The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The North Corral > Black Powder and Cowboy Action Shooting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old July 9, 2013, 12:14 PM   #1
kayakfisher
Junior Member
 
Join Date: June 18, 2013
Posts: 4
Round Ball lubricate

I have shot black powder rifles since the time when there was only side locks on them.We always used a lubricated patched round ball.I have recently got interested in the cap and ball pistols ,I have learned how to nitrate paper to make paper loads.However the question is does that round ball have to be lubricated I know you hear grease them over ,or use lubricated wad.But you dont see them add that to any of the loads in videos and I doubt if they carried Crisco in the civil war to grease over with.Is the velocity slow enough as to not smear lead down the bore
kayakfisher is offline  
Old July 9, 2013, 12:37 PM   #2
mehavey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 17, 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,945
The roundball in a revolver is shot "naked," no lube except that (tallow/crisco/borebutter)
which is "buttered on" sealing the end of the chamber over the ball.
(It doubles to lube the ball/soften the fouling going down the barrel)

The ball should be large enough to shave a very fine ring of lead when seated.
mehavey is offline  
Old July 9, 2013, 12:54 PM   #3
Hawg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 11,753
They do need some lube. CW cartridges were loaded with conicals which were lubed in the grooves. General Lee's 51 navy was fired seven years after his death and it was noted that a black waxy substance covered the balls.
Hawg is offline  
Old July 9, 2013, 08:22 PM   #4
bedbugbilly
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 19, 2009
Posts: 2,240
I would think that if you tried to include a lubed wad in your "roll your own" cartridges, it would be hard to roll and upon loading, the wad might "tip" - which wouldn't really be a problem unless you couldn't get it all rammed in the chamber. As Hog points out, lubed conicals were used. I don't use lubed felt wads but I use lubed leather wads instead as i have a bunch of scraps to punch them from as a result of my leather work - but not in combustible cartridges. Even with the lubed wads, I apply a light ring of lube around the ball after it is seated. If you are using round balls, just carry some lube in a tin and apply it.

One word of caution . . . if you are using nitrated cartridges, make sure that when you are shooting that you keep the spares in a sealed container of some sort - all it takes is a spark. I'm sure that you are aware of that but it really is all about safety. The goes for a powder container, flask, etc. - just practice common sense. All it takes is a hot ember of some sort flying back or a piece of hot cap fragment and your handgun won't be the only thing going "bang".

Keep us posted on how your nitrated cartridges work out. I tried rolling some once and just didn't have the patience to keep at it. We'd love to see some photos of how you're doing it and what you've found to work best for making them.
__________________
If a pair of '51 Navies were good enough for Billy Hickok, then a single Navy on my right hip is good enough for me . . . besides . . . I'm probably only half as good as he was anyways. Hiram's Rangers Badge #63
bedbugbilly is offline  
Old July 9, 2013, 10:02 PM   #5
Beagle333
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 7, 2012
Location: Auburn, AL.
Posts: 1,425
You can use just the teeniest bit of lube smeared around the corners of the ball if you want to. I use a LOT of lube, just because I like to. It smells good and it helps soften fouling. Some guys use more... some use barely any.
The lubed wad is easiest, fastest, and least messy if you don't want to fool with over-ball lube. Get a wad punch and some felt and it's practically free after that. There are many threads here on making your own wads.
When you load them, the ring that is cut off makes them seal nicely... But I like to add some lube.



And if you decide to go with lube.... you decide how much .......


