Wild hog killing with black-powder pistols

Author's Texas boar taken with Thompson/Center's Encore pistol and T/C's Ken French at the Nail Ranch in Texas.

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 Wild hogs have become more and more of a pest throughout much of the South, in California, Hawaii and likely, ” Coming soon to a location near you.” They have very excellent noses, but relatively poor eyes. If you can get downwind of them and if conditions are wet, you can very closely approach hogs making them nearly ideal big game targets for the muzzleloading pistol hunter.

  These hogs can get huge, 600 pounds and more; but are also available in smaller sizes which are much better eating. About 200 pounds or so is the break-even point for an eating hog in my book. Unless they are looking for trophies, many avoid taking the huge ones in favor of  better eating wild pork.

  My personal preference is for powerful loads from single-shot pistols, such as the Thompson/Center .50-caliber Encore shown with the big Texas boar hog in the  photo at the head of this article. This one was taken with a single shot at 30 yards using two 50-grain Pyrodex pellets, a Wonder Wad and a 370-grain Thompson/Center MaxiBall. I have used this same load in Africa on warthogs with identical results.  I have also taken hogs with other black-powder pistols including Traditions’ Buckhunter Pro and Davide Pedersoli’s Howdah hunter. The minimal load for these pistols consisted of the equivalent of 85 grains of FFg and a 200-grain Buffalo Bullets’ BallEt with musket-cap  ignition.

  Notably absent from the foregoing is any mention of black-powder revolvers. I have owned and shot many of them; but the only one that I use regularly is the Ruger Old Army which I use to brain-shoot alligators that I have bowfished and drug up to the boat. At point-blank range I like this load because it does not destroy the skull or risk sending bullet and bone fragments through the boat’s hull. Otherwise I condemned these revolvers as being too puny for big game hunting except for back-up shots delivered at very close range.

Rudy Betancourt's wild hog with a stainless steel Pietta 1858 Remington pistol with a 12-inch barrel.

  I was called to task about this, and several people protested vigorously that the Walker and Dragoons and open-top Colts were worthy hunting guns. I had shot these ill-sighted and weakly put together guns to the point where  I was sick of them. However, modernized version of  Remington-pattern guns with  TrippleSeven loads and adjustable sights appear to offer real potential, as mentioned by Rudy Betancourt who used a stainless Pietta revolver to shoot hogs as in the following photo. His brother-in-law was also successful with the 17-inch .50-caliber barreled Davide Pedersoli Bounty pistol, which I have also used for deer hunting after smoothing up the action and taping more than a pound of  lead shot to the muzzle so that I could hold it down.    

 Another hunter used an 1860 Colt replica and took a 90- pound black hog with what appeared to be a spine shot from what I can tell from the photo.  

A percussion revolver loaded with Triple Seven and round ball got the job done on this 135 pound sow.  Rudy Betancourt took this 135 pound sow with a round ball load and charge of 37 grains of TripleSeven at a range of 35 yards. The bullet completely penetrated the animal after apparently going through the spine for an instant kill. Not to depreciate Rudy’s accomplishment, this was a moderate-sized hog, a sow (so it does not have the added protection of a gristle plate over the shoulder); but this load was effective on this size hog.  He informed me that he has also used conicals in his pistol, but although these often provide pass-through shots, he gets better accuracy and faster kills from the expanding round-ball loads which are cast of pure lead.  

Armando Martinez’s outsize percussion Bounty  pistol used 70 grains of TripleSeven and a .50-caliber Lee bullet to take a 60 pound hog with a single shot at 40 yards which is excellent work with this crudely sighted gun. This young sow also fell dead with the bullet apparently hitting the area of the off-side shoulder and exiting through the middle of the body. Had there been a need, I have little doubt that this load would likely work on hogs up to 200 pounds.  

