Making Black Powder Ammo in the Woods.

ASUS-DAG

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I don't remember the name of the lube I used. It is a BP lube. It's soft like toothpaste and I applied it by setting the bullet half way over the lube grove, then packed it in like pushing grease into some wheel bearings. I didn't size them. I have a Saeco mold and it drops bullets vary close to spot on ever time. Give or take a half thousandth. I am a little bumbed that Lymen did away with the bullet sizer on the 310 tool. The old one just hade a hole on one side of the grip and a pin on the other to push it through. It's such a simple design. Why they did away with it, I'll never know. Apart from not having a sizer, it's a great tool to have.
 

BrownBear

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If you want to have best results with BP, BP fouling, leading and suitable lubes, a switch to heeled bullets makes some sense. Of course, it's likely to cost you in barrel and chamber work. I know some Cowboy Action types who made the switch, and they rave about the improved overall handling of guns, ease of loading, etc. Academic if you don't want to spend the bucks, but an interesting thought and read in any case.
 

ASUS-DAG

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That's interesting. I had never heard of Heeled Bullets before. So do you not use lube at all. Looking at it seems like the bullet would want to wobble down the barrel. Have you used these before and how about smokeless powder?
 

BrownBear

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So do you not use lube at all.

The lube is on the "heel" of the bullet, the portion down inside the case.

Only ones I used were in an ancient 38 Long Colt revolver with black powder. It made it possible to use soft lubes that really helped with the black powder fowling. Never tried them with smokeless, but don't see any real need either. I did try black in "smokeless" rounds like 38 Special and modern 45 Colt cases, and was kinda deviled by hard black powder fouling rather than the softer version from using softer lubes in the 38 Long Colt. Kinda convinced me that if I was going to mess seriously with black powder in revolvers, I wanted heeled bullets.

On a side note, I use black powder in several rifle cartridges that aren't heeled (45-70, 45-90, 50/70. 50/140), and lube/hard fouling/maybe leading is a problem if you rely only on the grease grooves in the bullets. Paper patching gets around the leading, but you still need lube to help keep the black powder fowling soft. My solution is to make "pellets" of lube by pouring a sheet of melted lube, then using a case for a cookie cutter. I load the little "lube cookies" on top of the over-powder wad and under the bullet. Fouling after shooting remains soft and is easy to swab out. More of a convenience deal than an accuracy aid, but the ease of swabbing is well worth the little extra effort in loading. Sure cuts down leading too, if you get foolish modern ideas like trying to push up the velocity with those soft bullets. Black powder and soft lead bullets are all about bullet weight rather than higher velocities for extra power. Need more power? Keep you hand off the powder measure and use heavier bullets instead.
 

Smitty of the North

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BB:
I've tried 777 in my Ruger 357 BH. Apparently, a load that completely fills the available space is safe.

My question is,,,, to what extent is it necessary to disassemble my revolver for cleaning after firing it enough for things to start locking up with the BP fouling.

I did OK with a C&B but cleaning was something of an issue. I dunno if I wanna put my 357 through that.

Any tips, as to cleaning?

Smitty of the North
 

BrownBear

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Disassembly is important, because the fouling gets into every nook and cranny. At the very least it gums things up. Stainless slows corrosion a little, but even that is subject to black powder corrosion, including 777 (though the fouling issue with substitute powders is perclorates). Things like springs and pawls really get eaten up.

I'd take it down as far as you're comfortable at the very least, but more is better with disassembly. Searching online for parts diagrams and even instructions for your models is a very good thing. I've done so much work on Smiths that I can reduce them to a box of loose parts, then back again into a complete functioning handgun, so modern guns are not an issue. I can completely disassemble, clean and reassemble a Smith in something like half an hour. It's an important skill to have around saltwater, even if you never pop a cap on black powder or a sub.

Repro black powder revolvers are all pretty standard, based on long-defunct patents from original models. After the first breath-holding session taking one apart and putting it back together again, it becomes pretty straight forward and routine.
 

rbuck351

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Take the grips of the revolver and run it through the wife's dishwasher (when she's not there) then remove it while still hot and oil it. Sparkely clean and no disassembly.
 

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