how long can you leave a revolver loaded

Discussion in 'Blackpowder & Musket' started by Kaptin, May 8, 2010.

  1. Kaptin

    Kaptin New Member

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    This might be a stupid question, but how long can one expect to keep a cap and ball pistol loaded and still depend on it to do the job at hand? I mean like on the night stand or something not out in the weather every day.

    Do you have to fire it and clean it every so often?
     
  2. Davyboy

    Davyboy New Member

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    Hope this helps

    The old timers used to seal with bees wax or a mixture to protect load and would be left almost indefinately. The cap is purely depenent on dry storage
     

  3. Hawg

    Hawg New Member

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    As long as you want to.
     
  4. ALSGUN

    ALSGUN New Member

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    a little crisco and wax you could probably go swimmin
     
  5. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    I'd say as long as its loaded properly, the same amount of time as you keep your cartridge ammo.
     
  6. dunerunner

    dunerunner New Member

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    Air and moisture will leak into the charge around the nipple and cap and eventually weaken the charge. I wouldn't keep a cap and ball revolver loaded more than a week in humidities above 30%.

    Black powder also contains high amounts of sulfur which will produce sulfuric acid if exposed to moisture.
     
  7. Hawg

    Hawg New Member

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    Robert E. Lee's 51 Navy was fired 7 years after his death and all six rounds went off without a hitch. I found an original 58 Remington in an old dilapidated barn fully loaded. The powder was fine.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2010
  8. skip

    skip New Member

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    I left my Ruger Old Army loaded for 2 1/2 years (cap, powder, wonder wad, ball) and it fired on all six with no problem. Checked the cylinder after cleaning and found no signs of damage.
     
  9. Jamesaritchie

    Jamesaritchie New Member

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    You often can leave then loaded indefinitely. I've seen one that fired after almost fifty years.

    This does not mean it's a good idea. I've seen many others that were a complete mess because moisture got in and wasn't taken care of. You should always, without fail, clean any black powder firearm after firing, and when you're done for the day, why reload?

    Moisture can get in, and if this happens it can ruin an otherwise fine day of hunting. It can also make a mess of the chambers of your firearm. Black powder does not behave well when wet, and even a tiny bit of moisture will rust and pit the chambers. Clean and store the firearm empty. You can reload when you're ready to fire it again.
     
  10. tiberius10721

    tiberius10721 New Member

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    I leave my black powder revolver loaded for 2 or 3 months at a time in my night stand and have never had a problem . my 1858 uberti is my favorite pistol.
     
  11. archangel2003

    archangel2003 New Member

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    I had a Ruger old army that went a year in Southern California (Very dry) with no special preparations other than a good cleaning before loading and storage.

    It was also the most accurate gun I ever shot once the smoke cleared!
    The reason I sold it was the constant thought of the deep internal nooks and cranny's where I could not easily clean it.

    And I always kept my cap-lock Derringer loaded forever as well firing it every spring when we went out shooting just to be sure it would fire.
    It only hang fired once for a bad cap!
    I also had to replace the nipple as the cap must have gotten some moisture on it before loading it into the ammo can I stored it in.

    I think the key is to have it squeaky clean, load it under low humidity conditions and be sure the bullet and cap are protected from letting moisture seep in past them.

    Like the guy above mentioned, a good grease that will not dry out on the ball patch (or like my old army revolver packed in after the bullet was pressed in) and some wax at the lower edge of the primer (not inside where the fulminate is) will do wonders to keep things dry for a long time.

    If it were in a high humidity place, a water tight gallon sized Zip-lock bag with a desiccate packet in there as well for good measure should do the trick.

    OH! How about one of those vacuum sealers?
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2010
  12. AK_ID

    AK_ID New Member

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    I've had mixed luck with leaving BP revolvers loaded for lengthy periods of time -- mostly my own fault when the luck went south. Humidity is the main factor. If you are very, very careful, and go to the trouble of waxing the nipple threads to seal out moisture, and then use a bit of grease to seal where the cap rim meets the nipple (don't get it inside the cap, though), and then if you seal the business end well, a load can be good for years. I have one of those Italian faux buffalo revolvers that was stored loaded in a fairly humid climate for over three years, and when I finally remembered I owned the thing, I hauled it oustide and all six chambers fired without a hitch.

