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i was given 3 pistols. one of which was a ASM. it has under loader : ASM Black Powder only Cal. 36 Made in Italy. i have never owned or shot a black powder pistol. gun is in decent shape & bore is shiny & free of any corrosion. i took it apart & cleaned it up. somebody had dry fired it without caps & all the nipples will need to be replaced. i am trying to decide if i want to mess with it or sell it. i know from looking into black powder pistols its not worth much. anyway, any info or advice on this gun from the black powder people on this forum would be greatly appreciated.
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Black powder shooting is different enough from what you're probably used to that you could consider it a completely different hobby. People who are into it are usually really into it. You obviously need powder, caps and balls or bullets, but you will also be looking at measures, powder containers and a lot of useful gadgets like cap loaders, nipple picks and various lubricants. I've always found the actual shooting part to literally be a blast. There's nothing else like the smells, flames and clouds of smoke. Shooting is slow and there are multiple steps you must take before and after you pull the trigger, not the least of being the need to clean up pretty much right away after shooting. If all this sounds attractive to you jump right in. You can learn most of what you need to know online and in books but finding other black powder shooters will teach you the most. Have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Black powder shooting is different enough from what you're probably used to that you could consider it a completely different hobby. People who are into it are usually really into it. You obviously need powder, caps and balls or bullets, but you will also be looking at measures, powder containers and a lot of useful gadgets like cap loaders, nipple picks and various lubricants. I've always found the actual shooting part to literally be a blast. There's nothing else like the smells, flames and clouds of smoke. Shooting is slow and there are multiple steps you must take before and after you pull the trigger, not the least of being the need to clean up pretty much right away after shooting. If all this sounds attractive to you jump right in. You can learn most of what you need to know online and in books but finding other black powder shooters will teach you the most. Have fun.
buying i the things that i would need to get it going is the main reason i am thinking of not bothering with it. i would have more money into it than whats its worth.
 

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buying i the things that i would need to get it going is the main reason i am thinking of not bothering with it. i would have more money into it than whats its worth.
You could say the same for a G19. As soon as you buy a box of ammo for it, you have more in it than it's worth. Starter kits for BP revolvers are pretty cheap. I enjoy mine. But might not be your thing.
 

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You have an Armi San Marco '51 Navy clone, and it's possible to deduce the year of manufacture from the letter codes that will be stamped on the frame, barrel assembly and cylinder.

Font Parallel Pattern Number Electric blue


ASM was one of the earliest manufacturers of replica C&B revolvers and importation stateside changed hands several times over the years. As previously mentioned, brass frames won't hold up to heavy shooting the way a steel frame will, but with sensible, moderate loads they will shoot and last just fine. The weakest link is the threading in the frame where the cylinder arbor screws in, which with heavy use will eventually loosen.

Correct that sale price will likely not be a lot, but if it's an early model there's a possibility it would get you a few more bucks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You have an Armi San Marco '51 Navy clone, and it's possible to deduce the year of manufacture from the letter codes that will be stamped on the frame, barrel assembly and cylinder.

View attachment 1136227

ASM was one of the earliest manufacturers of replica C&B revolvers and importation stateside changed hands several times over the years. As previously mentioned, brass frames won't hold up to heavy shooting the way a steel frame will, but with sensible, moderate loads they will shoot and last just fine. The weakest link is the threading in the frame where the cylinder arbor screws in, which with heavy use will eventually loosen.

Correct that sale price will likely not be a lot, but if it's an early model there's a possibility it would get you a few more bucks.
thanks for the info. also, 36 caliber was the least popular was it not.
 

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thanks for the info. also, 36 caliber was the least popular was it not.
.36 is better IMO, because it is more authentic to the type. There is a core group of enthusiasts that love the .36. You get all the fun of the BP experience but burn less powder and lead in the process. I know of a few that regularly pack a .36 on trail hikes for pot shooting pests and small game.
 

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.36 is better IMO, because it is more authentic to the type. There is a core group of enthusiasts that love the .36. You get all the fun of the BP experience but burn less powder and lead in the process. I know of a few that regularly pack a .36 on trail hikes for pot shooting pests and small game.
well, i was wrong on 36 not being as popular then. Question, can a black powder pistol be shipped without going threw FFL.
 

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well, i was wrong on 36 not being as popular then. Question, can a black powder pistol be shipped without going threw FFL.
Black powder muzzle loading guns are classified as "primitive arms" at the federal level and don't fall under the federal laws that apply to firearms. However, make sure the state or locality you are shipping it to doesn't have additional rules beyond the federal laws. I believe NJ is an example, and even BP sales require a valid Permit to Purchase a Handgun.
 

