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Percussion Revolvers: A Guide to Their History, Performance, and Use Paperback – July 1, 2014
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Top customer reviews
I was fearful that it would encourage me to accumulate some additional percussion revolvers - but so far, it has only encouraged me to shoot the one I've got a lot more. I've had recent opportunities to acquire a couple of reproduction Lemats and several bargain-priced Starr repros, and if anything...the chapters on these two reinforced my suspicions and reluctance to buy. I might still need to find a nice Cimarron-Uberti M-1861 Navy as a companion to the M-1851 Navy....?
Unlike previous authors who have provided only the standard, traditional loads for each revolver type, Cumpston and Bates provide a myriad of load and chronograph data comparisons utilizing various brands and granulations of REAL black powder, black powder substitutes, balls vs. bullets, over-powder wads, compression, etc. Some results were surprising...and counter-intuitive.
There's plenty of knowledge to be acquired by reading their book - some great stories in there, too. As an example...I never knew that 19th Century revolver manufacturers recommended FFG instead of 3F for all but their tiny .31 cal. pocket revolvers.
Readers undetered by those considerations are provided a survey of the major designs and models of cap-and-ball revolvers, detailing the good and bad characteristics of both both the originals and their modern counterparts. Detailed information is included on black powder and alternative loads, projectile performance and ballistics.
The authors wrote Amazon reviews for the book declaring it stillborn because of some proofreading issues--notably repeated misspellings of the name of the Starr revolver. In fact the book is in stock on Amazon and well worth its price, typos and all.
Things start off with an overview on the loading procedure followed by a quick discussion of the various historical bullet types with their positives and negatives laid out. Then the authors get to the meat and potatoes.
The book is sectioned into chapters covering three historical periods to provide the reader a sense of perspective on the development of the various handguns discussed in each chapter. The history and development of each model is followed by a shooter's review of the pistol's ballistic performance, and disassembly instructions.
I heartily recommend this book for anyone interested in the revolvers of the true "Old West". (That's before the Colt .45 "Peacemaker", y'all) The historical information is well presented, and the shooting reviews give the reader an excellent feel for what these pistols were capable of. The color photographs in this edition are a huge improvement over a prior version published some years ago.
An excellent choice for experienced shooters and newcomers alike. You'll never watch "The Outlaw Josey Wales" or "Quigley Down Under" the same way after reading this book.
Lots of history and even more test firing info and gun reviews including the author's opinions on who makes the best powder to shoot with. The book is copyrighted 2014 but, some earlier reviews seem, to me, to indicate that they had publishing difficulties- a few bits in the text make me think it was written as early as 2006. No matter, still the book to own if you have any interest in the subject. It even covers the subjects of making repairs and/or improving your revolvers function.
The author's gave instructions on making paper cartridges in their book "Percussion Pistols and Revolvers"- that information is repeated here and might even be expanded upon a bit.
Italian gunmaker Uberti gets favorable mention in the text but their website (their name .com, no longer lists some reviewed items, still good to read just in case you're able to buy those pieces somewhere) isn't listed in resources.
Cimarron Firearms is listed but their website is not, easy enough to "Google"… I'd guess most of the companies have sites that can be found that way.