Lube for Round Ball in a shell case?

Discussion in 'Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns' started by deadin, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    Question.....
    I am fabricating some cases for a single shot Belgian target pistol (.45 caliber circa 1880-90's) and intend to load them with BP (or BP substitute) and a pure lead Round Ball.
    What and/or how should I lube them? Would just dipping the exposed ball into some lube before chambering suffice?
    I've never loaded an actual cartridge case with RB before and just realized that there should be some lube present. Or is lube even needed?
  2. old jeff

    old jeff New Member

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    Not too many options are available.

    Just talked to a friend about your issue who has considerable experience in the black powder arena.

    The ball in a case idea will not give you sufficient capability to have much lube. Lee Alox would probably be the only possible solution and that's only going to be a very thin coating provided the case doesn't scrape it off. Additionally, you should use an over-powder wad to keep the lube from contaminating your powder charge.

    Another possibility is a smaller ball with a lubed patch. Not a very easy method and certainly a PITA to load. Need an over powder wad just like above.

    The best idea is to use a conical bullet that has lube grooves. Have you slugged the bore yet? That's obviously going to be very important. If base of bullet is clean of lube an over-powder wad is not necessary.

    Bottom line. Shooting any slug/ball with a poor fit will only result in disappointment with poor results. Have you slugged your bore?
  3. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    Yes. It slugs to .446. It also is a 1 in 32 twist, so it sounds like a round ball barrel.
  4. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    You could do a lube cookie. Melt your lube and pour it into a pan to a thickness of maybe 1/16 to 1/8 inch. When it's hardened, cut it out, using a cartridge case as a cookie cutter. Powder, over powder wad (to prevent lube contamination), lube cookie, ball.
  5. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    How about a wad of lube on the front half of the ball before inserting into the chamber? (Kind of like a cap&ball revolver)
  6. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    You could seat the ball deep, below mouth level of the case, and then fill the space above it with lube. Maybe stretch some saran wrap over the top to keep it clean.

    Your main trouble with any type of exterior lubed bullet is the lube picks up dirt and trash, which then gets shot down your gun barrel.
  7. old jeff

    old jeff New Member

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    .446 is really a tough one particularly for round ball.

    I only know of one place that makes molds in that size.

    FWIW you might look at neihandtools.com/index.html

    Got one several years ago in .446 for my 71/84 Mauser also had them make me a shortened (length) bullet mold for a 38/55. More variety and sizes than anyone else that I'm aware of.

    You might might want to give them a call
  8. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    I got some .445 RB from Track of the Wolf ($9.00/100). Slugged one thru the barrel and it fills the grooves just fine.
    As for the exterior lube picking up grit, I won't lube until immediately before chambering. (It's a target gun, not something I'm going to be carrying around.)

    I will have to see how well it shoots before I invest in any custom molds. I fabricated the cases from .45 Long Colt by shortening the case, thinning the rim (from the front) and sizing in a 45 Colt die. For final neck sizing I ran about the first half inch or so into a 44/40 sizing die. No crimp needed as it is a single shot. The case holds about 21 grs. of Triple Seven with the ball seated just beyond its circumference.
  9. old jeff

    old jeff New Member

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    Sounds like you have it covered. It's always fun to take a difficult task and find a solution. More fun to find an economical solution.

    Back before the internet figuring out stuff for obsolete cartridges and odd sized bullets was very difficult unless one had access to a machine shop.

    Regarding custom molds.

    There are lots out there. Lots of small operation shops that produce high quality stuff for BP shooters. I had several molds (Ideal) that were re-cut by Walt Melander which saved me several bucks. Walt was a terrific guy and always provided excellent advice and service to me. When he died, our sport lost a valuable contributor and friend.
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