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for 7-8 yrs i looked at my old 1862-built colt navy 1851 and thought I’d shoot it one day. The ammo shortage hit during covid and i had bought powder, caps and lead balls So let’s go.
the only slightly (very slightly) trick was to measure the powder and as i recall, for a old .36 I used 18 gr. Powder measure on end of a flask solves the measurement issue. Some use a cartridge to meaure. Lot’s of fun. A process, unlike cartridge shooting, that is part of the fun. Suggest a greased felt pad between poweder and ball to prevent chain fire. Some use grease. Black powder is Dirty, so can’t shoot too many before it starts to jam and needs a thorough cleaning at the end of the day.
 

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About a year or so ago I went to the range and this older guy with a black powder rifle got in besides me . I remember watching him shooting that muzzle loader rifle and loading it... What a work !!! It took him some time to load the rifle with the powder, the ball inside a piece of cloth (?) and pushing it down the barrel , putting the cap in place , etc ... In my opinion , you really , really have to be into it to enjoy it . After a while, his hands and face were getting blackened by the powder .
 

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About a year or so ago I went to the range and this older guy with a black powder rifle got in besides me . I remember watching him shooting that muzzle loader rifle and loading it... What a work !!! It took him some time to load the rifle with the powder, the ball inside a piece of cloth (?) and pushing it down the barrel , putting the cap in place , etc ... In my opinion , you really , really have to be into it to enjoy it . After a while, his hands and face were getting blackened by the powder .
Black powder rifles typically used a patched ball made of cloth, though deerskin would do when nothing else was available. The purpose of the patch was to catch the rifling in the barrel to aid in getting the ball to twist on its way out, giving it accuracy that could be very impressive. The patch also aided (a little, anyway) in keeping the barrel clean, but the barrel would still have to be swabbed every 2 or 3 rounds. If not, the black powder would foul the barrel and make it difficult to impossible to seat the ball.

If you watch Daniel Day-Lewis in The Last of the Mohicans, during the scene in which the Indians attack the British and settlers after surrendering Fort Willaim Henry, he is shown loading his rifle on the run, and spitting a ball down the barrel. That is actually based on fact, as some men were able to load and fire on the run. Lewis Wetzel being the most well known. Google his name, he was quite the interesting, though blood thirsty, individual. Under circumstances like that, a patch would not be used and a few undersized roundballs would be carried just for such an emergency. The touch hole would often be drilled a little larger so that when a powder charge was poured down the barrel all one needed to do was hit the rifle butt on the ground to get powder into the frizzen. I know I am probably speaking a foreign language to some of you here. The diagram may help. When chased by several Indians intent on putting your scalp on their lodgepole or taking you alive so they can capture you and spend several days torturing you to death, speed is far more important than accuracy. You will be shooting your rifle at a target just a few yards away, not 100 or more.

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I have a couple of the Gen 2 Colt revolvers, a Walker and a 3rd Model Dragoon, that I take out occasionally. It's a lot of fun shooting them, but also a bit of work. Nothing like the bass boom of Holy Black, though, especially 60 grains of it in a revolver!
 

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OP if you do decide to shoot, don't let the cleaning aspect deter you. There are arduous ways to clean BP (including subs like Pyrodex) and there are quick, simple and effective. An example of the latter is Ballistol.


Ballistol has been around for over a century and is a water mixable CLP. I can clean a dirty BP revolver in nearly the time it takes to clean one of my smokeless semi's. A mixture of 1 part Ballistol to 2 parts water in a spray bottle is used to neutralize and remove fouling from all parts of the gun, and applied to patches for the bore/chambers. Once the water dries off it leaves behind a protective surface coating. Used full strength, Ballistol can clean smokeless powder bores and used as a longer term bore protectant.

I used to hate cleaning BP, until I discovered how easy it actually can be. Shooting BP doesn't always mean loose powder, ball and cap, the loads in the foreground of this pic are 31gr Goex FFg and a Lee 255gr lead FP, lubed with SPG and loaded in .45 Colt cases.

 

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I have a couple of the Gen 2 Colt revolvers, a Walker and a 3rd Model Dragoon, that I take out occasionally. It's a lot of fun shooting them, but also a bit of work. Nothing like the bass boom of Holy Black, though, especially 60 grains of it in a revolver!
60 grains is a hefty charge, I'll bet that's a lot of fun.

I've always wanted .44 dragoon or a .36 Navy, but never bit the bullet and just bought one. I think the Colt Navy is the best-looking revolver ever built. During the Covid insanity I tried to find one online, but that turned out to be impossible.
 
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