First, it isn't a muzzle loader. It does NOT load from the muzzle. There have been two manufacturers of the brass framed long barreled Remington style frame cap and ball revolvers. Pietta, makes them for Cabelas and Palmetto, which unfortunately went out of business about 16 months ago. Both are/were Italian. Some where on your gun you should find a stamp ing of letters such as AB or AH. You will also find a proof mark. Italian law requires all guns be proofed and marked with the year of manufacturre. The letter code starts around 1951 with A and goes forward. The table of dates is available on sites dealing with cap and ball revolvers.
While the brass frame guns appear strong, the brass actually can stretch after multiple repeated heavy charges. Kind of like hitting a piece of brass 100 times with a tack hammer. The brass will start to deform.
Keep the powder charges low, but you want enough powder and or filler that there is no space under the balls when seated. The max charge for your 44 chambers is probably around 30 to 35 grains. The rammer will only seat the ball so far down the chamber so, if you must, use around 20 grains of 2fg and another 10 grain volumn equivalent of filler, like cream of wheat commonly referred to as COW in several web sites. COW compresses rather uniformly and has worked for 50 years for shooters. It is cheap. Some things do not compress uniformly and you want each chamber loaded as uniformly as possible.
Some shooters use wonder wads on top the powder and under the ball. Other shooters put the ball right down on the powder and use a grease lube on top to seal the chambers.
Mt thoughts are that, especially with that long barrel, you want to havee some lube coat the bore as the ball is pushed down through to the muzzle. That will cut down on leading the bore, and will also leave a slightly greasey coating on the bore before the powder fouling has a chance to hit the bore.
The purpose of sealing the chambers is to prevent chain fires, ie more than one chamber firing at a time. Most folks can go through life firing tens of thousandes of revolver rounds without a chain fire. All it takes is once to scare the, well cause a need for laundereed shorts. It can also be very dangerous. I have seen a cap and ball revolver with the side of the cylinder blown off.
To prevent chain firing, you need to load balls that are just over chamber size to the point that a thin ring of lead is shaved off the ball as it is rammed into the mouth of the chamber. A chamber diameter fibre wad between the powder and the ball can work. smearing lube on top the ball to seal the chamber is messy, but lubes the bore and keeps fouling somewhat softer as well. Some folks use shortening. When the gun gets hot, or on a hot summer day, shortening can really make a drippy greasy mess.
Also, always keep all loaded chambers capped when shooting. Fire has been known/theoretically to spit out through the nipple and reach into an uncapped nipple.
And lastly the old story of load five and let the hammer rest on the empty, for safety, although most modern made repros have cylinder notches in between the nipples for the hammer to rest.
98% of such guns are indeed 44 caliber and require a 451 or 454 ball. the 457 used by the Ruger Old Army is too big for your gun. A very few were made in 36 cal., I am assuming that yours is the 44 caliber.
They are a great deal of fun to shoot. Most of the Italian long barrel guns are not that accurate. Perhaps a pie plate at 25 yds. Although a few are capable of much better accuracy.
Because it is not a muzzle loader, it is not legal for most hunting in PA. The exceptions are ground hogs and coyotes.
There are some cylinders available to convert the cap and ball revolvers to 45 colt. BUT NOT IN A BRASS FRAME GUN.
I have that gun with the buffalo barrel (longer still). Fun to shoot. Follow Z-stutzen's advice and you can't go wrong. I also have the book for it if you would like the loading recommendations etc. let me know in a PM and I'll scan and e-mail them to you.
Thank you for all the information. This is my first cap revolver that I've ever owned. I shot it today with 30gr. of powder an a 44 cal ball. Ity shot ok an was really fun. I bore buttered the open end of ever cylinder i loaded an didn't have any trouble. I love the gun it's a lot of fun.
I recently went to the sports an outdoor show and talked to a gentleman their that had a vendors booth about my revolver an he said they are very accurate. They are used in competitions. I'm just wondering if anyone has any other thoughts on getting a good consistent load. I've loaded the gun with 20 grains of powder and 15gr. of corn meal as a filler but the ball in all six chambers isn't the same place (depth wise). Just want to make sure I'm not doing anything wrong.
I shoot a Pietta and Rodgers/Spence cap/ball in international competition and much to some others dismay they are VERY accurate! If it is a pietta I'd recommend 454 roundballs just as you are doing, Rodgers use 457's. I shoot 20 grains fffg and number 11 caps. We shoot 25 & 50 yards offhand competition and top scores are usually 95+. Anyhow lots of work can be done to them ,including trigger work, forcing cones and re-barrelling so it is all how much you'd like to pay to get it really tuned up.
have fun and remember to always grease the end, and as far as filler I do use corn meal 2000 rounds + a year w/out issue, others use grits & some use cream of wheat. mostly a personal preference.
Ram outdoor, what lube do you use? I got a case of Blue and Gray Pistol Patch many years ago, and I am almost out. The Blue and Gray stuff is about the consistency of tooth paste and came in a squeeze tube like tub caulk. Shortening seems to messy. a buddy of mine always used water pump grease, but that left a mess just as bad as shortening.
Zimmer, I have been using old Navy Arms Shotgun Lube which sounds very similar to the old Blue Gray (got a case of the squeeze tubes for free many years ago), I know many use a beeswax/crisco mixture some use axle grease, some use water pump grease etc.. As you mentioned mainly it keeps multiple fires down but also give a little lube to the ball going down the barrel. Really anything that will hold under temps and 'burn off' seems to work. Some are certainly more of a mess than others, i've shot beside some guys that I've got splattered everytime they fired even with baffles so many options and opinions on this.