View Full Version : Got a Hoppes Ethan Allen Double Barrel .36 It misfires some?

December 26, 2010, 10:54 AM
I shot this 4 times and it shot fine. I cleaned it and it misfired on both barrels. I cleared the nipples with a guitar string, that just fir through all the way. I then shot 3 more caps through and still all misfires. The only way I could get it to fire, was to remove both nipples and add some pyrodex under the nipples-then both fired.
I read that this gun needs to be redrilled to 1/8" with an aircraft 12" drill bit. The info said it was not in center, but at around 6:15 O-Clock.
Anyone dealt with this?
I am new to all black powder and this is my 3rd gun. My 1st is a Cabelas 1858 New Army .44 and second was a .45 Jukar. I have not had a misfire with those, after many shots fired!

December 26, 2010, 02:03 PM
I just read the forum about drilling the flash channel to 1/8" too.

What powder granulation are you using? You could try a smaller granulation or even a duplex load like a few grains of 4f followed by the remainder of the charge with 3f.

December 26, 2010, 08:28 PM
Hello, That's a good idea! I'm using Pyrodex P [FFFG equivalent]
In fact, I'm new to Black Powder, but I think there are some like Blackhorn 209 and Triple 7 that may be more easily ignited?
I wonder if real black powder ignites more readily than the substitutes?
I would certainly prefer not to have to try drilling?
Anyone have experience with propellants other than Pyrodex?

December 26, 2010, 08:53 PM
Real black powder is easier to ignite than the substitutes.

December 26, 2010, 09:22 PM
Then I think i'll try to find some.
I live in Port Charlotte, Florida 33981
I wonder who sells it near me?

December 26, 2010, 09:32 PM
I can't help you there. I live in Jacksonville, Florida 32259

December 28, 2010, 07:57 PM
Try Bass Pro off Alico Rd. They have Goex and Swiss in stock. These Ethan Allen repros have real small flash channels and Pyro-crap doens't get enough heal/spark to light. Real Black doens't have a problem.

December 28, 2010, 08:02 PM
I'll take your word about Ethan Allen having small flash channels but I've been using Pyro for years and have had no ignition problems whatsoever with standard caps in a variety of weapons.

December 28, 2010, 08:31 PM
I didn't know Bass Pro carried real bp? I can drive there in an hours time!

December 29, 2010, 07:03 AM
I would not use 4Fand 3F mix. 4F is for priming and that's all. If you drill out the nipple you may get to much blowback and the hammer will slap back. Not a good thing. The 3F black powder should do the trick.

December 29, 2010, 07:11 AM
A few grains of 4F loaded first to help ignite the main charge isn't going to hurt anything.

December 29, 2010, 10:46 AM

I guess you haven't been around long enough to have heard about a duplex load? Actually it is quite common. As a modern example, the US Navy uses duplex loads in their big guns. The first bags of powder are smokeless and the last bag, nearest the breach, is black powder.
No one said anything about drilling out the nipple. What was discussed was enlarging the flash channel

December 30, 2010, 07:36 AM
I have used 3F and 2F as a duplex loads but not 4f. Live and lern I gess. My misstake on the nipple.:o

December 30, 2010, 10:50 AM
I read that this gun needs to be redrilled to 1/8" with an aircraft 12" drill bit.

It is necessary to drill the Hoppe's EA derringer for reliable ignition no matter what powder you use. There is considerable dead space between the end of the nipple and the flash hole, plus the flash hole is very small.

They are fun derringers and very well made other than this design flaw.

July 1, 2013, 08:39 AM
Been using FFF black powder ever since this old post and I only get like 1 misfire for every 7-10 firings. As to drilling it out, what size [ was the info I had found about 1/8" correct? ] bit would I use and where would I buy a long enough one to do the job?

July 1, 2013, 11:00 AM
If I'm reading correctly, you fired 4 times and then cleaned it? Go into a little more detail on how you cleaned it. The reason I ask this is that after a BP firearm has been "cleaned" - you really need to snap a couple of caps to burn/dry out the nipple and breech area. If you mean you cleaned it by utilizing a spit patch, then possibly you pushed fouling down into the breech area thereby plugging the flash channel.

Or, the cleaning might not have had anything to do with it - depending how and what you used and how you cleaned.

As a general rule of thumb - after you "clean" a BP firearm - check with a ramrod to make sure it is not loaded (this should be an automatic safety step even if you know it isn't) and then snap a couple of caps. If you've oiled the bore as a step in your cleaning - run some dry patches up and down the bore first - then snap a couple of caps. Always make sure you have the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.

Hope yiou get it figured out. :)

July 1, 2013, 12:40 PM

Old Stony
July 1, 2013, 03:00 PM
I have been eating black powder smoke for many years and can say I have had respectable success at shooting matches. I have not owned your particular type of firearm, but I have experience with many others. If you will allow me, I would like to offer a few hard learned tips.
Black powder is the best and most easily ignited propellent for these firearms. Substitutes come and go, but basic black just keeps doing what it was designed to do. A load of 3f will handle most needs up through 50 caliber and sometimes larger.
Anyone that uses petroleum bases oils in their bores is asking for problems. Black powder is water soluable and any contact with petroleum products makes for a bad fouling problem. A popular concoction for cleaning them is Windex as it evaporates quickly and does not leave a residue. I mix a little Murphy's Oil soap with it and use this for cleaning and for patch lube. The Murphy's will add a little natural lubrication to your patch.
Using this combination I can fire many shots in a row without cleaning the bore, as the cleaning/patch lube solution will mop some of the fouling out of the bore as you load the next shot.
Fouling in the flash channel is probably the main enemy of consistent ignition. Clean it well after a firing session and use a natural product such as Thompson's Bore Butter to protect from rust. This can be easily cleaned out before the next session and will not lead to more fouling.
There are probably a hundred different opinions out there as to how to make these black powder firearms work right, this is just one of them, and it works for me.

DoubleDeuce 1
July 2, 2013, 01:12 AM
I have one of those double barrel pistols. Well made and fun to shoot. It is more of a noise maker than anything else, but it is fun. I use only black powder in all of my muzzle loaders. I had some bad experiences when Pyrodex first came out. Too many hang fires. So, I stuck with real BP and have not looked back.:cool:

July 2, 2013, 09:16 AM

Yep - There's more than one reason it's called "Holy Black"......... :p


March 11, 2014, 08:27 PM
I did get an aircraft 1/8" drill bit and it must have been an "Almost 1/8" fire hole already, because it easily cut it out to 1/8th inch!
Between that and using just black powder, it has never misfired again!
A cap may occasionally not ignite the powder-but seldom and that's usually because the cap is old.
Thanks for helping me solve this way back then!

March 12, 2014, 06:12 PM
I bought one of the same guns about 25 years ago. Mine has been a real performer - no issues. I'd say it's a little more than just a "noise maker." Mine has acceptable accuracy at 10 yards +-. You are talking about a small pistol with no rear sight. I really like the little gun loaded with field shot. The little smooth bore makes a neat little shotgun "snake charmer." All I have ever used in any of my BP pistols is GOEX FFFG.