New owner of black powder pistol, couple of questions

Discussion in 'Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns' started by Spanky, May 9, 2007.

  1. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    Spanky, if you are SURE you are getting the same amount of powder in each chamber, (it's easy to "spill some" while loading, I do it quite often) and are seating the balls uniformly and tightly, you shouldn't notice different "power" between different chambers, HHhmmmm...

    I can always tell when not all the chambers have the same charge, because the balls are not the exact same depth, not much, but not exactly the same, but even then I don't usually see or feel much difference.

    How old is your powder and how was it stored?



    As to the caps falling off the nipples, that IS aggravating, and when they come off they can bind the action pretty bad, worse than the fired ones that fall off...try squeezing the sides on them a little before you put them on, so they are a little oblong and not perfect circles, so they "grip" the nipple, that works most, but not all the time.
  2. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    And as for "chain firing...."

    Has ANYBODY ever experienced this or know somebody who has? You KNOW when the chips were down, and the old timers were reloading QUICKLY they didn't lube, plus can you IMAGINE the crud and junk and insects that would have accumulated on the gun and in the holsters IF they lubed it with whatever lube they had back then (bacon grease?) before they put it in there for a week or so (or MORE!) of "riding the range?" So HHhhmmmmm...

    IF you are using the CORRECT sized balls, you get that little shaved ring when you ram it home on the cylinder, so that has to be a TIGHT fit, I don't see how a spark could get past it...maybe sombody at sometime had balls that were too small and that's how the stories got started?

    Now with CONICALS I don't get that ring, so maybe that's it...


    Don't get me wrong, I use lube/sealer all the time, even if just to keep the barrel lubed so maybe I don't get leading, BUT I wonder how much truth there is to the "chain firing" story....
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2007
  3. 22WRF

    22WRF Well-Known Member

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    Never had a chain fire or saw one.
    Don't mean I might not someday:(
    I use the Ox Yoke wads over powder on my.36s and RIG on my .31 (I never can find Ox Yoke in stock for the .31)

    You can also get a chain fire from a open nipple that the cap has fallen off of.:eek:

    I have also gone to #10 caps for a better fit on the nipple
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2007
  4. Millwright

    Millwright Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I've had.....one.....it was enough...... !!! Two adjacent cylinders fired on a 1858 Remmington repro. Nothing hurt but pride, thankfully....

    I suspect a loose ball and a forgotten overpowder wad as the reason......the culprit was, of course, sloppy loading procedures..... >MW
  5. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    Wow, Mill, that is the first I've EVER heard of one...what did the ball hit on the way out of the other chamber? Did it shear off or something on the frame? And what size "group" did it fire for those two? ;):)

    And were you using .452 balls maybe? I thought I read Remingtons took .454 but I could be mistaken, the last one I shot was a cousins when I was much younger and didn't pay too much attention at the time, since I thought while it was cool, WHY would anybody want to own one of THOSE when a MODERN cartridge one would be so much better?:p

    And of course, NOW I KNOW better....:)

    My Traditions 1860 Army takes .452 balls and conicals, which is neat because I also occasionally fire my .452 200gr SWCs for my .45 through it too....

    I know with the 5 shot .58 cal Root Rifles used in the Civil War soldiers were trained to drop the loading lever and use it as a foregrip before firing to keep their forward hand and arm out of the "line of fire" in case of a chain fire...but I always thought it was more to keep the blow by gases and particles from stinging, now I'm not so sure....
  6. MikeH1

    MikeH1 New Member

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    A friend of mine used to do Civil War Reenactments, he told me about one "Reb" had the tip of a finger blown off due to chain-firing with only powder and a wad, no ball (he had his finger over the muzzle; not real bright)
  7. mrkirker

    mrkirker New Member

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    Spanky,
    >I've shot .44 pietta remington (1858 copy) for several years now in N-SSA competition, so if there is a mistake to be made, I've probably made it! >Pietta chamber size will vary, so the suggestion regarding 'shaving off' when correctly inserted is correct:far better too snug than too loose. One of mine works well with .457, the other two work well with a .452. Don't be surprised if all the chamber sizes on your cylindar are not exactly the same. Make sure that the balls seat firmly, otherwise they will shift forward as the pistol is fired and lock up your cylindar, a real 'b*%#h' during timed events! Even if you don't go for a full 'tune', get your smith to do a forcing cone job. It takes about three minutes and will make a real diff in your round placement.
    >We generally use 28 gr. FFF under a few grains of cream of wheat (as filler), topped with either a homemade product or one of the commercial lubes. However, these are target rounds, for 25 and 50 yard competitions. >Contrary to popular belief, the 'gunk' spread on after loading is not to prevent chain fires (proper loading and ball sizing does this!). The 'gunk/lube' keeps the fouling soft, making cleaning these a GREAT deal easier. Without lube you have a hard, crusty black char to dig out; with lube, you have a soft, greasy, black sludge that is easy to run out with a bore snake!
    >One of the best products to avoid the 'frozen nipple' scenario is Gorilla Grease. Just a tiny bit on each thread area will prevent seizures. A little tin of this stuff will last a long time, but watch out, for some reason, dogs love to eat it. If you store your '58 for long periods of time, you might want to leave the nipples out of the cylinder till you head to the range. And afterwards, CLEAN and oil your investment promptly. The residue really attracts moisture.
    >A good source for black powder information (and product leads) is the North-South Skirmish Assoc. (N-SSA). Their web-site has a good listing of sutlers, and their threads specialize in black powder situations.
    >Hey, sorry this ran on so long, but you know how it is when one of your fav subjects comes up!
  8. Spanky

    Spanky New Member

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    Well fellas, I am depresed. I made the mistake of leaving the backdoor unlocked one day and three guns are gone.:mad: My Pietta 44 (I only had about 2 months), a S&W mdl 422 (22 semi auto pistol I bought in 84 or about) and my Marlin 336 (30-30 I'v had since 1973, the first gun I ever bought).:( I'm gonna miss em all. Saving my money for a safe now. I'v been looking in on this thread every now and then and am glad to see it sill alive. I'll be back in the black powder game soon. No need to feel sorry, just liven an learnin.:eek:
  9. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    That SUCKS! I really and truely hate thieves.

    Pops
  10. Millwright

    Millwright Well-Known Member

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    PS,
    That event happened a couple of years' back. For all I know that particular ball might have been a tad small, but the fault was mine.....in not putting a wad in and/or sealing the chamber.

    Since it was only one cylinder and that adjacent to the one in battery, the ball sheared along the frame going off at an angle making some noise due to being mishapen.

    Me, I took a couple of deep breaths and then examined the gun - and pulled the remaining balls......all had wads under them. >MW
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