Shoot your 36-caliber cap-and-ball revolver the way it was intended, with combustible paper pistol cartridges. These historically accurate combustible pistol cartridges utilize the correct 126 grain pure lead conical pistol bullet. We cast these from pure, dead soft lead on the wonderful Eras Gone Colt Cartridge Works mold, that perfectly replicates the original Colt Cartridge Works 36-cal conical bullet, as used extensively in the Civil War. 


Each cartridge is made from paper impregnated with potassium nitrate (saltpeter), to ensure it is completely consumed and leaves little or no residue in the chamber after firing. Like the 19th century originals, the cartridges are sealed with waterglass (sodium silicate). The base of the cartridge is specially formed from one piece of thin nitrated paper, to ensure the flash from the percussion cap easily reaches the gunpowder. We have shot many of these cartridges and have not yet had a single misfire when loaded in a clean chamber. Be sure to remove all traces of oil from the chamber before loading. 


The cartridges are shipped without gunpowder.  Before you shoot them, simply remove the bullet from the nitrated paper case, fill the case with powder, and re-insert the bullet (easier than it sounds!). The paper case will hold about 15 grains of 3F powder. The bullets fit snugly in the paper without any glue, but you can cement them in place for more durability or long term storage by touching the end of the bullet with a glue stick. ‚ÄčUS Shipping Only -- international shipping not available for combustible cartridges, sorry! 

Loading the 36-caliber combustible paper cartridge for cap and ball black powder revolvers

‚ÄčAuthentic Paper Cartridges         

The cartridges will come safely and securely packed in a small tin matchsafe with sliding lid. 

Combustible 36cal Pistol Cartridges

1. Make sure the chamber is clean of any residue from the previous shot, or any residual oil (especially in the bottom of the chamber). Lubricate the bullet by filling the grease ring with your preferred black powder lube of choice (Crisco shortening works great as well). Introduce the narrow end of the cartridge into an empty cylinder chamber.

2. Push the cartridge into the chamber with your fingers, as far as it will go. You don't have to seat it firmly, but it must be inserted sufficiently into the chamber so that the bullet will fit through the "cut-out" in the frame, for ramming. 

3. Align the cylinder with the loading ram. Be sure it is aligned as directly as possible, so that when you ram the bullet the force is applied true and center, and not pressing on one side or the other. The straighter the bullet is positioned and rammed, the more accurate it will shoot.

Combustible Civil War style 36-caliber Black Powder Pistol Cartridges

4. Ram the bullet firmly home, as far as it will go into the chamber with a reasonable amount of force. If rammed straight, you should see a slim ring of lead around the chamber that demonstrates the bullet has sealed. Should you have any doubt that the chamber is sealed, apply more lubricant to the top of the bullet in the chamber to prevent chain fires! 


5. With the pistol in a safe direction at all times, cap the pistol and you are now ready to fire! 


6. After you have fired all the chambers, and have made certain the revolver is unloaded, inspect the chambers for any residuum from the cartridges. If there is residue, it will come out directly if you use a cotton swab, or even a wooden stick. Nitrated cartridges will not stick or cling to clean chamber walls.