Another Newbie with some questions

Discussion in 'Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns' started by rakumaniac, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. rakumaniac

    rakumaniac New Member

    Dec 1, 2010
    Hello all,
    I bought a Traditions Remington Model 1858 New Army .44,,and have prowled around these forums reading and learning. Wish I would have done that before I bought this pistol (Brass Frame) but I didn't. I have learned quite a bit in reading the posts around here and reading Gatfeo's detailed description "So you want to Shoot Black Powder" so Thank you all for the information.
    I have handled and fired many reguler guns and I have collected and not fired many real antique guns My questions are ...
    Why is there so much talk of Lard,Crisco and unusual cleaning methods ?
    Are reguler cleaning methods with products like Remmington Gun cleaning solvents and Gun Oils unsafe to use or is it more of a purist thing ?
    What did the folks back in the 1800's use to clean and lubricate the firearms ?
    I have always stayed away from water on my firearms and it seems it is counter intuitive.
    Also,,The powder pellets,, They seem like a good idea,,What say you guys ?

    I am new to Black powder and do not want to do it wrong and apologize if my questions seem lame. I am trying to learn and again,, Thank all of you for the wealth of information around here. Like I said I wish I would've come here first as I would bought the all steel framed one.
    Thanks Again
  2. ofitg

    ofitg Active Member

    Feb 25, 2010
    According to what I've learned over the years, petroleum-based lubes react with blackpowder residue to form "gummy" deposits.... almost like crude plastic. Natural lubes remain softer.

    Don't be afraid to remove the nipples from the cylinder and flush it out with hot water. The metal will heat up and the water should evaporate rapidly. I usually do the same for the barrel, but I try to avoid getting water inside the frame.... I'm not a gunsmith, and I'd rather not monkey with the lockwork.

    I've never tried the pellets, I've always used loose powder. Do they even sell pellets which are the proper diameter to fill up the revolver's chamber?

  3. first off pellet type powder will not work well in your pistol.they take a hotter type powder and most substitutes are sulfur based,thats caustic and will damage barrel and cylinders.if you use very hot soapy water when cleaning it will evaporate.if you use a petrolium based oil in barrel and cylinders it may contaminate powder,thats why using a product like bore butter etc is better for gun.make sure to use wadding and seal cylinders before firing,that will prevent chain fire. old semperfi
  4. sewerman

    sewerman New Member

    yep.....i endorse the use of HOT soapy water, vigorous scrubbing of the bore and through rinsing with water. with a revolver it's easy just to get a old sauce pan to dump the small parts into while cleaning the barrel & frame.
    after cleaning the barrel and small parts should dry very fast since the rinse water should be HOT too.
    afterward lightly oil with your favorite lube. wait a day or so oil again.

    i have found that the modern steels seem to rust & pit much quicker than the older mild steels used in the orginials.

    maybe it is the higher carbon content of todays steels?


    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
  5. rakumaniac

    rakumaniac New Member

    Dec 1, 2010
    Thanks for the input folks,,another probably silly question,,
    I notice there is a device called Tap O Cap for tapping out your own caps,,I could see a use for this in a survivalist type situation,,,My question is
    If this device taps out a shell that you thenn put paper caps into,,Whycant you just keep old caps after firing them and reload them with paper caps ?
    Again Prolly a stupid question but,,are the store bought caps completely destroyed when used,,or is the shell worth hanging onto for "survival type" stuff
  6. jim brady

    jim brady Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2009
    Simla, Colorado
    My brother used to make his own caps, and he enjoyed doing it. As far as re-useing fired caps, once you shoot your pistol you will see how they fly apart and deform. As far as cleaning, I am 100% with the other guys about useing hot soapy water and a very hot clear water rinse.

    One thing I do differently is take off the grip panels, dis-assemble the pistol and clean it with that hot soapy water and rinse. What's different about my method is that I use a spray can of WD-40 and spray the heck out of everything in the pistol's insides - then let 'er drip dry. WD-40 displaces any remaining water and leaves a film that keeps the rust away.

    Crisco or lard is used to seal the mouth of the clyinder's chambers to prevent 'chain-fires'. Pretty messy, but it does work. I started useing those pre-cut lubricated felt over-the-powder wads instead. Never had a chain-fire yet.

    Those 'pellets' are designed for rifle use. Better to stick with Pyrodex or black powder. As far as that brass frame goes, it should last you a good while. If it ever does shoot loose, you could just buy another steel fram and rebuild that pistol then with the parts you already have.
  7. rakumaniac

    rakumaniac New Member

    Dec 1, 2010
    Thanks Jim,
    I have read several times that the pellets are for rifle use but I have found these ...
    Here is what it says on cabella's site and they have a 4 of 4 star rating (as rated by users)..

    "Pyrodex® .44/.45 Caliber 30-Grain Pellets – 100 Pellets Per Box
    Cap and Ball revolvers just entered the modern age. No flask or spout, no loose powder mess: loading has never been cleaner or easier. These 30 grain volume pellets are intended for use in 44 or 45 caliber cap and ball revolvers. Simply drop the pellets down the bore (ignition strip towards the bottom) seat the bullet and you're ready to shoot. 100 pellets per package. "
    I have powder as well but this seems like it is worth trying these as they are only 17 bucks for 100,,,I do not mean to question experience, but are these a new thing for revolvers as, like I said ,All over the web folks keep saying "pellets are just for rifles" ?
  8. ofitg

    ofitg Active Member

    Feb 25, 2010
    rakumaniac, if you try those pellets, I hope you'll let us know how they worked out.
  9. Buffalochip

    Buffalochip Well-Known Member

    Oct 22, 2008
    I've used the pellets--NO problems, no mess, easy to load.
  10. ofitg

    ofitg Active Member

    Feb 25, 2010
    Thanks for the report - I might have to buy some of those pellets.

