Besides liking to make everything myself, I have a nostalgia for everything old. I’d rather kill a deer with a bow than a gun and a muzzle-loader than a rifle. I’d rather shoot my 1858 pistol than my wife’s 9mm Glock. I just like the “Old Ways” and have been told I have an old soul. I’ve had guys I’ve talk to on the internet and meet the first time and they are shocked I don’t look like Grizzle Adams and am clean shaven, but anyways back to the story.
Shooting my 1858 and covering the cylinder holes with crisco is damn messy. Grease goes everywhere and grease was getting on the cylinder pin and fouling making it needing to be removed and wiped down every three reloads, at least. So I decided I wanted to switch to lubed wads for more convenient shooting.
Anyone that knows me, I just cannot go onto Cabelas.com and order lubed wads when I know I can make them and cheaper too. One hobby for me makes several others. Such as making lubed wads, casting round balls and maybe someday making my own tumble mill and black powder. My wife’s definitely going to love that idea. That was sarcasm, since you probably don’t know me as my friends do.
So first thing was to gather the raw ingredients. I shot a big fat doe right after Christmas last year and she had 3/16″ of fat on her rump, plus lots of lays on the flanks. I trimmed it all out butchering and saved it in a cheap one gallon bag and probably had it 5/8 full. I took it out on the grill burner and rendered it all there just like frying bacon, except you don’t want to eat this bacon. You can eat it, but deer fat might make good lube, but it does not make good eating! The dog will love it though, in small portions over time, mine did. Guys, don’t do this in the house! I got complaints of the smell on the outside patio in January.
So this picture above is the deer tallow in the same container. It is a bit used from this and a few other failed experiments. It sat in the fridge for 6 month, at least, and sat on my desk for 1 month straight. This stuff doesn’t seem to go bad. I tried saving beef tallow once from ground meat and it was bad in the fridge in two weeks.
The recipe for Wad Lube is 2 parts tallow to 1 part beeswax.
2 parts Tallow
1 part beeswax
It is easiest to melt the tallow first and then mix the beeswax pellets in as shown above. The beeswax doesn’t melt as good in the pan by itself.
Durofelt in the pan above waiting to be lubed. This didn’t go so well. These cheap cookie pans warp and darn near dumped lube all over the counter. I was going to use the glass pan but my wife had it in the fridge full of refried beans. The glass is easier to clean, just a slight heat in the microwave and wipe with paper towels and then wash.
The felt after being lubed
The felt after flipped it over and found I had too much lube. I’m sure they would shoot fine or I could put the thick side on the ball side. I put this back in the pan, on the foil with paper towels on it and then laid the felt heavy lubed side down on top of the paper towels. Then baked for 10 minutes at 250 and then it was good.
I read on line some guys punch them dry and dip the dry wads in hot lube and sit on foil. The roll them all up and bake to wick the lube into the felt. I might try this next time
Then here at the garage work bench punching out 44 cal wads with the 7/16″ punch and 50 cal with the 1/2″ punch.
I think I got 239 44 caliber and 46 50 caliber wads from this small sheet. I did burn test with a lighter at my patio pit and I couldn’t get it to burn, but I am sure it would in a fire. They are safe to shoot without starting wide fires.