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Topics - tpelle

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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!)

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