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Wad or...?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by LivewireBlanco, Apr 18, 2013.


What's your preferred method of chain fire protection?

Poll closed May 18, 2013.
  1. Over ball grease

    13 vote(s)
  2. Lubed wad

    30 vote(s)
  3. Grease and wad both

    7 vote(s)
  4. Nothing, over sized lead is good enough!

    13 vote(s)
  5. Doesn't matter to me as long as I use something!

    4 vote(s)
  1. LivewireBlanco

    LivewireBlanco Well-Known Member

    OK so I'm curious what everyone is using for their black powder revolvers. If you make your own wads or over ball grease please share your recipe!
  2. Prairie Dawg

    Prairie Dawg Well-Known Member

    Much of the time I use a felt wad lubed with Gatofeo's lube.
    I pick the wads up cheep from tables at cowboy shoots & sometimes off gunbroker or ebay.

    Sometimes I use cornmeal over the powder & just pur Gatofeo's lube over the ball.
    This is messier, but works well.

    Gatofeo's lube (from an old post of his):
    Years ago I began posting a bullet, patch and wad lubricant based on a 19th century recipe.
    I used more precise ingredients than the 19th century version, which simply listed tallow, paraffin and beeswax.
    Without changing the ratio, I began mixing:
    1 part canning paraffin.
    1 part mutton tallow.
    1/2 part beeswax.
    All measurements are by weight, NOT volume.
    The result is an exceptional black powder lubricant that was later named by others, "Gatofeo No. 1 Lubricant."

    I use canning paraffin because it's pure. Who knows what lurks in old candles, especially if they're scented. Yes, paraffin is a petroleum product. Yes, petroleum greases and oils will creat a hard, tarry fouling when used with black powder. BUT canning paraffin doesn't do this. Long ago, a chemist told me that canning paraffin lacks the offending hydrocarbons.
    I don't know about that, but I do know that canning paraffin (used to seal fruit preserves in jars) doesn't create a hard, tarry fouling.

    Mutton tallow is needed. I've tried a variety of greases but mutton tallow is clearly superior. I've tried Crisco, and the tallow of beef, chicken, turkey, deer, pig, elk and even bear grease. Not tried moose,though. Or Dodo Bird for that matter ... might be kinda hard to get.
    Mutton tallow has long been suggested for black powder lubricant, at least to the mid 1800s.
    Canning paraffin is about as pure as you can get. Totally inert too.

    Mix together some Gatofeo No. 1 Lubricant for yourself. Dixie Gun Works sells mutton tallow at the best price I've found. A little goes a long way.
    A hard felt wad soaked in melted Gatofeo No. 1 Lube keeps fouling soft and the bore cleaner than any other lubricant I've tried.
    The dry lubricant in commercial wads is the worst, in my experience. Hardly makes a dent in bore fouling.

    Make up a batch of Gatofeo No. 1 Lubricant for yourself, and see if it doesn't work for you.
  3. Lunie

    Lunie Well-Known Member

    I shoot naked, baby.

    Wait, I meant with no lube and bare balls.

    Oh forget it, you know what I was trying to say. No lube, no wad, and no chain fires (so far).
  4. DMZ

    DMZ Well-Known Member

    Johnson's Paste wax over the ball keeps the bore shiny clean.
  5. damoc

    damoc Well-Known Member

    Dude wads are for shotguns an women folk learnin ta shoot

    wads take more time to reload cost more money if your buyin them
    and generally take up room better suited for the holy black.

    my grease mix varies with the season but 60/40 lard beeswax is about right
    Ive recently come into some fine tallow and ill probably use that straight.

    oh and i dont think wads do as good of a job of keeping things lubricated
    and clean.

    clean is probably not the right word? working is probably a better word.
  6. snakeman

    snakeman Well-Known Member

    Wouldn't using .454 balls seal the chambers enough to prevent chainfires? I'm in the same boat. I have no clue when it comes to b.p. Sorry for the thread hijacking.
  7. damoc

    damoc Well-Known Member

    I think chain fires would be eliminated with good sealing ball MAYBEE

    but im not willing to chance it an besides fouling will shut down any
    BP revolver thats why I use grease over ball
  8. snakeman

    snakeman Well-Known Member

    I would think that grease would attract more dirt. Also, wouldn't the grease melt out if you're carrying the gun around in the texas heat all day during the summer?
  9. BlackNet

    BlackNet Well-Known Member

  10. snakeman

    snakeman Well-Known Member

    Alright enough of my thread hijacking I really appreciate the info and please get back to posting your recipes for the op.
  11. BlackNet

    BlackNet Well-Known Member

    Need nothing other than powder and ball. See link doc :) it's not a mystery it's science.
  12. damoc

    damoc Well-Known Member

    If i was in the texas heat all day i would adjust my grease mix to suit

    I have not had trouble with grease collecting dirt
  13. BlackNet

    BlackNet Well-Known Member

    'Grease' will *NOT* prevent chain fires. Grease and wads are used for Fouling Management.
  14. damoc

    damoc Well-Known Member

    just an fyi during the depth of winter i was basically using straight lard because it was that cold
  15. damoc

    damoc Well-Known Member

    Im pretty sure it does prevent chainfire blacknet but its probably a mute issue if the ball
    has a good tight,clean seal.

    but you make a good point fouling is the issue and why we must use something
  16. BlackNet

    BlackNet Well-Known Member

    READ the link I posted, 3 pages worth. You will see what I am talking about.
  17. 44 Dave

    44 Dave Well-Known Member

    Depends on what I am loading for, to keep under my pillow I use wads. Shoot at a range wads are less mess. Just shooting out of the back door grease is cheapest and keeps the cylinder arbor lubed.
  18. damoc

    damoc Well-Known Member

    I just had a quick look at the first page and its wrong I know from personal expierience

    grease in blackpowder shuts it up/stops the fire train real quick.

    If I have to explain how i know that im going to look all kinds of stupid take my word
    or test it for yourself
  19. BlackNet

    BlackNet Well-Known Member

    yes explain what you are calling 'grease' also explain how crisco/bees wax/etc will stop the fire train.
  20. BlackNet

    BlackNet Well-Known Member

    Bottom line is chain fires are caused from:
    1. Loose fiting balls.
    2. Improperly sealed chambers.
    3. Loose caps.

    lubes, wads, patches, etc does *NOT* stop chain fires, they just work on fouling.

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