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What You Need To Shoot A Black Powder Cap n' Ball Revolver
Recently we have received inquires from our customer base concerning the supplies that are needed to get up and running with their new black powder revolvers. This article is designed to answer those questions.
So you just purchased your first black powder revolver and you are now wondering what is needed to actually shoot your new pistol. Revolvers use a slightly different set up than their single shot counter parts, however, the principles are still the same. You are going to need percussion caps, 3f black powder or black powder substitute and a round ball. Other items that can make your life more enjoyable for revolver shooting include, a powder measure, a capper, and a loading press. Don’t worry we will discuss each item individually so you have all the information you need to make the best decisions for your application.
To start with lets talk about percussion caps. This one can be a little tricky because each revolver manufacturer has a slightly different sized percussion nipple on their revolver cylinders. As a general statement you typically want to use a #10 percussion cap on a revolver, however, a #11 percussion cap can be used as well in some situations. The main thing to look for is that the cap fits snug on the nipple, otherwise the cap can easily fall off when the cylinder rotates. Please note you may have to try a few different brands of percussion caps before you find the perfect fit for your revolver.
When it comes to powder a variety of different options will work great. Any pistol black powder or black powder substitute will work for your revolver. We typically recommend a substitute simply to cut down on cleaning time, some good options include Hodgdon Triple 7 FFFG or Pyrodex P powders.
For the projectile you can use a couple of different bullets. Most people shoot a round ball, however, there are some conical style revolver lead rounds on the market that are good for revolver shooting as well. For our purposes we are going to stick with a round ball as this is an article designed for beginners. While many single shot pistols and rifles use a patch and round ball, revolvers work best when an oversized round ball is used rather than a patch. To provide an example, lets say you purchased a .44 caliber revolver. In that case we would recommend that you purchase a 0.454” diameter round ball to fire out of that gun. When the ball is loaded into the cylinder a small ring of lead will shear off, that will let you know that you have a good tight seal in the cylinder. This is important for 2 reasons, first a snug projectile ensures proper powder ignition for optimal performance, and second the ball fitting tight will prohibit any sparks from the firing cylinder from igniting the powder charge in any adjacent cylinders and creating a chain fire.
Now that we have covered the components needed to shoot the gun, we can discuss accessories that are recommended. To start with you will need a powder measure if you don’t have one already. We recommend using a revolver powder measure, they are smaller and easier to load the revolver cylinders with. You can check out revolver powder measures by clicking on the image below.
The next item that we highly recommend is a revolver loading press, this will make reloading your revolver much easier and faster and dramatically improves the experience of range shooting your new revolver. As a bonus tip, we would also recommend purchasing a couple of extra cylinders to go with your new revolver, that way you can load up 12 or 18 shots or more and can simply switch out the cylinders to keep shooting longer and reloading less.
The last item that you may wish to consider is a capper tool, these are handy for placing the percussion caps on the nipples without weaning out your thumb and fingers. While this last tool is certainly not a necessity, it is a nice item to have with you at the range.
As always if you have any questions regarding your new revolver or any of the other products on our website please feel free to reach out to our customer service team at 1-855-236-5000 or email us at email@example.com. Thanks for being a part of the Muzzle-Loaders family and may God bless you!
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