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jdw276

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Gonna watch some utube videos but questions. 36 cal so 375 roundball. Found some cigarette papers, do I need a WAD? 18-20 grains of 3f, how long will they hold together before splitting down the seam or unrolling? Just stack em in a cigar box? Not gonna make many first time, 18-24 maybe. Use a 1/4" Dowell to wrap PAPER? Other Recommendations? Just trying to speed up the loading process. Thanks in advance for the help always.
 

Wes/Tex

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Paper cartridges were a military expedient for faster reloading. Those who used percussion pistols in combat much preferred balls over paper cartridges with either conical or round balls. No wad is required and the military used those wrapped on tapered dowels though some commercial ones were cylindrical. I tried both plain and paper treated with potassium nitrate to make them flash and furn cleaner but was never happy since the charges are reduced. It basically a matter of wrap (cigarette papers are fine), fill with powder and glue the ball or bullet in. You may want to trim with an Exacto knife just to 'pretty' them up.

http://www.svartkrutt.net/articles/bilder/rem_nma/rem_nma11_stor.jpg
 
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ZUG

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Go to YouTube and find Cap&Ball's videos - he shows you everything you want to know and how to do it. Smart man and no BS.
 

snubnose57

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I use tea bags for mine, my wife brews fresh every day, no shortage at my house.
No residue in the chambers so far.
I use balls and just twist the excess over the ball, I am not very good at glueing around the edge, as the originals.
Joannes and Michaels have small, but tall, cardboard boxes that work well for carrying a six pack of finished cartridges.
 

rodwha

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Might just have to try tea bags as we have those at home as well. I do happen to have quite a few of the American Spirits rolling papers too, which I've used. They do leave a little bit of paper shares behind a few times though. Hasn't been a problem though in as many as 3 cylinders without attending to them.
 

Mean Gene

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I made dozens of paper cartridge, it's the only way my son will go shooting with me if I'm bringing my 1860 pietta.
My last batch I didn't use a lubed patch and there was more fouling in the barrel, because of that I've gone back to using patchs.
Once you've made a number of them it goes quicker than at first.
Lots of luck.
 

azmntman

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Mean Gene said:
I made dozens of paper cartridge, it's the only way my son will go shooting with me if I'm bringing my 1860 pietta.
My last batch I didn't use a lubed patch and there was more fouling in the barrel, because of that I've gone back to using patchs.
Once you've made a number of them it goes quicker than at first.
Lots of luck.
Sounds familiar. ALL my family give me grief about loading time (then I get it about cleaning time and mess back home). They just dont get it :idunno: Thats a big part of my addiction...the fact our garmpa's had to live with it...make every shot count and all :grin:

I'll get out and in an unrushed (whats that?) session shoot maybe 20 rounds. Others shoot 2-3 bricks. To each his own. Last Sunday my session was rushed while wood cutting and I got 5 shots in. Showed me if no more time afore deer season I can get a buck. 75 yds and 5" group. Windy, couldn't see sights on TC .45 hawkin etc. I know I can get 1-2 inches but that would be in an unrushed session :surrender: Have put some white nail olish on front site now BTW :grin:
 

Wes/Tex

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Lot of the younger generation don't seem to be able to wait a few more minutes for the fun they'll enjoy...personal observation. As an aside, at the state sponsored shoot I'm privileged to attend, we tell the kids the reason gunfights happened at high noon was it took all morning to load'em up! :wink: :haha:
 

Mean Gene

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:haha: :rotf:

I shoot with this one friend who admits he's so impatient he doesn't even like loading magazines.
I try to explain to him, muzzleloading is like fishing, you have to relax and enjoy the moment.
 

crockett

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On the original question, I live near one of the patent depositories so I checked Colt's original plans, there were several.
The template was an isosceles trapezoid with the shorter base at the bottom- which created a tapered shape. In the middle of the lower base was a round trapdoor which was folded over the open end of the case when the sides were rolled into a tube shape. You can use cigarette paper and re-create this design, I use a glue stick to hold everything together and a tapered wood dowel around which the paper is rolled.
If you use cigarette paper have the gummed edge on top and so that it will be on the inside of the case. Fill the case with powder and stick in the conical bullet, lick the paper and the gum will activate and cause the case to stick to the bullet.
The original bullets had a short base and long, pointed tip. The long tip prevented heavy powder charges- too long to load. The ramrod often pushed the bullet out of line- resulting in poor accuracy.
I've tried to find evidence the Federal troops used anything other than combustible cartridges, that is, an issued flask, etc. From the best I can tell, the military pistols used these cartridges and nothing else. Some confederate troops might have loaded revolvers from a flask- not sure on that.
There are quite a few books written on this subject.
The original paper had a better treatment that burned up all the paper. Cigarette paper sometimes has a residue that could hold an EMBER so check the chamber before reloading. On the wad, Sam Colt had one design with a thin cork wad that was quickly abandoned or perhaps never even used.
 

jdw276

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Ok, an update, but first thanks to all for the thoughts, links, guidance etc. Made 24 cartridges, shot 18. Remington 1858 in 36 cal. Specs, cigarette paper,(top manufacture), 20 grain 3f, 375 swagged roundball. Used an m-1 carbine empty case as my template for rolling. Put the roundball on top of the empty case and rolled it with extra above the roundball. Pinched twisted the paper, removed the m-1a case, filled with powder and twisted the end closed, trimmed excess. 24 made in 20 Minutes? Was quick. Comments and do different next time from shooting them. Made the cartridge a bit to wide. Leave more paper, thinner powder cartridge as had to twist the cartridge gently to have it go in the chamber. With the lead ring and excess paper above the ball, lots of extra stuff hanging to stop the cylinder from rotating while loading. Will try leaving the ball exposed and have paper glue to the ball. Seems to leave paper residue in the chambers and with the blowback from firing, paper clogged a nipple so could not fire the next load when I reloaded and did not see the clog. Hard to ignite with paper intact. May use nipple pick next time to break open the paper a bit so flame can get to powder a bit easier. Just some thoughts as first time trying was a slower loading process for me than just dumping powder, wad, bullet. Thanks again for the help and support.
 

crockett

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First off, if you ram another cartridge into a chamber with an ember in the paper residue - the new round will explode right into your face, so...make sure the chamber is clean.
There are sort of two ways go with all this. First is convenient ammunition for the field, with no concern for being PC. For that, I would make some re-usable paper tubes to hold the powder, and carry them in a small container (Altoids). In the same container add the caps, wads, balls.
If you want to experience what the old pc stuff was like, then make the cartridges and for this I'd make a tapered dowel (put the dowel in a hand held electric drill to form). On this dowel mark a circumferential line to regulate all cases to the same size. As I said, have the gum on the top inside. With the "trapdoor tag" at the bottom, you have only a single layer for the cap to blast through and you eliminate a lot of residue. Get some conicals with a base band and use them. The length of the conical means a slightly lower powder charge.
The original stuff was packaged in small wood boxes with a paper label to hold the ammunition in place. There was a string or wire you pulled to rip open the paper and then the cartridges fell out. Some boxes like D C Sage included caps but the Colt ammunition usually did not so you needed a capper.
On a clean gun I did some timing on loading with these cartridges, It was very fast. The later Colt Peacemaker required the spent cases to be taken out prior to reloading a new round. The percussion required ramming and the cap- so somewhat slower but not by much. By "playing around" with these combustible cartridges you get a completely new attitude to percussion revolvers, they were technically far ahead of their time.
 

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