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Old September 3, 2011, 11:09 AM   #1
bigminnow
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Another noob question

Another noob question...

I was reading about loading revolver cylinders and the instructions say the loaded ball should be flush with the top of the cylinder or just below the top.

They say to use an approved "filler" after putting the powder in to fill the void so the ball will be higher up in the cylinder.

I have been loading this way; powder, one of those pre-cut lubed patches, press it down good, then the ball pressed down goood.

Needless to say, the ball is not flush with the top of the cylinder.

What's the pros and cons of NOT loading so the ball is flush with the top of the cylinder? Is there going to be long term wear and tear on the revolver? Should I use something to fill the void so the ball is just below the cylinder top?

Thanks...
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Old September 3, 2011, 11:17 AM   #2
Hawg Haggen
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Unless you're shooting competition from a bench rest I doubt you'll notice any difference, I don't.
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Old September 3, 2011, 11:25 AM   #3
Lee McNelly
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noob

seems u r worring
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Old September 3, 2011, 02:44 PM   #4
Fingers McGee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawg Haggen
Unless you're shooting competition from a bench rest I doubt you'll notice any difference, I don't.
+1. I always thought it was a waste of good filler material.
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Old September 3, 2011, 03:11 PM   #5
sltm1
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+2....also the filler stinks when lit on fire!! Black powder smoke odor is like fine scotch, it should never be dilluted LOL
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Old September 3, 2011, 06:56 PM   #6
robhof
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robhof

I tried my ROA with fillers and without, my conclusion was that the difference was less than my standard deviation, thus a waste of time. Now on my 357max DW; putting the bullets closer to the end of the cylinder closed my group from 1 1/4" to 7/8" but that's modern and benchrest firing.
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Old September 3, 2011, 07:29 PM   #7
Bishop Creek
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I have found that I get tighter groups with 25 grains of black powder and a little Cream of Wheat filler in my 1858 Remington.
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Old September 3, 2011, 09:26 PM   #8
bigminnow
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LOL!!! Cream of Wheat!!! ROFLAMO!! Well that hit me as funny!!!

All the while I was thinking before I asked this question...I've seen people cook food while driving on a long trip...wrapping up stuff in aluminum foil and sticking it all over the engine...and I saw a tv show a week or so ago with these guys driving across death valley and one of them put a can of beans under the hood so it would be hot when he got there...I was thinking, what an idiot...you better punch a hole in that can or it will pop on ya. He didn't and it did...what a mess.

And I got to thinking maybe I could fill the cyl with some packed concoction and have some appetizer nibblers after shooting...they'd probably be stuck to the target but you could scrape them off and chew on'em...(ok, i've been told I think outside the box and I usually say "what box"...)

Anyway...Lee I'm not really worrying just curious. I just didn't want to do anything (or not do something) that might cause long term damage to these revolvers.

I might try a filler sometime just to say I did but I reckon if I keep my loads reasonable and don't engage in match shooting...you all have confirmed everything will be fine either way.

I'm feeling less like a noob all the time. I think I'm going to take that ASM I just bought and take it apart and clean it up real good, polish the brass out a little too. If you see a post about how to reassamble one of these things you'll know it didn't go so well the first time.

Thanks again...
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Old September 3, 2011, 09:50 PM   #9
Hawg Haggen
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I think once you get in there you'll be amazed at the simplicity of them.
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Old September 3, 2011, 09:53 PM   #10
Bill Akins
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Hi Bigminnow.

The theory is, that the closer the projectile to the forcing cone the more accurate your shot will be, because that way the projectile has less of a jump to make to get into the forcing cone. Because the forcing cone is kind of like a funnel to straighten the bullet from its travel from the chamber to the barrel's rifling, theoretically there could be some projectile wobble during the time and distance of it leaving the chamber and going into the forcing cone.

So theoretically the less distance the projectile travels to get from the chamber to the forcing cone, the less wobble or vibration imparted to the projectile....again....in theory.

Hence the reason some people believe in using fillers to get the projectile as close to the top of the chamber as possible. Does this theory have merit? Even though I've been shooting BP for years I honestly couldn't say.
I'm just relaying the reason some people use filler.

