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Old March 9, 2012, 02:12 AM   #1
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Replaced the nipples on Piettas...

Been having trouble with ignition on both '51 & '58 Piettas so I spent bank to get replacements from TOW. The '58 lit those #11s over & over again, no misfires at all. So I'm satisfied there.

The '51 however, wouldn't ignite one cap with those new nipples, not one....unless I turned them out about a full turn. So, do I understand that you can shim the nipples? Where do you get the shims....or do you have to make 'em??
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Old March 9, 2012, 05:32 AM   #2
Andy Griffith
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If these are the same nipples as installed on the other one, I've got a couple of questions...

Is the nose of the hammer that strikes the cap dished out? If so, the easiest way to make them fire is to take down some of the inside of the round part of the hammer where it contacts the frame. The other method is to get a new hammer in one of the cheap kits (which contains the trigger, hand, spring and etc) distributed by Cabelas for the 51/60.
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Old March 9, 2012, 08:30 AM   #3
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Location: South Carolina
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Having a pair of 1851's which I've had to finish hand fitting and cleaning up some poorly formed frame castings, my first question is... does the arbor end sit flush in the hammer channel where it comes thru the frame? I've had to diamond file one of mine flush to ensure the hammer wasn't connecting with it in the lowered position. If it's not flush in the channel, it could keep the hammer nose a bit too far from the nipple, striking the inner arc instead. Just something to check before another outlay of cash.
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Old March 9, 2012, 11:38 AM   #4
Fingers McGee
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What emishi said. I've had a couple Piettas that had this problem. It's esy to spot, there will be a dimple/mark on the hammer arch where it's hitting the frame.
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Old March 9, 2012, 09:06 PM   #5
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It is easy to shim nipples. Take soft fine steel or bronze wire and coil it around a nail or screw shank about 10 times to make a spiral the diameter of the threaded shank on the nipples. Then with wire cutters snip them off and you end up with a pile of what look like lock washers. I then I take a small hammer and flatten them on the vise pounding surface or an anvil to the desired thickness. They resemble small open ended washers. Slip one onto the shank of the low nipple and screw it in. I use anti-seize lube or heavy lithium grease on the threads so I can get the nipples back out. If the nipple is too high, pound the shim flatter or find some finer wire. If it still isn't tall enough, use two shims or get a thicker piece of wire to start over with. I've done this on several guns and have had no problems with it. If you have too high of a nipple then the hammer face gets battered and may not fire the other nipples or it will get burrs on it that may lift spent caps off the nipples and drop them into the action.
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