I'm getting ready to take the .44" Ruger Old Army for my first weekend shoot with it.
I started by weighing 35 grains of black powder onto my scales using a plastic Lee scoop - then I cut the neck from a .308" case and poured that weighed charge into it and marked how high it came on the case, - before cutting-down to that mark.
- 35 grains dropped back in to check it filled nicely to the top - then I soldered a rough folded copper handle on to the brass measure.
I picked 35 grains as a starter load - identified by the books as being accurate with a .44" lead ball. - Time will tell, - but it shouldn't be a problem to make a larger or a smaller scoop/measure if needed.
- I read that if you play about with lighter small charges - you may then need to top-up each chamber with a wad, or loose corn meal or similar inert filler to take-up any air gap.
Pre-loaded Powder Charges.
- I have pre-loaded both 'Holy Smoke' black-powder and some Triple 7 (FFF) 'replica' powder charges for manual loading - but I've also made a start trying to build some combustible paper cartridges..
- These paper cartridges are tricky as the nitrated cigarette papers are flimsy. - Winding them around the tapered dowel former is OK(ish) - but the second that glue is applied they seem to want to stick to everything in sight (apart from what you want them to !).
- Given half a chance they stick to the former - which is marked where it is approx. .465" diameter for inserting the lead ball.
Forming the wee end cap and gluing it into the bottom of the tapered cone is the stuff of nightmares.
Now I say that - as a thirty year smoker (started aged eleven) who should know my way around a "roll-up". I've been off them now for thirty years too - but once a roll-up fag smoker, you never forget that dark art!
- Anyway - I will get some paper cartridges sorted eventually I'm sure -- but it's not as easy as I expected eh. - It's fiddly!
I don't know how I'll get-on with filling the cones with powder and then gluing-in the balls !
Patience is a virtue - patience is ...