Ever Leave A BP Revolver Loaded For A Long Time?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by ThomasT, Feb 25, 2021.

  1. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Messages:
    9,205
    Location:
    Kingsport Tennessee
    For the record, I rammed .375" balls in the chambers of my .36 revolver, .451" balls in the chambers of my .44 revolver, over the lubed felt wad over the powder.

    Lubed felt wad over powder was advertised as less messy than filling the end of the cylinder with crisco+beeswax. For load and shoot same day it worked. My son standing beside me during the matches noticed he did not get sprayed with hot lube. However, left loaded over time, the lubed wad contaminated the powder. I went back to ball rammed over powder, chamber end filled with lube, after the flaming wad fiasco.
     
    1KPerDay, Gordon and damoc like this.
  2. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    Messages:
    3,461
    Location:
    virginia
    Loaded and capped?
     
  3. Rich1939

    Rich1939 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2021
    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    Pike County, Penna
    [QUOTE="gtrgy888, post: 11841229, member: 273281" Colt literally told us right in the box how to load the guns properly. If one follows his instructions to the letter and uses some common sense, these are still viable weapons.[/QUOTE]

    I haven't ever seen those instructions from Colt. Could you please provide a link, I would love to see what he said.
     
  4. arcticap

    arcticap Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Messages:
    8,567
    Location:
    Central Connecticut
  5. Rich1939

    Rich1939 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2021
    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    Pike County, Penna
    arcticap likes this.
  6. windini
    • Contributing Member

    windini Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2020
    Messages:
    67
    Yes, thanks arcticap! Nice to hear it from the horse's mouth hisself.
     
    arcticap likes this.
  7. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    7,095
    Location:
    Morgan County, Alabama
    Presumably so, either capped, or with the frizzen charged. Probably capped. Unfortunatly at this point in history I have no way of checking, but I do recall the events/examples used in this @50 year old book were true events. One might think a caplock rifle might atleast not be capped while loaded if it was sitting around for emergencies, but this one must have been fully ready.

    We know that people today misuse firearms and sometimes there's horrific consequences. I've heard too many stories of people removing magazines from semi-automatic handguns and thinking that now, they're safe, forgetting that the chamber still could be loaded, having terrible results after pulling the trigger, or allowing some other person to handle the gun and said person fires the gun and ......

    People in the 1800s were like us in one way for sure; they too could be unsafe with guns. And, in my example, someone in @1870 did something unsafe only to have the ramifications delayed for a century to a great-grandchild & friend. Sad, tragic .... and weird. Or unusual, for sure.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2021
    Dave Markowitz likes this.
  8. ThomasT

    ThomasT Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    Messages:
    4,979
    Location:
    Burleson,Texas
    In an American Rifleman magazine many years ago the question was how long would powder and primers last on the shelf? This was during the scare when the rumor went around that new primers were going to be made with a 6 month shelf life. So they addressed the question and stated that primers and powder would last for decades and that if you had a rifle from the American Revolution that was charged and primed consider it loaded and ready to go.
     
    Dave Markowitz likes this.
  9. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Messages:
    9,205
    Location:
    Kingsport Tennessee
    Why the surprise?

    If my ancestors anticipated answering alarms in the night from the livestock or yard dogs, their gun would be loaded and capped.

    I was present at a gun shop when a man brought in a pump .22 he had inherited. He had no interest in guns himself but thought a hunter or sports shooter might want it. The shop owner worked the pump handle and ejected a live round. And more in the magazine.

    While I was checking in at a gun show, the cop safety inspecting and zip tying guns was handed an unwanted inherited pistol that the new owner wanted to sell to a collector or dealer. It too had been kept fully loaded by the deceased relative for whatever reason. The cop cleared the gun, put a zip tie through the barrel, and sent him on.

    A lot of people who keep loaded guns for defense die unexpectedly not anticipating survivors might not know to unload their guns after they are dead.

    Rule 1. Treat all guns with the respect due a lethal weapon, especially the "unloaded" ones.
     
    1KPerDay, ThomasT, rodwha and 4 others like this.
  10. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    Messages:
    3,461
    Location:
    virginia
    Loaded cartridge guns, no surprise.
    Capped muzzle-loaders . . . not so much.
    Though I'm sure there are some die hards out there*


    * (I'm always amused by folks who want to know the best cap & ball revolver for CCW.)
     
  11. GMRevolver

    GMRevolver Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2020
    Messages:
    18
    Longest I've kept a cylinder loaded was 8 months. Fired as expected. I don't do wads or greases in the cylinder. A properly loaded blackpowder gun can be ready to fire centuries later.

    I'm shocked by how many people believe that grease or wads can seal against gases.

