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View Full Version : My new nipples finally came in (muzzleloader thread)



coelacanth2
01-05-2010, 10:20 PM
Been having a LOT of misfires with my Lyman hawken. Three to four hits to get one ignition with no. 11 caps. Turned the nipple down to the point of reliability, only to discover that after 5 or6 shots it was back to 3 or 4 hits again. I think that the steel is peening and swelling under the force of the strikes and detonation. Going to try a Spitfire nipple from Mountain State Muzzleloading.

Phillip Allen
01-05-2010, 10:25 PM
I've always used uncle mikes hot shot nipples...but, whatever works

take a picture of the damage and post it

Phillip Allen
01-05-2010, 10:26 PM
what brand of caps?

are you dry firing much?

Captain Blight
01-05-2010, 10:28 PM
In your opinioins, could modern nipples be used to get old British military smokepoles up and running again? Or is it possible to remove the originals and re-shape and re-drill the nipples to take caps again?

coelacanth2
01-05-2010, 11:36 PM
CCI #11 magnum caps, mostly. Tried 1099 Dynamit Nobel and they took more hits yet. Dry firing with a bit of leather or paper on top of the cap. I took quite a bit off the cap last year, chucking it into a drill and using a file and finally emery cloth. At first 4 hits, then 3, then 2 and finally, ignition at every strike. now it's back to 3 or 4. Son's new muzzleoader had perfect ignition first 6 or 7 shots, then had a couple of misfires. Same nipple, looks like stainless steel.Blighty, musket caps are still available and should fit. If the nipple in question is damaged, it should be possible to replace it. Being the chicken that I am, I'd have a gunsmith familiar with antique firearms eval it before firing it. Supposedly lots of Tower muskets still in use in parts of Africa and the 'stans until recently, like '60s.

Captain Blight
01-05-2010, 11:43 PM
Yeah, thanks, these are old 1842 Land Pattern pistols, something like 14-gauge barrels on them. They *were* looked over by my dad's gunsmith ("Smitty") but I disremember what the report on them was. Mind you, this would have been done in the mid-'60s, BP has grown a bit in popularity since then and answers might be different today.

Also got a couple of Westley Richards double-barrelled (one SxS, one O/U) howdah pistols, but I'm going to save my shekels and have W-R NA restore them to as-new one of these days.

Thanks!!

coelacanth2
01-06-2010, 12:28 AM
In that case, trial fit some modern caps, see what fits snugly and goes bang. Don't know anything about such - somebody else chime in here - but often military weapons used a larger lock for both strength and reduction in misfire. The pan on my flinter was quite tiny, the pans on Brown Bess and Harper's Ferry muskets I've seen have been huge. Similarly, musket caps are quite a bit larger than rifle caps and cap'n'ball pistol primers. Also - use real black powder, some of the Pyrodex type powders may have a bit more "oomph" and consider using reduced charges of one of the coarser formualtions. Just trialed the new nipple - very satisfying and positive results. Whole thing is about 1 mm taller from the base above the threads to the top of the nipple, the opening is double the diameter, and the top edge is almost sharp. 1075 cap fit very nicely (not 1099, my mistake, sorry:o). Looking forward to some more testing. I figger if I can roll a moving groundhog at 80 yds, gonna be fine for deers. Wil change out my son's nipple pre-emptively.

coelacanth2
01-06-2010, 12:31 AM
P.S. if you've got Howdah pistols, isn't it about time to go on shikar and bag a few of the tigers that've been pestering the natives in your jurisdiction? I'll bring the elephants and the beaters...

chasbartlett
01-06-2010, 12:39 AM
Don't let Chuck see that post.....you don't hunt tigers, elephants or wolves when he's around.

Phillip Allen
01-06-2010, 08:43 AM
In your opinioins, could modern nipples be used to get old British military smokepoles up and running again? Or is it possible to remove the originals and re-shape and re-drill the nipples to take caps again?

yes, assuming all else is sound...

