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GREASE OVER CYLINDER

RosieRosie Member Posts: 14,524 ✭✭✭
Is there any way to load a revolver safely without filling the cylinder holes with grease? When I was young I bought a black powder revolver and the sales man told me to use grease over the balls. I did for a while but I noticed when I pressed the balls in they always cut a small ring of lead off them. My little pea brain told me that nothing could get past that ball so I loaded her up without the grease. One went down the barrel and one went down each side. Bent hell out of the wedge. That was my one and only black powder gun and I got rid of it real quick. I would like to have a revolver but don't want to put up with the mess. Any ideas? I'm sure the civil war soldiers didn't take time to grease them.

Comments

  • ken44-40ken44-40 Member Posts: 201 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Boy did you open a can of worms here. There are basically 2 schools of thought. The 1st school is that the best way to prevent chain fires and keep the fouling soft is to use some sort of grease or lube over the ball. The 2nd school is that a properly formed and sized ball and a tight fitting cap will prevent chain fires. Some in the 2nd school use one of a handfull of methods to provide lube to keep the fouling soft - lubed wads, lube/grease cookie, conical w/lube groove, etc. Others in the second school do not use any lube.

    Basically, what it boils down to is what works best for you and your brand of shooting.

    What works for me is a properly fitted round ball with no voids or flat spots that is seated over a lubed wad. Additionally, Treso cones w/ #10 Remington caps are a tight fit that precludes chainfires from the cap end of the cylinder. Cutting a 'ring of lead' may or may not indicate the ball is tight in the chamber - depends on how the chamber is bored. I have some pistols that have chamfered chamber mouths that do not cut a ring; but the balls are are tightly squeezed into the chambers. My revolvers will shoot accurately and without mishap for 10 or more stages without cleaning or maintenance using this method.

    OK, now let the rest of the debate begin. I've presented my $.02 worth.

    Fingers

    PS. Civil War soldiers used their revolvers the same way we do today - some used paper cartridges with lubed (mutton tallow & rosin)conical bullets, some greased (mutton/beef tallow) the chamber mouths, and some did neither.
  • PA ShootistPA Shootist Member Posts: 642 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have pondered the same situation. Ken 44-40's method is certainly a good one. I looked at the greased felt wads, and they seemed to cost a lot, and I wondered if they would make some of the powder inert when hot or loaded for a long time. And Murphy's Law seems to have been written for me: "Anything that can go wrong will, and at the worst possible time". So, I am greasing the chamber mouth after seating the ball.

    However to avoid the mess to a large extent, I found in the cookware dept at WalyWorld a plunger gizmo that will squirt a nice ring of Crisco or other grease easily and neatly into the chamber mouth, without the usual fuss and muss of lubing with my fingers, etc.

    On the back end, I have learned to "very carefully" seat a No. 10 cap snugly and firmly onto the nipple by pushing it dowm with the hammer under my thumb. This assures a very nice tight fit, and it bottoms the cap for sure ignition. This seems to have all the potential of an accidental discharge built in, so I keep the revolver pointed in a safe direction while doing so. Several hundred rounds so far, and no accidental discharges; the cap fires every time; no chain fires; and the grease allows a lot of shooting without hard fouling stopping the action.

    I am almost reticent to suggest the cap seating, and it wasn't my idea, someone else suggested it here previously, but the grease dispenser works pretty slick. In warmer weather I may have to use some kind of grease that won't get runny when hot.

    The old-time instructions and stories that I have read never mention greasing the chamber, only referring to a tight fit of ball to chamber to prevent adjacent-cylinder firing.
  • ken44-40ken44-40 Member Posts: 201 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by PA Shootist
    I have pondered the same situation. Ken 44-40's method is certainly a good one. I looked at the greased felt wads, and they seemed to cost a lot, and I wondered if they would make some of the powder inert when hot or loaded for a long time. And Murphy's Law seems to have been written for me: "Anything that can go wrong will, and at the worst possible time". So, I am greasing the chamber mouth after seating the ball.


    Just a note about wads. When Ox Yoke was making wonder wads, they were, if not economical, at least not an exhorbitant expense. The price of most commercial lubed wads today is rediculous. Dry felt wads for 36 and 44 cal revolvers can be found and lubed with a beeswax/crisco or olive oil mixture that will keep the pistol well lubed, and not foul the powder even in the hotest weather (105 degree summer day here in MO). There is at least one small business that makes lubed wads at a reasonable price; however, the lub tends to melt in hot weather.

    I pick up old stock Ox Yoke wads whenever I run across them as well as make my own.

