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Thread: Hunting With My Cap & Ball Revolver

  1. #1
    Boolit Man trapper44shooter's Avatar
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    Hunting With My Cap & Ball Revolver

    I am wanting to use my Traditions 1858 Remington 12" Steel Frame revolver for next rifle season & I will need a good load for my revolver I will be using round balls & I will need them to be shooting faster than my target practice loads & I have to avoid too high of velocity so leading wont become a problem I just may be wanting my cake & eat it too I hope not
    I will be using my gun for deer at 50 yards or closer

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master
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    I don't believe you will have a leading problem if you use soft lead, a greased felt wad under the ball and maybe a little bore butter or Cisco over the ball.
    With FFFg black powder and a RB, 30 grains is about the norm. I think the max load is closer to 35 if you can even fit that much in the chamber behind the ball. When dealing with black powder, more isn't always faster. The mass of the powder itself somewhat limits the velocity when you get near max charge volumes. You're not only pushing the ball down the barrel but you're pushing some of the powder as well. You reach a point of diminishing returns where more powder just makes more fouling and not more velocity.

    Most Cap & Ball revolvers are actually difficult to overload when using real black powder up to FFFg (the original Colt Walker is a notable exception).

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Killing a deer with a black powder handgun at 44 feet is still one of my favorite hunting memories. Good luck to you. You will enjoy the adrenaline.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    In my Old Army the Lee 200 gr real bullet shoots almost as well as the round ball and carries more wt for penetration. Ed Harris wrote an article a while( long while) back about getting the most from your bp revolver. Close to the title anyway. I think that is where I got the info on the real bullets. A web search might turn it up. I would not, personally, stretch my load past 35 or so yards. I suspect shot placement could become an issue by 50 yards. I am conservative when it comes to hunting distances and shot placement,so take that into account.

    https://www.grantcunningham.com/2012...der-revolvers/

    Post #21
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...Old-Army/page2

    Note farther down that thread, 777 is stated to get 1100fps in the old army, don’t know if that would be a good thing to try in a Rem 58? Truly I have no idea, they could be just as strong, need to research that.
    Last edited by rking22; 02-29-2020 at 07:04 PM.
    “You don’t practice until you get it right. You practice until you can’t get it wrong.” Jason Elam, All-Pro kicker, Denver Broncos

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    trapper44shooter. WOW. Just go for it. I can't wait to hear the hunting story and pictures too of course. I can't even get the nerve to hunt with a hand gun period, let alone a black powder revolver. I know you would get a huge thrill out of doing it. I would rate that as something to brag about (in a good sort of way). By beginning preparation now you will most certainly be ready.
    Mark 5:34 And He said to her (Jesus speaking), "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be healed of your affliction."

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master



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    Is it legal for VA? It doesn't qualify as a muzzleloader and center fire cartridge calibers require a minimum of 350 foot pounds of energy.

    https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/huntin...tions/general/
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    "Before you argue with someone, ask yourself, is that person even mentally mature enough to grasp the concept of different perspectives? Because if not, there’s absolutely no point."

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  7. #7
    Boolit Bub BlackPowderLove's Avatar
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    Not sure about your local legalities, but here in WI it is legal for deer and even during "muzzleloader" season. It is enough gun if shooting at a responsible distance, with a good shot, and good marksmanship (like any weapon). I had hoped to take a deer with my 1860 Army this year but a couple wolves came through and spooked the deer from my area for a week that happened to be during muzzleloader season. Luckily, a few came back into the area for the late antlerless season that I was able to get the required amount of meat in the freezer and keep my wife happy.
    “Tradition is not to preserve the ashes but to pass on the flame”

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    In my 58 I use the lee 452-200RF and the chamber full of FFFg. Runs about 700 fps and has taken two deer.
    Some people live and learn but I mostly just live

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Here is a reply I got from the Virginia DNR.

    “... Kevin,

    I forwarded your question to one of our two Law Enforcement Majors (Major Scott Naff) and below is part of his response. Note Code (COV) supersedes our Department regulations.

    29.1-100 COV defines a muzzleloading pistol as: "Muzzleloading pistol" means a muzzleloader originally designed, made or intended to fire a projectile (bullet) from one or more barrels when held in one hand and that is loaded from the muzzle or forward end of the cylinder.

    29.1-519 COV also says that muzzleloading pistols may be used for nuisance species, small game, and muzzleloading pistols .45 caliber or larger may be used where muzzleloading rifles are permitted.

    So based on the Code of Virginia, I would say that, YES, a cap and ball revolver is a muzzleloading gun and can be used for hunting. However, our regulation, 4VAC15-90-80 (and similar) states that, a muzzleloading gun, for the purpose of this section, means a single shot weapon, .45 caliber or larger, firing a single projectile or sabot (with a .35 caliber or larger projectile) where the propellant and projective are loaded from the muzzle of the weapon.

    It seems that our regulation is inconsistent with Code and should be cleaned up.

    We will address this inconsistency during our next reguations cycle including cap and ball revolvers in our regulation. If you have any questions or need any additional information, please don’t hesitate to call.

    Sincerely,

    <<...>> Matt Knox...”

    So, it seems you might be okay to use a C&B revolver in Virginia. You might want to want for them to clear things up.

