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1858 12inch stainless 1858 Pietta is a hog killing machine

Gentlemen I hunt in Florida with a 12 in stainless Pietta 1858 revolver and have had great success. My hunting load is 37 gr of 777 powder, a wad and a .454 ball. I chronograph this load at 1250fps/450ftlbs. This gun and load has proven very effective against wild boar and white tail deer. You can see a few pics of my kills at the yahoo percussion revolver forum and look at the pics with my name (BPpistolhunter).

I have been hunting with cap and ball revolvers for over a decade and they will perform admirable if loaded with 777 powder and ball or bullet. The wound channels are horrendous and the impact shots very dramatic. The soft lead projectile expands quickly producing jagged edges that tear thru flesh rather than push it aside. Would channels are more dramatic than any 357, 44 mag or 45lc that we have ever used. I have never needed a second shot and I make it a rule not to shoot past 50 yards. These guns work very well against wild boar and deer. Elmer Keith state in his book six guns " a 44 or 45 calibre ball driven at a good speed has a killing factor way out of proportion to the calibre" He should know what he was talking about as he did his fair share of hunting and was the father of the 44 magnum. I know they work from experience, I encourage you to check out my pics. Check out the article written by Mr. Hovey Smith regarding my hunt with the cap and ball revolver at the following link:
http://hoveysmith.wordpress.com/201...-for-wild-hogs-wild-hog-hunting-bounty-pisto/

Thank you.
 

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Tell ANZO to forget that .50 cal pistol-it can't be loaded to any sort of power level required for Hogs-if it's the Flint/cap style. MAx load is like 25 gr!!! Now if it one of those NEW heavy barrel inline type 's that would be a big improvement over the Old Army- these things can be loaded almost as hot a BP rifle. :D
I'm confused, what 50 caliber pistol? I shoot a Ruger Old Army too and I find with roundball and 40 grains my 25 yard groups are as good as any of my centerfire pistols and revolvers. Heavier powder loads make more smoke and group size opens up but at 25 yards it will put down anything I can hit with it in my neck of the woods.

For those jumping on the OP's .454" round balls you forget he said he was shooting a stainless Pietta 1858 revolver and it does use .454 round balls.

Us ROA shooters use .457 round balls.
 

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Hi,

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.
I have killed many deer with my Old Army. 142.5 gr round ball, .457". 41 gr of Swiss FFFG gives me 1102 fps.
It is a close range gun because the twist is not correct at that velocity for longer range accuracy but it really thumps deer.
Using boolits will drastically reduce velocity so don't use them, you can't get a boolit to 1000 fps. No powder space.
The problem is the twist rate. It shoots best with 20 gr of powder and 20 gr of cornmeal, etc but that is not enough for game.
 

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777 powder can be a bugger. IT DOES NOT LIKE ANY COMPRESSION so in most cases, you will not get enough in the gun to be fast or accurate. It fails in BPCR rifle cases for that reason.
Even in a muzzle loader, changes in seating to the powder will ruin groups. The ball must just touch the powder, zero compression.
The stuff has great volume so little weight is loaded and if you put more in and compress it, it fails to perform. That means you need to use more of it and the cap and ball has no room for more powder.
 

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Pyrodex likes some compression but I will tell you, if you compress it too much, chunks will blow out the muzzle to burn like a flare on the ground.
The best is always BP.
I do use a lot of Pryodex in my .54 RB rifle but I know how to use it. 777 fails. The pellets might work but I will not pay the price.
 

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Was Nonte even alive 20-25 years ago? I thought George passed away in the 60's or eearly 70's. No?

Never underestimate the killing power of the lowly round ball. Even with the faith I have in the round ball I too would be looking for a conical load of some kind when using a BP revolver on boar. And I'll have to disagree that single shot muzzleloading pistols are limited to 25 grs. I've taken a couple deer with a Lyman Great Plains pistol in 54 cal. and it killed as well as my rifles in the same caliber with in the 25 yards I limit shots with that style of pistol. I'd prefer the pistol to the revolver. I almost took a crack at a doe with my 45 flintlock pistol but as one poster alluded to, I had the presence of mind to know when not to shoot. I have no doubt the 45 flintlock would have worked admirably.

Also as others have said, shot placement will be key. The hunt sounds like a whale of a lot of fun!!!!
 

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I have one of those cheap Spanish percussion pistols. The bore was chiseled out by a bunch of little drunk gnomes! :D It is not accurate and I will not hunt with it but I can say 80 gr of PB puts it in the .44 mag class. :rolleyes: Lots of fun, fire and smoke.
I have killed hundreds of deer with muzzle loaders and pure round balls. .45 flinters, .50's, .54's and the Old army and have yet to recover a ball. I have dropped deer to over 125 yards and the ball kills as good or better then a lot of modern rifles. I have great faith in them.
By taking the load to 120 gr (volume.) in my .54 Hawken, adjusting the sight, I hit 4 steel chickens in a row at 200 meters, off hand. My normal hunting load is 100 gr of Pyrocrap. It is the only gun I use Pyrocrap in.
The secret to Pyrodex is proper compression, not too little or too much. I made a spring loaded seating tool that I put on the ramrod for final seating. The stuff will put 5 shots in one ragged hole at 50 yards.
I have not made it work good in the Old Army. Swiss powder is the best so far.
 

