.44 caliber ball, 50 grains of blackpowder

I just made my first combustible cartridge for my Uberti Colt 1847 Walker revolver. Although the original Walker had some problems with blowing up when using 60 grains of blackpowder, the lighter 50gr. load and modern metalurgy should be fine.

But man, that’s a big load! Over three times the powder I’ve been using in my .36 Navy, and twice as long!

I’ve posted a pic for comparison.

The Navy’s trigger guard and backstrap are silver plated like the originals. It has a 7-1/2" octagonal barrel, compared to the Walker’s 9" round barrel. The Walker is rather huge.

I can’t wait to try out the new pistol, but they closed down my favourite shooting place years ago.
fixed url tag - ub

Fixing the link.

Sounds like fun, Johnny! Also sounds like it could tear your arm off. Aren’t you glad that black powder burns slower than smokeless, reducing the recoild? :rolleyes:

Good gun you got there Johnny. I’ve had a Cimarron/Uberti Walker for a while and really like it. Haven’t had a chance to shoot it in match until last month and it really does a number on knockdowns.

50 grains FFg is the max practical load, any more or FFFg and you’ll start beating up the wedge or worse but no danger of blowups with modern steel. Still I’d hate to have a chain fire with one.

I like the Walker, I’m not as fast with it as with my '51 navies or '60 armies but I like the balance and feel. It’s like working out with wrist weights or wearing two condoms during the day before sex, lol

Lol, and I almopst forgot, my other sig line i use on the sassnet board is Walker related and from the same movie as this one…

You don’t want a little sissy gun, you want to die with a man’s gun!

I just noticed that someone went in and fixed the link in the OP. Thanks!

I copied the reloading data data from the Colt Black Powder Instruction Manual, and it says they recomment 50gr. for the Walker. (They have a paragraph n each gun, but I put the data into a chart.) 55gr. is the maximum. Of course, you said “maximum practical” load. FWIW, the Dixie Gun Works catalog lists 25gr as the charge. I don’t know where they got that, as the Uberti pamphlet doesn’t have Walker loading data in it.

No danger of chain fire, as I use lots of Wonder Lube.

Aha! Uncle Beer fixed the link. Thanks!


I don’t think so. In my experience, smokless powder burns at a slower rate than black powder.

Make sure your caps fit well and are seated firmly too. The Ted Cash snail shell style capper is great for that. I’d wager more chanifires happen at the back nipple to nipple than the front. I use a circle-fly hard card wad with a bit of crisco between it and the ball. It does a good job of keeping the front of the chamber free of fouling so it doesn’t get harder and harder to seat balls during an all day match.

Practical loads are a matter of judgement. If I’m showing off I’ll load 50 grains in my Walker or second model dragoon but if I’m shooting for an extended period I find that 40 grains is sufficient. I load about 30 in my .44 cal '60 armies and 25 grains FFFgs in my navies.

Speaking of navies are yours second generation Colt? Those are the only kind I’ve seen with the silverplate grip frames. They’re made from Uberti parts finished by a Colt contractor but all the other Uberti and Pietta made navies have plain brass grip frames.

Have you tried SASS cowboy shooting yet? It’s the most non-aviation fun you can have with your britches on. I extend an open invitation to give it a try if you ever make it to phoenix and I’ll provide the extra guns.

Diver is right about BP. It burns faster than smokeless but the pressure peak is lower and spread out more. A loose container of smokeless will just go “fwoosh” but enough BP will explode even if not contained.

I like the disclaimer at the bottom of your chart, Johnny!

Yeah, I’ve read about big loads being “showing off”. But I like the smoke.

I have one 2nd generation Colt Navy (you can see the box on the background of my loading chart, linked earlier) and one Colt Blackpowder (3rd generation?) Signature Edition Navy, plus a Colt Blackpowder Signature Edition .31 Pocket.

I have three Uberti Navies. I’ve had the grips plated in silver so that they look like they’re supposed to. They’re very pretty that way.

No, I don’t have the time to get into cowboy shooting. I have little enough time as it is. Thanks for the invitation to shoot. If I ever make it there we can grab Mauvaise and make it a trio.

I assume you are referring to the last two sentences? :smiley:

The Walker is a bit massive for the petite Mauvaise but she managed to lift it without serious injury. She has shot my navies and is an ace with a Buckmark.

Let me know if you’re ever out this way. We can have a fun shoot or a match if you’re game. If you’ve done any other kind of organized action shooting you’ll find CAS easy to adapt to. I’ve got extra guns and leather if you can dress sorta cowboy.

I missed my own club match this month because I’m still in the middle of moving but will be back in force in April. Phoenix has major matches the first and second saturday every month and I try to make at least one. I’m going to work hard on improving my times and try to place decently at the southwest regionals this summer in Williams.

But of course!

I’m not much of a black powder guy, but the few times I’ve had the opportunity, it was a blast.

Silly question time: A guy I knew used to strip the wooden furniture off his black powder pistols (Navy Colts, I think) and run them through his dishwasher to clean them. Was he insane, or does this actually work?

Not completely insane but not very wise IMO. Black powder is water soluble so water is the best way to clean it. Unfortunately plain water drying on steel is the quickest way to cause rust. Stainless BP guns are popular but you can even cause rust and corrosion in those. A friend of mine used to shoot two stainless Remington '58 replicas. After a match he’d disassemble them and boil them in a pot of water for 20 minutes. :rolleyes: I think he misunderstood the term “sterile gun”

I use a snake oil called Ballistol. it’s been made in Germany since nearly the turn of the century and I think it’s a pine tar extract. It’s an oil but emulsifies in water. I use it straight as a lubricant or mix it one part to ten of water to make a moose-milk concoction to clean guns with. I spray it down bores, inside the actions and wipe down exteriors with it and even at 90% water it has never caused a spec of rust. Johnny L.A., you can order it from http://www.ballistol.com/ Good stuff for your BP guns. Even has a licorice sent.

I wash my Navies with dish soap and hot water, then dry them with paper towels and wipe them with gun oil. No rust yet!

I’ve rolled up five more .44s. Damn, I want to shoot!

Damn son, you do need to go shoot. Need more cartridges than that though. I typically shoot 70-75 pistols rounds in a match, even more in a practice session. I know one shooter who makes paper cartridges for his armies when he’s shooting conical bullets but it seems like too much work when it won’t save me any time loading. I load from a flask with a calibrated spout.

Unfortunately I’ve missed too much shooting myself. I typically shoot one or two CAS matches per month but have only shot one this year so far :frowning: I’ll make up for it as soon as I’m done moving. I’ll shoot an submachinegun match at the end of this month (I have a friend who generously provides me his H&K MP5K and ammo :D) and two cowboy matches in beginning of April.

I’ve love to have an MP-5! Or even an HK-94.

Well, I do have these. Those are .36 with 15gr. of blackpowder. They shoot very well in the Ubertis. (Did I mention I don’t plan to shoot the Colts?) I can use them in either the Navies or the Pocket Navy.

And of course, I always have the flask and loose balls. (Hm. That sounds a little rude.)

Where the hell do you guys shoot black powder? The indoor ranges around here laugh if you suggest it (I wonder why :rolleyes: ) and the rifle range doesn’t allow handguns.

Some of the outdoor ranges in this area will permit black powder, and also have pistol ranges associated with them.

Padeye, Mike’s pistols looked fairly well maintained, so I suppose he was oiling springs and such as well, although I never had a chance to look, and would’ve never fired them without being given the chance to see for myself.

Interesting bit about the Ballistol… I wonder if the boilling-gun guy could’ve used the 10-1 mix, instead of using straight water…?