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Charlie MacNeil, SASS #48580

.36 or .44?

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As sort of an addendum to my “best 1851 Navy” thread, I’d like to ask another question, if y’all don’t mind: what’s your preferred caliber in your ‘51’s? .36 or .44?

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I went to 44s because I got tired of spotters call misses that were not misses, so I went to the larger ball.

I don't mind taking misses when I miss.

But I get irritated when the spotters call misses that were really hits

However, that does restrict  you to Piettas. 

Since Colt only made 1851s in 36, I doubt Uberti makes a 44 caliber 1851.

If you are bent on getting Ubertis, you will have to get 1860s

As an aside, I shoot mostly Pietta 1860s with Navy grips, as I shoot it better than the Army grip 

--Dawg

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Charlie, I have 36s and if I were to start over I would get 44s.   The way we load them in CAS the recoil is not a big issue with either.   The 44 makes a little more noise, clang and more of a choice with bullets.   If you plan to tune the guns with springs It seems the 44 lends itself to that.  If you buy a loading machine they come in 44 with out asking.  With the 36 some have to be converted.   The 44 comes in Rem and Colt style and in a better variety of barrel lengths.   Maybe some other reason I forgot.  Bullett 19707 

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the original 51 colt was never made as a .44, those are "fantasy guns" like brass framed colts and remingtons. the 60 was the 44... 

 

but if I were to choose between a 36 and 44, well, anything worth putting a hole in is worth putting a big hole in

 

so 44

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4 minutes ago, Prairie Dawg, SASS #50329 said:

I went to 44s because I got tired of spotters call misses that were not misses, so I went to the larger ball.

I don't mind taking misses when I miss.

 

I don't shoot them but I have seen it happen. 

  .44's are shooting 140 grain balls  .36's 80 grain balls. 

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I am sticking with my .36's but that is just my natural stubborness (what most folks call laziness:P).

 

I have all the gear for .36 and I am to lazy (cheap this time) to change.

 

I also like that I can just load full powder charges (there is no way I am putting breakfast cereal in a gun of mine) and the recoil is nil to nothing.

 

I guess it depends on what you want to do, go fast and score points or have fun your way and to hell with the score:D

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Can someone please explain the difference between the army or navy grip. I shoot OMVs now because I like the larger grip and would like to go the same route with a pair of c&b guns.

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24 minutes ago, Palmetto Traveler said:

Can someone please explain the difference between the army or navy grip. I shoot OMVs now because I like the larger grip and would like to go the same route with a pair of c&b guns.

Navy grip is like what you'd find on a New Vaquero or Colt SAA.  Army grip was longer and many of us can get our whole hand on the grip, without having your little finger under the grip frame.  Take both in hand when you go out shopping and see what best fits you.  Neither one is better than the other, except to their user.

 

edit- oh, and what Dawg said +1 

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I use .44  51s, I also use .44  60's.  I know .44 in he 51s aren't historically accurate but it is easier to cast one size round ball, and the same powder charge works in both. When you hit steel with a .44 there is no questions!

Rafe

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I shoot my 36's on the even date Saturday shoots and my 44's on the odd date Saturday shoots. I do shoot my 44's at any annuals so that the issue of hits being called misses is not an issue. I also use the Navy grips on all of my C&B revolvers because they fit my hand better. I shoot my Rogers Spencer at a few shoots a year for style points but the hammer draw is a long way for me. Personal preference will get you a long way in shooting C&B. Shoot what you like and have fun.

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I shoot both.  I like both.  I have some really cool 36s and some really cool .44s.  BUT:

 

PLUS ONE to Prairie Dawg. 

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Ruger Old Armies  same grips will fit from original Vaquero but not the new vaquero

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44's if your going to shoot them in competition .

Spotters miss 36 cal to often.

Rooster    

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A .44 1851? Gaaakk! Make mine .36's. That's what an 1851 is. If you want a .44, buy 1858's or 1860's. :)

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2 hours ago, J Bar Binks, #47015 said:

A .44 1851? Gaaakk! Make mine .36's. That's what an 1851 is. If you want a .44, buy 1858's or 1860's. :)

56 minutes ago, tacobill said:

I agree with J Bar.

+1.

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Thanks, folks. Looks like I’ve got caliber figured out, and I really like the 51’s, but a buddy has a 60 and a 58 that I’m gonna try on for grip size so maybe I can decide on a style to save my pennies for. Thanks!

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The 1860 Army .44 has an 8 inch barrel, the 1851 Navy .36 has a 7 1/2 inch barrel.  The Navy is hard enough to reholster quickly, particularly if you are using a high-riding slim Jim holster...the extra half inch on the 1860 is just that much harder.  

 

So in addition to how the grip feels in your hand, try to check out how easily it comes out and goes back into your leather.

 

I think this is one of the reasons Piettas have become very popular.  Pietta offers a lot of non-historical shorter barrels that are quicker on the draw and easier to get back into the holster without having to bring your hand up to your armpit!

 

edit:  I guess I should have posted this in the other thread, but it's kinda relevant since the two calibers have different barrel lengths, at least for the historically correct models.  Personally prefer the octagonal barrel and cantilevered rammer on an 1851 over the round barrel and ratchet rammer on an 1860; a matter of taste.  

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Another thing to consider is holster fit. My 58's fit my vaquero holster very well saving me from another set of holsters.

Also if you get some 44's I have a rnd ball mold you can use to make a big pile of balls.