Betancourt states that this hog was taken by another hunter with an 1860 Colt replica revolver using an unknown load. From what I can tell from the hide, the bullet penetrated the spine a little less than mid-way the length of  the animal and may have exited the other side.  The old warhorse worked on this relatively small hog for an apparent one-shot kill.

  All three of these guns worked on these smallish hogs. The use of  TripleSeven in steel- framed revolvers, longer barrels and adjustable sights all aided in generating sufficient energy to accurately provide game-killing penetration.  Shot placement ramains the most important factor in getting quick kills. Had any of these hogs been gut-shot with no damage to the spine or legs, the recovery of such animals would have been difficult without trailing dogs.

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38 thoughts on “Wild hog killing with black-powder pistols

  1. This is a interesting article. Well put together. I do not share his rather poor opinion of the older black-powder Colt revolvers. Some good hunting results for Hovey, Rudy and Amando. (Edited Comment).

  2. Pingback: All Hunting Pistols - ALL HUNTİNG – ALL HUNTİNG

  3. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of center-fires ,
    I will fear no cartridge, for Colt is with me; your Walker and your Dragoon,
    they comfort me.

    You prepare a 777 load before me in the presence of my enemies.
    You anoint my lead with oil; my powder measure overflows.

    Surely loud reports and smoke shall follow me all the days of my life,
    and I will dwell in the house of percussion forever!

  4. In the 3rd paragraph, Mr.Smith mentions African Wart Hogs” reguarding the same. Several years ago while on active duty in Northern Italy. I visited a Gun/Hunting shop. I asked the owner, a renown hunter, which is harder to kill and which is a stronger animal, The Euro/Asian Wild Boar, or the African Warthog. His responce was, that the Euro/Asian Wild Boar was harder to kill and is a stronger animal.

    • There is one more to throw into the mix. That is the Giant Forest Hog of Africa. Among South African hunters, the Giant Forest Hog was much more respected-feared than the warthog; although the warthog may have the better-looking teeth. The Forest Hog’s teeth are thick and tough, but not so long.


  5. Check out what,”Rahen” posted on the Firing Line!

    For those who solely rely on percussion revolvers for defense and hunting:

    Many people here say that the cloud of smoke produced upon firing is the greatest handicap towards using caplocks for defense.

    Others bring up the issue of sparks and fire hazard in an enclosed area.

    Both issues can be corrected with the right propellant and right/adequate lube in my experience.

    But the most important thing to consider is nighttime visibility and acquisition of the gun’s sights. Many self-defense scenarios happen at night, or in a dark area and being able to see your weapon’s sight can be a matter of life and death.

    When I acquired my Model 1858, the first thing I did was apply a coat of sight-paint to the front sight blade as well as the buckhorn channel of the rear. Worked miracles for me on one after-dark hunt when I scored a hog at 30 yards. 29-grains FFFg, Lee 200-gr conical.

  6. I carry my Uberti 1858 Remingtons for defense and take the necessary steps and precautions (to the point of overkill) in order to assure a high degree of reliability. After reading this article, I am convinced that I need to try out hunting with them.

    • For the benefit of readers who might want, or be forced by law, to rely on percussion pistols for self defense use, please post the steps that you take to insure reliable function and considerations about having cylinders loaded for long periods of time, under harsh weather conditions, safety around children ect. (The guns may look like toys to them.) In all of these areas cartridge revolvers have the edge.

      If you use adequate loads, get your animals close, and, most importantly, put that first shot in the right place you can get your critters with them. Check your state regulations to make sure that the guns are allowed. In some states the situation is unsure and in others percussion revolvers are prohibited for big game hunting, although more states allow them for small game.

  7. In regards to children and black powder weapons, naturally, one should use the same caution around children as one would with a modern firearm. Even more care should be taken if your olden firearm has an ornamental appeal that could be mistaken for a toy by an innocent child.

