black powder pistol
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Old 04-21-2010, 02:19 AM   #1
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Default black powder pistol

My girl just bought me a black powder revolver. She hasn't gotten it yet but it's a matter of days. My question is how are these things loaded? is it like a muzzle loader where I have to put the powder, wadding paper and bullet in it or is there a easier way to do that?

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Old 04-21-2010, 02:22 AM   #2
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Never done it but found this


I didn't see him put any grease over the ball on each charge in the cylinder. Wouldn't that risk cross ignition of adjacent charges in the cylinder?
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Old 04-21-2010, 03:05 AM   #3
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Be careful, these things can chain fire, and that means bad news for you.
If you do not know what a chain fire is then I will tell you. "It is where hot lead and powder go from one chamber into another and in a few moments a few if not all of your barrels are fired all at once."

Now to prevent this you can do a couple of things:
#1 Use pre-greased rounds.
#2 Use wads to seal the the powder from the ball.
You can make your own by using a cut up t-shirt and greasing them with crisco.
#3 Use over sized balls (.454).
#4 Put grease on top of the balls.

Other than that just make sure that the powder measurement is accurate and all.

ps Sorry if some of what I said was redundant....
Also, if anyone sees anything that is wrong please correct me, I am still greener than grass.

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Old 04-21-2010, 08:31 AM   #4
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Balls are oversize to provide a tight fit in the chamber. It's usually best to either use a lubed wad under the ball or vegetable based lube over them. The lube will help keep fouling soft and prevent chainfire.

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Old 04-21-2010, 09:21 AM   #5
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so with each reload i would have to measure the powder and pour it in, pushin the lubed cloth in and then jam in the ball. I'm sure they make fast reloads for a black powder pistol to where you don't spend 10 minutes reloading each cylinder

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Old 04-21-2010, 11:02 AM   #6
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Go buy and read the Lyman's Black Powder Handbook.

Do more on-line research. There are plenty of articles and U-Tube videos (such as the one posted above) that are useful to BP newbies.

DON'T try to shoot the BP pistol, until you have educated yourself and can do this safely. READ the instructions that come with the pistol.

Learn about cleaning BP pistols. HOT water and BoreButter are your friends!

BP Pistols are not hard to shoot and clean, it is not dangerous (if done properly) and they are LOADS of fun. But be careful, know what you are doing BEFORE you do it!

Don't cut up T-shirts and soak them in Crisco. Buy "revolver wads", these are lubricated felt wads that you place over the powder and under the ball.

Use "real" Black Powder if you can fffG (3fG), BP substitutes will work, but aren't as much fun!

Once you get your pistol and do some more learning, post back with any specific questions.

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Old 04-21-2010, 11:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liftedtrucks4me View Post
so with each reload i would have to measure the powder and pour it in, pushin the lubed cloth in and then jam in the ball. I'm sure they make fast reloads for a black powder pistol to where you don't spend 10 minutes reloading each cylinder
I use small (2 dram) glass vials and pre-measure the charges into them before I go shoot. This makes the loading process go a lot quicker. If/When you decide you really want to get seriously into BP pistols you can find these vials on-line. Just Google "glass vials".

A loading stand will also help. You can find these on-line at at Dixie Gun Works (An excellent source for all of your BP shooting needs). If you have a Remington 1858 replica, you can also opt for a cylinder loading press.

With experience (and the right tools) you can load all six cylinder chambers in 2-3 minutes.
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Old 04-21-2010, 01:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXnorton View Post
Go buy and read the Lyman's Black Powder Handbook.

Do more on-line research. There are plenty of articles and U-Tube videos (such as the one posted above) that are useful to BP newbies.

DON'T try to shoot the BP pistol, until you have educated yourself and can do this safely. READ the instructions that come with the pistol.

Learn about cleaning BP pistols. HOT water and BoreButter are your friends!

BP Pistols are not hard to shoot and clean, it is not dangerous (if done properly) and they are LOADS of fun. But be careful, know what you are doing BEFORE you do it!

Don't cut up T-shirts and soak them in Crisco. Buy "revolver wads", these are lubricated felt wads that you place over the powder and under the ball.

Use "real" Black Powder if you can fffG (3fG), BP substitutes will work, but aren't as much fun!

Once you get your pistol and do some more learning, post back with any specific questions.
Well I'm happy that someone adressed the t-shirt issue. I kinda felt like I was hanging in my thread. thanks
Quote:
Originally Posted by liftedtrucks4me View Post
so with each reload i would have to measure the powder and pour it in, pushin the lubed cloth in and then jam in the ball. I'm sure they make fast reloads for a black powder pistol to where you don't spend 10 minutes reloading each cylinder
I guess you could make paper cartridges with already measured powder and everything to help speed up the reloading process. You can also have a spare cylinder ready.
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:01 PM   #9
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Prelubed wads are the least messy or you can make grease pills out of crisco and beeswax to put under the balls in lieu of wads. Paper cartridges are a viable option for the range and tea bags make excellent cartridges with no need to tear them open before loading or prick them afterward. However they are time consuming to make. If you want fast paced shooting get a modern revolver. BTW Pyrodex is just as much fun as real bp, especially when it's all you can get.

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Old 08-31-2010, 11:07 PM   #10
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I just fired my first (inherited) black powder revolvers.
They really are a lot of fun. I fired a 36 cal and a 44 cal 1851 Old Navy Replicas.

I put in my time with the books and web searches prior to firing either one of these. The Lyman 45th Edition Reloading Manual has some good information on loading black powder revolvers. Yeah, I know its old. It came with the lot. I also have the 49th.

It was surprising to read the differing beliefs about loading procedures. Some say use grease, some say to use lubricated wads. I read in one book that the writer didnt believe in using either of these. If you were to think back to the day when these pistols were used in battle, doesnt it make you wonder if the soldiers took the time with patches, wads or grease?

Here is how I did it and I still have all my fingers.
Measure and pour your powder charge and load each cylinder.
Place and ram each lead ball down with consistent pressure to seat ball.
I then placed a glop of Bore Butter into each cylinder on top of the lead ball and smeared off the excess.
Place a percussion cap # 11 on each nipple.
Cock the hammer and fire.

Its a blast !!!

Joe

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