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Thread: Lube for cap & ball revolvers?

  1. #21
    Boolit Master


    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    Since I use Emmert's lube with a touch of soap added for my BP and pistol lube I just melted some and dipped the window felt in it. Let that cool and punch out wads that go under the ball. No hang fires and no chain fires and it cleans nicely.
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  2. #22
    Boolit Master
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    I have never had a problem oil in cookie migrating to the powder.The wax keeps that from happening.

    Fly

  3. #23
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by dikman View Post
    Hmm, let's see - Summer in Alaska = smearable Crisco, Summer in Australia = Crisco running like water. No offense, but I think I'll pass on this one, if you don't mind.
    LOL ... suit yourself pardner. i know what works for me and has for a long time before i came to Alaska... Grants Pass Oregon gets pretty warm in summer ...[have seen 112 degrees when a kid there]... and it worked there as well. each to his own tho. good luck on your ozzyland brew and good shooting to you.

    and i dont mind in the least ... just tryin to pass on what works for me ... as for anything else on here that you will read ... you are welcome to take it or leave it. i take no offense to your post ... just wonder why it were so important to post it is all ... either use it or dont ... i have no need to defend my methods that work for me and till i see that someone else has a better mousetrap so to speak i will stay with what works for me ... no skin off either of us.
    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE...MORE WILL BE SAID THEN DONE

  4. #24
    Boolit Master Good Cheer's Avatar
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    LOOB is what I use. That's Lanolin, Olive Oil and Beeswax.

    I made enough up a while back that I've been using it for everything I can, for some jobs sometimes adding a little peanut oil, DAX pomade, a crayola, a little lithium lube or whatever seems like it might work. By the way, as was previously touched upon, in cool weather the crisco option is hard to beat.

  5. #25
    Boolit Man
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    I use vegetable shortening over the seated lead ball in my 1858 Remington clones. My go-to target load is 18 grains of FFFg (by volume) then an equal amount of Cream of Wheat. This load will seat the ball (I use 0.457" pure lead) about 1/16' below the cylinder mouth. Then I use a small paddle to smear a cover coat of the "crisco" over the ball. The lube does keep the bore fouling soft and it does prevent cross-chamber firing. I have shot this all day in competition and at the end of the day had no leading or hard fouling in the bore (which is hand lapped to a very fine finish) -- and won matches to boot. It works for this application. If I was carrying the pistol in a holster all day I would probably figure out something different to prevent the mess that shortening can make.

  6. #26
    Boolit Master dikman's Avatar
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    Howdy, bigted pardner, I'm glad you didn't take offense as none was intended, but I can see how the wording of my post wasn't perhaps as clear as it should have been . As for bothering to post, sometimes the urge to write something inconsequential gets the better of me.

    I wouldn't dream of questioning your experience in this field. I'm always willing to learn from those with more knowledge, and experience, whatever the subject. I've only been doing this stuff for a year, and in that time I've learned a helluva lot about BP - and I've also realised how little I actually know! I've also learnt that what works for one person won't necessarily work for another, particularly when it comes to loobs and patching. As for Crisco, I'm aware that it's widely used over there, but it (or its equivalents) isn't popular down here. My hard wax pills are already starting to soften occasionally, and Summer hasn't even started here yet! (I hate hot weather, btw).

    Keep your powder dry, pardner, and happy trails.

  7. #27
    Boolit Man

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    "I believe that next summer I'll try beeswax/olive oil/citronella candle wax blend as lube. Might help keep the mosquitoes at bay while I'm shooting." Rick R
    I haven't thought about that, that would be nice if it works. Certainly can't hurt to give it a try. Thanks.

  8. #28
    Boolit Bub
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  9. #29
    Boolit Master
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    I've always been skeptical about the whole chain-fire thing. After seating a soft lead ball into the cylinder and shaving off a ring of lead in the process, I don't get how a spark could get past that ball. The possibility of a chain fire occurring from the cap end of the cylinder seems more likely. To that end, the lube is really only there to keep the fouling manageable. I've shot with lube on top of the ball and with lubed wads seated under the ball and with no lube at all. I far prefer the wads under the ball to manage fouling. Lube on top of the ball is slightly better than no lube at all, but only slightly and it makes a huge mess.

  10. #30
    Boolit Master

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    I've only have shot two percussion revolvers a .36 and a .44 The .36 was someone else's and I believed he used a felt wad then a dab of crisco after. When I got mine (1851 .44 rep) the guy who sold it showed to always make sure you used a slightly oversized ball and to watch for the lead ring it cut so you new it was sealed. I got mine as a teenager then saved and bought a Lee single cavity .451 mould. Man a pound of FFFg and we would shoot that thing all day long on weekends. I have not fired it in at least twenty years this thread made e realise it is time to change that. They are fun little revolvers well maybe not little lol. FB
    "Somebody's gotta go back and get a sh*tload of dimes"
    Slim Pickens in Blazing Saddles

  11. #31
    Boolit Master dikman's Avatar
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    Fun indeed! A big boom, lots of smoke and the smell of gunpowder in the air. What more could you ask for?

  12. #32
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petrol & Powder View Post
    I've always been skeptical about the whole chain-fire thing. After seating a soft lead ball into the cylinder and shaving off a ring of lead in the process, I don't get how a spark could get past that ball.
    I had a chain fire with my Navy arms 1851 replica when I tried it without lube over the bullets. The early production Navy Arms .36 revolvers had slightly over sized chamber mouths with a bit of taper, the .375 balls would fit just well enough to stay in place only if a light charge was used and the bullet seated further back from the opening.
    Since no .380 balls were available I later took to putting the balls on a steel plate giving each ball a light whack with a mallet to bump them up enough that a thin ring of lead would shear when seating the balls.
    Never tried them dry after that early attempt with the undersized balls.

