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Shooting the Dance & Brothers today

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Jul 24, 2018
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I got my Pietta Dance & Brothers yesterday, from MidWay.

Using a pic of a minty condition original, I got rid of the fake color case on the frame, and loading lever. The blue hammer also was deblued. The frame would have been Ordnance grade Iron , so I went for that look, and I love how it came out. The cylinders and barrels appear to have been "blacked" originally so I left them as is.

I love my gear almost as much as my guns, and I used a two-buckle belt , a CS brown holster I got from some online store and a CS marked cap pouch I've had. It may not be totally HC but it looks cool. A cheap brass pill tin holds caps and fits nicely in the cap pouch

One of the "carbine cartridge boxes" fits a flask , a bag with round balls and a tin of caps fits in the tool pouch.

An Indian made small Messenger bag held a pound of 3f, assorted tools , a pack of baby wipes and more caps and balls, plus range stuff like thumb tacks , ear plugs etc that I keep in old Altoids tins. Baby wipes are awesome for wiping the arbor,hammer , cylinder face and forcing cone to keep the gun going.

I loaded two single rounds just to function test , then fired 6 rounds off hand. I guess I was pushing off with the trigger, and a nice 8 shot group was sitting on the target backer next to the target. Ok....time to tighten up my fundamentals....

I fired 12 more using one hand at 50, and put most of them on the paper.

I forgot to take a pic but moving up to 25 and closer put a nice cluster on the paper. Using the 30 grain spout on my flask , with Schuetzen 3f, was the perfect charge. A satisfying boom, good cloud of smoke, nice recoil and good accuracy, with .454 cast round balls with some swaged balls mixed in. It might do better with 20 grains, but these are fightin' guns and it's kind of a mini Dragoon so might as well load them like it.

Being able to cap from the left side was different and I didn't have a single cap jam. The lack of a recoil shield let the caps just fall off. Occasionally a spent cap will get flung back in your face from recoil but oh well. If you get a chain fire , you'll probably eat a hot cap or two as there's nothing there to protect you. Again, these are repros of expedient production Confederate revolvers.

It looks like Pietta uses 1860 frames milled flat. Could a .36 cylinder be fitted and a Pietta Griswold barrel? Does Pietta plan to make the .36 version? Or are they just simplifying production? Or is it made to accept a Pietta 1860 conversion cylinder?

The pics of previous Dance revolvers don't have the "stepped " frame. If you have an overactive imagination like me, you can just call it a "cleanup gun" that the Dance Brothers made with a frame from one of their .36 revolvers.

This is a really reliable gun, I zipped through 7 cylinders, not a single cap jam or misfire, a dab of Wonder Lube on the arbor kept it running. No wads. No lube over the ball. After the 7th cylinder the hammer got finicky, when it's down on an empty nipple I have to wiggle it until it "clicks" and it can be drawn back again. I'm assuming it obviously is now filthy from over 40 rounds and needs a thorough cleaning.

Basically, this is just Piettas .44 Navy with a flat frame and a non-stepped cylinder but it's still cool and something a little different.

I love .36's too but there's just something special about shooting the .44's. More boom, more smoke, bigger pieces of lead.

The originals look to have a grip more like a 60 Army but I have no reason to try to put another grip frame on this, it's not an exact repro of a Dance and they were all a little different through the production run, like most small Confederate gunmakers so it's still ok.

I am usually a Uberti fan but Pietta does a good job with their new guns.

I shot a few at a soggy 100 yard target offhand and put one hit on the paper and 3 or 4 on the backer. If I didn't hit the guy I was shooting at , I would have hit the guy next to him


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Stantheman86 does the cap fall off of the nipples at all while you are shooting? I always thought this a gun begging for a conversion cylinder. (i don't know why the letters are bold, can't change it ti non bold)​

No the caps don't fall off at all

The 1860 Conversion cylinder will fit but I think you still have to open up the frame a little for the loading gate plus you have to file the forcing cone

I myself wouldn't even bother with it, it's more of a PITA to handload BP .45 LC than to just load and shoot it as a percussion. And I have a .45 LC Vaquero and Redhawk if I ever get a need to shoot a big bore cartridge gun.

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