    If you're lazy, as I've been a couple of times in the past, you're safer keeping a big rock in the nightstand, or a baseball bat under your pillow. With proper loading and sealing, though, a blackpowder revolver is as dependable as anything modern, and a load is good for a long, long time.
     
  13. AK_ID

    AK_ID New Member

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    Oh, heck, I was replying to the OP. As I now read the rest of the replies, I see most of my ultra-wise advice was already offered by others. Okay, I'm an old guy. Get used to this kind of thing, okay?
     
  14. illbfrank

    illbfrank New Member

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    I had two cylinders loaded for my 1858 Remington for around 19 months. I live in the second wettest place in the CONUS. One place near Seattle gets more rain than we do here. I tote the thing almost every where I go, and I get out in the rain a good bit. I do wear a duster when it's raining, but I took no precautions when I loaded the cylinders. I do use the #10 caps instead of the #11's. They are made to fit the pistol nipples more snugly. I shot it a few weeks ago at a friends range. All 12 shots fired, and my friend was very impressed with how well this old thing shoots at 25 yards. I had about a 3 1/4" group with 12 shots. I did let the smoke clear a little between shots.

    I cleaned her up good when I got home, and loaded up both cylinders again. The reason I tote it so much is (1) Federal and state laws here don't even consider BP arms to be firearms, and (2) I wouldn't hesitate to use it for self-defense. You can buy a replica (mine has the 5 1/2" barrel) from Cabelas right now for $200, and there is no paperwork, FFL, background check...nothing. They just ship it to your door in about 3 days. What's not to like?

    Frank
     
  15. archangel2003

    archangel2003 New Member

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    And!

    One more time!!!!

    DAMN Frank!
    Where do you live?
    Hurry while I pack my bags!:D

    DAMN!
    In this state they consider a bow and arrow and an air powered BB/pellet gun a fire arm!
    Both are regulated the same as a 357 magnum!

    That Stainless Steel target pistol from Cabelas looks sweet!
    I wonder how fast you can swap out that cylinder?

    http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/t...eatsr&parentType=index&indexId=cat604984&rid=

    And this 20 gauge or 58 cal double barreled Peace Keeper pistol!
    Looks perfect for home defense first response before raising up the 1911 in your other hand!

    http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/t...parentType=index&parentId=cat20817&id=0058399
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2010
  16. archangel2003

    archangel2003 New Member

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    AW COM ON FRANK!

    Let us know what part of this big blue/green earth a little slice of heaven still resides in!!!!!:D
     
  17. gopher

    gopher New Member

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    My 1858 new Army REM would last about a week
    Then It would lose power
     
  18. Hawg

    Hawg New Member

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    Most likely too much lube.
     
  19. Vakarian

    Vakarian New Member

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    It really does depend on #1 luck and #2 humidity. If you ever catch wild west tech on history channel in 1 episode they talked about how wild bill would reload his pistols religiously every day.
     
  20. illbfrank

    illbfrank New Member

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    Sorry Angel...been covered up the last few days. I reside in the western corner of North Carolina where South Carolina and Georgia meet. Sapphire, NC, to be exact. The community is Sapphire-Whitewater, and my hood is called Bearwallow. I live right on Bearwallow Creek, and the County of Transylvania (Through the Woods). It's also known as the Land of Waterfalls. It's a rainforest for sure, but there is no area in the world with a more diverse and varied flora and fauna. Many rare species of plants live here, and some are found nowhere else on the planet. I have 6 acres located 9 miles south of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and also a home about 9 miles north of the SC state line. It is a motorcyclist paradise this time of year. It was truly paradise 40 years ago, but alas, many "furriners" discovered it and many have built luxury homes all over the ridges. Outsiders have taken over county govt, and taxes are getting ridiculous. I have built many a house in years past without the need for any permits, as we had no inspections dept. Now, it cost a bundle just in fees to do much of anything. So, I do rejoice in the fact that I can click my mouse and 3 or 4 days later, receive a new hogleg vis UPS.

    I am seriously thinking of moving out west...maybe Montana, as I like the gun laws there, and it is a common site to see folk openly carrying. I open carry myself here many times. It's legal, and it makes a statement and help educate the younger guys on the force as to the laws on the books.

    I was born 100 years too late, I think. I certainly don't like seeing our country go down like it has since 1865.