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Old November 20, 2010, 10:51 PM   #1
5282jt
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Leaving my 1858 New Army pistol loaded [no caps nearby] Should I seal nipple holes?

I partly bought this gun for home invasion protection. So, I have loaded it with 30 grains of Pyrodex {Gun is handy on top shelf of bedroom closet, caps are in a nearby suit jacket pocket } - no wads, just powder & ball- and put Cabelas Black Powder Pistol Lube on all the balls= a small amount on the sides as I loaded [tried not to get a bit that would contact powder] and some brushed on the loaded balls with a tiny artist brush.
I don't want the powder to obsorb moisture and fail, so should I seal the nipple holes with a tine bit of the Cabelas lube too?
This is my 1st black powder pistol, so i'm inexperienced.
Thank You!
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Old November 21, 2010, 07:12 AM   #2
mykeal
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Sealing the nipples will prevent moisture contamination of the powder charge, so in a word, yes.

Now, having answered your question I'm going to lecture a bit; you may not want to read further if you don't react well to unsolicited advice.

First, if you are truly going to rely on this gun for personal protection - in other words, you're going to bet your life on the gun AND your ability to shoot it, you are doing absolutely the wrong thing. You need to be proficient with it, and being proficient means practice, regular, consistent practice, every week, rain or shine, with that very same gun! Shooting strong hand, weak hand, one hand, two hand, standing, sitting, laying down. In the light, in full darkness (you will be amazed at how a bp revolver will blind you at night). Putting it on a shelf with sealed chambers is guaranteeing that the critical partnership (you and the gun) won't be ready when the need arises.

Second (if you're really going to do this), Pyrodex, along with 777, are excellent black powder substitutes, but both have long term storage issues. Sealing the chambers will address the issue, but if by some chance the seals don't work completely it's possible they will weaken over time. Real black powder is a much better choice for long term stability.
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Old November 21, 2010, 07:47 AM   #3
junkman_01
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Did I read you correctly? You want to seal the nipple holes with lube? Big mistake! It will creep into the powder and foul it, plus when you do cap the piece and try to fire it, you will almost certainly have mis-fires. If this is your plan, you are better off with a sharp stick! JMHO
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Old November 21, 2010, 08:01 AM   #4
Hawg
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Don't seal the nipples cap them. Caps are hard enough to install in daylight when you're calm. I disagree about Pyrodex having long term storage problems. I found a half used container at my moms I had forgotten about for several years and it worked fine.
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Old November 21, 2010, 08:16 AM   #5
Delmar
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I would put the caps on. If you don't want a loaded gun sitting around take the cylinder out. and keep it where it is easy to get to. Loading a cylinder in the middle of the night would be much easier, in my opinion than capping 6 nipples.
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Old November 21, 2010, 08:26 AM   #6
Doc Hoy
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Im am not a home invasion protection expert...

...and I know there are smarter folks out there.

But I would not rely upon a BP revolver for personal protection unless, for some reason, a cartridge pistol were unavailable.

Too much can go wrong and frequently does on a Remington or Colt. Plus, you are limited to six shots.

Trying to fiddle around putting caps on a revolver if an intruder wakes you from a dead sleep is only the start of the potential difficulties.

If the intruder has the drop on you and you are trying to get your revolver into battery, he can potentially shoot you and claim self defense. Okay so he gets jail time for the invasion but he escapes having to answer for killing you.

Cap fragment gets into the works after the first shot...The intruder is not likely to wait while you field strip the revolver to free it up. No he is going to kill you and because you are holding, what any logical person (not to mention any smart lawyer) would assume is a very lethal weapon, he is going to beat the wrap on a claim of self defense.

I understand the almost universal requirement to flee if an exit exists. But here is an intruder in an unfamiliar place. A smart lawyer would have the culprit testify that he did not have time to familiarize himself with the lay of the house. He had no alternative but to shoot you to preserve his own life. As detestibly wrong as it sounds, I think it happens. It happened in Hampton Roads that a drug dealer beat the wrap for killing a police officer on a very similar defense.

