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Thread: Uberti 3rd model Dragoon: loads?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

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    Uberti 3rd model Dragoon: loads?

    Hello everyone.

    I just acquired a hardly used Uberti copy of the 3rd model Colt Dragoon. Serial number 12XXX, so probably an early example. Nice looking, but it came without papers, so I have no idea how much powder to use in it. I can probably figure out the ball size, I have .451's on hand for the 1860 Colts. But a recommended diameter would also be welcome.

    I am looking forward to shooting this.
    OeldeWolf
    who may yet be kicked out of the Republik of Kalifornia for owning too many firearms.

    I didn't claw my way to the top of the food chain, to eat only vegetables!

  2. #2
    Boolit Master



    missionary5155's Avatar
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    Good morning
    My old Lyman manual shows two .470 RB loads of...
    3F 35grs 640 fps
    3F 40grs 720 fps
    Rem #11 caps
    I have a #2 copy. Heavy chunk of steel to tote about but they sure will put the hurt to whatever you smack with it.
    Mike in Peru
    "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
    Home built Matchlock similar to what an early 1600 Colonial soldier might have.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    My Uberti 3rd Dragoon needs .457 balls to properly seal the chambers. I found 40 grains of FFFg to shoot the best. Two felt wads under the ball gives improved accuracy.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Alan's Avatar
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    Dragoon loads

    I have found that a moderate load of 2F seems to give better accuracy, and my two VERY old 2nd models require .457" balls. In EK's book Sixguns, he referred to the fact that the preferred powder for loading the cap&ball revolvers was 2F. If you look at Lyman's BP handbook, there is a significant pressure jump between 2F and 3F, and then again between 3F and 4F. I would just as soon go with the lower pressure loads in open-tops.

    I would guess it will probably shoot best w/ between 35 & 45 grn, with a greased felt wad under the ball. In very dry climates, you still may want grease over the ball, since that is a LOT of powder fouling, and also a long barrel. You can also try multiple wads under the ball to take up space under the ball. Again, try everything from 1 lubed, 1 not up to about 3 lubed.

    They will hit even higher than RB on target, but you can also try just about any boolit .452-.454" that has a nice big lube groove you can fill w/ black powder lube. Lee makes a very nice one just for this purpose sized for the Ruger Old Army, which is correct for these Uberti's. George Nonte recommended .454424 sized to just seat in the cylinder. With the conical's, In my experience you well get at most 2-3 conical loads per chamber before you will need to swab them out to allow the bullet to seat. With conicals, I would start down around 25-30gr FF.

    Alan

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    Thank You, & a picture

    Thank you. That gives me a place to start at. And the suggestion on grade is something I will have to look into. True BP is not available in this city, maybe county. But sometimes the rifle granulation of pyrodex is easier to find than pistol.

    Here is a picture of the Dragoon, next to one of my 1860 Army's.

    http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/e...Dragoon001.jpg

    Again, thank you.
    OeldeWolf
    who may yet be kicked out of the Republik of Kalifornia for owning too many firearms.

    I didn't claw my way to the top of the food chain, to eat only vegetables!

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Hellgate's Avatar
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    I have a more newly made Uberti 3rd Mod and I use the same load as in my Walker: 44gr of FFg+lube wad+.454 ball+ over ball lube+ Rem #10 cap.
    Hellgate in Orygun
    With 16+revolvers, I've been called the Imelda Marcos of cap&ball.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by OeldeWolf View Post
    Hello everyone. ... Serial number 12XXX, so probably an early example...
    Somewhere on the frame should be a box with letters in it. This is the date code that all Italian replicas are stamped with, supposedly by law. Anyway, here is a link to a page that will help you figure when your revolver was tested and sold originally.

    http://store.bluebookinc.com/Info/PD...Proofmarks.pdf

    As for a load, I have a Dragoon, a Walker, and various 1860s. All get fed with 2fG powder and usually as much as I can get in the chamber and still fit a wad and ball. All of my 44 use the .454 diameter round ball. Good luck, these a re a lot of fun.
    Knowledge I take to my grave is wasted.

    I prefer to use cartridges born before I was.

    Success doesn't make me happy, being happy is what allows me to be successful.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check