Never had a chain fire, and I just use lubed wads, no Crisco on the ends anymore. I started that way, but in the summertime Texas heat, it just got too damn soupy. I guess with the Italian guns, it's luck of the draw. I got a Pietta 1860 about 2 and a half yrs ago or so, and haven't had any problems. I too am kind of tired paying for the wads, but Gatefeo's idea is one that I am planning on going to. either get the old felt hats at garage sales, or order the felt online. Still cheaper than buying em from Cabelas. The gasket paper idea is a pretty good one too!
"I'm your huckleberry, it's just my game"