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First Cap and Ball Revolver Recommendations

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First Black Powder Revolver


  • Total voters
    37
I was going to say what Comfortably Numb said, go 7.5 inch for leverage when loading.

I feel the same about barrel length, but the longer barrels are fine. I have a 5inch Pietta 51 Navy in 44 caliber. I made a cheater pipe for it if that tells you anything. If you're hard set on the balance of shorter barrels, look at Uberti 1860 army(44) or Uberti 1861 navy(36), with round barrels. They're not muzzle heavy at all.

Another option, Pietta 51 Navy in 44 caliber with a 7.5inch barrel. My son has one, damn good shooter and balance is xlent.
I know these aren't what you asked about, but I'm trying to help you have a great experience with your first revolver.
 
I never considered the increased leverage of the longer loading lever to be such a factor.
 
Maybe I did overlook any statement on the type of shooting you're planning to do with that sixgun?
For precision shooting I prefer closed frames, like the Remington NMA or the Rogers & Spencer.
On the other hand, those didn't work at doing Cowboy Action Shooting (SASS, mode 1870).
For that purpose, my open-tops (no matter what model or make) served me a whole lot better -
that is after having undergone a special tune-up, which aims at keeping fired primers from falling into the hammer slot, as this tiny piece of scrap metal will block your c'n'b sixgun.

At any competitions that involve quick-draw, a longer barrel will slow you down that fraction of a second that may count.
 
I agree with an earlier post…If within your budget go with a Ruger Old Army (ROA). None of the problems associated with the Italian replicas.
 
From what I see of your poll you want or have settled on one in 36 caliber. While I favor Uberti's (same old argument of Ford vs Chevy/Remington vs Winchester) and 44 caliber percussion revolvers, I'd say according to your choices, 1851 Navy (36) with 7.5" barrel. Better accuracy, easier to load (using loading lever to ram balls). Nice shooter, have the Uberti version. If you would consider 44 caliber, the 1860 Army is the way to go OR Pietta's 1851 Navy in 44 caliber. My first capper was an EMF 51 Navy in 44 back in '72. That one had a bad ending in a fire, accidently ended up in items destined for garbage pit-call it my Josey Wales gun, although I don't shoot it. Bought another some tens years back from Taylors (a Pietta 51 in 44). Love that capper. Do prefer the longer Army style grip over the shorter Navy though.

If you're leery on Midway, Taylors and Cimarron have good friendly customer relation people. I sent one back to Cimarron once that didn't cut the grade. T/W owner of Taylors once and was advised if capper was defective, they'd honor any factory defects. Was told they go through all of their products and if any quirks, their inhouse gunsmith corrects. If really bad, it's sent back to manufacturer.
 
1858 Remington pietta. Accuracy and power, control, optimization and variations . Strength
 

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Definitely agree with the others that recommend a full length barrel for your first one. Gives you a good baseline to start with and it will be a better shooter. As to which one, that's up to your personal preference. I just don't think you can only have one, having two is fine. If I could only have two it would be an 1851 Navy and an 1858 Remington. Manufacturer of your choice as I think they're both a bit of a gamble these days.
 
Actually, if yer lookin for a lighter revolver than the 1851, the 1861 Navy 36 is a well balanced revolver. I have one that is in almost 'NIB' condition that was imported and sold by Navy Arms back in the day. Mine is a 7.5" barrel, not sure if the '61 comes with a shorter barrel, but as in any of the percussion line, the shorter the barrel, the shorter the loading lever, harder to seat balls. Real nice shooter with .380 balls and FFF. Believe I've seen pictures of the '61 with around a 5.5" barrel, might be thinking of something else. The 1862 Police Model also is nice. Have seen them, never shot one or been around one being fired. Some who have them like em. As TDM posted a '58 Remington is a nice shooter. Either in 36 or 44, both shoot nice, different feel than the Colts, but nice shooters. I have two Rems in 44, never have been around a .36 caliber but alot of shooters sing their praise.
 
Actually, if yer lookin for a lighter revolver than the 1851, the 1861 Navy 36 is a well balanced revolver. I have one that is in almost 'NIB' condition that was imported and sold by Navy Arms back in the day. Mine is a 7.5" barrel, not sure if the '61 comes with a shorter barrel, but as in any of the percussion line, the shorter the barrel, the shorter the loading lever, harder to seat balls. Real nice shooter with .380 balls and FFF. Believe I've seen pictures of the '61 with around a 5.5" barrel, might be thinking of something else. The 1862 Police Model also is nice. Have seen them, never shot one or been around one being fired. Some who have them like em. As TDM posted a '58 Remington is a nice shooter. Either in 36 or 44, both shoot nice, different feel than the Colts, but nice shooters. I have two Rems in 44, never have been around a .36 caliber but alot of shooters sing their praise.
Since at least half of my percussion revolvers have short barrels, I’ll weigh in here. It’s not terribly difficult to load round ball with the short loading lever. Seriously. If you’re loading and firing a hundred rounds at a sitting, maybe then but otherwise, it’s the least of my concerns.
 
I don’t have any experience with Uberti, but everyone says they are superior to Pietta. I have a Pietta 1861 Navy that I really enjoy and find it to be a well-crafted firearm. It has an 8” barrel (which is longer than the originals, I believe) but find that it really seems to balance well in the hand. I also bought it from Midway and had a good transaction. I’m not sure there are many places that would allow you to return any firearm. I’m a fan of the 36 caliber. I have considered getting a Remington clone so that I could try the easier swapping of the cylinder for center-fire cartriges, but have not pulled the trigger on one yet. Enjoy the hunt!

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Since at least half of my percussion revolvers have short barrels, I’ll weigh in here. It’s not terribly difficult to load round ball with the short loading lever. Seriously. If you’re loading and firing a hundred rounds at a sitting, maybe then but otherwise, it’s the least of my concerns.
Should have 'splained' myself more-my mind was thinking of those 3.5-4" barreled cappers. They really have a short lever. I've never loaded any of those but have read reports by those who do and can visualize the process. A leather glove on the ramming hand I think would be necessary, those sharp corners on the loading lever latch could be testy after a while I'd think.
 
So I have no experience at all!!:) just curious. So would a 1862 .32 cal Uberti Police pistol be considered short barreled in the 6.5” version? It looks like a pretty good balance… here it is pictured with the Navy .32 cal 7.5”
 

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I'd say no. A 6.5" barrel on a capper is fine with me. I don't need 7.5 for everything. Even 5.5" isn't seriously short. Black powder revolvers are no different than a modern single/double action revolver. The shorter the barrel is results in less room for powder to be consumed fully, less pressure, less feet per second of ball/bullet velocity, less sight radius on top of the barrel for sighting, better concealability, and a few other tidbits.
 
I have a 5" barrel Uberti 1851, no complaints, but I can see how the 7.5" barrel version would be easier to load. I think the 7.5" ones are generally a bit cheaper if that matters.
 

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