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Author Topic: Two Newbie Questions: Uberti or Pietta and .36 vs .44  (Read 6941 times)

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Offline pugilist

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Two Newbie Questions: Uberti or Pietta and .36 vs .44
« on: March 25, 2015, 10:59:32 PM »
After some research, I'm thinking about getting a 1858 Remington NMA, 8 inch, as my first BP, but I don't live close enough to any place where I can handle them.  I got smaller hands and heard the Pietta are larger than the Uberti, which is closer in size to the original NMAs.  Any truth to that?  If that's true, then I'm leaning towards the Uberti.  I'm sure quality wise, the newer reproductions are pretty much the same.

Now I'm torn between the Navy .36 and the Army .44, but I'm leaning towards the .44 because I heard that both Pietta and Uberti Navy's prefer .380 balls, which aren't so easy to come by like .454s.  Are .380 balls less available than .454?  I can't cast my own stuff just yet, but maybe in the future...

Any info you guys can provide will be greatly appreciated!

Offline G Dog

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Re: Two Newbie Questions: Uberti or Pietta and .36 vs .44
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2015, 12:15:37 AM »
Hi Pugilist, these are good questions.  All the ammo you mentioned is readily available on-line.  Areas of the  country differ on local store bought availability.  In NW CA some stores have it already or will order it.  On line is usually the best price.  It's easy to get.

When deciding whether to get a .44 or a .36  the “availability” of projectiles is not an issue, a non-issue.  It is all available.   Of course you can make your own too.

The question of .36 vs .44  is another question altogether.  Most here have both.  We would need to know your tastes and interests to know what to say.  I would start with .44 but .36 is a stone hoot too.

Don’t get the Pietta .36 Remington and its Uberti counterpart  mixed up … they are different in more than just the brand. 

I think your idea of an eight inch Rem .44 as a first one is a great choice. I would do that.  I shoot both .44 & .36 in Pietta's Rems and love em.  Also, Pietta handles, if too thick, will sand down easily enough.

Other members will get back to you on this topic.  Many of the boys here have both brands.

Welcome … and good post.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2015, 12:39:06 AM by G Dog »
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Online mike116

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Re: Two Newbie Questions: Uberti or Pietta and .36 vs .44
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2015, 07:04:17 AM »
G Dog is right on target.  I would suggest starting with the Pietta just due to the price differential.   They all are a little rough when new so the price is a consideration.  I do not have big hands either but the grip size on a Pietta is not bothersome.   8 inch 44 cal is a good starter.   You'll end up wanting and buying others anyway so start and learn with what is the most convenient and easy.   Everything you need for a 44 cal is available off the shelf at most of the big box sporting goods stores.  Once you have it all collected go out and use it up.

Offline Mad Dog Stafford

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Re: Two Newbie Questions: Uberti or Pietta and .36 vs .44
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2015, 07:09:13 AM »
Hi pugilist, jump on ov er to the "Welcome Wagon" and tell us a few things about yourself. How did you find this Great Forum?
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Offline pugilist

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Re: Two Newbie Questions: Uberti or Pietta and .36 vs .44
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2015, 07:41:44 AM »
Thanks for the replies!

I went to both Pietta's and Uberti's websites and looked at their specs for the NMA.  While the original NMA has an overall length of 13.75 inches, Piettas have a length of 14 inches and Uberti's have a length of 13.6 inches.  I'd like to be historically accurate so I'm leaning towards Uberti.. Sure, Pietta's cost less, but DGW seems to have good price for the Uberti's.  I'm only 5'4" so when I say I have small hands, I really mean it. 

I figure .44 might be the way to go, since more of them were issued during the Civil War, plus the balls are more available off the shelf than .380 balls.  Besides, having a little larger caliber is a good thing, right? 


Offline Mad Dog Stafford

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Re: Two Newbie Questions: Uberti or Pietta and .36 vs .44
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2015, 07:50:11 AM »
Hi pugilist, I too have smaller hands. I feel right at home with my steel frame 5.5 Pietta 1858 Remmy .44cal.  ;)

You can't go wrong with a Uberti .44cal 1858 Remmy.  (T^
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Offline DD4lifeusmc

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Re: Two Newbie Questions: Uberti or Pietta and .36 vs .44
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2015, 08:46:17 AM »
Some people tend to forget, back when the originals were produced, people generally were smaller in stature.
So the grips were built for them then,
Today's replicas  have enlarged somewhat, but generally are still too small for many people.
I'm average at 5'10  180#. But I find the grips on both too small.

I do cast and sell .380  round balls, if you decide to go with the 36.

But if .454's are readily available go that way.
Either gun is fun to shoot.
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Offline pugilist

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Re: Two Newbie Questions: Uberti or Pietta and .36 vs .44
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2015, 09:05:28 AM »
Hi Mad Dog, the 5.5 Remmy in .44 looks really nice, but for my first percussion I want to be historically accurate.  Are the shorter barrel Remmies in .44 historically accurate?  I read that there were some shorter barrel Remmies, but only in .36. 

Hi DD4lifeusmc, I read that the average height back then was 5'6" and if it's true that the Uberti is closer than the Pietta to the original in size, then it should be a good fit for me.  I'd like to handle one before I buy, but my problem is that I don't live close enough to any place that carries them.  So I'm sort of flying blind. 