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Interesting indeed! We are now doing tests on the Uberti 1858 Remington revolver and the Uberti 1858 Remington Revolving Carbine!
We will be using 777, Some remainig Black Mag 3/XP, and Swiss FFFg in both firearms......using Hornady .454" round balls. We may in the future test the guns with a Kirst cylinder like we did with the ROA.
The tests are based on short range use in the swamps and as a handgun backup while ML hunting.
Most shooters that knock a pure lead round ball for close in work have never used them or done Gut-Pile-Analsys (sp) on game that was killed.
We see all manner of hype in the movies, etc.....like a 44 henry killing a Buff (Dances with Wolf) at a silly range. We also see Elk killed with a 50 Hawken in the J. Johnson movie at quite a distance.
Frank Forrester, writing in 1838, had some interesting comments about ball size for big game. He stated that a .600" rifle was best, but did comment about large bore hardguns for backup.
The 45 caliber percusson handguns will do fine within practical handgun distances!
Regards, James
 

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I assume you are talking about conicals? Or the Kirst cylinder? I do not think I will even buy a Kirst for the 1858's as I have one for the ROA's.
MY main objective is to satisfy myself that this popular replica can be used as a hunting backup when ML hunting....and what will the longer barrel on the carbine do?
My first choice is the ROA, but they are getting scarce....Regards, James
 

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I loaded the cylinder flush to the top with with Pyrodex then tromped in a .457 pure lead round ball. My Old Army shot this load better than any 30 something grain load of FFFg.

Now some are going to chide me for this and I don't recommend it, but I did work up a load using 20 grains of 2400 (with said RB) that was about like shooting a 44 Special. It didn't scare me then, but it might make me think a bit more now.

RJ
 

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As the poster suggests, I checked the next chamber with the forcing cone in the Remington. Yes it is very close indeed compared to the ROA.
As of yet, I do not know for sure if this will affect anything......except have a hard lube over the ball......James
 

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I assume you are talking about conicals? Or the Kirst cylinder? I do not think I will even buy a Kirst for the 1858's as I have one for the ROA's.
MY main objective is to satisfy myself that this popular replica can be used as a hunting backup when ML hunting....and what will the longer barrel on the carbine do?
My first choice is the ROA, but they are getting scarce....Regards, James
My friend has the Rem buffalo hunter. He kills deer farther then I can hit them with my ROA. He uses a round ball and it shoots great.
Boolits get cut bad.
We use a BPCR lube in front of balls. I just use the Mathew's lube and it holds up well. Crisco is a waste in any cap and ball, it just blows away and leaves nothing to soften fouling.
Some fellas use wads but those take away powder space as bad as boolits do.
There is no danger of two chambers going off from the front when balls or boolits fit. That always happens from the rear with nipples with large holes and hot gas gets under the next cap.
I have some .45 boolits that shoot well from the ROA and made a mold for one. But they still take away powder space.
We also use STP on cylinder pins. It allows many, many shots without binding.
I don't know how guys get such high velocities in the cap and ball with 777. It has never proven true for us. It is very bulky and compressing it to get more in just fails. The highest velocities are always with Swiss FFFG. It can be compressed. Next is Pyrocrap. A chamber full will allow ball seating. Pyrodex can be VERY accurate.
I would use 777 plugs in a rifle but I hate inline guns and prefer flintlocks or percussion round ball rifles. I have not worked with Swiss enough in these and use Goex. I need to work loads with Swiss, it is faster.
 

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I do not know what to say about the velocity I got with 28.5 grs (volume setting) of Triple 7????
Today I tested the same load against gallon jugs of water (6" thick). I shot two at first and got complete penetration. Then went to 3 jugs for a total of 18" of water and six thickness of plastic skin...complete penetration. The jugs were set at the same distance I had had the chrono.
This leads me to think that the load would be fine for a bacjup gun when ML hunting.
Regards, James
 

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I do not know what to say about the velocity I got with 28.5 grs (volume setting) of Triple 7????
Today I tested the same load against gallon jugs of water (6" thick). I shot two at first and got complete penetration. Then went to 3 jugs for a total of 18" of water and six thickness of plastic skin...complete penetration. The jugs were set at the same distance I had had the chrono.
This leads me to think that the load would be fine for a bacjup gun when ML hunting.
Regards, James
It is a good powder but is super touchy about compression. My problem was that I could never get enough in to get good velocity. Any compression was bad. The stuff crumbles easy. Break grains and burn rates go to pot.
 
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