Phillip Allen
01-06-2010, 08:49 AM
another thing to look at is the cap-bearing surface on the FACE of the nipple. if it is peened over on the inside then you still have the same problem...I just take a small bit and chamfer the inside...chamfer only and get the surface to around 1/32 or a bit more

and get yourself a sacrifical nipple for dry firing

keith66
01-06-2010, 03:10 PM
I had a similar regular misfire with a Bengal carbine many years ago, this was a rather dreadful Indian copy of an 1850's Enfield cavalry carbine. It used top hat musket caps.
After much head scratching i found that the hole the nipple was threaded into in the breech bolster had been drilled deeper than necessary, the blast hole into the breech itself was actually higher than the bottom & partially obscured by the nipple threads. this effectively ruined the ignition!
I filled the bottom of the hole & gas flowed the blast a bit with a dremel & the gun shot very well with no misfires ever again.
It was a light 12 bore with 25" barrel & brass butt plate, recoil with 3 1.4 drams & 1 1/8 oz patched ball was shall we say rather fierce but it gave me a lifelong love of muzzleloaders!

boylesboats
01-07-2010, 03:34 AM
Heck, I shoulda save yerself a bunch of trouble buyin' nipples...
Nipple is a nipple to me..

I think you didn't load it right at first...

Did ya fired a few caps through it before ya load it? to blow out contamination or a spider...

When ya pour yer powder charge down in that bore... you did not give it a coupla tap on the stock (opposite side of the lock) with yer palm...
or you have too much oil or WD-40 in the area of drum and nipple, foulin' the charge..

Every sidelocks I owned and use, only had one hangfire.. due to drop of dew found its way into the charge

coelacanth2
01-07-2010, 06:50 AM
boylesboats; yes, to all of the above. the caps were failing to ignite when struck - 3 to 4 pulls of the trigger to get one bang. When the cap FINALLY went "pop" I had ignition of the main charge every time. I've turned down the stock nipple twice, checking it between firings until I got ignition every pull of the trigger, only to have it revert. I could see the cap getting hammered further onto the nipple between misfires. will try to post pics of the difference between the stock and replacements.

Fitz
01-07-2010, 06:51 AM
or you have too much oil or WD-40 in the area of drum and nipple, foulin' the charge..


I have a Lyman Great Plains rifle. After some unexpected misfires hunting this fall, this was the issue.

(edited to note, I had no problems with the caps not going).

coelacanth2
01-07-2010, 06:59 AM
Good mornin', Fitz. Do you recomember the "good old days", when Mass muzzleloader meant smoothbore matchlock? When did they change over?

Fitz
01-07-2010, 07:01 AM
I like flinters. I arrived in the colony just after the switch.;)

Phillip Allen
01-07-2010, 07:36 AM
a good nipple DOES make a difference...

boylesboats
01-08-2010, 12:53 AM
boylesboats; yes, to all of the above. the caps were failing to ignite when struck - 3 to 4 pulls of the trigger to get one bang. When the cap FINALLY went "pop" I had ignition of the main charge every time. I've turned down the stock nipple twice, checking it between firings until I got ignition every pull of the trigger, only to have it revert. I could see the cap getting hammered further onto the nipple between misfires. will try to post pics of the difference between the stock and replacements.

I shoot and use muzzleloaders all the time, and relies on it while hunting.. Please take my advice, as I am being helpful and have experiences in this field..

Failed to fire with 3 to 4 hammer strikes... sound like your hammer is not hitting good and squarely..

take a piece of alumnium foil and place it on the nipple and pull the trigger.. carefully re-cock the hammer to remove the foil.. observe how your hammer is striking..

There is few ways to correct this.. hammer spring may be binding, dirty, or too much oil... note the friction between hammer and lockplate.. all its need is one drop of light weight oil (3 in 1) between there

If it not hitting squarely,
Chances are:
Hammer misaligned
Bent hammer
lockplate loose on the stock..
misligned and bent hammer can be corrected by heating and re-bent.. best take to someone who know how much to heat and retreat the hammer.. Sometime drum can be turned a smiggen' til the nipple and hammer align up.. In your case you do not have a drum...

Loose lockplate; just tighten two screws on other side evenly and snugly.. but not too tight..

Longer nipple may be a ticket.. depend on your hammer strikes

top of nipple should be "square" not chamfered.. lot of fancy after-market nipples have chamfered top to allow easy cap placement, but cause more problem to some..

Carry a nipple pick.. if you have issue of fragment from cap, the nipple pick are handy to prick the crap out of there...

What brand of caps are you using?
CCI seem to be hotter than Remington... May try a few brands and see the different..

I use CCI size 11 caps... it gets damp here..

There are nipple charger, this will guarantee fire almost 100% of time..

