Keeping a Cap & Ball Revolver loaded.


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Voodoochile
October 25, 2008, 02:06 PM
In the thread Thinking of buying a 1858 bp. (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=401805) I see where it could turn a different direction & sort of hijacking "SORRY" so I thought to use my 30 years experience in these fine pieces to explain a little if some like myself wish to keep a C&B revolver loaded for an extended time without possibly high jacking someone else thread.

I grew up like many from my generation & prior around different firearms & was taught at a young age to only touch them when given permission to but have respect of them and all around us especially when a firearm was present & later I learned how to shoot & possibly hunt using these firearms where I believe is almost entirely lost to many in today’s generation.

With that said, I learned how to load & fire my Great Great Grandfathers 1851 Colt Navy .36 caliber back in 1977 & as many in that time would keep a pistol, rifle or shotgun loaded for just in case purposes & my home was no different including sometime keeping that '51 loaded from time to time so here is what I had learned in keeping these old pistols loaded & reliable for even months at a time possibly years.

First off is to find a load that works best for your particular firearm because each has its own quirks & dislikes just like their modern brethren, if your piece likes the wads under the bullet see if it'll like the wad with no lube "you'll understand in a moment."

Once you have the load pinned down then here is what I learned will make your C&B Revolver reliable & as weather resistant as today’s modern center fire cartridge weapons.

After you have thoroughly cleaned your piece & have it dry, take the assembled cylinder "cones installed" & have a cleaning patch soaked in 91% rubbing alcohol & run it through each chamber like you would when you were cleaning it, this will eliminate any oils & water that may be still in there, now dry it with another patch & then again with Q-Tips, be sure to dry the Cones "nipples" as well.

Either in a loading tool or in the revolver load your measured powder & then a dry wad & bullet or just a Ball or Conical into the chambers except one, this will be the chamber that your hammer will be lowered down on for safety’s sake.
Then after capping the cones of the loaded chambers use some candle or bees wax to cover the percussion caps & if you want some lube at the bullet use a 50/50 Wax & Crisco "or your preferred lube over the bullets, now your loaded cylinder will withstand the elements short of going swimming with it.

Here is the reason I suggest a unlubed wad "if your piece likes the wads," lube over time can possibly leach into the powder charge from these wads & maybe even the lube pills rendering the weapon at best a slightly less effective load or at worse a failure to fire & what I mean by over time is if the firearm is left in this state for more than say a week or so.

My loads for 3 of my revolvers that from time to time may be loaded for as long as a year "in one case."

Pietta 1858 NMA 5.5" barrel
29gr. FFFG Goex.
220gr. .456 Lee cast Conical lubed with 50/50 Beeswax & Crisco.
Remington #11 caps
Candle Wax melted over the caps to seal
Very effective & quite accurate from this little piece, mostly has been my companion on the club checking traps & stand locations for almost a year now.

Uberti 1858 NMA 8" barrel
29gr. FFFG Goex.
Dry Wool wad.
142gr. .457 Cast Ball
lubed over the ball with 50/50 Beeswax & Crisco.
Remington #11 caps
Candle Wax melted over the caps to seal
My most accurate load & pistol out to 25 yards.

Pietta 1860 Army 8" barrel
25gr. FFFG Goex.
142gr. .457 Cast Ball
lubed over the ball with 50/50 Beeswax & Crisco.
Remington #11 caps
Candle Wax melted over the caps to seal
Been with me for over 25 years & has never failed to fire even after being loaded for over a year including being caught in the rain while working the fields.

So yes with some patience & knowledge you can keep one of these pieces loaded for a long time but just be safe in doing it.

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PRM
October 25, 2008, 04:17 PM
We have posted on this numerous times. I too, have carried and kept C&Bs loaded for extended periods of time with no problems or malfunctions as a result of the longevity of the loads. These guns have limitations, primarily in speed of reloading. Given the first five shots - I have always been comfortable with the technology. I have been using them for over three decades myself and will continue. I have other guns - but somedays, I just like my old friends (C&Bs) the best. I started shooting these guns out of cost when I was younger, they were cheaper when I wanted to shoot and it did not take long before I was partial to them. Most of the problems I have seen on ranges are with the shooter not cleaning or loading them correctly. I have read where some experience problems with fired caps - it does happen, but not frequent enough to be a major concern.

Good Post!

If one takes the time to learn these guns and use and treat them for what they are, reliablty is pretty good.

rjsixgun
October 25, 2008, 05:15 PM
Yeup that all sounded good to me.....I use the 50/50 Beeswax/Crisco for all my Black Powder arms.

N-SSA member

Voodoochile
October 25, 2008, 05:31 PM
20 years have past since I was a N-SSA Member.

