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Saturday, 30 May 2015

.44" Calibre Combustible Paper Cartridges:

Using Zig-Zag "Rice Paper" rolling papers to form combustibles may be a good idea - but that thin nitrated paper is a worry to work with.

Forming the 'cones' and end-caps was fiddly - but got easier after I smoothed and polished the taper of the dowel former - the paper cones then slid off much easier. - I used the same cigarette paper throughout - rather than soft tissue paper for the base.

- Charging them with 35grains (scooped by volume) Triple 7 powder was easy and I only spilled a few grains. The lead balls 'plopped' into place as hoped - only one proved to be too tight but I persuaded that one to squeeze-in with a little stroking - but sealing the balls into place was a whole new game - messy, and sticky - but it too seemed to get easier as I went. - Hopefully these paper cartridges will work beautifully - but I'm not too sure .. they certainly take time and effort to make!

The .45" Calibre Balls Glued in Place and Drying.

I used a BIC glue stick to glue the cigarette paper cones - and found that the best way to handle them and move them around was by lifting with the dowel former just slipped into the bore - fingers just squashed them out of shape. - Maybe I'm slow -but each conical paper form took me approx. three minutes to cut, shape, and glue.

- But to seal/glue the balls in place I watered-down some PVA wood glue to 'loosen' it - and used a  small artists paint brush.

Ball Gluing Operation - Needed Coffee.

I seemed to need a cup of coffee for every three or four cartridges - and the adhesive outsides had to be carefully kept from contact and sticking to the other cartridges - I imagine that trying to separate siamesed rounds would just rip the flimsy paper and spill propellant everywhere.

These 'combustibles' had dried nicely in time for my black-powder shooting debut on range with the Ruger Old Army - but I'm thinking that although they loaded and fired well - if they don't completely transform the shooting experience and really ease the reloading - I'll probably stick to just using pre-weighed charges.

- Another aspect is that while they work fine - these self-consuming samples do leave a cup of unburnt paper lurking in the chambers that has to be removed before starting the re-load. - Could be I need to try a different glue to the BIC stick - old fashioned flour paste maybe?

Three 'Combustibles' with two of the Unburnt Remains.

Marty K.