    Any percussion firearm will perform just as well as a modern firearm if it is properly maintained. There are some folks that have no business using black powder weapons for defense purposes. If the individual does not possess the skill to load and maintain a percussion firearm so that it performs as well as a modern firearm, then they need to find another option for defense or become proficient with their percussion firearm. If one is going to use a percussion firearm for defense purposes, one should KNOW that their gun is as reliable as a modern firearm. Misfires should be an extreme rarity.

    My experience is limited to revolvers. I use 44 caliber 1858 Remington New Armies for defense purposes. I found out early that these firearms of yesteryear need special attention in order to maximize their performance, but it can be done. One thing you mentioned is that the old guns often look like toys. That is one good reason to use revolvers. The 1858 Remington, with its top strap design looks like a much more modern piece. After all, it you are forced to prepare to throw down, your adversary is less likely be amused and wondering if the threat you are producing is real.

    I live in a humid climate and need to keep my revolvers loaded for months without problems. I also never know when my revolvers may get caught in the rain or knocked into the water. The best way I know to test one’s proficiency in loading a revolver so the powder in the cylinder will remain dry after being submerged in water is to submerge the cylinder. Throw the cylinder into a bucket of water and let it remain for 30 minutes or so. Remove the cylinder from the water, load it into the revolver and if it doesn’t fire all six times, you are doing something wrong. If you do too good of a job sealing both ends of the cylinder, so be it.

    Misfires and be caused by many things. I start with being sure the gun is functioning properly after it is assembled after cleaning. If in doubt, load the caps to the cylinder without the powder and balls and fire them. If there are misfires or timing issues, correct them. If you have caps that misfire often, find good ones.

    One common source of misfires is the mainspring adjustment when working with revolvers. Another common timing problem is the hand can have a bur on it or the handspring may be bent.
    Once all of your caps fire like they should, you can have confidence in the mechanics functioning like they should.

    The next step is loading for extreme conditions. Like I said, I live in a humid climate which can make it harder to keep your powder dry . Also, I never know when my revolvers may get caught in the rain or knocked into the water.

    I said in my previous post that my techniques could be considered by some folks as overkill. If I err, I like for it to be on the safe side. I use extra measures to seal both ends of the chambers during the loading process. This is also done to prevent chain fires. Though chain fires rarely cause personal injury, I don’t want to waste a second round going off when I squeeze the trigger in a defensive situation. I may need all of my available rounds.

    Everyone has their own techniques. I am not saying mine is better than anyone else. Mine are overkill, I know. However, I don’t worry about my revolvers firing when the triggers are squeezed. I personally could not have the confidence to keep the revolvers loaded for months in a humid climate by if I eliminated any one part of my routine. With that said, here is my loading process for humid and wet conditions, long periods of time and to eliminate the possibility of chain fires:

    First of all, 10 grains of cornstarch between the powder and the ball will reduce fouling. I like to use just enough lubricant to press the ball in. A little dabbed evenly around the chamber edge does quite well for me. After pressing all of the balls in, Use a Q-tip to wipe Bore Butter around the edges of the ball, even though there is a uniform shaven ring around the ball. I don’t goop filler over the ball. After all, these guns may be loaded for some time.

    Crisco gooped onto the remaining space of the chambers is not a practice for me. No harm if someone wants to do so, but corn meal between the powder and the ball does quite well. The weapon looks more natural when you can see the balls in the chambers, not Crisco or Bore Butter.

    Use the proper caps (no pinching) and seal them to the nipple. For the Uberti 1858, 10s will fit perfect. I use clear fingernail polish to seal the caps to the nipples. (I hear Bore Butter works well also.)

    Like I said, if you have any doubts about your loading techniques, throw the loaded cylinder into some water and leave it for a while. If all six chambers fire on demand, your technique is sufficient.

