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Uberti Schofields and Black Powder subtitutes


T. H. O' Sullivan

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Considering an Uberti Schofield, but I've read a lot about the lack of gas ring and fouling binding up the cylinder. Seems to be happening with the .45 Colt versions and Black Powder. Like the lever guns, I have wondered if using a .44-40 Uberti Schofield using that caliber would run better with black powder?

 

Also, what about black powder subtitute ammo, say from TenX? Same fouling issues as real black powder?

 

Thanks,

T.H. O'Sullivan

Black Mesa Ranch

New Mexico

:blush:

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Considering an Uberti Schofield, but I've read a lot about the lack of gas ring and fouling binding up the cylinder. Seems to be happening with the .45 Colt versions and Black Powder. Like the lever guns, I have wondered if using a .44-40 Uberti Schofield using that caliber would run better with black powder?

 

Also, what about black powder subtitute ammo, say from TenX? Same fouling issues as real black powder?

 

Thanks,

T.H. O'Sullivan

Black Mesa Ranch

New Mexico

:blush:

 

Sorry to crush your hopes pard. I've got a pair of .44-40 Uberti Schofields. They foul up so bad I can't cock 'em after the 4th or 5th round. And it doesn't seem to matter if I'm using APP or Scheutzen FFg. It was a bitter disappointment for me. I'll sell you my pair for $1800.

 

I'd love to hear from someone else with a success story.

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When Uberti copied the Schofield they redesigned the cylinder to use more cartridges than the originals would with the shorter cylinder. When they did this it removed a very important part of the revolvers. I have heard nothing but bad with these guns. It is a shame as not only has it taken money out of members pockets but it has reduced sales to other pards who would buy them. It has given a very fine gun company a black eye with this revolver. Best go with a 1873 SAA design if you want to shoot BP. I use USFA's which I consider the best guns being built. They are 100% US made with a very good service record. If you need to go with less then look at Long Hunters Smoke Wagons.

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I guess no one has considered modifying one of the .45 Colt Schofields to a shorter cylinder to match the original .45 S&W and adding a gas ring. I guess it would open up too much cylinder gap and all kinds of stuff would be shooting out the sides? What about some kind of extra lube on the cylinder pin to keep things turning?

 

T.H. O'Sullivan

Black Mesa Ranch

New Mexico

:blush:

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Or buy a pair of Russians in .44 Russian (chambering .45 Colt in the Russian is an abomination :FlagAm: ). I can shoot 6 stages a day and not touch the guns except to load and shoot. I use a 165gr. smokeless bullet, a 1/8" grease cookie (approximate) with X cc of Goex Cartridge black powder. They run like a Singer sewing machine. :blush:

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Or buy a pair of Russians in .44 Russian (chambering .45 Colt in the Russian is an abomination :FlagAm: ). I can shoot 6 stages a day and not touch the guns except to load and shoot. I use a 165gr. smokeless bullet, a 1/8" grease cookie (approximate) with X cc of Goex Cartridge black powder. They run like a Singer sewing machine. :blush:

 

I've heard this about the Russians (I assume you are referring to the Uberti copies?), that they can handle black powder better. I see that Ten-X also sells the .44 Russian in BPC. What makes these Russian pistols different?

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I actually think success is on a gun by gun issue and surprisingly, contrary to common sense, the 44-40s do not fare as well. Mine is a success story and I know there have been others, including those who pointed me in the right direction BUT that success is definitely just a small few lucky enough to get the right gun/guns.

 

I purchased an early pair of consecutive serial number .45s and shot my first match using a mild Clays load and actually started experiencing binding before the match ended. I quickly turned to the WIRE as it had been my hope to shoot bp in my U Schofields. Amongst the many stories of woe I had one response rhat listed a sure fire recipe for getting smoke out of the Schofields. I quickly gathered the heathen wizards brew ingredients, that had been given to me, and sure enuff great wonders happened at the very next match. I was able to shoot a whole match with both pistols and not the slightest hint of any binding.

 

Over the years I have been very satisfied with this pair of guns and have never fired another single round of smokeless in either BUT then the use of the wizards brew started troubling my brain!! A couple of years ago I decided that I needed a pair of short barl Schofields so in a trade I received a 5 1/2" version in 44-40. It was only then that I realized that the wizards had mislead me and their foul brew did not work on all guns. Truly the only real success that you can hope to find is with a gun that has been smiled upon by the higher dark lords themselves! What we do know to be truth is that these guns do in fact exist but no one yet has tried to break their secret, what makes them different? That difference is not in anything I can discern when handling and looking at my lonely 44-40.

 

The old magic concoction was originally a light load of Clean Shot under a length of foam backer rod and a 200gr or lighter bullet. That formula has morphed over the years into a Cowboy 45 Special case full of APP fff and topped with a 160gr rnfp which works very well in my one pair of blessed Schofields. I have recommended this concoction many times over the years but sadly most of the faithful return with sad stories of woe.

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Alas I have a pair with consecutive serial numbers and one fouls out after 4 or 5 rounds and the other goes for about 18 to 20 rounds. The only difference seemed to be barrel/cylinder gap was tighter (IIRC) on the one that worked longer.

 

In a nutshell, no gas ring means binding. Soot gets inside the bearing surface of the base pin and grit lock sets in.

 

One other annoying point, the breach face lets you see the brass. Because of this, when the first round is fired, blowback sometimes comes through the empty chamber and drops burning embers on my hand.

 

If you seek black powder, seek another style of hand gun that has a removable base pin bushing. This doubles the bearing surface the cylinder must rotate on.

