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Old March 22, 2014, 12:40 PM   #1
oldknotty
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Traditions 1851 revolver

I am brand new to the black powder shooting hobby , I have read a lot of stuff and the more i read the more confused i get :-) What do I need to buy in the way of shooting supplies for my pistol . I have all the hardware but i read about many different patches and caps and such things . Some with grease some without , I read about something called Bore butter?? that you stick in the cylinder after loading is it compulsory ??? The powder goes in then a cap then the ball then the butter ???? , Some say that lard works as well or some such stuff .I just want to do what is right and safe , so any advice will be well received . I buy most of my items online so any suggestions as to where i might get all this stuff would be helpful also :-)
Thanks Guys
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Old March 22, 2014, 01:38 PM   #2
wogpotter
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Read Gatofeo's sticky at the top of this forum. It will probably answer 90% of your questions.
Then we can help with the remainder. Basically you've mushed together a bunch of either/or's into a mess which is why nits so confusing..
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Old March 23, 2014, 04:52 PM   #3
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This may help as well - http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=542777, I just went through the same thing with a successful result.
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Old March 23, 2014, 09:22 PM   #4
Jetchlnger
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Hey Knotty, I'm just across the river from you. Just read the threads and you will learn. The knowledgeable people on here will answer all the questions you have. I got into this about two years ago and the folks on here helped me immensely. I'm totally hooked now, and loving BP shooting. Have fun!
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Old March 23, 2014, 10:04 PM   #5
oldknotty
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1851

Thanks Jetchinger where do you go to shoot your BP stuff .I just joined the Ready Line in Newtown you can shoot anything there really nice place :-)
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Old March 23, 2014, 10:18 PM   #6
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Yep, there is just something about shooting bp that is addictive.
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Old March 24, 2014, 07:55 AM   #7
Jetchlnger
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I used to shoot outdoors at Randy 's Range until it closed. Now I shoot indoors at Shooters right here in Independence Ky. Their ventilation system is very good.
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Old March 25, 2014, 02:31 PM   #8
maillemaker
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Quote:
I am brand new to the black powder shooting hobby , I have read a lot of stuff and the more i read the more confused i get :-) What do I need to buy in the way of shooting supplies for my pistol . I have all the hardware but i read about many different patches and caps and such things . Some with grease some without , I read about something called Bore butter?? that you stick in the cylinder after loading is it compulsory ??? The powder goes in then a cap then the ball then the butter ???? , Some say that lard works as well or some such stuff .I just want to do what is right and safe , so any advice will be well received . I buy most of my items online so any suggestions as to where i might get all this stuff would be helpful also :-)
Thanks Guys
To shoot, you will need powder, balls, caps, and, probably, filler and lube.

You will probably want to use 3F powder. Some people have found superior accuracy using 2F, but 3F is commonly used for pistols.

The amount of powder depends on the bullet caliber. Historical 1851 Navies were .36 caliber. Some reproductions are made in .44. I don't know what yours is.

You will probably find that optimal accuracy is delivered at a sub-maximum load. For .36 caliber, some people shoot 12-15 grains. For .44 caliber, some people shoot 18-25 grains.

Most people shoot round balls and the reproduction revolvers are said to have twist rates optimized for them or small conicals. Your balls should be of a size such that when they are rammed into a chamber it shaves off a small ring of lead all the way around the ball. This is critical as it insures a gas-tight fit. Without this, there is an increased chance of a "chain fire" where firing a chamber sets off the chambers next to it.

You should seat the ball only so deep that it is flush with the face of the cylinder. The idea is that by being seated closer to the rifling it will not be moving so fast when it engages the rifling and so less apt to strip lead.

If you are not using a maximum powder load, this may result in an air gap between the powder charge and the ball. This must be filled with some kind of filler or wad. I use cream of wheat.

Many people spread lube over the mouth of the chamber on top of the ball. This lubricates the bullet but also keeps the powder fouling soft making cleanup easier and allowing for more shots to be fired before the gun becomes too fouled to shoot. Many people claim this helps prevent chain fires but I am of the opinion that the majority of this is solved by a proper-fitting bullet. People have lots of recipes or store-bought solutions for this. Plain Crisco works. I use 50/50 beeswax/Crisco.

I suggest heading over to YouTube and searching for "how to load a black powder revolver" and you will no doubt find many videos of people loading and shooting BP revolvers.

Steve
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Old March 25, 2014, 02:35 PM   #9
wogpotter
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Quote:
You should seat the ball only so deep that it is flush with the face of the cylinder. The idea is that by being seated closer to the rifling it will not be moving so fast when it engages the rifling and so less apt to strip lead.

If you are not using a maximum powder load, this may result in an air gap between the powder charge and the ball. This must be filled with some kind of filler or wad. I use cream of wheat.
To clarify for a new shooter:

There must NEVER be an air gap. If you choose to shoot a load that puts you in conflict with the ball position regarding the chamber face & a ball sitting on a powder charge that allows it to sit deeper ALWAYS pick the option where the ball contacts (& even slightly compresses) the charge. The purpose of the filler mentioned is to fill that potentially dangerous air gap.
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Old March 25, 2014, 05:08 PM   #10
spacecoast
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Quote:
There must NEVER be an air gap.
When I loaded my Remington last weekend (for the first time), I just pressed the ball in as deep as it would go to the limits of the loading lever rotation, my estimate is that the top of the ball was 1/4" below the top of the chamber. I'm not sure if there was an air gap, but I suspect not much, if any, as the lubricated wad under the ball is fairly thick in its own right. I used 1.3cc of powder, about the equivalent of 23 grains of FFFg (except it was Pyrodex P).

I didn't use any additional lube on top of the bullet, my reading and forum feedback indicated it was not necessary as long as the wads were used. Also, the bullet did shave a thin lead ring, which also assured me that I had a tight seal.

Note - this is/was a .44 cal pistol, not a .36.

Last edited by spacecoast; March 25, 2014 at 05:16 PM.
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Old March 26, 2014, 05:36 AM   #11
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Spacecoast

That should be good.

I am not a "Wad guy" but that is only because I am such a terrible cheapskate.

I also have a feeling which I admit is quite irrational that the lube should precede the ball down the barrel. If you use a wad and no lube over the ball, the lube follows the bullet in the barrel.

I know this is an odd, irrational and probably and erroneous belief.
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Old March 26, 2014, 10:16 PM   #12
44 Dave
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I like to use a home made wad over powder to take space and lube. I figure the first shot is lubed by the whale oil I wipe down the barrel after cleaning. The next by the wad from the preceding shot.
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Old March 27, 2014, 01:09 AM   #13
gyvel
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I think the whole point of putting lube ahead of the bullet is to prevent chamber flashover. Multiple discharges are not pleasant and potentially dangerous, although I have had it happen a couple of times with no damage to the gun.
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