To wad or not to wad that is my question

Discussion in 'Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns' started by melton74959, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. melton74959

    melton74959 New Member

    Oct 22, 2010
    Spiro, OK
    I have a .44 caliber 1860 Army BP pistol that I bought at a flea market for $40.00 including holster over 17 years ago. The pistol has a brass frame and is in excellent condition. I cannot tell if it is a colt or not as the only manufacture info says it was made in Italy.

    Saying all that I bought Pyrodex RS and use 20 grains measured in a CVA powder measure. I put a Hot Shot Lubed Wad on top of the powder, then the ball, then another wad to keep it from chain firing.

    Is it safe to put a wad on top of the ball? I was told to use Crisco, the white lard type, but the wad are cleaner.


  2. quigleysharps4570

    quigleysharps4570 Active Member

    Aug 10, 2009
    Put the wad between the powder and ball in that revolver...on top of ball you'll end up with wads getting shook loose and not letting you cock the next round.

  3. 22shot

    22shot New Member

    Oct 30, 2010
    U.S.of A.
    To wad or not to wad......

    I assume you will load a .454 ball...
    Check out my 10-30 response in the "So what about these?" thread...

    Look Ma! No wads! :cool:
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2010
  4. Gatofeo

    Gatofeo New Member

    Sep 18, 2005
    Remote Utah desert, separated from Oblivion by a s
    The wad should go between the ball and powder, never on top of the ball.
    You could be creating an obstruction to the projectile, with the wad on top.
    A wad between ball and powder, and a bit of Crisco, bacon grease, lard softened with olive oil, or similar natural grease over the ball will help. A Popsicle stick makes a good applicator to place grease over the ball.

    Ox-Yoke Wonder Wads are okay, but I find their dry lubricant lacks enough moisture to keep fouling soft, especially in the bore.
    I'd suggest you melt a little lard, Crisco, bacon grease, mutton tallow or beeswax and soak the wads in that.
    Dixie Gun Works sells "Ol Zip Patch Grease," which is a mix of beeswax and mutton tallow. This is a very good lubricant.
    Mutton tallow is likely the best natural grease you can find. I've not found anything better.

    The best lubricant I've found for all black powder uses (felt wads, patches, bullets, shotgun wads, etc.) is one named after me. It's a 19th century recipe that I modified by specifying very exact ingredients.
    Substituting these ingredients results in an inferior product. Use exactly what is listed.

    The recipe for Gatofeo No. 1 Bullet Lubricant is:

    1 part canning paraffin, such as is used to seal jars of preserves
    1 part mutton tallow (sold by Dixie Gun Works)
    1/2 part real beeswax (beware of synthetic beeswax, especially that sold for toilet seals).
    All measurements are by weight, not volume.
    Melted together, and allowed to harden at room temperature, this creates an exceptional lubricant for felt wads and other black powder uses.

    But if it's too much trouble, just soak your wads in Crisco, lard or bacon grease. This works okay to keep fouling soft shot-to-shot.
  5. stewswanson

    stewswanson New Member

    Jun 19, 2009
    You should be using Pyrodex P not RS . RS is FF and used in rifles.
  6. Old Grump

    Old Grump New Member

    Feb 21, 2010
    Little hut in the woods near Blue River Wisconsin
    Wads on top may grease the bore but do nothing for chainfire prevention I use no wads at all and unless I need to carry the gun loaded for extended periods of time I won't use them.

    Chainfires are caused by shooting with poorly fitting caps that fall off and allow back flash to ignite the surrounding caps, an exciting event. Wrong powder and undersized balls also contribute to the problem.

    Just personal preference but I use 20 gr of Pyrodex FFFg for close up plinking and 30 gr for anything over 25 yards. Anything over 30 gr and my groups start getting unacceptably large and hitting is more important than how much whomp you put on the target. Fun is a rabbit at 50' with my Ruger Old Army. :D

    You don't say who made your particular gun but google it and get exact loading instructions for it. The difference in RS and PS powder is that the PS ignites easier and gives virtually no chance of a hangfire in your revolver.
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