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Old June 3, 2009, 12:26 PM   #1
Andy Griffith
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Best paper for "tougher" combustible cartridges?

I've been lurking here and many other places for a while on this subject, as well as trying a few concoctions in my spare time.

This past week, I got a chance to peruse through one of my friends "advanced" for lack of a better word- Civil War collection.

I took a close look and handled very carefully some "vintage" revolver and rifle paper cartridges. What really got me was the fact that the paper was far heavier and much more substantial than cigarette or "onion skin" paper.

I've been using onion skin paper (after I nitrate it) in my production of paper cartridges for a while now, and have been fairly pleased with the results. I have never had a misfire or any debris left in the chambers as yet, so I really don't have much to complain about. However...

I am thinking of trying some of the heavier bond linen paper for cartridges in the hopes that they may be tougher and hold up better to rigors of field use when I'm out and about and going to the range.

Has anyone else used linen or cotton bond paper to make cartridges?
Any comments?
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Old June 3, 2009, 04:14 PM   #2
Hawg Haggen
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I use tea bags. Tougher and burn clean. Standard caps have no trouble blowing through them.
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Old June 3, 2009, 04:59 PM   #3
Oldfalguy
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thats sounds like a good idea

Hawg-
You mentioned tea bags- Am I to assume you nitrate them too?
I figure you do so. Is it one tea bag per cartridge? Pistol or rifle-
I too would like to make up a few for a case set I intend to put together.

Mark
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Old June 3, 2009, 07:54 PM   #4
Deadguy
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Where do you get tea bags? Or do you just buy regular tea at the grocery store and dump the tea out of the bags....
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Old June 3, 2009, 08:20 PM   #5
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I use homemade nitrated phonebook paper...
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Old June 3, 2009, 08:21 PM   #6
Hawg Haggen
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Quote:
Hawg-
You mentioned tea bags- Am I to assume you nitrate them too?
I figure you do so. Is it one tea bag per cartridge? Pistol or rifle-
I too would like to make up a few for a case set I intend to put together.
No sir I do not nitrate them. No need to. I use cheap flow through bags. Dump the tea and I get four .44 cartridges out of each one. I could measure closer and get more out of each bag but a box of bags will make 96 .44 cartridges for around 1.50.
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Old June 3, 2009, 09:47 PM   #7
Andy Griffith
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I've thought about trying the tea bags after seeing your suggestion in a previous thread...but It'd have to be after they were used.

I'm going to try the linen paper. I just nitrated six pieces of Southworth 50% cotton-linen ivory paper and am going to let them dry overnight and make cartridges on Friday. This heavy paper really can't be twisted- it'll have to be folded neatly and use some water glass to seal the edges.

At least, I'll have the prettiest cartridges or the ugliest- totally depending on my slight of hand skills.

I'll be adventuresome and try it- twelve of them should be enough to know, wouldn't you think? I'm not going to put a projectile in these test cartridges though- just for ease of experimenting, and fire them one shot in a cylinder at a time- just in case I get a misfire.
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Old June 3, 2009, 10:02 PM   #8
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The cheaper the tea bags the better..........I'm talking Dollar store type quality.

To see how easy they burn, empty one, lay it out on a plate and light it............the cheap ones burn so easily they lift right of the plate and float around while burning. A perfect paper for cartridges.
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Old June 3, 2009, 11:13 PM   #9
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Big Bore Nitrated Paper carts .54 cal.(phonebook paper)
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Old June 3, 2009, 11:33 PM   #10
the rifleer
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pardon my ignorance, but to use a paper cartridge can you simply put it down the chamber/barrel, or do you have to tear it open first?

Does this work for a revolver? That would be great if i could make a cartridge that i could simply measure powder, put a little bit of corn meal in along with a ball, then just ram it down, cap and fire.

PS- I know this is off topic, but will corn meal replace coating the cylinder with grease?
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Old June 4, 2009, 08:31 AM   #11
Andy Griffith
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Yes, you can make cartridges that you drop into the cylinder whole- without tearing them apart.

Either nitrated paper of some type must be used, cigarette rolling papers or paper that ignites easily, like tea bag paper suggested above.

I have never used cornmeal or cream of wheat in my loading. I probably wouldn't suggest it in a paper cartridge on the grounds (no pun intended) that, in my thinking, it would easily mix with the powder and offer no help whatsoever.

