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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to using vintage firearms,I am trying to come up with a load for my new toys Winchester 1873 1884vintage 44/40 and a Colt frontier six shooter 1894 vintage 44/40.I have been shooting the winchester with accurate 5744 15gr 205gr lead.Everthing I read says not to do this with the colt.I was thinking of using 13gr 5744 and filling the case to prevent pressure spikes.I have shot the colt with goex clear shot 200gr lead everything high at 50/60 feet.Any creative idea's on adding on the front sight without altering the gun?Or anybody have load suggestions.Thanks
 

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I have an 1890 Colt 41 SAA black powder frame revolverand have used 180 grain ammo w/o problems. Check out Ultra Max website and what they have to offer for smokless ammo for black powder frames.
 

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DON'T I say again DON'T! fire smokeless powder ammo in a weapon made for black.

It develops almost twice the pressure of BP or BP substitutes to send a slug downrange at apx. the same vel. or less. The only advantage is it's less messy.And BP cleanup isn't that hard.

Evan if you don't blow the gun up, you will for sure loosen it up.

Altho Colt & S&W's will probebly handle LIGHT smokeless loads w/o scattering it will for sure do them no good.

I don't claim to be a expert, but when it comes to electricity & explosives I listen to them. And they all agree BAD PLAN.
 

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I sure do agree with this. Old blackpowder revolvers are intent to shoot blackpowder. I realy dont like to shoot even the lowest nitro loads in it. It stresses your frame and sure looses it up. There was a complete discussion on the S&W forum about this. They couldend convince me to do otherway than to shoot blackpowder only.
 

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Re: Using light smokeless load black powder frame

I also hope you know, that sometime in 1884 Winchester changed the 1873 to a steel receiver.

Prior to this, the receivers were cast IRON.
Even if yours is a steel frame version, it's NOT the same quality of steel modern firearms are made of.

I'd be VERY VERY leery about shooting ANY smokeless load in ANY firearm made for black powder.

Even light smokeless loads have an entirely different pressure curve, and you're risking both the gun AND YOU.
 

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Re: Using light smokeless load black powder frame

Now I learn this. When I found out that Ultra Max was starting to make .41 Long Colt's, I called them while they were doing the testing and they stated they had tested them with blackpowder frame guns and found no problems. Well I shot 100 rounds in my 1890 Colt and stopped after that because I wasn't quite sure if it was safe and that I may be doing damage to my revolver. I guess I should thank God that my revolver and/or me didn't blow up. I did get a website of a company that makes 41 longs in black powder not smokeless. If I shoot my Colt again that's were I'll go to get the black powder ammo. Thank you all for the info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: Using light smokeless load black powder frame

The gun was made in 1894.But I am not one for asking advice, and then not following it.I will figure some way of moving that impact point down using Black powder or black powder sub.Thanks all for the input seeing it in writing prevented me from at best screwing up a nice piece of history.If I discover any safe cool tricks I will share them.
 

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Are you really sure you want to be shooting either of those guns anyway? If they're in decent shape then they're worth a fair amount of money. Break something shooting one and the value drops waaay down. It might be wiser to keep them for display and buy some replicas for shooting. You'd be able to use smokeless ammo then, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I had traded in a bunch of copys and various guns to get these two.Here is my thinking I got them both at the right price they are worth more than I paid.If I keep them in good shape they will only increase in value.I get the joy of being able to use real guns[even though some of the difference between a vintage gun and a copy is in your head,when you hold one of these guns you are holding on to history]so I have them ,care for them ,shoot them, and maybe somewhere down the road I can always sell them, and more than likely make money.There aren't alot of things in this world that you can do that with.So thats my warped spin on this.
 

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OK but take care and enjoy.
I have a lot of revolvers in my collection wich i have never fired. I do know that they are in perfect order to do so. I am a shooter for sure. But i treassure my antique revolvers and shoot my replica's.
 

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Re: Using light smokeless load black powder frame

Bisley06:
Please share where you found .41colt BP ammo.

I know of two sources for smokeless (old western scrounger & ten x) But bp or BP substitute has so far eluded me.

I don't reload & it seems a bit spendy to get into for 1 or 2 types of ammo (.38LC would be nice too)
 

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Re: Using light smokeless load black powder frame

The website that was shared was http://gadcustomcartridges.com I checked it out and he sells reloads as well, and his prices beat other sellers I've bought from. I as well couldn't find blackpowder 41's anywhere but from this seller.
 

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I agree that one should take care in choosing the ammunition to shoot in the "oldies". Though I've done it and seen it done by others in years gone by, I wouldn't subject a black powder-framed Colt SAA revolver to smokeless loads. Unless the vintage firearm is a condition rarity, a scarce variation, or of unsound design, I think it's fine to carefully use it. My oldies are taken out for occasional exercise.
 
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