I made multi-colored lube last Christmas.... yes, it's really too much lube, but it looks pretty.
__________________
1860. It just feels right.
Beagle333 is offline  
Old July 10, 2013, 08:58 AM   #6
maillemaker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 30, 2010
Posts: 1,025
Quote:
I have shot black powder rifles since the time when there was only side locks on them.We always used a lubricated patched round ball.I have recently got interested in the cap and ball pistols ,I have learned how to nitrate paper to make paper loads.However the question is does that round ball have to be lubricated I know you hear grease them over ,or use lubricated wad.But you dont see them add that to any of the loads in videos and I doubt if they carried Crisco in the civil war to grease over with.Is the velocity slow enough as to not smear lead down the bore
Period cap and ball revolvers were often loaded using cartridges, which it sounds like you already know and are making. Those cartridges used conical bullets which were, as I recall, pre-lubricated in the grooves on the bullet.

When shooting round ball, the common modern practice is to either use a lubricated wad under the bullet or to "putty over" the top of the ball with lube after loading the ball into the chamber.

The lube is not necessary; It merely keeps the fouling soft to allow the gun to be shot more times and with less impact on accuracy.

Steve
maillemaker is offline  
Old July 11, 2013, 09:04 AM   #7
Rifleman1776
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 25, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 3,309
Quote:
The lube is not necessary; It merely keeps the fouling soft to allow the gun to be shot more times and with less impact on accuracy.
Absolutely incorrect.
Like any gun some lube is needed to reduce leading.
But, most importantly with a C&B revolver the lube, whether an under ball wad or over ball grease is to make a seal and prevent crossfires.
They can and do happen.
Rifleman1776 is offline  
Old July 11, 2013, 09:28 AM   #8
mykeal
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 8, 2006
Location: Northern Michigan
Posts: 2,760
Quote:
the lube...is to make a seal and prevent crossfires
Absolutely incorrect.
The temperature of the hot gases reduces the 'grease' to at least a liquid, if not a gaseous, state that is completely unable to seal anything. The only seal you can count on is mechanical, that being the ball against the chamber wall.
mykeal is offline  
Old July 11, 2013, 10:27 AM   #9
Hawg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 11,753
I dunno Mykeal. Its main purpose is to keep fouling soft but it does seal. I have one revolver with some kind of issue I've never figured out. If you don't use lube it will chain. If you do use it it wont, even if you just put a drop of oil and let it run around the edge of the balls it won't.
Hawg is offline  
Old July 11, 2013, 12:49 PM   #10
n5lyc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 11, 2009
Posts: 170
I have been cutting my own felt wads for years, They are lubed.
The ones that I have been using lately are from an old (100% wool) cowboy hat (Resistol brand) It was tattered and crushed, bought it at a local auction for $1.

I ran it through the washer a few times to make sure it had no water displacement chemicals in it.

let it dry, then using a .38spl case that was sharpened with a case reamer tool. cut out my .36 caliber wads.
I use a sharpened .45 acp or .45LC case for my .44 caliber wads.
then lube them with bore butter.

I can go more than 48 shots in my 1861 .36 ASM with no cleaning.

The key is getting the right amount of lube, not enough and you crust up.


I like the multi colored lube on the colt in the above photo.

I have been shooting BP revolvers since the late 70's and I have NEVER had a chain fire. ( knock on wood)
But, I have always been careful in my loading technique, (not spilling powder all over the cylinder face and such) always using either a lubed wad under the ball or lube over the ball) and using the correct size ball.

I have tried #10 caps, but they are too tight on the nipples (that hurt) and required a second hammer strike.
So, I just squeeze my #11's a little and put them on..
__________________
I make 2 predictions:
ON THE DATE WHEN US TROOPS ARE ISSUED AN Energy Pulse Weapon,
1. The US Soldier will have on his person a version of the Colt 1911.
2. He will be aiming the NEW Weapon at someone carrying an AK.

