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Old June 23, 2013, 10:04 PM   #9
Bill Akins
Senior Member
Join Date: August 28, 2007
Location: Hudson, Florida
Posts: 1,130
Mykeal wrote:
"Not sure what 'liability' with respect to chainfires would be. Any of the current Uberti and Pietta replicas are quite capable of a chain fire, yet there are no liability problems with those. Are you suggesting that people would sue if they experienced one with this gun, when they don't sue with today's guns? And what would they sue for - you have to have some damage in order to sue, and I don't see much damage with a chainfire today."
You know how "sue happy" society is today Mykeal. A lady sued McDonalds and won over a million dollars because she was stupid and spilled hot coffee on her lap. Yes I am suggesting that people would sue if they experienced a chainfire with that revolver when they don't sue with todays guns.

Because this percussion revolver uses superimposed charges and todays reproduction percussion revolvers do not.

I believe a case could be made to a soccer mom jury, (ignorant of percussion firearms) that a superimposed charge (Roman candle charge) is more likely to chainfire (within that same chamber) than a regular charge, and thus that the company should have known that and not built it. So attorneys for Uberti or Pietta probably might advise not to build it for that reason.

However, in spite of my belief that attorneys would err on the side of caution, I think that if carefully and properly loaded, a chainfire would be unlikely. Even if the rear charge was set off first, it would then ignite the front charge and set both charges off in that superimposed charge chamber at the same time. Which isn't really a chainfire in the normal sense because it would all be occurring within the same chamber. Which wouldn't cause any damage if a steel frame because it would be the same as if someone max loaded a regular cylinder. So in my mind even if a chainfire occurred in that superimposed load chamber, it wouldn't cause a problem. But I also know how sensitive company attorneys are towards any possibility of a lawsuit.

The idea is a great idea and one that has been around since the ancient burning tallow Roman candle firework. I just have one question about it that hopefully someone here might be able to answer.

Picture in your mind the two loads with one superimposed over the other. Even using a lubed felt wad. Now pictures the front one going off. As the front charge tries to push the ball forward, there is an equal and opposite force trying to push the explosion rearward. Of course the ball being pushed forward is the path of least resistance, but still, for a nanosecond, the explosion is trying to get out any way it can while the ball is still in the barrel. To my mind that would force the fire of the explosion rearward as well as forward. Which makes me wonder if that would be sufficient for the explosion to force past the edges of the rearmost ball and felt wad and into the rearmost powder charge?

Just a few small grains of powder stuck between the edges of the ball and the cylinder could be enough to cause the fire to burn past the ball and wad an into the rear charge couldn't it? Especially since the explosion is being pushed to the rear as it is also pushing the frontmost ball forward.

We can see the power of the explosion rearward in a regular cylinder when it can blow caps off the nipple of the fired chamber (if the caps are loose fitting or the nipple holes are slightly enlarged or worn out) and also how if using a very heavy charge it can actually cause the cap to blow off with such force that it cocks the hammer. (I actually had that auto hammer cock happen to me once firing a 50 grain charge on my old Walker I used to have).

So I am wondering if just a tightly squeezed ball and a lubed wad would be enough to prevent the explosion from setting off the rearmost charge. What if the ball was a tiny bit out of round leaving a tiny channel for the front explosion to get past and to the rear? What if the chamber was just a tiny bit out of round leaving a tiny channel for the front explosion to take advantage of?

These are the questions that bother me about it. Not necessarily that it would be unsafe, because if both charges went off at the same time, it wouldn't be any more unsafe than having a max heavy charge going off in a normal chamber. But if does make me question the effective operation and if the superimposed charges theory would be viable or if it would maybe not always, but frequently set off both charges at once.

But I'd still buy one just to find out.

"This is my Remy and this is my Colt. Remy loads easy and topstrap strong, Colt balances better and never feels wrong. A repro black powder revolver gun, they smoke and shoot lead and give me much fun. I can't figure out which one I like better, they're both fine revolvers that fit in my leather".
"To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target".

Last edited by Bill Akins; June 24, 2013 at 02:38 AM.
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