Pietta 1851 Navy

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by Para1911A1, Oct 20, 2019.

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  1. Oct 20, 2019 #1

    Para1911A1

    Para1911A1

    Para1911A1

    32 Cal

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    Hi Guys,

    Well, I finally took the plunge. I just made a deal on a used Pietta 1851 Navy 36 cal. My first Black Powder gun. But, now I have a few questions. I found the manual on Pietta's website. According to them .36 cal, .375 ball 9-12 grains of powder. I'm concerned because I read many post talking about 18,20,21 grain loads?? Am I missing something? This one was proofed in 1989 [AH]. Are the old ones better or worse than the current production? Next, I'm thinking Pyrodex is a safer way to go. I already reload normal cartridges, so storing smokless powder for years. Not sure I want to step up to risk of real Black Powder.
     
  2. Oct 20, 2019 #2

    Para1911A1

    Para1911A1

    Para1911A1

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    One more question. It says don't use burning patches. Do they mead the patch around the ball? Right. I plan to use lubed wads under the ball
     
  3. Oct 20, 2019 #3

    hawkeye2

    hawkeye2

    hawkeye2

    58 Cal.

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    You don't use patches in a revolver, just a snug fitting (.375") ball. Lubed wads work fine and are safe, personally I don't put anything combustible in my revolver chambers but that's my choice and many here make up replica paper cartridges. It's capable of handling all the black powder or substitute (no smokeless at all) you can fit in the chamber but you'll probably find your most accurate load between 15 to 20 grains. There's no problem using Pyrodex except that you have to clean immediately after shooting though you should anyway no matter what powder you are using. A pound of real black 3f will last half a lifetime in a .36 (350 20 grain shots) and there is almost no danger in storing it. The quality of the newer Piettas is much better than the old ones but if your gun's timing and trigger are OK than you have nothing to concern yourself over.
     
    sawyer04 likes this.
  4. Oct 20, 2019 #4

    Para1911A1

    Para1911A1

    Para1911A1

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    GREAT, Thanks :D
     
  5. Oct 20, 2019 #5

    bang

    bang

    bang

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    Shoot several cylinders worth of varying volume of powder to find which load provides best performance. 9-12gns is plenty but I think the manufacturers keep the load to low end for their considered safe load. IMO 18gns is top end for a 36 revolver.
    Should you not get that after working up to a max load you might want to check the cylinder chambers diameter against the barrel max diameter. Sometimes, for what ever reason, the cylinder chambers are under the bore max. if they measure out correct then I would try .380 ball. This will give more surface area engagement to the bore. If the cylinder measures under bore max you can ream or have it reamed to proper of bore max +.001/.002 fit for bore.
    It boils down to what performance you choose to achieve.
    As far as powder. I've been using Pyrodex "P" 20 plus years. The availability is very good in my area. It has performed just fine for me. As stated no matter which you decide to use clean thoroughly asap. Regardless of anything treat all powders as corrosive. I have never used an over powder wad but do seal over ball with wax and veg oil that has been melted into a nice sticky paste when cooled. Again that's a preference choice. Keep good lube on cylinder base pin so hot gas residue doesn't bind up the cylinder rotation.
     
  6. Oct 20, 2019 #6

    Zonie

    Zonie

    Zonie

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    The light powder loads shown in the manual are due to company lawyers who want to cover all bases against any possible suit.
    Sam Colt sized the chambers so that it is impossible to overload the chamber and still get the ball pressed in so it is below the face of the cylinder. As I recall, his loading instructions even mentions this.

    I'm sure you already know this but, never use smokeless powder of any kind in your cap & ball pistol. There are no safe smokeless powders that will work. There are several things that make smokeless powder dangerous in these guns but the main reason is, the cylinder and barrel are made from low carbon steel that is not hardened so it is rather weak.
     
  7. Oct 20, 2019 #7

    Para1911A1

    Para1911A1

    Para1911A1

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    Great!! Thanks I agree the charge is not as important as the accuracy it provides.
     
  8. Oct 20, 2019 #8

    bang

    bang

    bang

    45 Cal.

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    I sent a PM with more info.
     
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  9. Oct 20, 2019 #9

    Para1911A1

    Para1911A1

    Para1911A1

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    Yes, I am aware of the smokeless dangers, But thanks for mentioning it. Can't be too careful.
     
  10. Oct 25, 2019 #10

    AntiqueSledMan

    AntiqueSledMan

    AntiqueSledMan

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    Hello Pars1911A1,

    I believe the 9-12 grain loads are recommended for the Brass Frame revolvers.

    AntiqueSledMan.
     
  11. Oct 25, 2019 #11

    Para1911A1

    Para1911A1

    Para1911A1

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    Well, I did some checking around, and I am one of the lucky ones. My LGS sells Goex.
     

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