  8. We had a great hunt this sunday 9/16/12. We took 3 wild boar ranging from 65 pound to 225 pounds. I shot an 80 pound sow as it was running across an opening in the palmettos at 50 yards and broght her down with a single shot from my Ruger old Army revolver. My load was 40gr of 3fg 777, a wad and a .457 ball. The hog dropped at the shot. Upon butchering we discovered that the ball had penetrated the shoulder, gone thru the rib cage, severed the main arteries to the heart and exited on the off side after breaking the ribs. Great load and ball combo which has worked for me in the past.

    The second hog was shot by Armando who used a scattergun to bring down a tender 65 pound sow which will prove to be great eating.

    The third hog was a big 225 male boar that was taken by Rey with his Uberti Walker. The hog was shot at 15 yards as it quartered away and was dropped like a sack os spuds when the shot when off. Reys load was a full cylinder of 2fg 777, a .457 ball and an oxyoke wonder seal on top. Upon butchering we discovered the bullet penetrated the gristle plate, broke a rib, destroyred the heart and basically turned the inside of the chest cavity to jelly, broke the ribs on the offside and penetrated the offside gristle plate and kept on going. Truly devastating wound channel and far more penetration than most 357 or 44 magnums that we have used to take down these animals. All this by the way took place under a torrential downpour in which these black powder revolvers were soaked for a solid 4 hours and yet not one misfire!

    Hovey I sent you the pics and have my full permisiion as well as all involved in my hunt to post them here or anywhere else you wish to do so.

  9. On March 12, 2012, I made an error in my post which stated, “Everyone has their own techniques. I am saying mine is better than anyone else.” I intended to have a “not” in the sentence so it would read, Everyone has their own techniques. I am not saying mine is better than anyone else.”
    I apologize for this and request an edit or removal of the text.
    Thank you

    • I made the change and also re-wrote a bit of the last paragraph in that I believe that you ment to put a fully loaded cylinder into water and then see if it would fire all six chambers. Hovey

  10. i plan on getting a 12 inch barrel for my steel frame 1858 , i plan to use it for deer hunting, any suggested ball size n powder charge, im using pyrodex p

    • Dear Joanie, There is a lot of variability in Pietta cylinders. I own this gun in both the stainless Cabela’s Buffalo version and in their blued steel versions. In my stainless Buffalo there is one chamber that is so different that I marked the end of that one with a file and do not load it. These guns are very much individuals. Perhaps you have a friend who also shoots percussion pistols from whom you could borrow some .451 and .454 round balls. The load that I would try for is a charge of Pyrodex P, over-powder felt wad, round ball and over ball wax pad. If you can only find or buy one size, go with .454s. These should take some pressure to seat and cut a ring of lead from each ball as it is loaded. Going through the loading process will quickly tell you if you have a tight chamber. My experience with the Piettas is that they shoot round balls more accurately than elongate bullets, and this is why I recommend them. The most you can do to improve the load would be to step up to Triple Seven powder. Take your animals as close as you can get them through the lungs and be prepared for a trailing job, because these bullets will frequently not exit. Theybe found under the skin on the other side. You can also try the Buffalo revolver bullets, I still see better performance with the round-ball load. I have an E-book in preparation now, “Hunting Big and Small Game with Muzzleloading Pistols,” (available in about a month) that provides more information and another “Hunting with Muzzleloading Revolvers” that will be out later in the year. These guns are very much individual creatures and each one is a law into itself. Good luck with your gun and on your hunts, please keep us all posted. Wm. Hovey Smith


      • Thanks for the information, I had wrote a reply but not sure if it went through though as It never showed up. In short I was saying that I am not new to black powder revolvers, but I am new to handgun hunting. While I know there are magnum heads out there and some women are brave enough to tuff out the recoil. I have long fingers and small wrist and prefer the milder recoil of my Remington.

        That being said why I asked about ball size and powder charges, is like I said I am new to handgun hunting, and I want the most I can get out of it when it comes to accracy and killing power. I can shoot metal plates all day with any ball and charge but hunting is different.

        Plus I want to see how it dose and write my own artical up on how the 1858 Remingtons do afield.

