Safe to shoot roundball in a cap and ball revolver?

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by TGPN56, May 20, 2017.

Help Support Muzzle Loading Forum by donating:

  1. May 20, 2017 #1

    TGPN56

    TGPN56

    TGPN56

    32 Cal.

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2016
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Recently started casting my own roundball, they have a sprue on them. I am going down to the range tomorrow with my Walker, would they be safe to shoot with the sprue, I have only ever shot roundball without a sprue.
     
  2. May 20, 2017 #2

    John V.

    John V.

    John V.

    40 Cal.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2014
    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    0
    There are those here much more learned than I. However, I have shot RB's w/ spurs in the past and had no problem.
     
  3. May 20, 2017 #3

    necchi

    necchi

    necchi

    Cannon MLF Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Messages:
    13,033
    Likes Received:
    168
    Location:
    Central Minn
    No problem,, load with the sprue facing forward if possible,,
    ,,or just forget it has a sprue.
     
  4. May 20, 2017 #4

    Zonie

    Zonie

    Zonie

    Moderator Staff Member MLF Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Messages:
    29,574
    Likes Received:
    2,121
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    The sprue is fine as long as the ball is loaded in such a way that the extra material isn't going to be sheared off by the mouth of the chamber.

    Not that shearing off the excess lead would create a safety problem. It wouldn't.

    Shearing off the extra lead would take extra force on the loading lever though and the extra force needed could damage it.

    Just make sure the balls are slightly larger than the chambers. The larger balls will shear off a little lead making them exactly the same size as the chamber.
    This is necessary to keep the flame from the firing chamber from lighting off the powder in the adjacent chambers.
    It is also necessary to keep the loaded ball in the chamber from moving forward, out of the chambers mouth, when the gun recoils.

    If a ball moves out of the chamber it can lock up the action when the hammer is cocked for the next shot.
     
    rshveyda likes this.
  5. May 20, 2017 #5

    M. De Land

    M. De Land

    M. De Land

    75 Cal.

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,444
    Likes Received:
    140
    They were designed to shoot round balls. Bullets or "conicals" as they're called were adopted later on.
    Actually bullets in original Walkers were a bad idea because of the pressure increase with their use.
    Walker's had a bad reputation for burst cylinders because they were made of iron not steel and was the main reason for their large size.
     
  6. May 20, 2017 #6

    TGPN56

    TGPN56

    TGPN56

    32 Cal.

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2016
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the very informative answer. I just tested my balls and they are a little small so they roll into the chamber, will that cause an issue?
     
  7. May 20, 2017 #7

    SDSmlf

    SDSmlf

    SDSmlf

    40 Cal.

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    1,406
    Likes Received:
    598
    Location:
    Western North Carolina
    If they roll into the chamber the balls are too small. That is a problem. Balls must to be slightly larger than the chamber. Seals the chambers and keeps balls seated against the powder.
     
  8. May 20, 2017 #8

    TGPN56

    TGPN56

    TGPN56

    32 Cal.

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2016
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    I realized that if I put them screw pointing out they don't come out. Seems I answered my own question.
     
  9. May 20, 2017 #9

    necchi

    necchi

    necchi

    Cannon MLF Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Messages:
    13,033
    Likes Received:
    168
    Location:
    Central Minn
    Previous;
    Current;
    I guess you did.

    Either way, your cast ball is still too small.
    What size mold do you have?
     
  10. May 20, 2017 #10

    rodwha

    rodwha

    rodwha

    58 Cal.

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2011
    Messages:
    2,591
    Likes Received:
    123
    Location:
    Lakeway, TX
    Still too small.

    You should be able to place them over the chamber with the sprue up/down and it not fall into the chamber.

    Do you have a micrometer?
     
  11. May 20, 2017 #11

    Artificer

    Artificer

    Artificer

    Cannon MLF Supporter

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Messages:
    9,583
    Likes Received:
    944
    Though a micrometer is much more accurate than dial calipers for measuring the diameter of round balls, it sounds like the OP could use a good set of dial calipers to find out what size his chambers are in the Walker and also measure the ball size.

    Gus
     
  12. May 20, 2017 #12

    Zonie

    Zonie

    Zonie

    Moderator Staff Member MLF Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Messages:
    29,574
    Likes Received:
    2,121
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    It would be interesting to know what size of casting mold you have. That would give us a chance to figure out what the balls would be used in.

    As we are only talking about the balls needing to be a few thousandths of an inch larger than the chamber you might have the right sized mold but the lead alloy is causing the trouble.
    Some alloys shrink more than others when they cool.

    On the other hand, it's possible you have a ball mold that's made for use in a single shot gun.

    Typically, a single shot gun will be loaded with a patched ball so the ball is smaller than the bore size. A .45 caliber single shot would use a .440 or .445 diameter ball.