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Here's an article by Dick Dastardly on his firing-to-fouling-failure test of the Schofield ... http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=ca...UP6xAESmmoFkP1Q

 

In looking at the close-up photo of the cylinder face and base pin, would it be possible to fabricate some sort of gasket to keep fouling from getting down the arbor?

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I've heard this about the Russians (I assume you are referring to the Uberti copies?), that they can handle black powder better. I see that Ten-X also sells the .44 Russian in BPC. What makes these Russian pistols different?

I'm not sure what the exact differences would be between the 2 models. I think running plenty of lube in the load is key. I tried a big lube bullet with APP at a friend's suggestion and could not even get trhu 1 stage with them.

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The Big Lube bullet is not the answer to all BP woes. I had wanted to shoot Schofields in Frontier Cartridge since I first started shooting. The horror stories from pards that just spent $1800 and have guns that will not work on the dark side changed my mind quick. The gas ring that S&W designed was for a reason that the Italians don't understand.

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Lube is definitely not the answer and may actually be counter productive when using bp subs. My seven inch barls work great but I fear that if I spent the big bucks to get new shorter replacement barls they might actually change the equation and not work. It is a fact that a few guns do work and work well with bp subs while most will not. would it really be that far above an engineer to figure out why the difference?? I feel that if the answer to that question was available the most gunsmiths could handle the problem. I would like to get a good set of feeler gauges and start checking all the barl/cylinder gaps I can get my hands on, being I have a good test pair to compare to. Can a good feeler gauge be found at the auto parts stores?

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Louie - you and I are thinking along the same lines ... some sort of barrier to keep the fouling from creeping down the pin.

 

Maybe we ought to turn this project over to Deadeye Dallas. He seems to be the miracle man when it comes to balky guns. What he's done with the T-Bolt is impressive, and that's an understatement.

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Hey guys, figure this one out, because I'm one of those on the fence types that have been holding off on buying a pair just because of all the horror stories about the BP issues and do not want to go smokeless. I'm with you though in feeling that such a seemingly small design issue should be able to be compensated for by some wise gunsmith out there to cure the aforementioned difficulties and black powder here we come! Best of luck to any and all endeavoring to work on this issue. Smithy.

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Captain Woodrow, I don't know if this is possible, but I don't see why not. I'm a toolmaker by trade, and if you could create a small area to install an O-ring or some other type of seal, it should work. Buna-N o-rings are very tough, they will stand a good deal of heat ( they are used in injection molds to seal water lines and they get pretty hot) and are pretty durable. Wish I could actually see one of these revolvers and see if it would be possible.....

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Author David Chicoine is an authority on the S&Ws and has this to say about the Schofield replicas:

 

"...All the modern replicas that lack the 'gas ring seal' will experience cylinder seizure from black powder fouling, often after only a few cartridges. Thus for black powder or Pyrodex shooters, the replica top-breaks have a designed-in problem, and there is very little any gunsmith can do to correct it."

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Author David Chicoine is an authority on the S&Ws and has this to say about the Schofield replicas:

 

"...All the modern replicas that lack the 'gas ring seal' will experience cylinder seizure from black powder fouling, often after only a few cartridges. Thus for black powder or Pyrodex shooters, the replica top-breaks have a designed-in problem, and there is very little any gunsmith can do to correct it."

 

Well if anybody has a junk one send it to me 'cause I'd still like to experiment with it. I'm sure this man has forgot more than I know about S&W pistols, but I do know a thing or two about machining and creating seals....

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If it was a easy fast fix then Uberti would be the one to correct it. They are in business to sell guns and make money. Don't think that they are in the dark about this problem. I am welling to bet that they have received more than one letter about this problem as even our gun writers have stated this in published articles.

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In the past, a fellow with the alis of Mav Dutchman offered as a gunsmith service (Marcsman's Gun Sho, maybe) the additon of the powder ring to the ringless replecas and also for the Smith & Wesson modern productions of the break tops. Mav also sponsored the probduction of the 44/40 Big Lube boolit (I did the 45 version). I tried the Big Lube .430 boolit in an Uberti and had no luck either. No fouling in the barrel, but the pin was as if you had poured super glue on it. Tried several lubes, had a little luck with silicone grease, but not enough to consider. I kept watching for success stories to crop-up with Mav's modicication, but never say any and lost interest.

 

prs

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I am surprised that Uberti was not responsive on this. A little reverse engineering and they could come with a black powder capable Schofield. It's not like it's new technology, just make an accurate Schofield with a gas ring using modern manufacturing assets. I would certainly like to see a Uberti Schofield in .45 S&W as well. I do have one of the Smith & Wesson model of 2000 Schofields, but only smokeless goes through that pistol.

 

If Uberti did make a black powder capable Schofield, I'd buy two; full length cavalry barrel and one of the Wells Fargo models.

 

T.H. O'Sullivan

Black Mesa Ranch

New Mexico

:unsure:

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Not to compare the two companies, but Taurus was aware that the T-Bolt had problems and did doodley squat about them. Unfortunately, Uberti seems to be aware of the Schofield problems and is being equally unresponsive.

 

Not familiar with Mav Dutchman's work or Dave Chicoine's opinions, but based on Deadeye Dallas' succes with the T-Bolt, it proves that a determined man willing to expend some effort and think in a daring fashion can accomplish much where others have failed or said it can't be done.

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Not to compare the two companies, but Taurus was aware that the T-Bolt had problems and did doodley squat about them. Unfortunately, Uberti seems to be aware of the Schofield problems and is being equally unresponsive.

 

Not familiar with Mav Dutchman's work or Dave Chicoine's opinions, but based on Deadeye Dallas' succes with the T-Bolt, it proves that a determined man willing to expend some effort and think in a daring fashion can accomplish much where others have failed or said it can't be done.

 

+1

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