        I have another question maybe you can answer, my Pietta I have is a standard 8 inch barrel target model, it seems to shoot hot compared to others velocites I have read about and books I have read, which they usually come up about 750-900 fps, at 8 yards with a 30 gr charge of pyrodex P and a 451 ball I am getting like 1050, and with a 40 gr charge its like 1190-1200 ” its not the most accruate though..that is over a 10 round spread, you have any idea why I’m getting such high velocity readings? I have never tried 777 dose it stink like prdyodex?

      • Dear Joanie, I don’t recall any great difference between Pyrodex and TripleSeven so far as smell goes. I just don’t pay attention. I like black powder too, they all smell fine to me. I am not the guy to ask that question. The velocity will vary by chamber size and compression. Try to be as uniform as possible in loading techniques. If you want to be very precise load and shot one chamber, just as you would with a single shot pistol. I do not have the patience to do that and the deer will not know the difference. Do all of your load development with that one chamber and then perhaps you will notice more consistent results. Stay with our own figures, don’t compare one guys results with yours. There are just too many variables. Hovey


      • I will try to keep this one short, as I noticed Iv been taking up alot of space with my questions and replies “sorry” , I know conicals will penatrate better, but whats your take on the better deer/hog killer a .44 round ball or conical? Also I have been told the .44 Remington is similar to a 38 special in power, I started out shooting .38 specials and shot many different .38s specials, I humbly disagree the .44 Remington is alot more potentent , 38 specials will make nice little hole straight through a milk jug filled with water at 10 yards, the .44 Remington with 35 gr Pyrodex P and a 451/454 round ball will explode a milk jug of water at 10 yards. they also penatrate better I know this much.

        When is your E-Book coming out Hovey?

      • I would not disagree with your statement so far as effectiveness on game is concerned between the .38 Spl. with factory lead loads and a hot loaded .44 percussion revolver with round ball. The first E-book on hunting with muzzleloading pistols should be out in about 30days, and maybe sooner. So far as the better killer, it depends on how accurately your gun will shootwhich bullet. At ranges of out to about 30 yards or so the round ball appears to do as goodas or better than theelongate bullets.Round ball velocities drop offfast, and the retained energy and increased mass of the elongate bullets appear to kill better beyond about 40 yards. Ishoot conicals at big animals provided that the particular gun will shoot them accurately. MyOld Army does shoot them reasonably well, but my Pietta revolvers do not. They appear to like round balls better. Hovey


      • I love my 1858 Remington, its the funnest gun I got to shoot. But I think for my hunting I am going to use my Uberti 1873 .45 Colt with a 5 1/2 inch barrel its not that I believe this gun to more powerful or a better killer, its just that I can hit with it a lot better than I can my .357 Mag or my 1858 Remington. My load is going to be a 255 grain hard cast over 37.5 grains of Pyrodex P , should be fairly effective. ” I prefer black powder but its hard as heck to find around here.”

        I may still take the 1858 Remington .44 out , as I want to see which preforms the best on game, I just got to get my target practice in with it, I can only hit with hunting precision with it out to about 20 yards. With my Cattleman I can out to about 60 yards. Though I would still try to keep it inside 40. To me, once you break 50 yards its not longer fun for me with a pistol to me using a pistol is like a bow to see how close you can get. One advantage I do have with the .357 Mag though is I also have a lever gun to go with it LOL. But it for my hunting test I really want to see what I think is better between the old timers the .44 Remington and .45 Colt.

        I’v opened up a Youtube channel were I am reviewing guns my first review is on the 1873 Cattleman I will send the link later.

        Later on I am going to get me a .50 Cal Hawkens style single shot pistol just because I think it is very cool looking and should be a potent killer.

