Saturday, July 18, 2009

Pietta 1858 Remington Range Report

Continuing my run of range trips in which I burn black powder and thereby conserve my modern ammo, tonight I went and shot my Pietta 1858 Remington.  We went to my father's club which has an indoor range that's open late.  He shot a couple of his new fangled cartridge guns, Smith & Wesson Model 67s, one with a heavy barrel and the other with a lightweight barrel.

I got the Pietta a couple of years ago from Cabela's.  It's the 5.5" barrel model, .44 caliber.  Compared with my Euroarms 1858 which has a more historically correct 8" barrel, the Pietta is a bit better balanced.

Shooting one handed at 7 yards my groups were one hole, except for a shot which I yanked towards five o'clock.  Of the 30 shots I fired, 24 were loaded with 28 grains of FFFg black powder, a Dixie felt wad, and a Hornady .457 ball.  CCI #10 caps fit the nipples on the Pietta snugly, although I need to sand two of them down because they are too snug.  One cylinderful I loaded with 35 grains FFFg and tried CCI #11 caps.  This is a full load in Remingtons, but still pleasant to shoot.  The #11 caps are too loose on the Pietta nipples and a couple of them fell off, even though I pinched them a bit.

Last night I'd done a little bit of work with a file to see if I could get the loading lever catch to seat more fully, because sometimes the lever drops under recoil.  I still had this problem tonight, so I'm thinking a stronger spring might be in order.  Or I could do a period correct rawhide loop around the lever and the barrel.  ;-)

This afternoon I constructed a stand to hold the gun upright while I'm loading it.  I haven't painted it yet and it's fugly, but it was very helpful and it's an accessory I recommend for shooting cap and ball revolvers.  I made mine from some scrap wood I had around, but pre-made ones are available for those who aren't handy.

The Pietta 1858s available from Cabela's are nicely made guns which shoot well.  The model I shot tonight is currently selling for $239.99.  A stainless steel version, which would simplify maintenance and be more weather resistant, is on sale for $329.99 ($60 off regular price).  Highly recommended.


Cemetery's Gun Blob said...

Good to meet you today at the Blog meet up.

It would be a hoot to do that Zombie shoot with Cap and Ball guns. I got a pair of Ruger Old Army's coming, and I should be ready to rock and roll in a few weeks.

Dave Markowitz said...

Great to meet you as well!

Unknown said...

I'm curious about the leather band..I'm having the same problem with my stainless Pietta '58 Remmy with a 7.5" barrel, no matter how high or low a powder charge I use. It looks like Pietta cut off too much metal on the lever catch.