There was a thread a while back on someone placing wonder wads or similar in the cartridges made by him between the powder and the ball/conical. This I think is a good idea, but he stated that the lube/wax in the wad would dampen the paper of the cartridge. It doesn't take much to dampen a cigarette paper and ruin it!

I just suggest purchasing one of those brass squeezer things and keep it full of Crisco and top off each chamber with it. Simple and effective, and you look good having more shiny accouterments .
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Old June 4, 2009, 11:12 AM   #12
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I've switched from rolling papers (too fragile) to tracing paper for my .36's. I found that both burn at the same rate and that both burn faster if un-nitrated, BUT the slightly heavier Mead paper allows me to compress my powder load tightly in the cartridge tube, (something I can't do with the wigglely teabag paper)... before sealing the ball end with Liquid Bandage. Right now, I'm using 22 grains of Pyrodex P, capped with 7 grains of grits, greased/waxed felt, and .380 ball.

I've had my Pietta's chambers reamed to .375 and slightly chamfered. Irregardless of any arguements... pro or con for chamfering, the chamfer eases the loading of paper cartridges... as any sharp edges tend to snag and tear the paper, spilling the contents.
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Old June 4, 2009, 12:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
use a paper cartridge can you simply put it down the chamber/barrel, or do you have to tear it open first?
No you would not want to do that ... the old Muskets and Rifles during the War between the State, the paper was torn open and poured down the barrel than paper cart and boolit rammed down on the powder.
Unless you have a Sharps breech loading Paper Cutter rifle that cuts the cartridge where the musket cap channel is.

Revolvers have a direct path to the paper cart and usually ignite them without having to rupture the paper before loading...one can always use a nipple pick or paperclip to puncture though the flash hole of the cone. Loading and ramming the boolits usually opens the powder to the flash hole.
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Old June 5, 2009, 07:43 AM   #14
madcratebuilder
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I have way to many projects as is so making nitrated paper was not going to happen. Then I ran across these papers, ready to go. Gal in Texas makes and sells them. I bought some, she added a bunch of extras
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Old June 5, 2009, 10:03 AM   #15
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Andy G. the brass squeezer things ? Need more inf.. link were to purchase, pic, please help the clueless
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Old June 5, 2009, 10:26 AM   #16
Andy Griffith
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Grease dispenser

The Dixie Gun Works part number is MI0110.
They run about $35.00 now, I think I payed $25 several years ago.

It does work with some heavier lubes, such as paraffin/beeswax/tallow mixture too.

I agree that it is an indispensable, er...dispenser.

Last edited by Andy Griffith; June 5, 2009 at 10:36 AM.
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Old June 12, 2009, 10:51 AM   #17
Deadguy
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For those of you that use tea bags for cartridges, what sort of glue do you use? I have made cartridges out of cigarette papers in the past using the glue that comes on them.
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Old June 12, 2009, 11:27 AM   #18
Hawg Haggen
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Quote:
For those of you that use tea bags for cartridges, what sort of glue do you use?
Elmers.
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Old June 12, 2009, 06:48 PM   #19
Deadguy
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Thanks. I tried an Elmers glue stick today, and it worked very well.
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Old June 12, 2009, 07:28 PM   #20
Oldfalguy
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rolling one's own

Is there a dowel rod the right size for .44 & .36 to wrap the paper around ?With my luck da answer is NO. But something the right shape so we could easily form a nice flat bottom on one end with the powder, wad then ball with paper up to/over the ball a bit and sealed with liquid bandage etc.
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Old June 12, 2009, 07:43 PM   #21
Deadguy
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A 3/8" dowel works well for .36 and a 7/16" dowel works for the .44. That's what I've been using, no problems, Just wrap the paper SLIGHTLY loose on the 7/16" dowel for the .44's.
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Old June 12, 2009, 11:22 PM   #22
Hawg Haggen
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I wrap the paper around the ball and glue it to the fat part of the ball on .44's and my dowel is concave on the end so the ball will sit in it while I wrap the paper around the dowel. Once it's glued it'll slip of the dowel and you add your pre-measured powder charge. Twist the end and tie it off with thread or you can fold it and tie it off or just glue it and cut off the excess. You want the dowel a little smaller than the ball so your powder doesn't bunch up and make the cartridge bigger than the ball.
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Old June 13, 2009, 05:25 PM   #23
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Intersting reading, i think i will go and have a cup of
tea.:d
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