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Thread: To grease or not to grease c/b revolver

  1. #21
    Boolit Man
    Gaseous Maximus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntiqueSledMan View Post
    Hello Gaseous Maximus,

    The purpose for grease is to soften the fouling.
    Whether it's before or after the projectile is personal choice.
    One will have to experiment with to determine what works best for the individual.
    My opinion to prevent cross fires, a cartridge is the best way to go.
    Either Paper or Brass will prevent a chain fire.
    Check out the following link,
    http://www.geojohn.org/BlackPowder/bps2Mobile.html

    AntiqueSledMan.
    Thanks very much to all who have replied. This looks particularly interesting. Haven't read it all yet, but will.
    Oklahoma. Quite possibly the reddest state in the U.S.A. 77 counties, 2 elections, and not a single one went for B.O. Uh make that 3 elections, we didn't care much for Hillary either.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master bedbugbilly's Avatar
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    OP - I have sgit C & B for over 55 years - both originals and repros - '51 Navy is my favorite but have shot plenty of 44s as well. I'm a firm believer of "learning by experience". Experiment with your revolver. Start off by not lubing your cylinder pin and see how many rounds you can shoot before your cylinder binds tip. Then thoroughly clean your revolver and grease the cylinder pin and repeat the experiment and see how manu\y rounds you can go before your cylinder binds up. Next - clean your Piston's; and with a greased cylinder pin, shoot as many unloved rounds as you can before the fouling builds up that you need to stop - and checked your bore between cylinders (gun unloaded). Then repeat and use put smear some BP lube around the balls after seated nd see how many you can go.I lube minie balls for rifled musket by putting crisco in the base - shot thousands of rounds that way in N-SSA. On your revolver though, On a BP revolver, if you use crisco (and it's fine to use it), you'll soon find that after a chamber if fired, the crisco on he adjacent chambers over the all will melt. I mix a 1 pound can of crisco with 1 real beeswax toilet bowl ring as it stiffens the lube - have used it for years but everyone has their own preferences.

    I don't suggest the above experimenting in any way of challenging anyone here nor in a critical way. By doing things differently you will soon find out what work best for "you" and your particular rifle. I have owned probably ten different '51 Navies over the years and each one was a unique creature unto itself. I have a Uberti Navy now and as long as I grease the cylinder pin well and smear a little grease over the balls, I can shoot many many cylinders full. I owned a ASM Navy one time - it was a nice revolver - good workmanship. etc. but no matter what I did to keep her going I could only get about five or six cylinders off before I had cylinder binding from fouling and issue with the bore with fouling. And of course, the powder has a lot to do with it as well. I can remember years ago having iwwuew with ruling in a rifled musket and it was due to two different powder lot. Both were DuPont 2F but different lot numbers and each burned differently as far as fouling - that was back when a pound of DuPont cost a whopping 75 cent a pound. Others have already pointed out such things as cylinder gap which comes in to play and even what the humidity is where you are shooting can affect fouling.

    In the end - there are many "expert opinions" - as many as there are armchair quarterbacks - but it still boils down to what works best in your particular revolver - the same as any rifle.

    good cheer - that's quite the mold you made! I'l bet they shoot slick! What grain weight do they drop at?

  3. #23
    Boolit Master Good Cheer's Avatar
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    hey billy,
    It was my idea but the machining was done by Erik at hollowpointmold.
    It's a round ball mold with a cylindrical tail added to the mold, precise diameter to fit Pietta chambers (smaller than Uberti's). As can be seen in the photos the tail expands to the rifling grooves. Lube is applied to the cylindrical portion and rests in the chamber beneath the spherical part. I also apply lube over the "ball" when loaded but belt and suspenders is my way of doing things.
    The base plug is adjustable for length to give various weights.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master

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    I schmear grease over the round balls in the cylinders.

    It gets all over on firing, but enough stays in the chambers and barrel to keep everything lubricated and shooting.

    A friend shoots Pyrodex in his .36 Navy with Wonder Wads underneath the balls. I had my target stand up so we could see where it was shooting one day. Two laths, a piece of cardboard stapled between them, and the target paper taped to that.

    He fired a cylinderful at the target. The holes were easy to see at 15 yards, so we consulted together on the sight holdoff while he reloaded. When we turned to face the target again, we found it was on fire, already half burned up.