Lets say you cock the pistol and pull the trigger but the first shot fails to discharge. Now, not only are you holding a lethal weapon from which the intruder has a right to protect himself, you have already indicated by your behavior an intent to kill him. Smart lawyer field day.

Second amendment, fifth amendment and sixth amendment be darned....The lawyer will win. Our self defense rights, our right to keep and bear arms, our right to be secure in our person and property are being eroded. The reason they are being eroded because, through our best intentions we are providing the smart lawyers with the fodder they need to tear up the constitution.

Sorry fellas....I am proabably wrong about virtually everything in this post but there are certain things in life that just make me mad. So logic and correctness and accuracy go out the window and emotion kicks in.
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Old November 21, 2010, 09:10 AM   #7
Rifleman1776
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Even though I am a die hard muzzle loading traditionalist, I recognize modern guns evolved for a reason. To buy a C&B for home protection is not a logical approach. To not cap the cylinder is just plain foolishness.
However, if that is the way you want to go here is a good approach. I have loaded and capped rifles and left them for years this way with no harm to anything.
Before loading clean the pistol completely, dry thoroughly. (DO NOT POP CAPS TO CLEAR NIPPLES, you can see if your nipples are clear just by looking before loading.) Load. I would prefer lubed wads to grease for the balls. Cap and put where handy. It will keep for centuries that way.
It will not corrode. Black powder does not corrode. The by-product of burned black powder is what does the nasties.
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Old November 21, 2010, 09:49 AM   #8
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Six shots would be plenty. Odds are if you miss with the first one he's going to run. I wouldn't recommend using a bp revolver but I've been around them long enough to be comfortable and confident with one if it had CCI caps on it.
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Old November 21, 2010, 11:14 AM   #9
Noz
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A home intruder that successfully claims self defense after shooting you?

I don't want to live where you do.

Around here that's called Murder 1. Murder committed while in the process of commiting a felony.
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Old November 21, 2010, 01:02 PM   #10
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Hhmmm....Well, where I live there's no requirement to flee when one's home is invaded (the "castle law" renders that unnecessary);therefore, said requirement is NOT universal.

Personally I'd cap the gun; it's not going to do much good if all the components are not where they're supposed to be & you're not ready to fire at less than a moment's notice. If I found it necessary to pull a gun on someone who invaded my home, an attorney (his or mine) would be the last thing on my mind.

You know, as far as tools for defense/aggression go, one uses what's immediately at hand. Unless there's a reason that precluded my ownership of a more modern firearm---my cap&ball revolver is the last firearm for which I'm going to reach, loaded or not.

Just my 2-cents worth.--Patrice
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Old November 21, 2010, 01:17 PM   #11
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Hawg - I agree that Pyrodex left in the original container (presuming the container is not damaged) will not measurably degrade over a long period of time. You missed my point: Pyrodex in an open environment, such as an unsealed revolver chamber, may degrade significantly in a short period of time. Not something you want to stake your life on. Real black powder is not immune to problems in open storage but it is the better choice.

I guess I'm the only one who feels that regular practice to ensure proficiency with a gun that you are counting on to save your life is necessary.
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Old November 21, 2010, 02:05 PM   #12
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To claify my comment. I think only in terms of genuine black powder. My comment was so directed.
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Old November 21, 2010, 03:45 PM   #13
orangello
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Have you considered one of the BP cartridge revolvers?

{BP rookie here}
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Old November 21, 2010, 04:02 PM   #14
Doc Hoy
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Mykeal said....

"I guess I'm the only one who feels that regular practice to ensure proficiency with a gun that you are counting on to save your life is necessary.

You are absolutley not the only one.

I shoot pretty much. About every third Sunday. I was Expert Pistol Shot with the .45 in the Navy. I did law enforcement operations in the Persian Gulf and Red Sea and during my second Desert Shield deployment I had more foreign flag boardings than any other officer in theater.