    FM
  • dandak1dandak1 Member Posts: 450 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I too use felt wads, but Ken44-40 where do you find thick felt so you can make your own???
  • rusty3040rusty3040 Member Posts: 131 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    i use felt stripping made for door jams, you can find it at any hardware, then i punch wads out with a hole punch , last i soak them in melted crisco and lay them on wax paper to dry ,
  • 44caliberkid44caliberkid Member Posts: 925 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I made my own lube by melting Crisco and parafin, 50/50. Soft enough to apply, holds up in hot weather. I shoot C&B in CAS matches so I'm shooting 50 shots from each revolver per day. I don't mind greasing the chamber mouths, and I just use my finger. I've tried wads but usually get fouling problems on the cylinder face after 12 shots, so I gave up on them.
    Rosie, I'd suggest you just get an SAA clone and shoot cartridges.
  • RosieRosie Member Posts: 14,524 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Probably safer for me that way 44 Kid.
  • ken44-40ken44-40 Member Posts: 201 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Quote: PA Shootist
    On the back end, I have learned to "very carefully" seat a No. 10 cap snugly and firmly onto the nipple by pushing it dowm with the hammer under my thumb. This assures a very nice tight fit, and it bottoms the cap for sure ignition. This seems to have all the potential of an accidental discharge built in, so I keep the revolver pointed in a safe direction while doing so. Several hundred rounds so far, and no accidental discharges; the cap fires every time; no chain fires; and the grease allows a lot of shooting without hard fouling stopping the action.
    Seating the caps using the hammer is potentially a very dangerous way to do it, and is outlawed by SASS. I have not found it necessary to "seat" the cap on a cone since I changed all my cones to Tresos and use # 10 Remington caps. If you must seat the cap, use a push stick made from a broken ramrod, piece of dowell, antler tip, scrap of soft plastic rod or something of the like. If, in the unlikely event you pop the cap using a push stick, the ball will not have the force to cause as much damage as it would have if you had popped it with the hammer & the ball went down the barrel.
    quote:Quote: Dandak1
    I too use felt wads, but Ken44-40 where do you find thick felt so you can make your own???
    There are a variety of places to get felt to punch your own wads. Home centers, fabric stores, old cowboy hats from thrift stotes. I have been buying wads already punched for .36 and .44 cal then melting lube into them. Latest source I'm using is:
    http://www.buffaloarms.com/browse.cfm/2,249.html. Their price per thousand is still pretty good. You can also get pre-punched wads from The Possibles Shop and Sage Products; but their prices have gone up a bunch.
    quote:44CaliberKid
    I've tried wads but usually get fouling problems on the cylinder face after 12 shots, so I gave up on them.
    Kid, the fouling problem on the cylinder face probably wasn't casued by the wads. I use fffg BP, lubed wads, and cast round balls in my pistols (primarily .380s in '61 Navies). Arbor is lubed generously with bore butter. Starting with a clean & lubed pistol, I am able to shoot 10 stages (50 rds per pistol) or more over 2 days without performing any maintenance - outside of wiping the exterior with a cloth - or relubing the pistol.
  • PA ShootistPA Shootist Member Posts: 642 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Not to hijack Rosie's thread, but I appreciate the information that has been presented here. Regarding the Buffalo Arms felt wads, they are a fraction of the price of any others I have seen for sale, and I appreciate that tip, and have already ordered some.

    I also wish to follow up on the nipple manufacturer metioned, I have heard of them before and I assume they are manufactured with a better shape and closer tolerances?

    My reticent suggestion about pushing the cap on tightly by pushing with the hammer under my thumb did contain the caveat that it had all the potentials of an accidental discharge, which isn't a problem as long as it is accounted for with safe pointing of the revolver downrange. Of course, I understand why the SASS would prohibit the practice. I have unfortunately never had the opportunity to participate in any SASS events, they sound like great fun.

    I don't understand why pushing a cap to seat firmly with a stick or similar, and the cap's possible accidental firing from that push, would be any different than if it discharged under the hammer. Could you explain that suggestion please?
  • sockssocks Member Posts: 189 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Apologize for another hijacking, but all this talk of 'seating the cap' takes me back a few years when I first brought up the problem of my '51 Navy and 1860 Army Colt clones both failing to cycle the cylinder when pulling back the hammer, because the caps were rubbing up against the recoil shield. 10's, 11's, cap size makes no difference. Wondering if 'seating' whether dangerous or not, may help the problem. Even tried all new nipples. That didn't help.
    When they were new, both guns functioned perfectly. I clean religiously. Could I have stretched the metal by tapping the wedges back in too hard? Help!?!?
  • ken44-40ken44-40 Member Posts: 201 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by PA Shootist
    I also wish to follow up on the nipple manufacturer metioned, I have heard of them before and I assume they are manufactured with a better shape and closer tolerances?

