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Well, I guess I am getting back in the BP game...

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by armoredman, May 10, 2020.

  1. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    Some of you might remember me posting about a reloading bonanza that fell in my lap many months ago. In that huge stash o' free stuff was cans of black powder and some #11 caps. i gave away almost 905 of it, and held on to one can of FFFg and the #11 caps as I know someone who might be able to use it IF I ever ended up in the same time at the same place. Never did in almost a year. This afternoon I will be going to to a buddy's house to give him a holster for a new pistol he bought that I just so happen to have a brand new rig for I cannot use. Seriously, been trying to give it away for two years. So he asked if I was into black powder. When I allowed that I was at one time and happen to have some pistol powder and caps left, he said "Come over and get your gun." A 44 cal Navy is what he wants me to take off his hands. That is ALL I know about it. Undoubtedly an Italian repro, hopefully not in rusted out condition, (I would take it anyway to be polite and not insult the gift giver), probably the standard length barrel. However it works out, it IS a neat gift and the final pieces of the mondo giveaway will finally be used...as soon as I find a powder measure...:D And cast some balls - I just so happen, (weird how this keeps coming up), to have a 44 cal bullet mold that another buddy asked me to use to make him some balls some time ago, and I just hadn't gotten the mold back to him yet, but he got his balls already. So, I know what I am doing this weekend - buying wads, Crisco, an inexpensive powder measure, and casting balls out of some 12 BH lead I have laying about.
    Needless to say the wife is not happy - it's Mothers Day, NOT Fathers Day....*sigh*, hello, Olive Garden take out?
     
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  2. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    Congrats.
    Quit denying your destiny, lol.
    Fate has been handing you a very fun shooting discipline. Maybe you already have experience?
    Use a .45acp brass as a powder measure(about 29gr) and go forward.
    #10 caps usually fit revolvers best.
    Unsalted crisco.
    Enjoy! Great fun awaits.
     
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  3. TheOutlawKid

    TheOutlawKid Member

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    Crisco is ok and all...but if used straight only put it on one chamber the first one you shoot.
     
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  4. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    ----Because that one first shot will redeposite it everywhere it's needed. :D:evil::what::what::uhoh:
     
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  5. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    12 BHN is a bit hard. I’ve read 7-8 is about as hard as you want to go.
     
  6. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    If you want to try out the gun before buying a powder measure, there's a list showing the capacity of some common cartridge cases in the
    Black Powder Essentials thread at the top of the BP forum home page. --->>> https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/need-help-getting-started.611005/#post-7538181

    Cartridge Grains

    .320 ACP = 7
    .380 ACP = 10
    .30 cal Carbine = 20
    .38 Special = 23
    .357 Mag = 27
    .45 Auto = 26
    .44 Colt = 35
    .45 Colt = 41
    .38-40 = 40
    .30-30 = 42
    .30-06 = 70
    .45-70 = 83

    9mm – 13.3
    40 S&W – 19.3
     
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  7. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    Well, he got called in to work, so tomorrow. Nice to know about the cartridge case "measures" - I have some 45 ACP brass around here somewhere, I think.
    The 12 BH is the softest lead I have - I normally cast for 9mm and 7.62x39mm, so the softer lead is used sparingly with harder lead.
    Unsalted Crisco? But I wanted to be a Salty Dog again...
    I remember using #11s in a 36 cal BP revolver many moons ago...MANY moons ago. But I can look around - it seems that the local rip off shop runs out of everything long before they run out of black powder or Pyrodex.
     
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  8. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    Umm, favorite wads for this caliber? It has been a LONG time, refresh my memory on everything I will need, please?
     
  9. SlowFuse

    SlowFuse Member

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    These guys have given excellent pointers. I'm relatively new to this Blackpowder thing but have fallen in neck deep. Here's some thoughts from a noob. (Expand the quote)

    Sorry for the novel...

    You can make your own but to start out with these 100 packs of wads are good to go. Will likely require an order, never found these locally. I like the ML Originals (empty one in pic) out of these two. 100 for about $9. If you like using the wads and do high volume shooting look at making your own with durofelt. I no longer use wads. Everyone ends up doing things a little different it seems, its whatever works for you.
    rps20200510_224511.jpg

    On the cartridge cases I did the same thing. I just knew I had a measure from a mini cannon project years prior so I didn't buy one. Never found it, so I looked up h2o case capacities like mentioned earlier. A 38 special case full of 3F and a 9mm case of cream of wheat filler on top makes a dang accurate load in the 44's. The filler puts the ball near the front of the chamber which seems to help a bit accuracy wise. I still use relatively the same load but with an actual measure, not volumetric. Then preload these measured charges as many BP shooters do in competition so they are ready to go at the range. 3/8" tubing works for 44 plugged with a dowel on each end. I glue the small bottom one in. They also make cap plugs that work well for this purpose.
    rps20200510_224546.jpg

    Good luck!
     
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  10. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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  11. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

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    MORANIS.JPG

    LD
     
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  12. TheOutlawKid

    TheOutlawKid Member

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    I make very thin disk "wads". Instead of thick wool i use paper towel....the short barrel of the revolver doesnt need much lube at all. Also the thick wool wads take up way too much precious powder space especially in a .36 cal and even more so if using a conical. Ive introduced others to them and i havent had any negative feedback. I use a very stiff lube combo because i dont want the risk of contaminating my powder although regular gatofeo #1 lube will work perfectly as well.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2020
  13. SlowFuse

    SlowFuse Member

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    What he said. TheOutlawKid has helped me out more than once with getting started. I use his paper towel disc method for lube most of the time now.

