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Ruger Old Army vs Remington 1858

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brucebuilds

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I'm afraid I don't have any actual muzzle velocity data, but the makers recommended a max load is 4.5 grns of Herco with a .454 round ball. A slow burning, large flake powder is required to prevent powder leaking through the flash hole in the chambers during loading..
The maker claims that Blue Dot or Unique would be suitable alternatives to Herco should this not be available.
I've tried charges of 3.5, 4.0 and 4.3 grns of Herco together with both .454 and .457 round ball with 4.3 grns and a .457 pure lead ball proving the most accurate. Interestingly, the same load works equally well in my Ruger Old Army nitro conversion. Others have tried a conical bullet rather than a lead ball without any improvement in performance or accuracy. I'm sure you are already aware that it's essential to use 209 shotgun primers as standard percussion caps will not reliably ignite smokeless powders. This is really a paper target shooting load , but does still provide a satisfying noise with very manageable recoil making it conducive to good accuracy. As a comparison, it feels about the same and groups within the same size as a load of 13grns (weighed) of 777 in my standard Uberti Remington 1858 BP revolver.
Hope this helps.
Brian
I appreciate the input. Of course this now means smokeless loads in my ROA have been added to the “to do” list.
 

steamjohn

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I , having been invited to leave another muzzle loading forum joined this one in the hope of exchanging ideas with others who shot Modern Muzzle loaders and maybe who had considered using nitro.

I my absence Certus you seem to have covered the subject pretty comprehensively to the point of not only posting excellent pictures of two of your revolvers but covering subjects such as Black Powder Licences and even the name of a firm that will convert your Black Powder ROA. as well as Westlake (but not Anvil Conversions).

Purely out of interest therefor can you remember when your ROA conversion was done.
I've been shooting M.L. since the early 60s and already had a ROA and a Rem .44 (Italian made but badged 'Lyman USA'). when the handgun ban kicked in.

I was shown a ROA nitro conversion by a gunsmith in Kent whom I had visited to collect some .457 hollow base conical bullets. Since my club banned BP for the reasons you have described I made a complete new cylinder and backplate for both the ROA and the Remington, sent the completed guns to the proof house and have been shooting them ever since.

My ROA is an almost exact copy of yours, I wonder if yours was the one I was shown and from memory made a copy of. Just curious.

By the by, I have also bought one of Anvil's really well made Uberti Remington .44s and have to say the workmanship is superb, makes my old 'Lyman' (circa early 60s) look a bit poor as far as the gun goes.

Incidentally I have now gone from .457 lead balls dipped in dilute alox and allowed to dry hard, propelled by Herco, to Blue Dot and am seeing better results.

Since my RAO is not based on a traditional ML Revolver it sports a red dot sight which helps my 1938 vintage eyes.

Nice to be in touch with someone with similar interests and so much knowledge.

Steamjohn
 

Certus

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I , having been invited to leave another muzzle loading forum joined this one in the hope of exchanging ideas with others who shot Modern Muzzle loaders and maybe who had considered using nitro.

I my absence Certus you seem to have covered the subject pretty comprehensively to the point of not only posting excellent pictures of two of your revolvers but covering subjects such as Black Powder Licences and even the name of a firm that will convert your Black Powder ROA. as well as Westlake (but not Anvil Conversions).

Purely out of interest therefor can you remember when your ROA conversion was done.
I've been shooting M.L. since the early 60s and already had a ROA and a Rem .44 (Italian made but badged 'Lyman USA'). when the handgun ban kicked in.

I was shown a ROA nitro conversion by a gunsmith in Kent whom I had visited to collect some .457 hollow base conical bullets. Since my club banned BP for the reasons you have described I made a complete new cylinder and backplate for both the ROA and the Remington, sent the completed guns to the proof house and have been shooting them ever since.

My ROA is an almost exact copy of yours, I wonder if yours was the one I was shown and from memory made a copy of. Just curious.

By the by, I have also bought one of Anvil's really well made Uberti Remington .44s and have to say the workmanship is superb, makes my old 'Lyman' (circa early 60s) look a bit poor as far as the gun goes.

Incidentally I have now gone from .457 lead balls dipped in dilute alox and allowed to dry hard, propelled by Herco, to Blue Dot and am seeing better results.

