500 ft./lb. Muzzle Energies Confirmed for Two C&B Revolvers

Cabela's Buffalo revolver made by Pietta was one of two tested that could achieve 500 ft. lbs. of muzzle energy.

Click on the iBooks image to order Book

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.)

Ruger Old Army.

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 kaido93@hotmail.com.

 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.

Dear Hovey,
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,

Click on the iBooks image to order Book


11 thoughts on “500 ft./lb. Muzzle Energies Confirmed for Two C&B Revolvers

  1. My programmer is trying to convince me to move to .

    net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses.
    But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using WordPress on several websites for about a year and am anxious about switching to another
    platform. I have heard good things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can
    import all my wordpress posts into it? Any kind
    of help would be really appreciated!

  2. Well I do have to admit that is impressive the 995 fps with a 240 gr bullet and 32 gr powder that is pretty stout I wonder how a 300gr bullet would work in the Remmy

      • I guess what I am thinking is a big heavy bullet moving at low velocity for penatration? Sort of like a Webly Revolver 265 gr bullet at 650 fps and it was considered more deadly than the .45 Colt in its day. I appologize if my spelling is off my comp dosn’t like this web site or something it keeps freezing up .

  3. That being said though from a Buffalo barrel if you could get like 1100 fps with a 230 gr bullet that would be a really good all around thing I would think hunting, plinking or defense. ” I am a black powder nut, I really think the old guns are deadlier and handier thna modern day magnum heads givem them credit for.

      • Nice. About as close as I get to that beast is a Pietta 1851 Navy loaded with around 54 grains of powder (Triple Seven .45/50 pellet and the finest priming powder I could get in, under and over the hole), .454″ Hornady lead ball (compressed flat then turned into a hollow point with some muscling of the loading lever with a pipe), paraffin (candle) wax melted and wiped over the top, then pinched Winchester #11 Magnum BP caps snug on the nipples. During loading I had to plug the nipples with used match sticks so powder wouldn’t come out. I splattered the front half of a block, 20% Knox gel to sticky bits halfway across my basement in testing. The rest of the block showed a wide channel and curve to the top of the block where it exited and embedded into the 1st layer of my plywood backstop. If I can do that to an 8×4″ 20% gel block from about 12′ away in a basement about 40x40x10′, I wonder what kind of extremely hopped up thug or gigantic, vicious beast I’d need to lug around a Walker for??

      • That does sound like a wild load, but the Walker is as much fun and more comfortable to shoot with heavier loads. The answer as to what beasties are larger members of the deer family, hogs, and anything else shot at much beyond end of the muzzle range. Accurate shot placement is more important than power and anything that will aid putting that first bullet in the right place is an asset.

Leave a Reply