded a "little" easier than the .454's and cut almost the same ring when I pushed it in.

I managed to shoot up a couple of dozen of those loading the whole cylinder with no problems, consequently I bought what he had which was close to 200. They seem to be a little less hard on my hand with the loading ram. I've yet to check which one is more accurate.

As far as the filler is concerned:
It's my understanding that the ball needs to be reasonably close to the forcing cone (sic) when the cylinder is loaded i.e. that's why I'm using the corn meal, 40gr fffg 10gr corn meal. On my Conf. Navy I have started loading 20gr fffg and 20gr corn meal. That to me sounds like a lot of cake mix going down the barrel but here is what I discovered. With no filler just 20gr fffg, wad and ball I get a pop...bang!! Kind of like hearing a Flintlock rifle going off.

This infers to me that I wasn't getting ANY powder compression. By using the filler (I probably don't have any reason to use 20gr corn meal other than it brings the ball closer to the front of the cylinder) I no long get the pop...bang!! Just BANG!!

Back to you,

Your thoughts??

Joe
 

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Some claim when shooting with corn meal it helps to keep the barrel and cylinder cleaner. As the cornmeal acts as a swab.

http://www.blockaderunner.com/other/sale.htm

This place as some reasonable pistol flasks for sale. I bought one of each and am using the .36 to prime flintlocks. I was thinking I could fill the other with corn meal.
 

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$3.00 for basically a full box of .457 rb's? Wow! Those are what my ROAs shoot and Im used to paying $13.00 per box. Good thing I started scavenging lead and casting.

The Armi San Marco guns are equally happy with .451 and .454 size RBs.
As for the corn meal filler, I dont use it. Powder charge, then a lubed felt over charge wad every time, then the ball. In a Remington 1858 repro, Id strongly suggest lube over the ball as they tend to bind faster with fouling. The open top Colt repros dont bind as fast so sometimes I use an over ball lube, sometimes I dont.

My ROAs are the cat's whiskers. Run much much longer without binding up due to fouling and very accurate. My favorite cap and ball revolvers.
 
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