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Old November 12, 2009, 11:52 AM   #1
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Nipple Pick vs. Caps

I've been firing caps over empty chambers each shooting session prior to shooting my 58 Remmie. I'd read that that's a good thing to do to make sure everything is clear before you load up with BP.

I know some people use a nipple pict to accomplish the same thing.

Is there any advantage to one method over the other?

Can I use just a long straight pin instead of an 'official' nipple pick? I'm guessing that all I'd really have to do is stick it through the firing hole on each nipple, wiggle it round a bit and then put the nipple to my lips and blow air through it. That will save me a little money on caps over time.
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Old November 12, 2009, 12:05 PM   #2
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A cap will not clear a badly fouled nipple. Use your pick.
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Old November 12, 2009, 01:07 PM   #3
Fingers McGee
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When I clean my C&Bs, I always remove the nipples from the cylinder to clean them, then spray the threads with Balistol to lube them and prevent seizing in the cylinder. Popping a cap on each chamber before loading is to dry up any moisture or oil in the nipple or chamber so it does not foul the powder. A nipple pick won't do that.

If, on the other hand, your nipples and chambers are left dry after cleaning - or in between shooting sessions without cleaning - popping a cap would not be necessary to ensure they were clear and a nipple pick would be useful in case a flash hole was obstructed.

I don't use, and have never had to use, a nipple pick on my C&B revolvers. IMNSHO, it could enlarge the flash hole and exacerbate the problem with caps coming off and causing a jam.

I do use a nipple pick on my single shot pistols and side lock muzzleloading rifles. The nipples onlyt come out of them for cleaning once or twice a year.

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Last edited by Fingers McGee; November 12, 2009 at 11:47 PM.
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Old November 12, 2009, 01:53 PM   #4
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I classify this as a personal technique as we all know what works or doesn't work for us. You know your equipement better than anyone else and for the most part, it's your measure or call based on your shooting routine.

Now, on C&B revolvers, I only use a pick. I do not always remove the nipples everytime I clean. I only use copper base antisiez paste on the nipple theads.
Your ignition is "In-Line" with your main charge and a bit more forgiving than a sidelock.

Should say that I never shoot any BP or Pyrodex. For any given C&B revolver, I only shoot it about four of five time a year. I rotate What I have but mostly shoot my ROA's

Be Safe !!!
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Old November 12, 2009, 06:21 PM   #5
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My experience has been that a pick does not clear oil out of the nipple -- solid debris, yes, oil and grease, no. I've had consistent misfires after thinking I had cleared nipples with a pick. So, it depends on what you think might be blocking. Ideally, it's good to do both -- pick and caps.
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Old November 12, 2009, 10:36 PM   #6
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Ideally, it's good to do both -- pick and caps.
Yup, I like to pick, then use a cap!
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Old November 13, 2009, 12:50 AM   #7
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I never snap caps to clear my nipples. It seems like a waste of (what have become expensive) caps to me. However, up until now my nipples have all been stainless, and I never had to keep them oiled. Now that I have my new, blued Pietta 1860 with steel nipples, I might have to start. On the other hand again, the climate around here would probably allow the nipples to be stored oil-free anyway.
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