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wasting powder & caps

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Something to consider, at least with a Traditions powder measure would be to disassemble it and apply a small dab of lock-tite to the thimble threads where it screws onto the measure scale rod. I had the thimble loosen up on mine and get poured into my Brown Bess along with the powder. Fortunately I noticed this had happened and was able to pour the charge out into my palm and recover the thimble. It would have sucked if I hadn't noticed before I loaded a ball...
 
I used to shoot in the 70's at a range in southern California up in the San Gabriel mts. i watched from about 6 stations away as one wanna be mountain man over filled his measure and swept the excess off while standing next to his bench. after about the tenth load, he touched off his gun. and his bench. and his horn. and the can of goex that didn't need to be on his bench.
all of the rest of the shooters watched as this guy danced out of a huge cloud of smoke without a hair on his thoroughly humbled self.
every time i think about that, for some reason the scene from Jerimiah Johnson comes to mind. " seen right off you didn't have enough dirt"
seen right off this poor soul was building a bomb with spillage. I was younger and kinda sadistic in those days. shoulda warned him, but he knew it all so i let him learn some more.
 
This isn't historically correct , but to eliminate powder spillage filling powder measures before the dump into the muzzle , I equipped one of my favorite horns with a free flow powder valve. Best thing I've done. Minimal spillage , with efficiency , and safety. Before the valve , I was guilty of occasionally neglecting to replace the horn stopper. I saw an unplugged horn explosion at a range back in the early 1970's , and don't want to see another. Luck to ya....
 
Ya, Haste makes waste. It is an exciting time blasting away
with these smoke poles. Everyone is rushing to get back in
the fun. But, yes especially with stupid high caps we all need
to conserve best we can. On the trail, paper cartridges might
be worth the effort for belt pistols ,and for long muskets the
paper pouch idea.
 
I have a measurer that has the funnel that swings over and levels the charge. I do this over a small bowl to catch the few grains that get pushed off and return it to the powder can. It's never to much after a range trip, but it all adds up over time.
 
I made my horn tip measurer a 1/4 inch to long, then drove a nail thru it where the proper valve is.
Pour it till it hits the nail, then tap it down.
On the revolver I use a 30gr tube on the end of the flask.
Unless IM using paper cartridges. Then I use a drop tube, which makes for better ignition.
 
I have noticed, especially on Youtube videos, that when a lot of shooters are loading black powder guns, they will pour quite a bit more powder into a powder measure than necessary, then just knock off the top dumping the "excess" on the bench, or the ground. I swear some people waste enough after ten shots to recharge the gun again. I have found, since powder is approching the value of gold, that I now am more careful about overfilling the powder measure. How about you? Anyone fill their measures over a smooth, clean surface so you can recover the overflow?
And, I see shooters preparing for a shooting session that will pop three or four caps on a nipple to ensure that it's clear. A bit unnecessary I think. I realize that some people have money "to burn" but not me.
But hey, it's their powder, caps, and money so have at it.
Guess I am showing my age , but I have been pre measuring loads since the 70’s, and never had to use caps to clean or burn out overloaded oil buildup. Been using Hoppee’s 9 , never an issue.
Horns and possible bags are cool, but I like to hunt with a belt bag with my powder tubes, and a bullet block on a thong around my neck as well as a capper. Now a days add savings from spilling powder.
 
I bought a box-full of the rolled paper reenactor tubes on ebay, and have enough for my forever.
We use them in the Texas Army. Some events allow pouring powder and then ramming the paper tube, or else we drop the empty tubes on the ground.
You can fill the tubes with your own powder loads at home, and you're ready for the field.
For our salutes and battle reenactments, I like about 100 grains of 2F or 3F, and gets LOTS of smoke and flame.
It looks GLORIOUS! :thumb:
Hey John, where did you find the paper tubes?
 
Pre measure at home into film cans or the like. Pop a SINGLE cap, muzzle at dirt or grass. Dust or wind and load n fire.. AZ not humid so my oil after cleaning is pretty light. Do what works for you. I'd not be wasting caps nowa days though.
I quit popping caps a few years ago, my cap locks are all Hawkins style so I take the barrel off to clean, and after pumping warm water through the barrel with the nipple out, I use compressed air, and when I'm done, I oil lightly and store barrel down. Seems to work for me and that way I don't have a dirty barrel, but I was using one cap when I was going hunting, to dirty the barrel to make all the shots go about the same place. Now I got too darn old and I'm not hunting.
Squint
 
Like the OP, I load over a piece of paper (if wind allows) or one of my plastic boxes, capture what little I spill. Pipe cleaners from the dollar store instead of popping caps. I’ve always been too cheap to waste anything. I also pick lead from the berm to cast again for unmentionables.
 
When you start to head to the range or woods take your nipple out and clean off any oil that might be lingering there wipe the bore of your M.L. and you are ready . No misfires no wasted caps, powder or time.
 
What ml size should I look for that would accomodate me (25 - 65 gr.)?

In the attached pic the red line shows the 4ml graduation.
The tube is showing with 60gr.
Search eBay for 'centrifuge tube'.
 

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I quit popping caps a few years ago, my cap locks are all Hawkins style so I take the barrel off to clean, and after pumping warm water through the barrel with the nipple out, I use compressed air, and when I'm done, I oil lightly and store barrel down. Seems to work for me and that way I don't have a dirty barrel, but I was using one cap when I was going hunting, to dirty the barrel to make all the shots go about the same place. Now I got too darn old and I'm not hunting.
Squint
You have it down pat!
 
Before loading any of my sidelocks I will swab my barrel with a couple of dry patches to get the oils out. After that pop off about 4 to 6 caps to get the oils out of the flame channel as well as help foul the bore. (I buy an overabundance of #11 caps) I weigh my powder charges at home and keep the powder in tubes. None of my powder gets wasted and all of my charges are identical in weight.
 

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