to grease or not to grease

Discussion in 'Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns' started by raysmithson1, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. raysmithson1

    raysmithson1 Member

    Apr 22, 2010
    Monterey ca. we call it paradise
    Have a Ruger Old Army, would like your all's opinion on to grease after installing the ball, would'nt the caps be more apt to cause a problem ,, kinda holden back on the shooing of it ,, thanks for your input Ray
  2. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

    Mar 23, 2011
    Grease over them or lubed wads under them. If you go with grease over them all you need is enough to go around the edge of the ball. You don't need to fill the whole chamber mouth, that just makes a mess. You need some lube to keep fouling soft.
  3. Little Rooster

    Little Rooster New Member

    Oct 17, 2007
    Old Dominion
    Like Hawg said
  4. Gatofeo

    Gatofeo New Member

    Sep 18, 2005
    Remote Utah desert, separated from Oblivion by a s
    Lately, it's been fashionable for some shooters to claim that no lubricant is needed.
    After all, they note that Sam Colt didn't specify putting lubricant over the ball in the instructions accompanying his revolvers.
    Mebbe so ... but it's interesting to note that paper cartridges have been found in their original container with some kind of oxidized lubricant on the bullet. It may be beeswax, or a mix of beeswax and tallow.
    There are historical references to soldiers putting wax over their seated projectile and caps, probably for waterproofing, but who's to say they also didn't learn the benefits of doing so.

    The Colt company also produced, in its later bullet moulds, a conical bullet cavity with a lubricating groove around the bullet. Clearly, the benefits of lubrication were known, and Colt promoted the idea with this bullet design.

    DEFINITELY put some natural grease (Crisco, lard, beeswax softened with vegetable oil, etc.) over the seated projectile. It keeps the fouling softer and allows more shots before binding of the parts.

    Myself, I much prefer 100% wool felt wads soaked in Gatofeo No. 1 Lubricant. This lubricant is an old factory recipe, which I improved upon. The ratios remain the same, but the ingredients are very specific:

    1 part canning paraffin
    1 part mutton tallow
    1/2 part beeswax
    All measurements are by weight, not volume.

    This creates a somewhat hard lubricant that soaks well in the wad and stiffens it. This stiffened wad helps to scrape fouling from the bore, I beleive. I've recovered hard felt wads with the negative impression of rifling around their edge, indicating it got down deep into the grooves.
    Gatofeo No. 1 Lubricant is also good for bullets, patches and shotgun wads, used with black powder.
    You have to make it yourself. It's not offered commercially. I'd offer it commercially but I can't find a 5-gallon bucket of mutton tallow at a good price. Dixie Gun Works sells mutton tallow; a small tub is about $6.

    Contrary to belief, grease over a projectile doesn't seem to protect from multiple discharges. Many experienced shooters believe that multiple ignitions stem from flame getting into adjacent nipples, from missing or loose caps.
    Frankly, I've never quite believed that flame can get past a properly sized projectile, one that shaves a ring of lead when seated. In the .36s, I use .380 balls. In the .44, I use .454 or .457 balls (Ruger specifies .457 balls, and some Ruger shooters use .460 balls to ensure a good seal.
    Using a .380 or .454 ball (Ruger aside) also creates a wider bearing band around the ball, for the rifling to grip. This wider band improves obturation (sealing) as the bullet enters the barrel and travels down the bore.

    Make your own wads with 100% wool hard felt from Shipping is free within the states, and you can get a 1/8" thick sheet at a good price that will create thousands of .36 and .45 wads.
    A 3/8" hole punch makes good .36 wads. For the .44 cap and ball, you'l want a .45-caliber wad cutter. Buffalo Arms sells it for about $20. With inexpensive hard wool felt, and a wad punch, you'll soon be money ahead over buying the Wonder Wads.
    Besides, I've never found the dry-lube Wonder Wads nearly as good at keeping fouling down as a wad soaked in a moist lubricant.

    Wear eye and ear protection when shooting that revolver.
    Have fun!
  5. kempnerkaos

    kempnerkaos New Member

    Sep 9, 2012
    Gatofeo,I just made exactly the recipe you have just given and ended up with right at 2 gallons of grease,lol. I got it all in the cheap glad plasticware at walmart,but I want be buying any "bore butter" soon. I use it to make my felt greased wads,for my ball patches,and cleaning as well. I love the stuff actually.When I "grease my patch I do it while firing instead of all at one time,but I put alot of the grease in a 2 ounce catheter syringe and simply shoot a small dab onn the patch with it and run a popsickle stick over it to spread thinly,then do the other side.The catheter syrynge also works good to cap your cylinders off with grease if worried about chain firing.I use a dab just to keep the fouling soft on pistol,and use it on my rifle too.It's just a good all around grease I think.I bought my felt from Duro-felt for the wads,and on e bay got a nice 12 punch set for 10.99 for the wads....They wanted 9.00 for 1 wad cutter,and I ended up with 12 of different sizes for basically the same price give or take a dollar or two.
  6. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Ok, Paraffin I can find if I look hard enough...heck, just boil down some Pennzoil or Quaker State,,,

    And my bro-in-law has just started his new hobby of beekeeping, so I guess I can get beeswax cheap soon...

    But "Mutton tallow?"????

    I don't know any sheep herders near me....:confused::cool:
  7. Gatofeo

    Gatofeo New Member

    Sep 18, 2005
    Remote Utah desert, separated from Oblivion by a s
    Mutton tallow is sold by Dixie Gun Works.
    You can get a small tub of it for a decent price.
    Mutton tallow is also sold as a cosmetic, in tiny containers, at high price. Obviously, avoid this.
    Mutton tallow can be difficult to find. When Dixie Gun Works ran out of it about 18 months ago, it was darned hard to find at a decent price.
    I live in the remote Utah desert, where sheep are moved into the desert in the fall, wintered over, and removed about May for market. Herders can do this, because there's far more precipitation in the winter than summer, to keep the herds watered.
    I spoke to a herd owner a few years ago, asking him where I could get mutton tallow or just the raw fat after butchering, so I could melt the fat out of the tallow.
    He told me that the sheep he raises are not butchered locally, but shipped to Los Angeles for butchering. There's a large population of Middle Easterners and Eastern Europeans there who buy mutton.
    I haven't found a source for mutton tallow in the Salt Lake City area, or even sheep fat.
    But I order my mutton tallow from Dixie Gun Works. One or two tubs is all you'll need. A little goes a long way.
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