Last edited by n5lyc; July 11, 2013 at 01:00 PM.
n5lyc is offline  
Old July 11, 2013, 01:23 PM   #11
swathdiver
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 19, 2012
Location: Treasure Coast, Florida
Posts: 147
BedBugBilly: I've made paper cartridges from rolling papers and used a lubricated felt wad inside them too. Thus far they've shot just fine, 1, 3 and 5 months after being made and wrapped up.
swathdiver is offline  
Old July 11, 2013, 02:25 PM   #12
mykeal
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 8, 2006
Location: Northern Michigan
Posts: 2,760
I can accept that the melting lube extracts heat from the gas, thus lowering the temperature a bit. The gas would be cooler when reaching the powder, maybe too cool to ignite it. But that's a minor effect; it would reduce the probability of a chain fire, not necessarily prevent it reliably. I just don't see how a puddle of melted lube creates a seal; a high temp gas under (or more correctly, propelled by) pressure will go right through it.
mykeal is offline  
Old July 11, 2013, 02:29 PM   #13
Old Stony
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 31, 2013
Location: East Texas
Posts: 648
I love the idea of using stuff like the old hat to make wads from. Black powder shooters are very resourceful in finding things that work for them. I had a fair sized bolt of really tough curtain material that I have made patches from for many years. I have occasionally torn a yard or two off for another shooter along the way and I still see a familiar flowery pattern on the range from them now and then. Congrats on your your ingenuity with the "hat" wads.
Old Stony is offline  
Old July 11, 2013, 03:42 PM   #14
maillemaker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 30, 2010
Posts: 1,025
Quote:
Absolutely incorrect.
Like any gun some lube is needed to reduce leading.
But, most importantly with a C&B revolver the lube, whether an under ball wad or over ball grease is to make a seal and prevent crossfires.
They can and do happen.
It is my opinion that at the velocities we are shooting and given the generally low number of shots fired between cleanings that leading is not much of an issue.

Next time I go shooting I will take a look down the barrel in between loadings and see if I see any "whiskers" down there.

Likewise I am skeptical that lube does much for chain fires. The side blast from shooting one chamber on my 1858 blows most of the lube out of the adjacent cylinders. I suspect that the majority of the chain fire prevention comes from a well-fitting bullet.

So I still believe that the primary function of lube is to keep the fouling soft. I could be wrong.

Steve
maillemaker is offline  
Old July 11, 2013, 04:24 PM   #15
Hawg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 11,753
I don't know how it works Mykeal but I do know it does work.
Hawg is offline  
Old July 11, 2013, 05:07 PM   #16
bedbugbilly
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 19, 2009
Posts: 2,240
swathdiver - Interesting to hear that . . . obviously your wads have "just the right amount" of lube so it doesn't saturate the powder over time. After loading, are you putting any lube on top of the ball or does your wad seem to be sufficient?

As I stated, I use leather for my wads and have had good luck with them (not in cartridges though). I usually melt up a pound of Crisco and a toilet bowl ring in the microwave, toss them in and then get them out with a strainer - put 'em on paper towel and blot them. When cool, they are more "waxy" feeling than anything elst but they seem to keep the fouling down as I can easily go through 6 to 8 or 10 cylinders full with no problem - and I've never had a problem with the arbor getting fouled as well. You've answered my thoughts and questions on whether a wad in a combustible cartridge would cause any problem in the ramming of the cartridge but it obviously doesn't. Good to know.

I'm assuming that you are rolling on a tapered dowl, sealing the powder end, filling with powder and then inserting your wad followed by the ball? What are you using to seal the ends? (glue stick? or other?). It sounds like you have your "system" all worked out and it is working well . . . it's nice when things go well!

If possible, could you post a photo of one of your cartridges? How far does your rolled tube extend up over the ball? Thanks!
__________________
If a pair of '51 Navies were good enough for Billy Hickok, then a single Navy on my right hip is good enough for me . . . besides . . . I'm probably only half as good as he was anyways. Hiram's Rangers Badge #63
bedbugbilly is offline  
Old July 12, 2013, 08:01 AM   #17
ChaperallCat
Junior member
 
Join Date: June 14, 2013
Posts: 81
before he died, Colt did a study on chain fired. he wrote a small pamphlet about it. he discovered several facts.

