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Author Topic: Revolver ball/bullet lube (historic)?  (Read 937 times)

Offline bigted

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Revolver ball/bullet lube (historic)?
« on: April 16, 2018, 03:30:29 AM »
Always wondered about this subject as i doubt that the users in the old days shot these wonderful NEW guns that merely required recocking to shoot again ... AND 6 times in a row ... without lube of some kind.

Really have wondered at the historic uses and recommendations from manufacturers as well as the ODG's methods.

Anybody either care to comment or recommend a read to help clear this question up? 

I have my system that works well but often have questioned what the preferred methods were and try to follow the historic path to see what those ODG's did and tolerated to have a repeating gun to use in every day life.

Thanks all.
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Offline ssb73q

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Re: Revolver ball/bullet lube (historic)?
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2018, 05:13:30 AM »
Hi Ted, I don't have the reference, but I understand that Colt instructed loading without lube.

I tried shooting without lube and found that accuracy was the same as lubing the rounds. IMO the main reason to lube is to minimize chainfires. It also keeps fouling soft.

Regards,
Richard
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Offline 99whip

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Re: Revolver ball/bullet lube (historic)?
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2018, 12:31:58 PM »
Hi Ted,

Richard is right, the Colt's instructions on loading don't mention lube.  Personally however, I have found that lube over the ball improves accuracy. 

It wouldn't surprise me if some type of lube was used, if you owned a percussion rifle back during that period you probably used a lube of some type, so you're mindset and experience might've taught you that lube would be beneficial or even necessary even if the instructions didn't state it.  People that use any type of product in the field often uncover modifications and tweaks that improve performance or enhance reliability.  A lot of times those discoveries happen by accident.  Seems hard to believe nobody would have ever used a lube with them.

No hard evidence, just an opinion...

Whip

Offline LonesomePigeon

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Re: Revolver ball/bullet lube (historic)?
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2018, 10:14:37 AM »
  Lubed patches were normal for single shot muzzle loading rifles and pistols, so people were definitely using lube way before cap n' ball revolvers were invented. It's not a very big leap to think someone could have used it for a revolver but I have never heard of any period references to it. The question is, why would someone even think of it? If the revolver is well made you don't need lube to prevent chainfires and if you're not firing a lot of shots in a row you don't need lube to maintain accuracy.

 

Offline bigted

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Re: Revolver ball/bullet lube (historic)?
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2018, 06:58:57 PM »
You are absolutely correct. However when shooting a number of cylinder fulls without lube ... in my experience ... you receive a barrel full of lead if no lube is used ... and ... the dry hard fouling is now a bugger to clean along with the lead in the barrel.

Mayhaps nobody used these to target practice with so hence all this would be a moot point. Mayhaps plinking with a C&B is a more modern endeavor and so we would need to apply more modern methods to a problem that was never addressed in the days when they first came out ???
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Offline mike116

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Re: Revolver ball/bullet lube (historic)?
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2018, 07:06:56 PM »
I think you hit the nail on the head Ted.    Lube is essential for extended shooting and ease of cleaning but my guess it is more of a 20th century practice.   Most likely developed into standard practice with the resurgence of popularity of BP revolvers in the early 1950's-1960's.

Offline Bishop Creek

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Re: Revolver ball/bullet lube (historic)?
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2018, 07:15:50 PM »
I don't believe that most people back in the day loaded their revolvers with lube because they would so rarely fire them. Hardly anyone used their cap and ball revolvers for target practice back then, maybe Wild Bill Hickok being the exception to the rule. One would load their revolver and hope they never had to use it. Maybe some wax over each chamber to help keep moisture out.

I go out on a sunny afternoon and load and fire maybe 120 rounds. I don't think anyone did that in the 19th Century. According to Hawg, a poster here, Gen Lee's 1851 Navy revolver when looked over after he died in the early 1870s, had beeswax over each bullet in the chamber.

I personally never heard of, or used lube when I first started shooting cap and ball in the late 1960s until it became popular in the late 1970s.

Offline Hawg

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Re: Revolver ball/bullet lube (historic)?
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2018, 08:14:30 PM »
I doubt any lube was used. Guns in the day were mostly tools, not used for entertainment. I doubt most could hit the broad side of a barn unless they were really close. General Lee's 51 navy was fired 7 years after his death and it was noted the chambers were topped off with a black waxy substance which was probably for waterproofing.
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Offline LonesomePigeon

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Re: Revolver ball/bullet lube (historic)?
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2018, 07:41:13 PM »
Weren't some paper cartridges lubed? Eras Gone has a video where he shows how paper cartridges used to be dipped in lube. I think it was done at least as early as the Civil War.

Offline LonesomePigeon

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Re: Revolver ball/bullet lube (historic)?
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2019, 07:44:58 PM »
Reading this thread again, since the last time I posted I seem to remember that the instructions for a certain European percussion revolver said that one should be sure to apply lube over the balls when loading. I don't remember what revolver it was and it was just something I read on the internet so I don't know if it's true.

Kry, that sounds like a very interesting read.

Offline bigted

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Re: Revolver ball/bullet lube (historic)?
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2019, 05:54:29 PM »
Totally agree, that does sound like a good read. Gonna look for it.

Oops ... found a copy ... $129.00 dollars ... not sure I need it that bad!
« Last Edit: June 10, 2019, 06:30:16 PM by bigted »
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