    I wonder if it would be feasible to glue a lead ball onto the end of the pellet - a modern version of the combustible revolver cartridge.....
  11. rakumaniac

    rakumaniac New Member

    Dec 1, 2010
    I will cause I did order two hundred I am still waiting on them to show up.

    "I wonder if it would be feasible to glue a lead ball onto the end of the pellet - a modern version of the combustible revolver cartridge....."

    Good question,,I just like the idea of being able to drop it in,Hopefully it will not affect being able to put a presoaked wad between the pellet and the ball.
  12. Thanks for the kinds words regarding my post, "So You Want a Cap and Ball Revolver?"
    I wrote it some years ago; little if anything has changed since then. I still believe in loose black powder, slightly oversized balls, pinching caps into an elliptical shape, Gatofeo No. 1 lubricant and the of felt wads containing this lubricant between ball and powder.

    I've been shooting cap and ball sixguns since about 1970 and I'm still learning.

    When Pyrodex Pellets were introduced for .44/.45 caliber cap and ball revolvers, you'd have thought it was the end of black powder, judging from all the gun magazines. Well, that didn't happen. While more convenient, pellets are also a lot more expensive than loose powder.
    They also limit you to a single powder charge, and most cap and ball owners like to use different loads.
    I recall hearing of folks gluing a ball on the end of the pellet. I hear it worked, but came with a warning: not all revolver designs have enough room between the chamber mouth and rammer to accommodate the pellet/ball combination.
    If you have a separate loader, this point may be moot today. From what I recall reading some years ago, the pellet/glued ball combo fired just fine.
    I seem to recall that plain ol' Elmer's glue was used.

    If the ball is glued to the pellet, it definitely will interfere with getting a greased, felt wad twixt ball and pellet. I suppose you could carry the ball/pellet as a unit, then break off the ball, load the pellet, add a wad, seat the wad, and then seat the ball.
    Doesn't sound like you'd gain much in convenience with this method.

    Perhaps you could create a Super Cartridge by gluing pellet, wad and ball together. Might find it difficult to keep the glue stuck to the greased wad, though, and there's that problem of an overly long cartridge again.
    Might work. Who knows?

    Petroleum-based lubricants are not recommended because, somehow during the burning of the powder, they create a hard, tarry fouling. It has nothing to do with contaminating powder. Natural lubricants will contaminate powder too.
    Years ago, a chemist told me that the hydrocarbons in petroleum-based greases create the hard, tarry fouling. The Gatofeo No. 1 lubricant recipe contains canning paraffin, and paraffin is a petroleum product.
    However, that same chemist told me that paraffin lacks the hydrocarbons that cause the trouble. I don't know if it's true, I'm no chemist (the only thing I remember from high school chemistry classes are the miniskirts and halter tops of the early 1970s).

    I still clean my pistols with hot, soapy water. I don't totally disassemble them each time, but I do clean the bore, cylinder (remove the nipples and clean them separately) and wipe around the interior of the frame, hammer and hammer channel with a damp rag or Q-tips.

    Tap O' Cap: Seen it for years but never tried it. I've read conflicting reports in various message boards over the years. Some like 'em, others feel it's tedious and takes too much time. I don't hear any bad reports about the reliability of the caps it produces, they seem to work fine.
    I've never obtained a Tap O' Cap. I think Dixie Gun Works still sells them. Online seaches may find it elsewhere.
    I still see rolls of paper caps in the toy section of the local Gato Mart. Availability in politically correct states that are uneasy with toy guns may be a problem.

    I too have noticed that modern steels seem to rust easier than the older steels. Could it be carbon content, or that old steel has had longer to soak up oil over the decades? Steel is porous and will hold oil, perhaps that accounts for it. A metallurgist might know.

    Raukmaniac: never apologize for asking a question in here. Remember, none of us knew about these things, we all had to learn too.
    On a side, grumpy-cat note: I get aggravated by folks who say, "Gee, didn't you know that?"
    More than a few times I've told them: "Were you born knowing this? Was this knowledge somehow innate? No, at some point you were just as dumb as you think I now am."
    Computer geeks are the worst, because they assume everyone understands their jargon.
    Heck, when I started shooting cap and ball revolvers nearly 40 years ago the only source of information was the Lyman reloading manual. It wasn't wrong, but we've learned more since, a lot more. Plus, the revolvers are much better quality.
    I wrote "So You Want a Cap and Ball Revolver?" to impart what I've learned from others, and learned through experience. It's not perfect, and certainly not the last word, but it's better than the first instructions I had: add powder, ram ball, slather grease over the ball, put cap on nipple, hope the ball hits somewhere near the target.
  13. rakumaniac

    rakumaniac New Member

    Dec 1, 2010
    Thank You Gatfeo,,I am still anxiously awaiting actually getting to fire my pistol as I have been staying busy working and also gathering info and items for my new BP collection,,It is funny because I have some nice black powder antique pieces like my Sharps Borchardt Carbine 45/70 and an Original Colt Richards U.S. Army .44 conversion That belonged to my Great Grandfather but these I will not fire,,,,well maybe the 45/70 someday... anyway,I am really looking forward to firing this new pistol.
    Thank You again Gatfeo and everyone for the wealth of information
  14. rakumaniac

    rakumaniac New Member

    Dec 1, 2010
    Well I used the pellets and fired my pistol and was very happy with the results.
    Pellet just drops in placed, a presoaked wad on top,added ball put cap on and fired wonderfully
    I am very happy with The Pellets and the pistol
  15. ofitg

    ofitg Active Member

    Feb 25, 2010
    Thanks for the update!

    So far I've seen two favorable reports, and one unfavorable report.
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