    That trick with using 50/50 Awesome spray cleaner and water to clean after shooting was of great help too. I was still shooting pyro then and had corrosion and rust problems. Ive seen the light (or dark) and use real black now.
     
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  14. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    My most accurate loading is 29gr 3f, 10cc cream of wheat, .454 ball, dab of crisco or bore butter.

    The c.o.w. puts the ball out at the top of the cylinder ready to engage the lands and grooves of the barrel.

    Try it!
     
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  15. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    Well, welcome back!

    I think you will not go wrong with any of the advice here. I personally like to simplify, so I just use a powder flask with a properly sized spout. This makes powder charging easy. Www.possibleshop.com/p-g-flask.html for the general idea.

    I make my own wads with a punch, heavy felt, and homemade lube. For folks who shoot a lot it is worthwhile, but the pre-lubed "Wonder Wads" work perfectly, if you don't mind paying for them.

    Round balls are perfectly appropriate - and may be the best projectiles of all for these guns - and are easily obtainable. I personally prefer swaged sprueless balls such as those sold by Hornady, and most likely their .454 balls will be just right.

    I honestly dislike lube on top of the balls. I don't believe it serves any real purpose, but does deposit itself all over everything almost immediately. This is a mild point of contention in our little world. I will note only that I gave up the practice decades ago and have not regretted it.

    The same is true of Cream of Wheat and other fillers. I apologise for stepping on toes here, but I find fillers unnecessary if anything like a full charge of powder is used.

    I wish you the best of luck and hope you will keep us updated!
     
  16. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    Well, life intervened again, however, in a good way, I suppose. The state opened all bars and restaurants today, and my buddy had the day off...at the bar with his family and friends, while I was up enjoying an incredible lunch at the Barrio Queen in Gilbert. By the time I made it back down to the home front, he was...post toasted. We'll get him tomorrow after he gets off work, if the hangover lets him go in at all.
    On the other hand, I found I accidentally have a collection of Lee dippers, ALSO from that reloading bonanza, hiding in a cigar box..3, .5, .7, 1.6, (marked 1.5, for being smaller than it looks),, 2.2, 3.1 and 3.4 CC...wonder if that would be easier to use?
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2020
  17. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    Looking at the BP Conversion Sheet from 2012, it shows 28 gr of Goex FFFg, which is what i have, works out to 1.8 CC, so the 1.5 and the .3 will do the trick. PITA to use two dippers, BUT, easier than pouring into an empty case. :)
     
  18. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    I'm glad that you found the CC dippers.
    Some folks make a handle out of wire and then affix it to a brass case to make a powder dipper or measure.
    Just about any case can be cut and adjusted for the preferred volume.
    Even when being dispensed from a flask into a measure, spilled powder can be recovered if doing it over an open plastic container or dish.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2020
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  19. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    I forgot to mention that I did pick up some CCI #10 caps and a package of "Muzzleloader Original" felt wads for 44/45. Just spent a few minutes with the softest lead I have on hand making up some 44 cal round balls from a mold my buddy left me. They apparently dropped at .439...I forgot the wide differences in ball sizes in "44" caliber. We'll see. If it drops right in, off to get some 451 or 453 and try them. However, I still need to GET the gun...
     
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  20. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    It is possible to load the chambers with patched round balls if they are undersized.
    It's not recommended but it's been done without issues.
    Just need to make sure that the PRB's are tight enough to stay in place during firing.
     
  21. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    It is here...
    Left side.jpg
    Pietta, good name.
    Pietta.jpg
    Proofs
    right side proofs.jpg
    More proofs - note the wedge isn't all the way through. I got it through more when I reassembled it, but it won't snap open on the far end - problem or not?
    right side proofs 2.jpg
    Close end of bore
    Close end of bore.jpg
    Guys, I don't think this has ever been fired...
    Cylinder.jpg
    Stocks in great shape
    stocks 1.jpg
    Figured that out
    black powder only.jpg
     
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  22. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    Great sorrows - the balls i cast are undersized for at least half the chambers. Bummer. I have the wads, I guess I could cut up a T-shirt to make patching, hate wasting the effort but it was my fault to begin with. Guess I need to find some 451, (Cabelas description said .454), balls around here somewhere. MidwayUSA has to have a cheap single cavity mold.
    No holster, tools, nada, gun an gun sock, but I ain't arguin'!
     
  23. SlowFuse

    SlowFuse Member

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    I would get 454 if available vs. 451. Unless the undersize .439 balls you have were an "almost" fit. Seems like they would likely just roll out at that size.

    Factory Hornady and Speer worked well for me before I started casting them, I liked the Speers slightly more.

    Also since it's a brass frame (if it were mine) i'd just dip with the 1.5cc and forget the extra small scoop. By my chart that equals right at 23 grains of GoEx Fffg. 30 grains would be my max on the brass.

    It does look like it's in good shape! Reply back when you get it smoking!
     
  24. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    That sounds like a plan right there, indeed. Tomorrow starts the work week, so it will be a few before I can get this smokepole fired up.
     
  25. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    Exceedingly dumb question - if I were stupid enough to try to shoot these undersized balls patched, what size/type patch would you think would work? I can't get a mold in yet.
     
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