View Full Version : What is my ignition/primer malfunction???

December 21, 2009, 12:41 PM
Got the old BP rifle out last week to play with it a spell. Just an cheap repro of a C&B full stock 45 plainsman rifle very similar to the one in the link provided because I don't have a pic of mine.

Anyway, having trouble lighting charge off each time. I normally resort to removing that little slotted screw in the end of the little short barell that the nipple threads into, dumping a small amount of ffff in there and everything is great. What am I dont wrong that the cap won't touch off the BP load. I have cleaned out all passages.

Mentioned this to someone recently and he commented that he always tamped his powder down with the rod before insterting the ball to force a bit of powder over into the cap area. Makes sense to me and would not be a big deal, but have just never seed it done. Maybe I'm not observant enough.

What say you fellow BP shooters. I never have this issue on an identical styled little C&B pistol. Am I not holding my mouth just right?

Fingers McGee
December 21, 2009, 02:07 PM
What powder are you using for the main charge?

How clean is the drum? (the little short barrel with the screw)

What shape is the nipple in?

A fouled nipple or crud built up in the drum or flash channel will cause a failure to fire. Priming the drum with fffg indicates a restriction or blockage somewhere.

December 21, 2009, 02:12 PM
Well, it looks clean to me, I have run a little wire down the flash hole throught the drum. Does the drum thread out. I tried it on the little pistol and it seems to be pressed in there, not threaded, as it don't want to turn at all. Would prolly be a good idea to just change nipples, but it looks OK to me. Will just give everything a good hosing and changing, then report back.

Okie out

Edit to add: I usually use ffg in rifles or Pyrodex RS, but currently have GOEX fff in one flask and Triple 7 fff in the other, so using it, just cut back a little in charge. Figured the finer stuff would filter down into flash hole better than bigger grain stuff.

December 21, 2009, 02:32 PM
when you pour the powder down the barrel, turn the rifle over onto the lock side ( lock points towards the ground) and use your hand to smack the opposite side of the lock. This helps the powder shift into the drum and under the nipple.

Also may want to change nipples while you are at it.

December 22, 2009, 07:26 AM
Sounds to me like the nipple flash channel has been gas cut and is too large. I'd put a new nipple in.

December 22, 2009, 08:57 AM
I can see triple seven maybe giving you problems as it does with many guns but you shouldnt be having problems with goex if the passages are clean and the nipple is ok.

December 22, 2009, 09:15 AM
Well, I tired it yestiddy. Cleaned all channels out real good, could see good daylight through the nipple. (Did not think about the gas cut mykeal mentioned, but I would have thought a larger channel would be a good thing for spark throw) Still misfired. Put a small bit of GOEX in drum and POW. Of course no nipples I had on hand fit this thing, everything has to be different.

I gotta go farm a day or two before Christmas hits, and maybe snow here, so will try it and get back later. I will make next attempt with a new nipple intalled for sure.

thanks guys.

December 22, 2009, 11:04 AM
I see Oklahoma. If you live in north east OK plenty of guys around here can help you out.

December 22, 2009, 12:07 PM
That drum i believe is pressed in. My flintlock uses a pressed in bushing that the vent liner screws into.

Go to cabelas and take a look at the stainless steel Hollow base Spitfire nipple.

After loading, did you pull the nipple out to ensure there was powder in the drum?

December 22, 2009, 09:34 PM
I would have thought a larger channel would be a good thing for spark throw
Nope. It's not the spark that ignites the main charge, it's the temperature of the gas produced by the cap ignition.

A larger flash channel in the nipple is not a good thing. The nipple produces a hot gas, the temperature of which ignites the main charge. If the gas temperature is too low, the main charge won't go off. The small channel below the nipple cone focuses the gas produced by the cap and helps it stay hotter longer. Diffusing it in a large area just lowers the temperature sooner; by the time the gas gets through the large main channel in the bolster it's too cool to work.

Treso nipples have two main benefits: 1) the proprietary bronze alloy is very hard and resistant to gas cutting, and 2) the flash channel under the nipple cone is very small, focusing the hot gas and keeping it hotter longer than other nipples.

December 23, 2009, 10:46 PM
Spitpatch, I am just north of Tulsa, little village called Bartlesville.

Got back form farm last night. I would go get a new nipple tomorrow, but it looks like we have weather/snow moving in Thursday. Will have to wait till after Santa Clause day I guess.

I tired it again before I left Sunday. Loaded powder, tilted to side and tapped barell to sift powder into drum and no fire. Removed screw and loaded manual into drum. Brought home and cleaned up. I think I need a new nipple. I can't see the cut, but as Mykeal states, it could be cut and it sounds like the smallest of inconsistencies could make a difference in performance.

I tired all of the nipples out of my BP wheel guns and nothing is the same, go figger. Is this a racket or what?

Merry Christmas everyone. I think I'll go join the wife and get under the covers, I'm tired.