    Kevin
    Knowledge I take to my grave is wasted.

    I prefer to use cartridges born before I was.

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  10. #10
    Boolit Master roverboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfer View Post
    In my 58 I use the lee 452-200RF and the chamber full of FFFg. Runs about 700 fps and has taken two deer.
    What kind of penetration did you get on the deer?
    Mrs. Hogwallop up and R-U-N-N-O-F-T.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I use American Pioneer 3f in my '58 Remmie for a several reasons; 1. It's non-corrosive and cleans up with water (never saw any evidence of rust). 2. You can use conventional boolit lubes without the usual horrid fouling from petroleum/BP interaction. 3. It's compressible which makes load adjustment and still getting the boolit all the way in easy. It seems to become more efficient with heavier projectiles, so I've settled on a 200gr Lee REAL, RNFP or the SWC TL cast soft which shoots to the fixed sight POA at 35-40 yards. How to get these boolits started in the undersized chambers? An excellent way to "heel" these boolits so the base band slips into the chamber is to mount a .308, 8x57, .30-06 or similar sizing die body in your press with the decapping stem removed, Insert a sized/lubed boolit base-first and, with a LEE push-thru sizer stem, press them up into the die far enough to reduce the base band to .445 or less (most repro chambers are .447, some .449) in the tapered die. Pop it out with a long punch through the hole in the top of the die and check the fit in your chamber. If the heel doesn't slip in easily, push it deeper into the die. The load I use in the Remmie is a .357 mag case filled using a powder funnel with extra in it and tapped a few times to settle in the max amount, charge the chamber, add a card wad, and the sized/lubed boolit. In my Remmie, this load will seat some .050 below the face of the cylinder.

    In a Ruger Old Army I was able to experiment with, I used a .41 Mag case, card wad and a 240gr RNFP. The Ruger chambers were .453, larger than groove diameter, so the boolit was cast of WW alloy - no obturation necessary. The power and accuracy was impressive. Ruger should start making them again.

  12. #12
    Boolit Mold Wally44's Avatar
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    I shot a deer couple years back with my Remy carbine with 45 colt cylinder bout 45 yards that has 18 inch barrel so you might get more speed

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by trapper44shooter View Post
    I have to avoid too much velocity so leading won't become a problem. . . .
    Leading is not a problem when hunting, because only one shot will be fired in a clean barrel. Even if you have to fire two, not enough lead will build up to matter.

  14. #14
    Boolit Mold
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    I have a .36 Cal NAVY that uses Swiss Black Powder 3 Fg (FFFg), very clean. Its not legal for Big Game like Deer but will take down smaller Mammels and Birds loaded with #7 1/2 shot at close distances. Partridge just stand in the dirt roads and wait for you to invite them to dinner. Also good for getting Woodchucks out of the Garden. Never tried eating a Woodchuck, With this Plague going on maybe they will become Popular.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    I once had an Armi San Paolo Colt 1861, my first BP revolver. With soft conicals and max charges of 2f, it was surprisingly accurate, but not very decisive in effect. Groundhogs I shot with it dove back in their holes, never to be seen again. Had I used a wadcutter type boolit, the shock would have been greater and might have stopped them where they were. I'd heard they make for good eating, but I never got around to it. I field dressed one once, but my mom was dead-set against the idea.

    Having moved on to the one-piece frame Remington design, I never looked back. Stronger, more accurate, and spent caps don't fall in and tie up the action. The .36 cal shoots like a .38 Spl. I swage up the soft 140gr RNFP Hornady cowboy bullet in my .375 swage die and size the heel down in the taper of a .223 full-length sizing die enough to start in the chamber and they work great! Still would like to put a .40 or .41 barrel on it and line-bore a .36 cal cylinder to .402 for a .40 cal, or .412 for a .41 barrel and have properly sized chambers to eliminate the perennial Italian repro undersized chamber nonsense. Accuracy would improve immediately.
    Last edited by yeahbub; 03-20-2020 at 12:48 PM.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I have taken 2 deer with ROA, with the lee 200gr I cast out of pure lead an lube with wonder lube, in front of 38grs of 3fffg. First one was about 25 yds, double lung, took 3 steps up a vertical bank and a staggered when a second one went thru the spine between the shoulders, DRT. The second one was a following up a gut shot doe the wife had shot, in a 3 acre 7 ft tall briar patch, she popped her head up at 15yds, and I promptly dispatched her with a slug between the eye and ear, again DRT. The one I shot in the spine, exited out thru the brisket.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackPowderLove View Post
    Not sure about your local legalities, but here in WI it is legal for deer and even during "muzzleloader" season. It is enough gun if shooting at a responsible distance, with a good shot, and good marksmanship (like any weapon). I had hoped to take a deer with my 1860 Army this year but a couple wolves came through and spooked the deer from my area for a week that happened to be during muzzleloader season. Luckily, a few came back into the area for the late antlerless season that I was able to get the required amount of meat in the freezer and keep my wife happy.

    I have not looked at the muzzleloader requirement regs since the mid 90’s in WI. It’s nice to see they changed it. Back then it had to been 45 cal or bigger and only rifles. I think the last time I looked is when WI actually let you start using magnifying optics with them. Might have to look at one of those cool little six shooter 44 mag black powder rifles.

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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