I also use filler but not for the same reason of extending the projectile closer to the forcing cone. I use cornmeal. As you have seen some folks use cream of wheat. I use filler for one reason, as a front of chamber chainfire barrier. In my .44's, I usually load 22 grains of BP and then fill over that with approximately 3/16's to 1/4 inch of cornmeal. If a front of cylinder chainfire flame gets past that barrier we'll call him Houdini.

That way I don't have to bother using messy grease over the projectiles nor have to purchase lubed felt wads. I really like my method and I don't have constantly greasy hands nor a greasy revolver shooting BP that way. Just powder covered over with cornmeal. If you use my method, just make sure you keep the cornmeal level over the powder charge and don't tilt the revolver while loading. That way the cornmeal is sure to stay level over the powder while you ram the projectile against it. That compression seals the cornmeal both against the powder on one side and against the projectile on the other side so the cornmeal can't move. Forming a very effective flame barrier. Has worked for me for years without any problems. Sorry, you won't be able to scrape any cornfritters off the target to eat after shooting though.




.
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Last edited by Bill Akins; September 3, 2011 at 10:00 PM.
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Old September 4, 2011, 01:39 AM   #11
bigminnow
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Hi Bill,
It all makes sense...does the filler (corn meal, cream o wheat) make cleaning any easier or difficult?
I'm on the portly side ahem...and it's good to know there might be some corn meal or cream of wheat around where people are shooting BP...
BIG minnow
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Old September 4, 2011, 05:23 AM   #12
Bill Akins
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Quote:
Bigminnow wrote:
It all makes sense...does the filler (corn meal, cream o wheat) make cleaning any easier or difficult?
I wouldn't say using cornmeal or cream of wheat actually makes cleaning the revolver after firing any easier. It definitely doesn't make it more difficult. But it sure keeps you from having a greasy mess while shooting it. You see, when you grease over the front of the balls after they are seated (to preclude chainfires), when you fire your first shot, the flame and gas blast coming from your barrel to cylinder gap blows off most of the grease from ALL your chamber fronts on the very first shot, leaving only a little grease around the perimeter of the balls to prevent chainfires. And where does that grease go? Onto your cylinder, frame and barrel which gets transferred to your hands too. You can avoid that greasy mess by using lubed felt wads over the powder instead of corn meal. But then you have to either make them or find them and buy them and they aren't that cheap. Cornmeal is everywhere and cheap, dry instead of greasy, and there's nothing to make. I use a .45 acp powder charge little plastic dipper to dip up and pour my cornmeal into my chambers. Takes just a few seconds to do for each chamber. Less time than greasing over the balls.


.
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"This is my Remy and this is my Colt. Remy loads easy and topstrap strong, Colt balances better and never feels wrong. A repro black powder revolver gun, they smoke and shoot lead and give me much fun. I can't figure out which one I like better, they're both fine revolvers that fit in my leather".
"To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target".

Last edited by Bill Akins; September 4, 2011 at 05:29 AM.
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Old September 4, 2011, 10:07 AM   #13
Hawg Haggen
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A wad under the ball is better. You need some lube to keep fouling soft.
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Old September 4, 2011, 11:33 AM   #14
Lee McNelly
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fit

and if the balls or conicals are the proper size chain fires will not happen and grease is not necessary either
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Old September 4, 2011, 12:19 PM   #15
Bill Akins
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Quote:
Hawg Haggen wrote:
A wad under the ball is better. You need some lube to keep fouling soft.
Maybe that's been your experience Hawg, but it hasn't been mine.

It's been my experience that the cornmeal from my next shot scours and blows the fouling right out of the barrel and I have found no need for grease. It's also been my experience that fouling sticks to any grease it can and then makes an even more gummed mess than dry fouling does. That's why I usually lube my cylinder's arbor with dry teflon spray lube instead of using grease of any kind. I have found that I can shoot more cylinder fulls of shots using dry teflon to lube the arbor before the cylinder inevitably binds on the arbor due to fouling. That's been my shooting experience anyway.



.
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"This is my Remy and this is my Colt. Remy loads easy and topstrap strong, Colt balances better and never feels wrong. A repro black powder revolver gun, they smoke and shoot lead and give me much fun. I can't figure out which one I like better, they're both fine revolvers that fit in my leather".
"To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target".
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Old September 4, 2011, 12:23 PM   #16
Hawg Haggen
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I don't usually have room for filler anyway.
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Old September 4, 2011, 12:25 PM   #17
Hawg Haggen
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Quote:
and if the balls or conicals are the proper size chain fires will not happen and grease is not necessary either
I've got one that will prove you wrong.
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Old September 4, 2011, 01:29 PM   #18
wittzo
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It's been my experience that using filler like cream of wheat or cornmeal is more trouble than it's worth. I haven't sat down and checked group size, I shoot 7" steel plates, as long as I hear the ding after the bang, I'm happy. Usually it's more user error than the load I'm using.

I made up paper cartridges with and without corn meal and some with cream of wheat. The pistols are cleaner without the filler because I get filler mixed with BP residue. I'm using 25 grains of FFFg Goex and either CCI magnum caps or Remington caps.

Using BP by itself, the pistols gum up just as bad as using filler, the bore is cleaner. Using paper cartridges does leave some residue, using straight powder doesn't leave but the normal residue, of course.

Using a squirt of Bore Butter or a Gatafeo grease pill/Wonder Wad over the ball was a big mess. The bore was nasty and the pistols gummed up after a cylinder or two, so they wouldn't rotate.

Using Gatafeo lubed wads seems to be a tie with straight Triple 7 for cleanliness. The pistols don't gum up as bad and the bore is a little cleaner than if I used straight BP. It's even cleaner when I use lubed wads with Triple 7.

I've just started experimenting with using synthetic transmission fluid on the arbors/cylinder pins and so far it's working well to keep the cylinders from gumming up, no matter how I load them. Using a squirt of Bore Butter in the arbor hole/cylinder pin hole of the cylinder was ineffective and messy.
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Old September 4, 2011, 01:49 PM   #19
Hawg Haggen
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Y'all are using waaay too much overball lube. All it takes is a dab around the edge of the ball. It won't be nearly as messy but the wads will still be neater.
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Old September 4, 2011, 02:03 PM   #20
Lee McNelly
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cant

from the front of cylinder if there is no air space no flame can reach powder period
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Old September 4, 2011, 02:16 PM   #21
Lee McNelly
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proof

http://www.svartkrutt.net/articles/vis.php?id=13
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Old September 4, 2011, 02:21 PM   #22
Hawg Haggen
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Quote:
from the front of cylinder if there is no air space no flame can reach powder period
I've got one I bought new in 69. It shaves a ring with .451's and a really good ring with .454's but leave off the lube or wad and it will chain every time. Use lube or a wad and it wont. You can even leave all the caps off save one and it still wont chain with lube or a wad. Maybe it's a freak but thems the facts.
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Old September 4, 2011, 02:21 PM   #23
Lee McNelly
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the original specialist

The heyday of the cap and ball revolver was cavalry use in the Civil War. Can you imagine Jeb Stuart's troopers packing Crisco, or pork lard, all over the front of their cylinders? Might sit there in the morning, but at 4pm on a hot August day, it would melt and turn into a gooey mess.
Crisco on top of the cylinder, one of the great fairy tales of muzzleloading
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Old September 4, 2011, 02:25 PM   #24
Hawg Haggen
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Yeah, Crisco is messy. General Robert E. Lee's 51 Navy was fired seven years after his death. It was noted all the chambers were sealed with a black waxy substance. All six chambers fired.
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Old September 4, 2011, 03:10 PM   #25
Lee McNelly
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quote

4V50GARY POSTED: Sorry Gator, but I'll go with Madcratebuilder's explanation. A proper sized ball that, when pressed into the cylinder, will leave a small ring. Being virtually airtight, it should preclude any transfer of sparks between cylinders. I think loose caps is the main culprit.

I believe it the powder train or trail left by an unclean cylinder w o wo grease that is the main cause of chain fire
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