Thinking about black powder revolver!

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by tleek, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. tleek

    tleek Scout

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    So, doing some research online, I think I may have just discovered that I am legally allowed to buy a black powder revolver here in CA.
    I was going to when I first turned 18, but the people at my local gun store, which is literally named Tacti-Cool
    told me I must be 21 to purchase any handgun, including black powder antique replicas. I just read up on ca law however, and I think I have discovered this is not the case. I read that black powder weapons are not considered firearms in terms of buying and transfer law, and the age requirement is only 18. Also, I read that they do not need to be transferred through an ffl. If anybody knows for sure can you let me know? People on other forums have stated they just ordered online form Cabelas or such and the pistol was mailed right to their home.
    I am really excited about this.

    I am a history junkie/major and I have wanted a blackpowder gun ever since I could remember.
    Does anyone have any reccomendations on an affordable BP revolver? I was eyeing the traditions 1851 colt navy revolvers online.
     
  2. freebirdfb

    freebirdfb Supporter Supporter

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    Black powder firearms do not involve ffl or the BATF. I love the 1851 revovlers and would recomend purchasing a steel frame if it will be a regular shooter. The next thing is to choose from .36 or .44 cal. I don't know what CA hunting regs are, but here in MO we can use the .40 and up to hunt deer. If it is just a plinker than order the .36. If it just a decor peice than it obviously wouldn't matter but I enjoy seeing the results of shooting these smoke poles.

    The Bass Pro order restrictions states "The sale of all blackpowder firearms is restricted in Illinois, New York, and New Jersey. Please check your local laws for restrictions before ordering any blackpowder firearm. For U.S. sale only."
     
  3. k_howes

    k_howes Tracker

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    Not sure about the age requirement, but you are correct in that you don’t need to transfer it through an FFL dealer. I use to have a black powder revolver myself and there a lot of fun. Make sure you grease the cylinder after you load it and before you fire it. I've never seen it happen but I heard in very rare incidences a second round going off from the blast of the first. I think we used Crisco? Can’t remember though.
     
  4. 1066vik

    1066vik Guide

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    I prefer the 1858 Remington pattern to the Colt patterns with no topstrap -- in addition to being "stronger", it has a larger grip that fits my hand better.
    currently Cabela's has the '58 on sale for $199 - or $249 with accessory kit (everything you need to shoot but powder and a holster)
     
  5. freebirdfb

    freebirdfb Supporter Supporter

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    ops... I forgot to add that it would be a good idea to buy extra parts for these revolvers. It suck to break a spring and then have to wait a few days for one to come in the mail.
     
  6. tleek

    tleek Scout

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    sweet thanks a lot!
    Yea it will most definitely not be a display piece.
    I can't justify spending money on something just cus it looks nice ha.
    Itd probably mostly just be a gun id take out to have fun with, take hiking etc. I am trying to get into hunting, but the three day classes for my license never lined up right with my availability and they are only offered a few times a year.
    Do you have any favorite makers of BP revolvers
     
  7. madmax

    madmax Bushmaster

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    Sign up for some training. It's still a firearm. You'll get great info on safety. I have a '61 Navy 36 cal that's great fun.
     
  8. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    If you look at Cabales, there are several BP revolvers, that do have a conversion cylinder to allow use of .45lc as well as the cap and ball.

    You might not want to convert right away and it changes the rules, but would be wise to start out with a revolver that has conversion cylinders available for it for use down the road.

    http://www.brownells.com/handgun-pa...r-cartridge-conversion-cylinder-prod9488.aspx

    So Ruger Old Army, Pietti, Uberti, being some examples.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
  9. tleek

    tleek Scout

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    Yup, I made my mind up. I am getting one for sure.
    Now i have to decide between 1851 colt or 1858 rem.
     
  10. DCM

    DCM The more I know the less I understand Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    No comparison in so many ways. Go with the 1858. I have several though they are all Uberti and use milled receiver where the Pietta uses cast receivers. More strength with the milled. I also have 4 Ruger Old Army's in different configurations also. They are the strongest made out of all of them hands down. Built to full modern specs.
     
  11. Rusty Eagle Scout

    Rusty Eagle Scout Scout

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    I had an 1851 Colt replica that I hated. I spent more time cleaning it than shooting it due to its brass frame. Go with a steel frame for sure. The issue of multiple rounds firing at once is called "chain firing" and I had that happen twice. It's scary. Crisco will help, but chain firing is a risk anytime with smoke wagons. I agree with the idea of buying a convertible so you can fire cartridges later, but consider ammo cost when factoring this in. .45 long colt rounds are not cheap, and the .36 BP conversion allows for firing the cheaper .38 rounds.
     
  12. bigbore442001

    bigbore442001 Scout

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    Hello:

    Shooting cap and ball revolvers can be a ton of fun. I have a nice stainless Ruger ROA made in 1976, a Liberty Model. The gun shoots very well and has a surprising amount of power. As others have stated, avoid any brass framed revolvers. The reproductions by Pietta and Uberti are well made and strong.

