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How to Load a Cap and Ball Black Powder Revolver
Loading a cap and ball black powder revolver isn't as difficult as you might think.
More of This Article
Components; Powder Charge; Ball
Ramming the ball; Grease to Prevent Chain Fire; Capping
Loaded; How to Safely Carry; Remington Design

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It seems as if everyone loves old-time black powder revolvers. They hearken back to the old west, days of yore, Wild Bill Hickock, cowboy action shooting, and whatnot. Naturally, shooters who have them want to know how to load a cap and ball black powder revolver.

Loading a black powder revolver is a simple procedure, and easy to learn - and shooting these guns is a lot of fun, too. With a few photos and some brief instructions, I'll illustrate just how easy it is to load a cap & ball revolver.

Above is a typical replica of a Colt black powder revolver. It's marked ".44 cal Navy Model," which is a misnomer - the original Navy Model Colts were 36 caliber, and the Army Model was 44 caliber. Anyhow, it's a typical Colt replica, made in Italy as most of them are.

This is a top view of the gun. The tip of my middle finger is touching the right end of the wedge pin, sometimes simply called the wedge. To disassemble the gun, simply push that wedge through the barrel assembly to the left.

On some guns this may require the use of a brass hammer, plastic screwdriver handle, or a block of wood to drive the pin through. NEVER use a steel object such as a steel hammer on a gun, especially one of these guns, which are typically made of fairly soft steel - you will hose it for sure.

This shows the wedge pin pushed through the barrel assembly. That screw above it is simply a retainer, to keep the wedge from falling out and being lost. It's not necessary to fully remove the wedge in order to break down the gun.

This shows the gun being disassembled. The barrel assembly slides forward and away from the frame and cylinder.

This is as far apart as most folks ever need to take one of these guns. Further disassembly should be left to a qualified gunsmith, or more simply, to someone who knows what he's doing.

Page Two - Components, Powder Charge, Ball

Russ Chastain

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