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Discussion Starter #1
While at the range today I noticed something. I am loading 25g of APP with a .451 ball and getting good groups at 20 yards. I noticed that when I used the wonder wads with the bench loader or the loading lever I got good compression of ball and powder. When I used just the powder and ball with no wad in between and used the bench loader to push the ball as far as it would go I found that I still had some compression space, about 1/16" - 3/32". I found this out by taking a 9mm casing and a .40 cal. casing and putting them together so I had 2 flat ends. I then placed my improvised "brass rod" in the cylinder and used the bench loading lever to push that extra little bit. Now for my question. Is that small amount of extra compression space a bad thing? Will I have to use wads all the time? I have put 30-40 rounds through my .44 stainless 5.5" Uberti using the ball/powder with no wad and the guns loading lever to push the ball in. Will having that gap have hurt the gun? All the posts I have read say for the ball to rest on top of the powder as close as possible. I just want to be sure that the guns own loading lever is giving me the required ball/powder compression without having to use the bench loader and my "brass rod" every time I don't use a wad.

Thanks in advance
 

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I dont know if this advice will help you or not however I never even attempted to use the guns press. I am using .454 RB and I knew I would be shaving a ring of lead off each. Therefore I knew I would be stressing out the gun., I bought the Pietta 1858 Stainless 8" barrel., anyway I purchased 2 extra cylinders and a ball press from Big Lube . the Press is awesome., and it lets me load 3 cylinders fast., I love my new toys. Also I used no wad ., the press puts the ball down...., tight.


[url]http://www.biglube.com/BulletMolds.aspx?ProductID=23 [/url]
Check out this press Youve got alot invested into that stainless Uberti ., this will help you take care of it.
 

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I knew I would be shaving a ring of lead off each. Therefore I knew I would be stressing out the gun.
Tropico - I'm not sure how you came to the conclusion that you would be "stressing out the gun". If you mean that you would be damaging the gun let me assure you that's not the case - the gun was designed to be able to do that. Shaving the ring of lead is intentional and will not damage the gun. It seems much higher loads from the powder charge igniting. By the way, your url gives an error. You need to go to the home site first, then go the the cylinder loading stand using the drop down menus.

ncc1701a - It is true that a gap between the powder and the ball is not a good thing for the gun. It's also a good thing to compress the powder charge to get more consistent ignition and pressure, thus more consistent accuracies.

You didn't mention what type of gun you have (I don't know of any Uberti 44's with a 5 1/2" barrel), but I'm surprised that you don't get adequate compression with the gun's loading lever. Unless you are loading a large chamber gun like a Dragoon or Walker the gun's loading lever should be long enough to seat the ball on a 25 grain powder charge with no wad between.

You also don't mention what kind of bench loading stand you have. I'm aware of two, one of which is inadequate for many guns for just the reason you state. The one referenced by Tropico is the good one; I've used it with all my guns and it does an excellent job regardless of the cylinder geometry. It's also sold by Powder, Inc. for the same price, but they say they are out of stock and don't know when they'll be getting more.

As I understand your post you have verified, by using the two empty cases, that when loading the cylinder with the bench loading stand without using a felt wad that there appears to be a gap between the powder and the ball. You have not verified a gap exists when loading without a felt wad using the gun's loading lever. I can't assume that the problem you've seen with the bench loading stand is also present when using the gun's loading lever since the geometries could be very different depending on the stand you use. Therefore I can't say if you may have damaged your gun's cylinder. I rather doubt it, however, as any damage should be apparent by now.

My only suggestion is to use more powder or an inert filler when not using a wad.
 

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Colts from the 1860 on and the 1858 Remingtons were designed to be fired with approximately 25 grs of black powder. The length of the rammer on board the gun is sufficient to properly seat the ball over 25 grs of powder.
 

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Not sure how the air space remained after ramming with a bench stand, as there is no stop for the ram. What brand are you using? I load 25 to 27 gfr in an Uberti 1860 Army with a wad. I can feel the ball bottom out with the bench stand unit from Big Lube.

mykeal, Uberti makes a 5-1/2 inch Remington, I have 2.

The damage possible with too large or too hard a ball, or over compressing is a bent loading lever, and many shooters have done it.

The frame, cylinder and barrel are not harmed, generally, as you can't get enough black powder in one to hurt it, with the exception of the Walker, which can crush wedges or worse with a steady diet of 60 gr loads.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm using a bench loader from Thunder Ridge Muzzleloading

http://www.thunder-ridge-muzzleloading.com/revolvers.htm#revolvers

All the way at the bottom of the page.

I got to thinking would this be a way to see if I have good powder compression? Charge up a cylinder with powder and ball then use the gun's loader to push it home as far as the loader will go. Then remove the cylinder from the gun and remove the nipple. If the powder requires me use a copper wire to pick at the powder charge to get it loose enough to flow out of the hole where the nipple was, would this packed powder be an indication of good powder/ball contact? On a side note what are the proportions for this bees wax, paraffin, Crisco mix to soak wads in. One more question if I can't easily get bees wax can I use paraffin and Crisco melted together to soak my own felt wads in, and what would that mix be?

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=251179&t=11082005
This is the pistol I have

Thanks
 

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Unfortunately, of the two bench loaders I'm aware of, that's the bad one. It does a poor job of loading the ball if you don't happen to have the cylinder it was designed for - there's no fulcrum adjustment nor any ability to adjust where the center of the cylinder is mounted. It thus fully supports only one geometry - all others will have the ram misaligned with the center of the chamber being loaded. You'd be much better off with the one from Powder Inc. or Big Lube. I suspect that's the core of your problem.

If the load is fully compressed you should be able to remove the nipple and push the load, wad and ball back out the chamber mouth in one piece using a small brass punch. The entire load stack might remain stuck together; in any case the powder will be compressed into a cylinder. This should work whether you use a wad or not.

I don't have the recipe for wad lube; I buy pre-lubed wads.
 

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Sorry about the messed up link., here is the main link [url]http://www.biglube.com/ [/url] From here you will have to go to the "Bullet extras" menu. You are right., the gun will take the squeeze ., I just like the press. I can do my 3 cylinders fast ., then switch the Remington post with the Colt post and my friend can quickly load his Colt cylinders...., Besides Remington and Colt posts ., these presses come with .44 .36 and .32 caliber brass pieces so in all its a versital press and very well constructed.

Also the stainless in the 5 1/2 inch barrel is sure a good looking gun., I have the 8" and it is a bit long with the holster and gun belt., I would rather have had the Uberti 5 1/2" I believe.
 

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ncc1701a said:
I'm using a bench loader from Thunder Ridge Muzzleloading

http://www.thunder-ridge-muzzleloading.com/revolvers.htm#revolvers

All the way at the bottom of the page.

I got to thinking would this be a way to see if I have good powder compression? Charge up a cylinder with powder and ball then use the gun's loader to push it home as far as the loader will go. Then remove the cylinder from the gun and remove the nipple. If the powder requires me use a copper wire to pick at the powder charge to get it loose enough to flow out of the hole where the nipple was, would this packed powder be an indication of good powder/ball contact? On a side note what are the proportions for this bees wax, paraffin, Crisco mix to soak wads in. One more question if I can't easily get bees wax can I use paraffin and Crisco melted together to soak my own felt wads in, and what would that mix be?

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=251179&t=11082005
This is the pistol I have

Thanks
It sounds like you have plenty of compression. Try the local hobby stores for beeswax and or soy wax(use interchangeably. My experience is that the soy wax has a lower melting point than the beeswax so add a little more paraffin to the mix.. Also check with local farm feed stores for bee keepers that might be willing to sell some beeswax.
I use 1-1-1 proportion. If you intend to load and leave leave overnight you might want to stiffen that mix a little to hopefully keep the lube from "migrating" out into the powder charge. I have also used Circle Fly's dry wool wads soaked in Wonder Lube. I have an old wringer washer that I run the wads thru after placing between paper towels. Gets rid of the excess.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well I made my first batch of felt wads this evening. I used 200 grams crisco, 200 grams paraffin, and 100 grams beeswax. The felt I got from Home Depot, weather stripping. I dumped the wads in let them soak the juice up and scooped them out. I then mushed out the excess with my finger after placing them on a foil sheet. I plan on going to the range tomorrow, and I let y'all know how the do. When dried out they are fairly stiff, but have a slightly greasy feel.
 

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That's the way the store-bought ones feel. When violently compressed between the ball and the detonation wave the lube will liquefy and do it's job.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Got back from the range after experimenting with wads and different powder loads. This goes back to part of my original post. I loaded the 58 Remmi with 25 grains of APP, a .451 round ball and a store bought felt lubed wad using the guns loading lever to compress it all. After doing all six cylinders this way, I took the cylinder out and put it in the loading press and used my 9mm/.40 cal combo casing to push a little more. I was still able to get a little bit more compression out of it. I tried ball with wad and 30 grains of powder using the loading lever and then the stand with the same result just not as much extra compression. I found this web link from another post http://www.durofelt.com/image_26.html with this wool felt material FM14GH-1 it is 1/4" thick. It appears to have the same physical properties as the FM18H-1 which is 1/8" thick. Can I shoot 1/4" thick wads lubed with paraffin, crisco, and beeswax mix safely? I figure that going from 1/8"-3/16" pre-lubed store bought wads to 1/4" homemade lubed wads is not that big of a jump. And I think the 1/4" wads would solve the little extra compression difference I am getting between the guns lever and the bench loader. I just want to be sure that this will be safe.

Thanks
 
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