I just this helps others out that may be wondering about this subject.

Quickdraw McGraw
October 25, 2008, 07:42 PM
Pietta 1858 NMA 5.5" barrel
29gr. FFFG Goex.
220gr. .456 Lee cast Conical lubed with 50/50 Beeswax & Crisco.
Remington #11 caps
Candle Wax melted over the caps to seal
Very effective & quite accurate from this little piece, mostly has been my companion on the club checking traps & stand locations for almost a year now.

Very informative Voodoo,

I have just got a mold for the 200 gr .450 Lee Conicals. I just molded some the about a week ago and haven't shot them yet. Should they be lubed? Didn't even give it a thought until reading your post. If so pan lubing would probably work would it not?

Thanks
Quickdraw

Voodoochile
October 25, 2008, 07:57 PM
Pan lubing or hand rubbing which I do will be sufficient, I lube mine because of the groves there "just beg for it" & I don't have to worry with lube in the field.

BTW if you do lube your bullets just remember to wipe the lube off the base to keep the lube away from the powder charge.

mykeal
October 25, 2008, 10:38 PM
I don't disagree at all with the claim that one can keep a bp gun loaded for extended periods without reliability problems or damage. However, I don't see why one would do such a thing. In my opinion, it's important to keep proficient with any gun you're going to need to trust, and keeping proficient means practice, practice, practice. I don't keep any guns loaded for significant periods because I need to practice with them - if I'm going to count on them I need to do my part and stay proficient.

BHP FAN
October 26, 2008, 05:18 AM
I like that bit about the candle wax over the caps,with the cylinder sealed at both ends like that,you could just about swim a river with your gun belted on.

Voodoochile
October 26, 2008, 05:47 AM
There are a few people that either don't get to go to the range or have a range in their back yard to be able to shoot every day or week for that manner & I know quite a few people that have enough guns in their collection that they sometimes may not shoot a paticular piece for a bit but can still put the bullet from it in the 10 ring every time.

BHP FAN, you're probably right but the intention is like I do sometimes which since my C&B Revolvers are more fun to shoot than my M1911A1
I'll take mine out to the club property to scout for sign, check traps & what not & if I did get caught in the rain at least I know that I don't have to pull the loads & that it'll still shoot good.
I don't think I'd want to go swimming with my gear on though. :D

1858rem
October 26, 2008, 09:45 AM
there is also this green stuff you can get for sealing modern primers... might work on caps too, dont see why not:D

BHP FAN
October 27, 2008, 02:25 AM
''BHP FAN, you're probably right but the intention is like I do sometimes which since my C&B Revolvers are more fun to shoot than my M1911A1''
Well,I took out one of my Ballester Molina's,my Makarov,my Tokarev,my Nagant revolver,and my little Taurus .38 snubbie...and had more fun with my brother's Pietta steel frame .44 '51 Navy.

Voodoochile
October 27, 2008, 12:23 PM
I've nearly stopped shooting all my smokeless stuff cept my M1911A1, just not as enjoyable to me any more.

BHP FAN
October 27, 2008, 01:59 PM
I belong to the Humbolt Blackpowder Heritage Association,[shooting the second sunday every month] and shoot SASS occasionally with the Mad River Rangers....that's about the most fun you can have fully clothed.

Coyote Rider
October 27, 2008, 07:58 PM
Surely you don't mean that group of weirdos at that range out on 299 about 7 miles past Blue Lake? :neener:

SHIPCHIEF
November 9, 2009, 12:08 AM
Hey Voodoochile;
I brought this thread up because I used to use my 2nd model Dragoon for home defence in the 1970's when I was a student. It stayed loaded for almost a year once, and fired every chamber just fine.
The other day I saw these red plastic sleeves that are supposed to go around the cap on your rifle to keep it dry. (Washington does not allow enclosed action on muzzle loaders for hunting).
Have you tried them, or do you or anyone else have an update on loading cap-n-ball revolvers for the long haul?

RMc
November 9, 2009, 12:27 AM
Now you can keep your cap 'n ball revolver loaded and then not worry about having to clean it immediately if you shoot it. Just reload and reseal the load.

http://www.emainehosting.com/blackmag/

Oyeboten
November 9, 2009, 12:55 AM
Good read...


Nice thing with the Colt Dragoons, one has a between Chambers place to rest the Hammer...so, keeping all 'Six' Loaded, is alright to do.

SHIPCHIEF
November 9, 2009, 01:07 AM
Yes, kind of a pin sticking out of the cylinder that the hammer centers over.
My Remmington 1858 (which I haven't shot yet) has a notch for the same purpose, that I think is a bit more secure. But then again it's a newer design.;)

BMF500
November 9, 2009, 01:17 AM
Thank you Voodoo, that's good stuff. I believe I will put this to use.