Since my RAO is not based on a traditional ML Revolver it sports a red dot sight which helps my 1938 vintage eyes.

Nice to be in touch with someone with similar interests and so much knowledge.

Steamjohn
Hello,
My Ruger Old Army was converted just after the UK breech loading pistol ban in 1997 by Ian Wiggins who ran The Falcon Gun Company in Tonbridge, Kent so this is probably the same company you mention.
I remember another UK company was experimenting with converting Italian replica revolvers at the time using the existing percussion cap ignition system which was unsuccessful.
I also love my Anvil converted Uberti 1858 Remington NMA as I can still hold it relatively steady when using a single hand precision stance.
Although the Westlake conversions based on a modern D/A revolver are excellent, I prefer shooting S/A and the independent loading without the need for a separate press appeals to me more.
Brian
 

GM54-120

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I would really prefer if you guys did not give exact smokeless load data for BP pistols outside the smokeless section. This is sort of a grey area since its a pistol but you are welcome to discuss load details in the smokeless section. I have my own reservations as well. I see no mention of a smokeless rated barrel being used for the conversions.

This is a topic i need to discuss with the other admins/mods but in general we dont allow smokeless load data talk in the smoker sections.
 

Certus

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I would really prefer if you guys did not give exact smokeless load data for BP pistols outside the smokeless section. This is sort of a grey area since its a pistol but you are welcome to discuss load details in the smokeless section. I have my own reservations as well. I see no mention of a smokeless rated barrel being used for the conversions.

This is a topic i need to discuss with the other admins/mods but in general we dont allow smokeless load data talk in the smoker sections.
Hi,
Understood . As you say a grey area with the loads here being appropriate for UK specific conversions to muzzle loading revolvers adapted to use smokeless powder rather than those converted to use metallic cartridges more generally discussed in the smokeless section.
Brian
 

GM54-120

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Its a forum rule about smokeless in barrels only rated for BP or subs. I see no indication the barrels have been replaced. So bascially if it says BP only on the barrel then smokeless load data discussions are not allowed.
 

Certus

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Its a forum rule about smokeless in barrels only rated for BP or subs. I see no indication the barrels have been replaced. So bascially if it says BP only on the barrel then smokeless load data discussions are not allowed.
Just to clarify, these conversions were originally produced as BP only and before they can legally be sold for use with smokeless powder in the UK they first be submitted to an approved proof house for testing and stamped as being safe for use with a specified maximum smokeless load.
Brian
 

GM54-120

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Do they still have "Black Powder Only" on the barrel?

This is the issue. I can convert a BP only ML rifle with a new breach plug. Work up a load i know the peak pressure it creates. I could even proof it but as long as it still has THAT BP ONLY barrel on it i can not post a topic here with the load data. So im talking this over with the other mods/admins. Allowing it just because its a pistol creates a problem for the rules.
 

Certus

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Do they still have "Black Powder Only" on the barrel?

This is the issue. I can convert a BP only ML rifle with a new breach plug. Work up a load i know the peak pressure it creates. I could even proof it but as long as it still has THAT BP ONLY barrel on it i can not post a topic here with the load data. So im talking this over with the other mods/admins. Allowing it just because its a pistol creates a problem for the rules.
Hi,
I fully understand and never consciously intended to contravene the rules. I also shoot traditional BP revolvers and will be sure to confine any future posts to the most appropriate section,
Brian
 

michiganmuzzy

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It seems that a nitro conversion BP revolver is a niche that just hasn't become popular or even necessary with our easy access to regular guns here. I have a conversion to shoot 45LC in my ROA. But I for one would love to find someone here in the states that does that. Convert and proof the conversion. I have 2 ROAs and one of them would get that treatment.
 

NIGHTWOLF1974

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It seems that a nitro conversion BP revolver is a niche that just hasn't become popular or even necessary with our easy access to regular guns here. I have a conversion to shoot 45LC in my ROA. But I for one would love to find someone here in the states that does that. Convert and proof the conversion. I have 2 ROAs and one of them would get that treatment.
I'd just like a ROA in .50cal. and still shoot BP in it!
 

steamjohn

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This does not alter or contradict any of the preceding posts on the subject but, as a matter of interest,
my ROA which I converted and sent for proof came back as follows. On the underside of the barrel is stamped `Not Nitro. then adjacent , Nitro Proof LP over 01. (the proof house stamp). the replacement cylinder and back plate are likewise stamped.