    On other caveat. Double check your laws in California. As a Massachusetts State Police licensed firearm instructor I know there are many laws that people are unaware of. As an example, you can buy any black powder firearm available without a license to carry in the Bay State. But you need a class a or b license to walk out the door of your home with your cap and ball revolver. If it is a long arm like a muzzleloading rifle or shotgun, no license is needed. So make sure you can walk out the door with it. I am not familiar with California law so you need to double check that. Our society is far less forgiving on such things.
     
  13. tennecedar

    tennecedar Bushmaster Bushclass I

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    I have 2 58 Remington patterns and 1 51 Colt. All in 44. I can tell you the Colt is a faster, lighter shooter but no where near as strong. I shoot round balls at 15 yards and can hit playing cards. Super fun Saturday wasters.
     
  14. FreeMe

    FreeMe Guide

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    Also be aware that some municipalities may have additional restrictions on arms, including BP arms. California is one of the states that allows local restrictions on firearms IIRC.

    For durability and good adjustable sights, try to find a used Ruger Old Army (they aren't making any more now). If you want more authenticity, Uberti or Pietta. Uberti will be better quality than Pietta, but the Piettas are accurate enough and they do work.
     
  15. WarDoggy

    WarDoggy Scout

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    May want to double check the laws in your state/municipality.

    You say you are a history major. Head over to the law school, and have them research firearms laws in CA, specifically concerning black powder guns and reproductions. Get copies of the statutes, with numbers and citations. Or make friends with a law student and have them do it for you.:D That would be a much cheaper way to do it than consulting an attorney about it, which is my other suggestion.

    Don't take the word of people on the interwebz about gun laws. Easy way to end up in a world of trouble.

    Connected via SkyNet
     
  16. Raider197500

    Raider197500 Guide

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    I have a ruger old army had a couple asm 1851s and a pietta sheriffs model 1851 there a ton of fun here in florida they are not considerd firearms AS LONG AS THEY ARE A EXACT REPLICA or the real deal here is some good reading http://www.rawles.to/Pre-1899_FAQ.html
    do your home work as suggested above
     
  17. pedro

    pedro Scout

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    There are two more advantages that the Remington has over the Colt. The Colt's rear sight is a notch in the hammer. When you fire the weapon, your rear sight disappears, falling out of your sight picture. The Remington has the rear sight built into the top strap which of course stays put upon firing. This set up is more conducive to accuracy. The other thing is that the Remington has a shorter, faster hammer throw. This means that the time between you releasing the hammer and the hammer striking the cap is shorter, again more conducive to accuracy. Don't get me wrong, I like Colt single actions. They feel good in the hand and look great. But the Remington is a better gun on many levels.
     
  18. Dave_Markowitz

    Dave_Markowitz Supporter Supporter

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    I recommend the Remingtons over the Colts. They are stronger and have much better sights. The Pietta Remingtons from Cabela's are good guns at reasonable prices.

    Less common are the Ruger Old Army, which is an Old Model Blackhawk modified into a percussion revolver. They are the apex of percussion revolver development, but went out of production a few years ago. Also worth considering is the Euroarms Rogers & Spencer, which is available from Dixie Gunworks. Euroarms was bought and the R&S went out of production early last year, but Dixie still has them in stock, along with spare parts. I have a London Gray finish R&S and it's become my favorite black powder revolver.

    Check out the Black Powder Essentials thread on thehighroad.org. It is an excellent source of information on the topic. Reading it can help you avoid common mistakes, and enable you to get the most out of your gun.
     
  19. Taliesin

    Taliesin Guide

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    Even though Ruger no longer makes the Old Army, you can still find them. Gunbroker usually has a few for sale. You might check them out. Also they make conversion cylinders for them as well. They are also more expensive than the Uberti and the Pietta 1858's, but they are well made and a lot stronger than the Italian guns.

    Please check California laws thoroughly. It would not pay to be on the wrong side of this issue. I also recommend you find a mentor to teach you how to shoot these firearms effectively and safely. There are probably gun clubs near you that you could join that will provide the training and camaraderie.
     
  20. Roamer

    Roamer Guide

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    In CA, weapons manufactured before 1898 that do not fire a cartridge, and replicas thereof, are considered "antiques" and not firearms. Thus they are exempt from state firearm laws, which means you are not required to undergo a background check or waiting period. Apparently they are also exempt from the 18-yo requirement. This is consistent with federal law.

    Download this document and do a keyword search for "antique." It also gives you all the other laws about firearms in CA - direct from the source (state Attorney General):
    http://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/pdfs/firearms/forms/Cfl2007.pdf?

    The referenced federal laws in the above document are explained here:
    http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/collectors.html

    So, in short, I think you should find a different gun store. They don't seem to know the law.

    Secondly, there are exceptions to the "antique" provisions in both state and federal law for black powder weapons that can be converted to fire cartridges. These are considered "firearms" and are subject to all relevant laws.

    Finally, as others have said, you should do your own homework. I am not giving you legal advice. Proceed at your own risk. :14:
     
  21. ppine

    ppine Guest

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    I like the topstrap on the 1860 Army. It is more accurate than would be expected and a lot of fun.
     

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