Unloading a BP


May 17, 2006, 12:32 AM
I dont have a BP gun...yet... but one thing i've always wondered about is how does one go about unloading a BP gun without firing it?:scrutiny:

If you enjoyed reading about "Unloading a BP" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
May 17, 2006, 12:35 AM

Ball puller and prayer, CO2 discharger, firing it, those are the ways I know of.

May 17, 2006, 12:47 AM
A flintlock, open the cover on the pan, turn it over, dump the priming powder out. Legally unloaded.

Caplock, pick the caps off. Even in California, an uncapped percussion pistol is considered unloaded.

Unless you are one of them who think that BPwill blow up if you sneeze, or if the gods should build a lot of static in the air, and the gun will go off even without powder or ball in it.

Unprime it, whether dump the priming powder, or lift the cap. Itis as safe as can be.



May 17, 2006, 12:59 AM
I've had to unload a couple of revolvers.
Are you asking about that or have you had your answer given here?

May 17, 2006, 02:14 AM
The replies above pretty much answered my question. it was just something i had been wondering about for awhile. but feel free to elaborate.

May 17, 2006, 02:32 AM
Unload a revolver w/o firing...remove;caps, cones(nipples),pour out powder,using a brass (or whatever you have) rod tap ball from cylinder.

May 17, 2006, 08:36 AM
That's what I was gonna say. Take the caps off, remove the nipples, and dump out the powder.

Then you can knock the balls out with a dowel if you really want to, but they ain't going anywhere without any powder behind them.

May 17, 2006, 09:04 AM
I have to ask, how do you guys remove the caps? I usually unscrew the nipple, pour the powder out, knock the ball out, screw the nipples back on and snap the caps.

May 17, 2006, 12:46 PM
Knife blade or a nipple pick can get in there under it and pop it off, usually.

May 17, 2006, 12:57 PM
I would heartily recomend removing the caps first on a revolver before handling the cylinder. If you drop the cylinder it can get real interesting around camp when it starts goin off, the caps are exposed on many cylinders so they can and will fire if struck.

May 17, 2006, 03:07 PM
Knife blade to the side of the nipples. Cut through the copper and the caps just come straight off. If I am needing to unload the cylinder anyhow, trashing the caps isnt a problem.
Then unscrew the nipples, pour out the powder and tap out the bullet with a brass or wooden rod.

May 17, 2006, 06:00 PM
The Colt type nipple wrench has the srewdriver blade at the end of it. Not much of a srewdriver but takes the caps off ok.

May 17, 2006, 06:12 PM
I've got one of those CO2 dischargers, but could never make it work on my Hawkin. Don't have the nipple on it anymore, so don't even try. I've got it converted to take rifle primers.

May 17, 2006, 08:30 PM
Legally unloaded

If laws were always rational, that would be true, but F&G laws can have funny quirks. If you hunt with a muzzleloader, I'd check this for the state(s) in which I was hunting.

4v50 Gary
May 17, 2006, 08:47 PM
C02 is the safest way to remove ball & powder from either a flintlock or percussion smokepole. In the absence of a C02 discharger, keep it pointed in a safe direction and remove the cap (or remove the powder from the pan if flintlock). Attach stuck ball remover (screw with end to thread onto ramrod). Insert and twist until stuck ball remover bites into the ball. Pull straight out. Pour powder out. The ball is going to have one funny hole in it but you can always use it as your fouling shot.

May 18, 2006, 01:47 AM
Come to think, the best is to shoot 'em all up before you leave the range. 6 more can't hurt, can it?




Go get one, shoot it, enjoy it, come back often, they are relatively inexpensive, you can learn whether you like it for about 200 bucks, and if you don't, can sell it for near what you paid for it.

You buy a pistol for 170 to 200, a can of powder for 12 to 20, a tin of caps for 4 bucks, and a measure for about 7 buck, and a 100 balls for about 9 bucks. That is it! If you like it, you will spend much more, over time. If you don't, come back here and offer them for sale. I think you could get 75 cents on the dollar for what you spent. And that is pretty damned good, considering that if you bought a Ruger, or the like, you would get complaints if a seller wanted more than half the new price.



Low Key
May 18, 2006, 05:17 AM
In TN a muzzleloading firearm is considered unloaded if you remove the cap/primer from the nipple. When I used to travel to hunt with my rifle, I would remove the primer and leave the charge where it was, then the next day I'd go back to hunt again without having to load a fresh charge. Shoot the shot at the end of the season if I didn't get a shot at a deer, and then clean up for the next time.
Laws may vary in your state...:rolleyes:

If I want my revolvers unloaded, I just shoot them empty and clean up. I have a routine and a full teardown and detail cleaning takes me about 25-30 min start to finish.

