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Mid-Summer, 2011, testing of stainless steel Ruger Old Army and Cabela’s stainless Buffalo percussion revolvers confirmed energy figures of over 500 ft./lbs. at 10 yards with loads of Hodgdon’s Triple Seven FFFg powder. These figures exceeded previously posted results because fresh Triple Seven powder was used (See below for results obtained with older powder.), newly cast 240-grain Kaido’s C&B Revolver Hunter bullets along with Remington size 10 percussion caps. The result was caused by the use of heavier or/fresher loads of powder and a slightly larger diameter bullet which resulted from better casting techniques using the same molds.
The stainless steel Pietta Buffalo revolver, which is imported from Italy by Cabela’s, has a 12-inch barrel and adjustable sights. Cabela’s also sells brass-framed and non-adjustable sights versions based on the Remington 1858 design. These maximum-level percussion revolver hunting loads are not recommended for brass-framed revolvers.
With a load of 32 gr. by volume (26.1 gr. by weight) of Hodgdon’s Triple Seven, the 240 grain Kaido bullet produced a velocity of 995 fps. and a 10-yard energy of 527.31 ft./lbs. Unlike previous tests, bullet creep which tied up the cylinder did not occur during the 5-shot cylinder discharge. Rings of lead were cut from the bullets as they were loaded indicating that they were in good friction contact with the chamber walls. As in previous testing, 50-yard accuracy with this load was very poor with shots scattered over the paper in about a 1-foot pattern. Although this bullet shoots well in other guns, the slow-twists barrel in the Pietta obtains markedly better accuracy with round balls. (See note from bullet designer appended to the bottom of this post.)
Through the 7 1/2-inch barrel of the Stainless Steel version of the Old Army, a 40 grain load of Triple Seven was used with Remington’s no. 10 caps. This load produced an average velocity of 1041 fps, averaging 6 shots. This produced 10-yard energy figures of 578 ft./lbs. and markedly better 50-yard accuracy than the Pietta, even with the few shots that were fired before the target blew down. The first two shots hit within an inch of each other. This was more luck than skill, and more shooting would have expanded the group. I had more that the usual problems with the fired Remington caps tying up the cylinder. Bullet creep occurred on the sixth shot when the bullet was far-enough out of the end of the cylinder to jam against the barrel and prevent the chamber from rotating into firing position. While velocities and energies did increase slightly with the increase from 35 to 40 grains of Hodgdon’s Triple Seven, I liked the easier to load 35-grain charge which gave similar energy figures with this powder.
New molds for the Kaido bullet are now being made to throw a 255 grain bullet that will have the strong flat-point design common to Keith-style revolver bullets. These promise to be better killers on game than the typical round-nosed revolver bullets fired in either percussion revolvers or in .45-caliber cartridge revolvers such as the Colt 1873 Peacemakers used by Cowboy Action Shooters. Both the 240 and 255 grain-weight bullets are within the 200-300 grain range of bullet weights commonly loaded in the .45 L.C. To receive sample bullets and place orders for the molds, contact Kaido Ojamaa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A 7-part video series, “The Modern Percussion Revolver,” is now available on YouTube and Part 6 shows both the Ruger and Pietta pistols in action. This may be seen at: http://youtu.be/e7OqKuVp-eg .
Notes on the original test results with these pistols and bullets is given below:
Hunting Load Development
Black Powder Revolvers
Pietta. Cabela’s Stainless “Buffalo” with 12-in barrel and adjustable sights made by Pietta. These loads are not recommended for the brass-framed version of this pistol.
Bullet Weight Powder Charge gr. L. vol. H. Vol. Av.vol. ME
Grains. Vol/Wt. fps. fps. fps. ft./lbs
.454 RB. 141* Trip-7**40/30.7 1037 1123 1074 361
.454 RB. 141* Trip-7**42.5/33.0 1092 1294 1139 406
.454 RB 141* FFFg 35/36.5 847 876 864 234
Buffalo 180 Trip-7**42.5/33.0 981 1087 1031 425
Kaido*** 240 Trip-7**32/26.1 832 1020 952/995 483/527
Kaido*** 240 Trip-7**30/22.6 801 867 823 361
Kaido*** 240 FFFg 25/28 609 666 638 217
Ruger Old Army Stainless with 7 ½-inch barrel and adjustable sights.