As Cetus will confirm the Anvil Conversion .44 Remington states, Black Powder Only under the Barrel and on the next flat above, Max load 5 GR HERCO 143 GR BALL.

So no grey area in this instance. but totally agree that, at all cost there must be no doubt in people's minds, that simply fitting a different cylinder is not the whole story, the entire weapon MUST be submitted for re proof for Nitro.
 

GM54-120

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Well, we talked it over. General discussions about the conversion cylinders are fine. If you want to talk about the smokeless data in barrels that are clearly sold as BP only please take it to private messages.

Anymore load data posted about these conversions will be removed at our discretion. What you guys talk about in private messages is fine and wont be restricted. Any smokeless conversion that also includes a new barrel should be posted in the Smokeless section of the forum. Just like we do for the inline section. We dont allow any smokless data posted in the modern inline section either regardless of if its a full conversion or not.
 
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Certus

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Well, we talked it over. General discussions about the conversion cylinders are fine. If you want to talk about the smokeless data in barrels that are clearly sold as BP only please take it to private messages.

Anymore load data posted about these conversions will be removed at our discretion. What you guys talk about in private messages is fine and wont be restricted.
Understood and appreciated.
Brian
 

steamjohn

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To be fair I think we have only discussed smokeless loads in FIREARMS/HANDGUNS that have been proofed to fire smokeless. (specifically including the barrel.

I would however agree that there seem to be those among the contributors to this forum who either do not read, or do not understand the content of every post. No names no pack drill, as they used to say, but, for instance,

Quote " smokeless loads in my Old Army have been added to the 'to do ' list" unquote.

I shudder !

Therefor the moderators are being sensibly restrictive in this matter and should remain so while there are those who read information but do not assimilate the content.

Unfortunately there are idiots in our hobby that should never be allowed anywhere near a firearm of any description.

I was at a range where two guys turned up with a nice modern M.L. revolver which a 'friend' had loaded for them, they had no idea what he had put in it or how much. The rest of us evacuated the range to a safe distance after advising them, with no effect, not to shoot it !!!!!

My Gunsmith has a sectioned 12" Barrel off a .357 Magnum Revolver There were five copper jacketed heads in the barrel which had finally burst when the owner fired the last chamber. actually says quite a lot for the strength of the gun but not the brain power of the owner. (Apparently they were home loads and he had forgotten to put any powder in the first one)

I think I will just stick to talking face to face with people I know and with whom I can exchange ideas.

John
 

michiganmuzzy

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steamjohn, you may be misunderstanding what he meant by "adding to his to do list". I dont believe he is the type to just go and load some smokeless powder in his gun and see what happens.
 

steamjohn

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Bruce,

No insult was intended , I have only just read the latest posts on this forum and become aware of the upset my remarks seem to have caused

I read the original post and took its content literally. I did not name names and merely sought to re enforce the feelings of the moderators that any thoughts of using smokeless powder in a firearm that had not been proofed, in its entirety, as being smokeless safe, should be discouraged.

If you took this as a personal insult I apologise profusely, I obviously read your post too literally and made the wrong inference.

In a long career in the Royal Navy I served with and socialised with a great many Americans and hold them in high regard as friends. and fellow professionals. However although we have a common language, we often express ourselves in different and sometime subtle ways which can lead to misinterpretations and misunderstandings.

It is not a british (British) thing to insult a guy and then ignore it when YER rudeness is pointed out.

Be that as it may from now on I will glean what useful information I can from this forum and keep my peace.

Steamjohn
 

brucebuilds

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Gentlemen, no harm done. It's easy to misunderstand somebody you don't know when you read a few lines on an internet forum, and I've been guilty of that myself. Steamjohn, I'm mostly English myself, although I was born in the Colonies, and I appreciate your service in the Royal Navy. As for the Ruger, I'm intrigued with the idea of smokeless powder in them, although in the back of my mind I doubt any real improvement over Triple 7 could ever be obtained safely. If one needs more power a cartridge handgun would be the order of the day. Or, a conversion to .50 caliber, which I currently have underway. I'll be sharing that project with the brotherhood when it's finished.
 

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