May 18, 2006, 10:19 PM

I gotta ask, since I never tried it, but does your nipple wrench fit over the caps?

I think I wouldn't do it that way myself. Chance you could touch one off while holding it in your hand. Now, THERE's something that would be a little exciting!!!



Low Key
May 19, 2006, 05:01 AM
Needle nose pliers are good for pulling caps off the nipples if you have to uncap the revolver for whatever reason.

May 19, 2006, 08:19 AM
Yup George some do, or can be modified to...I wouldn't recommend doin' it, but when/if you do be careful. 1/4" deep sockets work best.

4v50 Gary
May 19, 2006, 09:08 AM
While a needle nose plier would certain work to remove a cap, I'd rather use an old pocket knife.

May 20, 2006, 01:01 AM
I would think that a non-steel item made out of brass, plastic or even hardwood with any kind of edge would be better for the nipples than using a steel blade. :scrutiny:

May 20, 2006, 03:00 AM
I think I would rather slice one side open to loose it than to grip it with ANY pliers. Always the chance you will snap the pliers closed hard enough to pop the cap. Again, exciting, in the extreme.

I THINK it was my "no name" '51 that I tried a CCI 11 cap on, had to hammer seat it, tried to pull it off, could not, didn't try slicing it open to make it easier, but could NOT pry it off, in any way. Finally just snapped it. Told me, at least, that they do not splay out from firing, and the powder blast making them do so, the cap itself will do that.

My best advice has to remain, shoot the last cyl even if you have to blow them into the ground. Go home with an empty pistol.



BTW, do you guys know that TFL is back up?

May 20, 2006, 11:06 PM

Why would you think a non steel whatever would be better? Just curious.

How about a stainless steel dental pick?



May 20, 2006, 11:15 PM
I've always had good luck using the plastic toothpick on my swissarmy knife to pull the primer, then using a ball puller (if you have a thinn needle ith a hook on the end you can improvise a ball puller in the field.

absolute best bet is to just shoot the dang thing.

May 22, 2006, 01:51 AM

Not to laugh at you, but to think that a Victorinox plastic toothpick is gonna flip the cap off a Colt that is rather tight is , well, laughable. One I hammer seated I could NOT get off, I did not try cutting the skirt, just said the hell with it and snapped it. Not loud, no smell, and a fully splayed cap, kinda like an iron cross.



May 22, 2006, 03:02 AM
Why would you think a non steel whatever would be better? Just curious. How about a stainless steel dental pick?

I have a U shaped Remington decapper that's made of brass, and while I realize that it may not fit a revolver nipple, the concept is the same. I also sometimes use a piece of hard, sharp plastic to remove caps in the field while hunting, and would even consider using an edge of a piece of dowel or popsicle (craft) stick to try to get one off if possible. (One can be made one by cutting a V notch into some material, just experiment.) It's usually about the angle of attacking the edge of the cap, rather than trying to cut the skirt or pry, at least it is for most #11 nipples.
As hard as nipples are, I wouldn't want to scratch or damage one in any way and screw up the fit or finish of a precision made nipple. If nipples are really too hard to damage much, then why damage a knife blade either?
Why would Remington makes them out of brass anyway? Could steel on steel contact cause an untimely spark? I don't know and can't say if it should be something to be aware of or not.
I guess that I just want to help the nipple, etc... to last forever & ever. :D

May 23, 2006, 04:15 AM
I hate to bust your bubble, but they are NOT precision made anythings.

We have pipple here who have bought new pistols on which half of the caps WILL fit, half of which they will NOT fit. That is NOT precision, that is buying a bushel of nipples from 2 or 3 or 4 or 27 mfgs, all the same thread, but all different cone diameters, and cone lengths.

Scratching the damned thing will do no harm at all. It is NOT a channel for the FIRE to travel up the copper funnel and blow the thing up in your hand. Unless you are using a Carbide pick, doubtful you WILL scratch the present nipple, at least enough to make ANY kind of channel to start detonating rounds you have not even loaded yet. Like the nexty month's shooting.

Forget it. These things are not that dangerous.

They should be treated with respect, they ARE pistols, they DO put a bullet downrange at least as fast as a centerfire cartridge pistol does.

Where does the time go?

'Mouta here.



If you enjoyed reading about "Unloading a BP" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!