Our twenty hole loading block is not required to make the easiest and nicest paper cartridges in the world. The basic set is just fine, but you do have to make one cartridge at a time.
There is no problem with one at a time, except that you do lose time switching from one task to the next for every cartridge. If you are loading for competition regularly, the loading block is going to save you some time, or at least allow you to produce more cartridges in the time you are able to set aside.
The one exception is if you are loading roundballs. With roundballs, you have to kind of roll the ball in glue, then place it in the open cartridge mouth, removing your finger from the ball carefully and moving on to the next.
This can be a challenge with grabbing the next paper, as the fingers tend to get a bit sticky.
The loading block will allow you to make 20 papers, then do the powder, then the balls, with your nasty sticky fingers, before having to wash them.
The original Sharps percussion rifle was designed in 1848 by Christian Sharps and went through several iterations until it was replaced by famous "Quigley Down Under" cartridge guns in the 1870s.
The percussion version was used extensively in the Civil War by both sides, and the Confederacy made their own bullet for the gun in their Richmond lab. This kit was designed for the Eras Gone bullet mold that is a replica of that bullet, and uses a hybrid material system.
The barrel of the cartridge is made from "end wraps," which are paper rectangles used by hair salons for certain procedures. They can be found on Amazon, Ebay and many other online retailers. We are using the 2 1/2" by 4" size.
The end of the cartridge uses our standard cigarette rolling papers, and the former works the same way. But you do have to glue the edge of the end wraps, because they don't have glue on them already.
We include a 1" circle cutter in our Master and Deluxe kits, but if you plan to buy your own, you probably can get away with as small as 3/4" if that's all you can find. The rolling papers tend to bind the larger cutters, so try to do at least 10 layers at a time. You can do this by layering 5, then folding them together. If the cutter binds just tear the circles free and pop the cutter back open. They are plenty large enough to lose a small edge
Please see our video on how to make and shoot these convenient and easy cartridges with your Sharps rifle. They work fantastic. Note that we suggest only real black powder. The substitutes will most likely not ignite reliably.
This paper cartridge loading block works very well. Once I've formed the cartridge, filled it with powder, and added a bullet, the block is a temporary stand before I coat the bullet with melted lube. Once the lube is dried, I transfer everything to a cartridge box. I recommend this product.