Suggestions for first BP pistol?
I'm considering a BP pistol as a new "toy" or target pistol (not for hunting or primary self-defense). I would think a single shot would be safer & less expensive & less complicated than a revolver. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what to look for in a first BP pistol? If i don't like it, i'll probably just give it to a nephew, so it needs to be relatively safe (bad pun).
Brands? Bad signs? Bad idea overall? Probable price range on single shot in decent/safe used condition (not into cosmetology)?
I plan to do a bit of shopping at an upcoming gun show, mostly looking.
I have a few repro BP revolvers- and while they are a lot of fun, if you do not pay close attention in loading, you may get a chain fire- which is a REAL exciting event.
I also have a couple of .45 cal single shot "Kentucky" pistols. Built from kit, heavier than a mortgage, suprisingly accurate with patched round ball over 25 gr of ffG. Why two? Well, when challenged to a duel......:rolleyes:
Thomspon Center also made a really spiffy single shot BP pistol- really accrate if you did your part. Name "Patriot" kicks up for some reason.
many of the BP guns were made in Italy or Spain- Jukar made a bunch of barrels for the lower cost guns- still shot well.
Look at fit of wood to metal, and finish. Check trigger- Some are nopt bad, some release only when vein is standing out on your forehead.
BP pistols are a ton of fun.
BP revolvers are cool, however the loading process is a bit of a chore, get a loading stand if you buy a revolver.
Single shot muzzle loading pistols are a hoot. I find that I can load and shoot 6 rounds from my (Pedersoli) LePage Dueling pistol as fast as I can load 6 and shoot 6 in my (Uberti) Walker-Colt replica.
Both are accurate pistols and I usually take them both to the range and shoot about 50 rounds through each. They both draw lots of attention from other shooters at the range.
Get the BP pistol that "grabs" you. What historical era are you most interested in?
If you want a BP revolver, and if you like a big bang, I would suggest a Walker-Colt replica - it is a big gun! And it can be loaded with a lot of BP so it really goes BOOM! A buddy had bought a .44 Remington replica and with its relatively smaller BP loads it was like shooting a cap gun. He shot my Walker-Colt and he is now getting himself one.
If you are interested in a single shot muzzle-loading pistol, a Kentucky style percussion may be a good starting point. My next BP Pistol will be a Kentucky style flintlock pistol.
A few words of advice:
1. Be ready to become addicted to this, and be prepared to buy several more BP pistols once you get into this.
2. Buy and Read Lymans Black Powder Handbook
3. Buy a good quality pistol (I personally have been very satisfied with Pedersoli and Uberti)
4. Do some internet research and learn about loading and accessories, over-powder wads for the revolver and ball diamater/patch thickness combinations for the muzzle-loading pistol. There is a lot to learn, but do not be intimidated by it all, it is NOT that complicated, and it IS great fun.
5. Be preapred for more cleaning work with a BP pistol. It is not that hard but it will take you about 20 minutes after each shooting session. You must do this if you want the pistol to survive in good condition. It is NOT as bad as a lot of folks make it out to be.
6. Use real BP, not BP substitutes. The substitues will work but it is just not the same. Real BP can be ordered over the internet if it is not locally available. If you can't find a 1 pound can of 3Fg locally, go ahead and try some Pyrodex P. Then once you get hooked, and can justify ordering 5 pounds (about $100) buy the real stuff.
Dixie Gun Works is a great place to browse and to purchase just about anything you need from the pistol itself, to loading and cleaning supplies.
Assuming you are not an experienced BP shooter, here is a list of things you may want to consider purchasing when you order your BP pistol:
1. Range rod – don’t use the wooden ram-rod that comes with the gun, DGW has a nice pistol length nylon rod that you will find easier to use.
2. Ram rod accessory kit for the appropriate caliber – this should include the ram-rod tip and a patch puller (corkscrew adaptor to remove a patch from the bore when required
3. Ball puller – worm screw type adaptor to pull the ball out of the bore, when you do “dry-ball” – forget to load a powder charge
4. Lots of patches of the appropriate size (I prefer the round type) for cleaning between shots and cleaning after shooting for the day
5. Powder flask but one of the ones that accept replaceable spouts they will typically come with a 24 grain spout, then buy the right size spout (I use 30 grains of powder for the LePage .44)
6. Balls and patches – refer to the load data with the pistol, or the previously mentioned Lyman’s Black Powder Handbook. I use Hornady or Speer swaged lead balls and any of a number of the manufacturers of the pre-lubricated patches. You probably will start out with 0.010" thick patches.
7. Percussion Caps – probably size 10 for a pistol
8. Small pump bottle of BP spray cleaner for misting the patches for between shot wipes
9. Tube of “Bore Butter” for cleaning and lubricating (do not use petroleum based oils for cleaning or lubricating)
10. Ted Cash Pistol Capper – not so necessary for a single shot as it is for a revolver, but I have big clumsy fingers and the Capper makes it easier for me to place the cap on the nipple.
11. Nipple wrench (if not provided with the pistol), you will want to unscrew and clean the nipple at each cleaning, and then lube the threads when you re-install after cleaning
12. Can of Ballistol – I use this miscible oil mixed with hot water for the cleaning solution, then dry and lube with the Bore butter
Couple of things I forgot:
13. Short Starter (of the appropriate caliber) needed to get the ball/patch started down the bore
14. Powder flask funnel that screws in place of the spout - makes it much easier to load the powder into the flask.
Here's what the Patriot looks like. Do not know if these are still made. Double set triggers are nice-
Thompson TC 45 .45 Cal Patriot Muzzleloader Pistol : Black Powder / Muzzle loading at GunBroker.com
I bought my uberti 1858 remington last year from midway during christmas. It was on sale for 264 dollars. I did some research before I bought it and the reason I picked that particular model is because you can swap out cylinders really fast. I love this gun its my favorite gun to shoot. My wife and my 13 year old son love shooting it also. Be prepared to thouroughly clean a black powder pistol right after you shoot it or the very next day. Online research is key to learning how to properly load and maintenance these pistols. Cabelas has good sales also on the pietta brand pistols.
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