Handguns My 1858

Marmite

Cadet
Joined
Mar 28, 2021
I find it curious there are many people against shooting original guns.

Shear age along has no documented adverse effect on metal. If the firearm is not damaged by corrosion, overloading or mishandling then it presents no real risk of failing or being damaged by further moderate usage.

I feel that much of the myth surrounding the likely hood of an old gun exploding is due to people using smokeless powder or discharging a firearm that was already structurally compromised.

I enjoy seeing vintage automobiles being driven on the road,as well as firing vintage guns.Both should be checked and used within their design limitations.
 

Waterloo50

Major
Forum Host
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Joined
Jul 7, 2015
Location
England
You first but make sure your Insurance Company will cover you for loss of a hand from firing old guns. Check with Lloyd's of London since your over there to see if they will cover you.
Thankfully, I’m ambidextrous...🤪
 

Bonedaddy

Private
Joined
Jan 2, 2020
Don't do it!!! Too much that can go very wrong real quick. If you have to shoot black powder, get a nice replica revolver. Others will disagree I'm sure but you will deeply regret ruining a nice piece of history in that old Remington. Good luck.
 

bayonet

Corporal
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
I find it curious there are many people against shooting original guns.

Shear age along has no documented adverse effect on metal. If the firearm is not damaged by corrosion, overloading or mishandling then it presents no real risk of failing or being damaged by further moderate usage.

I feel that much of the myth surrounding the likely hood of an old gun exploding is due to people using smokeless powder or discharging a firearm that was already structurally compromised.

I enjoy seeing vintage automobiles being driven on the road,as well as firing vintage guns.Both should be checked and used within their design limitations.
"adverse effect on metal?" said the Builder of the Titanic! That metal was not aged either. Is it really worth the risk? Bonedaddy was right just get a brand new replica if you want to shoot old guns. Too much can go wrong, a stress crack you just don't see. A few folks also bit the big one playing with dug up CW cannonballs, not to get off topic. Better to sit on a Wall. Just like the guy flying a P-52 Mustang. He tinkered with it so much, raced it, and nose dived right into the crowd BAM! Just couldn't leave it in its historical original beautiful condition.
 

Waterloo50

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Silver Patron
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Jul 7, 2015
Location
England
Ouch...
0FF9C176-6013-4304-BBB8-FF53DBB47F18.png
 

Jeff in Ohio

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
I believe that is a new replica in your photo...but I do agree that metal quality was inconsistent in those old days, and I do believe that metal can weaken over time.....but I am not an engineer or metalurgist
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2018
I’m generally not an advocate of shooting original pieces but...If you should decide to shoot it, have it inspected first by a good gunsmith and use real black powder only. No pyrodex, no 777 and certainly no smokeless. Slug the barrel - you may have to try a couple different sized balls to find the “right” one for your piece. Make sure you get a good lead ring when loading to prevent chain fires and proper sized caps as you note for the new nipples as you can get chain fires there from ill fitting caps. Use a lighter load than originally prescribed, again real black powder only, and enjoy.
I fire originals but I inspect carefully before I ever do. Never had a chain fire on the Colt or Remingtons...but I use proper size bullets (pure lead only), grease the cylinders, put caps on tight.

At the end of the day, I scrupulously clean them.

Its easier to inspect the revolvers. For a musket that I have never fired before, after inspecting carefully and satisfying myself that it looks safe, I set it up and fire about 8 shots (slowly increasing the powder charge) remotely pulling the trigger with a string, to be extra safe.

I have one musket with deep pits in the barrel .... I absolutely will never try to fire that one....never, never, never...

Some guns had "reputations" (e.g. for exploding cylinders), so you need to know if your gun model (I am speaking genericly) is one of those.

Also, lighter loads are never a bad idea. An extra measure of safety and perhaps less wear on the gun.

I feel I have the experience to evaluate my guns. Anyone who lacks such experience should consult a gunsmith.
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 12, 2018
Agreed, consulting a gunsmith is definitely the way to go. Yes, metal fatigue and micro fractures are a thing. Although, to be honest, that's true in modern guns too. It never hurts to inspect any firearm before you go shooting, and to get it nice and tuned up.
 

Marmite

Cadet
Joined
Mar 28, 2021
That's a reproduction someone used smokeless powder in I'm betting.
I believe that is a new replica in your photo...but I do agree that metal quality was inconsistent in those old days, and I do believe that metal can weaken over time.....but I am not an engineer or metalurgist
What makes you believe that my revolver is a new replica Jeff?
 
Joined
May 12, 2018
I believe Jeff is referring to the photo posted by Waterloo50, the screenshot from capandball.eu, not your Remington Marmite. Smokeless powder & black powder weapons do not mix, regardless of age. Something that shouldn't have to be said, but some people...
 

CaptSpook

Private
Joined
Apr 13, 2020
I really do like Marmite. The stuff from New Zealand is probably the best.

I have heard that a .462" ball suits these old guns best?

What does everyone think?
What a great find! I would caution that changing it in any way (i.e., filing, etc.) will hurt its value. It's tempting to polish the brass but you should consider leaving it as is. If you want to shoot it, you might have a gunsmith (who is experienced in old firearms) scope the barrel and cylinders for pitting, and maybe even x-ray to look for any weaknesses in the metal. The gunsmith should be able to soak and loosen the nipples, and replace with new ones. And, use black powder and not smokeless powder. Otherwise, have fun!
 
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