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Old December 1, 2012, 02:59 PM   #1
red96ta
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Bad day at the range....

Took the 1860 Pietta out to the range this morning to have a little fun....wrong

1st cylinder: shot just fine and no problems.

2nd cylinder: First four shots were fine, then on the fifth shot, I got my first chain-fire....despite a liberal application or crisco all over the mouths of each chamber. I think I was a little more shaken than the gun. Broke the gun down and confirmed it was a chain-fire from the distinct percussion cap spot on the recoil shield where it had blown off. Had a good muzzleloading rangemaster on the other side so I took the gun to him and had him give me the ok to keep shooting it.

3rd cylinder: 4 misfires despite having checked each nipple before loading the first cylinder. Each Ampco looked great, but they took a second strike to ignite. THEN, one of the RWS caps had sealed itself to the nipple and required me to remove the nipple and cut the cap off the nipple.

At that point, I gave up for the day and decided to go home....

And got a ticket. Had to explain that my license was in my work clothes, hadn't grabbed the new insurance card, and oh, yeah officer, there's a muzzleloader on the back seat of the car
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Old December 1, 2012, 03:32 PM   #2
Doc Hoy
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Sorry abou the misfortune, Red...

...But a bad day shooting is better than a good day doing nearly anything else.
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Old December 1, 2012, 03:48 PM   #3
Erno86
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In my totes bag...I carry a two pronged lobster fork, which is perfect for stuck caps on nipples; and getting caps out of nooks and crannies.

Crisco...tends to get a bit runny on hot revolver cylinder's. I use a blended combination of two thirds Butter Crisco and 1/3 pure beeswax; which will not melt and run on you.
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Old December 1, 2012, 04:25 PM   #4
BirchOrr
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Holy Macrel Red...

... now THAT was a bad day!!!

I've never had a "chain fire" but if you're using grease/lubed wads, the chances are... it was caused at the nipple end of the cylinder. Sounds like you're having nipple/cap issues.

Could be bad caps. Could be caps don't fit tight or even too tight.

If you're shooting an Italian replica, I have seen them come with standard thread, yet metric nipple/cap size. If this is the case, you won't get a 10 or 11 to fit properly no matter what you do.

If this was me, I'd make sure the nipples/caps were correct and fit perfectly, or replace them.

... just my two cents.

Tomorrow is bound to be a better day!
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Old December 1, 2012, 08:03 PM   #5
mykeal
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Quote:
yet metric nipple/cap size
What does that mean?
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Old December 1, 2012, 08:15 PM   #6
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Sounds like the caps weren't fully seated and the first strike seated them.
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Old December 1, 2012, 09:03 PM   #7
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were you using lubed wads or just powder,ball,grease?
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Old December 1, 2012, 09:19 PM   #8
BirchOrr
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mykeal question

metric nipple/cap size

I ran into this quite a few years back. Bought a brand new Uberti/Walker. Had nothing but problems with caps. Tried everything and nothing fit correctly. Took the pistol to a local BP expert & friend Bill Hammond of "Spring Brook Trading Post". He put a micrometer on the (cap end of the) nipples and said no wonder I was having problems the nipple was metric. In other words if I could get metric caps, they would work just fine. We changed the nipples and haven't had a problem since. He also informed me this is a fairly common problem with Italian reproductions.

Hope this answers the question!
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Old December 1, 2012, 09:41 PM   #9
red96ta
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I've pretty much chalked it up to 'stuff happens'. I followed all the 'rules' for safety and it still didn't get along well. Greased the ends, ampco nipples, RWS 1075 caps that fit well. The only thing I can figure may have happened was that the grease came out of the top of the cylinder...it's happened before. Perhaps it was dislodged and the next shot set them off. I hate to use lubed wads since it increases my per-shot cost, but it's a viable option if I make my own.
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Old December 1, 2012, 10:30 PM   #10
Idaho Spud
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I've been using the lubed wads. I figger I'll be money ahead versus 2 or three going off per pull!
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Old December 1, 2012, 11:37 PM   #11
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Make your own wads with 1/8" sheet felt from Durofelt of Little Rock, Arkansas. Find the site on the net ... I'm too lazy to look it up.
Use a .45 ACP or .45 Long Colt case with a sharpened mouth to cut the wads. Before doing so, remove the primer from the case and drill out the primer pocket. A short length of stiff wire inserted from the rear will push out the cut wads.
With 100% wool felt from Durofelt, and a cartridge case, you'll be able to make wads for less than a penny each.
Use the end of a length of log or 4X4 to cut the wads against. The cutter will sink into the grain, making a clean cut. Cutting against the grain, along the side of a 4X4, requires significantly more pressure and will break off splinters into the wad.
Lubricate the wad with a mix of Crisco or lard, and beeswax. Or use the commercially available SPG or Lyman Black Powder Gold lubricants, designed specifically for black powder.

Or you can use the homemade lubricant, based on a 19th century factory bullet lubricant, that I altered somewhat years ago. It was soon named for me: Gatofeo Bullet Lubricant.

1 part canning paraffin
1 part mutton tallow (sold by Dixie Gun Works)
1/2 part beeswax
All measurements are by weight, not volume.
Search the net for Gatofeo Bullet Lubricant and you'll find more explicit instructions.
This lubricant is superb for black powder patches, revolver wads, shotgun wads and lead bullets.

As to your problem ...
Sounds like a nipple problem, to be sure. Try squeezing the caps into an elliptical to make them cling to the nipple. They may be too loose, despite the cap you had to cut off -- you don't say if it was before or after an attempted firing that it became stuck. If after, then the hammer may have crushed the cap against the nipple.

