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Muzzle Loader , Need Help ASAP

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Charlie Becknell, Apr 1, 2011.

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  1. Charlie Becknell

    Charlie Becknell Well-Known Member

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    My son has recently started doing Civil War Re-enactments. He has a percusiion type of gun. The gun will not fire; he was told that the "nipple" opening is too small to allow the spart to go to powder inside. I tried to drill it out but even the smallest bit would not cut the metal . My question isthis, " How big should the hole be (safety is my most important concern) to allow the musket to perform". I want to thank you in advance for your advice.

    By the way it is not a release trigger Perazzi so I am of no help.

    Thanks,

    Charlie
     
  2. timberfaller

    timberfaller Well-Known Member

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    Take the nipple off and check to make sure the hole into the breach is clear. Then check and see if you can get a "musket" size nipple for it, they give better ignition over the smaller ones.
     
  3. goatskin

    goatskin TS Member

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    Charlie, there may be a couple of issues here, and I'm not real clear.

    - is this a gun he built, or a 'made-gun'?

    - is he shooting Pyrodex (harder to ignite) or holy black?


    Timberfeller is right: musket nipples and musket caps exist for a reason, and a rough or badly-cleaned fire-channel through the base-plug is frequently a problem.

    Place a piece of tissue over the muzzle and see if the CAP-ONLY blows it off. If it does, your son's problem is powder, not ignition.

    Bob
     
  4. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    You probably don't want to bore out the nipple as the tapered design is such that it keeps most of the combustion gas from coming back and blowing the hammer off the nipple. You don't want a face full of burning powder!

    Usually the blockage is in the drum which probably has a clean out screw below the nipple and in-line to the combustion chamber. If you can't get to that cleanout or the screw is frozen then try the hot water/soap swabbing where you put the nipple end of the barrel in bucket of hot soapy water and use a decent fitting jag with a patch in the barrel to pull water back and forth through the drum. If/when you get the drum cleaned out blast everything dry with compressed air. Clean the nipple port with a small wire and reinstall it. Finally, fire a few caps with the muzzle pointed down at some white rags or newspaper - you should get a flame mark with some gunk on the rag when you do this. You should also be able to freely blow air through the nipple and drum when it is properly cleaned.

    Don't forget to lightly oil the bore before you put the gun away.

    If you son is shooting real black powder for his blanks, he will need to clean the gun this way after each use and possibly even during breaks in the action.
     
  5. bt 99

    bt 99 TS Member

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    I would just clean it real good. If you are sure the gun is empty--blow down the barrel and see if air comes out of the nipple.

    I use welding tip cleaners to open up mine. They are fine to large and are avaliabile at most welding shops. Steve
     
  6. Charlie Becknell

    Charlie Becknell Well-Known Member

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    Goatskin,

    This gun was made in Italy. It is a 1853 Infield , I am sure it is a reproduction. He has Used real Black Powder. I appreciate all of your comments. I must admit, I know nothing about these guns, having never fired a musket of any kind.

    Charlie
     
  7. Mykidstrap

    Mykidstrap TS Member

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    Mar 19, 2011
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    Muzzle loaders are very sensitive.

    1. Make sure no moisture gets to the charge (powder).
    2. Make sure the nipple is properly aligned some nipple screw into a lug, this lug must be tuned so the hammer hits flush with the nipple or some flash will escape not allowing the primer to give a full flash to the charge.
    3. Make sure the caps aren't old and deliver a full flash.
    4. Make sure the gun is clean, dry and free of oil. You can do this by firing primer only after cleaning the barrel, but make sure you run a nipple pick through the nipple after you fire primer only.

    The sell barrel rubbers to help with moisture.

    * I DONT RECCOMEND THIS, but some guys back in the day before in-lines, would put a very small amount of powder in the nipple.

    Good luck
     
  8. Shooting Sailor

    Shooting Sailor Well-Known Member

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    Before you get into changing nipples, is the gun loaded? Blow down the barrel from the muzzle with the hammer at 1/2 cock, and see if any air comes out of the nipple. If no air comes out, the odds are that the blockage is, in order from the muzzle, bullet, wad, and powder. You can check to confirm this by taking the ram rod, dropping it in the barrel and marking the rod where it exits the muzzle. Now lay it on the outside of the barrel, and see where the end is in relation to the nipple. If it is ahead of the nipple by by more than a little, it is definitely loaded. Now you need a worm to unload. This is a fitting you screw into your ram rod and drill into the ball in the barrel, thus enabling you to pull the ball. Then, after the ball is pulled, pull the wad, and the powder should drop out. Do a thorough cleaning with warm soapy water, dry COMPLETELY, and resume having fun.
     
  9. TOOLMAKER 251

    TOOLMAKER 251 Active Member

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    If he is reenacting, then you can use a nipple with a 1/16" flash hole because there is very little pressure generated. If a ball is used you can use a hole up to 1/32" I have never seen a imported repro P53 that didn't come with a musket nipple from the factory, and using winged or wingless caps is what their made for. If you have a load in the gun and it will not go off, I would remove the nipple and fill the hole 1/2 way with 4F. With a small paper clip start pushing the powder into the chamber area through the touch hole. Put the nipple back on and fire, you can do this primimg procedure with 3F also, but the grain size makes it harder. I suspect there is a small amount of oil in the touch hole area. They also make a CO2 powered tool that is used to blow a loaded patch & ball out a percussion muzzleloader, it's a handy tool to have in your tool kit. P.S. never shoot a ball out of a gun with a nipple made for reenacting 1/16" or larger flash hole. The cap will fragment possibly hitting someone in the face, it will half cock the hammer, or catch your cotton gloves on fire. How I know is a fellow shooter asked me why his gloves were catching fire sometimes after shooting. He bought a used gun that was setup for reenacting. (a japanese built Zouave)
     
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