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Old September 5, 2004, 10:22 AM   #1
drdirk
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revolver: wad vs crisco

Hi to all: Just got my new Old Army and started shooting it. Worked well except that some of the caps did not go off on the first strike, will have to try a different brand. Would like your opinion on Wad vs grease?? Have been shooting powder, ball and then grease. Any of you you prefer wads? If you shoot with a wad, what is the proper way to place it. Do you ram it in with the loadinglever and then the ball? How do you get the wad to sit over the powder correctly?

Thanks to all!
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Old September 6, 2004, 09:03 AM   #2
Fred S
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I've only used Crisco and it can be messy. I would be interested in hearing about wads too.
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Old September 6, 2004, 12:22 PM   #3
4V50 Gary
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Crisco here as well as a corn meal or farina (either are rancid throwaways) as a filler. Why Crisco? CHEAP. Besides, it helps to keep the fouling down.
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Old September 23, 2004, 08:27 PM   #4
Seveninchheels
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Im also curious

I havent shot my dragoon yet. I will be using bore butter when i do for the first time. But i am also very curious over the wad vs grease question.
I have heard that shooting with the grease is a good thing because it lubes up the bore and ball good and keeps the fouling soft. I have heard bad things about crisco .. the only good things ive heard are that it works .. and yes it is cheaper. Have also heard that on a hot day it may run off before it is implemented. ??
So to my question on the wad vs butter scenario if i used a wad wouldnt it be nescessary to pre-lube them somehow? and if they were prelubed how good is this lube and how good is it gonna be on my pistol bore?

keep in mind i have not fired BP yet at all ... this is stuff ive been studying on.
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Old September 23, 2004, 08:34 PM   #5
Seveninchheels
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One More Thing !!

DRDIRK
im not trying to shanghai your post

I also pose the same question if using a wad

a. set the wad over a powder filled chamber put the ball over the wad and run them under the loading lever together until snugged up against powder ???????
OR
b. set the wad up against the powder with the loading lever seperately before loading the round ball? ?? ?? ?
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Old September 23, 2004, 09:26 PM   #6
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The rammer only rams so far (unless you load the cylinder out of the revolver). In that case, better to ram ball over the wad to ensure depth of the wad. My opinion only and I'm cheap and don't buy wads. I use farina. Gatofeo (ugly cat) might know.
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Old September 23, 2004, 10:00 PM   #7
Jbar4Ranch
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Crisco here. My Old Army will put all 6 balls into 1 1/2" @ 25 yards most of the time. I tried some 200 grain .45acp SWC's once, they barely fit without taking the cylinder out and shot like hell. These things are made for round balls.
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Old September 25, 2004, 01:15 AM   #8
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Misfiring is almost as hard on the nipples as dry firing is, so you want to get that figured out. It is possible that the hammer face might not be contacting all of the nipples properly. I use a strip of a white business card to verify that correct alignment exists on each nipple. Bring the hammer to full cock and slip the strip over the nipple (might have to tweak the paper a little to get it in there). Thumb the hammer down to about halfcock position and let it fall from there. There should be a full circle imprint on the paper from the nipple (helps if the nipples aren't sparkling clean). A crescent shaped mark verifies that there is misalignment. Besides causing misfires, this condition also causes primers to blow out, peices of which often get lodged in the action.

About Crisco: Never mind a hot day, after a couple of cylinders full of hot charcoal Crisco runs about the consistency of 3-in-1 oil (at best). Bore Butter comes in a tube, about the consistency of a light grease, and in a jar that is a LOT firmer. I start out using the former, then switch to the latter when things start warming up. I'll never do Crisco again, the stuff is just plain nasty by comparison.

I'd think that when using a wad, you'd want to get it down on the powder first, then seat the ball. Reason being, you *know* that the wad went in right, and there is no possibility of chopping part of it off or dragging fibers down between the ball & cylinder.

