Author Topic: What size balls do I need?  (Read 470 times)

Offline Two Bit Charlie

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What size balls do I need?
« on: July 14, 2019, 09:56:03 am »
Have fun with that subject ;D!

I've got a 1849 Colt Pocket Pistol by Uberti. The cylinder bores measure .318" with a dial calipers. I know, not the most accurate, but that's all I have. Hornady's balls measure .310" and .315". So, who's balls do I use and what size?

Two-Bit Charlie

P.S. I also have a Uberti Police in .36caliber. What size balls for it?

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: What size balls do I need?
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2019, 10:47:19 am »

Ah Ha!!  High Ya Charlie  :D

Actually, It depends a lot on the size of your Cylinder Chambers.  You want a ball about 2 thou over the size of the chamber.  That way, when you load, the chamber shaves a nice ring of lead off the ball and the ball seals the chamber nicely.  A ball much more than 2 thou will really stress your loading lever (on the gun) and you'll wind up breaking it.

Your 36 will like Ball size somewhere between 375 and 380.  I shoot Pietta Cap Guns and I run 375 Balls, but mostly shoot EPP UG - 36 bullets that drop from the mold at 379/380.  I much prefer the EPP UG - 36 bullet over Balls.

Offline Dick Dastardly

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Re: What size balls do I need?
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2019, 06:03:38 pm »
Ho the campfire,

The little EPP-UG 36 drops from the mold as Coffinmaker said.  It has a huge lube grove so when lube/sized to chamber size it seats easily and carries all the lube needed.  It weighs near the same as a round ball so no change in powder volume is needed.  With this bullet you can easily shoot an entire match with no need to clean your guns to maintain function or accuracy.  Nothing is needed below or above the bullet.  Simply drop in the powder and seat the bullet, cap the gun and you're ready to go.

Hold center!

Dick Dastardly  MDA
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Offline Crow Choker

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Re: What size balls do I need?
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2019, 09:49:57 pm »
In regards to the 31 caliber Pocket revolvers and any 31 caliber shooter, I've always read mostly they take a ball of .321-.323" in diameter. I've never had or even shot a 31 caliber cap gun so have no experience with them. Should be a lot on line ref their needed ball needs, can make a difference if it would be a Pietta or Uberti.

In regards to your 36 caliber Uberti, both of my 36ers like a .380" ball vs a .375. The .380 shaved a bit more lead and at least the time I compared the two, the .380 had a slight edge on accuracy. I've read where Pietta's prefer .375", while Uberti's like the .380's better. Buy some of both and see what works better for ya. I have no problem ramming the .380's into the cylinders of my Uberti 36 cal 51' Navy and Navy Arms Uberti made 61 Navy. I've tired conical's and big lube style bullets in my percussion revolvers (36 and 44's) and didn't care for them. Use .454" in my 44 caliber revolvers, except Ruger OA, it likes the .457's. I use a lubed felt wad under the ball with excellent results and despite Dicks advertising post, can shoot a lotta rounds downrange without fouling up things. Nothing personal Dick, just sayin'. Like your molds for my conversion revolvers.
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Offline Bunk Stagnerg

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Re: What size balls do I need?
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2019, 08:26:14 am »
I have cut a slight chamfer on the sharp edge of the chamber mouth on my guns. The ball loads easier, swages down to a nice tight seal and does not leave shavings of lead after loading.
I purposefully dry balled a chamber and examined the sealing band on the ball. It was good and tight on matter where the sprue was even with the sprue on the side.
It works for me YMMV
Bunk

Offline Bunk Stagnerg

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Re: What size balls do I need?
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2019, 07:48:33 am »
I hate to have the last word, but it appears I do.

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: What size balls do I need?
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2019, 10:23:08 am »

Shameless Plug for DDD and the EPP UG - 36.  Really snazzy pistol bullet.  It ain't real shabby out of a 38-55 neither.

Last last word.  Nanny Nanny Poo Poo

Offline Gabriel Law

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Re: What size balls do I need?
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2019, 01:57:41 pm »
This is not a plug for last word...hope this thread goes on for years...

I have a Uberti 1849 Pocket Pistol they call the "Wells Fargo".  It doesn't have a loading lever, and the chambers measure .327".  When I shoot RB, I use .330" balls I bought in a plastic bottle weighing 5 pounds.  There's about a billion balls in that bottle.  My revolver also has a conversion cylinder for .32 S & W, and THAT is a lot of fun to shoot.  I cast my own bullets and load with Bulleye powder.

In my Pietta 51's, I also use DD's EPP UG - 36 slugs, lubed with SPG.  The arbour fouls out long before the barrel needs a wipe.  I have four cylinders for this pair of pistols and use DD's Tower of Power to load them, so I wipe the arbours down and give them a lick of bear grease about every third loading.  I and others shot these pistols during an open house last weekend, and they fired flawlessly for the entire day...maybe fifteen stages.
My flask spout throws 22 gr. FFFg GOEX.  Gives a nice bark!

