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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Bare with me here. Water's off this week and I am too lazy to pull weeds today. So it is story time :)

A couple of my Internet buddies here would seldom even consider shooting anything but the Holy Black in a Colt, Winchester or Sharps old or new! Troglodytes I envy for the most part. Well at least I envy their guns for sure!

Any way I took possession of a 1892 Colt late yesterday from a mutual friend of my buddy Jim Martin. This one is a 45. And one Jim had tuned some time ago. Likely Jim has gotten more old 1st Gen Colts up and running, and then perfectly timed than any modern smith has even seen in their shop. All good for us and more importantly saving thses old guns one at a time.

This is a curious gun as it was obviously rode really hard, but seemingly never put away wet. The original barrel and cylinder were both in really nice shape for a BP gun. Sights were untouched.

My original plan was to make it a "wall hanger". But after looking it over, I changed out the ejector rod to a crescent instead of a modern Colt bullseye piece and then ran a throating reamer into the barrel and removed a good bit of the BP pitting at the barrel throat. Not much of a throat job mind you, just enough to make a clean transition from cylinder to barrel. This one was beginning to show its 130 age and really needed it!

I get pretty antsy about folks wanting to shoot "reduced smokeless loads" in the older BP guns. And I am not a big fan of the BP clean up routine. So generally, I just don't shoot my oldest guns. Lots of reasons...the 2nd reason, after the clean up, is a 255gr bullet on top of a case full of 3f is a hand full. If you haven't had that pleasure you really need to make that effort for at least 6 rounds. It can be life changing and is for some. I like the experience just from a historical prespective.

I shoot 1000s of 45acp ball equivalent rounds a month. And my hands eventually get sore these days. When they do I switch of 9mm and shoot a lot less. A 255gr load in 45 Colt I simply find unpleasant. Kinda like hot 44 Mag loads.

But this 1892 gun I really wanted to shoot. That in mind, I do have a good stock of 200gr bullets loaded over a full case of Swiss 3F in the "Cowboy 45 Special" brass. Basically a 45 ACP case with a 45 Colt rim. Any pressure issues in the old guns are solved with the shorter case, less powder, lighter bullets. But trust me, you know you are shooting a 45 when you drop the hammer on these stubby little C45S cases. And they actually fall out of this gun's cylinder chambers once fired. Hard to not like the end results of C45S brass.

Any way, back to the Colt. Barrel and cylinder are still in fine form. Front sight left untouched for 130 years and 30 days. There might be a good reason for all that. There generally is.

So down to our range I go. I set up the bench at 20 yards. Not expecting much with the tiniest of V notch rear sighs and short tapered blade on a 4 3/4" gun. I mean tiny sigths here. They aren't gonna get any smaller and still be called a V "notch". I am just hoping to keep the rounds on paper on paper.

I put a orange dot in the middle of an USPSA target. And then load up 5, take a breath and slowly squeeze off a surprise break, followed quickly by 4 more.

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Holly smokes! I am grinning from ear to ear and start laughing, choking on the sulfur smoke and laughing. Shoot! Score! (y)

Now I am gonna get serious. Only wish I had more ammo made up! But this gun obviously shoots! 6 rounds into this one with the orange dot the POA and POI just a tiny bit higher. Perfect for 20 yards! A 255gr bullet and the bigegr Colt case would make it shoot higher yet. Likely dead on at 50 yards with a 45 Colt BP load.
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Then I start shooting a couple on each dot. 2 here.
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6 here
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The smell of BP is addictive. The first time my wife has ever noticed the noise from the our little range. She says the BP makes a distinctive "boom" which she can hear at the house. Not that she minds. But she never notices all the smokeless ammo going down range. Interesting. Even after a quick clean up I am still grinning ear to ear. BP and a gun that really shoots? Hard not to smile.

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Balls of fire? It was bright and sunny here today. Never noticed anything but the smoke;)
BP sure aint "smokeless".

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thanks. But truth is, really good guns, make that kind of shooting easy.

Most guns won't do it. And most shooters think it is their lack of ability that keeps them from shooting good groups. Often as not (no matter what the gun is) it isn't the shooter.

I shoot just good enough to know when it is the gun that is the problem (or just how really good a gun might be) and good enough to know when it is generally me that is off and not the gun.

In this case the gun seemed to really like the ammo I was feeding it. And the gun is good enough to make anyone look good.

Nice combo of gun and ammo, when/if you can get it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
when you do the cleanup you’ll appreciate 2 piece grips
Uh, oh! you mean I need to take the grips off? I just ran a super hot water and a soapy brush through barrel and bore. The heated metal dried it quickly enough, and oiled it all up. Not good enough I suppose. Figures :rolleyes:

Anyone who actually shoots a lot of BP want explain what I should be doing with a Colt :giggle:
 

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Thanks. But truth is, really good guns, make that kind of shooting easy.

Most guns won't do it. And most shooters think it is their lack of ability that keeps them from shooting good groups. Often as not (no matter what the gun is) it isn't the shooter.

I shoot just good enough to know when it is the gun that is the problem (or just how really good a gun might be) and good enough to know when it is generally me that is off and not the gun.

In this case the gun seemed to really like the ammo I was feeding it. And the gun is good enough to make anyone look good.

