How not to load a cap and ball pistol

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by sarge257, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. sarge257

    sarge257 New Member

    This is not only a good story, but a lesson for those that would buy a gun and not read the manual that comes with it. It also will give you a few tips on how to load a cap and ball black powder pistol. (or how not to load it)
    This story starts at the home of my shooting buddy and fellow teacher, Dave. We were sitting around his den talking guns and looking over his black powder replica pistol. And the door bell rang.
    It turned out to be his nephew. His wife's sister's boy. I'll change his name to hide the guilty.
    Let's call him Jason.
    Now Jason was and still is, a rich spoiled brat. Dave's sister-and-law married well and Jason has money to burn. He is such a obnoxious young man that he even has to buy his enemies. He flaunts his money and generally is a pest.
    He came to see his aunt but kept hanging around us. He obviously over heard Dave and I talking about going to the range the next day and shoot Dave's new cap and ball revolver.
    So here we are at the range and Jason shows up.
    "Hi Guys, look what I got!!" And he displayed a brand new, in the presentation box, 3rd generation Colt cap and ball Navy pistol, with all the accessories of course. "It cost me $1200 dollars" he bragged.
    "Yeah Yeah Jason," I mumbled and went back to loading my cheap $100 replica. After I was loaded up I happened to glance down the bench and saw Jason with a lead ball sitting on top of the muzzle and he was trying to force it down the barrel.
    I went over to him and said, "Jason it doesn't go in the barrel it goes down here in the cylinder."
    "Ohh," he commented, "I know that, I was just checking to see if it fit"
    I went back to my shooting.
    Finished one round and looked over at Jason. He was hammering the lead ball into the cylinder with the end of a hunting knife.
    "Jason, look here, there is a real neat little lever built right into the pistol and with it you can swage the ball in very easily." I said.
    "Ohh, I knew that," he said, "I was just checking to see if it would fit."
    This time I kept my eye on him and when he was all done I went over to make sure he did it right.
    "Very good, Jason, you got them all in, a little battered maybe, but in. What charge of powder did you use?" I asked.
    "Powder?" Jason queried?
    So I got my tools and took the nipples out and managed to push all the battered up lead balls out the cylinder.
    As I was shooting now I couldn't watch Jason all the time and Dave told me later that Jason did not use a powder measure but just poured the cylinders full of 3F black powder and then rammed the flattened lead ball back on top on all.. that powder.
    We had stopped shooting and from down the bench we heard Jason. "Hey guys watch this!"
    And Jason disappeared in a cloud of smoke.
    OH MY GOD! I Yelled! And ran to the end of the bench.
    I waved my hat around to get rid of the smoke so I could find what was left of Jason. Finally he appeared. His face was as black as a minstrels and his eyes were bugged out like a lizard. In his hand he held only the frame of the Colt.
    And he said. "WOW"! And that was all. His first shot with that beautiful Colt cost him $1200
    What did he do wrong? Everything. But the last thing he really did wrong was not putting some sealant over each and every chamber. We use commercial sealant or even Crisco works good. Just smear enough over the bullets to seal them. You see with black powder guns, the first chamber going off sends a blast of flame all over the front of the cylinder. If you do not seal the chambers the flame will actually get under the bullet in the chambers on each side and set off a chain reaction. In microseconds all 6 of the chambers go off at once. As they did with Jason. He came out of it with only some burns but.....he could have been injured fatally.
    If he had only read the Manufactures safety booklet.
  2. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    That is freaking funny right there except a beautiful piece of art had to pay the price for one person's stupidity.


    WILDCATT New Member


    thats known as culling the dead wood.or geting rid of undesireables.they did not bring him up to well and he could of killed a shooter or spectater.and that would be even funnier.:rolleyes:
  4. W. C. Quantrill

    W. C. Quantrill New Member

    Tell that boy to come see me, I will assist him with that money problem he has.
  5. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

    I nominate him for a junior Darwin Award. :eek:
  6. divinginn

    divinginn Member

    That is the main reason I have never shot my navy revolver kit gun,I read in the manual about chain fires and it discouraged me from firing it.
  7. tiberius10721

    tiberius10721 New Member

    have fired my 1858 remington replica over a thousand times with no chain fires. crisco is cheap! black powder pistols are a hoot to shoot! I own a lot of guns but none of them are as fun to shoot as my black powder pistol.
  8. TXnorton

    TXnorton New Member

    Cabellas, Bass Pro, Midway, and DGW all sell "revolver buttons/wads". These are lubricated felt wads that you insert over your powder before seating the ball. These are supposed to help prevent chain fires (as well as using a properly oversized ball). I have shot many hundreds of rounds through my Walker-Colt using the revolver buttons with no problems.
  9. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

    Try T/C Bore Butter or T/C Natural Lube 1000. It is an excellent patch lube as well as a great cylinder grease. It's non-petroleum based and will prevent fouling build-up and extend the number of rounds between cleanings.
  10. divinginn

    divinginn Member

    Maybe one of these days,I think I am glad I did not shoot it,the manual said nothing about using grease ect. in it. not that I remember but it has been about 15 years since I have built it. Out of the 40-50 guns I have had it is the only one I have never fired,I do have a muzzle loading rifle I deer hunt with.