One last solution.. when all else fails
Depend on if you got "Drum" or "Bolster".. Is to vent the drum..
take a size number 50 drill bit, and drill a small hole between barrel and the nipple, into drum... the hole must be forward and angled away from shooter's face..
What this does, it reduce the back pressure in the nipple allows sparks to reach the charge...

boylesboats
01-08-2010, 12:54 AM
I like flinters. I arrived in the colony just after the switch.;)

till it rain.....

boylesboats
01-08-2010, 10:05 AM
a good nipple DOES make a difference...

I am sure it DOES too....

not popping the cap with 3 to 4 tries, The fault in mis-aligned hammer.. Even with better nipples will get same result..

The hammer face must hit the nipple squarely, for the cap could fire successfully...

Phillip Allen
01-08-2010, 12:20 PM
I am sure it DOES too....

not popping the cap with 3 to 4 tries, The fault in mis-aligned hammer.. Even with better nipples will get same result..

The hammer face must hit the nipple squarely, for the cap could fire successfully...

yes you are right...but the fix is not always very easy...
heat and bend the hammer (in the case of a patent breech) or make a new drum (maybe)...
somethime both need doing. That's why they call it gunsmithing

I try to keep it simple if possible

I remember (years ago) having to file an angle on a nipple face and later when I had time bend the hammer.

as to chamfering...the chamfer must be on the inside and the only dreason then is to avoid a broad nipple fase which distributes the blow too widely and causes iradic ignition...the best solution is a propper nipple, etc

I don't like the caps to fit too tightly as this condition creats a gap between the priming pellet and nipple face, ergo, cushion. tight fitting is not impodrtant at the target range and the easy fix while hunting is to, with fingers alone, bend the cap scirt out jof round to create a little spring tension to hole the cap on.

'KISS' is a good motto

boylesboats
01-08-2010, 02:38 PM
Phillip,

yes that chamfering inside the nipple is good, as help funnel spark down through the nipple..

On my Hawken, which it is a kit gun.. it still have the same nipple that came with it.. after few years of using at the range and while hunting I am surprise if haven't burnt out yet.. (hole get bigger in time)..

Only mod I did was, added a flash cup (look like and about the same size as a thimble)..
http://www.dixiegunworks.com/images/FC0204.JPG
shower of sparks have been burning the stock's finish

Phillip Allen
01-08-2010, 06:12 PM
I used to make my own flash cups...I built rifles and sold them for a short while

boylesboats
01-08-2010, 10:03 PM
Lyman nipples maybe is poor quality.. it shouldn't be that easy to deform under hammer blows...

purri
01-09-2010, 05:56 AM
Do you have rebounding hammers suitably timed? otherwise u up the creek.

ChaseKenyon
01-09-2010, 06:42 AM
I shoot and use muzzleloaders all the time, and relies on it while hunting.. Please take my advice, as I am being helpful and have experiences in this field..

Failed to fire with 3 to 4 hammer strikes... sound like your hammer is not hitting good and squarely..

take a piece of alumnium foil and place it on the nipple and pull the trigger.. carefully re-cock the hammer to remove the foil.. observe how your hammer is striking..

There is few ways to correct this.. hammer spring may be binding, dirty, or too much oil... note the friction between hammer and lockplate.. all its need is one drop of light weight oil (3 in 1) between there

If it not hitting squarely,
Chances are:
Hammer misaligned
Bent hammer
lockplate loose on the stock..
misligned and bent hammer can be corrected by heating and re-bent.. best take to someone who know how much to heat and retreat the hammer.. Sometime drum can be turned a smiggen' til the nipple and hammer align up.. In your case you do not have a drum...



This is absolute. In 26 years of black powder shooting I have never had a cap fail to fire the charge on any rifle or pistol I have used or helped a freind set up.

Never Never Never.

with caps even when they were new to the world the key thing was having the hammer strike the cap full on and flat so the charge of the cap penetrated evenly and fully.

the only failures to fire I have ever seen were because of non flat interface of the hammer with the nipple.

I have used hard beeswax to test and colored chalk (which I keep in my Possibles Bag) to test for this. Chalk is for feild use and in the shop I use bees wax for more exact evaluation.

It is critical. As time goes on even the best caps are able to be made of thinner material. When that happens the opportunity for side blow reducing the flame penetration for optimal fireing or no firing is increased.:eek:

I shoot twenty year old caps and one month old caps on my serial numbered Miroku match barreled Kentucky rifle. never had a non fire or even a whooshie misfire in 27 years.

