Ruger Old Army Cap Misfires

Discussion in 'Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns' started by trapnbow, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. trapnbow

    trapnbow Member

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    Gentlemen,
    I am an old shooter but new to BP revolvers. I recently got lucky at an estate sale and purchased a Ruger Old Army, 7.5" SS in like new condition. The first time on the range all went well for about 20 rounds and then I stated to have #11 cap misfires. This makes me very nervous for obvious reasons. After waiting a minute, I made a second attempt to fire and the cylinder usually fired. I have also had one occasion on the second range day when the cylinder would not fire even when the cap fired. This was found to be a blocked flash hole in the nipple.

    I have studied the various forums and taken advise such as seating the cap with a wooden dowel, pinching the cap before placing on the nipple. However, I am not in favor of lowering the hammer onto each nipple after caping.

    My experience tells me that the problem is probably due to fouling and that I am probably not alone with this problem. The Ruger is a great and accurate firearm and someone must have solved this problem. For information, I have dry fired the revolver onto a piece of masking tape stuck to the nipple seat and it indicates that the hammer is hitting the nipple but I do not know how hard it is hitting. The nipples look new and the flash holes are between 0.020 and 0.029 inches. Hammer spring looks good. I know where to look for revolver wear and dirt and this revolver is in like new condition.

    Has anyone had and solved this problem with the ROA? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
  2. redwing carson

    redwing carson Former Guest

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    The Ruger Old Army nipples are terrible. Contact Track Of the Wolf and get a set of repacements.:)Good Luck:)

    RC
  3. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    Get some Treso nipples.The firing on second strike does indicate the caps aren't seated fully. Caps are not pressure sensitive so don't be afraid to use a little pressure to seat them. If you're using one a capper will not reliably seat caps.
  4. trapnbow

    trapnbow Member

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    redwing carson & Hawg,
    Thank you for the replies. They are appreciated. I did think about problem nipples and was in the process of machining some 0.010" or 0.015" washers to put under the nipples to see if greater contact with the hammer would solve the problem. I now think that I will save time and purchase new nipples as you both suggest. Stand-by for a further update soon.

    I was fearful of pushing too hard when seating the caps. I use a cheap plastic pen which has a very convenient recess on the end that fits securely over the cap. I will now push harder to seat them.

    If you have any thoughts about fouling slowing the hammer down during firing, I would also like to hear your view on that subject.
    Thanks again,
  5. redwing carson

    redwing carson Former Guest

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    The ROA is designed in a manner that the hammer does not impact the nipple edge. If you allow the hammer to contact the nipple without a cap you will dull the nipple. The nipples must be sharp and not rounded on the leading edges under the cap. You should just replace the nipples. If the action is slowing down during firing? You should look inside the action. The action may have a broken cap or hardened lube working around inside. It would seem with the nipple problems you are having that you most likely have cap frags in the action. I use only B/P and number 11 Renington caps in my ROA. I prefer the LEE ROA .456 220 gr. Conical lubed and sized with SPG for most of my shooting. I cast these from plummers lead. You can use WWS etc but harder lead leads the bore. The harder balls or bullets over stress the loading arm of the ROA and will bend it in time. Midway has the ROA center pins in stock if you do bend one. I have found the ROAs need the front sight replaced with a higher blade if you choose heavy loads over light ones.:)good luck.

    RC
  6. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    Redwing is right about the cap fragments. I personally am too much of a purist to allow a ROA to defile my hands but they can sometimes jam the action on a Colt or Remington clone. After firing get in the habit of raising the muzzle and tilting it to the right while cocking it and it will help keep cap fragments out of the action.
  7. trapnbow

    trapnbow Member

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    redwing carson & Hawg,
    We are making progress. I just ordered a set of Treso nipples and a wrench from, The Possible Shop, www.possibleshop.com. Spoke with Don, nice guy, and he agreed that the first thing to do was replace the nipples. His bet, all will be fixed with the Treso nipples! LOL

    I sincerely appreciate the information and suggestions from you both. I am an old bullseye shooter and this revolver will shoot 6, nines & ten's on a timed fire gallery match target from a rest at 50 feet. My buddies were amazed! If they didn't see it they would not have belived it. I got anxious for the last 2 shots but they dropped right in. I am also happy to learn that I can purchase a higher front sight because I think that it is shooting a little high. I also notice that the rear sight blade is hard over to the left, meaning that with the rear sight centered, the revolver would shoot to the right. Any comments on this?

