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Thread: Is this a good one?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Is this a good one?

    Pietta 1858 Remington New Army, from Cabelas?
    I've wanted to get into target shooting with a cap and ball revolver
    and just about everything I've read on the internet recommends the 1858.
    What do you think?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I don't have the Pietta "Army" (.44 caliber) but I do have the same in the Navy (.36 caliber). My preference has always been for the 1851 Colt Navy but for some serious target shooting, I would probably pull my Pietta NMA Navy out.

    Bear in mind that there is a "target" model made in the NMA (44 caliber). Someone may chime in that could tell uo exactly what the difference is between the standard .44 NMA and the "Target" version. Off hand, the target has adjustable sights I believe and the rifling may be different.

    If you are talking about just "private" target shooting - then either would serve you well. If you are going to compete in competition, keep in mind that some only allow "original" sights - i.e. the grooved top strap and front post while others may allow adjustable sights. Your best bet is to check with the NMLRA official rules. It's been so long since I've sat down and read them that I really am not sure what is and isn't allowed.

    If you are looking at shooting CAS or similar - check their rules.

    Some like conicals our to their C & B - personal preference. I tried someone .44 but it's been probably fifty years ago and I don't remember how well they shot. I tried conicals in my '51 Navies and the Remington Navy - went right back to round ball as they shot better for me.

    I find the Remingtons easier to cap since the nipples are at an award angle. Easier to remove cylinder as you just drop the loading ram and pull the cylinder pin and take the cylinder out - easy to put back. On the Colts - you have to pull the wedge, then the barrel, then the cylinder and do the reverse to reassemble.

    I have had a number of Piettas as well as Ubertis - still do. Some have their preferences but I have always found my Piettas to function just as well as my Ubertis and the fit and finish to be more than adequate on both. If you are looking at the Piettas at Cabelas - before you buy - take a look at the Ubertis as well to see what they offer. Google Uberti and download their catalog. Some will mention Taylors and Cimarron - they import Uberti under their names.

    If you have a local gun shop, check and see what they can do price wise for you - maybe they can beat Cabelas, maybe not. I have a number of Ubertis (cartridge as well as C & B) that I have always ordered through a local gun shop as their pricing was below Uberti MSRP.

    Good luck to you and enjoy! In the end, model (clone), caliber, etc. all depends on what you (personally) want to do with it.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    One thing to consider - I have relatively normal hands (Medium glove) and find the Remington grip curve too close and uncomfortable to hold. The Colt has a wider curve grip and is, for me, much more comfortable. I would recommend you hold and shoot a Remington before you put your money down, especially if you want to be competitive.
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I love the 58 Remy. I have four among my other pistols.

    Fly

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I have a 2013 Pietta Remington NMA. It's ok. The Uberti needs less attention and is just a better pistol from everything I've read (the little details), which isn't to say the Pietta isn't a good pistol. However I had to work on mine in several ways.

    The hammer doesn't fit in the safety notches properly so I filed on the nose of the hammer.

    The grip panels didn't fit the frame well so I sanded them to fit better.

    The chambers are way undersized (.446") compared to the groove diameter (.452"), whereas the Uberti has .450" to .452". I had my chambers reamed.

    The hand and bolt were very sharp, but then maybe the Uberti is the same, and likely is.

    The Pietta doesn't have a crowned barrel.

    The Pietta's front sight is press fit with no windage and sometimes falls off (as does their lever latch).

    The Pietta's frame isn't designed for conicals and had to be modified.

    The grip frames are larger than the orginal and a bit large for me, but comes with what I feel is a hideous red. So I sanded that and restained it.

    But my pistol is fairly accurate, though a bit left and low. And it works 100% of the time. I got it for Christmas with a starter kit for $199 shipped compared to something like $350+.

    I'd take the Uberti though... Assuming everything else is similar you don't need to spend money reaming chambers (if you care), don't need to work on the grip fit, don't need to concern yourself with windage adjustments, or using the safety notches safely. That's worth $150 to me.

    As for target shooting. The standard model has fixed sights. The target models have adjustable sights, and the expensive competition models are gain twist compared to 1:16" these days (mine shoot conicals just fine whereas the older models were 1:30" for round balls).

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Good Cheer's Avatar
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    Pietta has come way up in quality over the years. But that said their .44's still have the goofy undersized chambers and thin chamber walls that discourage reaming the chambers to match the barrel. I'm surprised that someone isn't offering replacement .445 groove diameter barrels to match the 1858 chambers.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Taking the cylinders out another .007"-.008" is a no-no?

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Good Cheer View Post
    Pietta has come way up in quality over the years. But that said their .44's still have the goofy undersized chambers and thin chamber walls that discourage reaming the chambers to match the barrel. I'm surprised that someone isn't offering replacement .445 groove diameter barrels to match the 1858 chambers.
    There's actually a fellow who has reamed his chambers to .453" and using charges of energetic powders similar to what I use with conicals. I was (and still am hesitant) skeptical. Those chamber walls at .449" look thin.

    But aren't the Uberti cylinders a smaller diameter making their walls thinner yet but still .450"?

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    All very interesting points to consider.
    I've read reviews where one shooter recommends using .451 balls, while another .454. It would seem that Pietta's actual specs are all over the field then!

    I have checked out a few different revolvers and I like the balance and heft (and good looks) of Colts, but I can see the advantage of the Remington's sights and simpler field stripping.

    Any thoughts on Pietta's accuracy out of the box?

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    The accuracy of mine is pretty good. And it does just as well with a ball as it does with my two conicals, though one is shorter than a ball and the other is just a hair longer at .460". I use .457" balls.

    When the chambers are undersized you need either a felt wad large enough or enough of a driving band to bump up (obturate) to fill the grooves. Were it me I'd use .454" balls.

    Note how typically moving up to the next size ball but keeping the powder charge the same increases the velocity:

    http://poconoshooting.com/blackpowderballistics.html

    It's more extreme with the Pietta Remington .31 Pocket as the chambers (.315") are so much smaller than the groove diameter (.325"?).

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Pietta's NMA comes with .446" chambers unless you get the expensive Shooter's Model. Their grooves are .452" on standard models. I don't have a clue what the Shooter's Models are.

    Pietta does recommend a .451" ball.

  12. #12
    Boolit Bub
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    Arrgghh, wrong pic....

    I love all my gals and only one gives me fits. That would be the Richland I bought with a whim.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Blogman; 09-23-2017 at 07:51 PM.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master taco650's Avatar
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    Check out duelist1954 on youtube. He has a lot of videos on percussion revolvers of several types including the 1858 Remington's. They might give you some guidance on your choice.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I agree that the Colts look better than the Rems, but, the Rems are easier to shoot accurately for me.

    My first one was in 1977, Navy Arms. A 'kit' gun and it shot very well.

    The grip. My hands are large. If I gripped up high my knuckles would get rapped. If I held it low the butt of the grip would dig into my palm. My solution was to turn the grip into a 'bird beak' grip, ie, rounding off the back. That worked very well.

    I ended up giving that one to a good friend who was a gunsmith and shot CASS. He shortened the barrel and used it as his second gun. Still shot within 2" at 25yds.

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