Of course, I've NEVER shot a BP revolver "dry" (without grease over the ball) because of the stories of multiple discharging, but I'd still question what really makes it happen. The face of my .44 chambers are nice & sharp, and shave a considerable little ring of lead off of a .451 round ball when it is pressed in. There is a nice safe feeling of resistence as the ball is pushed on down to the powder. It really feels like a better seal could not be made. I suspect that there is about a 1/8" ring of lead firmly contacting the inside of the cylinder wall. I use a top coating mainly for the lubrication factor, but I do value my hands, fingers, eyes, etc; don't wanna be one of the people who find out first hand that it is neccesary
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Old September 25, 2004, 03:08 PM   #9
Seveninchheels
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found an informative post

that talks about using wads

http://www.frontierspot.org/viewtopi...2c8b17c1067079
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Old October 1, 2004, 10:26 PM   #10
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I much prefer a greased, felt wad between the ball and powder, to any lubricant over the ball. My revolver shoots cleaner, and longer, with much less mess and trouble.
See my post, "How to Properly Use a Cap & Ball Sixgun" for specifics, but I'll briefly note:

Felt wads with dry lubricant, such as the Wonder Wad, are not nearly as effective as a greased wad. And the most effective grease I've found to lubricate a felt wad is an old recipe of mutton tallow, paraffin and beeswax.
I believe that the paraffin stiffens the felt wad somewhat, making it an effective fouling scraper as it goes down the bore.
Recovered wads have shown a negative impression of the rifling, indicating that each wad got down into the grooves and helped to remove fouling.

I rarely use lubricant over the ball, in conjunction with a greased felt wad. An exception is when the weather is very hot and dry. Here in the Utah, I've seen 110 degrees and 6 percent humidity. Grease over the ball helped in that instance but in retrospect I should have just stayed in my air conditioned home and avoided such heat altogether.

The use of wads is much cleaner, though not faster than using grease. Placing grease over the wads is faster, if you use a small squeeze tube. If you use a small container of grease, use a Popsicle stick to smear it over the balls.
I push the wad into a charged chamber with my thumb, until it's slightly below flush. Then I seat the wad with my rammer.
I do all chambers I intend to shoot this way, then begin ramming the balls down. If a filler such as corn meal is required, I put the filler atop the seated wad before ramming the ball.
Why ram each wad as a separate operation? I get a better feel for how much pressure I'm applying. Also, should I ram a felt wad in an uncharged chamber, it's a heck of a lot easier to remove a felt wad than a tightly jammed lead ball.

How do I get the wad seated correctly over the powder? If the wad is tilted a little, it will be straightened out by the rammer. But if it's badly tipped, I simply tip it back to level with a small wooden dowel.
If you wish to go to the trouble, you can thumb the wads into each chamber, then remove the cylinder and push the wad straight into the powder with a short length of dowel: 3/8" for the .36 and 7/16" for the .44 and .45 calibers.
After seating the wads straight onto the powder, return the cylinder to the revolver and finish ramming them firmly onto the powder, using the rammer.
This is a lot of bother. Frankly, I haven't found any advantage to it, but it's an option.

Crisco works well. Don't let anyone tell you different. I started using it in the early 1970s when it and axle grease were all that was available. I still like Crisco for greasing teh cylinder pin, sides of hammer, bolt and hand. It will keep parts moving smoothly.
However, I'm not fond of it for smearing over the ball. While it works fine, it's messier than Hell. It also melts quickly and runs out of the chambers.
I doubt that this loss affects accuracy much, but it sure makes a mess in a holster! It also makes a greasy mess of your revolver.

You may buy wads, or punch your own. Keep them in an easy open can, like an Altoids Sour Tangerine or Sour Apple can, or an old shoe polish can with the little easy opener on the side. Tight fitting lids are very difficult to open with greasy fingers!

A couple notes of warning:
Never, EVER use Preparation H hemmorhoid ointment as a grease. I heard of a fellah that did and by the time he'd finished shooting, his .44-caliber Walker was shrunk down to a .31 Pocket Pistol!
Conversely, I heard of a guy that accidentally sprinkled some Miracle-Gro fertilizer into his homemade bullet lubricant. After just a few shots, his bullets would no longer fit in the chamber!
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Old October 3, 2004, 09:59 AM   #11
grislyatoms
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Still a relative newbie.

I use a wad (wonder wads) AND Crisco.

Here is how I load:

Drop powder, then seat a wad on the chamber. (Seating a wad at this point prevents powder from spilling out, so I can lay the revolver down to measure my next charge. It also gives me a readily visible "indicator" of which chambers I have charged and which ones I haven't) Rinse and repeat until I have all six chambers charged / wadded.

Seat ball on top of wad and ram it down. Rinse and repeat.

