Black powder rookie


December 17, 2010, 07:24 AM
Hey guys, I've been shooting all my life but I've never had a black powder revolver before. I just had my special order delivered from Taylors and MAN, what a beauty!! Its the Uberti 1858 Remmy with case hardened frame and blued 5.5" barrel. I already cast my own bullets for my 45 Colt, 10mm, 38/357 and 45acp, so I went ahead and bought a 2 bullet mold from lee thats .454 ball. I work part time at a gun shop because my plumbing business is on life-support, so I'll pick up some FFF powder today and whatever size caps it requires. I'm still confused on the wads/grease. I definately wont be packing grease in my chambers, so then I presume wads are a necessity at this point. People keep talking about lubed wads to help with the fouling. Are the wads used for chain-fire prevention or for the fouling. Can I just lube my cast balls like I do my cast bullets with Lee Alox lube? Would this help with the fouling? Anyway, thank you for reading this. Pictures will follow. Kevin.

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December 17, 2010, 09:03 AM
Don't be so quick to say you won't pack grease in your chambers. It's the cheapest way to keep the fouling soft and it works. A lot of us use Crisco, or a product called Bore Butter, and some don't use anything at all. Dry lubed felt wads are expensive.
Chain fires occur at the cap end of the cylinder, from ill fitting/missing caps. Usually no harm to the gun or shooter is incurred, but it will get your attention. Best accuracy is obtained with moderate charges of 3Fg black powder, although substitute powders can be very good too. Avoid using petroleum based products on your revolver, when they heat up they can create a tar which can be hard to remove. Olive oil is a good lube to prevent rust.

Shoot The Moon
December 17, 2010, 09:22 AM
+1 for using vegetable shortening (Crisco) - it's cheap, easy and not as messy as you'd expect. The lubed wads are intended to help with cleaning the bore and also add a barrier at the front from chain fires, however properly fitting round ball with veg shortening is just as good and much cheaper.

No need to lube cast ball - they should shave a ring of lead as they're seated so need to be slightly oversize (your .454 mold should be fine), but other than that they just drop right in.

I have been shooting cap and ball revolvers for ten years now (.45 Ruger OA, .31 Colt Pocket, .36 Colt 1851 and most recently a .44 Remington) and have never experienced or seen a chain fire and only ever heard of one in all that time at my club! Properly fitted percussion caps (if they drop off when you're shooting they are too loose) and proper sized RB will take care of that.

December 17, 2010, 09:42 AM
"best way to keep the fouling soft" this lead fouling, or is it some sort of black powder fouling?? If its lead fouling, the alox takes care of that for me with my other cast bullets. Im sorry Im such a rookie. Kevin.

December 17, 2010, 09:55 AM
You need the Crisco for the fowling from the black powder in your barrel.

December 17, 2010, 10:35 AM
The best groups I have shot from both Colt & Remington clones has been with 454 pure lead, Pyrodex P, and a felt wad from Cabelas (the wad is lubed). Prior to arriving at this combination I tried: crisco, bore butter (over the ball to seal the chamber) Goex FFF, and Swiss FFF, and just for fun Swiss 1 1/2 F.

My advice is hang the Remington on the wall or sell it. Don't shoot it. If you ever do shoot it you will become addicted on the spot and one will not be enough. You will have to get a Colt, then variations of both the Rem & Colt, then probably some single shots. At least that's what happened to me:) Good luck and have way too much fun. BTW you came to the right place for advice. If these guys don't know the answer, it's not worth knowing:)

December 17, 2010, 10:43 AM
Thank you guys so far for the advice. I love this place. I've learned more in my time here than I did in college. My issue is I want to be self-reliant on most things. I tested my first black powder recipe last night and it went off fantastic (Im NOT using this in my revolver until I get a base line from standard equipment; like Goex FFF, store bought wads and so on). So I want to make my own wads too eventually, and Im just confused on the whole lube issue.

December 17, 2010, 11:17 AM
Just charged the camera batteries. Here she is.....

December 17, 2010, 11:25 AM
I see that you have already developed a bolt drag line on the cylinder and the bolt slots are beginning to get peened. That indicates a timing problem already. It will only get worse.

December 17, 2010, 11:26 AM
The best post I've seen for making your own lubed wads is one by Gatofeo about 6 years ago. Do a google search on "Gatofeo wads" and it will give you several references. I've used his method and lube for a while now and it works great. Besides, I'm too cheap to buy commercial wads and I like to make whatever shooting gear I can.

The caution about BP guns being addictive is correct, possibly understated. :D I enjoy the slower pace and the greater amount of control BP shooting allows. Very different from modern shooting.


