I had no idea ...

Discussion in 'Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns' started by tyc, Mar 9, 2011.

  1. tyc

    tyc New Member

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    Finally got the time to dis-assemble the new Uberti "New Army" .44 and clean it. After removing the wood grips, a rag soaked in gasoline was used to get what I know as cosmoline off of the parts, then the entire unit was dunked into a mixture of scolding hot water and liquid soap and allowed to soak for a while. Occassionally I'd stur the mixture with a woodn spoon and It was almost too hot to handle when I finally pulled the frame and the cylinder out and after some scrubbing (the cylinder really got it with the old tooth brush) I rinsed the parts in fresh hot water.

    After hand drying and then lightly oiling everything I could get at, the Remington copy was reassembled and it was time to try the percussion caps, something that had been on my mind for a week. I'd read somewhere on another web site (possibly here) that prior to loading, to make sure that none of the nipples or the cylinders were blocked, use just the caps and "blow out" any blockages which might be there.

    It was dark, about nine and my nearest neighbor who's house is about one hundred fifty feet or so away, shouldn't be bothered or so I thought and not honestly expecting much, I thought it was as good a time as any to "blow out" any blockages which might exist in any one of the cylinder tubes - ok - I was looking for an excuse to see just what would happen.

    As I understood it from reading various posts on the net regarding these black powder pistols, those #11 percussion caps were supposed to be about the strength of the caps I used in my toy guns years ago. So I put a cap on each of the nipples and without powder or ball, I stepped outside the garage into the night with my Remington.

    I can tell you that it is not true that these #11 caps are about as strong as the toy caps I used to use in my toy pistol as a child - they're stronger - a lot stronger! They make a lot more noise to! True, for the most part it's quite quiet in these rural areas at night, save for the occassioinal noise as made by the wildlife, the bears, the racoons and the like but the loud BANG from the first, let alone the remaining five caps as I pointed the pistol down to the ground near my feet came as a real surprise!

    It was a clear night and with a bright moon overhead, as most of the ground is still ninety five percent or so covered in snow and ice, so it wasn't too hard to spot the specks in the icy, snow covered ground down at my feet. On inspection those tiny specks in the ice, all six of them, were the remains of the six percussion caps!

    No where in anything I've read about these black powder pistols to date even hinted at what had happened. For some reason I expected that after discharging, those caps would remain on the nipples and would have to be plucked or flicked off prior to inserting a new one. I had no idea at all that they'd be blown off the back of the nipples, only to land at my feet, in the distored shapes that they'd become ... live and learn.

    tyc
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2011
  2. jim brady

    jim brady Active Member

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    tyc - I got a chuckle out of your post! Yup, those percussion caps are a LOT stronger than the old Greenie Stickem Caps or Mattell roll caps. And they do shred when you ignite them!

    There are likely 1000 ways to clean blackpowder guns before firing, and hot soapy water is good. The hot soapy water is mostly used after fireing. Make sure to oil the beejeevers out of all steel parts and areas that you can after you clean it to prevent any rust. I like to use spray WD40 because it gets into everywhere and helps displace water. Then I go back a couple days afterwards to double check everything. Then a coat of good gun oil should do the trick for storage.

    I always fire at least one cap per nipple before firing to make sure they are clear and to blow out any oil. Keep in mind that anyone standing next to you could end up with some of that shrapnell from the caps when you fire.
  3. Buffalochip

    Buffalochip Member

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    Try some no. 10 caps or pinch the no. 11s before you push them on the nipple.
  4. Buffalochip

    Buffalochip Member

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    Your story reminds me of the time I took my Hawken muzzleloader outside to fire a "poof" load to dirty the barrel a bit before loading it for the next morning's hunt. As usual, I poured a bit of powder down the barrel, popped on a cap and fired it without a bullet. Usually the powder just goes poof. But this time I must have poured in a bit too much, and instead of holding the gun level, I pointed it up in the sky and pulled the trigger. Sounded like a 12 gauge--my neighbor's flood lights went on immediately and she (an army captain) came flying out the door. I thought about just sneaking back into the house, but I figured she'd probably call the law so I sheepishly called to her and explained to her what I had just done and she calmed down, but she was quite irritated.
  5. jim brady

    jim brady Active Member

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    That's another funny one, Buffalochip! Had something similar years ago. A buddy of mine was a big-time chemist, and he made lots of homemade aireal rockets and fireworks. Anyhow, I lived in a seedy part of town (early 1970s) and my neighbors were dealing in drugs. I left them alone, but they were a bunch of creeps and messed with me from time-to-time.

    I asked my buddy to make me a 'firecracker'. He did - about the size of a toilet paper roll and filled with some sort of aluminum powder. One night the neighbors had a very loud and late party. I went over and nicely asked them to tone it down a little. They basically told me to 'shove it'.

