Uberti Colt 1862 Police Pocket-caps not firing reliably?
Hello to all...this is my second post here since signing up five minutes ago.
I'm hoping that someone can shed a little light on a little problem I've having with my brand-new replica .36cal Uberti "Colt" 1862 Police Pocket model.
I should add that this is the first black-powder weapon of any sort that I've owned...I have everything else already represented in my collection, so I figured I should have a BP weapon too. Hopefully next will be a rifle-musket of some sort, preferably a Springfield!
Anyway, I originally bought it a year or so ago, in the winter. I ended up returning it (probably foolishly) because I couldn't get the caps to snap reliably. Now I have a brand-new gun, and it's doing the same thing, so I suspect it's something that I'm doing wrong, rather than the gun itself.
I bought CCI #10 caps with it, but when I'd try to fire it, the caps would often take several strikes to actually go off...sometimes I'd have to try multiple caps to get it to finally fire.
Note: it's NOT that the caps are firing and not igniting the powder, but that they plain don't "snap" when struck.
The clerk at the store gave me some CCI #11 Magnum caps, which are too big for the nipple and fall off. They don't seem to work much better. I fooled around trying to snap caps over empty cylinders yesterday, the first time since I got the NEW new gun. I realized that the caps didn't seem to be sitting down all the way on the nipple, and the heads would "mushroom" a bit when the hammer struck them the first time. However they DID all fire eventually, one of them taking three strikes before finally snapping.
I think the ones that ended up not snapping at all a year ago simply crumbled inside after being hit a few times, which is why I had to throw them out unfired.
Anyway, I took the tip of my pocket knife and tried pushing the caps on tighter. They did go further down onto the nipple, but it didn't seem to help any. I watched a YouTube video yesterday in which a man uses his thumb and the hammer of his pistol to push the caps down onto the nipple...I haven't tried it yet. Hopefully that will push them down evenly and all the way, and maybe that'll make them snap.
But in case it doesn't work, does anyone have any suggestions? I didn't realize until earlier that different manufacturers caps vary considerably...are guns "picky" about what brand of caps you use? Does anyone else own a Uberti 1862 who knows off-hand what types DO work for them?
I can't imagine what could be wrong with the gun itself to make them not fire...it seems like a pretty simple concept. And I've tried two different batches of CCI #10 caps and one of CCI #11 caps, with no results.
All I can think is that the gun just doesn't "like" CCI caps. I thought it was strange that one would have to use a tool to force the caps down onto the nipple, since there's no way I could do it with my fingers alone. Perhaps using the hammer will work better, but I haven't tried it yet. I plan to find some other brands of #10 caps and see if those fit/work any better, but is it normal and/or safe to use the hammer and thumb-pressure to force caps onto the nipple?
Like I said, I'm new to muzzle-loaders, and don't know what to expect. I'd always assumed that one could simply fit a cap onto a nipple with finger pressure alone...I know I never heard of having to use a knife or the hammer to force them on. It even says in the manual that it's better to use a "capper" to avoid accidentally firing them by pressing too hard...which makes me nervous about using a knife or the hammer to force them into place, even though as far as I know it takes IMPACT to ignite them.
Sorry for being so long-winded; it's a bad habit of mine. In any case, I'd greatly appreciate it if anyone could tell me whether this is a "normal" problem, whether I should try other brands, and what is safe/not safe to do while fitting caps onto nipples.
I'm not the most knowledgeable black powder guy around, but was taught to always use the hammer to push down the caps on my rifle. Never really thought about a revolver but suppose it would be the same.
You might try the Remington #10's. My Uberti 1861 does the same thing with CCI #10's but #11's work fine, course I squeeze them just a bit before I put them on.
Finger pressure or a capper is all you should need.
look closely at the nipples to make sure that they aren't ''flared'' by being dry fired by someone at the distributor level....:D
If that don't work you might consider changing the nipples to "red hot" nipples. I believe they MAY be 1/2 a tad longer.
I plan to number the cylinders (mentally, at least) using the small proof mark next to one of the bores. That way I can keep track if any of them fire less reliably than the others. I don't SEE any obvious sign of "flaring" but then again I don't have anything to compare them too. Maybe Google can find some photos of brand-new #10 nipples.
One thing I do know, is that I personally accidentally let the hammer fall on an empty nipple when I was cleaning all the grease off of it. Is one dry strike enough to damage a nipple? I avoid dry firing guns in any case, but it seems like they should have put a warning in the instructions, or something.
