Nipple Life

Discussion in 'Blackpowder & Musket' started by Axle, Oct 16, 2007.

  1. Axle

    Axle New Member

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    My revolver is having problems when I use it I have to strike the caps a few times to get em to ignite, I cant figure out if my nipples are just too worn out? How do you replace them?
     
  2. PRM

    PRM New Member

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    You should be able to tell from looking at them if they need replacing. If you have not been snapping them without a cap, they generally don't go bad. I am assuming by your question that you don't remove them when you clean the firearm after shooting. You should always do that. You need a nipple wrench of the correct size for your gun. They just unscrew. I would try cleaning them good first, pipe cleaners work really well. Put a screen in your sink in case you drop it and with a pipe cleaner swab out the inside under hot running water. You will need to dry them good (another pipe cleaner). Hold them up to a light and you should see it shining through the hole. I usually put a light coat of oil on a clean pipe cleaner and swab one more time before putting it up. If they need replacing you will be able to tell by looking at the end where the hammer strikes and see if it has been flattened down. That doesn't sound like the case since you are still getting caps on them. Like I started off, unless you have been dry firing the gun without caps, they last a long time. I have two Colts that are over 25 years old and still have the original nipples. You can buy new nipples from a vendor such as Dixie Gun Works or go straight to VTI gun parts for most guns.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2007

  3. 1984cj

    1984cj New Member

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    Nipples don't generally go "bad" they do get mushroomed over from alot of dry firing. They unscrew from the cylinder. If you replace yours they may be difficult to remove if you have never done so before.

    If your pistol is not popping caps then I would look at the hammer spring or hammer area for the problem. What type/model of percussion revolver is it?
     
  4. deerhuntguy

    deerhuntguy New Member

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    Sounds like the nipples are clogged. Before loading, poke the hole with a old fashion lady's hat pin, or you can use a partly straightened paper clip; either will make a wonderful nipple prick.
     
  5. JBB

    JBB New Member

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    If the caps fire after you strike them more than once, they may not be seating right. I use #10 Remingtons on my Uberti "58 Remmie repro. They seat well but I have to pinch them a bit to keep them from falling off. I've read that CCI caps cause problems for some folks, but I've never used them myself. If you have never removed the nipples, you may need to spray them with a good penetrating oil and let them sit awhile. I've yet to find a nipple wrench I can't break, so you might want to have more than one on hand. I put a tiny bit of anti-seize compound on mine when I reassemble, be careful not to plug the holes with it. Good luck.
     
  6. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Man, I hate it when the nipples get worn out. Fortunately they can be replaced.
     
  7. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    But if you're married that could get expensive...
     
  8. oldfogey4ever

    oldfogey4ever New Member

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    Either you put oil on your caps (not likely if they're going off, but possible) or your hammer spring needs to be bent slightly to increase striking power.
     
  9. Hawg

    Hawg New Member

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    It sounds like they're not fully seating. Try pushing them on with a wooden dowel or lowering the hammer and using it to press them on. Don't worry about the gun going off doing that. Caps are not pressure sensitive.
     
  10. thdrduck

    thdrduck New Member

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    "Caps are not pressure sensitive".[/QUOTE] Interesting note, someone on here once said to never press them on with your thumb because they could go off. He claimed to have seen it happen and cleave a mans thumb in half.:crazy: I don't remember ever using a cap and ball anything that I didn't use the hammer to seat the cap and in the last 40 years one has never "gone off" by doing it. (not dropping the hammer but lowering it on the cap and pressing it). And as far as the OP... if he doesn't know how to change the nipples, I bet they are mostly plugged up.
     
  11. tinbucket

    tinbucket Well-Known Member

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    I pushed the cap onto the nipple of the .58 Buffalo Hunter I had.
    It went off. Put a big hole into a 2x10 I didn't intend.
    The nipple must have been a little mushroomed. That was in 76, so I don't remember, and I pushed just hard enough or too hard.
    yes it hurt my thumb and burnt it a bit and a wing stuck a bit into my thumb.
    I liked to have jumped out of my hands. I didn't have it on my shoulder.
    I've got an Old Army, that the nipples have mushroomed some.
    Can't get the nipples out, of the cylinder. Have to be careful not set the cap off, as it requires some pressure to put a cap on.
    I'll have to find some way other than a CVA wrench to get them out.
    The soft nipples just don't like heat and being hammered.
    It is confusing the number of different nipples available on the net.
    Some are stainless, which I have for replacements, and some are nitrided, etc and some other metals. Some are several dollars a piece.
     
  12. CaptMidnight

    CaptMidnight New Member Supporter

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    That is most unusual . It normally takes percussion to ignite the fulminate? Percussion requires striking one solid object with another solid object.
    You are lucky you did not loose a finger. The "Top Hat" musket caps are powerful..
     
  13. Hawg

    Hawg New Member

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    I have seen the pics of that and I call BS. The damage to his thumb is exactly like what you get when you have a finger in front of a cylinder on a centerfire revolver. A cap doesn't have that kind of force. If it did every time you fired a percussion revolver it would blow the hammer back to full cock and likely do irreparable damage to the revolver. I have tried hard to make a cap go off by pressure and couldn't do it. You can even torque them down in a vise and they won't go off.
     
  14. tinbucket

    tinbucket Well-Known Member

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    The cap, in my case didn't want to seat. I pushed a little harder, how hard or soft, I cannot say and it was enough obviously.
    The caps routinely came apart when fired on that gun that is the wings. Mostly they stayed within the concave part of the hammer but fell off when cocked, sometimes.
    Some caps on the nipples currently on the Revolvers are very lose after being fired.
    Deformation of the nipples, perhaps, lends to this problem, is why I have supply of them now. all they sell locally is CVA in 2 packs. three packs of nipples is a bit of change here, at Sportsmens Warehouse. Or was bough these sometime last year.
    I noticed some nipples have small vent hole on the side of the nipple.
    Not sure I want to try them until I hear someone else has.
    The recommended charges in that Buffalo Hunter .58 were quite high.
    The curved butt plate gave the shoulder a sharp jab.
     
  15. Hawg

    Hawg New Member

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    That's because it doesn't go against your shoulder. It goes against your upper arm.