Nice combo of gun and ammo, when/if you can get it.
While I agree that good guns help tremendously in making a shooter better, I think a firm grasp of the basics is more important. I have seen new shooters with decent guns get frustrated when they can't hit a paper plate at 10 yards and blame the gun. After some coaching and some practice there is a dramatic improvement and a boost in confidence.
I have seen any number of shooters over the years get frustrated with their perfectly suitable 1911 or Kimber or (insert gun here) and make a beeline to the gunsmith and spend a hefty chunk of change on either a new gun build of upgrades to their gun in an effort to buy scores.

Good guns are great but basics and practice are king.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Good guns are great but basics and practice are king.
I agree 100%. But after the basics and lots of practice, a great gun, makes an even better shooter.

Ya gotta get good enough (like many of those here) to know what is a gun problem and what is a shooter problem.

I handed many a student, not doing so well with Glock or a dbl action auto, a nicely tune 1911 and watched them drill holes with the later and been all over the place with the former. A number of reasons for that. The big one IMO...is confidence in your firearm. You might be a "house a fire" with a Glock trigger. Most aren't initially. Knowing you can shoot well is half the battle and eliminates some of the guess work.

Case in point. I can shoot groups. I took a new $3K custom 1911 out of the box that came with a perfect test target, shot at 15 yards. Gun shot low left at 20 yards for me. After a couple hundred rounds of that non sense I sent the gun back to the maker. Only to be told the gun was "perfect" and it was me. Ya, sure it was.

In between the time I shipped the gun and got it back I built 3 1911s from scratch that shot, you guessed it, perfect point of aim, with the sights squared on the gun.

I got the $ 3Kgun 10 days later. Gun still shot low, and almost as much left. They had drifted the fixed sight over that I had squared up before shipping. Gun was a POS. The maker flatly refused, refused to do anything about it. But did offer a lower front sight and an adjustable rear. Both deal breakers for me as that was not why I bought the gun. I quickly sold it at a loss and said to myself "good riddance".

A shooter with less experience would have very likely believed the hog wash that shop is selling and still be shooting a $3K POS handgun. Caveat Emptor in the gun world.

It took me 1000rds of ammo to get my confidence back and the knowledge (again) that a good gun would shoot exactly where I pointed it.

Practice is always good, Even bad practice with a terrible gun can be "good" if you know how to apply the experience. Sound fundamentals are required. And shooting is a degradable skill.

Life is just a whole lot easier if you start with a good gun. Or a custom bullseye revolver ;)

An after thought for you Mark. If I wanted to turn a non shooter into a really good shooter? I'd much prefer they show up with a really good gun, than say a stock K frame 22. I love my Model 17 (and it is a really good gun) but there are any number of guns that are easier to shoot well, let alone learn how to shoot well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Back on the subject? How on earth did any of these older, BP guns survive, if they got used?

Shoot 2 or 3 rounds of black and reload. Not clean it for a week or more just because it "aint all that handy" to clean one and then leave it in a holster 24/7?

I am amazed at the high condition guns that obviously never got used. A lot more of these, (well used and some history to them) than those (never handled, no history past their age) I suspect. The more I clean this one, the better the metal looks. Still amazed it is 130 years old, all beat up and still a formidable weapon.
 

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Back on the subject? How on earth did any of these older, BP guns survive, if they got used?

Shoot 2 or 3 rounds of black and reload. Not clean it for a week or more just because it "aint all that handy" to clean one and then leave it in a holster 24/7?

I am amazed at the high condition guns that obviously never got used. A lot more of these, (well used and some history to them) than those (never handled, no history past their age) I suspect. The more I clean this one, the better the metal looks. Still amazed it is 130 years old, all beat up and still a formidable weapon.
Because they just dipped it in a stream and never hot water😂 hot water will flash rust any metal. I take the grips off and use soapy water on the complete gun and blow out with air to dry. If I’m not tearing it all the way down to clean for storage I then spray down with Ballistol and blow it down with air again and wipe all oil off the gun outside and run dry patches through the barrel and cylinders and wipe all parts with dry patches and I’m good to go. I just bet the cowboys just used a good whiskey on their guns too😂😂😂
 

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I also have an 1892 SAA .45 that is a similar gun to yours. Mine is matching numbers but at some point someone buffed and nickel plated it. I got it before I began loading black powder cartridges for my sharps so I initially ordered some black powder cartridges to shoot it. Mine also shoots very accurately. A few months ago starline had 45 cowboy special brass available so I bought some. I also shoot SASS and am toying with shooting classic cowboy, that's why I ordered it. I have not loaded any of the 45 CS and I understand it is a bit of a different process than loading 45 colt. Would you mind explaining your loading process for it. If not comfortable posting it on an open forum you can send me a PM. Thanks!
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There are far more bad shots than there are bad guns. The finest tuned target gun will not make a good shot out of a bad one. Most times a good shot can hit and even group with a "bad" gun. Takes a few shots and figuring out where to hold. That is not to say that adjustments may not be required on any gun - all of us are different.
 

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There are far more bad shots than there are bad guns. The finest tuned target gun will not make a good shot out of a bad one. Most times a good shot can hit and even group with a "bad" gun. Takes a few shots and figuring out where to hold. That is not to say that adjustments may not be required on any gun - all of us are different.
Yes but bad shots can fly into a nice group too😂
 
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