    After putting it out, the target frame was ruined, so we set out our plinking targets and he shot at them with the sight holdoff. Looking at the trajectory, I could see little curved lines of smoke where the smoldering wads were arching toward the cans and PET bottles.

    Donít know if this ever happens in pistols with real black powder (Iíve only used Wonder Wads in rifles), but Pyrodex has a higher ignition temperature, and it definitely happens with it. Subsequent target frames are checked for smoldering wad material stuck in the cardboard before reloading starts. Weíve prevented several burned up target stands this way.

  5. #25
    Boolit Master Nobade's Avatar
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    I did that using Pearl lube on the wads. It also contaminates the powder, so won't be doing that again. Gatofeo #1 for me from now. Great for wads and dip lubing bullets.

  6. #26
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bent Ramrod View Post
    I schmear grease over the round balls in the cylinders.

    It gets all over on firing, but enough stays in the chambers and barrel to keep everything lubricated and shooting.

    A friend shoots Pyrodex in his .36 Navy with Wonder Wads underneath the balls. I had my target stand up so we could see where it was shooting one day. Two laths, a piece of cardboard stapled between them, and the target paper taped to that.

    He fired a cylinderful at the target. The holes were easy to see at 15 yards, so we consulted together on the sight holdoff while he reloaded. When we turned to face the target again, we found it was on fire, already half burned up.

    After putting it out, the target frame was ruined, so we set out our plinking targets and he shot at them with the sight holdoff. Looking at the trajectory, I could see little curved lines of smoke where the smoldering wads were arching toward the cans and PET bottles.

    Don’t know if this ever happens in pistols with real black powder (I’ve only used Wonder Wads in rifles), but Pyrodex has a higher ignition temperature, and it definitely happens with it. Subsequent target frames are checked for smoldering wad material stuck in the cardboard before reloading starts. We’ve prevented several burned up target stands this way.
    yeah we did it in an 1860 navy using lube cookies over the powder (no card wads separating) they were tracer rounds, the lube stuck to the back of the ball and shes on fire all the way to the target - same thing in a walker didnt do it - I guess the extra powder charge ether burned up all the lube or blasted it away. (straight blackpwder loads)

  7. #27
    Boolit Buddy LabGuy's Avatar
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    Are you going to shoot all day, or a few cylinders full? If you want to shoot all day, I recommend, loading your powder charge, enough Cream of Wheat (COW) to fill up excess room, seat a ball, big enough to shave lead, and top with 50/50 bees wax/unsalted lard. I use Lee powder scoops to find the right amount of COW. Just enough to seat the ball in the cylinder, no more, no less. Straight Crisco make quite a mess in South Florida summers.
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  8. #28
    Boolit Buddy

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    I no longer pack grease on the top of my loaded cylinders. There's no need, it just makes a mess that excess powder sticks to.
    I use my homemade lubricated wool wads. All my balls and conicals fit tight. When I'm shooting lite loads I top the powder with cream of wheat cereal.
    I have some lube cookies made up, but have had a chance to try them yet.
    Never had any flaming wads. Why is their powder burning so slow?

    Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk

  9. #29
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    Bent Ramrod - maybe treat the stands with "Water Glass" (Sodium silicate) as it's a decent fire blocking chemical?

  10. #30
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaseous Maximus View Post

    What are your opinions on applying Crisco or the grease to the front of the percussion revolver cylinder to prevent cross fires ?

    It used to be pretty much gospel, except recently I read in GUNS mag. that it really wasn't necessary.

    So what do you think ?

    I think that opinions are like butts - everybody has a different one...….

    I've been voting for Crisco lard atop the seated ball for over 50 years, with perfect results - so, I don't envision changing anytime soon.

    The resulting sloppy mess after shooting a bit is IMO well worth the protection and resultant easing of the dreary clean up chores at the end of the day.

    .
    Experience is a wonderful thing - It lets you recognize a mistake, when you make it again.

  11. #31
    It is a lube, anti-crossfire compound, moisture barrier that is cheap and effective. Not for every application but fine for most.

    Sent from my SM-N975U using Tapatalk

  12. #32
    Boolit Master
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    All I know is that after trying all the options ... for me ... overball lube is the best performance I have found.

    1/2 bee wax 1/2 Vaseline works as well as any I have tried. My best accuracy has been with this overball lube or SPG in the same capacity.

    Been doing this since getting my first C&B revolver (1851) in the mid to layer 70's ... that is nineteen seventy's.

