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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay guys, you've got a stone "Rookie" on the forum today. I received an 1851 Con Navy (Pietta) for Xmas and when the first round fired (not the first load), I was hooked. I'm learning quickly but I'm still going to ask this forum a lot of ignorant questions, here's the first.

In a local gun shop they have a used "Virginia Dragoon" (that's what they're calling it). It's made by ARMI and they want $399 for it. I'm looking for info on this particular type of gun. Is this a "Walker" style gun? What type of powder charge (I'm using fff Pyrodex P) If I pay the ask price for this gun am I getting hammered?

When I type "Virginia Dragoon" into Google I pretty much get links having to do with smokeless 44 mags

Like I said, I'm very new to this. Any comments or opinions regarding these replica hand cannons would be appreciated.

My smokeless powder days are now behind me.
 

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Welcome to the black powder community!

The Dragoon and the Walker are similar except that the Walker holds 60 gr. FFFg and the Dragoon holds 50 gr FFFg.. The barrel of the Walker is also longer. I can not go into too many detals because I am not a true expert regarding revolvers. The Walker was the most powerful of all black powder revolvers.
 

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The Walker Colt came first. The Walker Colt had a lot of problems. They were huge, the loading lever was bad, they tended to blow up in the cylinder, and just were not dependable enough. So The Colt Dragoon came along and kind of fixed all the mistakes that the Walker had.

Armi while being a well made revolver or rifle, that price is kind of high. I shoot a 1858 New Army Remington model made by Pietta. Its a very good revolver. Also shoot APP or Pinnacle out of them in 3f. They are a lot easier to clean at the end of the day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Okay, thanks for the replies. I did a LOT of research yesterday after I posted my question. The Dragoon has USMR on the cylinder engraving. I got the price down to $300 with no tax and did the deed. My wife will forgive me eventually.

I won't be able to shoot it until Friday morning. I'm sure I'll be a blubbering idiot after the first cylinder. I think I'm gonna take it a little easy on the powder charge at first. I'm used to loading 20gr fff in the Navy and going from that to 50gr in the Dragoon is a little intimidating.

Since I'm new to BP here's an in interesting observation. Yesterday I walked into the gun shop, dickered and closed a deal on one of the most powerful handguns ever made. The deal was consumated with me handing over $300 in cash and never even taking my (out of state) drivers license out of my wallet!!! It will be a cold day in **** before I EVER by another smokeless and have to hand over my national identity card etc.

Obviously if the government is trying to control our guns they forgot what we used in 1776 to defeat the British!!
 

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Aside from being a bit lighter than the Walker, the Dragoon has a more reliable loading lever catch. It gets quite annoying to have the Walker loading lever come undone after firing a shot. Comparing the two, the Walker is a huge gun which it needed to be in the early days of revolver manufacture. Both guns, incidently, were originally carried in saddle holsters as carrying them on the hip tends to get heavy. I think you made the right choice and paid a fair price.
 

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There is no revolver shooting in the world as fun as a cap and ball pistol. I would add one note of caution while you start shooting these hand cannons.
If you are going to shoot Pyrodex P in them, be scrupulous in the cleaning. I nearly lost two of mine. Pyro leaves a hard residue in the edges of the grooves and over time it can attract moisture and start rust and pitting. I have found that if I overdo the cleaning with a lot of vigorous brushing I won't have a problem. I use Cascade dishwasher soap(good wetting agents) and hot water, I clean them, rinse them, clean them again with a clean brush and lots of brushing, then rinse again, dry and oil. I never leave one more than a month without inspecting the bore and back of the cylinders.
Have fun, you've got a couple good ones to start with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If you are going to shoot Pyrodex P in them, be scrupulous in the cleaning. I nearly lost two of mine. Pyro leaves a hard residue in the edges of the grooves and over time it can attract moisture and start rust and pitting./QUOTE]

Well, this answers a question I haven't asked yet. It was my understanding that one of the benefits of Pyrodex was that it didn't tend to corrode as badly as BP. Regardless I "do" scrub the snot out of everything except the frame with hot water, dawn and Hoppes #9 (just because I have some).

Roughly how many rounds before you should dis-assemble the trigger mechanism and go through that? Also are there any tricks or precautions to that dis-assembly, I'd like for the gun to fire again after I put it back together.

Thanks again for the info. I'm goin' out tomorrow am with friends to the desert and put some lead down range. I plan on starting with just one hole at 30gr fffg P and working my way up.
 

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If you really want a non problematic shoot, get some APP 3f or Pinnacle 3f and use that instead of black powder or Pyrodex P. I shoot APP 3f in my cap and ball revolvers. The nice thing about APP is, it cleans with simple water. So at the end of the day, a dish water bath removes all the powder. Also it is not as corrosive as most powders out there. The #10 cap had no problem setting it off. And the smoke is WONDERFUL... :D



That is a 2 inch (dried out) Spruce plank. I was doing point and shoot at it. I was surprised at the power. I really did not think that it would go through the plank like it did. The other target was just a lot of free standing stuff. I was shocked at how much skill I had lost with a revolver. At one time I was pretty good with a handgun.
 
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