If your going to be at Dayton this weekend I can bring my 58's.

 

muck

 

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5 hours ago, Runamuck, SASS #49216L said:

Another thing to consider is holster fit. My 58's fit my vaquero holster very well saving me from another set of holsters.

Also if you get some 44's I have a rnd ball mold you can use to make a big pile of balls.

If your going to be at Dayton this weekend I can bring my 58's.

 

muck

 

Our monthly match is this weekend, so I won’t be able to come to Dayton. Thanks for the offer anyway. Dan has a 58 I can test fit.

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If you fill those 36s full of Triple 7 they will hit with the same authority as 125 gr .38 Specials.

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Max loads of FFFG .36's is my pick.  I have cut the barrels down to 4.75".  

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just get a pair of walkers... load 200grn conicals over 50grns of trip 7... have some real fun!!!

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im inclined to the true tradition , my 51s are 36s and my 60s are 44s , but i shoot them for fun i dont shoot black at matches so ill not say one is better than the other for spotters , i shoot smokeless in SAA 45 co;ts in all my firearms , 

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I have 51 Navies in 44 cal. there was no real reason that I had gotten that caliber. But it was before I joined SASS so it was the most economical thing to just buy a 2nd one. Then came the cartridge guns and things have gone full circle but now shooting ROA'a…...for whatever its worth rifle is 44-40. Cannot have to much fire and smoke.

 

Sgt H

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I prefer the .44, because there is more stuff on the market for them, like the Pyrodex pellets, which make loading easier.  The big powder flasks have a 30 grain spout which makes it perfect for that caliber.  Also, there are conversion cylinders that will accept 45LC.  With 36, a lot of the stuff on the market like the powder pellets to make loading faster and easier aren't on the market or are hard to find.  And I'm not exactly sure on this since I've never had one, but with a conversion cylinder from 36 to 38 Special,  don't you have to load your own heeled bullets for it to work?  You can't just put a factory .38 Special in there, can you?  On the plus side, the 36 Colts are more accurate to the time period.  For example, one of mine is an 1851 Navy, but it's in .44 cal.  That's not really period correct except for some of the Confederate clones.  The actual Colt Navy was .36 caliber.

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Conversion cylinders are available in .38 Long Colt from both Kirst and Howell. They will accept a .38 special case, but the cylinder is too short for a normal overall length. One solution to the bore/bullet mismatch is to use pure lead hollow base wadcutters, which also cures the overall length problem with .38 spl cases. The other, of course, is to use heeled bullets.

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7 hours ago, Colonel Reb said:

  For example, one of mine is an 1851 Navy, but it's in .44 cal.  That's not really period correct except for some of the Confederate clones.  The actual Colt Navy was .36 caliber.

 

yes and no, if by confederate clones you are referring to the schneider and glassick, Griswold and gunnison or the leech and rigdons then yes they were a clone of sorts of the colts but with the brass frame. all of which were 36 cal... there was never a 44 brass frame open top, there was never a 51 colt in 44 either. the 58 remington brass frame gun never existed and is pure fantasy from pietta and ASM. there was however the Spiller and Burr which RESEMBLES a 58 but like the others, only in 36. it had a different loading lever design and the frames were slightly different...

 

everyone has probably read, hear or otherwise knows the story about the "brass frame confederate guns, lack of steel due to northern blockades, blah blah blah b.s. right? well it never happened. Birmingham AL had one of the largest iron and smelting operations going in the country. the northern aggressors didn't destroy it until very near the end of the war.

 

my favorite... right from cabelas website :

Pietta Model 1851 Confederate Navy .44-Caliber Black Powder Revolver

 
The Pietta Model 1851 Confederate Navy .44-Caliber Black Powder Revolver is patterned after the original with a brass frame to conserve the South's limited supplies of steel. Although designated as a Navy revolver, it saw heavy use among Army officers who favored .44-caliber firepower. It features a blued octagonal barrel, blued cylinder, tough attractive walnut grips and brass trigger guard and frame. Reloads quickly with a spare cylinder (sold separately).
 
do they not know the civil war didn't even break out until 10 years after the colt navy was made? it was also never made in 44!!!
 
this one always gets me:
 

Pietta Model 1858 New Army Brass Frame .44-Caliber Black Powder Revolver

 
Due to a lack of raw materials in the mid-1800s, the South was forced to reproduce the famous 1858 Remington® revolver out of brass. The Pietta Model 1858 New Army Brass Frame .44-Caliber single-action Black Powder Revolver celebrates the classic look and handling. Features include a brass frame and finger guard, blued cylinder, octagonal barrel and walnut grips. Easily removable, replaceable cylinders make reloading extremely fast.
 
 
don't even get me started on the "confederate"  "1858" Remington (actually first made in '62)
 
yeah, I know, I shoot a pair of stainless 58's with 5.5" barrels... buy I don't claim them to be historically correct...
 
maybe I should start the story:
 
"due to an over abundance of low carbon steel, nickel, and chromium available to the north during the civil war, the north decided to make the 1858 Remington from stainless steel due to its well know rust and corrosion resistance. know for its shear power in .44 and durability in comparison to the weaker .44 caliber brass framed colts of the confederacy, the stainless 1858 was very popular with the northern troops who would order them from the armorer with 5.5" barrels for better handling characteristics"
 
yeah... that's exactly how it happened...
 
 
 
 
 
 
"You can believe everything you read on the internet"
-Abraham Lincoln

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