BHP FAN
November 9, 2009, 01:17 AM
Coyote Rider said:
''Surely you don't mean that group of weirdos at that range out on 299 about 7 miles past Blue Lake''?

Yep,I was there with my Sharps today,in fact!

Voodoochile
November 9, 2009, 06:07 AM
Hey Voodoochile;
I brought this thread up because I used to use my 2nd model Dragoon for home defence in the 1970's when I was a student. It stayed loaded for almost a year once, and fired every chamber just fine.
The other day I saw these red plastic sleeves that are supposed to go around the cap on your rifle to keep it dry. (Washington does not allow enclosed action on muzzle loaders for hunting).
Have you tried them, or do you or anyone else have an update on loading cap-n-ball revolvers for the long haul?

I've tried them plastic pieces of tube that fits over the cap are nice, you just slip it over the cap after you placed the cap on the cone & you're set while on the stand & admittedly I like them too but outside of the Hawken I've yet to try them on any of my C&B Revolvers.

I've tried some finger nail polish around the cap & cone union in my C&B Revolvers with good results but the wife hates it when she can't find that red color that she always likes. :rolleyes:

StrawHat
November 10, 2009, 07:37 AM
I recall reading that Sam Colt would take a capped cylinder and drop it into a bucket of water while demonstrating his revolvers. After a time he would retrieve the cylinder, assemble it into a revolver and proceed to fire the shots. His claim was no added protection was needed to keep the loads waterproof in his revolvers. He did not use grease over the balls or anything on the caps. This is one test I may have to try.

Allison
November 10, 2009, 08:12 AM
There used to be a story going around that Robert E. Lee
left his revolver loaded after the Civil War. Years later
someone tried firing it and it worked fine. Has anyone else
heard this one?

GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL
November 10, 2009, 08:30 PM
Hi, Allison. Haven't seen you on here for awhile. Of course I just got started back on here sort of regular just a short while ago. Did you ever find the supply of .22 swaged round lead balls for your North American Arms Mini Revolver?....

nalioth
November 10, 2009, 09:14 PM
There used to be a story going around that Robert E. Lee
left his revolver loaded after the Civil War. Years later
someone tried firing it and it worked fine. Has anyone else
heard this one?

It's an anecdotal story, echoed over the years. .

There are numerous confirmed incidences of "great granddaddy's c&b revolver found in the attic, taken out back and all cylinders shot w/o issue" (after decades of storage).

Allison
November 11, 2009, 11:13 AM
Gentleman of the Charcoal...Still here lurking. The posts have
been so interesting lately and all the useful advice from everyone
makes it difficult to look away. I got sidetracked from my NAA
by a new Uberti 1861 Navy civilian. Got it from Buffalo Arms who
were just excellent to deal with. Great folks, great gun! What
more could you ask for.
The arsenal is now:

Pietta Spiller and Burr
Remington New Model pocket steel
Euroarms '51 Navy brass
Uberti '62 Navy pocket
Uberti '61 Navy civilian
Crockett .32 rifle and pistol
Remington Rider parlor pistol
Pedersoli 209 deringer
A couple of Classic Arms kits
NAA mini

Madness!

GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL
November 11, 2009, 12:03 PM
Good! Glad you're doing okay. You have a nice little gathering there!....

BHP FAN
November 12, 2009, 10:07 AM
how is that 209 pistol?

Allison
November 12, 2009, 12:07 PM
BHP Fan...It's difficult to say. I'm kind of a nut for miniature
firearms so I'm probably not the best person to ask but.....
Make sure that you view the thing in person before you make
a decision on it. It's the usual Pedersoli high quality, looks cool
in Cabela's catalog and I liked the idea that you could use
regular airgun pellets unlike the Remington Rider. You can, however,
easily make a sizing die for the Remington that will allow you
to use regular pellets.
Viewed from the back it's a different story. There's a cap shield
that swings out to the left and the way it's attached is kind of
ugly. The caps (209) get stuck frequently and you have to pry
them out so a little lube is in order here. The grips are very small but
not impossible to hang on to. Unfortunately they're made out of
plastic, so it's said, but not sure as I haven't had them off yet.
There's a screen kind of thing in the barrel in front of where the
cap sits which makes it a little harder to clean. When I received it
it was in a box that had the Rider gun shaped cutout which is
kind of dodgy. It shoots hard and straight and doesn't misfire.
Dixie is now selling these so there may be some reviews on there.
Having said all this, I wouldn't mind selling or trading it as I shoot
the Rider way more and it's less expensive to shoot.
Gentleman of the Charcoal...What are the specs on your .31? I
mean make, model etc.?

Al

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