Question about wads for cap and ball revolvers

Discussion in 'Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns' started by beastybaconman, Oct 31, 2014.

  1. beastybaconman

    beastybaconman Member

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    I'm new to cap and ball revolvers and I was just wondering if I need to use a wad or lube when I shoot my gun. I know you're supposed to use them to prevent chain fire, but if the ball is slightly oversize and shaves a ring of lead when it's loaded, shouldn't that seal the chamber good enough to keep sparks from getting in? I only ask because I don't have wads right now and I'd like to take a few shots. I do plan on making some wads once I get some felt, but do I have to lube the wads or can I just use dry ones?
     
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  2. gdmoody

    gdmoody Full Time Moderator Moderator Supporting Member

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    I recommend that you buy a can of Crisco shortening (if they still sell the stuff). After you press the ball into the chamber, just put a finger full of Crisco on top of the ball to prevent the chain fire. It costs a whole lot less than the wads and "name brand" lube and does the same thing. I never used any kind of wads when I shot my BP revolver.
     

  3. jim brady

    jim brady Well-Known Member

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    Wads and lube. I used those pre-packaged felt wads. Maybe I was over-doing it, but I also used lube to seal off the chambers. You don't NEED those wads, but you can and I did.

    As far as lube goes, I highly recommend it. You will find that when shooting a black powder six-shooter, the fired black powder propellant ends up EVERYWHERE. It will cause you revolver to bind-up. Lube - all from plain old Crisco to the fancy lubes for blackpowder that you can buy - help to keep that black powder residue soft on the cylinder pin and all of the working parts while you shoot.

    I never had a 'chain fire', but again I always used lube to seal the chambers. From what I hear, it's not an experiance you will want to seek out.

    George beat me to the post. They still sell Crisco, and it's still cheap. My wife uses it all the time in baking.
     
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  4. David13

    David13 Well-Known Member

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    I always use them. A pack of 100 is not much $ and I get one when I get a box of 100 balls.
    So they go hand in hand for me.
    I never use any cooking products out there tho'. But I suppose then your shooting would smell like fried chicken.
    dc
     
  5. todd51

    todd51 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I also have used nothing but Crisco. Way back when Head and Shoulders Shampoo came in a plastic tube I saved a couple when empty, cleaned them out, melted some Crisco, put the shampoo tube in some water so it wouldn't be damaged by the hot oil and poured the now liquid Crisco into the tube. The Crisco when cool went back to it's normal consistency and the tubes went into the black powder kit.
     
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  6. Hawg

    Hawg Well-Known Member

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    Wads are easier and less messy but Crisco will work fine. You do not need to fill the void between ball and chamber mouth, just a little around the edge of the balls is all you need. Any more just gets blasted all over the gun.
     
  7. gvw3

    gvw3 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I use this with my pistols. I use the pre lubed wads also.
    upload_2014-11-1_6-22-2.png
     
  8. Grizzley1

    Grizzley1 Well-Known Member

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    Wads are optional, they're not as messy as greasing but if you've got her greased up you're good to go with out them.
     
  9. todd51

    todd51 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Never witnessed a problem but a neighboring fire chief told me of his experience when he and his son went out to shoot the son's newly purchased 1851 Navy replica. They didn't know about using grease or wads and loaded the pistol with out either. First shot and three cylinders ignited sending one down the barrel and one down each side. No one was hurt but they were not interested in doing it again. I don't know the condition of the caps.
     
  10. gdmoody

    gdmoody Full Time Moderator Moderator Supporting Member

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    The exact same thing happened to me the first time I fired the one I had. Someone told me about using Crisco and it never happened again.

    I saw one of the slickgun ads the other day where Cabela's was selling a Pietta .44 cap and ball revolver for $150 shipped. I thought about buying one for a little while, but then remembered the PITA cleaning I had to do with the last one.
     
  11. beastybaconman

    beastybaconman Member

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    Thanks for the help everybody. I'll just use some crisco until I can get some wads made. Do the wads need to be lubed or can they be dry? And if I make some paper cartridges do I still need a wad or lube?
     
  12. gdmoody

    gdmoody Full Time Moderator Moderator Supporting Member

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    I never tried in paper cartridges but I would think that if you put lube inside a cartridge (paper or not) that it would contaminate the powder.
     
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  13. beastybaconman

    beastybaconman Member

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    I'm not talking about putting the lube in the cartridge, I mean would I need to put some crisco on top of the ball once I load the cartridge?
     
  14. gdmoody

    gdmoody Full Time Moderator Moderator Supporting Member

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    Duh! I never thought of that, I guess that would work!
     
  15. Grizzley1

    Grizzley1 Well-Known Member

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    Wads work better lubed, black powder fouls your gun and that lube helps keep it soft, if you don't lube the wad then you still need to lube the mouth of the cylinder, not so much to prevent the chain fire as the wad seals the chamber, but to keep the bore lubed.

    Lubing your own isn't too hard just set them in a shallow pan and pour melted Crisco or your lube of choice over them and shake them around a bit to make sure they are all coated evenly and then set them on a paper towel to cool.

    I haven't ever made paper cartridges but I'd lube after loading them if I did.