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It's been a long time since I've taken the time to work with my Ruger Old Army cap and ball revolver.   The weekend brought that opportunity as I was fine tuning a new Blackpowder Lube we will market very soon.

Evaluation of the lube had been done in the long guns, and needed to be wrung out in the cap and ball guns.  What a pleasure.

My particular Ruger Old Army has proven to be very accurate, and even more so after having been fire-lapped, removing the barrel constriction where the barrel shank screws into the frame.

I used the typical swaged Hornady round balls, and some soft, pure lead round balls cast in a .454" Lee round ball mould.  Accuracy was very good, with 25 yard groups running 2.5".

Then I decided to take that same round ball and cast it out of our normal bullet alloy, and shoot them at both the heat-treated BHN 21, as well as the as-cast BHN 12.

I was in for a treat!  The round balls that were a BHN 12 shot into a solid one inch at 25 yards, with no flyers, and no stray shots, and loading wasn't that much more difficult than with pure lead round balls.  The BHN 21 round balls were a horse of a different color, they were pretty difficult to put down the chamber throats with the ram with their extra hardness, but wow!  They shot into under three quarters of an inch at the same 25 yard range!  Some fun!

Also, the BHN 21 projectiles penetrated 9" of hard seasoned tamarack firewood every shot!

The powder charges were 40.0 measured grains of fffg Goex Black Powder and lit off with some homemade percussion caps using my Forster Tap-O-Cap!

Talk about fun, cheap plinking!   Bet this thing goes spring bear hunting!

Just had to share some fun!

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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Hey that sounds pretty neat! Have you tried the Lee Conical bullet mold yet? They have one for the Old Army revolver. Think it's about 220 Grains with 2 lube grooves in the body.

What would be neat to experiment with would be a bullet with an LBT nose profile. An LFN or WFN.

Pretty soon I'm going to the range with my Scout Pistol and try out some 280 OWC's, 280WFN's and maybe a 320 LFN or two in T/C's discontinued Breakaway Sabots. It's got a 50 Cal. tube so it will be fun to try them.

Marshall, I've got one of those tap o caps also. How many toy caps do you put in them. The new toy caps seem pretty weak nowadays. Pyrodex is harder to ignite anyway.


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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, I have one of the Lee conicals you mention.  It's superbly accurate, and again, I cast them hard as well.  The only drawback I find with it is it's primarily round nose... no game performance like if it had a flat meplat on it of say .300+... then you'd have something.

I've sized our .45-255g WFNPB bullets to .4525" using SPG and our new Blackpowder lube that is under development and shot them in the Old Army as well.  Some kind of accurate load!  Difficult to load however, as the bullet is a tad bit long to fit into the loading port under the ram, and the bullet is heavy enough that it shoots about 8" high at 50 yards.

I have also shot our .45ACP-225g FNB bullet lubed with the two lubes with great satisfaction as well, once again sized to .4525" they are a good snug fit in the chamber mouths.  Not a bad compromise, but the bullet doesn't carry enough lube to be really practical for BP shooting, not enough lube to keep fouling soft!  Very accurate though for the first six shots!

In my Tap-O-Cap, I use some off-brand, made in Tiawan roll caps that have proven to be hotter than any of the US produced toy caps.  They have a very flimsy paper backing and almost tissue-paper thin top cover over the priming charge.  These caps are perfect for the Tap-O-Cap aluminum skirts, as the paper is so flimsy and thin that you don't get paper fouling up the nipple!  I don't remember the brand name, perhaps later I'll go dig some out and see what it is for you.  But when I found them (in a local drug store), and tested them out in the Tap-O-Caps, I purchased all they had... nearly a full case of the the things!  That was about six years ago, and they have since closed their doors.  I'll look for you though for the brand.

None-the-less, they are the very best I've tried in my home-made percussion caps, and I use two of them per aluminum skirt.  They are a HOT percussion cap, and the accuracy I've had in my Ruger with these caps surpasses any other caps I've tried.  Also, the taper of the cap skirt is such that they stay on the nipples better than any other cap under recoil.   I've never had one come off while shooting!

I don't know about lighting off pyrodex with them since I much prefer black when I'm using the BP guns... something about being cheap I think... still buying Goex here, in Spokane, Wa for around six bucks per pound!  Makes for powerful fun, cheap plinking!

