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I just ordered a 577 Snider from IMA and have been doing my homework about loading that round. I've an assortment of old Gun Digests & while looking through early 60s issues, I see repeated mention of automotive water pump grease for BP purposes.

Is this still in use? A close friend used it back then, but he was a gearhead & I thought he was too cheep to buy a can o' crisco or similar.

Crisco works just as well? SW
 

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For the Snider and for Minié balls, use a mix of beeswax and tallow as a bullet lube, you can adjust the mix to match the temperature conditions you expect. Do you intend to use water pump grease to lube Minié balls? I wouldn't under any circumstances, same with the Snider. I used to use water pump grease to cover the ball in the cylinder of caplock revolvers to prevent chain fires but that is about it, I never found it to work any better than Crisco other than the fact it doesn't get as runny on a hot day. As a matter of fact, water pump grease made a very difficult to clean up mess of the black powder fouling, petroleum products mixed with BP fouling tends to burn into a hard and difficult to remove mess.

Of course, you can always try their ideas, but remember they were trying a lot of things back in the early "muzzleloading revival" of the '50s and '60s, reinventing the wheel so to speak. They thought that modern products had to be better and they were generally wrong. We don't use their "modern" solutions now because they found out that they didn't work as well as the simple things our ancestors used.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies - I shoot quite a bit but have little experience with actual BP. Thinking back, my firend did use the water pump grease on his revolver cylinders - probably because he already had some on hand. Now to save up for brass & dies!! SW
 

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When I got my first BP revolver back in 1969 or 70, i used water pump grease (easily obtained from the shops, what with being in a maintenance battalion). Later switched to Crisco (easily obtained at the mess hall - i was a cheap bastich then, and to a degreee, now...). Clean-up wasn't near as nasty a job with Crisco. I'd agree - steer clear of water pump grease for your liube.
 

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TP, Correct me if I am wrong but, a revolver doesn`t chain fire from the muzzle but, from the flash over on the precussion caps unless the cylinders are eroded out. Then, it shouldn`t be shot. I have seen film clips of this situtation and it very clearly shows the flashover or chain fire from the cap end of the cylinder. During the Civil War and later the shooter did not grease the balls except to help keep the black powder fowling soft and help lube the barrel. If you will notice with the balls covered with whatever lube used, after the first shot about 90% of it is gone. Just my 2 cents worth.
 

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Well lomatil, I'm not going to correct you because there is no proof that you are right or wrong. I have always been told, rightly or wrongly, that the chain fire occurs at the front but do feel that a chain fire occurring there is extremely unlikely since the correct ball is a tight force-fit with very little chance of fire entering the chamber that way. It is very much more likely that it happens as you think. At the time when the "muzzle loading" revolvers were state of the art grease was not used as it is today - the gun was loaded and the revolver fired and chain fires were not at all common just as they are rare today. Remember that I mentioned above in post #2 in this thread that people have been reinventing the wheel? The use of grease, Crisco, etc., etc. is probably another example of that. I will say this; when I load and fire a percussion revolver - a rare occurrence, I don't enjoy them very much - I will continue to use Crisco (or whatever) as it does help keep the fouling soft, even though it does get blown away pretty quickly as you said.
 

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Agree that with a tight fitting ball which has a ring of lead sheared off as it is loaded, there is no chance of a chainfire at the front of the cylinder. However the lubricant (whatever type you like) has a very important job in lubricating the ball, and keeping the powder fouling soft.

I have forgotten to take lubricant to the range occasionally, and shot without it. After a few cylinder fulls, everything gets clogged up with powder fouling, and it is difficult to load.
 

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Hello,

I read an article recently where someone was saying take your barrel off of rifled muskets and liberally coat it with waterpump grease and put it back in the bed and put the barrrel bands back. He said that will keep it from rusting under the barrel between it and the stock. He said that way you never have to take the barrel off the gun again, as every time you do, you have to re sight the thing back in or something. Thought someone might find that interesting.
Dave
 

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Hello,

I read an article recently where someone was saying take your barrel off of rifled muskets and liberally coat it with waterpump grease and put it back in the bed and put the barrrel bands back. He said that will keep it from rusting under the barrel between it and the stock. He said that way you never have to take the barrel off the gun again, as every time you do, you have to re sight the thing back in or something. Thought someone might find that interesting.
Dave
People say a lot of things without making them a good idea. Using water-pump grease between the barrel and the stock strikes me one of those "not a good idea", as petroleum-based products don't generally do wood a lot of good. Might put a quality wax (a good paste wax, no abrasives as in "polishes while you wax" or petroleum additoves - "mineral spirits") layer that way, which would do a pretty good job of sealing air and moisture out, I suppose.
 

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Pesonally, while after shooting I always clean the bore and breach area, lock, nipple area, etc, but I don't mind taking a gun apart for examination, checking, a good cleaning of those unseen areas, etc, every so often.
Dave
 

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50/50 beeswax and crisco works ok but SPG is a lot easier. That's what I use these days. Brass cases, 595 round ball, shoots as straight as I can as far as I can see well enough to shoot. Nice light plinking round. I use GOEX FF and a grease cookie. Powder, then a card wad. Pea-size ball of SPG than another card wad which when pressed into place, mashes said SPG into a "cookie"Seat the ball on top. Fouling stays soft and easy to clean. Cabela's or your favorite internet seller probably carries SPG in the stick form.
 
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