In spite of all of that, I absolutely do not trust myself to do the right thing in any armed combat situation because I do not have enough training. I think there are plenty of active duty police officers who will declare the same thing.

I once read a very poignant statement. It goes, "The zealot injures his cause by his excess." I vow that I will never knowlingly injure the cause of the protection of second amendment rights by a) doing something dumb with a firearm b) being over-confident of my ability to use a handgun to proect myself. c) being over confident in the presence of a handgun as a deterent to a would-be intruder.

There is very little in life that I am afraid of. That is because I have the ability to view most situations with my eyes wide open.

If you are going to do personal defense, do you get a tool that was designed to do personal defense today or 150 years ago. How often do you practice with it? How often do you examine it? Unload it? load it? cycle the action? Think about the ammunition you are using. While I don't agree with them, some say use birdshot for the first round then follow that up with "business rounds". Hogwash! Shoot to kill on the first round or just turn the pistol on yourself.

I live in a two story house of 4000 square feet. I have a three year old grandaughter who visits often and a wife who is terrified of firearms. Where should I place my home defense weapons?

I know the answers to all of these questions because I have thought about it and have come to some conclusions about what I have to do to appreciably increase my odds over a determined thug. And I must confess I am not confident of the outcome should the worst happen.
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Last edited by Doc Hoy; November 21, 2010 at 04:23 PM.
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Old November 21, 2010, 04:15 PM   #15
5282jt
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A lot of great advice!

#1. The law does concern me. Is it true that if someone breaks into my home and I shoot him inside my house, I can be liable? If so, they need to change that slogan from "HOME OF THE BRAVE" to HOME OF THE DEFENSELESS"
#2. I only thought of a small part of this excellent info "You need to be proficient with it, and being proficient means practice, regular, consistent practice, every week, rain or shine, with that very same gun! Shooting strong hand, weak hand, one hand, two hand, standing, sitting, laying down. In the light, in full darkness (you will be amazed at how a bp revolver will blind you at night). Putting it on a shelf with sealed chambers is guaranteeing that the critical partnership (you and the gun) won't be ready when the need arises."
I do not intend to leave it sit uncapped. I shoot it once or twice a week, but after cleaning it up, I leave it loaded and uncapped.
#3. The idea mentioned of removing the cylinder, with caps in place, is excellent! I plan to buy an extra one soon too! { Anybody got one to sell? }
#4. Does a black powder cartridge revolver fall under the same laws as cap & ball? Or do they require the same red tape as regular guns? I want to keep it simple. I do not live in a dangerous area. What got me concerned, was actually a movie I saw a while ago called { THE STRANGERS } based on real events, where defenseless people were slowly shook up, tortured and slowly killed. I was thinking,if they had a gun ready, they could probably have scared them off with even a shot out a window etc?
They did find a shotgun, but had no clue how to use it, or even load it at first. They were not mentally prepared to use a gun for defence and had no practice, not a mindset to do what muct be done to protect their lives.
I should think that criminals [under most circumstances] would leave if the homeowner fired a gun? There's easier people to mess with, than those firing guns!
I will continue to follow this post, all advice is very welcome!
I'd also love to hear more about Black Powder cartride revolvers too!
Thanks,
Chuck in Florida

Last edited by 5282jt; November 21, 2010 at 04:34 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old November 21, 2010, 04:27 PM   #16
5282jt
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This is "THE STRANGERS" that got me to thinkin'

In all honesty, I have thought of trying a black powder pistol for a couple of years. This movie got my order in to Cabelas the next day.
http://www.zuguide.com/#The-Strangers
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Old November 21, 2010, 04:30 PM   #17
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Some thoughts

As regards 1. In 31 out of 50 states, the "castle Doctrine" that "Patrice spoke of is the law of the land. That means that you can defend yourself and the you do not have to retreat, although in some cases that particularity is not clear.
As regards 2. I would load and cap five and let the hammer rest on an empty chamber if you have to use a cap and ball revolver instead of a cartridge revolver of semi auto.
As regards 3. If you are going to use it for home defense, how long does it take to get the cylinder back into the pistol and what is the likelhood you may not have that much time?
As regards 4. A black powder cartridge revolver costs almost as much as a smokeless powder revolver.

My thought is that our interest in black powder shooting is quite a different thing from home defense. I don't think they should be mixed.
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Old November 21, 2010, 04:42 PM   #18
5282jt
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Doc Hoy & #4. A black powder cartridge revolver & FLORIDA LAW

Thank You!
As to: As regards #4. A black powder cartridge revolver costs almost as much as a smokeless powder revolver.
It's not the cost I asked about, it's the law. In Florida at least, cap & ball black powder pistols are not considered "Firearms" under the law. So, you can just buy it, own it and shoot it freely.
Regular guns require more red tape= not sure just what?
Do black powder cartridge guns fall under the same laws as cap & ball or under smokeless powder guns?
Anyone know for sure?
Can a gun shop ship them to Florida without shipping to another gun shop?
Thanks,
Chuck in SW Florida
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Old November 21, 2010, 04:57 PM   #19
maxvauderk
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dry wads.

I have experimented with this and I feel the cabellas lubed overpowder wads foul the charge, the potential for fouling the charges increases with the liberal use of lubes, just my .2
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Old November 21, 2010, 05:06 PM   #20
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BP Powder for Home Defense

Chuck

I have a nice collection of Black Powder Weapons but.... they are for collection purposes and range use only. I also own a select group of modern firearms, have a concealed weapons permit that enables me to protect myself outside my front door, within the limits of the law.

The idea of calmly dashing over to a closet and smacking some caps onto 6 sealed chambers is not very practical. Your nipples would be fouled by what ever you chose to seal them with. Most people who take a BP Revolver to the range fire off a few caps on empty cylinders to clear them before shooting.

BP guns were of course used for home defense and carried around for self defense back in their day. Loading and capping the cylinders, then sealing them to prevent the invasion of moisture, with other concerns, was a common and well known practice. Beeswax and tallow were commonly used.

All great stuff from a historical point of view but not very practical in todays world where the Village Idiots turned Thugs carry heavy caliber revolvers or semi automatics.

An old style revolver in the hands of an experienced user or even a lucky beginner will of course do the job but I'd stick with more modern applications.

Regarding home defense. That's a whole different topic. I live in SC where we have Castle Laws that don't require us to retreat to another room. But I have little doubt that should I ever have to use a weapon in self defense there would be some major concerns about the afterwards part. Should I get the wrong investigating officer, an ambitious DA or a Judge, with a Brady Bunch Jury that equates a Home Owner who defends himself with a handgun on the same level as a criminal (Worse than... because Progressive Thinkers don't believe in the right to self defense and "we" should know better.).

I have made several contributions to defense funds for people who have clearly had to defend themselves but found that the Case Laws that some judges and DAs apply take precedence over legislative law. Do some reading. Some States make no provisions for justifiable homicide and things can get crazy real quick like.

Have fun with the BP Revolvers but I'd suggest you get yourself a modern piece, take a class to learn how to use and maintain it. Get yourself a permit and bone up on the legal aspects of the self defense in your State.
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Old November 21, 2010, 06:14 PM   #21
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Quote:
I have experimented with this and I feel the cabellas lubed overpowder wads foul the charge, the potential for fouling the charges increases with the liberal use of lubes, just my .2
I have never seen Cabela's wads so can't comment on whether they foul anything.
But wads I have purchased or made would/could never foul the charge. They are either dry or impregnated with wax.
Lubes, as sealants, are not meant to be used on the charge. They go over the ball and cannot foul the charge.
It was my practice to keep my ROA charged and capped. I used wads under the ball. Never a fouling problem.
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Old November 21, 2010, 07:22 PM   #22
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I have about 3 times left a C&B loaded and capped for months at a time and they don't always go off reliably (YMMV). This is with guns having no lube wad to contaminate the powder. If I was to rely on a loaded C&B I would have NO OIL or lube any where near the powder or nipples. I'd want the chambers & nipples DRY. I'd also run a nipple pick into each flash hole to be sure there is a clear fire path and no oil or fouling in the nipple. Be sure you have taken the gun out for "shake out cruises" so that all chambers fire and the gun doesn't seize or jam up. A Remington is a better choice over a Colt until the Colt is tricked out to prevent cap jams. A loaded cartridge gun with FRESH ammo is a superior situation.
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Old November 21, 2010, 08:11 PM   #23
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robhof

Having grown up and living over half of my life in Fl.; I can tell you that b/p cartridge guns are classed as modern weapons and all BATF rules apply. Fl. has the castle law and you don't have to run and hide, Ky also has it as it's my current domicile. Fl. law doesn't consider muzzle loaders/ including percussion pistols as guns. When I lived in south Fl(homestead) I open carried my ROA when I fished from my boat and night fished, the only hassle I got was from the Marine partol, but all I got was warnings, once I proved it was a b/p gun. They said I was asking for trouble, my reply was that I was advertizing against trouble and I never had a problem, only lots of curious fishermen.
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Old November 22, 2010, 07:09 AM   #24
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Ruger Old Army

Robhof

I have a pair of ROAs. They're the guns Mr Colt and Mr Remington would have gladly produced back in their day if they had the technology. I own a stack of Colt and Remington Replicas and a couple of originals, but the ROA is the best shooter in the bunch.

Asking for trouble is the attitude a lot of folks take towards people who legally decide to exercise the idea of Self Defense. I've run into that same mentality myself and just smile and go on my way.:barf:

I've seen too much reality in emergency rooms and hospitals and know better.

But if I were going to carry a Black Powder weapon for self defense, the ROA would be my choice.
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Old November 22, 2010, 03:02 PM   #25
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If you plan on using it for SD/HD, I would cap the nipples and keep it stored with the safety notch engaged. Let me back up and say, first I would shoot the tar out of it, clean it, break it down, put it back together, load it up and shoot it some more. then clean it again, break it down, put it back together, shoot it, etc etc etc. THEN maybe load it up and store it with it capped, in a good holster or case, with the safety notch engaged or chamber empty under the hammer.

I wouldn't bet my life on a BP revolver, but then again depending on where you live you might have a better chance of a lightening strike or hitting the multi-million lotto than being attacked in your home at night. Personally, I have a .45 Glock by the bed and a 12 gauge loaded up the next room over. My 1858 isn't the first gun I would go for, but honestly, it wouldn't be the last in my collection that I would grab either.

I'm the scientific sort who likes to do little experiments to see what happens. So, I routinely load and cap my 1858 after I get done cleaning and drying it after some range time. It sits in my cabinet either in a holster or a gun sock with no sealant on the nipples. I generally get out and shoot every 4-6 weeks (and as long as 8 weeks). The gun has never failed to fire other than one miss strike on a cap which mashed the cap sideways over the nipple instead of straight on. the other 5 went off without a problem. Recapping the nipple was all it took to make it go boom. All I was using was cheap pyrodex and teflon grease lightly over the balls.

Like I said, I wouldn't grab the 1858 first. But I can tell you that I would snap it up before my Nagant revolver or my cheap .22 single action colt clone. I sometimes carry my 1858 as my woods back up. Now, I'm not talking about deep hiking. the iron is way too heavy to play around with when weight is an issue. But for stomping around the woods or going for a hike from camp. I usually have a lever gun or shot gun at camp in the truck and the 1858 on my hip simply because it's fun to shoot, cheap to shoot, won't make me cry too much if I lose or damage it, and I feel pretty confident with the holes I can put in things with it.

But if you're going to keep the pistol as an HD firearm, cap the nipples. I can't get the dang things on in a timely fashion at the range, in the day light, with my laser corrected 29 year old eyes. In the dark? forget it, it'd make a better club.
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