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Messages - tpelle

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I've continued experimenting with this.  I saw a Youtube video by Plowboysghost where he used cigarette papers over a tapered mandrel where he first twisted the narrow end, dropped in his powder charge, then the ball, then finished it off by twisting the remaining paper to seal the ball in.  He then trimmed the "tails" - very closely on the powder end, but leaving the tail on the ball end about 1/4" long.  No glue, other than the gummed edge on the cigarette paper.  I made up six of them for .36 and fired them in my Navy, but I had issues with the degree of unburned paper left in the bottom of the chambers.  On two chambers the paper seemed to be blown back into the flash holes of the (stock Pietta) nipples!

Keep in mind, though, that cigarette paper is treated to be, as it clearly states on the packages that I have, "Long Lasting - Slow Burning".  This is exactly opposite of what we want.

I liked the notion of twisting the ends to close them up - especially the tail on the ball end - instead of gluing them, but I think I'll go back to the curler paper for the raw material, as it seemed to burn more cleanly.  And I think I'll continue gluing on a single ply of facial tissue to close the powder end, but I think I'll glue this on to the OUTSIDE of the tube while it's still on the mandrel, then close the ball end by twisting the tail.

General Discussion / Re: Attacking the "chainfire myth"
« on: November 10, 2017, 04:24:37 PM »
Well, that's exactly my point.  The flame from the fired cap is NOT forceful enough to be able to turn and then pass down through the open nipple and through the flash hole to ignite the adjacent cylinder's powder charge.  But it doesn't take much to ignite a cap.  If the cap fits poorly, I believe that it is possible for enough of the flame to run around the recoil shield and the expand up to pass between the nipple and the cap skirt to set off the primer compound (remember, the primer compound actually overhangs the top of the nipple), which then fires the adjacent chamber.

I believe, despite the years that we have been shooting these modern percussion revolvers, we have collectively not yet reached the reliability level of the originals.  Some folks opine that the modern caps are at fault - and they do seem to be pretty inconsistent in size.  But I saw an interesting video on YouTube recently where a young man had come into possession of an original pocket Colt revolver.  He did have to make some repairs to the lockwork, but I don't think he had to fix much from the way he described it.  I then watched while he loaded it (with modern caps, I expect) and fired off several cylinders worth with 100% reliability.  So the modern caps worked for him, and resulted in no cap jams.

I agree with the fellow that said that these revolvers are just pre-assembled kits, and there's lots of work still to be done on them once they're removed from the box.  I'm betting there's things with regard to final assembly of these old guns that we haven't discovered yet - but we're getting better.

I recently took some advice I read on the 'net and "de-fanged" the hammers on my Pietta 1860s.  Both of these revolvers would hardly go a full cylinder without a cap jam.  After the de-fanging I was able to fire several cylinder-fulls trouble free.  I'm not going to maintain that that was the full answer - it will take a lot more shooting - but it seemed to be a step in the right direction.  Both of these revolvers are fitted with Treso nipples, and I fed then nothing but Remington #10 caps.

General Discussion / Re: Attacking the "chainfire myth"
« on: November 10, 2017, 09:52:01 AM »
I voted that I've never experienced a chainfire.

Here's my 2-cents worth on the matter.  I believe that chainfires occur from the cap end, not from the chamber mouth (presuming balls that fit properly and shave off a ring of lead).  I also doubt (but I can point to no research to back this up) that chainfires come from the flame passing down through a nipple where the cap has fallen off.

I do firmly believe that the flame from firing a chamber can and will pass up between the skirt of the cap and the nipple tube of an adjacent loosely-fitting cap, especially one that's been pinched into a oval to keep it on, and igniting the primer compound therein, thereby causing that cap to ignite and thereby fire its chamber.

General Discussion / Re: What would you like?
« on: November 10, 2017, 09:16:07 AM »
It's not so much what the make, but what they SHOULDN'T make.  All of these "fantasy" guns, like that Pietta 1851 Navy Pepperbox, or those .44 navies, or pretty much anything that they decide to make with a brass frame and call it a "Reb" version.

Maybe I'm too much into the historical correctness aspect of the things, but I keep thinking of some poor schmuck buying a "brass-frame 1851 Navy .44 Pepperbox" and thinking he's buying a replica of some rare historical firearm, then, when he finds out what he has, feeling swindled, and writing the sport off forever.

(Maybe it scares me a little, too, that there are actually enough people out there that would actually buy such an abomination to make it worthwhile to manufacture it!)

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Hand lettering my Locomotive
« on: November 09, 2017, 08:46:51 AM »
I know I'm resurrecting an old thread, but this reminded me of a guy I heard about.  He is a life-long model railroader, and he learned how to tweak and re-paint his rolling stock to look realistically used.  For example, he would apply a little heat to handrails and slightly bend them, he would re-paint the rolling stock to look faded and soiled, and would even apply graffiti to the boxcars and hopper cars.

Eventually he retired, and he has made a part-time business out of re-doing rolling stock in that manner, and then sells it on E-Bay.  I understand he's making up in the five figures annually doing what is for him a relaxing hobby.

Thanks.  I'll give it a try your way and see how it works out.