Using my pinkie finger, I get a glob of Crisco and smear it on top of the chambers, wiping off the excess with a rag.

P.S. I have had great results with Remington caps, FWIW.
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Old October 4, 2004, 01:49 PM   #12
Gunsmith4570
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Grease v. Wads

I started shooting BP revolvers long time back and have used both grease(crisco, axle grease, bore butter, etc.) here in the OK. panhandle we have nice hot summers so when wads came along I started using them and to date have found nothing I like better( as compared to having grease melt and run all over the in side of your holster) also from an accuracy stand point the best accuracy I have had from my 1851 navy has been done with wads. as far as cleaning is concerned if we were really woried about cleaning up we would shoot smokeless.
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Old October 4, 2004, 02:34 PM   #13
Cap n ball
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I used Crisco a couple of times but I really didn't enjoy shooting with a slippery grip. Then I switched to wonder wads and it was acceptable but the fouling was worse. What Gatofeo said is right on. I started using his recipe about a month ago when he posted it in another thread either here or over at THR and it works like a charm. The man knows his stuff.
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Old October 4, 2004, 04:25 PM   #14
davem
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wads vs Grease

I think wads are the way to go because dealing with grease is a mess. I use wonder wads for conveninece although I have also made my own. Charge the chamber and add a wad, then the ball. That's it. I don't grease the end of the cylinder since the wad is greased. The ball should be very close to the end of the cylinder. Some folks use a filler but I put in a heavier powder charge. Always seat the ball tight on the powder. To my knowledge both methods were used years ago.
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Old October 5, 2004, 01:00 PM   #15
RobW
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Since it is quiet hot around here, over the bullet grease is a total mess. I changed to Wonder Wads on top of the powder seated firm on the powder, than bullet.

It is very expensive, but you can get unlubed wads from www.buffaloarms.com 1000pcs @ $20.00 and lube them yourself with your favourite concoction (Gatofeos is best).

I think the threat of chain-fires comes rather from the caps than the chamber-mouths. The Lyman Blackpowder-Handbook 1987 (I think) had a photo on the cover, showing the firing of a BP-revolver. The sparks from the caps were awesome!
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Old October 7, 2004, 11:54 PM   #16
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Quote:
I think the threat of chain-fires comes rather from the caps than the chamber-mouths.
My thought exactly (I just ran off at the mouth until I forgot what it was I was trying to say ).
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Old October 14, 2004, 10:33 PM   #17
kelsey
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My first handgun ever was a Ruger Old Army. I started out using crisco, but in the heat of the Columbia basin, it turned out to be a mess. I switched over to wonder wads about 10 years ago. I have been really pleased with the performance, although, after some extended shooting the gun tends to get a little stiff. I just apply a little lube to the cylinder pin and hammer pin, and it makes it feel like brand new.

I load the wad in between the ball and powder and have had very good success with it!

Good Luck and Enjoy!


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Old October 30, 2004, 10:21 PM   #18
Gatofeo
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Kelsey, you live in the Columbia Basin? I was born in Washington and raised in Spokane. Mannnnnn, I know how HOT it can get in central Washington state, among that lava rock and sagebrush. Yowch!
Spokane gets hot too, though it's on the fringe of the hottest part.
This is why I started using wads years ago. I used Crisco for many years but it created a mess and the grips got slippery after a while. Crisco is still good stuff, though. I use it on occasion for black powder purposes.

Thanks to some of you who praised the lubricant recipe I posted.
It isn't mine. I found it in a 1943 issue of the American Rifleman, and it was old when printed. It was originally used by the factories for lubricating heeled bullets, such as the .22 rimfires, .32, .38 and .41 Long Colt.
I've used it for heeled bullets in my 1892 Marlin, which uses the .32 Long Colt cartridge.
The original recipe calls for tallow and paraffin. I use mutton tallow and canning paraffin. I use canning paraffin because of its purity; who knows what's in candles, especially the scented variety?
The recipe is 1 part mutton tallow, 1 part paraffin and 1/2 part beeswax. All measurements are by weight, not volume. I use a kitchen scale to measure 200/200/100 grams of ingredients, then place them in a widemouth, quart Mason jar. The jar is then placed into 3 or 4 inches of boiling water, for a double boiler effect (the safest way to melt greases and waxes).
When everything is melted, stir well with a clean stick or disposable chopstick.
Allow to cool at room temperature. Hastening cooling by placing the jar in the refrigerator may cause ingredients to separate.
This lubricant is not only good for wads, it's excellent for lead bullets with black powder (in muzzleloaders or cartridge guns), or as a patch lubricant with round balls.
This lubricant will, however, dry out over time. Most lubricants do. When it comes to storing wads, I use an Altoids sour fruit candy tin. This round tin has a depression to press that pops the lid right off (handy when fingers are greasy) yet seals very tightly. Barring this, use a clean tuna or pet food can with a snap-top plastic lid (available in the pet food aisle).