    Now for load, I load with dippers at the moment. I use a full 45 ACP case of Tripple 7, P (approx. 28 grains by volume); topped with a 40 cal S&W case full of Cream of Wheat (approx. 15 grains by volume); topped with a Hornady 0.457" lead ball. Top of ball is about 0.1" below the cylinder top. This produces a nice feeling round. Any comments or thoughts on the load?

    I will check the action for cap fragments as you both suggest. Don from the PS will ship tomorrow Priority Mail and I should have the nipples for the weekend. I am really hoping that these new nipples will allow me to shoot for a day without the misfire problems that prompted this inquiry.

    Thanks again for the help,
  8. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    I'm surprised you're doing that good with 777. From everything I hear and read it's really sensitive to compression. It doesn't like any but can't have an air space either. I use 30-35 grs. of Pyrodex in my .44 clones with a lubed wad and no filler. I manage to keep most of my shots inside three inches at 25 yds. I cant tell that having the bullet seated close to the chamber mouth makes any difference but I'm not a competitive shooter either.
  9. Old Grump

    Old Grump New Member

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    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. I have been having trouble with a single misfire although the rest of my chambers fired and I was getting good groups. I went to Cast Boolits and the advice I got was I shouldn't crush the powder, a good thing because I am heavy handed. and then the questions and recommendations all were off the wall. Don't overload it because you will stretch the brass frame, this was after I told them it was a all steel revolver. ??? What model is your Ruger Old Army ???? Do you have a round thing that goes on the back of the cylinder????? What kind of powder do you use and then they ask about Clay, Unique, 231 etc, after I told them I was using 777 FFFg and round ball?????? I was told that the nipple was fouled and/or there was oil in my powder, after I told them I wash my cylinder in the dishwasher, oil never touches the cylinder and I am anal about making sure all the nipple holes are clean and unobstructed before I start loading it. Heavy sigh.

    Then I found out that none of the troopers trying to give me advice owned a black powder revolver and the two black powder shooters were rifle kit builders. They had no idea what I had. I just book marked that Possible Shop link and my order for nipples is going out when I get my next check. Thank you again.

    To bad I just tossed my targets yesterday. My last one at 25 yards was better than my 357 and 41 mag targets and equal to my 44 mag and 45 ACP targets. Most definitely accurate enough for bunny rabbit shooting. :D
  10. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    Old Grump. 777 has a rep for being inconsistent when compressed. Most shooters give up on it and move on to something more reliable. I'd say your problem is a bad nipple, maybe the flash hole is too small. You might try magnum caps but I think a set of Treso's will fix you right up. No I don't work for or have any affiliation with Treso. :D
  11. redwing carson

    redwing carson Former Guest

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    [​IMG]


    This group was fired from 25 yds. using Swiss 3F B/P. I never use fillers. The target was shot from a bench and sand bag rest. I used Mobile 1 non-petro. lube over the ball and a home made lubed felt wad over the powder. This is not my ROA. It is however the Euroarms Rogers & Spencer Target Mdl. from which the ROA was designed. Like Mr. Hawg I have never found 777 a good choice for B/P pistols.
  12. redwing carson

    redwing carson Former Guest

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    [​IMG]

    Sorry about the post.
  13. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    HUH? WHO, WHERE? :D Nice group indeed.
  14. tyc

    tyc New Member

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    Had a slow day the other day and after spotting an error while re-reading the "Owners Instruction Manual" which came with my still relatively new Uberti Remington, I retyped it and reformatted it with Open Office and your comment about the volume of grains you're using with Pyrodex in your "...44 clones..." caught my eye right away.

    While the Uberti "Manual" says nothing about using Pyrodex (the "manual" may have been written before Pyrodex became available) it does say to use BP only and use between twenty two (22) to twenty five (25) grains of BP.

    As for Pyrodex itself, everything I've read about using Pyrodex suggest s it ok to use these in these muzzle loaders - BUT use fifteen (15%) percent LESS - than the recommended BP load. Are you by chance using a Pietia or a Uberti clone?

    tyc
  15. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    The manuals are lawyerized. You cannot stuff enough bp or Pyrodex into a cap and ball chamber to do any damage unless it's a brass frame.


    The 15% less is for Triple 7 not Pyrodex. Pyrodex is an across the board swap for real bp. My cap and ball clones are all Pietta save for one Remington Navy which was made by PR. Oh almost forgot I have an old Rigarmi made Remington 58 I bought new in 69.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2011
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