Chain fires that originate at the muzzle end happen because of

1. the bullet was to small/oddly shaped and did not obturate to the muzzle
2. the chamber itself was not properly drilled, and was out of round and prevented a proper obturation of ball to chamber wall.

chain fires that originate at the hammer end

1. poorly fitting caps allow reciol to slam them into the recoil shield and go off.
2. over long nipples allow the cap to contact the recoil shield upon firing.

he demonstrated a properly machined chamber and a properly obturated ball will not chainfire from the muzzle end. he loaded revolvers, filled the end of the chamber over the ball with priming powder and shot at the cieling, nothing with a proper chamber and ball chainfired.

as for lubing, yes you will be gooder as to cleaning the barrel and improve accuracy if you lube. however colt did design a lubricator system, but never produced it. no one really cared.

i can get lead fouling with 5 shots of .452 round ball without lube or wadding. its no hassle.
ChaperallCat is offline  
Old August 8, 2013, 12:21 AM   #18
62coltnavy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 1, 2011
Posts: 215
"I have tried #10 caps, but they are too tight on the nipples (that hurt) and required a second hammer strike.
So, I just squeeze my #11's a little and put them on.. "

Dynamil Nobel (made in Germany) makes caps in 1075 can take care of that problem. Just a tad smaller than an 11.
62coltnavy is offline  
Old August 8, 2013, 04:26 AM   #19
Hawg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 11,753
Quote:
Dynamil Nobel (made in Germany) makes caps in 1075 can take care of that problem. Just a tad smaller than an 11
They may be a little smaller than a U.S. made cap but they are a #11 cap. 1075 is their part number, not a size.
Hawg is offline  
Old August 8, 2013, 06:15 AM   #20
mykeal
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 8, 2006
Location: Northern Michigan
Posts: 2,760
"No. 11" isn't a 'size' either. It's just a part number. If "No. 10" and "No. 11" were actually 'sizes', then Remington No. 11's and CCI No. 11's would have the same dimensions.
mykeal is offline  
Old August 8, 2013, 06:59 AM   #21
Bezoar
Junior member
 
Join Date: October 19, 2004
Location: michigan
Posts: 578
you will get fouling with a plain lead round ball and the barrel.

one cylinder left a good deal of streaking around the forcing cone. Two seconds with cleaner and it was gone.
Bezoar is offline  
Old August 8, 2013, 08:20 AM   #22
Lt. Skrumpledonk Ret
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 30, 2012
Location: Oh, Jesus.
Posts: 206
Squeezing a cap

Quote:
So, I just squeeze my #11's a little and put them on.

Do you do this with your fingers, or pliers or something?
I want to try this but I'm afraid of it going off in my hand.
Lt. Skrumpledonk Ret is offline  
Old August 8, 2013, 09:05 AM   #23
Smokin'Joe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 27, 2010
Posts: 136
Best Way to Make Loose Caps Fit Tight

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...94#post5034094
Smokin'Joe is offline  
Old August 8, 2013, 11:33 AM   #24
Lt. Skrumpledonk Ret
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 30, 2012
Location: Oh, Jesus.
Posts: 206
Ka-blamo! There goes a fingernail

Has anyone had a cap blow when they gave it a little pinch?


Sorry to hijack this thread.
Lt. Skrumpledonk Ret is offline  
Old August 8, 2013, 02:15 PM   #25
bedbugbilly
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 19, 2009
Posts: 2,240
Lt. - I never have and I've been shooting BP 50 + years. When you pinch 'em . . . just use common sense and do it gently. That said . . . try and get the correct size percussion cap to fit your nipple . . . then you'll only have to pinch as a last resort.
__________________
If a pair of '51 Navies were good enough for Billy Hickok, then a single Navy on my right hip is good enough for me . . . besides . . . I'm probably only half as good as he was anyways. Hiram's Rangers Badge #63
bedbugbilly is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:47 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.11615 seconds with 9 queries