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My buddy/mentor has a freind who'd like to accompany us when we go out for pig next time. I've got a 454C, my b/m has got an Annaconda 44mag he's dying to try out.

The other guy, Anza Bob we call him, because his name is Bob and he's from Anza (so we're not overly creative, big deal), wants to hunt with a handgun too, rather than being the only guy carrying around a big ol' rifle (8mm). He's got a .45 Vaquero that he doesn't really want to use, and a Ruger Old Army in .45. I think the Ruger would be really cool just so long as it'll provide enough punch for a medium-sized boar. I don't have any load data for the Old Army, so I thought I'd ask. I think if he can push a 260 grainer to 1000 fps muzzle he'll have a shot at close range with the thing. Even then it'll have to be a pretty fair shot at 20 yards or so.

I'd love to get an Old Army for myself as well, so this info would be useful to me in the future. Thanks in advance.
(This is a double post from the Handgun forum, sorry)

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The Lyman Black Powder Handbook & Loading Manual, 2nd edition (copyright 2001) has a variety of loads for the Ruger Old Army.
The heaviest bullet listed is the 190 gr. Buffalo Bullet Co. conical.
With a maximum load of 40 grs. of Pyrodex P, this conical bullet has an average muzzle velocity of 1,157 fps.
That should put down any boar.
If you increase bullet weight to 260 grains, you will have to reduce the powder charge so the bullet can be rammed down below flush with the chamber mouth.
I can see no advantage to using the 260 gr. bullet when the 190 is suited for that revolver.
Remember, the 260 gr. will have to be cast of pure, soft lead to be used in this revolver.
If the bullet the mould produces is listed at 260 grs. with wheelweight, Lyman No. 2 alloy or such, it will weigh considerably more when you use pure lead.
This means an even heavier bullet than anticipated, and the resultant higher pressures.
You MUST use pure lead in cap and ball revolvers.
If you use alloys any harder, you may experience terrible leading. Accuracy will likely suffer too.
And don't forget that a hard bullet is difficult to ram down into the chamber, compared to soft lead. Years ago I tried balls cast of Linotype and 1:10 tin/lead alloy as an experiment in my Colt 2nd generation 1851 Navy.
Accuracy was lousy. The bore leaded badly. And I had to put great strain on the rammer to seat bullets. Thankfully, I didn't damage the rammer, though I've read of others doing so.
I have been firing cap and ball revolvers for over 30 years, though I've never fired a Ruger (I'm rather a traditionalist). I have a healthy respect for their capabilities, if carefully loaded.
Now, here's how to load that revolver for accuracy:
Snap at least two caps on each chamber to clear the chambers of oil, crud and dust before loading.
Use a powder measure so your loads are consistent. Eyeballing each chamber and muttering, "That's about right" will never produce an accurate load.
Use a felt wad soaked in melted Crisco, Bore Butter, lard or any other plant or animal fat or oil. NEVER use petroleum products with black powder; the two mix to create a tarry, hard fouling that affects accuracy and is harder to remove.
Wonder Wads by Ox-Yoke are good, but don't contain nearly enough lubricant in my experience. Soak the wonder wads in the melted lubricants mentioned above.
For hunting, such greased wads may be carrried in a 35mm film canister.
Charge each chamber with powder and push a greased wad into each chamber with your thumb. Now, rotate the cylinder and seat the wad firmly onto the powder. Do this to all chambers, seating the wads as a separate operation.
Now, seat a ball or conical bullet down firmly onto the wad.
No grease over the ball or bullet is needed if you use a well-lubricated wad.
Cap each nipple. I pinch the caps into an elliptical shape, so they cling better to the nipple. Magnum caps are not needed for the relatively small charges in revolvers.
End each day by firing your revolver, so you start each day's hunt with fresh loads.
If you hunt in a very humid environment, you can use beeswax to seal your loads.
Melt a little beeswax in a small can into which you've bent out a pouring spout.
Remove the loaded cylinder and pour the wax around each ball, where it contacts the chamber wall.
Then, with each nipple capped, pour a small amount of melted beeswax around the cap. A flat toothpick may be used to work the warm wax around the cap, sealing out moisture that might creep between the cap and nipple.
Ensure that the top of each cap does not have wax on it. This may cushion the blow of the hammer.
This is how the old-timers did it long ago. Beeswax is preferred because it's slightly sticky and won't crack and fall off like candle wax or paraffin.
You may also use grease, but it tends to run or fall off and make a mess in your holster. Beeswax stays in place.
A cap and ball revolver sealed as above can take immersion in water and still fire reliably.
I once loaded my Colt Navy so, and soaked the cylinder overnight in water. At the range, the next day, it fired reliably without apparent loss of power due to damp powder.
Good luck on hunting boar!
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