I'm not one of those who believes that multiple ignitions originate from the front of the cylinder. I believe it starts at the rear, when a loose cap is dislodged by recoil, or drops off unnoticed.

Back in the 1970s, with a cheap, brass-framed 1851 Navy in the unauthentic .44 caliber, I experienced three separate incidents of multiple ignition. The last incident damaged the gun beyond repair.
This was with DuPont FFFG black powder, a .451 ball, no felt wad, Crisco over the ball and Remington caps. In those days, I hadn't yet learned to pinch caps into an oval, or to use a lubricanted felt wad under the ball instead of grease over it.
I recall that the revolver's chambers positively ran like a river in melted Crisco with the first shot. I just don't see how any spark could get past that, and the ball that left a ring when seated.

Sounds like you have some cap and nipple dimensions to work upon.
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Old December 2, 2012, 07:01 AM   #12
mykeal
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Quote:
I just don't see how any spark could get past that,
That's your first problem. Chain fires aren't caused by sparks, they're caused by hot gas getting to the powder.

And it can happen from either end. You leave a gap, either between the nipple and the cap or the ball and the chamber wall, and it can happen. Period.
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Old December 2, 2012, 07:49 AM   #13
jolly1
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Red96ta,
In your thread "Closer to POA":
http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=506778

You mentioned changing the nipples. Same gun, probably?
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Old December 2, 2012, 08:54 AM   #14
g.willikers
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I use thick gasket paper, from the auto parts store, for wads.
Cut slightly over sized in diameter, they seem to prevent chain fires from the front.
Haven't had one since using these.
And they don't seem to even need to be lubed to work.

Chain fires can do the most harm to the gun if the round in the lowest chamber goes off into the frame, under the barrel.
The others just fly off out of the sides of the cylinder.
All the chain fires that I've ever had only involved one or two chambers on either side of the barrel.
And they merely left a mark on the frame, no harm.
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Old December 2, 2012, 09:57 AM   #15
Hawg
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Chain fires can do the most harm to the gun if the round in the lowest chamber goes off into the frame, under the barrel.
I never had one with a Colt but I have with a Remington. They don't hurt anything. They don't have much force without bore pressure.
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Old December 2, 2012, 09:58 AM   #16
brazosdave
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Never had a chain fire, and I just use lubed wads, no Crisco on the ends anymore. I started that way, but in the summertime Texas heat, it just got too damn soupy. I guess with the Italian guns, it's luck of the draw. I got a Pietta 1860 about 2 and a half yrs ago or so, and haven't had any problems. I too am kind of tired paying for the wads, but Gatefeo's idea is one that I am planning on going to. either get the old felt hats at garage sales, or order the felt online. Still cheaper than buying em from Cabelas. The gasket paper idea is a pretty good one too!
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Old December 2, 2012, 11:34 AM   #17
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I use thicker waxboard from orange juice cartons.
I think that they're stiffer than wool wads which can create a tighter seal, and they exit the barrel relatively unscathed.
The main difference is that they don't absorb lube. However the American Pioneer powder that I load with does not recommend using lube with it.
I tried the egg carton material and didn't really like it.

Do-It-Yourself Felt Wad Making

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...light=waxboard

In red96ta's case, I wonder if a cap came off during the firing sequence which created an exposed nipple. In that case simply make sure that the caps are seated snug by using a push stick. And try to find the best fitting caps for the Treso nipples.

Last edited by arcticap; December 2, 2012 at 11:48 AM.
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Old December 2, 2012, 12:27 PM   #18
mykeal
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I guess with the Italian guns, it's luck of the draw.
No, it's not. It's proper fitting caps and balls. Period. No mystery, no magic, no luck. Do your job right and it won't happen.
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Old December 2, 2012, 12:33 PM   #19
g.willikers
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arcticap,
The wax on the carton pieces doesn't melt and coat the barrel?
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Old December 2, 2012, 12:37 PM   #20
arcticap
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Originally Posted by red96ta
And got a ticket. Had to explain that my license was in my work clothes, hadn't grabbed the new insurance card, and oh, yeah officer, there's a muzzleloader on the back seat of the car
I find that the gun being exposed on the back seat (and forgetting the insurance card) is really strangely coincidental. The gun being exposed on the back seat is strangely similar to the nipple being exposed due to the lack of proper seating, and forgetting the insurance card is just like forgetting to properly seat the nipples. Life lessons are strange like that sometimes. Try not to allow the nipples to be left exposed, just like leaving the gun on the back seat or forgetting the insurance card. Properly seating the cap on the nipple is a lot like having insurance, or in this case an insurance card when it's needed, whether it's to avoid a ticket or a chainfire. That can cause a double whammy!

Last edited by arcticap; December 2, 2012 at 11:18 PM.
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Old December 2, 2012, 01:19 PM   #21
BirchOrr
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mykeal & arcticap

mykeal - you're SO right, attention to detail is everything.

arcticap - your comparisons are right-on and simply brilliant.

You both would be welcome at my campfire anytime.
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Old December 2, 2012, 02:21 PM   #22
robhof
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robhof

I had my 1st chainfire a few months ago with my ROA. I use lubed wads and the #11 caps work fine on most of my cylinders, I have a few aftermarket cylinders and one seems to prefer #10's. Mine was definitely from the cap side as I found the #11 cap unfired on the table I was shooting from after the double shot. I've since replaced the nipples and use #11 on all my cylinders. Welcome to the chainfire club, it only took me 25yrs to join, and I hope not to revisit.
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