A new members questions

Discussion in 'Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns' started by okmac, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. okmac

    okmac New Member

    Nov 4, 2010
    A little about myself as this is my first post. I am 75 yrs old and have handled guns all of my life but never black powder so am really a newbie in the sport. I hope you will bare with me for a couple of questions.

    I just received my 1858 New Model Army and in reading the instructions I noticed it called for a .454 ball. When I ordered the gun I also ordered 200 of the .451 ball . Is there a problem using the smaller ball?

    I also noticed on the ball there is a protrusion, probably caused in making the ball , I assume when you load the ball you have this either facing the powder charge or down the barrel. Does it make any difference ?

    I plan on using Triple Se7en FFFg power. What would be a proper load for just target practice ?

    The instructions say that you should fire a cap in each cylinder before loading to make sure they are clear of any oil. Do you have to do this each time when you go out to shoot ? Seems like a waste of a good cap .

    Thanks ahead of time

    P.S. Cannot wait until I get out to the range next week.:D
  2. ofitg

    ofitg Active Member

    Feb 25, 2010
    Hello Mac, welcome aboard.

    One potentially dangerous problem with percussion revolvers is chainfires - the flash from one chamber going off might get past the lead ball in an adjacent chamber and cause it to go off too. You can read some of the other threads in this forum for more discussion on the topic.
    The .454 balls were probably recommended to reduce this risk. You can probably get away with using .451 balls, but it would be wise to put some lube in front of the loaded balls to seal up the chambers as best as you can.

  3. quigleysharps4570

    quigleysharps4570 Active Member

    Aug 10, 2009
    Welcome aboard.
    With that smaller ball you sure want to make sure those chambers are greased after loading to prevent any chance of a chain fire. I've always placed that sprue face up when loading. Can't help you on that replica powder for a load...real black is all I use.
    I don't waste good caps making sure there is any oil in the nipples or chamber...before loading I clean the cylinder and nipples with alcohol to get rid of any oil. Have never had a misfire with that practice. Need any .454 balls give me a holler...have more here than I'll ever use up.
  4. stewswanson

    stewswanson New Member

    Jun 19, 2009
    I have used both .451 and .454 balls with no problem. They both will shave off a ring of lead when loaded which means they are larger than the cylinder and are sealing. I have used 777 in mine and load 24 gr.(by volume). You use less 777 than you would black powder or pyrodex ( it is about 15% more potent). The 777 is somewhat less "dirty" but same day cleaning is still a good practice. I usually use 27 gr. of Pyrodex.
    I also use a lubed wad over the powder which also prevents chain fires.
  5. Gatofeo

    Gatofeo New Member

    Sep 18, 2005
    Remote Utah desert, separated from Oblivion by a s
    The Remington has a fairly short rammer that won't firmly seat the ball on lighter charges of powder. It will leave a gap between the ball and powder -- a dangerous condition.
    With lighter charges of powder, it is common practice to use a little corn meal as a space filler. Add enough to the top of the powder so that the corn meal is about 1/4 inch below the mouth of the chamber. Then, you ram the ball down firmly.
    The firmly seated ball will keep the corn meal and powder from mixing, by tension on both.
    Corn meal is preferred over Cream of Wheat because corn meal will compress slightly. Cream of Wheat doesn't compress. Thus, corn meal is a little more forgiving if you add a trifle too much.
    You may also use felt wads designed for cap and ball revolvers. These are preferred as they add some lubricant as well. I'm not a fan of the dry lubricant used in Wonder Wads, as it doesn't keep the fouling soft.
    Instead, soak the wads in lard, crisco, bacon grease, olive oil or some other natural grease. The best lubricant I've found is one named after me: Gatofeo No. 1 Bullet Lubricant.
    No one makes it commercially, you'll have to make it yourself.
    The recipe is 1 part canning paraffin (as used to seal jars of preserves), 1 part mutton tallow (sold by Dixie Gun Works) and 1/2 part beeswax (the real deal, not the synthetic stuff sold today for toilet seals).
    All measurements are by weight, not volume.

    Dixie Gun Works also sells Ol' Zip Patch Grease, which is a mix of mutton tallow and beeswax. This works very well for soaking wads.

    With light loads, seat two wads over the powder. Then, seat the ball.
    I much prefer balls of .454 or 457 inch over the recommended .451 inch balls. The larger balls seal the chamber better, and create a wider bearing band for the rifling to grip. This, I believe, aids accuracy.

    Keep in mind that Hodgdon 777 is NOT a direct substitute for black powder. It should not be used volume-for-volume with black powder.
    Visit the Hodgdon website to learn how much 777 is appropriate for your Remington. If you use 777, it should be FFFG (triple F) grade and not FFG (double F) for best results.

    Is your Remington brass-framed? If so, I believe that Hodgdon does not recommend the use of 777 in brass-framed revolvers. Brass-framed revolvers cannot take the forces of the cylinder slamming back under recoil, or the forces exerted upon the frame as a whole. Powerful loads with black powder, Pyrodex or 777 will wear and damage brass-framed guns.
    For brass-framed Remington designs, use no more than 30 grains (some believe that 25 is the limit) of Pyrodex or FFFG black powder.

    I urge the use of felt wads in your loads, as it will keep the bore cleaner and prolong the firing of the revolver, before it stiffens from fouling in the action.

    Search the internet for my post, "So You Want a Cap and Ball Revolver?" or "How To Properly Use a Cap and Ball Revolver."
    Search these titles and my name, Gatofeo.
    These posts in other boards will give you much information.
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