    I don't understand why pushing a cap to seat firmly with a stick or similar, and the cap's possible accidental firing from that push, would be any different than if it discharged under the hammer. Could you explain that suggestion please?


    Treso nipples are made of an Ampco alloy (bronze?) that is harder than the soft steel used by repo manufacturers. They also more dimensionally uniform and have a much smaller flash hole that reduces the back pressure and fouling that occurs when the chambers are ignited.

    The chances of popping the cap on a chamber when using a push stick of some sort when the chamber is lined up in the capping position is infinitessimally small - it happens; but rearely. If it were to happen, the hot gasses from the powder igniting would only push the ball out of the chamber mouth, then dissipate rather than acheive max pressure pushing the ball down that barrel at full speed. The ball would likely hit the wedge and veer off instead of proceding straight down range which would also slow the speed of the ball. IIRC, one of the Oregon clubs did a AD test on this situation and found that the ball barely made a hole in cardboard at 10 yds - or was it 10 ft??

    Fingers
  • chigerchiger Member Posts: 40 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Hey guys,

    Just a thought. A pop cycle stick and Crisco then a quick swipe with a towel is the quickest, easiest and cheapest way I've found to lube a round ball at the range. It doesn't take much to avoid chain fire if the cylinder and bullet is matched. Never had a fowling problem as long as I wiped out all the excess grease. I have NEVER had a chain fire from the cap or from the cylinder either for that matter. But then, I use the recommended cap and always lube! But then, the only competitions I ever competed in were BP club turkey shoots.

    Oh, did I mention that my first and now retired New Model Remington has been shoot so much that it rattles like a bag full of parts when I shake it? :~0 Thousands and thousands of rounds. I did try felt, but didn't like it. That's just me though.

    That kind of addresses your point socks. At one point, just before I retired it...I actually made really thin shim to fit behind the cylinder to move it forward. Started getting sprayed with lead and it would rub the caps against the back. It corrected that and fixed the timing issue.

    In hindsight it was dumb, but it worked and I got to shoot my old girl for another year. Should have just retired it then.

    Just my 2 cents.

    chiger,
  • ken44-40ken44-40 Member Posts: 201 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by socks
    Apologize for another hijacking, but all this talk of 'seating the cap' takes me back a few years when I first brought up the problem of my '51 Navy and 1860 Army Colt clones both failing to cycle the cylinder when pulling back the hammer, because the caps were rubbing up against the recoil shield. 10's, 11's, cap size makes no difference. Wondering if 'seating' whether dangerous or not, may help the problem. Even tried all new nipples. That didn't help. When they were new, both guns functioned perfectly. I clean religiously. Could I have stretched the metal by tapping the wedges back in too hard? Help!?!?


    Were they brass frames or steel frames?? One of the places that requires lubrication of some sort is the wear ring (for lack of a better term) on the frame where the cylinder rubs/travels. Lack of lubricant, and lots of use, will cause the frame or cylinder to wear, closing the gap between the caps and the recoil shield. Had a brass framed Navy - long time ago, that was worn to the extent that the safety pins on the cylinder were worn off by the frame. Putting the wesdge in too far/too tighly could cause the arbor to pull the frame loosening the arbor or mushroom/peen the wedge opening in the barrel so that the barrel/frame connection would be very loose and would rattle.
  • chigerchiger Member Posts: 40 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    That's a great point Ken. I of course can't speak for socks, but I can tell you my New Model Remington 44 cal. is steel.

    All I buy is steel. Brass scared me for just that reason. Really makes a difference in durability. Especially if you are like me and shoot about as many 220 grain conicals as the recommended round balls. That's probably what added to the worn out problem I had. Well, that and 10 or 20 thousand rounds. ;~)

    But that is a real concern when you buy a replica. How much you will be shooting should dictate how heavy a frame you buy. It's not real authentic, but Ruger's 44 BP in stainless steel is a great shooter. Easy to clean, takes the abuse of heavy loads, adjustable sights and last forever. Well, at least 30 years.

    chiger,
  • ken44-40ken44-40 Member Posts: 201 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by chiger
    But that is a real concern when you buy a replica. How much you will be shooting should dictate how heavy a frame you buy. It's not real authentic, but Ruger's 44 BP in stainless steel is a great shooter. Easy to clean, takes the abuse of heavy loads, adjustable sights and last forever. Well, at least 30 years.

    chiger,

    They'll need to last that long since they're no longer made.

    FM
  • chigerchiger Member Posts: 40 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by ken44-40

    They'll need to last that long since they're no longer made.


