Top 5 Black Powder Revolvers Reviewed and Rated

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Pietta Model 1858 New Army .44 Target
Test Winner: Pietta Model 1858 New Army .44 Target
There is just something about black powder weapons that a lot of shooters connect with. Maybe it's the historical aspects of firing the same type of pistol that our forefathers carried with pride in the old days, including historical conflicts such as the American Civil War and others.

There is a bit more involved in shooting and maintenance, compared to the modern centerfire pistols of today. For some, muzzle loading just seems a bit more intimate. So if you're seriously considering one, make sure you do your research and go home with the very best black powder revolver you can afford, although, price tags on many of these aren't too bad in general.

Standout Picks

Criteria Used for Evaluation


Performance, and accuracy - these are the two common attributes that every black powder enthusiast craves for. Only a true hunter understands how the accuracy makes a difference between a decent shot and a great shot. Because a hunter only gets one chance, it's important to make it count.

When it comes to firearms, nobody can compromise on quality and accuracy, whether he's just a black powder enthusiast looking to hone his skills or a seasoned hunter looking for his next big game. The sport itself is a big challenge and the changing technology has made this sport more accessible and more fun than ever. The right caliber and easy loading account to better accuracy.

Black Powder Accuracy

Ease of Use

Cleaning and Maintenance – Keeping your muzzleloader clean is the key to a great hunting experience. As a hunter, you know the importance of each shot and in the woods, each shot counts. Modern in-line muzzleloaders can be thoroughly cleaned and ready for action in less than half an hour which makes it easy for the hunters to maintain the accuracy of the firearm. Plus you can find some good cleaning solutions to make cleaning a breeze. It takes some time to clean a muzzleloader but the extra effort and time are worth the reward. Remember, not to rush it because it can only add to your cleaning woes and you don't want to compromise your performance in the woods.

Black Powder Revolver Maintenance

Loading – If you want to have some real fun with muzzleloading and get the best out of your hunting, maybe stay away from those old-school muzzleloaders because of one simple fact that they are a little tough to load. But modern-day attachments and technological advancements have made loading a muzzleloader less stressful and more fun than ever. Hunting scene has been widely dominated by the in-line muzzleloaders. Loading a muzzleloader is a little tricky business but it's not rocket science. Just a few simple steps and you'll fire like a pro in no time.

5 Best Black Powder Revolvers

1. Pietta Model 1858 New Army .44 Target


Improved accuracy

Higher profile target front sight post

Rear is adjustable for windage and elevation

Replaceable cylinders make reloading easier and faster

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.

Also worth reading best black powder rifles for your collection

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

Where to buy

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

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

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 / 20ga.

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.