You got non fires on cap unit you got hammer nipple interface and or arc problems.

Chase

If you even mention Hldatsi or Whaya hunting you won't have to wait for Chuck, This Enisi Waya Dekanogi (Grandfather Wolf Singing) and my daughter Vtsi Hldatsi (little snow tiger) will find you post haste.

Nuph Sayed!:mad:

Phillip Allen
01-09-2010, 08:38 AM
Do you have rebounding hammers suitably timed? otherwise u up the creek.

it ain't supposed to be like a Purdy or other fancy double rifle

coelacanth2
01-09-2010, 10:44 PM
Uhm, ... in reference to shikar...that was a joke...On, fine, you've found me out. In my barn, next to the 28' Seabird project i keep 3 hunting elephants, and their howdahs. The mahouts sleep in the loft above. My elephants are well trained, steady to shot, and not prone to panic when the tigers tire of being hunted and become the hunters. When tigers begin ravaging my suburban neighborhood, eating the dogs and cats and tipping over trash cans, I muster my beaters (they , all 50 of them, stay in the guest bedroom when it isn't in use by foreign potentates or the Obamas) gird my elephants and sally forth to do a little sporting pest control. I absolutely MUST wear my aluminium hat whilst performing this necessary neighborhood service because the government mind reading machines would otherwise report my activities to PETA and I'd have no END of annoying do- goodytwo shoes to deal with, not to mention all the paperwork and permits associated with maintaining the elephants, payroll and Soc. Sec., witholding and dental/medical benefits for the beaters and mahouts. Do let's please keep my little secret, won't you?:rolleyes:

coelacanth2
01-19-2010, 10:29 PM
Finally got my lazy backside in gear, here's the pics (or it didn't happen:rolleyes:) of the new nipple (dark ) and the OEM (bright stainless). The flash hole in the OEM nipple is quite tiny, whereas the hole in the new nipple is a good deal larger initially before it necks down, then spreads on the underside. Have tried it (btw, cap slides on much more easily, seats better) no misfires, no multiple hammer strikes needed. Thanks for the info on hamer tuning with foil, I'll peel a bit off my helmet for testing. I think I'll cast up a cople of flash cups, too - great idea, esp safety wise. Thanks all. We try them out this weekend - late muzzleloader season.
http://i282.photobucket.com/albums/kk243/coelacanth2/IMG_0241.jpghttp://i282.phttp://i282.photobucket.com/albums/kk243/coelacanth2/IMG_0244.jpghotobucket.com/albums/kk243/coelacanth2/IMGhttp://i282.photobucket.com/albums/kk243/coelacanth2/IMG_0245.jpg_0242.jpg
http://i282.photobucket.com/albums/kk243/coelacanth2/IMG_0242.jpg

boylesboats
01-20-2010, 03:44 AM
Glad you got it fix.. ya think Lyman should have put better nipple on those guns in the first place.. for the price they're selling for now..
By the way... I am gonna make note of this, if I ever found a Lyman's rifle. I'll be sure to check the nipple..

paladin
01-20-2010, 04:16 AM
I have one of those old African made Tower pistols. They work great with a patched marble. I used standard sized marbles, a piece of greased light canvas as a patch, and a light load and it will put the marble through 2 layers of sheet iron (the corrugated stuff used for roofing) and at least one 2 x 4 without breaking....cheaper than lead......I ventilated the old hog barn on the farm with it.

Thorne
01-20-2010, 08:44 AM
Gosh, next thing you know you'll be posting photos of your vent prick along with your nipples!

You young whippersnappers don't know nuttin' about gun locks. Here's what we shot back in the day, none of this nancy-boy faffin' about with nipples...

http://www.luckhardt.com/yorklck2.jpg

http://www.luckhardt.com/yorkstk.jpg

http://www.luckhardt.com/grgmatchlk1web.jpg

Phillip Allen
01-20-2010, 08:49 AM
just where did you 'old guys' get the cartridge cases to use for ramrod tips? :) (speaking of nancy boys...)

boylesboats
01-21-2010, 10:21 PM
Gosh, next thing you know you'll be posting photos of your vent prick along with your nipples!