      • With single shot black powder pistols the best thing that you can do to increase power to game killing ability is to put barrel length on it. No one makes such a Hawken style gun, but I would try to get a gunsmith to re-barrel with a 14-inch barrel. If you cannot do that get the longest barreled heaviest one you can find with adjustable sights. Hovey


      • Hovey I am not saying you are wrong, but on http://www.dixiegunworks.com they have a single shot .50 cal pistol kit from Deer Creek that claims its of Hawkens style? I could be wrong but that is what the description says.

        That being said I thought about getting my gunsmith friend to cut down the barrel on one of my older style percussion rifles, to about 14 inches , I dunno what would be more expensive going with the kit or getting the cut down. But I have two .50 cal rifles that need work done on them. They are the old timey kind with the side hammer .

        I got a inline Remington 700 ML .50 rifle that thing is devastating my dad and myself have killed quite a few deer with it, all one shot kills most fell in their tracks one ran about 30 yards before expiring she was hit a little high. I’v heard a lot of bad press on the Remington 700 ML , and they have discontinued it but I guess I got lucky I have not had any issues with it.

      • Joanie, I do not know the Deer Creek Hawken pistol product. If it has the longer barrel that would work and would likelybe less expensive than a custom job. The Remington 700 ML was an excellent shooting rifle. The problem was that the bolt was a real SOB to disassemble and clean as it needed to be when shooting black powder and most substitutes. Hovey


  11. With all respect to Joanie:

    The killing power and potential of a 44 really a 45 caliber Percussion Revolver like a Remington or 1860, is quite a bit more effective on game than a 38 Special. The Sectional Density, Mas, Width of the projectile in 44/45 is way greater than 38 Special. That counts as when an animal is struck with such a wide 44/45 caliber projectile they usually stop fairly quickly, by the destructive path of the projectile, destroying organs causing severe bleeding etc, bleeding out quicker and thus expiring way faster.

    A round lead ball in a 36 caliber Percussion revolver like an 1851 Navy was said by two witness; actual (Civil War Veterans, both of Major rank from both sides) back in 1913 to the late inventor Elmer Keith as a young boy, too be more deadlier effective than a 38 Special. Both Majors were said to state and verify that a 1851 Navy filled to the cylinder brim with powder and a round lead ball,; Really took the fight out of them”.

    The soft round ball expands to a much larger caliber size this creating a very effective destructive patch. A 44 caliber percussion revolver with round ball will have even a bigger destructive path than the 36 caliber ball.

    Many hunters over the years have proven this, Al Georg, killed black bears with an Remington 44 percussion revolver, Elmer Keith took many Bears Grizzly with them, Hovey has taken much game, Rudy Betancourt, Larry O, myself and others as well.

    In June I shot and stopped an adrenalin pumped up charging wild Boar at appox 25 Meters with one shot from my Uberti 1858 NMA Remington in 44/45, using my 240 grain Kaido universal round flat nosed Bullet which also creates enormous destructive path for longer distances as I designed it to be.


    Kaido Ojamaa

    • Amen the .44/45 in a 1860 Army or 1858 Remington loaded hot will do just about anything a person could ask for in revolver. That is what I was saying, I have shot a many .38 Specials and I have yet to see 1 even the +P 38 specials match the power and effectiveness of the mighty 1858 Remington .44.

      But I have hard many say it is similar to the .38 in power , I humbly disagree with those people .

      Kaido may I ask are you the guy who makes the custom bullet molds as shown on Youtube? If so I am interested in a 240 grain mold.

      • Yes Joanie,
        Ballistics can be misinterepted misunderstood and calculated just confusing a real mix up especially with Black Powder Percussion era Revolvers versus modern smokeless metallic cartridges. Those people who equate a 38 Spl even a + P, To a percussion revolver44 like a Remington Colt 1860 are way off. These guns were meant to kill a horse at considerable distance.

        About the molds. I wish I could provide you and everyone with one or two, who ever wants them and there are many. the problem is this. LEE Precision, the manufacture of my molds is so busy with replenishing highly sought after products which is due to panic buying, as a result LEE informed me that it will have to be in the new year before they will be able to make my molds again. I am offering custom cast bullets in the meantime and you can contact me via email, kaido93@hotmail. I have a info sheet I sent out.