Another thing, I was looking at the nipples and hammer, and I noticed that the face of the hammer has a small "bump" right where the notch for engaging the "safety peg" opens onto it...is that normal? Or is it supposed to be totally flat? It's not very big, but the bump hits the cap right in the center, where the nipple hole is. It seems to me that a cap would want to be hit evenly all around the EDGES, where the nipple can act as an anvil. I wonder if that tiny bump could be putting the force into the CENTER of the cap, and draining the hammers energy before it hits the edges? Then, the next strike, it's already dented the center, so it hits the edges hard enough to fire them?
Like I said, it's barely visible, but could it hurt to take a small file and gently smooth it down a little? In any case, I'll have to look closely at any caps that fail to fire, and see if they are dented in the center at all.
One more thing...are caps supposed to burst when they fire? I thought that was normal, or something, but I noticed that a guy on some website was bitching that CCI caps burst all the time and jammed up his gun. Most of the caps I've fired have split wide open, and indeed the pieces do jam things up a little sometimes. I thought it was just one more thing they never show "in the movies", but now I wonder if that's even normal.
You shouldn't have to push the caps down with the hammer.
One strike shouldn't damage a nipple.
My Uberti nor the Pietta have that bump of which you speak on the hammer. They are flat with a groove in the center.
I've seen some caps burst into pieces while the one next to it won't...nature of the beast on them. Tilting the muzzle upwards before cocking the next round will prevent alot of jamming. Have killed many, many critters over the years with mine and have never had them jam up whrn needed.
There is a (very) faint line around the nipple, about 2/3 of the way toward the base. It's hard to pick out from the other machine lines, but it seems to be a mark to show where the cap should "seat" properly. They seem to stop at that point, unless you put some real force to the cap. Which I don't generally do!
Yeah, I dunno...I may have to try some different caps anyway, but these CCI's ALL burst WIDE open, like a flower. Sometimes they fall out themselves, sometimes you can just tip the gun, but all too often you have to pinch them and pull them out from behind the nipple. It can be pretty tough...I mean, I'll have to put it on half cock and turn the cylinder until I can get a good grip on the pieces. Either that or carry a pair of needle noses in my pocket!
In any case, it can't be the gun itself that's making trouble...it seems to have worked fine for everyone else for the last 150 years!
As for the hammer, I tested it yesterday, and it DOES visibly dent the heads of the caps when I press them down with the hammer. If I'm real careful to get it lined up so the "bump" is over the RIM of the nipple, not the hole, it's not so bad, but if I just lower it randomly, it dents them.
Of course, that may have nothing to do with the reliability, but I'm suspicious, since no-one seems to have trouble with this, and I've had all sorts.
It looks sort of as if when they machined the groove (for the safety pegs), a lit tiny bit of metal "dragged" out with the cutting tool when it exited the cut (moving towards the rear of the hammer). I'm going to bite the bullet and file it down, since it's a tiny bit of metal, and I don't see how it could do any harm, as long as I don't go overboard.
If THAT doesn't work, and different caps don't work, I guess I'll have to send it back, AGAIN. I was told that this was a whole new gun, but it may just be that they sent the same one back after doing something to it. Or not doing something to it, as it may be!
I do notice one spot looks scuffed, almost as if it had been filed/machined a bit, AFTER case-hardening. It's in the groove where the hammer rests when lowered...the curved-out part. You can see where the base of the cylinder pin is visible, and it looks as if it was machined down so the pin was flush with the rest of the surface. If it was sticking out, it would block the hammer. Either that was original work, or that was the modification they did on it before sending it back...and of course, maybe that IS the problem, and it still needs more filing. XP
Uberti Black Powder Revolvers
Revolver will not consistently fire the powder charge
1.Check that the correct size cap (#10) is on the nipple.
2.Check that the nipple is not fouled with debris.
3.To prevent oil or water from contaminating the powder, make sure that the chambers are clean and dry prior to loading.
4.If you are using Pyrodex instead of black powder, you may have to change to a hotter percussion cap in order to get reliable ignition.
Sorry about coming to this late. I also have a 1862 police pocket pistol. From what you've said, I'd suspect a bad batch of caps. You may want to clean out, or change, the nipples. Use a nipple pick, or some wire. I've had good luck with Remingtons, ok with cci, and stay away from other brands.
This is what I do when I shoot my black powder pistol. snap a cap on each empty cylinder before loading for the first time. that clears the nipple, and burns out any oil or cleaning solvent. I use the same cap loader that i use for my rifles, and press the caps on with my thumb. For the powder, I use Pyrodex P.
The caps always seem to blow apart. Use eye protection! To help prevent jamming, point the muzzle up, and tilt the pistol to the right, when cocking it. This to help clear the just-fired cap.
I enjoy shooting my pistol. Hope this helps with yours.
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