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Old May 30, 2013, 06:34 AM   #1
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Interesting Article...

Been reading latley. Found these articles and don't know what to think of them.
Any thoughts?
“Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading".”

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Old May 30, 2013, 07:20 AM   #2
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To be honest . . . and I'm trying to be gracious . . . . it read more like a "blog" to me and I viewed it more as an individual's "musings" and "thoughts" than anything else. He seems to remember the "60s" much different than I do . . . but then a lot of folks do for reasons unmentioned.

I was interested in the way they loaded their revolvers "in those days" by just pouring powder in the chambers until they were full, etc. and chain fires were the norm. Huh? Who was he playing with, Forrest Gump?

Yes, there is far more information available today than in the 60s but there were some very knowledgeable folks around then as well. I learned much from an old gunsmith who shot blackpowder since he was a kid and he was in his eighties at the time. I would visit his shop often and his "lessons" always started with a session on safety first. I was "taken under the wing" by an older fellow who shared my interest in the Civil War and he got me involved in shooting NSSA. Through my association with him, I was able to shoot many different original Civil War weapons - everything from rifled muskets, carbines, revolvers - even got a chance to shoot an original Gatling Gun. I also got to shoot many of the different replicas available in those days and from my memories, they were just as accurate as what is available today - like any shooter, you "learned" your firearm and how it shot.

Now my post is startingt to sound like a "blog"!

I found it to be an interesting read but like I said earlier . . . more of a person's blog and musings. Sometimes we wonder how so much "mis information" gets out there but let's face it . . . in this day and age anybody can write and put what they want on the Internet . . . and we all know it's true " 'cause I saw it on the "Net".
If a pair of '51 Navies were good enough for Billy Hickok, then a single Navy on my right hip is good enough for me . . . besides . . . I'm probably only half as good as he was anyways. Hiram's Rangers Badge #63
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Old May 30, 2013, 08:11 AM   #3
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I read all of this fellows articles when I started shooting black powder. A lot of the detailed information goes over your head until you run into a problem and then maybe you go back and read the material again.

I did like his detailed analysis of what causes chain fires. I had quite a few until I started using a toothbrush to clean the nipples and cylinder face after every cylinder. I've never had another chain fire since.

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Old May 30, 2013, 09:16 AM   #4
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Old May 30, 2013, 09:37 AM   #5
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A lot of what he says was gospel in the 1960s.
A lot has been learned since then.
Talk to someone a little more up to date for good information.
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Old May 30, 2013, 10:31 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by maillemaker
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You're not missing much

I've read his articles before and have discounted his rather outdated and simplistic ramblings and regurgitated bias's.
Fingers (Show Me MO smoke) McGee - AKA Man of Many Colts - Alter ego of Diabolical Ken; SASS Regulator 28564-L-TG; Rangemaster and stage writer extraordinaire; Frontiersman, Pistoleer, NRA Endowment Life, NMLRA, SAF, CCRKBA, STORM 327, SV115; Charter member, Central Ozarks Western Shooters
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Old May 30, 2013, 05:39 PM   #7
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My 1960's

I started shooting BP C&B in 1969 with a Navy Arms 1851 "Reb" in .44 cal

There was a lot of good information in gun magazines and available from Dixie Gun Works and Navy Arms.

Then I measured powder as I do now and seated the ball to compress the powder. What was different back then was no wad over the powder. I put Crisco over the chambers but it all melted after the first shot.

I never had a chain fire.

Sometmes the Internet makes things worse
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Old May 30, 2013, 06:15 PM   #8
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I started in 69 when I was 12 with a 58 Remington. I had nobody to teach me squat. Even the shop that sold me the gun didn't really know how to load it. I had chain fires galore until I started putting a drop of oil on the front of the balls.
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Old May 30, 2013, 07:03 PM   #9
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Hawg. Don't take this wrong but...

...You are the same age as my wife.

But to get back to the thread, I learned a good bit like Hawg did.

I must have said a hundred times that I don't shoot with anyone else around if I can help it.

