View Full Version : paper cartridges

the rifleer
June 21, 2010, 10:48 PM
I'm interested in making paper cartridged for my Ruger Old Army. It's fun to shoot, but takes forever to load. I was thinking about using either news paper or tissue paper, watered down white paper glue, and a dowel to wrap it around.

Does anyone have any advise or concerns? I know most people use combustable paper, but I have none. I was thinking I'd just load it, then poke it with a pin through the nipple so it will ignite. Will this work?

June 21, 2010, 11:10 PM
Cigerette rolling papers always worked for me. Be careful though, they are fragile. Oh yeah, I get the 1 1/2 size they are bigger than normal papers.

June 21, 2010, 11:11 PM
Most folks use cigarette paper because it burns more completely than untreated paper will thus leaving less remnants behind.

the rifleer
June 21, 2010, 11:50 PM
Ok, but if I used news paper to experiment and see if I like it would that work alright?

June 22, 2010, 01:13 AM
Paper carts ... I started with cig papers and the following I found to be successfull ... depending on how much work you want to put into it...Nitrated Paper works the best...home made with sheets or pages of phonebooks and a messy stove when done.

Well, here's a good start...and would get some while it's bein' sent.
In case you din't get the number it is, 760 967 8235 Ron & Alicia Rhodes, Oceannside ,CA...I ordered 5 lbs. of Potassium Nitrate, used as a stump killer.
Cost was #.98 alb. I had to pay CA sales tax@7.75%, S&H $5.41 UPS ground.
Without that heavy paper won't burn, like 22# or multi purpoe copy paper. I'm gonna try newspaper in my Sharps .54...make a dowl get some adhesive like Carquest Metalic Seal(susposed to be the best.
Now ifin your jus' doing Rev cart. "Top" smokin' papers work great no additives...make a dowl lick and fill with BP. Ball can be roled in papertwisted at both ends and snip or powder seperate, or try and glue he friggin' paper to the ball or conical..now that's fun...HeeHee!
That's about all there is to it.
LEE MOLD 54 Cal.Oversize .540-415M 90474 Serv.Parts $25.98

Here's where you'd start:

Potassium Nitrate - KNO
Also known as saltpeter, this is commercially used as a diuretic for animals.
It also works as an oxidizing agent in various pyrotechnic mixtures. That is,
when heated it provides the oxygen needed to make the rest of the mixture

Potassium Potassium
Nitrate Nitrite Oxygen

2KNO ---> 2KNO + O
3 2 2

Here's the process that worked for me the first time...31 sheets 60 mins. with clean up...if married send you wife shoppin' with your credit card.

Took about 40 min. to produce 25 sheets of dried Cumbustable paper.(after testing successfully)

1) Used 3 1/2 tablespoons KNO3 to 1 cup of extremely hot water from the tap. Pour in beeker and thuroughly desolved KNO3.

2) Preheated oven to 250F with window screen and a fish fryer screen to set wet paper on in the oven trays.

3)Using a 8" x 8" brownie pan poured the 1 cup of solution into it... still hot (heated in a pan of hot water on stove)
Useing the pan on a burner to keep solution hot.

4)Wetting the sheets in the pan dunking and submerging them 4-5 times till saturated. Placing them on the screens in the oven.
(no soaking for hours)

5) Papers are dry in 15 min. or so maybe less.

6) Test results Photos ... See PG2



The Lab
The Soakin'
Keepin' Solution Hot
The Dryin'
Burn Test
Test Successful
As you can see I used a local Directory Yellow Pages...in my opinion when dried this paper dencity is perfect for Revs or Rifles...

Hope you liked it, cause I did...

Smokin' Gun

June 22, 2010, 01:15 AM
Easy enough to do...and works great ...never used Cig papers again.
The Product

Give a try :O)

June 22, 2010, 03:28 AM

It's totally MAD I tell you MAD, MAD, MAD ...


