Wabanakiak | category archives: tacticals

Indians usually loaded from powder horns, or used loose powder from shot pouches. Today, for safety reasons, we have to use paper cartridges stored in loading blocks. It’s not hard to make a white pine or basswood block to fit inside a hunting pouch. Rogers required his men carry at least 60 rounds so it is safe to assume Indian defenders also carried at least 60 rounds. I can fit about 45 rounds, in blocks, in my 10″ x 12″ pouch. These re-enactor paper cartridges are smaller than actual historic musket cartridges. Its a good idea to use this standard size (1/2″), so everyone’s blocks fit properly in case you have to re-distribute cartridges during a demonstration or tactical.


12″ x 18″ Cold Press Newsprint paper
2f or 3f Black Powder -the real thing
½” dowel for the inner form, use a drill or countersink to put a small concavity in one end of the dowel
Optional: A marble to burnish the concave end of the cartridge
Optional: paper cutter to rip paper
Powder Measure / little funnel

Folding the 12″x18″ Paper:

Fold paper in thirds lengthwise
Fold paper in half and rip
Fold paper in half again
Fold at angle and cut the diagonal with scissors making the triangles (cutting makes tucking easy, ripping the diagonal makes tucking harder)

Rolling the Cartridges:

Roll the cartridge, the long end should be to your left and the concavity should also be left along the long edge of the paper triangle
Allow about 1/3 inch of paper on the left to hang over the dowel
Pinch the extra paper up into the dowel concavity, burnish on marble. This crimp keeps it from unwinding
Experiment till you get the right ratio of crimp, too much paper causes the cartridge to unwind, too little and the powder falls out

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