How to make Paper Cartridges for Black Powder Percussions Revolvers
Thank you for choosing our paper cartridge kit. You will find that they are the most thoughtfully engineered paper cartridge kit in the world. Our large knob cups in the palm perfectly for extended sessions of cartridge making. The knob and block fit is perfect, and our dippers give you the visual reference flexibility to load roundballs and conicals of all sizes.
These directions reflect our experience with using these kits and are not a suggestion as to how you should use them. You do so at your own risk. We assume no liability for providing these directions, or the kits themselves. They are sold as pieces of plastic, that's all.
Nicely engineered, antique brass colored pieces of plastic, but plastic nonetheless. ;)
First off, note that the other paper cartridge systems out there are way too difficult and unnecessarily complicated. This is a not a long process, and does not require any skill, templates, or practice. Your first cartridge may come out perfect. Your 500th may catch the edge and need some extra glue. I
Remove at least 5 rolling papers from the pack. Any standard rolling paper will work, but we strongly suggest Elements rice paper rolling papers, because they leave little if any embers in the fired chamber.
You have to use at least five papers because the cutter will jam up if you use any less. These cutters were made for card stock, so the edge clearance is not so tight.
If it still jams up, just force it open with your thumb. It will click back. The circles may have tabs on them when this happens, but they are perfectly usable.
Step 2: Cut Your Jacket
Cup the knob in your left hand (lefties are just gonna have to figure it out for themselves) so that the pin extends parallel to your middle finger.
Take a rolling paper, and put the fold on the pin, lining up the edge of the paper with the index mark at the top of the pin. The glue of the rolling paper should be on either the top or the bottom, facing toward you. (you are going to use it)
With scissors, for conicals, cut the paper right on the edge of the pin.
For roundballs, cut about 1/8" beyond the pin.
Save that paper, it will still be good for one more with the .36 and .44. And then the leftover ends can be collected up, put together and cut for more circles.
Step 3: Seal Your Cartridge
Now, for conicals, you have a paper the length of the pin. Wet your finger and dab the glue on the cigarette paper to wet it, then gently hold down one end while tightly sticking the glue end encircling the pin.
For roundballs, first move the paper so that the end of the paper is over the bottom of the pin. This will make an 1/8" overlap at the top of the pin, which is what you want. Wet the glue and secure it around the pin.
Step 4: Affix the End Circle
Take your glue stick and expose about 1/8". Then roll the bottom of the papered pin around it.
Enough will get on the bottom of the pin that you can now pick up a circle with the end, centering it.
Now insert that into the bottom hold of your loading block. It is the smaller one, that will be found at the bottom of the text on the block.
Do this really gently, especially when the block is new, or you will rip your paper and have to start over. As you get the feel it goes pretty quick.
Step 5: Finish the Paper Cartridge Case
Now secure the end of the cartridge with your fingers tight, and gently twist the pin. This will release the bottom of the pin from the glue sticking it to the circle.
Now slide off your finished paper cartridge case and drop it into the larger hole on the block. Use the pin to stick it as far down in the block as you can without the pin sticking to it.
This is more of a feel thing also, so get the feel for how you get that paper all the way down there or close.
Step 6: Fill the Powder
First drop your powder funnel into the cartridge. This will prevent you from losing any powder.
We fill a paper cup with powder, rather than dip out of the can. Plastic can add to issues with static electricity, but may not be an issue because we are wetting our fingers on every cartridge.
If you are loading conicals, the dipper was designed so that you fill it full, but not so full that you can't see the sides of the plastic rim.
For roundballs, you can overfill the dipper and even have a little on the handle, and you should still be able to compress the roundball down into the chamber so it clears.
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TIPPY TOP YOUR CARTRIDGES UNTIL YOU TRY THEM IN YOUR GUN WITH LESS POWDER.
For mousefart target loads, you will measure your desired powder amount, and drop that in first. Then fill the rest of the cartridge with Cream of Wheat. You want the bullet as close to the forcing cone when it goes off for optimal accuracy.
For conicals, the powder is going to come up to about 1/8" from the top of the paper cartridge. For roundballs it will be 1/8" more or so.
Don't worry if you didn't get your paper cartridge all the way down in the block. When you place the bullet, it will push it down.
Step 7: Load the Bullet
Take your glue stick again, and grab a bullet in your other hand with your fingertips. This can be somewhat tricky, and even hundreds of rounds in you will still drop some.
Holding the bullet tight, run the glue around the skirt of the bullet.
Now, very gentle, hold the bullet almost straight up, but slightly canted to one side, and catch the side of the cartridge at the top. Then gently try to get the cartridge to clear the other edge, giving you a perfect fit.
Step 8: Finish the Cartridge
Hold the block down to your work surface, and force the bullet down, crushing the powder into the cartridge that is captured in the block.
Now take your funnel and put it upside down on your work surface. Use the bottom of the funnel to push up and gently break the cartridge free.
If you see that you caught the side of the paper with the bullet, it is 9 times out of 10 perfectly salvageable. Take your glue stick and smear some glue on the area, then gently put the cartridge aside for TLC in the lubing process.
For roundballs, you have a paper cartridge case that is extending above the powder a good deal. The idea here is to glue the sides of the ball and drop in in there.
This can be tricky, so you will most likely find that you are just rolling the whole ball in glue, then dropping it in.
You could of course make the paper even longer, so that you can just twirl the paper above the ball and not glue it at all, or just glue the twirl. It will give you less rounds per pack of rolling paper.
After you glue them, you have to let the glue dry before proceeding on to the lube process. All cartridges need some lube, ideally dipped so you have the plug at the top preventing a chainfire.
Step 9: Lube/Finish the Cartridge
You should now have a pile of finished paper cartridges, some perfect, some not so perfect but salvageable.
Do not skip the lube step, unless you are shooting conicals with lube grooves that have been filled with lube. Even then, lube for the top of the cylinder is a good idea to prevent chain fire issues. A chain fire is when you shoot one cylinder and the sparks from the cylinder gap ignite a neighboring cylinder, scaring the daylights out of you and potentially injuring you and/or a bystander.
The dip lube in this step gives you a good wad of lube at the top to both lubricate your bore and prevent chainfires.
Heat up your lube can, preferably using a coffee cup heater that will keep it warm while you work. If the lube is still liquid but allowed to cool some, it uses much more lube per cartridge, and this is not needed.
Dip the end of the cartridge up to the side of the bullet in the lube, rotating as required as the can gets more and more empty.
If you are making your own lube, half of an aluminum soda can is a great vessel for lubing so you don't have to roll the cartridge.
When we do this step, we put the cartridge upside down on the holes of an ammo box to dry as we go. If you don't wait for the lube to harden first you will have some latent lube on the box. Our loading blocks are also good for this.
For the imperfect cartridges where you caught the side of the paper with the edge of the bullet, hopefully the glue you applied secured the paper enough that the cartridge can be held upside down without coming apart. If it can't, you can try again, but usually they are garbage and have to be remade.
If the cartridge can be held upside down, even ever so gingerly, gently dip it in the lube. This will 100% salvage the cartridge as usable, and it will be as strong as any other.
Do not try holding the cartridge upside down over the lube. You will get powder in your lube, and have to fish around for the bullet. .
That's it! You just made your first batch of what will hopefully be many batches of paper cartridges