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Ammo Encyclopedia, 6th Edition

Mike's Monthly Monologue About Shooting
Volume 3, Issue 5 - August 1, 2014  -  Other Issues  -  Articles/Downloads

Sometimes Old Is Just A Lot Of Fun
by Mike Price
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I am a lover of history, guns, shooting, and hunting. Sometimes historical replicas of our nation's past history are a lot of fun to use. I get a lot of joy from using these replicas in the field and in reenactments. I had a friend of mine who asked me, "Why do you at times use the 1860 Army Colt replica for your carry?" I told him, "Just for the fun of it! It is about having fun!" Don't think the cap and ball revolver is not a useful and effective tool on game. I am impressed with how deep a Hornady lead round ball that is cold swaged from pure lead will penetrate and also, how effective it is on dispatching small to medium size game up close.

I have dropped a coyote and bobcat with a round ball from my 1860 Army revolver. I also dropped a wounded deer that my son-in-law shot. I had to trail that doe for about a mile. The doe stood up, turned its back to me and started to walk away. I put a ball in the back of her head at 28 to 30 yards and she immediately dropped to the ground. Some will give all kinds of reasons why one should not use a cap and ball revolver on game. I am an excellent shot with my

two 1860 Army revolvers. Placement shots are paramount in taking game in an effective way as well as knowing what game and at what distance one should consider making the shot. I hit a coyote broadside with one shot as it broke out of thick bush on the run with my 1860 Colt replica. That was exciting!

There are many revolvers today that are superior to the old guns of the past. That is wonderful, but that does not keep me from having fun shooting and carrying my cap and ball revolvers from time to time in the field. It is not for everyone, and I am sure only a few do it, and those few not all the time. I left my two revolvers loaded (on purpose) after a two week hunting trip in the mountains. I did this to see if they would fire after a long period of time. I put them still loaded in my safe when I returned from my hunt. Then every month for the following six months I took them out of the safe and fired one round. Both revolvers never failed to fire one round for six straight months. I was using black powder in one and Triple 7 in the other (my charge was reduced with the Triple 7 since it produces greater pressures than black powder).

I do not recommend anyone leaving their cap and ball revolver loaded for long periods of time. This was just a test I conducted. It did build my confidence in the reliability of my revolvers. After a hunt I fire my revolvers and clean them - putting them away unloaded. They are only loaded again right before I go into the field. I do love the 1860 Army revolver. It feels so natural in my hands and points with ease. It allows me to point and shoot, hitting what I am aiming at with a high degree of accuracy. This next statement is subjective, but it is how I feel when shooting my 1860 Army revolvers; "I feel the revolver is doing the job for me allowing my instincts to follow its wishes." Yes, I am that comfortable with my cap and ball revolvers.

One is a brass frame CVA .44 which I do not load with as much powder as my steel frame Pietta .44 revolver. Note: Please do not over load a replica cap and ball revolver. Make sure you follow recommend manufacture charges of black powder and also substitute powders. If you use Triple 7 make sure you

reduce the amount of charge and do not load it with as much Triple 7 as you do black powder. Triple 7 produces higher pressures than black powder so keep this in mind.

If you have not tried a replica black powder cap and ball revolver then you are missing out on a lot of fun. They are more than just fun. I find them exciting to shoot and they make me appreciate the marksmanship of those who used them. Those instinctive shooters of old who were pretty good at hitting the mark with the deadly lead ball. Sometimes old is just a lot of fun!

Mike Price is a lifelong shooter, hunter and reloading enthusiast. He has been published at AmmoGuide.com, Guns & Ammo and Nosler. His article "Green Boxes", available at AmmoGuide.com, is posted in the bullet production area at Sierra. Mike has traveled to Africa, Europe, Asia, parts of Central America. His favorite two hobbies are spending time with grand children and taking them hunting. Mike holds a Ph.D in Philosophy and Psychology, is a licensed clinical therapist, adjunct professor and Minister in the Church of Christ. To read more by Mike, CLICK HERE.

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