View Full Version : Removing "ancient" nipples...

Andy Griffith
October 11, 2010, 11:50 AM
Let me say first, that I am not, nor will I ever be a gunsmith. I tinker a bit, but that is all.

However, I was given a reproduction 1851- but it's so used it could pass for an original! The nipples are bradded up far beyond use and rusted in pretty darn good to say the least.

I'm going to soak this sucker with some PB blaster inside and out (the chambers are clean, the rachet on the cylinder is good and the stop notches show little use)- go figure.

After that, I'm thinking I should gently heat it to try to break the seal of rust out on my lead melter/turkey fryer before gently wrenching on it.

Has anyone ever installed new nipples on cylinders that at first were thought to be lost causes, or on an original Colt with bradded up ones?

Mike Irwin
October 11, 2010, 12:40 PM
Instead of heating it, try freezing it for a couple of days in your deep freeze. The cylinder and nipples will contract, helping break the rust adhesions.

Andy Griffith
October 11, 2010, 01:27 PM
Great thought!!! :D

I'll try the freezer first.

October 11, 2010, 01:28 PM
I'm no expert with that type of gun but I've found Kroil, a few days to soak, and the "freezer" treatment will break a lot of gun parts loose.

Doc Hoy
October 11, 2010, 02:15 PM
......half and half Automatic Transmission Fluid and either Acetone or MEK. Soak it in that for a coupla days. Never tried this but I am certain I read it pretty much as I have repeated it.

October 11, 2010, 02:30 PM
Good luck. anyway you go about it, it is a chore!

October 11, 2010, 02:54 PM
Doc's right. A solution of half ATF and half acetone works very well. Soak it overnight. Next day, insert two dowel (close to the chamber diameter) rods in opposite chambers, then clamp the loose ends in a vise on your drill press bed. Unplug the drill motor and chuck your best nipple wrench in the drill chuck. Lower the nipple wrench onto one of the nipples and lock it down. Apply heat to the cylinder with a propane torch. Turn the drill jaws by hand to remove the nipple.

The drill press keeps the nipple wrench aligned with the nipple (the biggest problem with 'soft' nipple wrenches isn't the wrench material but the inability of the user to keep the wrench positioned properly on the nipple while applying torque by hand, similar to the problem of a screwdriver slipping out of a screw head and damaging it.

The dowel rods clamped in the vise secure the cylinder safely while torque is being applied to the nipple.

October 13, 2010, 07:18 AM
If the nipples are dinged up and you are not going to save them why bother soaking,freezing or heating them. Drill them out.use the biggest size easy-out that will fit in the hole and pull them out.
I bought a 6x75 Tap & Die on line for less than 15 bucks. Pietta does not use a finish thread , I re did all my cylinders with the finish tap and all my nipples with the die.Now they run in and out like a breeze.
I could not imagine why new nipples on a new gun would go in and out so hard.Read on line that the thread was some where between coarse and finish.
I have a rental Tap & Die if any of you guys want to try it,also have a set of easy outs.:)

Andy Griffith
October 13, 2010, 07:51 AM
Is there any specific reason that they don't finish out the thread, other than to be cheaper? I never thought that's the reason the nipples on new guns get to certain points and get hard to remove. I'm ordering a tap and die right now. :)

October 13, 2010, 08:13 AM
The e-z out is the last resort, nothing e-z about an e-z out. Follow mykeal's instructions first. If the hex rounds off or the nipple breaks then you go with the e-z out. Right handed drill bits can be your friend.

October 13, 2010, 08:13 AM
Sorry. double post.

October 13, 2010, 08:21 AM
Soaking in ATF and acetone does work. Competely submerge the whole cylinder in ATF. I've let many guns/other projects soak in ATF for the better part of a month before re-working them. Most of the time a couple days is sufficient.

If the bore is rusted/leaded, this also helps with that removal.

The EZ-out method would be my last option also. Your working with a very small EZ-out and unless your used to working with them, you can very easily break one off in a hole. Then the real fun begins:rolleyes:.

Uncle Buck
October 13, 2010, 08:40 AM
The biggest thing is not to get impatient and force anything (yet). Give the solution time to work. I had to wait a week before I could get my nipples out

(Geeze, any other forum and this would sound dirty, or sexy, depending on your point of view. :o)

Once they are out, I had to follow through on mine with a tap and clean the threads up. If you do not know how to use a tap, follow the directions or come back and ask. When ever I have to break something that is rusted together I always like to follow through with a tap clean-up.

You can buy taps at hobby shops and other online places. If you have a tool company close to you, check with them. I got mine at Clark tools.

Doc Hoy
October 13, 2010, 09:44 AM
It looks like I am going to have the opportunity to try the Acetone/ATF recipe. One of the nipples on the Remington I just acquired in zery stiff. Up to this point, if I had a revolver I could not get the nipples out of I got rid of the pistol. But I love this Remington so much I am going to break my own rule.

October 13, 2010, 02:26 PM
If ALL else fails and you're faced with having to use a screw extractor, Brownell's sells a very nice kit for small screws that works extremely well. It's called the MicroGrabit Kit, made by Alden Corp. It consists of 3 double ended screw extractors. One end is a left hand carbide tipped metal drill bit, the other is a left hand thread screw extractor like an EZ-OUT.
Link to Brownell's catalog page (http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/sid=16943/pid=6838/sku/MicroGrabit_Kit)

October 13, 2010, 02:35 PM
I had this problem last month. I tried the ATF/acetone thing and heat etc. None of them worked until I tried several things at once. I think that freezing then heating right afterwards that may prove a good idea.
This is the post
I finally got it off. I had soaked it in the acetone/tranny fluid and heated that but it would not budge so I found my drill press vice and chucked an 8"
1/4" drive extention in with the 3/16" modified socket on it and raise the dp table up to the place where the socket ould engage the nipple with no vertical play or slipage. I tried twisting the chuck by hand but it still would not budge so I heated the area of the outside of the cylinder just below the nipple with the tip of a propane torch. I did not heat it but for a short time since I did not want to wait until the nipple itself would expand. I then twisted the chuck and it came loose. I now feel like celebrating. I will definitely will keep all of them well lubed but this cylinder was a new replacement that was loaded once since I got it.

October 13, 2010, 04:41 PM
...so I heated the area of the outside the cyl. just below the nipple...

Very good point mrappe.
If you have to apply heat you don't want to heat the nipple itself. Just softens the nipple and it may just further round off on you.
Heat the actual side of the cyl. where the nipple would be threaded into. Your goal is to expand the actual threaded part of the cyl. rather than nipple.