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Bitten by the black powder bug ...

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Texan Scott, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Well-Known Member

    So I've noticed that my interest on guns goes through stages... sometimes I indulge them, sometimes I satisfy my curiosity by reading. Sometimes I try it out and get hooked bad.

    Right now, it's black powder again. These howdah threads may have done it, but my first black powder might actually be a Lyman gpr (I could justify the expense as opening up new opportunities to shoot deer. My wife is fairly tolerant of my weirdness if meat is in prospect.). Also, a muzzle loading smoothbore of some kind for shot - they make such an impressive rolling BOOM.

    The question I asked in relation to black powder shotguns (and I assume the answer would hold for BP guns in general) was "Can they be kept loaded?". The answer was this:

    Can someone please expand on this? I haven't found this referenced in the stickies yet (there's s LOT to read. I enjoy it, but it's a LOT).
  2. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Well-Known Member

    Update: just read timuchin's thread on paper cartridges ... would this be a good way to store a cap&ball in a loaded state?

    Might it be adapted for columns of shot?

    Do you guys seriously use Crisco as a grease lube? (Is this possibly why my friend's Remington smell a little bit like badly burnt bacon? :p)

    Would soaking a shot cushion in melted shortening and letting it reharden provide a lube that won't corrupt a powder charge?
  3. raa-7

    raa-7 Well-Known Member

    The bp bug can keep you addicted thats for sure.I wouldnt keep my bp guns loaded for any length of time where I live ,because of in the humidity.The powder will draw in any kind of moisture.As far as crisco,many people use crisco shortning to prevent chain fire.
  4. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Well-Known Member

    Why must you leave it loaded? They were state-of-the-art self defense guns in their day, but really aren't a good idea for SD these days.

    I use felt Wonder Wads between the bullet and the powder in my revolvers, but mine are without lube. When I went to a CAS match on a drizzly day, I added beeswax wafers over the bullets loaded into the chambers to be doubly sure. I had no misfires.

    As for hunting, any of the simple grease you find will likely have too low a melting point for year round use, depending on your climate. Using Crisco or lard for a bullet or patch lube in 40ยบ weather in a single shot firearm works fine. In warmer weather, it can get runny or actually melt, corrupting your main charge. Using Crisco or lard plain in a revolver often causes the Crisco or lard to melt as the cylinder gets hot as each chamber is fired.

    If you want to leave a hunting gun loaded through the season, then you need a patch lube or bullet lube with a higher melting point. There are several on the market. You can also fashion your own, using beeswax (NOT parafin) as the base. A 50/50 mix of melted beeswax and melted crisco or warm olive oil will harden to give you a good grease. You will need to experiment though, and you may find you need more beeswax or in very warm climes, perhaps a commercial product is the only solution. The other half of the "trick" of leaving the hunting gun loaded is securing the touch hole or the nipple from moisture when the gun is stored.

    I don't leave mine loaded. When I leave the area at the end of the day I dishcharge my rifle into a specific stump (and I will harvest the lead some time in the future), OR some folks use a CO2 ball discharger.

  5. woodnbow

    woodnbow Well-Known Member

    It's a gun.

    It's worthless if it's not loaded. Primary defense weapon or not, every gun in our house is loaded.
  6. loose noose

    loose noose Well-Known Member

    Woodnbow, "every gun in our house is loaded"

    Not a good idea from a safety standpoint, or from a civil liability perspective. Yes your primary home defense arm should be loaded and within reach of you or your trained loved one, but not every gun in your home. However, presumably, you don't have any children in your home, or you never leave your home, where a perpetrator could enter and use "one of your loaded weapons" on you or a loved one, when you returned. I would definitely think this one out a bit.:)
  7. woodnbow

    woodnbow Well-Known Member

    My apologies for the hijack Texan...

    Loose, I'm 58 years old and except for time in service, that's been my practice all my life. My father and grandfathers guns were always loaded and hanging in racks on the walls. Mine were too, even when the kids were small, except the past 25 years or so (since we've lived here in town) they've resided in safes; two of the modern pistols are in pistol safes on either side of our bed. If I need a gun, I need it loaded... YMMV.
  8. Doak

    Doak Well-Known Member

    An empty gun is a club.
  9. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    I keep my C&B's loaded and unprimed for the simple reason that it saves time at the range. Plus if we do get a downpour or blizzard I will at least have those shots, so it won't be a complete loss. Esp this time of year Alaska can go from sunny to Biblical in hours.

