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Author Topic: Pre-made paper "cartridges"?  (Read 123 times)

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Offline 07Kingpin

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Pre-made paper "cartridges"?
« on: January 09, 2021, 04:18:15 PM »
Tried a search sorry if this has been beat to death.

Just reading about making a paper "cartridge" where you roll the paper around a mandrel to form a cone, fill it with powder, a wad and then a bullet or ball, wrap the end and can carry it with you as a reload. 

I presume you just set it in the cylinder and use the loading lever to seat the ball home like normal.

Is anyone here doing this?

Offline Hellgate

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Re: Pre-made paper "cartridges"?
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2021, 06:37:14 PM »
BTDT 50 years ago. Skip the wad. The lube will leach into the paper and powder. Put lube on top of the bullet if rolling paper ammo. The absolute best paper is flash paper from a magician's supply. I mostly used "nitrated" cigarette papers that have a glued edge. The tobacco shop owners would all give me the stink eye when I bought cig papers. They had me for a maggot infested long-haired hippy dippy dope smoker. That was in the late 60s early 70s. I dipped them into a saturated solution of potassium nitrate (stump remover) and let them dry. I did not immerse the gummed edge. I had too many misfires and hang fires to continue with loading paper cartridges. Others have had much better luck than me. I also had fragments of unburned paper remain in the chambers necessitating the use of tweezers to clear it out. The last thing I wanted was a smoldering paper fragment for me to dump a load from my full powder flask onto it and lose a hand or my face. At first I would use a nipple pick to pierce the paper after loading to get more reliable ignition. Later I resorted to ripping the paper and dumping the powder in before ramming the ball/bullet. This was with a Uberti '61 Colt Navy 36. Not all pistols have the room under the rammer to fit a paper cartridge ('51 "Navy" 44s especially). No problem for Remingtons but "iffy" for Colt Armies.

If you are already killing time by watching old westerns or listening to a radio/podcast then you might as well be loading cartridges but I found that eventually I could charge 6, wad 6, ram 6 balls and cap with my eyes closed. (Been doing it since 1968 so I have it down). Making and shooting the paper cartridges is fun, challenging, historical, and time consuming. Once I got into Cowboy Action Shooting matches I didn't have the time to make up 60 pistol rounds for a match nor could I rely on my manufacturing technique so I let it go. I almost always shoot in the Frontiersman category where you must use percussion revolvers and black powder. I'm 70, still playing with cap guns and loving it.
I've been called the Imelda Marcos of cap & ball for having over 15 of them. That's a compliment.
SASS #3302 Life, Regulator,  NRA Life
Wolverton Mtn Peacekeepers
Former Orygun Cowboy Ranger
Posse From Hell (Honorary)
RUCAS#58
DGB#29

Offline 07Kingpin

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Re: Pre-made paper "cartridges"?
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2021, 05:50:24 PM »
Thanks for the first hand info.

What about just pre-measuring the charge and having it in a paper "pouch" that you can drop in the cylinder, set a wad on top of and then seat the ball?

It seams like you could be much more precise at the bench and save time in the field.

Thoughts? 

Offline Hellgate

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Re: Pre-made paper "cartridges"?
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2021, 06:02:16 PM »
It all depends on how precise you want your shooting to be. If I'm in a Cowboy Action match I just want the gun to be reasonably noisy because the targets ate big and close. Same when I used it for trapping or finishing off a deer. It just needed to be enough thump to do the job. I would only pre-weigh  my charges if I were to compete in a black powder match where we were shooting paper targets instead of ringing steel.
I've been called the Imelda Marcos of cap & ball for having over 15 of them. That's a compliment.
SASS #3302 Life, Regulator,  NRA Life
Wolverton Mtn Peacekeepers
Former Orygun Cowboy Ranger
Posse From Hell (Honorary)
RUCAS#58
DGB#29

Offline 07Kingpin

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Re: Pre-made paper "cartridges"?
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2021, 04:23:48 PM »
That's definitely more what I had in mind, have to give it a whirl. 

Offline bladesmith

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Re: Pre-made paper "cartridges"?
« Reply #5 on: Today at 01:33:37 PM »
In the 70s when I shot at Friendship everyone use to just put their finger over the spout on a flask to measure powder and pour in down the barrel. Then, and I don't remember the year, we had to pour it in a separate container [ say a 45 case ]  and then pour it down the barrel or in a cylinder on the revolvers.  It was thought to be safer, and I suppose it is. But damn, for years we just poured it in from the flask. Precise ? I could keep em in a 5" [ whatever the 10 ring is ] circle at 25 yards offhand. Oh, I'd get those pesky 9s once in awhile, but that was me, not the powder charge being precise enough.