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Old September 9, 2012, 09:30 PM   #1
bushmaster65
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Awful time with my dragoon today

Decided to leave out the wounder wad on my dragoon today at the range. This was I think the third set of rounds through her. 30gr 'P', .454 Hornaday, CCI #11's and ALL 5 CYLINDERS failed to ignite! Caps functioned but no powder ignition!
Took the nipple pick to her and another five caps and nothing! Third time around, got 2 balls down range. Got 2 more on the next go, but I had to remove the nipple on the last cylinder and "stir up" the powder charge with the nipple pick and the last ball said goodbye.
I used the nipple pick between all miss fires.
The only thing I can think of is that I rammed the ball to hard. Thus packing the powder to tightly.
Is this possible?
Thoughts and Musings?

Other thing is these damn caps getting jammed up and causing cylinder rotation problems. Any secrets or special brand of caps that help to reduce this frustrating little problem? I'm finally breaking down and buying new nips for the walker as there is NO consistency of size on mine.
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Old September 9, 2012, 09:54 PM   #2
mykeal
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Assuming the first two sessions were successful and used the same loads, my first thought is that the Pyrodex is contaminated. It has a reputation for degrading once the original package is opened and exposed to humidity. Pyrodex has no particular aversion to being compressed like 777 so it's very unlikely the problem is seating the ball too hard.

Regarding the caps falling off the nipples: common problem and there are no magic caps.
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Old September 9, 2012, 10:08 PM   #3
Ben Towe
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Experiment with different cap sizes and/or egg shape the caps slightly (with your fingers) before using them. I concur that the Pyrodex is likely contaminated with moisture. I have had good luck with pistol pellets, they seem less likely to draw moisture due to their hard consistency.
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Old September 10, 2012, 05:07 AM   #4
Hawg
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Bad powder. Raise the muzzle slightly and tilt it to the right as you cock it and the fired caps will be less likely to fall into the action. Try to find better fitting caps or get after market nipples like Tresos. Pinch fitting does work tho.
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Old September 10, 2012, 07:04 AM   #5
wogpotter
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I've had similar problems with the combination of Pyrodex & CCI #11 caps. Usually it shows up as hangfires with a distinct delay between the cap popping & the charge igniting. However sometimes I have to pop 2 or even 3 caps to get a chamber to ignite.

Pricking the nipples probably won't help as I don't think a clogged nipple is the problem, but switching to #11 magnum primers made a huge difference for me. Maybe try that?
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Old September 10, 2012, 07:28 AM   #6
Doc Hoy
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Not my Dragoons but my Walker

When I got my walker I found it had more than one size nipples. One or two chambers misfired on nearly every shot because the nipple was not tall enough.

I replaced with Treso and use number 10 caps without further problem.

I do realize that you are having a different problem. My only point is that Treso nipples with 10 caps works with 777 and GOEX.

I don't shoot Pyrodex and it may be that Pyrodex requires 11s. Don't know.
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Old September 10, 2012, 10:34 AM   #7
wogpotter
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I think the difference between #10 & #11 is (in thoery) size, not power. Maybe fitting better on the nipple would allow more flash into the chamber? but I have no way of knowing or testing that bright idea. The #11 & #11 magnum definitely have a different power though & from my limited experience the same size, at least in the few tins I've tried. Pyrodex is a little harder ti ignite supposedly so maybe magnums wil give a better result with it than regular ones?
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Old September 10, 2012, 02:45 PM   #8
pghrich
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since you were only using 30 grains of powder in a cylinder that has the capacity for 60 grains are you sure the ball was fully seated,if not the powder may have not been fully against the nipple, pyrodex is more difficult to egnite to begin with, just my throught, pghrich
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Old September 10, 2012, 04:36 PM   #9
Shotput79
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Get a new can of Pyrodex go to Remington #10 caps. Try piching them and then push them on the nipples. 30 grs of powder should work just fine. If you want to use #11 caps order the Tresos nipples for about $31.00 and go with the #11 caps. You may still haft to pinch them on. Any lose caps is a good way to cause chan fire's to happen. Use the wads or something like boro butter over top of the ball if you don't have the wads. I fired 30 grs of Pyrodex out of my Walker and Dragoon pistols for just target shooting and had no problems with it at all. Like the guy's have already said you have got a can of powder that was not sealed and moisture got into the powder. I've used old powder that was more than 2 years old and it was kept dry and fired just fine. Also like what has already been said after you fire the first shot point the pistol up and roll to the right as you cock it for the second shot and the spent cap should fall out and away from the blast shield to the ground. Sometimes one will not let go of the nipple and get stuck on the nipple and if you don't get it off they will go down inside the openning at the bottom of the hammer and get ito the action and cause the hammer to not want to work. All Colt pistol's are bad about this and you just haft to watch them till you get use to them. JMOP.
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Old September 10, 2012, 05:06 PM   #10
pghrich
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i am aware that 30 grains is pleanty of powder for target shooting in a walker , i do not have a walker,is the rammer long enough to seat a ball on just 30 grains of powder? Because in my 1858 when i use less than 20 grains i must use a ramrod and a hammer to finish seating the ball or [prefered] use cornmeal filler, pghrich
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Old September 10, 2012, 07:58 PM   #11
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I see this problem on my Rugers...

But not on the Dragoons.
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Old September 10, 2012, 09:25 PM   #12
bushmaster65
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Hmmmm...I did notice that when I switched to pyrodex powder from the pellets, there was a distinct "lag" from primer ignition to chamber fire. Mind you, this was in fractions of a second but noticeable just the same. The powder worked flawlessly before and after that cylinder. It was just that one round of balls.
Q) will a desiccant packet in the pyrodex help keep it dry?
I have had nipple problems and am ordering the ones that have been suggested.
There has to be some way of salvaging this bottle of powder though.
damn...can't afford to just go out and buy a new one after every shooting weekend.
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Old September 10, 2012, 11:28 PM   #13
Shotput79
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Bush I've never used a desiccant packet in my powder I don't see why it wouldn't help out. I just use two flask and fill them up for the day and put the lid back on the powder tightly that should keep the powder in the bottle dry. If I'm shooting a Walker or Dragoon two flask full of powder should be enough powder to last for a while. If I'm shooting something smaller like a 58 or 60 or 51 just fill up one flask and keep the led on the powder can tight that should keep it dry. If you have a can of powder that has gotten damp there should be a way to get it dried out but I believe I'd get a new one pound can and start out with it till the other dries out. If you live in a damp place you really need to watch keeping those lids on the can tight or you'll keep having the same problems with the powder getting damp. I tested a pistol for one year to see what wouold happen to the powder if I kepted it loaded at the end of the year I took the nipples off three of the cylinder's chambers and took a wooden chop stick and pushed the loads out and found that the powder was dry and had turned into round dry pellets. The wad had turned into what looked like dry cholk. I took and caped the other three chambers and they fired as if I had just loaded them. The reason I did this was because of the post that people had been putting up about leaving thair guns loaded in the house for self defence and wanted to know if it would really work. After cleaning the pistol I didn't see any problems with the chamber's being rusted and they still looked like new. I kept the pistol in a dry place for the test. If I would have wanted to carry it I would sujest putting nail polish on the nipples and put the caps on and that would seal the caps to the nipples so that there would be no way for it to get damp inside the chambers + if I was going to keep one loaded to carry with me all the time I would fire it every month and clean it and reload it. I would never try keeping it loaded for a whole year. I just wanted to see what would happen if I did keep one loaded for that long. If anyone was going to try this DON'T try it with a gun you care anything about cause if you were to get dampness in the powder you would end up with rested cylinder chambers. I just happen to have an old pistol liying round that had seen it's better days so I used it for the test. As for buying powder I believe lose powder is better than buying the 30 gr pellets. That way you can ajust the powder charge to your gun. Some pistol's do good with 30 grs and some shoot better with less. It all depends on if your in it for the big bang or if you care about hitting what your aiming at. It also depends on which kind of pistol your shooting. No way would I let anyone talk me into using 30 gr pellets in a brass frame gun. They'll turn one into a paper weight in no time. Some folks my not go along with what I'm talking about but you know your guns better than I do + I'm still learning my own self. I my be gettin older but I don't know everything either. Hope this will help you out some.
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Old September 10, 2012, 11:49 PM   #14
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Bushmaster,
Pyro-P LIKES to be heavily compressed. I got the delayed ignition unless I packed the ball down FIRMLY with the rammer. Also when I stopped using a lube wad under the ball, that helped.
As for the cap jams: the first thing I would do is to fill in that little safety notch in the bottom of the hammer face. I clean mine out with a wire brush on my Dremel, spray it off with brake cleaner/Crud Cutter and hose it dry with canned air. Then I make a small dam with masking tape and pack the hole with J B Weld. After an overnight set I remove the tape and clean off the hammer face so as to leave a very slight depression in the surface of the fill where the notch was. You don't want it to bulge out. A chisel, file or screwdriver can be used to clean off the JB Weld then the Dremel with the rotary wire brush to finish it. What you are doing is eliminating the slot into which caps get wedged and are pulled off the nipple by the cocking of the hammer. As the hammer is pulled back the cap gets tipped off the hammer by the edge of the recoil shield and falls into the works. This simple fill will eliminate 90% of your cap jams. It means you cannot use the little pegs on the back of the cylinder to hold the hammer between chambers. You will need to carry it with 5 loaded chambers instead of 6.
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Old September 11, 2012, 03:48 PM   #15
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I've never had a problem with Pyrodex going bad but that's what it sounds like.
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Old September 11, 2012, 04:16 PM   #16
Strafer Gott
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If the powder worked before and after, look for contamination in the fire channel. A little residual oil can block ignition. Pyrodex powder really is harder to light. The pellets have just a skosh of black powder on the back and light faster. You can hear the difference. This is the number one selling point for me. No more pop, fizz, kapow, just bang. Wish Hodgdon (spelling) would make them for the navies.
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Old September 12, 2012, 07:56 PM   #17
brazosdave
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I always use Triple 7 and never had a prob with either my 1860 or the Schnieder and Glassick. I have used both 11 and 10 caps, 10 seem to stay on better. Hey ya'll, I hear a lot of people say to pinch the caps, but I've also heard you can jack up your fingers that way. Any one got the real scoop on that? I normally give mine a nudge with a stick to get em to seat good, but every now and then, especially with the 11's there is a problem. not so much with the 10's.
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Old September 13, 2012, 10:57 AM   #18
Fingers McGee
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If you have to pinch your caps to make them stay on, you're using the wrong size cap.

I can't offer any sugestions about the powder /ignition problem because I haven't used pyrodex in over 20 years. While I sometimes load Pinnacle or T7 these days, my primary powder is Grafs/Scheutzen/Kik/Goex.

The best nipple/cap combination I've found so far is #10 Remingtons and Treso nipples. The new Slix-shot nipples have the potential of being better because they will work with almost any size/brand of cap.
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