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Lee liquid alox vs bore butter for cap and ball bullet lube


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just wondering if anyone uses bore butter or liquid along applied to the ball before loading for cap and ball revolvers?  My beeswax ended up having petroleum products in it and didn't work well for my paper cartridges. 

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Liquid Alox -- not good with black powder

Bore Butter works, but has a pretty low melting point.

I make my own lube from 60% toilet bowl wax/40% crisco.

Don't know how it would work with paper cartridges.

--Dawg

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Gatofeo No. 1 lube is also very good:

40% mutton tallow

40% canning paraffin

20% beeswax

******************

Here is a post from the 1858 Remington forum:

Gatofeo:
Gatofeo here.
The source of Gatofeo No. 1 Bullet Lubricant recipe comes from a 1943 American Rifleman magazine article on bullet lubrication. The recipe was listed as a factory lubricant for outside-lubricated bullets. That recipe was:

10 pounds Tallow
10 pounds Paraffin
5 pounds Beeswax

I'd had very good experience with mutton tallow, so I used that. I wanted the purest paraffin I could find. Candles often have scents and "dripless" ingredients added, so I used canning paraffin. I ensured that I used real beeswax, not the phony petroleum product used for toilet seals the past 15 or more years.
In short, I took pains to use the finest ingredients I could find, based on their purity or my experience with them.
The result was a lubricant that delighted me with its usefulness for bullets, patches and wads (revolver and shotgun) in black powder and smokeless firearms, economy and effectiveness.
The 1943 article notes that the recipes are very old factory concoctions. Considering that outside lubricated bullets have been produced by factories since the 1850s, this recipe could very well go back that far.
Hence, my statement that the Gatofeo No. 1 Bullet Lubricant recipe dates to the 19th century.

Paraffin vs. petroleum product.
I've tried numerous petroleum products with black powder since my first cap and ball revolver in 1970. None of them I've found very good. Far better has been natural oils and greases based on animals or plants.
Yet, canning paraffin is an exception. At least when blended with mutton tallow and beeswax, as found in the GF No. 1 recipe.
A chemist years ago told me (online) that canning paraffin lacks the hydrocarbons that other petroleum products contain.
I don't know about that, but I do know that canning paraffin does not promote the hard, tar-like fouling that other petroleum products do, when used with black powder.

I use Gatofeo No. 1 Bullet Lubricant (named by someone else years ago, not me) for a variety of black powder applications.
It's very similar to commercially sold SPG Lubricant, but much cheaper because it's only available as a homemade product. I can tell no difference in performance between the two.
Gatofeo No. 1 Bullet Lubricant is also good for lubricating bullets at 1,200 feet per second, or less. I use it in .38 Special and mid-power .357 Magnum loads with the same 158 gr. bullet.

Brewng a batch of Gatofeo No. 1 Bullet Lubricant is a bit of a pain, because it requires finding very specific ingredients, but a little goes a long way and it's ultimately worth it.
Enjoy!  :)


GF1 (that's what I call it for short) works great in my percussion revolvers.  I use it in the bullet brease grooves and as a lube cookie (card, pill, card) between powder and bullet in paper cartridges.  I've fired over 100 shots with no issues, and the cylinder keeps turning with no cleaning.  The bore then wipes essentially clean with one swipe.  Can't ask for better than that.


--- Quote ---Brewng a batch of Gatofeo No. 1 Bullet Lubricant is a bit of a pain, because it requires finding very specific ingredients...
--- End quote ---

I beg to differ.  It's not a pain at all.  Track of the Wolf sells mutton tallow, and the waxes are readily available at local stores anywhere.  You'll often find pure bee's wax in the hardware department, used for lubricating wooden drawers, and no mayyer where you live, there are beekeepers, because much of agriculture cannot happen without them.

You weigh your ingredients dry, using a kitchen scale, and then dump them in a pan for heating.  It can't get much easier.

GF1 also works easily in a lube sizer without heat.  I therefore lube size my percussion revolver conical bullets for easy loading; smaller diameter bullets for factory Pietta chambers and slightly larger ones for the Uberti chambers (.449" and .450" respectively - Buffalo Arms Co. sells any size die you want).  Pan lubing is thus eliminated, and I end up with bullets that are a pleasure to load as part of a paper cartridge because they're sized exactly to fit without shaving much if any lead.  Don't bother making tube sticks for the lube sizer, as some people are all proud of doing.  Just melt the lube and pour it in.  If you have a die installed, there's no mess whatever.

Make large batches of the lube.  It lasts forever, seemingly.  After punching lube pills, all the scraps are saved for re-melting at a later date.  One batch therefore can last for two or three years.

I've tried a little bit of the SPG.  It seems a little bit more firm than the GF1, and smells more of bee's wax and is more tan in color, indicating a higher percentage of bee's wax, but so far it seems to behave about the same as GF1.  I'll stick with GF1.

***********************

Here is a recipe for home made bore butter from my muzzleloader days:

Bore Butter, Hawaiian Style

 

Ingredients for about 5 pounds of Mixture

 

1 Lb. Natural Bee’s Wax

 

Olive Oil – about 2 to 4 pounds (1 lb = 2 cups of oil)

 

1 oz. Cinnamon Oil (oil of cassia) food grade

 

10 each ½ pound containers

 

Procedure for Bore Butter, Hawaiian Style

 

Melt the 1 lb. of natural bee’s wax in a thick pot Slowly with about 2 lbs. of oil. If the wax is dirty add 1 quart of water to allow bee body parts, pollen and other stuff to accumulate in the water.

Remove from heat and let it get solid. Then wash and scrape the bottom of the material to clean it up. Re heat and pour the clean mixture into a large microwave able container.

Test poke with your finger. If your finger hurts, add oil.

Nuke (microwave) until liquid or about two or three minutes, and stir. Let it get solid again. If your finger hurts go to #3 else continue to # 5.

Let it cool and pour into small 1/2 Lb. containers. Makes about 4-5 Lbs. depending on how loose you want your Bore Butter. Remember, the more oil the softer the mixture will be. The softer the mixture, the lower the melting point.

Continue to reheat – cook about 8 to 10 times total. The mixture will change consistency and smooth out. At the end of the last heating add 1 teaspoon of Cinnamon Oil per ½ pound of mixture.

Attach a fancy label, which will impress your friends.

--Dawg

Edited by Prairie Dawg, SASS #50329
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Thanks for the kind words.

One last piece of cap gun wisdom.
For loading at the UL table for the next stage, I usually use Lubed Sagebrush products felt wads.

I usually buy 'em unlubed and lube 'em myself with GF1.

Fast-n-easy

That way I can load 'em quickly & get to posse chores 
I use the toilet bowlwax/crisco when I load up friday afternoon for stage 1 of saturday's match, & put grease over the ball.

unlubed -- https://www.sageoutfitters.com/catalog/item/7230243/7463772.htm

$40 a thousand -- lube 'em myself with GF1 -- cheap & easy

 

https://www.sageoutfitters.com/catalog/item/7230243/7463802.htm

The lubed wads are  $44.50 per thousand, & are a bargain.  

Edited by Prairie Dawg, SASS #50329
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Tequila Shooter : Have shot real black in my Baikal for about 15 years with plastic wads & no lube whatsoever. Cleans up with hot water. No scrubbing anything. A little Ballistol on a patch over the exposed metal after cleaning bore with 1/2 paper towel & still works fine.

Edited by Yusta B.
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I was using pure toilet wax ring that I heated and dipped the balls in for my paper cartridges.   Tarred up pretty quickly.   I think that since I don't have a lot of time to track down components before I shoot on the 27th, I'll make my cartridges for the match lubeless and bore butter over the chambers when I load.

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I've used the gf1 with 100% wool that I punched wads out of. I've only used it in cartridges. I've used it with 32-20's, 38's, 38-40's and even 45-70. The barrels will not get hard fouling. I've shot 6 stages and had clean barrels with 3 to 5 patches ran through the bore. I kind of like the smell of it when you are making the wads too. I made a large batch a couple years ago and gave some to a few local shooters that shoot black a lot. They had the same results. It is good stuff. 

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I have had success with beeswax and olive oil for round ball lube. Melt the beeswax and add a bit of oil until it hard to a good consistency. Also serves well for chapstick and fire starter.

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Track of the wolf no longer carries Mutton tallow.  An internet search doesn't turn up any either except in small quantities of organic sourced for cosmetic use.However I can find lots of inexpensive beef tallow. is it an acceptable substitute?

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37 minutes ago, Sedalia Dave said:

Track of the wolf no longer carries Mutton tallow.  An internet search doesn't turn up any either except in small quantities of organic sourced for cosmetic use.However I can find lots of inexpensive beef tallow. is it an acceptable substitute?

I would think it is probably an okay substitute, I think the thing with lamb's tallow goes back to the British Empire in India.  They had some revolts with the colonial troops because of the bullet lubes on their issued ammo, because you had to bite off the paper cartridge, you would get lube in your mouth, the hindu's had kosher objections to Beef Tallow and the Muslims had objections to the Pork Tallow, but both were used for one reason or another at other times/places.  Actually I think the thing in India may have been to intentionally use Beef and Pork Tallow to dissuade Religious opponents from using captured British stockpiles for kosher reasons...  I'm just talking off the top of my head from things I've read or watched, so you can probably do well to look into it further from a reliable source.  I do know that there are a few shepherds around here where I am, not sure if I can buy tallow directly from them, or if I would have to go to a butcher and render it myself.

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17 hours ago, Prairie Dawg, SASS #50329 said:

Liquid Alox -- not good with black powder

Bore Butter works, but has a pretty low melting point.

I make my own lube from 60% toilet bowl wax/40% crisco.

Don't know how it would work with paper cartridges.

--Dawg

what brand of toilet bowl wax are you using?  I wonder if the crisco fixes the issues that I'm having with the 100% TBWax I've been using.

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1 hour ago, Sedalia Dave said:

Track of the wolf no longer carries Mutton tallow.  An internet search doesn't turn up any either except in small quantities of organic sourced for cosmetic use.However I can find lots of inexpensive beef tallow. is it an acceptable substitute?

Dixie GunWorks is the last place I bought it. I think durofelt sells some with there felt products too.

 

Me, I get beeswax pearls and unsalted lard. 60/40 for summer 50/50 for winter.

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7 minutes ago, Tyrel Cody said:

Dixie GunWorks is the last place I bought it. I think durofelt sells some with there felt products too.

 

Me, I get beeswax pearls and unsalted lard. 60/40 for summer 50/50 for winter.

 

@Sedalia Dave

Great minds think alike, Dixie Gun Works sells Lamb Tallow in 1lb containers.

I’m going to try a half batch of the GF1 formula, I was able to get the beeswax and paraffin on Amazon here are the links to what I bought

Tallow

Beeswax

Paraffin

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Yellow 1-Pound Beeswax Block | Hobby Lobby | 24978

Here you go, $9/lb 100% beeswax if you use the 40%off coupon...

Edited by El CupAJoe
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$3/lb with 40 % off coupon for Soy Wax, Blackie Thomas uses soy wax sometimes for some of his lube experiments...

Natural Soy Wax - 2 Pounds | Hobby Lobby | 544692

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I use pork lard in all my lubes as a sub for the sheep tallow without any troubles with BP.   Add about a Tablespoon of STP and it also works very well in your cast bullets to 1500+ fps.   seems to also work with BP.  Really nice to have one lube only on the shelf.

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3 hours ago, El CupAJoe said:

what brand of toilet bowl wax are you using?  I wonder if the crisco fixes the issues that I'm having with the 100% TBWax I've been using.

 

Whatever they have at home depot.

Oatley was the last brand I bought.

 

I buy mutton tallow at places that sell butchered lambs.
We have a large population here in cleveland of folks from India, so it is available locally. 

--Dawg

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4 hours ago, Sedalia Dave said:

Track of the wolf no longer carries Mutton tallow.  An internet search doesn't turn up any either except in small quantities of organic sourced for cosmetic use.However I can find lots of inexpensive beef tallow. is it an acceptable substitute?

Try: http://www.durofelt.com/image_73.html

They are currently out of stock however. Their felt makes excellent wads as well.

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The felt you want is 1/8 inch thick, and of Hard density -- Item FM1836H

 

For those of you who are interested, here is an article from my files on making your own wads:

 

 

 

In a firearms site a few months ago, a member posted Durofelt (http://www.durofelt.com/) as a good source for felt for making your own wads for cap and ball sixguns, cartridge guns and related uses.

I can vouch for Durofelt’s excellence. Not only is it perfect, when the right felt is ordered from this Little Rock, Arkansas company but the price is right.

I visited my brother in Little Rock during Christmas of 2004, so I made arrangements to visit DuroFelt. I have no affiliation with Duro-Felt

Asha Sahita runs it out of her Little Rock home but it’s no fly-by-night business. She’s been selling felt products since 1996.

Ms. Sahita, who is of Indian ancestry, said that a relative in India had a very successful felt-making business there. When he died, the family discussed selling the business but a family member stepped forward and said he’d like to try running it.

The family business continues to be successful in India but the business wanted to expand to other countries, including the U.S. He contacted his relative, Ms. Sahita, who agreed to begin selling the family’s felt products in the U.S.

Until I met with Ms. Sahita, she said she hadn’t had much interest from the shooting community but I expect that will change when word gets out.

She offers a variety of felt products: buffing wheels for polishing (gunsmiths take note), gaskets, polishing bobs, knife edge wheels, felt blocks, piano and organ felt strips, cones and felt with an adhesive gum on one side for various uses.

I’ll stick with the topic at hand: sheet felt for making your own wads.

To view all Duro-Felt products, visit its website at www.durofelt.com.

Duro-Felt’s address is: No. 6 White Aspen Court, Little Rock, AR, 72212-2032. Telephone: 501-225-2838. Fax: 501-219-9611. Email: DuroF1@aol.com

Shipping is FREE for retail orders from U.S. customers!

And tell her Gatofeo sent you. I’m sure she’d be interested to learn how you found out about her business.

 

Now, on to the felt for wads.

I ordered a sheet of felt 54 X 36 inches, 1/8 inch thick, and of Hard density (Item FM1836H). The cost was $27.

The 1/8 inch is the right thickness for most black powder uses and the felt should be hard, to help scrape fouling from the bore.

Felt in other thicknesses and densities is offered: 1/16th, ¼, ½, ¾ and 1 inch. Some thicknesses may only be obtained in certain densities, such as soft, extra soft, medium or hard. If you don’t find what you want contact Duro-Felt and specify what you need.

 

ECONOMY OF MAKING YOUR OWN WADS

With a sheet of 1/8 inch hard felt, 54 X 36 inches, I could conceivably make 7,776 felt wads of .36, .44 and .45 caliber. That’s calculating four wads per square inch (two down and two across --- 4 X 54 X 36 = 7,776).

That’s a lifetime supply for $27 --- and plenty left over to sell to your buddies to recover your $27 if you wish.

If you purchase Wonder Wads, at about $6 per 100, for $27 you’ll get a little over 400 wads. To purchase 7,776 Wonder Wads, at $6 per hundred, you’d need $467 --- compared to under $50 for a sheet of felt and a wad punch.

Quite a price difference, eh?

 

NOTES ON OX-YOKE’S “WONDER WAD”

Ox-Yoke claims that the dry lubricant on Wonder Wads is all that’s needed for black powder shooting. This claim is not borne by my experience.

If I use a Wonder Wad, with its dry lubricant, the last few inches of the bore of my 7-1/2 barreled revolvers is heavily fouled and accuracy soon suffers. If I soak that same wad in a natural grease or oil, fouling is greatly reduced and accuracy is prolonged.

Now, if I soak the felt wad in the lubricant I’ve enclosed here (See “Making The Best Lubricant” below) fouling is reduced even more and accuracy maintained all day. Using a felt wad with the enclosed recipe, I’ve shot more than 100 balls in one day and never had to swab the bore.

Frankly, I’ve yet to find a lubricant as good as the one I’ve enclosed here, which was in a magazine more than 60 years ago. It’s not MY recipe, as some have reported, it’s an old factory recipe for lubricating heeled bullets (works great for that too).

For me, greased wads work better than placing grease over the ball. It’s easier, not as messy and reduces fouling in the bore more.

The downside is that wads take a little more time to load. If you’re plinking at the gravel pit, that doesn’t matter. If you’re shooting in a timed Cowboy Action Shooting event, it matters. But for most applications, greased felt wads are the best choice.

 

 

YOU NEED A WAD PUNCH

For .31 or .32 caliber, use a 5/16 inch or 7.5 or 8mm wad punch. For .36 caliber use a 3/8 inch or 9.5 or 10mm wad punch. For .44 or .45 caliber revolvers, or .45-caliber rifles, use a .45-caliber or 11mm or 11.25 to 11.5 mm wad punch. For .50 caliber, use a ½ inch or 12.5mm wad punch.

You’ll have to experiment with metric wad punches a bit. I’ve never used them, so I’m guesstimating the appropriate size. But felt wads are a little forgiving. If it’s oversized a little bit, a close-fitting wooden dowel with a flat end will usually get it started in the bore, chamber or cartridge case. In fact, a snug-fitting wad is good as it will make a more effective seal against the powder’s hot gases, protecting the bullet base or patched ball, and will scrape fouling better.

If you plan to make shotgun wads, or large-bore rifle wads, punches can sometimes be found in 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 20, 24 and 28 gauge. Search the internet auction houses for these items. I see the more common-gauge wad punches offered regularly on Ebay.

For 12 gauge shotgun, rifle and pistol calibers, see the Buffalo Arms website at http://www.buffaloarms.com.

Buffalo Arms of Ponderay, Idaho offers a variety of wad punches. The drill-press mounted kind is $20, in calibers .38, .40, .44, .45 and .50. The hammer-struck wad punch is $18 each, in .32, .38, .40, .43, .44, .45, .50 rifle calibers. 38-40, 44-40 and 45 pistol calibers. The reloading press-mounted wad punch is made in calibers .25 to 12 gauge and costs $52 to $75, depending on size. The press-mounted wad punch will shell out hundreds of wads in an hour, if that’s what you want.

 

MAKING WADS BY HAND

I use a 3/8 inch hand punch for my .36 caliber revolvers, a 7/16 punch for my .44-40, and a .45-caliber punch for my .44 cap and ball revolvers, .45 Long Colt and .45-70 rifles. It may be slower than other methods but I find that I can sit on the couch, watch TV and make hundreds of wads in one evening.

I place a piece of 2X8 inch board, about 18 inches long, across my lap. A piece of 8” diameter log, cut flat on both ends and about 8 inches long, is attached to the center of the board with long decking screws.

It is easiest to cut wads if the cutter goes into the end-grain of wood, rather than 90 degrees to the grain. Your cutting surface will last longer too.

A 12” long by 6” wide strip of felt is perfect for easy handling on the log. You’ll also want a piece of dowel, smaller than the diameter of your wad cutter, to push out any wads that resist traveling up the cutter and falling out. Watch your fingers around the sharp edges of that wad cutter, it will make a nasty cut!

 

WAD CUTTER HAS MULTI USES

Felt wads aren’t the only thing you can make with a wad cutter. Thick or thin paper wads may be made, to protect the bullet’s base or discourage contamination of the powder from lubricants on the patch or bullet.

A good source of card paper, in varying thicknesses, are the scraps found in a picture-framing shop. Most owners are happy to be rid of the scraps or will sell you a bagful for a few bucks.

 

Store cardboard or unlubricated felt wads in a small box, plastic tub (yogurt, margarine, cottage cheese, etc.), soup cans with a lid or --- my favorite --- small plastic, see-through jars. Plastic peanut butter jars are particularly good since they hold hundreds of wads and a quick glance often reveals the size. However, label the jar so you don’t confuse a 7/16 inch wad meant for the .44-40 with a .45-caliber wad, for example.

 

LUBRICATE THOSE WADS

In most instances, the felt wad should be lubricated if it will be used with black powder. An exception is the use of one dry felt wad over the powder, with a lubricated felt wad over it and the projectile on top. This arrangement will keep lubricant from reaching the powder and affecting it over long periods of carry, as in hunting. In warm weather, when the lubricant may be rather fluid, this can greatly increase the reliability of a black powder gun.

For black powder shooting, a proper lubricant is required. Avoid petroleum-based greases and oils. When mixed with black powder, petroleum greases and oils often create a hard, tarry fouling that affects accuracy and is more difficult to clean.

Use a natural grease, wax or oil, made from animals or plants. Examples include lard, vegetable oils (canola, peanut, olive, etc.), Crisco, animal tallow, beeswax or carnauba wax, which is derived from palm trees (!).

The best substance I’ve found, bar none, is mutton tallow. It’s been in use with black powder, by the British military and others, for more than 150 years and I don’t think it’s by coincidence.

 

WHAT’S THE BEST WAD LUBRICANT?

You can use Crisco, vegetable oils, lard or beeswax and they’ll all work okay. But, by far, the best lubricant I’ve found is a recipe I stumbled across in a 1943 American Rifleman magazine.

The article listed 10 pounds tallow, 10 pounds paraffin and 5 pounds beeswax as the factory recipe for outside-lubricated bullets.

I’ve settled on more specific ingredients when I make it: mutton tallow, canning paraffin and beeswax. With these specific ingredients, you’ll make a black powder lubricant with a variety of uses: felt wads, patches, lead bullets in muzzleloaders and black powder cartridge guns, etc.

Of course, you don’t need 25 pounds of lubricants. I use a kitchen scale to measure 200 grams of mutton tallow, 200 grams of canning paraffin and 100 grams of beeswax for the same ratio.

 

BEESWAX

A note on beeswax: Most of the beeswax sold as toilet seals is no longer real beeswax but a synthetic. You’ll get an inferior lubricant if you use this stuff. Get the real beeswax from Muzzleloading Rendezvous, Renaissance Fairs, or hobby shops (but hobby shops typically charge an arm and leg). Also look under Beekeepers in your Yellow Pages or contact your local County Extension Agent to find out who rides herd on bees in your area. Most beekeepers will sell you a few pounds at a good price.

Raw beeswax will have fragments of the hive and dead bees in it. This can be a good deal if you’re willing to filter it a bit. Heat the raw beeswax at low heat in an old pan (thrift stores are good for old, knockabout pans) until the contaminants settle. Then, gently pour the clean, top beeswax through a paper coffee filter into mini-bread loaf pans or an old muffin pan, to make cakes.

You won’t remove every last speck of contaminant but it will be plenty good for use in bullet lubricants.

Or you can order unfiltered or filtered beeswax Beeswax from Beekepers in Minnesota at http://www.beeswaxfrombeekeepers.com or Stony Mountain Botanicals in Ohio at http://www.wildroots.com

 

MUTTON TALLOW

Mutton tallow, made from sheep, is harder to find. The only source I’ve found is Dixie Gun Works, which sells a tub of 6 to 8 ounces for $3.50. Thankfully, it’s not expensive. Buy two tubs and you won’t run out at a bad moment. If you live in sheep country, you may be able to find it at the local butcher shop or processing plant.

It’s remarkable stuff. If kept well sealed and at room temperature, it doesn’t go rancid.

 

CANNING PARAFFIN

Canning paraffin is the solid wax used by canners to seal off the tops of jars of jams and jellies. It’s most often seen this way, in homemade preserves. You’ll find it in the baking section of your grocery store. A 1 lb. block is less than $2 in most stores.

 

MAKING THE BEST LUBRICANT

Measure out:

Mutton tallow – 200 grams

Canning paraffin – 200 grams

Beeswax – 100 grams

Place this amount in a wide mouth, one quart Mason jar. Place the jar into a pot containing four or five inches of boiling water for a double-boiler effect. This is the safest way to melt waxes and greases. Just in case of a fire, keep a box of Baking Powder handy --- but away from any flame area so you can get to it.

When the ingredients are thoroughly melted, stir well with a clean stick or disposable chopstick.

Remove from heat. Allow the lubricant to cool at room temperature. Hastening cooling by placing in the refrigerator may cause the ingredients to separate. When cool and hardened, screw the cap down tight on the jar and store in a cool, dry place.

What makes this lubricant so good? I believe it’s not only the mutton tallow but the inclusion of paraffin, which stiffens the wad somewhat and makes it a more effective fouling scraper.

I’ve tried other lubricants, commercial and homemade, and still haven’t found one that works as well as this recipe. It works equally well in other black powder applications.

It doesn’t smell too bad, either. It’s different, but it won’t stink up the kitchen like melting chassis grease and other noxious ingredients often found in bullet lubricant recipes.

 

LUBRICATING WADS

For rifle and revolver wads, I use a clean tuna or pet food can with the paper label removed.

Place the can on a cast iron skillet, or in a low pan of boiling water. You may also place the can directly on the burner, if it’s kept at low heat and you watch it like a hawk.

Melt 2 Tablespoons of lubricant in the can. Add the wads. I can usually get 100 .36 to .45 caliber wads in a can, the larger ones if I cram them in a bit.

Stir the wads into the lubricant until they’re thoroughly soaked. Add more lubricant if it looks like the wads are rather dry. You want a wad that is soaked with lubricant.

No need to squeeze out the excess lubricant, simply remove the can from the heat and allow cooling with the wads and lubricant in it. When cool snap a plastic, pet food cover over the can and store the wads in a cool, dry place.

Now, you have a container to take to the range. And when you run low on wads, simply reheat the can, add more lubricant and wads, and refill it.

Cans may be marked “.36” or “.44” or whatever on the side with a large felt pen and stacked on top of each other for easy identification.

 

WADS IN THE FIELD

Carrying the wads in the field can be a problem. They are greasy, and your hands are often greasy, so you need a container that is easily opened with greasy fingers.

Some stand-out containers include:

1. Shoe polish tin, with the key on the side for easy opening. Elmer Keith recommended this container years ago and it’s still good.

2. Altoids Sour Candies tin. The Altoids mint tin may be difficult to open with greasy fingers, but Altoids also sells a sour candy in a round tin, in apple, citrus and orange flavors. This can’s lid has a dimple on the side that, when pressed, pops the can open easily.

These two containers fit easily in the pocket, possibles bag or range bag.

I don’t suggest plastic pill container with the easy-pop lid. It’s clumsy to fish out the wads from the long, narrow bottom. Percussion cap tins may be used but they’re nearly impossible to open with greasy fingers.

 

USING THE WADS

Felt wads, lubricated as above, are outstanding in cap and ball revolvers. Charge the chamber with a measured amount of powder. Push the greased felt wad in with your thumb, so it’s slightly below flush. Go on to the remaining chambers, charging with powder and pushing the greased felt wad in.

Now, use the rammer to seat the wad in each chamber down firmly on the powder. Don’t crush the powder with undue force, just seat the wad until stiff resistance is felt.

Why do you seat the wads separately, and not along with the ball?

Five reasons:

1. Should you forget to charge a chamber with powder, it will become apparent when you seat the wad. It’s a lot easier to remove a stuck wad than a stuck ball.

2. You get a better feel for how much pressure you’re applying to the wad with the rammer, when seated separately.

3. If you need to set the revolver down, for any reason, the felt wad will keep powder from spilling out of the chamber.

4. It’s easier to seat the ball if you don’t have to juggle a greased wad too.

5. You get a better feel for how much pressure you’re applying to the ball when you seat it on the wad.

 

In a muzzleloading rifle, a greased felt wad on the powder will often improve accuracy. It will protect the patch on round ball loads, and the base of the bullet on conicals.

 

WARNINGS ON WADS

A word of warning is in order:

NEVER use a wad of any kind under a hollow-based bullet, such as the .58-caliber Minie’. The wad will interfere with the expansion of the bullet’s skirt and affect accuracy.

NEVER place a wad over a solid projectile, no matter what type of gun you’re using. That wad may act as an obstruction in the bore as the bullet begins to move, raising pressures to catastrophic levels. An obvious exception is a muzzleloading shotgun, which requires a thin, paper top wad to keep the shot from rolling out.

 

Economy and tailoring your wads and lubricant are the reasons to make your own wads. There’s also a little satisfaction in making your own. Myself, I love the idea that I no longer have to search for old felt hats to make wads --- now that Duro-Felt is known.

 

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You can buy ASE wool felt sheets from Boothe Felt (http://boothfelt.com/) in various grades. F-1 @ 1/8" is top quality but F-5 would likely work just as well. Be careful when lubing the wads that you don't over saturate them. Even though Wonder Wads claim that their wads are "dry", if you squeeze them enough you can wring out some oily lube. So if you lightly lube your wads so they are not too greasy you will get less powder contamination. Avoid over compressing the powder with a wad & bullet or you will wring out the oil and it won't matter which way you store the ammo, you'll get powder contamination. I think that a harder lube like the 3:1 BW & crisco (or lard or olive oil, etc) might be better than a straight 50/50 formula like I use for the cap&ball revolver wads, i.e. less oily.

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I have never cared for Alox with BP. Bore Butter is good if you can stand the mess and constant application. I becomes like melted butter. It's easy to go to a Candle making web page and buy any number of waxes that work great and don't turn to liquid right away. While you are there get yourself a little "Chocolate" scent to add to your lube mix. Then carry a bag of those little candy bars to pass around. 

 

Snakebite

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On 12/18/2020 at 9:46 AM, Sedalia Dave said:

Track of the wolf no longer carries Mutton tallow.  An internet search doesn't turn up any either except in small quantities of organic sourced for cosmetic use.However I can find lots of inexpensive beef tallow. is it an acceptable substitute?

I was also looking for a good source of mutton tallow.  I went to a local processing plant. I asked the owner if he ever had fat trimmings from the sheep he butchered that I could get and melt down for tallow

His reply: "Sheep? Sheep? Who eats sheep?"

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On 12/17/2020 at 7:28 PM, Yusta B. said:

Tequila Shooter : Have shot real black in my Baikal for about 15 years with plastic wads & no lube whatsoever. Cleans up with hot water. No scrubbing anything. A little Ballistol on a patch over the exposed metal after cleaning bore with 1/2 paper towel & still works fine.

This^ lube in a shotgun is a waste of good lube. I pour about 1/2 gal of hot water down the pipes then spray with Murphy's. Push 1/2 paper towel through with dowel rod. Finish off with Ballistol.;)

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1 hour ago, Jefro, SASS#69420 said:

This^ lube in a shotgun is a waste of good lube. I pour about 1/2 gal of hot water down the pipes then spray with Murphy's. Push 1/2 paper towel through with dowel rod. Finish off with Ballistol.;)

 

 

Small addition to this ^^  (I forgot above) Only fill to halfway up the chambers, I put rubber corks in muzzles and leave it sit for 5-10 minutes. . If the chamber overflows you may get water under extractor & under the barrel rib. Bad Ju-ju if the rib rusts & pops loose from barrel. I usually squirt some WD-40 down there for insurance.

Edited by Yusta B.
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19 hours ago, Yusta B. said:

 

 

Small addition to this ^^  (I forgot above) Only fill to halfway up the chambers, I put rubber corks in muzzles and leave it sit for 5-10 minutes. . If the chamber overflows you may get water under extractor & under the barrel rib. Bad Ju-ju if the rib rusts & pops loose from barrel. I usually squirt some WD-40 down there for insurance.

Yer right, I should have expunded a little more.......that's why I give them a good spray of Murphy's. The alcohol with Murphy's should evaporate and protect, but then I hit them with a hair dryer before Ballistol to make sure. I do the same with my cartridge guns...Murphy's--Hair Dryer--Ballistol___________Safe;)

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  • 2 months later...

update, I took a deer this January and saved the tallow from it.  Smoked up some tenderloin last Saturday and it was delicious.  Looking to get a 36 cal conical mold now so I have somewhere to put the lube without needing an extra component.  

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El Cup-a

 

For use in a 36 (1851s) I have been shooting the EPP UG - 36.  I shoot it "as cast" from my supplier.  This bullet has a mother HUGE lube groove and shoots a treat.  Drops from the mold at about 90Gr and .380.  Very accurate in my 36s.  And just for fun, I also load the same bullet in 38-55:o

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48 minutes ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

 

El Cup-a

 

For use in a 36 (1851s) I have been shooting the EPP UG - 36.  I shoot it "as cast" from my supplier.  This bullet has a mother HUGE lube groove and shoots a treat.  Drops from the mold at about 90Gr and .380.  Very accurate in my 36s.  And just for fun, I also load the same bullet in 38-55:o

I've heard great things about the big lube bullets, maybe when I'm out of debt and shooting a lot more than I am now I'll buy a mold or just buy the bullets outright.  

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