That sure slows down the learning. I have been doing this for some little while now and nearly every day I encounter something new on this forum which virtually everyone else already knows.

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. Thomas Jefferson
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Old May 31, 2013, 08:58 AM   #10
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--the linked article, not your post, Doc.
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Old May 31, 2013, 02:34 PM   #11
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Well, I was shooting C&B revolvers in the 1960's and I liked to load cartridges and get away from all that work, or rather transfer the work to the "front end" at home so I could devote more range time to shooting rather than loading.

One small note on brass frames. I agree with him but since most modern C&B revolvers are fired only a few shots, brass is OK to a point. Old frames, though, when iron was not available or the equipment to work it was not available (the case in the South during the Civil War) were not made of brass if there was any choice, they were made of gun metal, which has a high tin content and is stronger than brass. Modern repros are made of brass for purely cosmetic reasons; brass shines up well and looks nice.

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Old June 1, 2013, 05:51 PM   #12
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Being able to write lengthy and seemingly rational essays is not proof positive that what you are saying is correct.
I'll call myself out on that, before anyone else does. Much of what I write is hedged with "appears to be" and "may be why" because I cannot prove it.
However, some folks have picked up what I wrote and stated it as fact in their own writing.
With the above in mind, the author of these posts lost credibility with me when he stated that he could not get loaded, uncapped chambers to discharge.
I did this very experiment in the 1970s, after I'd already experienced two multiple ignitions. I used the same cheap, brass-framed 1851 Navy .44 with which I'd had multiple ignition problems while firing.
Ultimately, I experienced three multiple ignition episodes with that revolver, the last one damaged the revolver so much that I gave it to a black powder shooter for parts.
When shooting, I used:
.451 cast ball
DuPont FFFG black powder
Remington No. 11 caps
Crisco smeared over the ball

This was how we knew to shoot such revolvers about 1970, when I started.
Later, when I obtained a Colt 2nd generation 1851 Navy, I began using felt wads lubricated with melted lard and beeswax. I also began pinching caps into an elliptical shape to better cling to the nipple.
Through thousands of shots in this Colt and about seven other revolvers, I have not had a single multiple ignition incident..

I would also dispute his assertion that powder kernels get crushed to a fine powder between ball and chamber wall, creating a powder train to the main charge.
I've also fired probably 1,000 loads used without a felt wad, because they were maximum loads, in a variety of revolvers. Never had a single instance of multiple ignition.

I have long believed, and still do, that multiple ignition stems from flame entering through the nipple. A proper, oversized ball creates a wide barrier between the flash from the chambers beside it, and the powder charge behind the ball. Add a felt wad behind the oversized ball and that's yet another barrier.
Aside from the wad's apparent ability to keep bore fouling reduced, it may also add another barrier to flame getting past the seated ball. I don't believe it plays this role but it may be yet another reason to use lubricated felt wads.

Through the years, I've rammed a ball into the chamber and then realized I neglected to add powder. This necessitated removing the nipple and tapping the wedged ball out with a short length of brass rod.
In each instance, the seated ball wiped the chamber walls entirely clean of fouling.
So clean, in fact, that when shooting I never bother to clean the chambers though I may swab the bore every 42 shots or greater. Felt wads containing a lubricant with some moisture will generally keep the bore much cleaner than any other method I've tried, including the classic grease-over-ball.

Sorry, but I cannot believe this fellow's assertion that a nipple lacking a cap will NOT lead to multiple ignition. You only need to look at photos taken in the dark, of a cap and ball revolver firing, to realize just how much flame is created at the front and rear of the cylinder.

He says I have a right to be skeptical. Well, I am. I've been shooting a variety of cap and ball revolvers since about 1970.
With the cap removed from a loaded chamber, it would fire about a third of the time when the chamber aligned with the barrel was fired, as I recall.
This makes me want to buy a cheap brass-framed 1851 Colt and repeat the experiment, though I have no doubt I'd get the same results I did about 40 years ago.
"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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