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Nothing says "I Love You, Dear" like screaming lower back pain!

Sometimes Wrong but rarely in doubt!

27 June 2011

Range Report: Colt 1860 Army Reproduction

Figure 1, McBugbear's Shooting Results with The Little Smoke.

My oldest daughter calls my inline muzzleloader  'The Big Smoke' so we decided on Friday night to dub my recently purchased Colt 1860 Army revolver 'The Little Smoke'.

Saturday morning I loaded up and took my pistols out to the range.  I had some great conversations with two fellows that were on the same range while  loading and firing 17 shots from The Little Smoke.  I managed to get about three shots in the bull's eye at about 15 yards.  You can see the results of the seventeen shots in figure one.

Loading a cap and ball revolver with loose powder is no short task.  I figure it takes about two minutes per shot to load the revolver.  Most of the time is spent fumbling wee tiny No. 10 percussion caps on to the nipples with Bugbear-sized fingers.  Now I have a capping tool but it is intended to cap the nipple on a caplock gun not on a revolver.  I believe than I can modify the tool to speed the process up somewhat.  I also need to get a new powder measure with a funnel so that I can get consistent loads.  With my current powder measure, I'm spilling small amounts of powder since the mouth is wider than the openings in the cylinder.  Overall I'm pleased with the accuracy of the pistol.  The eleven of the seventeen shots above were shot holding the revolver one-handed the remaining six were shot in a two-handed isosceles stance.  There was no appreciable difference in accuracy either way.  I didn't do any shooting from the hip since there were other people at the range and I didn't want to embarrass myself.


Projectile Load Powder Cap
 .454 Hornady Rnd Ball 20 Grains  Triple 7 FFFG  Remington #10
 .454 Hornady Rnd Ball 25 Grains  Triple 7 FFFG  Remington #10 

The loads above are taken from the Hodgdon site. Read their disclaimers carefully before deciding to use the loads on their site.

I am displeased with the Remington #10 percussion caps.  They are ill-fitting and don't want to seat properly on the cylinder nipples.  After firing, the Remington percussion caps  also tend to drop off the nipples into the groove that the hammer lies in and this causes the hammer to be held out far enough that the next cap won't go off when the hammer falls.  In speaking with the two fellows at the range apparently the CCI caps work much better.  I'll be keeping my eye out for the CCI percussion caps.

In conclusion I'm very pleased with the pistol for accuracy and it's great fun to shoot.  Clean-up with the Triple 7 is fairly easy, warm water will do the job, but a bit of elbow grease and dish soap will really make it shine!  Mrs. Bugbear is going to be coming out to the range to try the pistol in the very near future.

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