        I have done business with Deer Creek over the years, they do have custom specialty items that generally no one else has, as they go back to various manufactures and get items remade where others do not do so. You just need to know exactly what the item is you want or are buying that you really need to know exactly,
        as Deer Creek has so many different models and series of various items.

      • Joanie, Kaido has the 240gr and the new 200gr molds in stock now but they are going fast. Try to get with his as soon as you can to purchase one before they are all gone again.

  12. Joanie,

    I can attest to the fact that a percussion revolver loaded with good quality powder liker Triple Seven ( Most powerful and cleanest sub powder made today) will eclipse the mythical comparison to a 38 special. I have been hunting hogs and deer for about two decades now with the percussion revolver and also with modern guns. It is feasible to obtain in excess of 500ftlbs with good quality percussion guns like the Ruger Old Army, Peitta / Uberti 1858 and 1860 revolvers. Power will also be quirte higher when a Walker or a Dragoon comes into play. Those impressive energy figures coupled with the larger 45 cal bore of these guns places their killing ability right up there with the 41 / 44 magnum easily. We have had multiple one shot stops on Florida wild boar and deer throughout the years using both ball and conicals.

    If you are serious about hunting with your percussion revolver stay away from Pyrodex powder, it is underpowered and higly corrosive. Load up with the Kaido bullet which is the best projectile made today or if not able to obtain and the range is short say 40 yards and under then a ball will suffice if proper shot placement is employed. Stay away from hollow based bullets projectiles such as the buffalo bullet as we have seen them fail on large hogs and will not penetrated enough to reach the vitals, these are great projectiles for smaller game but not up to the task for large boars. The only real black that packs true magnum power is Swiss pistol grade and the most powerful substitute made today and probably your best bet is Triple Seven powder. Just so you will get an idea of how well these weapons work when Triple seven is used may be confirmed by Mr. Kaido Ojamaa who used one of his own bullets and 25gr of Triple seven on a recent hunt with my hunting party and myself when he stopped a full blown charge from a 150lb boar with a single shot exhibiting complete penetration and killing power which rivals the best cordite magnums made today. Hovey Smith has also harvested deer and boar using Triple seven with ball and conicals.

    We are planning another hunt on january 25, 2014, Kaido will attempt to bring down a trophy sized boar to further document the effectiveness of the percussion revolver on big and dangerous animals when coupled with triple Seven powder and the Kaido bullet. Good luck with your hunting and keep us posted.


    • Well I loaded up 20 rounds with my .45 Colt 255 LFN , 30 gr of 777 and I used a thin peice of paper for a wad. I shot at a paint can the accuracy is greatly improved, I am not sure if that has to do with the change of powder or the lube or both, but I am not shooting high and to the right so bad anymore, all my shots but 2 were dead on, those 2 I had stepped back to 30 yards and shot single handed, I still put them in the can they were just slightly off to the right but not way way off to the right.

      Gun did not stink, it was sort of like Elmer Kieth said about the old 1851 Navy , I just give a few hard blows though the cylinder that worked well with 777 have not yet washed it off to try the just water as they claim but I figure it will be a easy project due to just blowing out the cylinder got most of the residue off.

      The recoil in my personal opinion is softer than when using Pyrodex P that could also contribute to better grouping.

      I reloaded some more with 35 gr 777 and just seated the bullet down on to that, the recoil was lil stiffer, it had got up to about what the recoil is like with 30 gr of Pyrodex P , but the accuracy is still much better. I do not know how fast the bullet is coming out I do not have access to a chrony right now, but I suspect its approaching or slightly over 1000 fps as there is leading going on in my barrel that I did not have when using Pyrodex P until I got to my super heavy load of 50 grs. Also I shot a milk jug full of water, it exploded it instead of just knocking a big hole in it, so its getting some speed and energy behind it with the 777.