    A .44 caliber cap and ball gun on the other hand should be using a .451 to .457 diameter ball.

    The thing to remember about muzzleloading guns is, the caliber or size is the size of the actual bore. With a rifled barrel, the rifling will always be larger than the bore size.

    For instance, a .44 caliber 1860 Colt reproduction will have a bore size of .440 but the rifling size could be .452.
    That .452 diameter is the reason the chambers in the cylinder and the ball size will be somewhere in the .450+ size.
     
  13. May 22, 2017 #13

    Rick Boylan

    Rick Boylan

    Rick Boylan

    45 Cal.

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2014
    Messages:
    832
    Likes Received:
    2
    I've never shot anything but round ball in my cap and ball revolvers. They work great.
     
  14. May 23, 2017 #14

    M. De Land

    M. De Land

    M. De Land

    75 Cal.

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,444
    Likes Received:
    140
    Gus is right about a mic being more accurate for measuring round balls but that being said I almost never use a mic as I've gotten so used to using my calipers.
    I only need my digital Starett mic for ten thousands reads as after using a caliper for so many years I can hold .0005 for outside reads (half a thousands)with my dial caliper regularly which is more than enough accuracy for most gun work.
    For inside reads I use a split ball gauge and the calipers.
     
  15. May 23, 2017 #15

    Tom Compton

    Tom Compton

    Tom Compton

    54 Cal.

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Messages:
    1,695
    Likes Received:
    43


    :metoo:
     
  16. May 23, 2017 #16

    Mr. Troll

    Mr. Troll

    Mr. Troll

    40 Cal.

    Joined:
    May 19, 2016
    Messages:
    279
    Likes Received:
    2
    Roundball in all my revolvers....the only one I had an issue with(resolved) was a Uberti .36 that needs a .380 ball rather than a .375, like all the others.... :metoo:
     
  17. May 23, 2017 #17

    Zonie

    Zonie

    Zonie

    Moderator Staff Member MLF Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Messages:
    29,574
    Likes Received:
    2,121
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I've only fired about 10 cast bullets out of a Cap & Ball revolver.

    I bought a used 1851 Colt Navy in .36 caliber and included with it was a brass bullet mold.

    The mold is the type that is often included in a Boxed Presentation set and is, IMO, more for show than for go.

    Anyway, this mold casts a single roundball and a single bullet so I decided to cast up a few bullets to see how they worked.

    The bullets are heeled with the rear area @ .360 diameter X .12" and the forward body diameter being .380 diameter. The bullet is pointed with an overall length of .560".

    For those who don't know, these "heeled" bullets smaller diameter at the rear use that area to serve as a guide. This centers the bullet in the chamber before it is rammed.

    I found the heel fit very loosely into the chambers and the body size was quite a bit oversize for the .367 diameter chambers on my pistol.

    This resulted in a easy drop in for the first 1/8" but it took a tremendous amount of force on the loading lever to ram the bullets into the chamber.

    I only fired about 10 of the bullets before I called it quits.
    Although the loading lever and ram survived the ordeal, I didn't think it was worth the trouble to shoot any more of these bullets.

    Besides, the accuracy was pretty mediocre when compared with the .375 diameter lead balls I normally shoot in my .36's.
     
  18. Jun 3, 2017 #18

    AZbpBurner

    AZbpBurner

    AZbpBurner

    54 Cal.

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2013
    Messages:
    1,821
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    Arizona Territories
    I've got several of the same brass presentation molds in .36 & also .44. I used the .36 mold as a kid, to cast the thousands of RB's used in a Colt 1861 Navy. I went on to later cast using various Lee RB molds & have several rifles & revolvers that have never seen anything but cast balls.

    The Lee mold cutter leaves minimal sprue nub & loaded either up or down, doesn't much matter.
     
  19. Feb 12, 2020 at 3:46 AM #19

    wb78963

    wb78963

    wb78963

    32 Cal

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2020
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    4
    for a test I dry balled .451 hand cast balls in the cylinder of an 1851 Pietta .44 Navy. Sprue up, sprue down and sprue on the side. The balls were knocked out through the nipple hole with a brass punch.
    In every case there was a nice wide band sealing around the ball.
    I cannot speak for accuracy these guns are used shooting CAS and accuracy is not a problem.
    My thought is "sprue it! stuff 'em in and let fly".
    but that is just me.
    WB
     
  20. Feb 12, 2020 at 12:55 PM #20

    tenngun

    tenngun

    tenngun

    Cannon

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    11,264
    Likes Received:
    1,688
    Location:
    Republic mo
    To the op, when the ball is the right size it will as said shave a ring of lead off the ball. The rammer has a round cup in the end to fit the ball size. It takes a bit of pressure to ram home. The sprue mostly gets rounded out when rammed.
     
    Ames likes this.

Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page

Group Builder
arrow_white