Is there a significant weight difference between the .44 and .36 NMA?  According to the specs, they weight the same, but what's the real verdict?

Offline Mad Dog Stafford

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Re: Two Newbie Questions: Uberti or Pietta and .36 vs .44
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2015, 09:16:37 AM »
"Historically Accurate"...you got me on that one.  (^h

Hang in there, someone will tell us.  (T^
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Offline DD4lifeusmc

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Re: Two Newbie Questions: Uberti or Pietta and .36 vs .44
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2015, 10:31:49 AM »
check a local gun shop for a small frame 22 or 38 cal revolver.  will be pretty close.
Normally on these guns, the circumference of the grip is smaller than modern
And the length is shorter, where your little finger isn't wrapping around the grip,
but is usually across the bottom of the frame.
The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps.
General Alexander A. Vandergrift, USMC
to the Senate Naval Affairs Committee, 5 May 1946
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USA birthday  7/4/1776

Offline CrazyOldHermit

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Re: Two Newbie Questions: Uberti or Pietta and .36 vs .44
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2015, 01:01:56 PM »
"Are the shorter barrel Remmies in .44 historically accurate? "

The usual answer you'll get is something on the order of "Well, there was a lot of gunsmithing going on back then so someone COULD have cut down a Remington New Model Army to five and a half inches" but I've so far been unable to find a picture of an original Remington percussion revolver in .44 that was cut down that way. Every documented original .44 New Model Army that I've seen (in person or in pictures), including the whole spectrum from Remmie shaped lumps of rust to shootable originals, has had the longer barrel.

To muddy the waters even more, Mike Beliveau (Duelist1954 on You-tube) pretty much takes credit for Uberti producing a five and half inch model after he made and wrote up his "Ultimate Remington" in the 90s (you can search for his "Shooting the Ultimate Remington" video if you like).

I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

One more thing you should know if you want a "historically accurate" copy of a New Model Army: if it's recent production, the front sight will probably NOT be exactly right. My 2013 and 2014 Piettas, and every photo I've seen of the newer Ubertis, have a taller front sight post than the originals. My 1987 Old Silver has a front sight that is much closer in height to the originals I have seen. The reason for this is simple - the originals were sighted in for longer ranges. My Old Silver shoots VERY high at anything under 15-20 yards or so with a 30-35 grain charge behind a .457 round ball. I suspect I'll have to take it down to my rifle berm and shoot it at 50-60 yards before it doesn't require a "belt buckle" level hold. That's on my list of things to try now that the weather has gotten decent hereabouts.

But, modern shooters doubtless wanted something where POI was closer to POA, and the attached photo shows the difference between the front sights (and barrel thickness) between my 2013 "Laser Engraved" Pietta and the 1987 Old Silver. The newer Remmie is pretty much dead on for elevation at "normal" pistol range ... subject to effects of the loose wingnut behind the trigger - that's ME if you don't get the joke.
A blackpowder revolver forum may be the only place on the Internet where a guy can discuss shaving tight balls and wrenching on his nipples without any snickering from other users.

Offline pugilist

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Re: Two Newbie Questions: Uberti or Pietta and .36 vs .44
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2015, 01:56:44 PM »
CrazyOldHermit, that's the best dang answer I heard.  "Every documented original .44 New Model Army that [you] seen...has had the longer barrel."  That makes me feel comfortable with getting the 8 inch. When I say "historically accurate," I mean that in general.  As for sights, I'll take what I can get. 

I'm still a little skittish whether which is more suitable for my grip, either the Pietta or the Uberti.  Everyone says that Uberti's are better quality or were better and now Pietta is catching up.  But, Uberti's are closer to the original specs.  I suppose an Uberti is the closest I can afford to the original.  Oh well, I'll have to price shop and crunch some numbers! 
 

Offline Yolla Bolly Brad

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Re: Two Newbie Questions: Uberti or Pietta and .36 vs .44
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2015, 02:29:49 PM »
  If you want an 1858 that looks original, a plus point for Uberti is that they discretely place the "black powder only" warning below the barrel and hidden by the ram handle. Pietta has that warning in plain view on one side of the barrel and "F.LLPietta-Made in Italy" on the other side.
Brad Potter, hardware junky.

Offline ssb73q

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Re: Two Newbie Questions: Uberti or Pietta and .36 vs .44
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2015, 02:41:18 PM »
Hi pugilist, if you have small hands you may find the Uberti a good choice. NineMilePete has his almost new Uberti 1858 on sale for $250 that includes shipping. A new Uberti 1858 can be purchased from Dixie Gun Works for $285, but you will also need to pay shipping costs. You may want to PM NineMilePete.

If I wasn't already tapped out on money for BP firearm purchases, I would be talking to NineMilePete.

Regards,
Richard
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Offline pugilist

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Re: Two Newbie Questions: Uberti or Pietta and .36 vs .44
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2015, 02:53:29 PM »
Hi ssb73q, I noticed NineMilePete advertising his Uberti 1858.  It's tempting, but as a first time buyer, I'm leaning towards Dixie Gun Works, because they got a guarantee.  No offense to NineMilePete, but I don't know him nor do I know what his return policy is.  I got to crunch numbers because I won't just be buying a new Uberti....I'll have to get wads, balls, powder flask, capper, etc. 

Then I got to find a place to shoot it.  There's some local ranges, but they're members only.  Otherwise I might have to take a long walk into the woods....