You young whippersnappers don't know nuttin' about gun locks. Here's what we shot back in the day, none of this nancy-boy faffin' about with nipples...

http://www.luckhardt.com/yorklck2.jpg

http://www.luckhardt.com/yorkstk.jpg

http://www.luckhardt.com/grgmatchlk1web.jpg

Thorne....
What is that? Is it a match lock?
I seen some wheel locks too...
I have seen all kinds of locks...

Matchlock is about odd way of goin'... Smolderin' cord surely will set off powder while loading...
But for huntin' use... naaaa.. trying to light and re-light that damn cord would be a pain...

boylesboats
01-21-2010, 10:23 PM
just where did you 'old guys' get the cartridge cases to use for ramrod tips? :) (speaking of nancy boys...)

Now that caught my attention..
Sure is out of place for any of those period muzzleloaders.. bone button is more likely

purri
01-21-2010, 11:57 PM
Gosh, next thing you know you'll be posting photos of your vent prick along with your nipples!

You young whippersnappers don't know nuttin' about gun locks. Here's what we shot back in the day, none of this nancy-boy faffin' about with nipples...

http://www.luckhardt.com/yorklck2.jpg

http://www.luckhardt.com/yorkstk.jpg

http://www.luckhardt.com/grgmatchlk1web.jpg
snaap haans or miquelet?

David G
01-22-2010, 01:29 AM
coelacanth,

Despite the Luddite mutterings of my twin, and despite the fact that I know nothing about black powder & such, I want to heartily congratulate you on your new nipples. (I didn't know such a thing was possible) Here's hoping that they lead to mighty and frequent explosions for you :p:D:p

paladin
01-22-2010, 09:10 AM
Somehow that doesn't look like a Miguelet to me.....

Phillip Allen
01-22-2010, 09:12 AM
just a fancy firelock...

sharps4590
01-22-2010, 03:31 PM
At last....a coherent thread in the Bilge I can appreciate and doesn't reek. Philip, boyles, you two guys are spot on regarding square hammer impact with the nipple. Been shooting these frontstuffers since the early '70's and they're all I've used for hunting since the late 90's. Only difference is I went completely flintlock since hanging up my Sharps and BPC double rifles. Might have to get them back out one day.

Coel...glad ye gotcher problem fixed!

Vic

coelacanth2
01-22-2010, 11:44 PM
I have to admit, if the frizzen on my Dixie Gun Works mountain rifle hadn't snapped, I might not have purchased the Hawken. When I contacted Dixie and explained my problem and asked if they had a replacement available, there was silence on the other end...hadn't had that lock or rifle in stock for years. I was referred to another company which made a (supposedly) drop in replacement. $135 later I had a new lock. The original was a delicate, beautifully finished work of art with a shallow pan just under the touch hole. The new lock was crudely finished by comparison, with a very deep pan well below the touch hole. Previously, I'd had only two misfires, one after sitting in a drizzle for 4 hours one morning in the deer woods. Misfires now became common - one ignition per two or three pulls of the trigger. Also, I couldn't adjust the trigger(s) - soft enough to make the primary usable and the thing had a distressing tendency to wait a minute or so and release itself:eek:. I have the original lock on my workbench, the gun hangs in my livingroom. Does anyone know a good blackpowder gunsmith? I want my baby back!

sharps4590
01-23-2010, 06:43 AM
I owned a Dixie Tennessee Mountain rifle and the Squirrel rifle...liked them both but found them "clubby" in their looks. Good rifles tho.

Do you still have both pieces of the frizzen? I would think they could be welded back together and the face resurfaced. Do a google search on muzzleloading web sites, there's lots of good ones out there and there should be some fine ML gunsmiths not far from you. muzzleloading.com, I believe and the forum of Muzzleloading magazine are two that come to mind.

Vic

paladin
01-23-2010, 04:23 PM
Just for fun and giggles and a time killer....

www.therifleshoppe.com

coelacanth2
01-23-2010, 09:18 PM
Thanks, Chuck. I'll email them to see what they can do, although they seem like the folks to do this. Grazie, senor.

purri
01-24-2010, 12:40 AM
Somehow that doesn't look like a Miguelet to me.....

Thanks mate "Miguelets" are made in Mexico. :D

paladin
01-24-2010, 03:34 AM
Miguelettes were made in Spain and most really good French arms use the Miguelette lock. I have a pair of St Etienne dueling pistols, .69 caliber, made in France using them...serios pieces of artillery...ya dunno need to kill the guy, the bowling ball from the end of the barrel knocks him over.