    I went back to my house, and there was a block wall dividing the propery line. I lit the 'firecracker' and tossed it over the fence onto their patio. There was an enormous "BOOM!!!!" and I peeked over the wall....... Blew out all the back windows of that house and the curtains were fluttering in the breeze. The party suddenly went silent.

    Next day the druggies had mysteriously moved out. Quiet neighborhood after that. Not quite related to the original post, but I just thought I'd toss this one in.
  6. tyc

    tyc New Member

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    I suspect you're right about the #10 vs. the #11 caps for the Remington .44.

    Several of the caps fell off so far and with a bit of luck I managed to find them "hiding" on the floor, relatively near where I suspect they actually fell off of the pistole when hand carrying it in the house.

    Thanks for the tip, it's appreciated.

    tyc
  7. tyc

    tyc New Member

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    Well done! Very well done!!! :)

    tyc
  8. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    Gotta love the fact the "'Stick of Dynamite' the crazy honky next door threw at us so we moved OUT of THERE pronto" story was probably circulated all the way to CEntral America over time...:p:D

    Yeah, I have popped a few caps before in the house to clear nipples and have gotten all kinds of crazy looks and atypical swear words out of my startled WIFE:p

    But I kind of like tighter ones and crimp them on the nipples of my Traditions when I can because I have had some blow back and get caught between the cylinder and frame which can make it hard to turn at best, and scratch the cylinder at worst...I can see how one might lock it up even at a bad time.
  9. tyc

    tyc New Member

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    Learning - step by step ...

    A recent visit to the "local" store for BP supplies and a conversation with the owner has revealed that #10 caps are as common as the #11 size. The owner was nice enough to show me the difference between the two. It's not at all readily noticeable - unless you look real close. So the next batch of caps will be #10's not #11 size.

    Purchased a "capper" while I was there but not overly impressed with the functionalilty of the device. To me it's just as easy to, one at a time, install the caps on the nipples by hand. As was already suggested, pinching the #11 caps prior to installing them on the nipples seems to work very well; squeeze, press the ends of the oval cap into an elipse, then press it, push it over the end of the nipple. It'll hold, stay in place well enough.

    tyc
  10. ElvinWarrior

    ElvinWarrior New Member

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    TYC,

    I agree with you about the cappers, everyone has half a dozen of em, and nearly everyone pinches and mounts the caps by hand, onto the cylinders of the revolvers.

    The cappers, do work out well, for capping the exposed nipples of rifles, or single shot pistols, where you can actually get the capper onto the nipple. But on the revolvers, the clearances between the nipple, and the cylinder, generally don't work out well, at least for me, on trying to use the capper on a cylinder pistol.

    But..... In all of my presentation boxes for my BP revolvers... right next to the brass bullet molds... (Another mostly usesless item we all buy.) and the CVA brass civil war powder flask, which we had to purchase the CORRECTLY SIZED nozzle for, because the one that came with it wasn't the right grainage... is... always, the capper...

    Oh well... who am I to argue with tradition??? I keep telling myself... it's all about the romance, the ROMANCE, as I am online, or in a gun shop, and my wallet keeps getting thiner, and thiner....

    LOL !!!!

    Sincerely,

    ElvinWarrior... aka... David

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  11. tyc

    tyc New Member

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    Just saw that open presentation box ... very nice! Very nice indeed!

    tyc
  12. ElvinWarrior

    ElvinWarrior New Member

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    Tyc...

    Thank you !!! Thank you very much !!! I make custom, and sometimes, one of a kind presentation boxes, by the way. In The Pic, that box, has a lower drawer buit in, and as much space below, as above, for all of the possibles. I can make a case like that, or, any other design for that matter, two drawer, three drawer, oversized dragoon paired case... whatever, affordably. I don't overcharge for my services. Even the very best woods, when dealing in thin strips to make a box, don't add up to a fortune, all of the specialty hardware parts, well, if you know where to shop, like suppliers who supply these gizmo's to jewelery chest and cabinette manufacturers, even the gold, silver, and chrome plated hardware pieces aren't all that much either.

    What I do have to charge for in a custom case, is the time, to plan out the project, the materials aren't all that much really. If you notice, this case is not fabric lined, it is lined in thin white patent leather. Where I live, in Los Angeles, I am surrounded by many different wholesale distributors for several different industries. Jewelery manufacturing, Jewelry retail wholesale suppliers, Clothing manufacturers and wholesale suppliers for that industry, like, inexpensive sources for actual real case quality thin leather, high quality leatherette, velvet, satin... on and on like that all over the greater Los Angeles basin.

    For example, the case shown, which has a tortoise shell outer box finish, not a plain wood finish, a glass top, and the leather interior with the lower, leather lined possibles drawer. I can make those, for around, $175.00/$200.00 depending on what options and sytles, interior and exterior finishes and fabrics the customer wanted.

    Thanks for the Compliment !!! It is APPRECIATED !!!

    Sincerely,

    ElvinWarrior... aka... David

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    Last edited: Mar 22, 2011