Author Topic: Grits for filler above powder?  (Read 3185 times)

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Offline Omnivore

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Re: Grits for filler above powder?
« Reply #45 on: February 05, 2018, 08:09:18 PM »
I believe I've pointed out before however, that "pariffin" at least back then would have most likely referred to the liquid, which would likely have NOT been used in bullet lube.  So the question remains whether Army procurement referring to paraffin was for lamp oil or some other purpose.  Paraffin wax is another substance.  I never did get clarification on that little point from Gatofeo.

I still have a supply of GF1 lube, which I will continue to use.  Maybe when it's time for another batch I'll skip the paraffin wax and try just the bee's wax and mutton tallow.

TinMan; another part of the cartridge making is the use of a pan of water, over which a measured amount of lube is floated as it's heated in an oven.  The lube melts and creates a perfectly consistent thickness as it cools.  I that way, and by keeping notes, you can precisely control the lube pill thickness.  I weigh out the solid lube, toss it in the water and place it in the oven at 150 F just long enough to melt the lube and let it level out, then cut the heat and leave it alone until it's good and solid again.  The sheet is then lifted out of the pan, dried off and placed on AL foil on a flat countertop for punching out the pills.

I always use an under-sized punch, so the cartridges can maintain their characteristic of tapering smaller under the bullet.  That slight taper makes them a lot easier to load.  As a benchmark, the wad or pill or card should be the size of the heel base of the bullet, or slightly less, but not more.  For 44 caliber I use a wad punch for the 43 Spanish cartridge.  I forget the exact size, but it's around .435" or .440", whereas for example the Pietta 44 chambers are more like .447" - .449" and Uberti is .450".  I use the same punch for cutting out the lube pills and for hammer-punching the cards.  If I were to use felt wads I'd try the same punch for those also, but I may try to open one up by a few thousandths using a Dremel grinder, with the hardened punch in the lathe chuck.

Using the typically oversized wads or cards makes inserting the cartridges much more difficult. As you're trying to insert the wad and the bullet at the same time, if any part of the wad should get between the bullet and the chamber wall, the cartridge is "jammed" and that is a hassle.  You can still load it, but that super convenience of using cartridges in the field is greatly compromised.

So the above point is; although I'd use a typically oversized wad or an oversized card when loading loose ammunition, I'm actually using a different "load", technically speaking, when loading cartridges, the difference being the slightly undersized wads.  Therefore it is not necessarily going to perform exactly the same even though all else is equal.  Therefor one should look to experiment to find the actual cartridge load which works the best.
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Offline Hawg

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Re: Grits for filler above powder?
« Reply #46 on: February 05, 2018, 09:18:21 PM »
Paraffin is mineral oil so probably used as lamp oil. Paraffin wax has been around since the 1850's and mainly used for making candles.
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Offline DD4lifeusmc

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Re: Grits for filler above powder?
« Reply #47 on: February 05, 2018, 09:35:24 PM »
Hi Timman;  I've made thousand of cartridges,  if you're interested, PM me and I can set you up with a rolling mandrel, wad or card punch, and paper pattern for use with Jumbo-size hair perm papers, all for making what I call the "twist tail" cartridges.  Here's a video I did a few years a ago, but it doesn't show the use of wads.  I now use card wads and a lube pill (a lube cookie) but the same techniques will work for use with felt wads;




Quote
So it's very unlikely to have been used by the mountain men or the earlier (1600 -1700) fur traders  or  the mountainman  of 1840' to roughly  1860  before the fur trade  fell off.
While some of them became buffalo hunters some used a muzzleloader they had many used the sharps and such with cartridges  later in the buffalo hunt  years, they found they needed the greater range and accuracy and quick reloads of the Sharps and such  as the buffalo were pretty much out side the range of most muzzleloaders
By  the time of the civil war  1860-65   metallic cartridges  were coming into use.  Thus no need for a lube to place over the ball by the end of the war. although the cap and ball did remain in use until the 1900's

Gatofeo says he found mention of paraffin in original Civil War Army literature, which is why he tried it and came up with the Gatofeo #1  recipe.  Your dates would not conflict with that assertion.

Also, metal cartridges notwithstanding, it was still black powder well into the 1890s, with all the attendant fouling issues, and so bullet lubes (for fouling mitigation) would have been in wide if not universal use.
yes but that was GOVERNMENT  they got a lot of things before the civilians did, still do.
Mountain men were about 40 years before the ACW,    it's big hey day   fell off around 1840   but lagged on into the 1880's
Being  paraffin wasn't discovered until 1830's in Europe and by many reports 1840's to 1850's here.
very doubtful the mountainmen of 1840's used it. As noted above it was still a chemical curiosity and  chemists and scientists were still figuring out what it could be used for. and at first it was distilled as a lamp oil  which reduced the reliance on beeswax candles  and mineral oil or sperm whale oil for lamps.
By the late 1850's  most of the questions on it had been answered and was put into production
mostly for government commercial industry need's here's a link on history of candles 
paraffin by itself was not very suitable for candles so they added stearic acid to harden it and make it more heat resistant  so the candle wouldn't droop while burning or in summer heat
this came about in the 1850's
http://candles.org/history/

yes I agree lubes were still needed with metallic cartridges but the cartridges were civilian and army armory made and they would have had to use a hard lube that would not migrate into and damage the powder
I couldn't find in a brief quick search   anything about paraffin specifically in army munitions.  I will keep looking when I have time
I did find this site on the 1853 and newer enfield musket  / rifle
Very interesting history of loading and cartridges for it   and the reason they used lube.
Which I beieve we could use as the basis  for lubing all BP guns
but I need to go back to work
http://4thla.weebly.com/uploads/3/7/9/6/37969349/enfield_cartridges_by_bruce_carins.pdf
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« Last Edit: February 05, 2018, 09:42:19 PM by DD4lifeusmc »
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Offline Hawg

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Re: Grits for filler above powder?
« Reply #48 on: February 05, 2018, 10:27:18 PM »
Thanks for posting that DD. I haven't seen it for a long time.
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.

Offline bladesmith

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Re: Grits for filler above powder?
« Reply #49 on: May 17, 2018, 11:55:01 AM »
Back when I shot competitively I used 20grs of 3F and corn meal for a filler. Some guys used cream of wheat. But everyone I knew or saw on the firing line used a filler. And somewhere around 20grs was the standard load in the NMA 44. We shot at 25 and 50 yards off hand and the 10 ring was 3 1/2". You're not gonna shoot very many 100's if your gun only shoots 4 to 5" off a rest. I only shot a couple of 100's, but there were guys who could shoot a 100 with 4,5, 6, or 7X's. Everyone shot RB's, although bullets were allowed on the pistol range. I know a lot of you guys like to load em up, and that's fine. But if you're looking for tight groups you might want to try lighter charges. And last I checked, corn meal was cheaper than BP.  :)

Offline G Dog

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Re: Grits for filler above powder?
« Reply #50 on: May 21, 2018, 12:30:49 PM »
…  last I checked, corn meal was cheaper than BP.  :)

Not if you happen to be using Black MZ at the time.   ])M
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Offline Omnivore

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Re: Grits for filler above powder?
« Reply #51 on: May 21, 2018, 12:45:25 PM »
Quote
We shot at 25 and 50 yards off hand and the 10 ring was 3 1/2". You're not gonna shoot very many 100's if your gun only shoots 4 to 5" off a rest.

Impressive.  Shooting 100 at 25 is pretty darned good, but at fifty, on a 3.5" ten ring, that's simply amazing!
But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.   James 1:25 (KJV)

So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.   James 2:12. (KJV)