    LOL, ain't it the truth.

    But, Ruger, Ubirti and a others still make stainless cap and ball replicas. May not be on the Black Hawk frame, but still rugged guns. And I still run across the old ones from time to time that are reasonably priced. I wouldn't hesitate at buying it used if I needed another one.

    But...even as strong as they are, I'm still gonna do something to gas seal it. Ain't got that many spare body parts left at my age. ;~)

    High jack apology! Have you ever shot one of the Old Army Rugers, Ken? I'd be interested to know how they compare to the older ones for accuracy. Sorry for the off topic post Rosie.

    chiger,
  • ken44-40ken44-40 Member Posts: 201 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by chiger
    High jack apology! Have you ever shot one of the Old Army Rugers, Ken? I'd be interested to know how they compare to the older ones for accuracy. Sorry for the off topic post Rosie.

    chiger,


    Chigar,

    Yes I have. Fellow shooter, club member & good friend let me try out a pair of 5 inch fixed sight models he had just acquired. They handled really well. Almost made me want to buy a pair.

    Ken
  • chigerchiger Member Posts: 40 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Dang,

    See, I was hoping you'd say not nearly as accurate or unbalanced or something. Now I really do want 1...or better yet 2.

    As I'm sure you know, the old black hawk frame is as clunky as...well, a black hawk. Sorry Hawk fans, own a couple and they are great guns, but it's the truth. I really miss the feel and balance of my long retired New Model Remington. I've even consider getting one in 44-40 conversion just for that reason.

    Maybe it's time to update my cap and ball arsenal instead. Thanks for responding.

    chiger,
  • sockssocks Member Posts: 189 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Hey, Ken
    Back to your question as to whether my '51 Navy and 1860 Army clones (caps binding against recoil shield) are brass or steel frame. They're steel-all the more reason I'm still scratchin' my head!
  • ken44-40ken44-40 Member Posts: 201 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by socks
    Hey, Ken
    Back to your question as to whether my '51 Navy and 1860 Army clones (caps binding against recoil shield) are brass or steel frame. They're steel-all the more reason I'm still scratchin' my head!


    Socks,

    A few more questions. Are the cones mushroomed so the caps don't seat all the way? Are the cones screwed in all the way - clyinder rebates for the cones good and clean? Have you changed cones? With the cylinder out of the frame, are the cones below the back edge of the cylinder?

    It kinda sounds like the cones are mushroomed and the caps aren't seating completely.

    Ken
  • sockssocks Member Posts: 189 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Hey again, Ken
    I went back over all the points you just raised and I can't find the culprit. Even replaced the nipples.
    I'm really leaning on the thought that maybe I drove the wedges in too tightly on both guns. I'm ULTRA careful about that now on newer guns I've added to the collection and--knock on wood--I haven't seen the problem again. Another interesting thing has happened a couple times as a result: Unless the wedge IS firmly driven-home, sometimes the caps don't fire because they're that much further from the hammer! Then you have to give the wedge another tap. Damned if you do, damned if you don't, I guess. Anyway, thanks for your input.
  • ken44-40ken44-40 Member Posts: 201 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Socks,

    Driving the wedge in too tight won't by itself make the cones rub the recoil sheild; but could have casued the cylinder bearing surface on the frame to be worn away. On all of my C&Bs, the end of the cone does not sit higher than the back of the cylinder. That gap or distance plus the ring on the frame keeps the cap from rubbing the frame. The only way the cap can rub the frame is if it's sitting past the back of the cylinder and/or if the ring on the frame has worn away.

    Guess I ought to apologise for complicity in hijacking the thread also. Mea Culpa.
  • sockssocks Member Posts: 189 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks again, Ken. I'll scrutinize the cones and shield carefully.
    And sorry again for hijacking your original post, Rosie.
  • v35v35 Member Posts: 13,200
    edited November -1
    Never used grease over the ball.
    My early Navy arms Remington Army had irregular cylinder bores. They were all undersize and some were oval. I had a reamer made and brought them up to size. I use lubed 45ACP 185 grain swc lead bullets that can be started by hand and are a tight fit. They are not distorted by the rammer in loading. These bullets shoot very well and have never given me a chain fire.
  • ken44-40ken44-40 Member Posts: 201 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thats the article I was referring to in a previous post.

    Fm
  • Old hickoryOld hickory Member Posts: 1,368 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Beffa : Thanks for sharing that great article. It answers alot of questions that I've had over the years! Hickory
  • countryfarmercountryfarmer Member Posts: 4,552
    edited November -1
    Great article, that should remove all doubt about different capping procedures. Either that or start yet a whole new debate about it.
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