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Discussion Starter #81
Highway, one of the reasons they used case hardening was to add strength to iron frames. It wasn't for cosmetics. An original 1893 Colt is, without a doubt, a BP only gun. Even the most generous only give Colt a pass for smokeless at the 1900 year's production with a VP.
 

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Highway, one of the reasons they used case hardening was to add strength to iron frames. It wasn't for cosmetics. An original 1893 Colt is, without a doubt, a BP only gun. Even the most generous only give Colt a pass for smokeless at the 1900 year's production with a VP.
10-4. I went by today and it doesn’t have the VP, that was a 1902 production they have. I guess I was just wondering if there was maybe quite a bit of variability in the characteristics of what they used for frames over time and if a fellow was curious about a particular pistol maybe he could have the frame tested and see. I don’t know maybe like Rockwell number 40 or higher OK for smokeless otherwise nope? Or, is it way more than that.

I have no problem with using 1898 or 1902 or 1912 or whatever especially if you can buy loaded black powder cartridges that easy, I had no idea. I may just switch to black powder in all my single actions since I prefer the way it shoots anyway, I’d be fine with smokeless as a reserve in case I can’t boil water for some reason. Like I say, my mind works in weird ways.

On another note, my 1916 manufacture 1892 model has the WP proof marks, my 1903 manufacture 1894 model has the “especially for smokeless powder” barrel stamp but lacks the WP proofs, my 1899
manufacture 1894 model has no WP but has the barrel smokeless powder barrel marking, my 1898 manufactured model 1895 has nothing but it’s safe to assume smokeless since it’s in .30 Govt. and I ain’t pulling that hand guard, and my 1886 manufactured model 1886 in .45-70 has neither. All that to say it seems pretty sure to me that by 1899 everything Winchester was good for smokeless I think and so I’d tend to think Colt’s would have been in roughly the same boat, so I feel like 1912 might be a little late but certainly wouldn’t stridently disagree with pushing 1896 to 1902 for smokeless powder in the old SAA’s, especially when you don’t have to load your own black powder cartridges and nearly everybody has access to boiling water and dish soap.
 

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It just struck me, sometimes it take a pretty big hammer, that we’re talking about a transition from iron to medium carbon steel during the industrial revolution. Quick research shows colt went from malleable iron to low carbon steel around 1883 and by 1900 had pretty much worked out a medium carbon content steel. OK, that pretty much straightens me out. I’m squarely in the 1902 and later camp, all others shoot only black powder. I’m on board for pushing up from 1896/1898 to 1902.
 

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I'm comfortable with an 1896/98 vintage frame built into a 44-40 or 45 with modern bbl and cyl.
1902 for an original 38-40, 44-40, or 45
1898 for a 32-20 or other sub 38-40 caliber.

Best regards,
 

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The experience of shooting any SAA (or clone) with a full charge of blackpowder is a spiritual as well as an historical experience. For a moment you are transported back in time and truly know what the common man of the 1870's experienced. Shooting one with smokeless is "sterile" to my mind. Some shooters understand this & some don't.

The West wasn't won with smokeless powder. ;)
 
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