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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At a vintage shotgun show a few weeks back i bought a 1851 and 1861 2 gen navy. No boxes, some papers, but unfired with a mar here and a nick there. I would like to shoot one or both, and never have shot black powder. Can someone suggest a good source to get what i need by internet ( i think this means synthetic powder?), what size lead balls and greased wads, and maybe suggest a little instruction e the lowding process and post shooting care of these revolvers. Thanks.
 

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I wouldn't get loading advice from a bunch of unvetted strangers on a forum. You are basically asking everyone who happens to answer to teach you a hobby, that is potentially dangerous. It's like asking on a forum for someone to teach you to scuba dive or hang glide. It's also a little broad to ask "Can some teach me to rebuild my car clutch, and explain how to maintain a car?" when all the information is out there if you search.

Buy a book, (Author Mike Venturino has several) or go to a dedicated black powder website. Or read through the internet and see if you can gather a consensus, and understand the basics, then ask specific questions. Otherwise stand by for a lot of wrong, subjective, and conflicting advice.

Here, in 12 seconds on google I found these for you:
How To Load a Black Powder Revolver [VIDEO]
Cap and Ball revolver | Gun Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia
Cap and Ball Revolver Basics - And a New Pyrodex Product
 

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The recommendations in the above post are spot on.
Go to the Colt web site and look in the "Manuals" section for Cap and Ball. Manuals
That is a PDF of the manual that would have come in the box with your guns if they had been in a box. It will tell you what size caps and balls to use and how much powder to use; safety precautions etc.
Track of the Wolf, Buffalo Arms, and Powder INC are good places to look at for powder, caps, balls, supplies, etc. You can get black powder, you don't have to use synthetic. I personally use the lubricated felt wads over the powder in each chamber before seating the ball. That helps prevent chain fires. If you don't know what that is then consider it your homework to look it up find out. Try the minimum recommended powder first so you can see how the revolver loads. I would HIGHLY recommend getting a book on the subject before you shoot. 'Handbook for Modern Percussion Revolvers' is $11.99 on Amazon so a book is not going to cost you much. The Colt Cap and Ball manual is a free download. These revolvers can be extremely fun to shoot but a little frustrating too. It would be a good idea to acquire the tools necessary to field strip them and to clean the fouling out of them at the range. And a nipple wrench for cleaning them thoroughly at home. Like learning to fly an airplane - a little study is required before you can do it. These revolvers you don't just show up at the range and hope for the best... but learning about them is part of the fun. Enjoy!
 

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Any video by Mike Beleviue, aka Duelist1954 on YouTube, will be good. He is(or was) the black powder editor for Guns of The Old West magazine. When I started black powder shooting these were two of the most valuable videos I found; disassembly and cleaning:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qtMkLGdZA4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=057mS44KLCA&t=1s

...and a general video on shooting:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cdya8qK7vtM


This is a good black powder forum, Darksider's Den:
The Darksider's Den


These are two of my favorite places to shop, Track of The Wolf and Dixie Gunworks:
https://www.trackofthewolf.com/index.aspx
Dixie Gun Works muzzleloading, blackpowder and rare antique gun supplies.

I have never personally ordered black powder here but my local muzzleloading club gets powder from them, Jacks Powder Keg:
https://www.jackspowderkeg.com/

*Apparently Jack's requires you to buy a full case of 25 pounds. I think if you do a search you can find other places that will let you buy less. There will be a Hazmat fee and as always, know your local regulations on receiving black powder. You might also try to find a muzzleloading club near you, they sometimes will sell small quantities.
 

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I have been shooting cap & ball revolvers since I was about 15 or so. I have a few choice books back then and the Colt 1851 I bought and still have, had instructions with it. One of the things I did find out is that the revolver will chain fire if you do not load it properly. I was lucky, one shot down the barrel and one shot down the side. It is so much easier to get information now, use your computer, read, learn and enjoy....safely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Back for a bit more. Some time ago i bought an old blunderbus and the seller threw in what seems to be a pedersoli remington style copper flask. The pedersoli website says this model is made for 44 and 36 cal. The spout is 1”. Can anyone say if this is a 36 or 44 spout? Thanks.
 

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I found the site www.geojohn.org to be particularly helpful when I first started shooting cap and ball revolvers. It is well written and fairly detailed. I have several books about black powder shooting but found this to be the most helpful. He spends a lot of time discussing chainfires and ways to avoid them. I have nothing to compare to because I only do it the way he describes, but I've never had a chain fire (yet?).
 

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Back for a bit more. Some time ago i bought an old blunderbus and the seller threw in what seems to be a pedersoli remington style copper flask. The pedersoli website says this model is made for 44 and 36 cal. The spout is 1”. Can anyone say if this is a 36 or 44 spout? Thanks.
Flask spouts are interchangeable and are made for different volumes depending on what the owner wanted. You are the only one that can tell us how many grains your spout holds, we can't.

Analogous question: I have a tin tobacco box someone gave me with coins in it, can anyone tell me how many pennys there are?
 

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The recommendations in the above post are spot on.
Go to the Colt web site and look in the "Manuals" section for Cap and Ball. Manuals
That is a PDF of the manual that would have come in the box with your guns if they had been in a box. It will tell you what size caps and balls to use and how much powder to use; safety precautions etc.
Track of the Wolf, Buffalo Arms, and Powder INC are good places to look at for powder, caps, balls, supplies, etc. You can get black powder, you don't have to use synthetic. I personally use the lubricated felt wads over the powder in each chamber before seating the ball. That helps prevent chain fires. If you don't know what that is then consider it your homework to look it up find out. Try the minimum recommended powder first so you can see how the revolver loads. I would HIGHLY recommend getting a book on the subject before you shoot. 'Handbook for Modern Percussion Revolvers' is $11.99 on Amazon so a book is not going to cost you much. The Colt Cap and Ball manual is a free download. These revolvers can be extremely fun to shoot but a little frustrating too. It would be a good idea to acquire the tools necessary to field strip them and to clean the fouling out of them at the range. And a nipple wrench for cleaning them thoroughly at home. Like learning to fly an airplane - a little study is required before you can do it. These revolvers you don't just show up at the range and hope for the best... but learning about them is part of the fun. Enjoy!
Thanx for posting the manual Fogman. Will read it to make sure I do everything as I should do.
 
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