June 22, 2010, 02:42 PM
Thanks ... yeah it's Stovetop Science :O)

Hawg Haggen
June 22, 2010, 04:40 PM
Tea bags work without all the fuss.

June 22, 2010, 05:18 PM
I've found tracing paper to work best for me and nitrating it seems too much effort for no return. Two identical size sheets of the stuff, one nitrated and the other not, burn at the same rate so I don't waste the time soaking the stuff anymore.

I cut the paper to the same dimensions as the rolling papers (using a scrap-booking/photo trimmer) and place my dowrod upright in the center of the paper, pulling both sides of the paper up and doing a 'giftwrap' fold to form a cup... gluing the sides to form a 'cupped' ended cylinder.

I make about 50 in one go, then load 'em and top 'em with a round ball. The extra top paper (above the ball) is twisted shut. As an extra touch, I seal the completed round with 'Liquid Bandage'.

June 22, 2010, 09:20 PM
I like this thread lots. :D

June 22, 2010, 11:30 PM
Ok, but if I used news paper to experiment and see if I like it would that work alright?

Yes it'd work ... gotta be about like phone book paper maybe a hair heavier.
But you see how the uniform sheets fit well in the pans. Anyway I say it'all fun, ifin works even funner :O)

June 23, 2010, 12:16 AM
Well let's take a trip back to yesteryear.... When Old Sam Colt came up with a workable revolver the idea of fast loading ammunition was right there, if memory serves me around 1836- in any event, very early on. First Sam used thin tin foil, thin enough that the powerful burst of the percussion cap would rip open the fragile tin and ignite the powder. Tin worked okay for the first six shots but the unburnt remnants fouled up the works.
Untreated paper LIKE YOUR NEWSPAPER was out of the question because if any embers remained and you put in another round......BAM right in your face- nice knowing ya!
So Sam needed something that was combustible- so there wouldn't be any fouling AND no live embers. I think he ended up using nitrated fish gut but cigarette paper is fine. That word COMBUSTIBLE has caused a lot of trouble over the years because a lot of folks think you need combustible paper to catch the flame of the cap and burn through the paper shell to ignite the powder. Folks tear open paper cartridges and all sorts of things dealing with this non-problem.
During the Civil War millions ( I forget- 7-10 million?) rounds were used by the North. The South used them too.
So... off to the lab.....
For tin foil I used the metal foil used to wrap candy. This has a paper backing you have to peel off but in any event, metal of sorts. They should all explode (mine did) but after a couple of rounds there are so many bits of unburnt foil in the chambers that you cannot fully seat another round- AND if you can't seat the round you also can't rotate the cylinder because the not-fully seated round gets jammed.
So... next I tried the Newsprint- being real sure to fully inspect the chambers before putting in another round. Newsprint works great but as I said- there is some fouling- unburnt paper and the danger of an ember somewhere in that paper.
So...on to the cigarette paper. Colt used an isosceles trapezoid with a little trap door on the shorter base. Sounded good so I did the same thing. You'll need to sand down a wood dowel as a tapered form to help wrap the paper around. The long base of the trapezoid will be the top of the shell, the angled sides are overlapped with stuck together using a glue stick. The little trap door on the shorter base becomes the bottom of the case- it is folded over and held in place with the glue stick. Now the gummed edge of the cigarette paper ought to be on the inside rim at the top of the shell. Remove the paper case from the dowel, pour in your powder charge, stick in the bullet and lick the rim of the paper- the moisture goes through the paper, activates the glue, and glues the paper shell around the base of the bullet- hold everything together about half a minute to let the glue dry.
BE SURE TO STORE the cartridges in a flame proof container and don't let any live rounds be exposed on a shooting bench, etc at the firing line, a stray spark could cause big trouble.
And....some bullets are hard to load into a Colt 36 Navy because the port in pretty small. On the 44's you'll be fine.
If anything is confusing- ask questions. Glad to help.