.457 RB. 145* Trip-7**40/30.7 916 1008 963 299
.457 RB. 145* Trip-7 35/28 1000 1011 1004 325
.457 RB. 145* Trip-7 35/? Hodgdon data 987 314
.457 RB. 145* Pyro.P 40/31.3 977 1061 1019 334
Buffalo 180 Pyro.P 40/31.3 1127 1176 1156 534
Lee Real 250 Pyro.P 30/23 NA NA 866 416
Lee Reel 250 Trip-7 30/22.6 894 912 904 454
Kaido*** 240 Trip-7 35/28 961 999 987 519
Kaido 240 Trip-7 40/ 981 1035 996 527 Rem. caps
* A felt lubricated Wonder Wad was used under the round balls. When velocities increased to the point where these wads were destroyed accuracy suffered.
** This was a 3-4 year-old old jar of Triple Seven that had apparently somewhat deteriorated in Georgia’s hot, humid atmosphere. With fresher powder the velocities increased a significant amount. In the Ruger Old Army, 35 grains of the fresh powder produced higher velocities/energies than 40 grains of the older powder. If your Triple Seven has lumps or cakes up in your container, it may not produce best results.
*** This was the first shooting of “Kadio’s C&B Revolver Hunter” which is designed to be a universal bullet for percussion and cartridge revolvers that will provide longer-range performance. This first lot of bullets was both lighter weight, 240 vs. 255 grains, than designed and slightly undersized. The heavier, larger bullets would be expected to give better performance in the Ruger Old Army.
A video was shot over the three days that the guns were being tested and cut to give an eight-minute overview. Many products used in the video were furnished by the manufacturers. It may be seen at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7OqKuVp-eg .
This was received from Kaido Ojamaa following the post. Greg Nelson helped work up the details of the original design.
This thought came to mind. When I was at the end of the planning stage for my new bullet design. Greg Nelson put emphasis on his tests with the 2007 Uberti Forged Framed Remington. The tests Greg undertook with the LEE 452-255 Grain RF Bullet(The Father of my Bullet) in a cartridge conversion cylinder are amazing. The results were very accurate groups even at 100 Yards. It is obvious that Piettia has diverted too much from the Original Remington’s and Colts of 150+ years ago. From Rifling pattern and rate of twist, to Bullet Loading Port dimensions to Grip Size, Sights, Chamber and Cylinder Dimensions, placement of Cylinder Pins, Proper Case Hardening of Cylinder/Arbor Pins, Nipple or “Cone” Flash Hole sizing and on and on. That is a shame and further to my amazement it seems the original Revolvers were better made than most replicas of today. That is an Irony and Shame. So much for 20th and 21 Century Technology( We can put people in Outer Space, on the Moon have Airplanes, cell phones yet cannot make the Replicas of old Percussion Revolvers as good as they were sold 150+ years ago! The Piettia Deluxe Model is the closest to the Original Remington and well as the Uberti 2007 Model Forged Framed Remington. One confirmed test result we see from your well thought out , planned and executed tests, is that the Piettia 1/30 Rifling was clearly thought out and made for the Round Lead Ball as a projectile. The Uberti 1/18 Rifling is closer to to original Progressive rifling or Gain twist rifling, which was designed for Conical Bullets and Not Round balls. The Paterson revolver was the Only original Percussion revolver to my knowledge to be designed to use a round ball. As such and per the test results of Greg Nelson I urge you Sir, to obtain an 8 Inch Uberti 2007 Model Forged Framed 1858 Remington NMA Revolver. If you can also to obtain Uberti Dragoon revolvers like the Whitneyville and 3rd Model Dragoons to test with my Bullets. I believe that these Uberti revolvers will shoot much better with my VKV BG 456 Bullets than the Piettia and possibly better than the Ruger Old Army. I do believe you will see dramatic result improvement in a Uberti 1858 Remington with it’s 1/18 Twist Rifling than the 1/30 inch twist of the Piettia.
Thank You for all your Hard Dedicated Work,
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