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dcobler
March 11, 2009, 05:22 AM
I recently got a percussion rifle and pistol from my grandfather. He explained to me how to use them and I got the general idea. The rifle is a .50 cal and the pistol is a .45 cal. A trip to Cabelas and Bass Pro later, I have all the items required to go to the range.

Problem one. The balls marked .45 CAL by Hornady are acctually .457". Why??? Anyways, had some on hand that my grandfather had given me so that wont stop the trip.

On the range.
Problem two. Nipple explodes from the "drum" removing threading with it on the rifle. Wow, didn't see that coming. Tried to remove the "drum" and it broke off leaving the threads in the barrel. Uuh... again, didn't see that coming. Soaked it in cleaner last night, lubed it up, will try to remove remaining piece after work today.

Questions,
1. Why would the balls marked .45 cal be bigger than the caliber listed?
2. Where can I find another drum? The nipples are abundant so that is not the problem.

Raider2000
March 11, 2009, 06:19 AM
The .457 ball is mostly for either the Ruger Old Army or other C&B revolvers that can or should take that size ball, you need .440 or .445 ball with a .015 - .020 patch for your .45 caliber single shot pistol.

You can get a Drum from:
Dixie Gun Works (http://www.dixiegunworks.com/default.php?cPath=22_238_564)
Track of the wolf (http://www.trackofthewolf.com/(S(qu3xi4e1e0ctez450qfmqbe4))/categories/tableList.aspx?catID=14&subID=171&styleID=787)
There are a few other places that you can get the drum from but I've only dealt with these two for most of my parts like this.

I guess I don't need to say to take your time when you drill & tap the barrel for the new drum & when you install the drum, but you may want to check that barrel over to be sure that there isn't any pitting & what not inside that'll cause you problems later down the road.

mykeal
March 11, 2009, 06:28 AM
Revolver ammunition is intentionally oversize as no patch is used; the ball itself forms the gas seal. This is accomplished by making the ball oversize so that when it is rammed into the chamber a ring of lead is shaved, or 'swaged' off the ball. The ball is essentially press fit into the chamber so that it seals all the way around. If you don't get the ring of lead the ball is too small to be used in that gun.

As you might imagine this process is not perfect; it's entirely possible to have a small gap between the ball and the chamber wall. This gap creates two problems: a possible chain fire in which a chamber that is not in battery is fired by hot gas from the chamber in battery, or a loss in performance as gas leaks around the ball. A felt overpowder wad will help correct the problem; people also use a grease over the chamber mouth as insurance against the chain fire.

There are three different sizes of .45 caliber balls for revolvers: .451, .454 and .457. This is because not all .45 caliber revolvers are exactly .45 caliber and some experimentation to find the right size ball may be necessary.

As for your drum problem, Track of the Wolf, Dixie Gun Works, The Log Cabin Shop, The Possible Shop, October Country and many other black powder outfitters can provide the necessary parts.

Ed: Oooh. Raider beat me. Hawg - you're getting slower.

grymster2007
March 11, 2009, 07:38 AM
And there you have it dcobler and all while Hawg is still droolin' on his pillow. :)

Fingers McGee
March 11, 2009, 11:45 AM
And there you have it dcobler and all while Hawg is still droolin' on his pillow.

:D:D:D:D:D:D

Hawg
March 11, 2009, 06:06 PM
And there you have it dcobler and all while Hawg is still droolin' on his pillow.

Yeah right. I left for work at 4:45 AM. :rolleyes:

grymster2007
March 11, 2009, 07:24 PM
Yeah right. I left for work at 4:45 AM. Bummer dude! :o

I got up at 4:00 AM, got ready for work, then thought to myself "I really don't like working. I think maybe I won't do that today. Yeah... that's it, I'm stayin' home!" :p

Hawg
March 11, 2009, 08:01 PM
I was off sick yesterday and Mon. I like extra time off but not under those conditions.

Ricklin
March 11, 2009, 09:33 PM
Any markings on your broken rifle? Manuf?

dcobler
March 11, 2009, 09:48 PM
Any markings on your broken rifle?