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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I too have an Old Army Ruger..My standard load is 35 grs FFg,wonder wad, and .457" (instead of smaller)swaged pure lead ball. I cover the ball with "Bore Butter". I use CCI magnum caps on nipples that have been stone/spun so that the caps seat all the way down. This pistol has been by backup for some years during BP season for hog hunting. There's none better. Now here's what I would like to see some check.....That the 250 FNGC...Play with the sizing until it's snug in the cylinder...put the bullets nose down in water and soften just the base from the lube groves to the base...and try that with as much powder as there was room with that bullet! Now you would have a hard nose for penetration and a soft base for loading, etc.
I have said time and time again..this is an accurate pistol, whether compared with other BP pistols or cartridge.
Someone( read maybe marshall...hint)needs to develop a modern LBT bullet for this gun! The loading plunger could br modified for flat nose with much trouble, even filled steel base Epoxy Stick.The ideal bullet would have a wide meplat to reduce length.
Besr Regards from the Hammock....James

We have quite using any black except Elephant Brand. Shoot some and you will know why.


(Edited by James Gates at 1:11 pm on Feb. 17, 2001)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
How about a bullet of WFN profile, with the same dual diameter characteristics of the Lee Conical for the Old Army, where the base is basically same diameter as the cylinder thoat, with the driving band being about .004" over throat dimension.   The weight being held to about 245 grains to facilitate fitting into stock, unmodified guns at the loading port area.

With this configuration you would have easy starting of the bullets into the cylinder, them being nice and straight, and then the oversize driving band would provide the necessary tightness of fit to prevent bullet movement from recoil, and absolutely preclude chain-fires.

The .360" meplat bullet, with a charge of fffg should be able to be launched at 950-1000 fps, which would give very potent terminal performance!

With enough interest I'll gladly do the bullet.... any what do you think!

Still trying to make this shooting game better!

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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Sounds good to me Marshal.  Shooting a swaged round ball over 20 gr. (by volume) Pyrodex P powder, 15 gr. Cream of Wheat, and Wonder Lube over ball I am getting 879.3 fps out of my Ruger Old Army.  Accuracy is primo with 6 into 1.3" at 25 yards, so I would very much like to play with a bullet of better profile.  RB leave a lot to be desired ballistically.
 

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Marshall..I think that would be an outstanding bullet!! The Ruger is the standard by which everthing else is compared! Most BP shooters down here carry one as backup. Mine is a well used and bloodied(sp?) blue model. I keep looking at the new stainless, but I can't put "Old Thunder" down. As we know the Ruger chammber throats are a little larger and we need some latitude in sizing to cover other pistols. Most of our BP hunting down here is at "Bow Hunting Distance" and can get "Quick"! This bullet @ 900 to 1000'/" would be a dilly! The bigger the meplat the better, both killing power and shorter OAL to give max powder space.I would like to try it on "Bo'Hog", the Swamp Crawlers tractor tire(as I mentioned in the general discussion) and see it it would punch through. If the bullet is hard, they will still have to be loadable in field conditions. At the range, loading time is not important...but it field condition, it's most important! However, you all know that!
As time goes by, and the Forum grows, we will get more dual type hunters aboard. This bullet would go word to mouth!
Best Regards from the Hammock....James
 

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I am new to this forum, but I to have a Ruger BP and would be interested in the bullet. I have used a 230 RN for a 45 ACP, home cast, and it shot very well. I did this a long time ago and will have to get the old girl out and try it again. Where can I get one of those tools to make my own caps?  

Longbow
 

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Hi, Selfbow:
  Dixie Gun Works had them in their 1993 catalogue and they probably still have it. It's called a Tap-O-Cap.

http://www.dixiegun.com

Bye
Jack
 

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Yes, the Tap O Cap is made by Forster. (The COAX Press and Case Trimmer People) I would imagine any mailorder company or dealer selling Forster products would stock it or could get it for you.


Thanks for reminding me here to take that Scout Pistol out for a spin. :biggrin:

Regards


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Discussion Starter #11
The Tap-O-Cap is available as said here from a number of mail-order firms.   The best price I've seen is from Midsouth Shooter's Supply:


Their catalog lists it for about &#3616.00 US.   A very useful tool... not a gimick, but something that really does work well for those taking the time to use it!

God bless,

Marshall
 

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Ok take my Ruger out last night. I took a 230grain RN for a ACP taped the nose with a small hammer to flatten it a bit. first tried it without sizing them they are really hard to get them into the cylinder, but with 35 grains of FFF, 25 yards and off hand was able to hold about a 2 to 3 inch group. Then I sized them to .452 and they could be loaded with the loading arm on the pistol and with the same charge they shot about the same group. When I shot the sized bullets I keep checking to see if they were easing forward in the cylinder and the did not. They bullets were straight wheelweight cast. Does anyone think that wheelweight lead is too hard for BP?
This was a lot of fun. Lots of smoke. Sweet to shoot.
Selfbow  
 

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Hey guys,

Just checking out a catalog supplement I got from Brownell's. It appears they are selling a cartridge conversion cylinder for the Old Army that allows you to shoot 45 Colt shells at black powder pressures. It says it is patterned after an original Remington design. Looks like the cylinder has a back plate that comes off and you load the shells in it. Then you put the cylinder in the gun and shoot your six. It appears the cylinder back plate has integral firing pins in it that the guns hammer hits. Kinda pricey though at the non-FFL price of 270 bucks. Interesting concept though.