    I haven't had any issues with the 50/50 beeswax olive oil mix. Bore butter is also very good and doesn't seem to soak into powder. You do absolutely want to avoid traditional smokeless oils and cleaners, because they may soak in and can increase your mess.
  10. loose noose

    loose noose Well-Known Member

    woodnbow, thanks for the clarification, guess I've been giving classes on firearms safety too long, I wasn't aware that you keep them loaded in a safe. When I was a Police Officer in Southern California, I used to keep my sidearm loaded and in the hallway closet. None of my 4 boys ever touched it, as I taught them to respect firearms at a very early age, it wasn't my kids I was concerned about but their friends, if you know what I'm saying. ;)
  11. woodnbow

    woodnbow Well-Known Member

    Read you loud and clear, Loose... the kids weren't my concern either, my daughter had a few nutty twits as friends, fortunately most of them were afraid of me and I cultivated that fear. ;) My sons friends were a lot like him, studious, nerdy kids, not really interested in guns. Which in his case changed a bunch after college and a few years of steady income, he's a gun collecting, cartridge reloading nut these days... life is goood!
  12. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Well-Known Member

    I don't think I'd bother with cap'nball for HD... not when a 357 is so straightforward and clearly more potent. A blackpowder boomstick with a heavy charge of lead bb for furry 15 pounders, though... that would be an effective (and amusing) back porch gun.

    Beeswax and Crisco... would a mix of Crisco and canning paraffin work? Somehow I expect the paraffin would be easier to source here.
  13. EljaySL

    EljaySL Well-Known Member

    I think I'm the one who wrote that, so I may as well elaborate. Start here:

    See the thick fiber wad? Many people don't use them at all. But people who use them tend to lube them. And if you start reading up on loading BP shotguns you'll find references to lubes that maybe aren't the best choice for long term storage because they'll soak into something they shouldn't, or they contain moisture or something else corrosive in the long run, or whatever. So if you're going to keep one loaded you look for what people who hunt use. That's all.

    re: cap and ball I use the pre-made wonder wads. They work fine.
  14. swathdiver

    swathdiver Well-Known Member

    They are fine even if kept loaded for years. Sometimes mine go 3-4 months before being fired and they go boom every time even with a lubed wad over the powder.

    Unloaded guns never made sense to me. If they're not ready to go, they're useless when needed most.
  15. Jaymo

    Jaymo Well-Known Member

    Even though my BP guns wouldn't be my first choice for SD, I sure as hell wouldn't count them out.
    I'll take my ROA, NMA, 51 Navy, 62 Popo, or Howdah over ANY .380 or smaller pocket pistol, and I'd take the ROA, NMA, or Howdah over any .38.
    Besides, handguns are just for me to fight my way back to the 12 gauge I should have been using in the first place.
  16. Noz

    Noz Well-Known Member

    A properly loaded cap and ball revolver (Proper size bullet with a swaged fit) with tight fitting caps should withstand any kind of weather up prolonged immersion soaking.
  17. Ghost Dog

    Ghost Dog Well-Known Member

    I,m relatively new to BP shooting, only been doing it a few years now. I've been loading BP pistols and letting them sit (in a pistol safe) as much to experiment as anything else. One thing I have learned is proper prepping of the cylinders before loading. I typically clean with WD 40 then oil inside and out after a day of shooting. If I don't fire a cap or two off in each cylinder then swab with a dry cloth the residue will be absorbed into the powder if left to sit. I Load powder, dry lube patch then ball. I also keep a bunch of those desiccant packs in the safe, they come in the boxes when my wife buys shoes.
    I finally acquired a Howdah last Fall and am looking forward to shooting it more this Spring. We're going to the farm for Easter, may have to take the guns along!

    G D
  18. ROAshooter

    ROAshooter member

    a properly prepped and loaded bp...be it rifle or handgun......will be as reliable as any firearm....even sitting stored for long periods of time...was a time in my life when I was keeping my high value S&Ws safely locked away with a relative...and relying on one of my Ruger Old Army's...for sd....at the location I was staying at the time......this was when you could go and find a ROA for sale easily..if one was stolen....I can attest....after weeks...sometimes months...sitting loaded...when time to check/fire....the ROA...acted as if I had just freshly loaded it....

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