December 17, 2010, 11:40 AM
Junkman, thank you for your concern but I had Tom (the gunsmith at Taylors) check the timing before he shipped it. The drag line is due to me playing with the cylinder. The fit is very tight and Im trying to learn a good, fast way to remove the cylinder and reinsert it. Im ending up inserting it sometimes with the bolt resting on the cylinder as Im rotating it in position(if that makes sense).

December 17, 2010, 11:42 AM
The hammer should be drawn back from full rest position to the half-cock. At this position the bolt should be retracted and you should be able to insert/remove the cylinder without the bolt scratching the cylinder.
OTOH don't feel bad about the line; I have a couple of guns with 'em and ** happens!
A lot of us have guns with those imperfections. Some guns have ... "character." ;-)

December 17, 2010, 12:46 PM
Junkman, thank you for your concern but I had Tom (the gunsmith at Taylors) check the timing before he shipped it. The drag line is due to me playing with the cylinder. The fit is very tight and Im trying to learn a good, fast way to remove the cylinder and reinsert it. Im ending up inserting it sometimes with the bolt resting on the cylinder as Im rotating it in position(if that makes sense).
Well if Tom the Taylor gunsmith said it was all right, he doesn't know his salt! The drag line and peening I see in your photo did not come from you removing and reinserting the cylinder. It came from an early bolt rise (a TIMING issue). As Tommygunn said, it is quite common, but it still is an issue and can be corrected.
December 17, 2010, 01:51 PM
You can really see it here
December 17, 2010, 01:54 PM

December 17, 2010, 03:17 PM
I understand what you saying sir, but you are incorrect. If I had time I would make a video of it, but its not important enough to me This is the high road and Im not going to argue about it. The bolt is NOT dropping too early. If anything its a tad late, hence what you are calling peening. That is where the bolt first drops. I am new to blackpowder shooting but not revolvers. I collect old Colts. Again, thank you for your concern. No hard feelings at all. Kevin.

December 17, 2010, 03:17 PM
There is evidence of an early bolt rise, but it's the edge peening on the cylinder stop notches. The cylinder drag line is not caused by the early bolt rise; it is, as the OP is aware, due to lowering the hammer from half cock without going to full cock first. That's an operator issue, not a timing issue.

December 17, 2010, 04:13 PM

Let it go. Apparently this guy knows more than any of us. It's his gun. When it wears enough and no longer locks up because the cylinder notches are all chewed up, he'll probably just send it back to Tom the Taylor gunsmith and be assured that everything is honky dorey.

December 17, 2010, 04:16 PM
I like Alox on my smokeless bullets, but I doubt it has any value on a bullet in a black powder gun. At best it may be neutral...I don't know if it has any detrimental effect becuase I never tried it. I do not use a lubricated wad under the ball in my black powder revolvers. I prefer a smear of organic lube (beeswax/crisco mix, bore butter, etc.) over the ball after it has been seated in the chamber.

For bullets to be loaded in a cartridge with black powder, I use the beeswax/crisco mix on the base of the bullet before seating it in the brass. There are also commercial blackpowder lubes like SPG if you don't want to make your own.

Some blackpowder substitutes are compatible with smokeless lubes. But you are going to find that lube is going to be a major factor in getting your coalburner to function well for more than a couple of cylinders-full.

Have fun finding out which combination works best for you.

December 18, 2010, 09:13 AM
Thank you J-Bar, very informative. I picked up some FFF and #10 caps yesterday,and the mold should be here today so the only thing left is the wad/lube issue. I'm still reading on making my own. Thanks everyone. Kevin.

Foto Joe
December 18, 2010, 10:30 AM
Have fun with your new toy but keep in mind, you shouldn't put it so close to cartridge guns, even for a photo. That is unless you are prepared to start loading 45 Colt et. al. with Black Powder.

Of course it's up to you. If you want to take the risk of never loading anything except with Black Powder again just try storing CB's and Cartridge guns on the same shelf!!

December 19, 2010, 10:32 AM the only thing left is the wade/lube issue

and if it had been a new Pietta, you'd read in the owner's manual about another variable, 'a dose of semolina' :scrutiny:
December 19, 2010, 11:57 AM
Never use wads or "wades" . A little bit of "Creme-of-wheat" between
powder and ball to bring the ball out to the end of the cylinder. Cornmeal
can be used also. This is for target shooting, not just general shooting.

December 19, 2010, 03:41 PM
Thank guys, I bought some of the felt from duracoat and I'll make some wads to try. I think I'll try the Gatefeo method. I havent had any time to get on that yet, still making he black stuff.

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