Offline Bunk Stagnerg

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Re: What size balls do I need?
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2019, 03:05:49 pm »
A retired gun plumber I know suggested APP. I followed his advise and will pass it on to one and all.
No, it ain't HOLY BLACK, but it works just swell in my snubby .44's and costs a LOT less.
The Sharps still gets it's paper tubes filled with HOLY BLACK mostly because of ignition problems with that round the bends fire path a cap has to make down the breech block. I have not tried APP, Black MZ, of Jim Shokey's Gold (all the same) in the Smith but I suspect it will have the same problem.
Fire and Smoke
What could be better.
Bunk

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: What size balls do I need?
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2019, 09:58:33 am »

Gabriel  :D

When shooting my Cap Guns (Atz all I shoot) I also use a loading stand (insert shameless plug for DDD's Tower of Power here) and pull the guns apart after every stage to load.  Since I do that, I take the opportunity to wipe down the cylinder face, the barrel breach and the arbor with a rag made wet with PAM.  Keeps the gun(s) running smooth and easy for an entire match.

I am also an unabashed Champion of APP.  Because I'm lazy, mostly.  With APP, no lubes are required.  No lube onnna bullets, no lube over the ball/bullets and the residue left behind each shot is not cumulative.  I only have to run a patch down the bore AFTER I'm done shooting.

Offline Major 2

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Re: What size balls do I need?
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2019, 11:57:20 am »
"A retired gun plumber I know suggested APP".... I know dat guy ..

He suggested APP as well he said "EPP UG - 36 bullets"  ...I haven't used my balls since  :-[ 
when planets align...do the deal !

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: What size balls do I need?
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2019, 01:24:29 pm »

Enlightening to suddenly discover you actually have no use for your Balls   :o  :-X

Offline Capt Quirk

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Re: What size balls do I need?
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2019, 03:54:19 pm »
I gotta remember, I'm a Mod now... Can't go saying whatever comes to mind ::)

Offline Bunk Stagnerg

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Re: What size balls do I need?
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2019, 04:34:28 pm »
OK fellows this is supposed to be family oriented and before the Marshal shuts us all down with these double entendre comments perhaps we should switch to something else.
Lubricants perhaps?
Bunk

Offline Capt Quirk

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Re: What size balls do I need?
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2019, 05:42:07 pm »
Don't know if that topic will help. Honestly, as an outsider to black powder and reloading, just reading these topics makes the school boy in me giggle sometimes.

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: What size balls do I need?
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2019, 08:12:52 pm »

Well, I can certainly entertain this change in subject matter.  After all, it's simple.  If you're having some troubles with your Balls, a little judiciously applied Lubricant can certainly ease the situation.   ::)

Offline Capt Quirk

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Re: What size balls do I need?
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2019, 09:20:47 pm »
I think everybody has had their fun, and the OP has been answered suitably. Stay on topic, regardless of the temptation...

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: What size balls do I need?
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2019, 09:03:15 am »

SPOIL SPORT   ;D

Offline Capt Quirk

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Re: What size balls do I need?
« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2019, 10:20:54 am »
Hey, I'm just as surprised as you, and would rather be my wide open self. But, you really don't want that either. But, the Marshall pinned a badge to my chest, and I'm trying to do right by it. I just wish I had been wearing a shirt, that freaking badge HURT!!!

Offline greyhawk

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Re: What size balls do I need?
« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2019, 08:21:48 am »
Hey, I'm just as surprised as you, and would rather be my wide open self. But, you really don't want that either. But, the Marshall pinned a badge to my chest, and I'm trying to do right by it. I just wish I had been wearing a shirt, that freaking badge HURT!!!

I waited .......and I waited - everbody studiously avoided the bait laid in the first post ...........finally coffinmaker just couldnt resist - well he had a little help and we have a moderator with sense of humor - alls good.
Now back to balls (serious)
I wanted a little capgun (rifle) for the kids years ago - 32 squirrel rifles were in abundance but casting those fiddly little balls lopked a chore that I didnt need - finally found a wesson style rifle that took 00 buckshot - hadda use a really thin patch an a lil mallet to load it but shot like ya wouldnt believe to 50 yards and a 10kg pack of buckshot werent that dear and could use if for 12ga shells for roo culling if we wanted to - I believe this would be just the perfect stuff for those little colts (330 would swage in real nice)
The little 32 has been parked for ages (kids grow up - daughter does other stuff and son likes bigger guns - a charleyville, and a 58 enfield, walker colt) but the 32 is coming out of retirement - I have a job on trying to protect an orchard from bird attack (crows mostly) - they sitting in high trees just out of easy shotgun reach - even a 22rf is a bit dodgy shooting elevated - no matter how good we get there is always an occasional miss - cant take the risk with a shaped projectile but I reckon that lil round ball will land where I can see clear ground and it will do the job - got a spare scope in the kit .........hmmmmmm