Nice Work.  I like using the curling papers also, easy to work with, cheap to buy and they burn up well. 

I have used this same method but find it a little easier to place the ball in the cartridge and then smear a little glue around the seated ball/paper.  I find without the glue on the ball it makes it easier to get the sprue on top.

So 99Whip,

What glue are you using and how are you applying it?  I'm using a regular glue stick, and I find that it works pretty well for everything except gluing the ball.  That's the messiest part.

Finally getting serious about combustible paper cartridges for my Pietta 1860s.  So here's a couple of pictures of a few that I made, and a little explanation of how I went about it.

First, after a brief and unsatisfying experience a few years ago, and having given the matter a lot of thought, and after watching dozens of YouTube videos, I reached a few conclusions.

1,  I want to use the thinnest paper possible - the thinnest that is structurally capable of staying together during transport and loading - in order that the jet of flame from the primer can penetrate the bottom of the cartridge and can light the powder.
2.  The paper must completely burn up on firing, and leave no smoldering residue in the chambers.
3.  Cigarette paper is probably not the best way to go, as cigarette paper is treated so as to actually burn slowly.  We want paper that burns quickly.
4.  The cartridges had to be adaptable to round ball, as that is the easiest projectile to obtain, and there is sufficient space under the loading lever of my Piettas without having to relieve any of the frame.

So, to jump ahead to the happy ending, here are what my cartridges look like:

The method that I felt was the best is as illustrated on the web site.  The only deviation I made was to glue a round ball on the instead of a conical bullet.

The former, of course, is a wooden dowell, tapered from just under bore size down to a flattened end.  The paper that makes up the body of each cartridge is cut from hair curler papers.  There is a sort of cap on the end of the cartridge that is made from a small square of facial tissue separated into one ply.

Step 1 is to take one of the small square of facial tissue, place it on the narrow end of the former, then sort of form it down over the bottom and twisted around the bottom of the former.  About 1/8" extending up over the side of the former seems to work well.

Step 2 is to use a glue stick to apply glue to the edges of one of the curler papers that has been cut to the shape to wrap smoothly around the taper of the form.  I paint glue on one of the bottom edges and to one of long side edges.  I fit the cut paper on to the dowell and over the bottom cap, then just roll it around and make sure that it adheres to the bottom cap and also to itselt when it reaches the point that it doubles over itself.

Step 3 is to pour in a charge of powder.  I have a spout on my powder flask that pours about 27 grains of Pyrodex P, which fills each tube up to maybe 1/4 or 3/16 of the wide top of the tube.

Step 4 is to pour in a filler, such as Cream of Wheat, to bring it up to about 1/8 to 3/16 of the top of the tube.  This leaves enough paper that it can be glued to the ball.

Step 5 is to apply glue to the bottom half of a ball, then set it in the tube and use my fingers to stick the paper to the bll.  If using conicals, this same flap would be glued to the heel of the bullet.  Press the paper against the ball to get it to stick, and you're done!

The ones I fired ignited readily and did not leave any paper scraps of burning embers in the cylinder.

Welcome Wagon / I guess I'm ANOTHER new Kentucky recruit!
« on: November 05, 2017, 01:53:04 PM »
Just got activated today.  Long time shooter of percussion revolvers, although it's been a kind of on-again/off-again relationship.  But, you know what?  With percussion revolvers there is ALWAYS something new to try and new to learn.

My latest adventure?  Aging the finish on my pair of 1860s, and getting seriously into combustible paper cartridges.

I'm retiring at the end of December, so I foresee a lot of range time refining my techniques and making smoke.

NEW MEMBER CHECK-IN / Another Black Powder Site - I'm In Heaven!
« on: November 05, 2017, 10:51:02 AM »
I love reading about and fooling around with percussion revolvers - especially the Colt pattern revolvers.  It's great to find a site that specializes in them, and with very knowledgable members!

By the way, I'm 65 years old and retiring on December 31 of this year.  Spent my entire career in engineering, and am a kind of rare bird, having worked my way up from a draftsman/detailer to a senior engineer without benefit of a college degree.  Also spent about 45 years as a volunteer fireman, retiring from that gig as Fire Chief of a three-station fire department - the last volunteer fire chief for that department, as my replacement was full-time paid.

In my retirement I plan on doing a lot more shooting of all sorts, including my percussion revolvers.  (I find that the older I get the more I appreciate the old sorts of things and ways to use them.  By the time I die I'll probably be running around the woods with a rock tied to a stick!)

General Discussion / Re: Cabalas sold to Bass Pro
« on: November 05, 2017, 10:46:44 AM »
I wondered how long Cabela's could keep going on the path they were on.  They were building new "brick and mortar" stores all over - sometimes having more than one in a single metropolitan area.  And they were palaces of stores.  Neat to visit, but they had to be very expensive to build, staff, and operate.  Unfortunately, today it's all about Internet Fulfillment.  All you need is a web page with nice photos and good product descriptions, and an easy and convenient e-commerce site.  You don't really even need a warehouse to ship from - somebody else does that for you behind-the-scenes.  Literally you could run something akin to Cabela's internet business out of a spare bedroom in your house!

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