I think greased felt wads are the way to go. I don't much care for the dry lubricant used in Wonder Wads. It just doesn't seem to lubricate as well as a moist lubricant. It takes a little effort to make the above lubricant, and to grease the wads, but it's worth it.
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Old November 10, 2004, 07:58 PM   #19
Bart Noir
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Ok Seveninchheels, just what kind of footware do you have on when turning powder into smoke and noise?

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Old January 7, 2005, 08:35 PM   #20
Ozzieman
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Try a product called "Spitball"

It comes in a plastic bottle with a flip cap that is great for filling the chambers above the ball. Crisco is a mess this stuff is much better altho more expensive. Using wads I would still use greese to keep from having multple fires.
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Old January 8, 2005, 01:55 AM   #21
aussie bob
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G'day,

Some years ago I used solid cooking oil (Crisco, No Frills Type). Worked ok but it did melt and run and most of the other things mentioned in this thread. What caused me to give it up was when we were shooting into the wind on a target range. Before long I had disappeared in a swarm of flies. I couldn't work out why I had more flies than the others. I was the only dumb one using food type lubricants. :barf: I don't now.

I use Castrol PH (zinc based) grease. Cheap and washes out with soap and water. For you blokes with a girl let me say they will be pleased and you can spend more money on shooting instead of cleaning bills or new clothes.

Cheers from down under
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Old January 8, 2005, 03:39 PM   #22
Steve499
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I've had good luck with a 50-50 mix of beeswax and olive oil melted together.
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Old January 10, 2005, 09:16 PM   #23
Gatofeo
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Steve:
I often seen this recipe offered but are the olive oil and beeswax measured by volume or weight?
What is the consistency? I'd like to find a grease a little thinner than Crisco, made from natural ingredients, for the cylinder pin and rear area of the cylinder.
Presently, I use CVA Grease Patch and found it very good. But it's often difficult to find. To me, it appears to be little more than a mix of beeswax and some kind of vegetable oil.
Thanks.
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Old January 11, 2005, 12:59 PM   #24
Steve499
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Gatofeo, I mix mine by volume. I put two marks on the inside of whatever container I'm melting the mixture in. Both are spaced an equal distance apart (the first one inch from the bottom, the second two inches from the bottom.) I add olive oil until it reaches the first mark. I put chunks of beeswax in the olive oil until the level reaches the second mark. When heated, the wax melts and mixes well with the olive oil with very little stirring.
After the mixture has cooled some but is still liquid, I pour it into styrofoam cups. When it has cooled and solidified it contracts enough that it pulls away from the sides of the cup and can be dumped out of the cup. A little time in the freezer speeds things up. I use dental floss to cut the cup-shaped cake into smaller slices (make a loop around the cake and pull both ends of the floss, like a garrotte.)
The consistency is stiff enough to adhere well to the lube rings of a minie ball or fill a revolver chamber over the ball. I just rub the cake over the edge of the chamber mouth so some is shaved off, then use my finger to push it equally around so the ball is totally covered. During extremely hot weather the cake gets a little soft but I have never had it get even a little runny.
This mixture seems to keep powder fouling soft. I can shoot 40 to 50 rounds through a .58 rifled musket without experiencing loading difficulties. I suppose one could alter the ratio ( more oil, less wax ) to make it softer for use as a patch lube, but I use it at 50-50 and it works for me.
Another use, though unrelated to firearms, is that it makes an excellent wood finish for my osage orange self bows and tomahawk handles. It'll also fix your chapped hands. Heck, it probably could be used as survival food!
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Old January 15, 2005, 12:22 AM   #25
Gatofeo
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Um .. don't eat that olive oil and beeswax mix or you may find yourself sleeping in the bathtub with the drain open!
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