View Full Version : my old hawkins wont fire.... help

October 27, 2010, 01:06 PM
i have an investarms hawkins .50 that doesnt seem to take a charge i have cleaned it used a welders file to open up the nipple a hair (not too much)
triple checked to see if there is any oil residue left and i cant find a nitro nipple that fits the threads i have even tried puting 1 or 2 grains down the niple before firing
what the heck is going on with this thing is a powder that burn better than my pyrodex rs? how do i know if my caps arent any good? it seems the only time it fires the caps were obliterated but most of the time when they go off the flatten a little and split down one side but dont explode into hundreds of pieces
(i dont know if that has any thing to do with it or not)
can any one help

October 27, 2010, 01:08 PM
It would help a lot to see it.
Pull your nipple and check to see if you have a gunk build up at the breech and in the fire channel. Chances are, from what you describe, you do.
Pull the barrel and soak the breech end in soapy water overnight then give a complete cleaning.
Put in a new nipple and try again.

October 27, 2010, 01:17 PM
already have i soaked it in the bath tub for a while and kept the water hot to loosen up any sticky oil i dried it thoroughly and can blow air out both ends do you think it might still be blocked up i cant remove the breech plug and the screw on the side of the opening under the nipple (dont know the actual name) is seized up and wont budge do you know any other way to clean it out in there?

October 27, 2010, 01:51 PM
I'm not completely understanding what you have lisetd so let me ask this;

1) Caps are not igniting all the time when struck by hammer. ... Right?
2) Caps are igniting when struck by hammer but main charge is not .... Right?

Sorry for phasing it this way but I just don't get what it is doing or not doing. Sounds to me like you have taken care of the practicals and perhaps you might have a bad nipple. Look at the cup of your hammer. That is the part that strikes the caps. What do the fresh marks look like; a horseshoe, C print or circle, O ?

This can be fixed. ... !! ;)

Be Safe !!!

October 27, 2010, 03:30 PM
i think it is horse shoe shaped it is hard to tell where can i get a new nipple for it

Andy Griffith
October 27, 2010, 03:54 PM
There are many good places to get nipples online, and they'll ship right to your door.

Since it is imported, it is going to be metric. Treso nipples are great, and they have a chart somewhere on the net...

Track of the Wolf or Dixie Gun Works are great places to get odd, strange and more irregular muzzleloading supplies.

October 27, 2010, 03:58 PM
Besides the places that Andy has listed, you can still get them from Lyman or so I hope so. You really should not have a problem, finding one. ... ;)

Be Safe !!!

October 27, 2010, 05:38 PM
Nipple is Treso part number 11-50-03, which is a metric 6mmX0.75mm thread. Track of the Wolf lists that under their catalog number RLP-A.

October 27, 2010, 06:46 PM
Don't try to remove the breech plug by yourself. Get someone with more knowledge to help you. And, it probably does not need removal. The little screw is a clean out screw. Leave it alone. But do remove the nipple.

October 27, 2010, 10:25 PM
dont worry i like the gun to much to try that so i think if the ne nipple doesnt fix it itll be a wall hanger

October 28, 2010, 04:09 AM
dont worry i like the gun to much to try that so i think if the ne nipple doesnt fix it itll be a wall hanger

Don't even think about that, it's fixable.

October 28, 2010, 05:56 PM
Make sure there is NO powder charge in the barrel and fire it with just the cap on the nipple. If pointed at a few blades of grass, the grass should move with just firing a cap. Again make SURE there is NO POWDER CHARGE!!!

October 28, 2010, 08:50 PM
i will try that thank you

October 29, 2010, 06:52 AM
I would also try Pyrodex P (pistol) instead of Pryodex RS (Rifle/Shotgun). Pyrodex is pretty chunky and doesn't flow as well into the powder chamber. Pyrodex P has a finer granulation and compacts and ignites better, and leaves less residue.
You can also use 10% less Pyrodex P than if using the RS.
When putting the powder into the barrel, put the hammer on half cock which helps the air to escape through the nipple and the powder to flow into the flash channel.
A fouling scraper is a ramrod attachment that's designed to clean out the powder chamber. IIRC the powder chamber is usually about .30 caliber or so. A .32 -.357 cleaning brush used on a cleaning rod might help to scour it too.

Cabela's sells a good replacement nipple called the Spit Fire. Just select the 6 X .75. A new nipple can sometimes cure an ignition problem. There are also musket replacement nipples (but Cabela's has it backordered).
Another helpful item is a nipple pick.

Spit Fire:


Musket Nipple: