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Old March 28, 2007, 10:34 AM   #15
Senior Member
Join Date: March 25, 2007
Posts: 122
Thought I'd post the No.1 Part...

Figure that link may not last forever and we'd rather have it posted here anyway - see copyright stuff at the end - mods, do what you deem correct with this (but I'm thinking this is the same as having a link really) (Gatofeo?):

(from Highroad board posting):

Gatofeo wrote:

Some of you may profit from my 30 years of shooting cap and ball revolvers, so I've written a long treatise on how best to load them and what you need.
This is long, so you'll want to print this out for later reference.

1. When you first receive your revolver, familiarize yourself with its operation. Particularly important is learning how to completely disassemble it down to the last screw and part because you'll need to do this later for cleaning.
Use a good quality screwdriver that fits well in the screwheads. This will prevent burred screw heads down the line. Some nipple wrenches have screwdrivers on them, but they almost all fit poorly and should not be used.
Most bores of new black powder revolvers need smoothing. Buy some JB Bore Cleaning Compound (in a little white plastic jar) or Iosso Bore Cleaner (in a white metal tube) and work this into a patch that will fit snugly in the bore.
Work this back and forth for a polishing effect. I would suggest at least a dozen patches of this treatment for a new bore. After six or so patches, you'll notice that the bore is noticeably smoother.
You may also smooth the chambers in your cylinder with the same treatment. Do this all by hand; a drill or other machines can remove metal too quickly.

1a. BEWARE OF BRASS FRAMES: Unless you wish to replicate what a few Confederates carried, steer clear of brass-framed guns. Brass is not as strong as steel and will get stretched over time with the pressures of firing. Also, in my experience, brass-framed guns are simply not as well-made as their steel brethren.

2. Black powder is usually more accurate in these revolvers than Pyrodex. I don't know why, but that's been my experience. However, considering that every firearm is an individual, with its own likes and dislikes, it behooves you to try both under careful conditions of comparison.
I use Goex FFFG in all my black powder revolvers.
If you can't find black powder in your area, then try Pyrodex P or any of the other black powder substitutes. I haven't tried any of the newer black powder substitutes and cannot comment on them.

3. Use lubricated, felt wads between the ball and powder. During hot days of low humidity, I also put lubricant over the ball in conjunction with the wad. I've found that the extra lubricant during dry conditions keeps fouling softer and helps accuracy.
Well-lubricated felt wads may leave an exceedingly clean bore. NEVER use smokeless powder in any black powder arm. Period.

4. Snap at least two caps on each nipple before the first loading. This blows all crud and oil out of the nipples and chamber.

5. Hot, soapy water is best for cleaning these revolvers. I've tried all kinds of wonder cleaners but still return to hot, soapy water. I fill a plastic basin half full of water, put in a chunk of Ivory soap (it floats, so you never have to search for it), and while the water is getting soapy I disassemble my revolver down to its last screw and part. Don't forget to remove the nipples from the cylinder.
Everything but the wooden grips go into the water. An assortment of small, stiff, plastic brushes aid cleaning immeasurably. Pipe cleaners and Q-tips are good too, for reaching those tight spaces inside the frame. I work up a good lather on my brushes before cleaning each part. The soap really cuts grease.
Pipe cleaners fit perfectly inside the nipple cone. A quick twist of the pipe cleaner in the cone, underwater, will clean it quickly.
Purchase a small, plastic colander to fit in your basin. When you've finished cleaning the part, separate it from the rest by placing it in this submerged colander. Keep all of your parts under water until the final rinse later. If you take them out, they will rust in minutes.
When all parts are clean, move to the kitchen sink.
Preheat the oven to its lowest setting, usually about 150 degrees, and leave the oven door slightly open.
Put a sink-stop with built in strainer in the sinkhole to catch any parts that might escape the colander. Rinse the parts in the colander under hot, tap water.
Immediately pat parts dry with paper towels. Run at least three dry patches down the bore to remove any moisture. Each cylinder chamber should get at least two dry patches.
Give a quick puff of breath through each nipple, from the flat end. This will blow out any water in the nipple.
Puts all parts (except wooden grips, of course) in a low metal pan and place in the warm oven. Leave in the oven at least 30 minutes. This will drive any moisture out of the metal parts.
While the parts are still warm, cover well with olive oil, lard, tallow, Crisco or any commercially made black powder lubricant. Vegetable or animal-based oils are best for black powder, as they reduce fouling. These warm parts will soak up these natural oils quickly. Don't be afraid to reapply. These will season the metal and prevent fouling from sticking so readily.
I saturate a clean patch with tallow or Crisco and push it down the bore. A hot barrel will soak up a lot of this natural grease but that's good.
A non-petroleum grease on the cylinder pin (Crisco is good) will keep the cylinder from binding from fouling. The revolver may be stored with this grease on it; Crisco doesn't seem to dry out like other natural greases. I also like to lubricate all screw theads with Crisco or beeswax; it makes them easier to remove later after a long firing session.
Wooden grips can be cleaned with a damp cloth to remove black powder fouling. Allow to dry for a bit, then apply lemon oil (available at the grocery store) to the wood, inside and out. This will keep the wood from drying and warping.
When reassembling a Colt revolver, ensure the wedge is tight in the frame. I tap my wedge with a small nylon-faced hammer until the cylinder begins to drag when rotated. Then, I give it a couple of small taps OUT until the cylinder revolves freely again.
A Colt-design cap and ball revolver will not shoot nearly as accurately if the wedge is comparatively loose. If you can push it out with your fingers, it's much too loose.

continued in next reply (too long for one)

Copyright by "Gatofeo" 2003. Printed by permission.
"And therein did I see an ugly cat. Blue smoke. Brimstone. Holes in paper. And this ugly cat was much amused." --- the prophesies of Gatodamus (1503 - 1566).
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