"Muzzleloading Armoury
Black Powder Only .50 Cal.

Spain

PLAINSMAN
RIFLE"

The "Spain" is centered between the other two lines while "Muzzleloading Armoury" and "PLAINSMAN" are on the same line, etc.

Also the serial number is on this side and some pressure markings, I think, on the other side of the barrel.

l.cutler
March 12, 2009, 05:09 AM
What powder were you using and how much? You may want to figure out why the nipple blew out, they don't normally do that! Lucky you weren't hurt.

dcobler
March 12, 2009, 05:17 AM
Tripple Seven, 90 gr. with a sabot. I was under the impression that I could shoot up to 120 gr. or so. From looking at the drum, it looks like the nipple has been worn out for a while now.

Ben Towe
March 12, 2009, 07:42 AM
Not sure I'd use 120 grains of powder, seems like that might be a bit excessive.

jaguarxk120
March 12, 2009, 09:55 AM
Tripple Seven is not blackpowder! Get a can of black and use that. T7 burns at higher pressures than the real stuff.

dcobler
March 12, 2009, 08:49 PM
Just got off the phone with my grandfather, said the same thing about not using the triple 7. Why does the stuff say it is a black powder substitute for muzzleloaders only if it is actually different? That doesn't make sense. And why did they sell me the stuff in the first place? None the less, my grandfather is more than somewhat disgruntled over the matter.

Not sure I'd use 120 grains of powder, seems like that might be a bit excessive.
I wasn't gunna try it, just heard it was not uncommon.

Still worries me though that a supplier will sell you the stuff as a substitute that is supposed to be "Safer" that could turn a rifle into and improvised explosive device. I'm kinda lucky that is was an older rifle with used parts that would give way.

grymster2007
March 12, 2009, 09:06 PM
The Triple 7 was not misrepresented. It is a substitute for BP. It just so happens it was developed to be 15% more energetic by volume. Says that on the can.

dcobler
March 12, 2009, 09:17 PM
The Triple 7 was not misrepresented. It is a substitute for BP. It just so happens it was developed to be 15% more energetic by volume. Says that on the can.

So why would a "Safer Substitute" with marked measures for 100 gr. blow the nipple out of the rifle with a 90 gr. shot? Path of least resistance and such, the pressure was too great to push the round out of the barrel in a timely manner so the gas found, rather "MADE", another exit. HIgher pressure powder-check and noted, labeled charges-check and noted, loaded less than labeled charge-check and noted with result=dangerous situation.

Still worries me.

mykeal
March 12, 2009, 10:40 PM
The problem was with your gun, not the powder. Many tens of thousands of 777 rounds at 90 grains and much more have been fired in thousands of guns with no problems.

l.cutler
March 13, 2009, 04:51 AM
Yeah, nothing wrong with the powder, even though your charge was a little on the high side. Loose nipple or worn, rusted, or stripped threads must have been the culprit. Check on the pistol before firning it.

longranger
March 20, 2009, 10:59 PM
It sounds more like a "short start" was the culprit.

dcobler
March 23, 2009, 05:10 AM
It sounds more like a "short start" was the culprit.

What is a "short start?"

arcticap
March 23, 2009, 10:38 AM
A short start is when the projectile isn't rammed and seated all of the way down on top the powder charge and an air gap is created between the powder and the projectile.
An increase in pressure may result that can bulge, ring or in extreme cases may even result in rupturing the barrel.

dcobler
March 23, 2009, 05:23 PM
Learn something new everyday.:)

Ricklin
March 27, 2009, 10:29 PM
The instructions with my old T/C Hawkin said to mark your ramrod after being certain that your charge is rammed home. I remember them stressing the importance of that visual check to prevent a blown up gun.

Smokin_Gun
March 28, 2009, 05:02 PM
Try 60gr of BP and a Patched Round ball...I've used that in three .50's and a .58...any more and burns or tears a patch ... curious if your grandfather told you to use sabots or Round balls...
Plastics and flames jus' never made sense a mixin' the two ta me...

ClemBert
March 28, 2009, 05:08 PM
With 777 you don't want to have an air gap nor do you want to compress it.