    My paper cart's do very well also with the dunking of the ball end in melted lube and thus having a bit better then a smear of lube over the ball.

    I do not think it takes much and certainly if it is a total mess ... it would be using too much.

    Just sayin! This is my way ... as has been said above ... many paths to the same destination.
    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE...MORE WILL BE SAID THEN DONE

  13. #33
    Boolit Master

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    I think that Mr. Hickok, back in Post #5, is correct. It wasn't too many months ago that we had a long and intensely interesting thread about chain or cross firing cylinder chambers. I experienced three of these memorable events years ago. Indian Joe also opined that it was the fit and seating of the nipples and caps, and that recoil might back poorly fitted caps off the nipples into contact with the revolver's recoil shield and set them off. Great theory, and I checked a couple of my revolvers and found one cap on each in that condition. I solved the problem by polishing the nipples so that the caps would go on all the way but remain snug. One or two gentle passes around the nipple with a Craytex wheel in a Dremel tool. I fitted them to CCI caps, and decided from that day forward to use them exclusively due to possible differences in the fit of other brands, and laid in 5,000 of them for future reference.

    When new to the BP revolver game I also took the advice of experts and used Crisco to seal the chambers, but like others have noted here, if one is going to opt for doing this, then there are better choices. As noted by bedbugbilly, one or two shots and most of the rest of the Crisco melts away. I switched to high temp bearing grease, but since solving the nipple/cap problem I'm more of the opinion that a lubed felt wad over the powder and under the ball is enough. Back when I bought several packages of Blue and Grey wads, and they've lasted a long time. The ball has to shave a ring all the way around when forced into the cylinder chamber to assure a good seal.

    The chain fire thing continues to fascinate me. Back when the 1860 was Army issue apparently neither grease nor wads were used, just powder and ball. Nevertheless, I've run across no stories about chain fire incidents. You would think that there would have had to be some or many, considering how many times these revolvers were used in the Civil War and Indian Wars, and when it happens it will definitely get your attention and surely someone would have written about it. Or, were they perhaps so common as to be considered nothing special? Also, the way that the 1860 and 1861 are designed, the way that the frame curves inward on the sides in front of the cylinder makes one think that the problem was encountered or anticipated. Is it possible that since these revolvers were in such use at the time that nipples and caps were more carefully made? You wouldn't think that the manufacturing of 150 years ago would have been better than today? When a chain fire occurs, it seems to always be the chambers adjacent to the one lined up with the bore, and those balls pass by the outside of the barrel without harm except to the nervous system of the shooter. I've never heard of the bottom chamber going off which would surely destroy the revolver and likely cause serious injury.

    DG

  14. #34
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    Another vote for some form of wad ( i use a cookie of lube ) over the powder but under the ball. Much better lube delivery method IMHO.
    You'll go far providin' you ain't burnt alive or scalped."

    Will Geer as Bear Claw in "Jeramiah Johnson"

  15. #35
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by Good Cheer View Post
    Me too, still got the Navy Arms 1861 purchased 1976 at Deep River Armory in Houston. It loves a full charge of FFFg behind boolits cast with a Lee 9mm round nose mold I drilled out back then to 3/8". It barks, knocks red bricks off of fence posts, and actually has a little muzzle flip with that combo. And it won't never make a flash over.

    These prevent it too.

    Good looking rounds. So you drilled out a regular 9mm mold?

  16. #36
    Boolit Master Good Cheer's Avatar
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    That one is a round ball mold altered to have a cylindrical tail to slip into the chambers for Pietta .36 caliber revolvers.
    Previously I drilled out a 9mm mold.

  17. #37
    Boolit Buddy
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    jut use a lubed wad and skip the mess

  18. #38
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by barnabus View Post
    jut use a lubed wad and skip the mess
    yeah its easy (lubed wads) ..................My ASM 51 navy 44cal shoots better with lube over the ball so thats how I shoot it - black powder guns often got a mind of their own (like blackpowder shooters I guess)

  19. #39
    Boolit Master Good Cheer's Avatar
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    Uh, yeah, exactly.

  20. #40
    Boolit Master
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    I have no idea of how many threads I have read on this question. I have done lubes wads, ect. But I do put lube over my cylinders. I have had two chain fires
    since I started shooting in the late 1970s. Since then I always lube the cylinders & never had another since. Also as the previse poster said I do not get cylinder
    bind as often using lube over the cylinder as I do with lubing wad.

    JMOHOP Fly

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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