    The gas escaping from the gap can find the tiniest irregularity in the fit between ball and chamber wall. Since soft lead balls get bumped around a bit flat spots can form that would leave a tiny gap when seated.

    The possibility of a chain fire occurring from the cap end of the cylinder seems more likely.
    That happened with some early revolver and pepperbox designs, the Colt has a lot of steel between the nipples for that very reason. A very loose fitting cap, like a no. 11 cap pinched to fit a no.10 nipple can allow a flash over but its still not likely with the Colt style cylinders.

    A very weak main spring coupled with a very large flash hole in the nipples can sometimes cause the hammer to be blown back enough to rotate the cylinder and fire two or more shots like a full auto.
    I've had that happen twice, once with my .36 before I made a stronger spring for it, and once with a Colt Walker replica belonging to a friend.
    In both cases the heaviest charge the chamber would hold and tight fitting bullets that required extra pressure to seat while compressing the charge were used. I replaced the nipples on both these pistols with Uncle Mike's stainless nipples and the problem went away.
    Some early production Italian replica pistols were made using badly worn originals as a guide, and apparently the originals had badly worn nipples with grossly over size flash holes.

  13. #33
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by dikman View Post
    Fun indeed! A big boom, lots of smoke and the smell of gunpowder in the air. What more could you ask for?
    Yes, great fun. Now if I could only find some more #10 caps. I have only a few hundred left, and not sure when I can get more.

  14. #34
    Boolit Master
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    Several years ago I bought one of These Big Lube Molds for my ROA and haven't looked back. I pan lube them using my BP lube (1 pound Beeswax, 1/2 pound Anhydrous Lanolin & 1/2 pound Canola Oil by weight). No wads, no grease - nothing else.

  15. #35
    Boolit Master

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    I can not say that I have ever seen #10 caps. Are they smaller ? You might be able to change to a nipple for #11s. To be honest though I do not know if 11s are available I have not looked in a long while. I wound up with over 1k of them and since I was only using them in my old Knight muzzle loader have not used many. FB
    "Somebody's gotta go back and get a sh*tload of dimes"
    Slim Pickens in Blazing Saddles

  16. #36
    Boolit Master

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    Yes, the current nipples I have are sized for #10 caps. I could get new nipples for #11's no problem, but no one has #11 caps either as far as I can tell. The #10 caps work just fine, and fit well.

  17. #37
    Boolit Master
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    Been a long time since I bought any caps but the last time I did the store had no.10 caps so I bought all they had. I still have a few tins of these left.
    I have a spare cylinder for my .38 that still has the No.10 nipples.
    I found that you can force a No.10 over a No.11 nipple, but its not easy. One advantage is the No.10 caps don't blow off and get hung up under the hammer.

    If you can get No.10 caps these are best for use with Black Powder, but you need a No.11 to ignite Pyrodex.

    I had a small twist barrel derringer that took No.9 caps. Only found one tin of those. Luckily these had a hard yellow brass cup rather than a copper cup, so I could reload the spent caps with dots cut from paper caps using a belt hole puncher.
    I'm fairly sure those caps were intended for use as Berdan caps. They were Alcan IIRC.
    The small plastic caps used with toy revolvers also worked on that derringer.

  18. #38
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Multigunner View Post
    Been a long time since I bought any caps but the last time I did the store had no.10 caps so I bought all they had. I still have a few tins of these left.
    I have a spare cylinder for my .38 that still has the No.10 nipples.
    I found that you can force a No.10 over a No.11 nipple, but its not easy. One advantage is the No.10 caps don't blow off and get hung up under the hammer.

    If you can get No.10 caps these are best for use with Black Powder, but you need a No.11 to ignite Pyrodex.

    I had a small twist barrel derringer that took No.9 caps. Only found one tin of those. Luckily these had a hard yellow brass cup rather than a copper cup, so I could reload the spent caps with dots cut from paper caps using a belt hole puncher.
    I'm fairly sure those caps were intended for use as Berdan caps. They were Alcan IIRC.
    The small plastic caps used with toy revolvers also worked on that derringer.


    I do not find this to be the case. I exclusively use Pyrodex, in my ROA, with #10 Remington caps. Never had ignition issues. Ruger does recommend #11's with the ROA. I found that they will occasionally split and tie up the action. Problem went away with the #10's!

    This season's deer harvested with ROA. Load was 30 grains of Pyrodex "P". Wonder Wad, Lee 220 conical. Wonder Seal, set off with Remington #10 cap.

    Bang, Flop, No tracking required!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Winelover

  19. #39
    Boolit Master
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    the lube is not there to stop chain fires. it is there to lube the pistol. so the softer the lube the better and longer the pistol will shoot.

    I tried it once no lube 2 cylinders. the gun was sticking dragging when cocked. the third cylinder was topped off with Crisco. the cylinder started to free up after shooting. the next cylinder it was working nice. but fire one cylinder with out lube and it would start to bind up again.

  20. #40
    Bob208, That has been my experience also. When I use a lube over ball the gun does not bind up and I can continue to reload and shoot my revolver for quite a while. It does get messy.
    If I use a lubed wad under the ball same thing except it will bind just a little quicker No mess.
    If no lube used at all after a couple of cylinders and the binding is pretty bad (pyrodex or holy black).
    Chain fires are not an issue. I use balls that seal tightly and caps that fit properly.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check