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Old March 1, 2013, 01:47 AM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: October 1, 2004
Location: Remote Utah desert
Posts: 224
I use a 3/8" punch for .36 caliber, but found the 7/16" is too small for .44 or .45 caliber.
I purchased a .45-caliber punch from Buffalo Arms some years ago.
I believe I am the first to post the benefits of purchasing from DuroFelt. Shipping is free within the continental U.S., and it offers sheets of hard, 100% pure wool felt in 1/8 and 1/4" thicknesses.
Generally, I use the 1/8" thick felt for most uses, but for reduced loads the 1/4" wads take up more room (and contain more lubricant).

I've experimented with a number of lubricants over the past 40-plus years of shooting cap and ball revolvers. The best I've found is home-made, based on a 19th century recipe for outside lubricated bullets.
I altered the recipe a bit by using very specific ingredients, but I didn't change the ratios. Within a few years of posting it, the improved recipe, others named it after me: Gatofeo No. 1 Lubricant.

Gatofeo No. 1 Lubricant
1 part canning paraffin
(used to seal jars of preserves. Sold by grocers)

1 part mutton tallow
(sold by Dixie Gun Works)

1/2 part beeswax
(the real deal, not synthetic. Toilet seals are no longer made of real beeswax, but real beeswax can be found at Rendezvous and Renaissance Fairs)

All measurements are by weight, not volume. Measure the ingredients and melt together at low to medium heat. Stir well. Allow to harden at room temperature.
Remelt a bit of lubricant in a clean tuna or pet food can on the stove. Add wads. Stir to ensure wads are all soaked. Remove can from heat. Allow to cool. Snap a plastic pet food cover over the can and use this at the range.
No need to worry about excess lubricant on wads.

Add powder to chamber. Thumb in wad and seat firmly on powder with rammer. Do this with all chambers you plan to load. After all wads are seated firmly on powder, seat ball.
There is no need to put lubricant over the ball if you use a lubricated felt wad between ball and powder.
This combination of hard felt wad and Gatofeo No. 1 lubricant will keep the bore of your cap and ball revolver clean all day. Many other methods will leave the bore clean from breech to within 3 inches of muzzle, but this will keep the entire length of the bore clean.

Gatofeo No. 1 Lubricant is also a very good bullet, patch and shotgun wad lubricant. I use it for the patches in my .50-cal Hawken, lead .58-cal Enfield Minie' bullets and occasionally in my Damascus steel shotgun with black powder loads.
"And lo, did I see an ugly cat. Smoke. Brimstone. Holes in parchment. And this ugly cat was much amused." --- The Prophesies of Gatodamus (1503 - 1566)
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