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Getting started in black powder revolvers

CS8161CS8161 Member Posts: 13,595 ✭✭✭
I have this itch to buy a black powder revolver from Cabelas, an 1851 Navy model in 36 caliber. They have a starter kit that you can buy with the revolver but all the reviews say the starter kit is not worth the money.
What would I need to buy to get started? Is there a black powder substitute that I can use that is non corrosive?
Thanks for any advice!

Comments

  • hillbillehillbille Member Posts: 14,085 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    only thing you will really need to get started is box of balls, wads, powder measure and powder. If you keep it clean you wont have to worry about " corrosive powder ". just a good cleaning after every shooting session.
  • ofitgofitg Member Posts: 359 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Don't forget the nipple wrench! If you don't have any previous experience with muzzleloaders, you might want to buy the Lyman Blackpowder Handbook, lots of good info in there.
  • bingeebobbingeebob Member Posts: 1,185 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    .36 caliber balls
    powder (real BP is hard to find, pyrodex FFFG is pretty common, and clean)
    nipple wrench
    powder measure
    caps
    a tub of crisco
  • sockssocks Member Posts: 189 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    All due respect to BINGEEBOB, but DITCH THE CRISCO!!
    Thank The Lord, they sell Wonder Wads which are lube-impregnated, dry wads you place over the powder in the chamber before the ball.
    Before that, you needed something like Crisco to seal the mouth of the chamber to protect against chain fire. What a mess!!
  • CS8161CS8161 Member Posts: 13,595 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    How is the powder measured and dispensed into the chambers?
  • allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 35,143 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    You need a brass black powder measure.
    Black powder, Pyrodex, 777 etc are all measured by volume, not weight.
  • 44caliberkid44caliberkid Member Posts: 925 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Get a powder flask with a 15 grain spout. You hold the flask with your finger over the spout, tip it downward and open the flask lever, close the lever, tilt back upright, and dump the spoutful into the chamber. Repeat six times.
    Wonder wads are nice but getting very expensive. Crisco is dirt cheap and the extra grease keeps the cylinder from binding up from fouling. Just keep some paper towels or a rag handy to wipe off the pistol from time to time.
    Also try this website for good advice/ info:
    http://www.cascity.com/forumhall/index.php/board,19.0.html
  • machine gun moranmachine gun moran Member Posts: 5,198
    edited November -1
    When I started in BP way back when, I went the cheapo way and used catsup and mustard squeeze-bottles for the powder and Crisco. I just eyeballed the powder charges into the chambers from the bottle's nozzle, leaving enough room to seat the ball.

    Once, I wondered if using Crisco was necessary in every cylinder load to prevent leading, and thought I would try using it just every other cylinder load. I didn't know about chain-fires. The first shot lit not only the load under the hammer, but also the next chamber to the left and two more on the right. I hit everything that was in front of the gun. This would have been perfect for a shoot-out across a card table against Wild Bill Hickock. [:D] The gun was not damaged, but was smeared with lead. I also tried two-ball loads in a .44. It almost produced a full-auto revolver, as the hammer was blowing back far enough to almost index the gun for the next shot, and the trigger was being held back. Somehow, I survived to adulthood.
  • allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 35,143 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I like to think about how these guns were used back in the 19th century.

    For us, these guns are a hobby. If our gun screws up, we have a bad day at the range.
    If the Reb cavalryman's gun screwed up, he would die in the battle.

    I can't imagine a Civil War trooper smearing his cylinders with grease like Crisco. On a 95 degree August day in Virginia, that stuff would melt and make a terrible mess.

    I don't use Crisco. I use home-lubed felt wads if I am shooting a lot.
    If I am just shooting one or two cylinders I just load the ball on the powder with no lube.

    I have never had a chain fire. I don't see how the fire can get past a well seated round ball, I suspect that the chain fires come from the nipple end.
  • awsarawsar Member Posts: 5 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    For the sealing of the cylinders, I highly recommend the felt wads, pre lubricated but those that are dry will work too. Here in Texas we use the WonderLube tub, which is real thick and moldable. The regular tube Wonderlube is awesome to coat the dry wads, which by the way are cheaper. In summer it almost becomes a liquid like shampoo. A good website for beginners is also trackofthewolf.com, and of course Dixie Gun Works.
    I prefer Goex FFFG over the substitutes- just my preference. I have to clean them anyway, and the performance is better with real BP.
    Make sure you use #11 caps, #10 are too small. IF one is lose, squeeze them a bit and they will stay on. Good luck, and keep your powder dry.
  • muzzleloader-2muzzleloader-2 Member Posts: 58 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    With all due respect 44 caliber kid, it is never a totaly safe practice to load directly from the flask. You should always use a seperate measure. Better to be safe than renamed stumpyquote:Originally posted by 44caliberkid
    Get a powder flask with a 15 grain spout. You hold the flask with your finger over the spout, tip it downward and open the flask lever, close the lever, tilt back upright, and dump the spoutful into the chamber. Repeat six times.
    Wonder wads are nice but getting very expensive. Crisco is dirt cheap and the extra grease keeps the cylinder from binding up from fouling. Just keep some paper towels or a rag handy to wipe off the pistol from time to time.
    Also try this website for good advice/ info:
    http://www.cascity.com/forumhall/index.php/board,19.0.html
  • 44caliberkid44caliberkid Member Posts: 925 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I knew this was coming, I'm just amazed it took 7 days for someone to post it.
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