    Nothing you would conventionally place over the ball can prevent gases from penetrating. Neither can the wads you place under the ball. If gases can make it past a very tightly fitting patched round ball as it's known to do, what do you think animal/vegetable oils or floppy discs can do? For those that place grease over their balls, observe your adjacent chambers after you fire a chamber.

    Regarding old loaded muzzleloaders: historically, people didn't hang guns for decoration. They were there to be readily accessed to shoot. The last thing anyone wanted to do with a muzzleloader when caught in an urgent situation was load it. Yes, including capped. I'd imagine that fumbling with caps when woken suddenly from a deep sleep wasn't something most wanted to deal with. Leave the blame where it belongs, on the neglectful parents of that child. One doesn't bring into their homes explosives as a decorative prop without ensuring that they're inert. I don't see how guns are any different.
     
  12. whughett

    whughett Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Messages:
    3,970
    Location:
    Rhode Island/Florida
    It’s been said before a cap lock pistol charged with powder and ball is not loaded. It’s only charged with powder and ball. Placing a cap on the nipple loads it.
     
    Gordon likes this.
  13. Rich1939

    Rich1939 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2021
    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    Pike County, Penna
    My teachers, both in public school and life, grew up in the early 20th century and in turn were taught by by people from the 19th.
    Firearms were considered by them to be tools and as you wouldn't put a dull axe away you didn't put your gun away not ready for its next use. (which usually was game that wandered too close to the house.)
     
  14. Gordon
    • Contributing Member

    Gordon Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    11,311
    Location:
    Southern Oregon
    That is the legal definition of a "loaded firearm' regarding C&B in most states.
     
    351 WINCHESTER, ThomasT and whughett like this.
  15. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Messages:
    4,991
    Location:
    Central Florida
    I kept one of my Ruger Old Army revolvers loaded for over 3 years. I fired it 2 months ago and all 6 fired with no measurable delay.
     
    1KPerDay, ThomasT and arcticap like this.
  16. damoc

    damoc Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    590
    Location:
    NV
    I'm not sure if this is getting of topic but grease (lard and beeswax) over the bore does much more that prevent chainfire. It may not even do that fair argument. But it does soften fouling and makes a BP firearm easy to clean and probably prevents rust and lubricates internal parts.
     
    Rich1939 and arcticap like this.
  17. Blackpowderwarrior

    Blackpowderwarrior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2020
    Messages:
    201
    Mine stay loaded and the cylinders packed with grease. Ive never had a issue with the cylinders not firing.
     
    damoc and ThomasT like this.
  18. gtrgy888

    gtrgy888 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2021
    Messages:
    112
    Location:
    Western US
    Shaving a ring of lead helps to keep the over ball grease from contacting powder.
     
  19. Sim Carstairs

    Sim Carstairs Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2020
    Messages:
    47
    About 25 years ago, I was given an original single shot Civil War era percussion pistol that’s identical to the one in the attached photo. Eventually I checked to see if it was loaded and it most certainly was! It was somewhat difficult, but I pulled the ball and a linen patch with a design on it came out as well. A small charge of powder fell out on my desk and I tested some of it later and it flashed. Some of the powder was loose and some clumped together. To this day I’m sure that it would have fired with no problem if a fresh cap was put on it. I have no idea how long it sat in a drawer loaded before I got it.
     

    Attached Files:

    Dave Markowitz, arcticap and rodwha like this.
  20. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Messages:
    4,649
    Location:
    NE FL
    Depending on temperature Bore Butter will become runny and will slip past the balls contaminating the powder. That happened to me on a long loaded (777) sometime ago. The Remington #10 caps were all duds with the exception of 1.
     
    arcticap likes this.
  21. silicosys4

    silicosys4 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Messages:
    2,776
    the first cap and ball revolver i bought was loaded when I purchased it, it had belonged to a friends grandfather who had been deceased for many years. I'd guess from the condition of the gun and the appearance of the felt wads that were visible that it had been loaded since its owner had passed. It fired all cylinders, though a few of the charges were weak. All balls cleared the barrel.
     
    ThomasT and gobsauce like this.
  22. rodwha

    rodwha Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    Messages:
    3,895
    Location:
    Texas

    Are your chambers rough? Lube should not be capable of passing a friction fit projectile.
     
  23. gtrgy888

    gtrgy888 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2021
    Messages:
    112
    Location:
    Western US
    Were those oversized?
     
    1KPerDay likes this.
  24. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Messages:
    4,649
    Location:
    NE FL
    I think using real black will give the best results by far than any of the modern substitutes.
    No, they were .457 for the Ruger.
     
  25. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Messages:
    4,649
    Location:
    NE FL
    No.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice