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1851 Navy Replicas (Pietta) and Loading Off the Gun


Bisley Joe
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I'll second the advise not to use wheel weights for your C&B revolver... It takes quite a bit more force to size an RB made of WW than pure lead.

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I'll Third the advice NOT to use Wheel Weights.  Very difficult to seat WW balls and you may well wind up with bent loading rammers.

 

Pure or Very Soft lead only.

 

Griff >

 

Fun to find you've been making the same OOPSie for 35 years hey. :rolleyes:

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I was going to get some lubed wads. Then I looked into making my own.

Then I thought: I will be using .380 balls in my Pietta Navy .36s. This should shear off a nice little ring, ensuring a well-sealed ball. So no need for wads. In addition, paper cartridges don't use wads, right? So wads seems to be unnecessary.

 

Any thoughts?

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Depends on your propellant.  Shooting 2f or 3f BP na you will want some lubed wads under the ball.  

 

If you're shooting APP, you don't need any lube or wads at all.

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7 hours ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

Griff >

Fun to find you've been making the same OOPSie for 35 years hey. :rolleyes:

What?  The .375 balls... Hey, if they cut a lead ring, I'm golden.  

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Was reading that the wads help keep down fowling, so I figure I'll use them then.

 

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3 hours ago, Bisley Joe said:

Was reading that the wads help keep down fowling, so I figure I'll use them then.

No, nein, nichts...    lead ball scrapes previous shot fouling out in front of it, lubed wad lubricates bore making it easier to remove fouling coming along behind it.  

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6 hours ago, Griff said:

No, nein, nichts...    lead ball scrapes previous shot fouling out in front of it, lubed wad lubricates bore making it easier to remove fouling coming along behind it.  

Ah!

Well thank you for the info!

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Posted (edited)

Just got my 16 cavity .380 ball mold, Slixx Nipples, Wedge Tool, and Nipple Wrench.

Should be getting the cap maker soon. I got it to make #10 caps based on what I have been reading, so hopefully that's correct.

Also ordered the paper cartridge maker from Guns of the Old West.

 

For the melting pot and ladle I'll go to the thrift store, and for the heat I have a single electric burner as well as a propane grill for the turkey fryer.

 

Now I need to buy/make wads, find lead, and get "black" powder.

 

Looking forward to shooting these soon!

 

Here they are: In color, and in a more romantic tone...

IMG_6298.jpgIMG_6298 2.jpg

Edited by Bisley Joe
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Oh, and I am going to reshape the grips, then make some faux ivory grips for these.

 

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I read a while back that some people get lead out of old car batteries. I have an old dead car battery. As heavy as they are, seems like one could get a good deal of lead out of one. Anyone know if they use pure lead in them, or mixed with different alloys?

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5 hours ago, Bisley Joe said:

I read a while back that some people get lead out of old car batteries. I have an old dead car battery. As heavy as they are, seems like one could get a good deal of lead out of one. Anyone know if they use pure lead in them, or mixed with different alloys?

Do NOT get lead from old car batteries. The acids and noxious byproducts that will come from smelting it is not worth the increased health risk. And, the alloys are not great, either.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/12/2022 at 4:18 PM, Bisley Joe said:

I was going to get some lubed wads. Then I looked into making my own.

Then I thought: I will be using .380 balls in my Pietta Navy .36s. This should shear off a nice little ring, ensuring a well-sealed ball. So no need for wads. In addition, paper cartridges don't use wads, right? So wads seems to be unnecessary.

 

Any thoughts?

I've been playing around with paper cartridges, in fact I have about sixty loaded up for the BP match at GA State Thursday.  The guy who makes the kit I'm using does not recommend using a wad in paper bullets due to concerns about the lube fouling the powder.  Since I use APP, it's not necessary anyway.

 

I'm using 1851 Pietta's chambered in .44 and set up by Goons Gunworks. 

DB72C592-D1E9-49B7-9F11-FF59825575EA.jpeg

60884282-7CBC-4C89-98C3-C60B2875D8B1.jpeg

Edited by Captain Bill Burt
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8 hours ago, Branchwater Jack SASS #88854 said:

Do NOT get lead from old car batteries. The acids and noxious byproducts that will come from smelting it is not worth the increased health risk. And, the alloys are not great, either.

 

4 hours ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

PLUS ONE for Branchwater.

 

The Out Gasses from trying to smelt Old Car Batteries can be deadly.  Don't even think it. 

Thank you, gentlemen. I will avoid the batteries.

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4 hours ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

I've been playing around with paper cartridges, in fact I have about sixty loaded up for the BP match at GA State Thursday.  The guy who makes the kit I'm using does not recommend using a wad in paper bullets due to concerns about the lube fouling the powder.  Since I use APP, it's not necessary anyway.

 

I'm using 1851 Pietta's chambered in .44 and set up by Goons Gunworks. 

DB72C592-D1E9-49B7-9F11-FF59825575EA.jpeg

60884282-7CBC-4C89-98C3-C60B2875D8B1.jpeg

BEAUTIFUL pistols!

Despite the overall superiority in design of the SAA, I find the Navy design to be an excellent pointing pistol, and the feel and balance are just very enjoyable.

 

Do you worry about chainfires? Do you use any lube on top of the bullets?

 

It seems to me that a well fitted ball: one that produces a nice ring skimmed off the sides, creates a more than sufficient barrier for preventing a chain fire. I cannot see how a chain fire is possible with a well fitted bullet. Am I correct?

 

Do you find the paper cartridges worth it? I would imagine so, but I am a novice at cap and ball and appreciate any input from you all.

 

I am also considering a .31 pocket revolver of some kind.

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Thanks.  I haven't shot them much, but the balls I'm shooting are just oversized enough to get a pretty decent ring shaved off when I seat them, so hopefully chainfires won't be an issue.

 

I'll let you know if they're worth it after the BP match Thursday.  If they all function correctly I'll say yes.

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1 hour ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

Thanks.  I haven't shot them much, but the balls I'm shooting are just oversized enough to get a pretty decent ring shaved off when I seat them, so hopefully chainfires won't be an issue.

 

I'll let you know if they're worth it after the BP match Thursday.  If they all function correctly I'll say yes.

Sounds good. Thanks.

Looking forward to shooting mine!

 

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The lube on the wad is more about keeping the fouling soft than about stopping chain fires, although wads do that too.

Firing a cap gun without lube will give you a hard fouling ring in the barrel that will destroy accuracy after a while.

If you insist on no lube, run a patch down the bore at the unloading table, just to keep the fouling in check.

--Dawg

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

The lube on the wad is more about keeping the fouling soft than about stopping chain fires, although wads do that too.

Firing a cap gun without lube will give you a hard fouling ring in the barrel that will destroy accuracy after a while.

If you insist on no lube, run a patch down the bore at the unloading table, just to keep the fouling in check.

--Dawg

Makes sense. What I was mainly wanting to avoid is what I've seen some people do: slathering some grease over the balls after being seated. Seems ridiculously messy and needless. But the wad makes sense, especially based on what you said.

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From what I have lernt in 60 years of black powder, chain fires are from the back most times.  A cap comes off a charged round or a cap isn't put on the charged round nipple.  Most cap guns were not designed to fire like SASS does.  In combat they were fired till empty then you went to another gun or pulled a big knife to continue the fight.

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If you shoot a stage with a pistol reload, cap gun shooters load all 6 chambers, & cap 5 at the loading table.

Then, when the stage begins and yer on the clock, you cap the 6th chamber BEFORE you start shooting the pistol.

--Dawg

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PLUS ONE for Chain Fire happening from the BACK.  Poorly fitted Caps.

 

Greasing yer balls (snicker snicker) is not real effective except for making a mess.  If you take a look, after firing, the round fired has blown the grease off the adjacent chamber.  Lots of folks swear by it though.  You'll be better served with a wad under the ball.  

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I've shot 1851s in SASS matches since 1986... and have charged all six chambers for every stage I've shot... both when we only used one pistol and when we moved to having two pistols on every stage.  I've never had a chain fire... Not saying it won't happen with the very next pistol I load... but.. the evidence I'm in possession of, sez the likelihood is very small.  That is both with stock nipples, Treso, Ampco & SlixShot.   You can worry about a chainfire if you wish... me... I'll cap and continue on.  I would however, check to make sure the flash holes in the nipples to be used did NOT look like the mouth of San Francisco Bay!

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I took a scrap piece of 2x4, trimmed it to about 2x4x8 inches, then drilled a hole lengthwise. That slips over the loading lever and makes seating the bullets easy. 
 

The paper bullets fit into the cylinders without having to take the cylinder off the gun, which is nice. It takes a little wiggling, but they go in. 
 

I get a nice paper/lead ring when each is seated. Seems very easy. Famous last words.

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Posted (edited)

Griff lives in a tree and has the luck of the Irish.  Chain Fire is not a guaranteed outcome of anything.  In all actuality, the cited causes of Chain Fire are mostly a WAG (Military acronym for Wild Ass'd Guess).  No one has ever managed to capture the exact instant a Chain Fire begins with high speed film and cameras.   My personal opine, Griff is some kind of lucky.  Might could go south at any time, might not ever go south.  Totally unpredictable.  I do like hedging my bets though so I don't play with uncapped charged chambers.  I insure my balls of choice will shave a full ring of lead EVERY time.  I had ONE Chain Fire.  Can't guess why.  Didn't hurt anything (well, maybe my shorts).  Just well hedging my bets.

Edited by Colorado Coffinmaker
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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

Griff lives in a tree and has the luck of the Irish.

Nay, Griff lives in Texas... some of the time... the rest of the time he lives all around the US... except, CA, NY, NJ, or points NE of there.!  And, is dubiously only part Irish, but a WHOLE lot of Scottish!  

 

But, I fully understand and fully support your hedging of bets... I'm doing the same... figuring that I'll have a dry hole or a cap only ignition and have to cap that 6th chamber to get 5 rounds to go off!  And I don't have flash holes the size of Alaska... :P

Edited by Griff
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Ha!!

 

Nothing like stepping up to a stage and have your right hand gun go Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop!  Not that ever happened to me of course.  No way that could ever happen.  :wacko:

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5 hours ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

Ha!!

Nothing like stepping up to a stage and have your right hand gun go Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop!  Not that ever happened to me of course.  No way that could ever happen.  :wacko:

Did you see the video of my last stage of EOT, 2021?  Felt like it took 15 minutes of replacing caps on one revolver that never even popped!  Finally got all five rounds to go off and ended the embarrassing spectacle, on how to pick off dead caps, replace them with other dead caps... but, salvaged a clean match!!!  Took awhile, but figured out that caps can get wet... -_-

 

CBB, I always figured that paper cartridges was an art form, much like paper-patched bullets... and roll-yer-owns... Something I never mastered... And since I'm not inclined to practice things that up my self-satisfaction quotient, I ain't startin'!

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