Saturday, June 11, 2011

Another Pietta 1858 Remington Range Report

Tonight I got my stainless Pietta 1858 Remington back out the range and was able to try a few different things.

Earlier today I took my supply of Wonder Wads and relubricated them with my homemade mixture of beeswax, mutton tallow, and canning paraffin wax.  I also added some more paraffin to the mix to make the lube harder for warm weather.  This worked out really well and seemed to keep powder fouling down better than my first try.

The second thing I tried was using toy caps instead of percussion caps. The kind I used were the plastic ring caps, bought at a local supermarket at $2 or $3 per a couple hundred. In comparison, Remington No.10 percussion caps sell for $6.95/100 at Cabela's.  To use the toy caps I had to first cut them apart with a set of dykes.

The toy caps worked well.  They are a snug fit on the Pietta's nipples.  Most of the caps stayed intact on firing though some split. None caused jams and it looks like it would be much more difficult for the plastic caps to cause jams anyway, compared with regular copper caps.

Out of about 30 shots I did have a couple of misfires on what I think were clogged nipples. The nipple pick I had with me -- a straightened out paper clip -- was too thick to poke all the way through the nipple flash channels.  However, I put a CCI cap on the misfired chambers and they went off immediately.

They aren't as hot as CCI or Remington percussion caps but they didn't have problems igniting black powder so long as the nipples were clear. How well they work with Pyrodex or Triple 7, both of which have higher ignition points, remains to be seen.  Likewise, I'll want to try them on a sidelock percussion rifle to see if they are strong enough to handle the longer flash channel.  At the very least, they are a viable alternative for target shooting with black powder in a percussion revolver.

I am assuming that the toy caps are corrosive. The caps I had as kid certainly were. This isn't a big deal since I'm cleaning with water based solutions that dissolve both black powder fouling and corrosive primer residue.

The final new thing I got to test was Swiss black powder. I bought a pound of it last month with the intention of trying it after I emptied my powder flask of Goex.  That happened as I was loading my last cylinder.  I fired off the three chambers loaded with Goex, then refilled my flask and reloaded.

The Swiss powder is impressive, packing more of a punch per volume than Goex. Shooting a 30 grain load of Swiss 3Fg in the Remington feels like shooting a 30 grain load of Triple 7 3Fg.  It's noticeably more powerful than Goex, judging by the recoil.

Even more impressive is how clean it burns. I fired only six shots with the Swiss, but when I went to clean the gun I was amazed at how clean the bore was, even though I hadn't cleaned it before switching powders. My cleaning patches came out almost entirely clean after only three patches. Based on past experience, if I'd just shot Goex it would have taken at least six or seven wet patches through the bore before they started coming out clean. It appears that the cylinder full of Swiss 3Fg blew out most of the nasty fouling left behind by the previous 39 shots loaded with Goex.  I'm looking forward to my next range trip to see how clean it is, without having to deal with Goex fouling.

As a side note, I went with my dad who brought along his Ruger SR-1911. As of tonight he has 500 rounds through it with only a couple malfunctions. It looks like it's a good choice for a well made, reliable production 1911.


Cemetery's Gun Blob said...

If you really want your Remmie to buck, load it up with 40grains of Swiss.....

Wowie Zowie......

Ye Haw!!!!!


Dave Markowitz said...

I'll bet it would buck a good bit with 40 grains of Swiss. It was pretty snappy with 30 grains of the stuff.

BP pistol hunter said...

I have been hunting deer and wild hogs in Florida for more than a decade with my stainless 12 inch barreled 1858. My load has been 37 - 40 gr of 777, a wad and a .454 ball. This load chronographs at 1250fps/450ftlbs and knocks them dead up to 50 yards. Also I have been using the new VKV BG 240fr flat nosed conical with 32 gr of 777 and I am getting 1000fps/ 530ftlbs. You can see my kill pics at the following link

BP pistol hunter said...

Correction to my link: