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Top 5 Black Powder Revolvers Reviewed and Rated

last updated: Jun 12, 2020

Do you prefer the lure of muzzleloader hunting above all else? Or it’s the rich history of the Wild West that fascinates you? Well, if you’re looking to recreate a little history of your own, the conventional muzzleloaders are a great place to start with. From the mass-produced guns to the precision-engineered to the exclusive ones commissioned for the rich, you can find an insane range flooding the market scene.

The Colt revolvers dominated throughout the 1850s while continuing its services with longstanding customers and promoting its brand. The legend died after the Civil War broke out leaving behind an esteemed legacy. Thanks to Colt, revolving pistols are a luxury these days and black powder shooting has never been this fun and enjoyable. Black powder revolvers have been around for centuries and today, we help you pick the best black powder revolvers available on the market.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 4 hrs of research

Pietta Model 1858 New Army .44 Caliber Black Powder Revolver
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Pietta Model 1858 New Army .44 Caliber Black Powder Revolver
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Pietta Model 1858 New Army .44 Caliber Black Powder Revolver
Test Winner: Pietta Model 1858 New Army .44 Caliber Black Powder Revolver
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We regularly update this list to reflect changes in the market for black powdered revolvers. In today’s update, we added to the list the Uberti 1875 Single-Action Army Outlaw revolver and also added some words about the interest people have in the black powder revolver. When in the market for a new revolver, consider this list and the added information to be sure you make an informative decision.

5 Best Black Powder Revolvers

1. Pietta Model 1858 New Army .44 Caliber Black Powder Revolver

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One of the most-favored sidearms of the great American Civil War, the classic Pietta Model 1858 is a game-changer that changed the course of history to pave way for the most significant line of medium and large frame pistols. It was one of the most powerful single bolt-action revolvers during its time and was the last in the line of Remington percussion revolvers. It’s single action and like any other handguns of the Civil War era incorporates a six-shot cylinder. It delivers the same power and accuracy as the original, but with a slight modification of wooden grip and branding on the barrel.

It delivers the same power and accuracy as the original, but with a slight modification of wooden grip and branding on the barrel. The revolver is blued steel completed by a finely polished brass trigger guard which only adds to its aesthetics. Thanks to the “milled slots” feature, the gun can be cleaned thoroughly and quickly without any hassles. Loading can be a bit tough but fun. The revolver is blued steel completed by a finely polished brass trigger guard which only adds to its aesthetics

2. Uberti Model 1847 Walker .44-Caliber Revolver

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Often referred to as the BIG DADDY of percussion revolvers, the single-action .44 caliber revolver was one of the deadliest weapons of the Wild West and it was the popularity of the 1847 Walker that paved way for the infamous gun maker Samuel Colt’s success to fame. The massive 9-inch barrel and the 60-grain charge conjure images of a powerful handgun that’s literally made it a star of the silver screen. It was almost a vision come true for Colt that made a weapon so powerful that it would take down a horse and so handy it would do wonders in your hand.

It terrorized the battle scene of the Mexican War with its unbelievable firepower and robust features. The demonstration was quite enough to grant its status of the “Dragoon Pistol” and Colt’s vision finally made it to the battle. The gun made quite a history in 1844 when 16 Rangers took charge of the 80 Comanche warriors at gunpoints. Its operating mechanism and robust features finally gave rise to the Peacemaker, the Colt 1873, the most sought-after weapon of the Wild West.

3. Pietta Model 1851 Confederate Navy .44 Caliber Black Powder Revolver

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Originally manufactured as a Navy Revolver, the Model 1851 dominated the naval battle scene and became a popular weapon of choice during the western expansion. Its easy-carry design made it a great fit for belt holsters. It made quite a demonstration in the American Civil War which ultimately led to its worldwide appreciation. Russia and Britain joined the Colt brigade taking it on a global level and the rest is history. Its popularity and promotions, considering its holster-friendly design, distributed the .44 caliber single-action revolver across Africa, Asia, and Europe.

It features a brass frame and trigger guard with eye-catching walnut grips and blued octagonal barrel, and the naval battle scene engraved onto its cylinder. Colt also manufactured several other engraved revolvers at the time but the 1851 Navy Colt stood the test of time and paved the way for the new efficient line of cartridge firing single-action revolvers. Although discontinued, it’s still one of the most sought-after single-action Navy revolvers of all time.

4. Pietta Griswold and Gunnison .36 Caliber Black Powder Revolver

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This single action Civil War-era revolver is quite a piece of work considering its streamlined design and more robust features that put them in the league of Navy Colt revolvers. The brass frame clearly sets this thing apart while the walnut grip adds to its old-school aesthetics. It features a blued dragoon style barrel and a long round cylinder and was primarily used by the Confederacy. It followed the original Colt Navy 1851 pattern with two variations – a round barrel and a brass frame.

The brass frame reflects the scarcity of steel at that time and the war took over the entire supply chain resulting in the use of brass in frames. There were around 3600 guns made and delivered while many were destroyed or lost during the war and after. For the better part, it was one of the most under-appreciated firearms of the Confederate Army but today, they are the rarest of percussion revolvers found exclusively in the rare collection of famous collectors.

5. Pietta LeMat Cavalry .44-Cal. Black-Powder Revolver

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The brainchild of the infamous Jean Alexandre LeMat, this classic percussion cap revolver was one of the most remarkable firearms of the American Civil War that was enthusiastically sidearmed by the Confederate cavalry officers of the States and Government of National Defenses Army during the Franco-Prussian War. It was the brilliant mind of LeMat which put him at the forefront of the New Orleans society which further inspired him to be a passionate patriot of the Confederacy. Professionally a physician, LeMat had an inventive mind that poured some great ideas which finally resulted in services rendered in favor of the Confederacy.

What sets the sidearm apart is the 9-shot, .44 caliber cylinder that revolves around a separate 20-gauge barrel. It features a richly blued barrel completed by remarkable European walnut grips making it a unique black powder revolver. As many as 2900 revolvers were produced between the period of 1856 and 1865 which would have been more it wasn’t for the lack of local manufacturing facilities. Well, it served the American Civil War for mostly its entire time as a primary sidearm but never got past the Union blockade. Although it wasn’t actually the most accurate revolver around, it made its mark as a Confederate Army favorite and an ideal choice for the close combat.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Do I need a license to possess a muzzle-loading cannon?


No, you don’t need one as a muzzleloader cannon falls within the same category of the muzzleloader firearm according to Section 1 of the Firearms Control Act. However, you’ll need a valid black powder permit to carry a black powder firearm that doesn’t matter if it’s a muzzle-loading cannon.

q: What’s required for a black powder permit?


The permit authorizes anybody with a valid black powder permit to carry and use one. So you need to have one to apply for the necessary permit for the possession of the firearm. However, you must license the black powder revolvers as according to the Firearms Control Act, they don’t fall under the definition of muzzleloading firearms.

q: What are the requirements for storing black powder?


You don’t need anything other than a valid black powder permit and a safe, secure cabinet or locker where you can carefully store your black powder firearms for safe storage. The necessary documents should be kept together as well for easy procurement.

q: What maintenance do I need to do on my black powder revolver?


Black powder is quite vulnerable to water which acts as a potential accelerant to rust and corrosion, so it’s highly advisable that you should clean your firearm(s) from time to time and thoroughly after regular use. The outer parts should be duly cleaned and oiled to ensure superior performance on the long haul. There are special cleaning solutions for firearms that are perfectly capable of handling your cleaning woes, plus you can always use soapy water to clean them as well.

q: How do I care for the exterior metal parts of the revolver?


As we said, the metal parts are more prone to rust and corrosion so try to keep them away from moisture and water. Any legit license holder knows that proper cleaning and maintenance of firearms is the key to increasing their lifespan. You just need the right tools and equipment for the job. A simple cleaning brush will do the job just fine and won’t damage the parts either. Remember not to use water for cleaning as it will only make things worse.