Regards


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Contender,
There is an article about the conversion on sixgunner.com under the part of guess speakers towards the bottom of the list. Check the speed of 230 grain RN with 35 grains of BP and only got an avarage of 720FPS. Not to good.
Selfbow
 

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Thanks for the info. I don't think it's a terribly cost effective conversion anyway for this gun. Probably best to leave it as a cap and ball pistol as God intended from the beginning. :wink:

Regards


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Selfbow asked a question that I have been wondering about myself.......is wheelweight metal too hard for BP firearms???In particular,the Old Army??
 

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any progress on the old army conical?

Marshall, did this ever get off the ground? I would really love to buy some.

Thanks,
Ken


Marshall Stanton said:
How about a bullet of WFN profile, with the same dual diameter characteristics of the Lee Conical for the Old Army, where the base is basically same diameter as the cylinder thoat, with the driving band being about .004" over throat dimension.   The weight being held to about 245 grains to facilitate fitting into stock, unmodified guns at the loading port area.

With this configuration you would have easy starting of the bullets into the cylinder, them being nice and straight, and then the oversize driving band would provide the necessary tightness of fit to prevent bullet movement from recoil, and absolutely preclude chain-fires.

The .360" meplat bullet, with a charge of fffg should be able to be launched at 950-1000 fps, which would give very potent terminal performance!

With enough interest I'll gladly do the bullet.... any what do you think!

Still trying to make this shooting game better!

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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Thanks Marshall

Marshall sent me a private massage to let me know that the details are still being ironed out with mold makers. He said that it will be around 240 grains and hardness matched to the needs of the Old Army pressures and big game performance. (paraphrased).

Thanks Marshall,
 

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homemade percussion caps??

Marshall Stanton said:
It's been a long time since I've taken the time to work with my Ruger Old Army cap and ball revolver.   The weekend brought that opportunity as I was fine tuning a new Blackpowder Lube we will market very soon.

Evaluation of the lube had been done in the long guns, and needed to be wrung out in the cap and ball guns.  What a pleasure.

My particular Ruger Old Army has proven to be very accurate, and even more so after having been fire-lapped, removing the barrel constriction where the barrel shank screws into the frame.

I used the typical swaged Hornady round balls, and some soft, pure lead round balls cast in a .454" Lee round ball mould.  Accuracy was very good, with 25 yard groups running 2.5".

Then I decided to take that same round ball and cast it out of our normal bullet alloy, and shoot them at both the heat-treated BHN 21, as well as the as-cast BHN 12.

I was in for a treat!  The round balls that were a BHN 12 shot into a solid one inch at 25 yards, with no flyers, and no stray shots, and loading wasn't that much more difficult than with pure lead round balls.  The BHN 21 round balls were a horse of a different color, they were pretty difficult to put down the chamber throats with the ram with their extra hardness, but wow!  They shot into under three quarters of an inch at the same 25 yard range!  Some fun!

Also, the BHN 21 projectiles penetrated 9" of hard seasoned tamarack firewood every shot!

The powder charges were 40.0 measured grains of fffg Goex Black Powder and lit off with some homemade percussion caps using my Forster Tap-O-Cap!

Talk about fun, cheap plinking!   Bet this thing goes spring bear hunting!

Just had to share some fun!

God Bless,

Marshall
can you fill me in on the forester home made percussion caps?? thank you
 

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Marshall:
Am VERY interested in this bullet for the Old Army. Please advise.
Marshall Stanton said:
How about a bullet of WFN profile, with the same dual diameter characteristics of the Lee Conical for the Old Army, where the base is basically same diameter as the cylinder thoat, with the driving band being about .004" over throat dimension.   The weight being held to about 245 grains to facilitate fitting into stock, unmodified guns at the loading port area.

With this configuration you would have easy starting of the bullets into the cylinder, them being nice and straight, and then the oversize driving band would provide the necessary tightness of fit to prevent bullet movement from recoil, and absolutely preclude chain-fires.

The .360" meplat bullet, with a charge of fffg should be able to be launched at 950-1000 fps, which would give very potent terminal performance!

With enough interest I'll gladly do the bullet.... any what do you think!

Still trying to make this shooting game better!

God Bless,

Marshall
 
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