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Which frame style lends itself to better accuracy, in a cap and ball revolver? A full frame, like a Remington or Ruger Old Army style....or the Colt or Walker styles that have no frame over the cylinder?

Your opinions and experiences are appreciated.
Thank you, Bowhunter57[/color]
 

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Given that the two types are well made I can't tell any difference. The overriding factors are proper chamber size in relation to bore, good forcing cone, consistent ignition, proper ball size, a rammer that won't deform the ball and good sights.

My own preference is the Colt style open top but that's just me.
 

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In my experience there is no appreciable difference due to 'frame style'. Far more important is the grip frame and how well it fits your hand, the sights, balance, the match of ball and powder to chamber and bore size, in short just about everything else.
 

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I have a ( replicas all ) Rem 1858 & Colt 1860. The colt will group as good at 15 yards as my 8 inch S&W 25-5 ( minute of squirrel head shot). The Rem copy will stay on a paper plate at that range but that is about all.
 

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That was my experience too with the Remington, it just did not have the accuracy that my two 1851 Navies and 1860 Army had. Very strange as the Remington 1858 model seemed more like a modern revolver, still the Colts really had the edge on it in the accuracy department.
 

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blackpowderbill said:
The Rem copy will stay on a paper plate at that range but that is about all.
That is strange as my Pietta '58 Remmy will shoot under 2" groups at 25 yds. Guess a lot depends on the individual gun.
 

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Very true, each weapon is a rule unto itself. One place where I believe the colt does have a real advantage is ergonomics. I do not find the Rem grip anywhere near as comfortable as the 1860 colt. That grip (1860), I find to be the most comfortable of all SA grips I have changed.
 

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I have 5 Rems various mfg, 4 Colts...I prefer Remington 1858 NMA but like Colts...I can shoot all of them well and the Rems do shoot somewhat better groups overall from 25 to 50 yards. And really shine at the 75-100yd berms with 1 gal. milk jugs full a water. Colts point real well and make tin cans fly at 7-25yds. I have had to work on far less Remington 1858 Revs over a 30 span then them purdy Colts. So what you need to do is buy one of each at the same time.You will eventually anyway... ;D

SG
 

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The Frame question isn't nearly as important as all the things bison referenced. A well made accuraized and tuned cap and ball revolver of either can shoot great. A sloppy action of either can shoot equally bad. More folks seem to have more problems out of the box with the Colt repros, but that isn't always the case. A crappy remington with a gritty trigger pull will be terrible. There are vastly different quality controls even off the same production line. While Jim's Discount center's may order the (wholesale price) $89.99 quality in which less attention is paid to fit and finish, Craley Hardware gun distributors may spend more like $109.99 and specify more attention to the works, trigger and smoothness of the action. Another outfit may be real sticklers and demand the best the factory can do, fit finish, actions tuned, etc at $149.99. All stamped from the same manufacturing facitlity, or perhaps contracted to have other names on them.

I have 15 or more black powder pistols, from sidelocks, flint and perc, to cap and ball of both top strap and colt types, even box lock-in line type muzzleloaders. I suspect that it is easier to shoot well with a muzzle loader pistol, but not nearly as exciting. I can shoot fairly well with my Ruger, and less well with my .36 1860 Navy, but much better with my 1862 Police model. Regardless of which, I can shoot far better with my Palmetto in line 44 caliber muzzleloader. I have an old TC Patriot and could never sight that thing in for decent accuracy. As for my Traditions Trapper pistol in flint lock, I can kindly say that sometimes it goes off. Obviously, I have favorites, especially those that shot well out of the box.

Some folks have a bit more trouble sighting along a colt repro simply because of the hammer notch being the rear sight. Like all things, it can take working up a load and getting used to it.

Some folks have personal preferences that have little to do with actual performance, sort of like a Ford, Chevy, Dodge truck preference. If you buy a quality gun, it probably won't matter which type you get. I once saw a guy shoot an incredible group with a Walker repro. About a 1 inch group at 25 yards. Then I heard that he was a skirmisher and had probably fired 10,000 shots through the thing, it was the only gun he ever used in competition and shot the thing a few hours per week and he paid some well known Pistol smith almost $1,000 to tune it and accurize it.
 

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With careful loading, both the Colt and Remington styles will astound you with their accuracy.
Or not.
Like any other firearm, each is an individual.
My Uberti-made Remington 58 .44 will put six balls into 2 to 2-1/2 inches at 25 yards, from a benchrest.
My Colt 2nd generation 1851 Navy will shoot into the same area.
For best accuracy, use balls. I've yet to find a conical bullet as accurate as a lead ball of the proper diameter.
And ball sizes can play into it: .454 for most .44s (the Ruger Old Army requires .457) and .380 inch balls for the .36s.
One often-overlooked accuracy determinant in the Colt design is the tightness of the wedge that connects the barrel to the frame.
For years, my field-expedience check has been to tap the wedge in while rotating the cylinder. Once the cylinder starts to drag against the rear of the barrel, turn the gun over and give it a couple of light taps to back it off from this drag-point.
In my experience, that's the Colt's "sweet spot."
If you can remove the wedge with finger pressure alone, accuracy will almost certainly suffer.
Other variables affecting accuracy include consistency in the diameter of the chambers, polishing of chambers, polishing of rifled bore, depth of rifling, quality and type of powder, caps, alloy of ball or bullet, sights, pressure applied when seating ball, forcing cone angle or roughness, lubricants (petroleum products often create a hard, tarry fouling that can affect accuracy), and so on.
There are tons of variables in cap and ball sixguns. Get those variables lined up right and you've got a nice shooter.
 
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