Paper Cartridge Issues

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Shankdaddy

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I recently got a paper cartridge kit from Guns of the West and really enjoy it, however, the cartridges I make do not stay tight. Most of the cartridges feel perfect when I first set them aside but when I hold one by its midsection the powder begins to compress more and the cartridge loses the rigidity it once had. Am I not compressing the powder enough to begin with or could it be something else? Does anyone experience this when they make paper cartridges? Thank you.
 

Phil Coffins

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I’ve not had that problem with my home made paper cartridges but if I did I’d try using a drop tube to put the powder in the cartridge. This would have the grains of powder settle in place and give a tighter powder column.
 

russellshaffer

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I twist the top shut like the big one in APG's photo. I can squeeze them as tight as I want and push the ball down tight on the powder. I fired 13 of them yesterday and they had been sitting around for a covid year. All worked fine.
 

jdn262

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Hi Shankdaddy,

I also have a Guns of the West paper cartridge kit and I've had a similar problem in the past. I found that it depends on what kind of paper you use . I experimented with different types of paper and found that the best paper that holds up for me is to use the TrueWave brand of end papers for women's hair curlers that also burns up nicely in a revolver chamber. Also, I modified the way that most paper cartridges are assembled. Instead of trimming the paper for gluing a ball or conical bullet in the last step of assembly, I instead drop the bullet into the formed paper cone after dumping the powder, apply glue with a glue stick to the excess paper and twist it. This seems to hold the powder and bullet together fairly rigid. When I load a cartridge into a cylinder and press it into the cylinder, the cylinder lips cut off the twisted paper end with a nice lead ring that is easily removed. Check out my paper reloading stuff below.

1623187961269.png
 

Shankdaddy

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Hi Shankdaddy,

I also have a Guns of the West paper cartridge kit and I've had a similar problem in the past. I found that it depends on what kind of paper you use . I experimented with different types of paper and found that the best paper that holds up for me is to use the TrueWave brand of end papers for women's hair curlers that also burns up nicely in a revolver chamber. Also, I modified the way that most paper cartridges are assembled. Instead of trimming the paper for gluing a ball or conical bullet in the last step of assembly, I instead drop the bullet into the formed paper cone after dumping the powder, apply glue with a glue stick to the excess paper and twist it. This seems to hold the powder and bullet together fairly rigid. When I load a cartridge into a cylinder and press it into the cylinder, the cylinder lips cut off the twisted paper end with a nice lead ring that is easily removed. Check out my paper reloading stuff below.

View attachment 80535
I like your idea, I'll try it out!
 

jdn262

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I like your idea, I'll try it out!
I forgot to mention some additional tips in my last post to this thread. Cut the TrueWave end papers in half and it leaves just enough paper for twisting. Also, for making the round paper pieces for gluing to the bottom of the cartridge, buy yourself a 3/4" metal hole punch and sharpen the cutting diameter surface to make a real clean cut. I stack about 5 or 6 sheets of the paper and punch out 4 to 6 paper rounds to a stack on a piece of plywood. Re-sharpen as the punch gets dull.
 
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after the powder's in , sharply tap the former on the table 5 times. That will settle the powder just fine. This is also part of the reason the originals were sold and carried in wooden cartridge boxes, they get squishy the more they're jostled around, and that makes them more fragile. jdn262's idea is good too, If you aren't concerned about replicating factory cartridges, sort of like a modified musket cartridge.
 

Justin.44

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but when I hold one by its midsection the powder begins to compress more and the cartridge loses the rigidity it once had.
When I first started making them up I experienced what you're talking about a few times. I found that if you just handle them by the projectile instead of grabbing the cartridge part I don't have any problems. I drop them right in this cartridge box and they hold up great.
20210721_194459.jpg
 

Sean Gadhar

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Hi Shankdaddy,

I also have a Guns of the West paper cartridge kit and I've had a similar problem in the past. I found that it depends on what kind of paper you use . I experimented with different types of paper and found that the best paper that holds up for me is to use the TrueWave brand of end papers for women's hair curlers that also burns up nicely in a revolver chamber. Also, I modified the way that most paper cartridges are assembled. Instead of trimming the paper for gluing a ball or conical bullet in the last step of assembly, I instead drop the bullet into the formed paper cone after dumping the powder, apply glue with a glue stick to the excess paper and twist it. This seems to hold the powder and bullet together fairly rigid. When I load a cartridge into a cylinder and press it into the cylinder, the cylinder lips cut off the twisted paper end with a nice lead ring that is easily removed. Check out my paper reloading stuff below.

View attachment 80535
What are you using to punch out the rounds??? they look really good :thumb:
 

ZUG

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I do the same as jdn262 and use the True Wave hair curling papers. I have use coffee filter papers which I have nitrated but I find that the True Wave papers work better even not nitrated. I mostly use a round ball but have used the Ears Gone bullets also.
I like the twist tail to handle the paper cartridges as it does not mess up the cartridge during handling. It shears off during loading and I prefer to smear a bit of my own lube on top of the ball or conical. Below are 3 - .44 caliber paper cartridges that have from left to right a 45 gr , a 35 gr & a 25 gr charge of 3F GOEX powder in them :thumb: :ghostly:
P1030552.JPG
 

longhunter49

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What are you using to punch out the rounds??? they look really good :thumb:
I found a Fiskars single hole paper punch for crafters. It punches out 15 or so at a time. The one I have is 5/8 inch and works fine from .31s to .44s.
 

Gunsmith4570

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I have had the same problem I found the culprit to be the glue stick I was using, from Dollar Tree. The glue would dry, and then dry out and then let go. I picked up a cartridge to load one day and the ball fell out. Not sure what I will change to, but I made some cartridges a couple of years ago from a video on YouTube for a .36 '61 Navy. The mandrel made a closed cylinder of powder and then super glued the ball to the folded end and twisted the other end closed. Still have some they are holding together fine.
 

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