      I tried a 25 gr charge with a light filler I know they do not recommend using fillers but I did anyway, the round was still potent , the recoil was soft, this may end up being my general defense round and as well as plinking round.

      I would not feel bad about using this in my shotgun as well, seems like the clean up wouldn’t be to bad.

      • Dear Joanie,

        Granular Triple7even works well in shotguns, just remember to back off the black-powder charge about 10% and play with your loads until you get one that patterns well and, as importantly, shoots to the point of aim. My E-book, “Hunting with Muzzleloading Shotguns and Smoothbore Muskets” covers that and also how to grind the end of the barrel if you need to change the strike of the shot pattern.


      • Hi Mr. Smith, I have been using Lyman Black Powder Gold lube. In my 1858 Remington even though it is custom to give me faster velocities than usual I do not have leading in it. But my Uberti 1873 .45 Colt is a different story, I do have some mild leading about half way down the barrel its a 5.5 inch it could be the difference in lead I am using too though, for my 1858 Remington most of my bullets are made from old tire weights, were as for my .45 Colt I found a bag of shotgun pellets I melted that down to make the bullets. for it, the shotgun pellets in my opinion seem to make prettier bullets than the lead weights.
        I have not cleaned my 1858 Rem since Wed, I am testing it the 777 for rust and gun lock up and it has already out preformed my old stand by the Pyodex P as with Pyrodex P it would be showing signs of rust by the end of the day, and if I did not clean it for 2 days the cylinder wouldn’t turn. I am glad that Mr. Kaido and Rudy talked me into using the 777 its good stuff, main thing I like is the fact it dose not smell like rotten eggs and poo poo when I shoot it though.

        Real quick I know you love the large bore black powder pistols, I got a project that I am going to work on over the Christmas holidays, got a old .50 cal side hammer muzzy, I am going to chop the barrel down to about 12-14 inches and replace the nipple and make the grip into a pistol grip . Will prob put a bead sight on it, I am unusual I like the bead sights like on the old 1851 Navy’s better than blade sights.

        Lastly if you know of any one that might have a used 1851 Navy in .36 or .44 or 1860 they may be willing to part with let me, I want one and I do not have the money to get a 300.00 new right now. I do not mind a old fixer up. Thanks.

      • Dear Joanie,

        More barrel length is better than less for your reworked side-hammer pistol. Look in my books and you will see how I carry these long barreled pistols with grip reversed and resting on the weak arm forearm with my left thumb hooked in my belt. This way the pistol is not holstered, but is instantly available to the right hand. With this carry the long barrels work better and these guns are going to be shot with two hands anyway, so there is no need to keep the barrels short.

        For handguns with some barrel length, Hodgdon’s Triple7even is hands down the best available powder.

        I have a cleaned brass-framed CVA .44 1851 for $100 plus shipping, if that will fit your needs. The gun is sound, solid and is the same one I shot on my video about shooting Civil War revolvers.



      • Hi Mr. Hovey Smith, that CVA will work if you don’t mind holding on to it for a week or so till I got the money for it. In mean time figure up the shipping on it. I use to own a Pietta 1851 Navy Brass frame it was is my favorite handgun I ever shot but the internal clock work finally messed up on it, and I cut the barrel down made a belly gunout of that one. Thanks again 🙂

      • Dear Joanie,

        On the CVA, $120 will cover it. I have a PayPal Donation area on my website http://www.hoveysmith.com. You can make the payment through that and send me your shipping address. I also have the 1862 Uberti .36 Police Revolver with 5-shot cylinder, nipple wrench and some of Kaido’s bullets in original box for $250.

  13. Also tried a 30 gr charge of 777 under a 451 RB in my 1858 Remington , I was very impressed with it. I really love the fact that 777 dose not stink like BP and Pyrodex dose. Infact it has a light sweet smell to it similar to green dot shotgun powder to me.

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