How clean is clean?


Big Bore Dan
March 15, 2010, 11:29 AM
Again, I am new to Black powder shooting as far as owning one. I just bought a Uberti 3rd model Dragoon and have been preparing for a trip to the range. A few questions. Are all pistol nipple wrenches the same? I have seen nipple wrenches for the Pietta revolvers at the local Sportsmans, but no mention Of Uberti? Will any fit? Also, after a shooting session should I completely dis assemble the gun to clean it? All the way down to removal of grip frame and trigger/hammer mechanisms?

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madd trapper
March 15, 2010, 12:16 PM
Big Bore Dan, all pistol nipples are not the same. But it might work. After shooting I take my apart to clean it once I get home. I don't remove my grip frame or trigger/ hammer mechanisms. I took mine apart when I first received my dragoon before firing it to remove the oil and put anti seize on the nipples threads.

March 15, 2010, 12:38 PM
madd traper would bore butter work as an anti seize?

March 15, 2010, 01:28 PM
Bore Butter is not an anti-seize. It will not withstand combustion chamber temperatures. Look for a product labeled as an anti-seize, such as Thompson Center's Gorilla Grease.

However, until you find some on-purpose anti-seize, Bore Butter will work on a day-to-day basis. That is, after each session, be sure to remove the nipples, clean them and their threads and clean the threads in the cylinder as well. Then re-install with a fresh coat of Bore Butter.

Nipple wrenches labeled as 'for Pietta' may or may not fit a given Uberti, but then they won't fit all the different models that Pietta makes, either. Most nipple wrenches made for small revolvers will fit any make small revolver, and the same goes for nipple wrenches made for large revolvers. That's most, but not all.

Big Bore Dan
March 15, 2010, 05:44 PM
Thanks for the responses

Foto Joe
March 16, 2010, 11:02 AM
Full dis-assembly of a Colt replica is extremely straight forward, Click Here ( a YouTube tutorial on a Dragoon. One thing he doesn't do is recommend that you check the timing after re-assembly. Mine mis-timed once when I put it back together. I pulled it apart and re-assembled and never did figure out what I did wrong.

I HIGHLY recommend a thorough cleaning and inspection BEFORE you shoot it. The packing grease can and will give you fits if it's in the nipples (don't ask how I learned this).

As far as the nipple wrench and Uberti is concerned, Dragoon/Walker nipples have slightly larger shoulders than the other Colt replicas. With the cylinder out take a tube type nipple wrench (fittings on both ends), mark one end with an awl or in some way that you use the same end all the time on the Dragoon. Then tap that end onto the nipple, the wrench is soft so the ends will spread and after a few times will fit the nipple. You could also buy a nipple wrench specifically designed for Dragoon/Walker guns.

As far as after you shoot, I personally remove nipples EVERY time I clean the gun and go after them with a tooth brush and Dawn dishwashing soap. Once installed back in the cylinder I put a dollop of oil down each to try to keep the orifice from rusting closed, so far so good. I do not use anti seize on the threads as it's a moot point if they're coming out again after I shoot. Also remember when you install the nipples that you do not have to lean on the wrench too hard to tighten them, snug works good, especially if you remove them each time you clean.

Regarding drying in the oven, I've tried it, it works but...I find that I get a considerable amount of "Flash Rust" on the inside of the chambers and barrel. I personally prefer compressed air, to each is own.

Full dis-assembly of your Dragoon as far as I'm concerned is worth the time and trouble if you want to keep it in top condition. During the winter months when we're on the road in the south, I cruise the Pawn Shops etc. looking for lost BP pistols. I've seen some horror stories inside formerly beautiful guns because they weren't properly cleaned.

Have fun, and if I might impart one other bit of hard learned wisdom regarding Dragoons and Walkers. You might want to avoid shooting a Dragoon upwind, especially if you use Crisco, 'nuf said.


Big Bore Dan
March 17, 2010, 08:23 PM
Foto Joe. Great advice. I did everything you suggested, but I did use some anti sieze on the nipple threads. Everything worked great. I was suprised however to have the loading arm come down several times during shooting? Some tape fixed that though. I may do a little gunsmithing on the latch to prevent this from happening in the future. 30 grains of Pyrodex P was really very pleasant. Thanks again

March 17, 2010, 09:39 PM
You'll be a lot happier when cleaning-up, if you keep petroleum based oils away from your black powder guns.

Ballistol or 'Sportman's Gun Oil' has proven itself over the years,

It is a rather amazing product.

Jefferson Herb
March 18, 2010, 01:19 AM
For those who demand better,there is never-seize copper,which is higher temp rated.It's all I use on exhaust manifold bolts and studs on diesel engines. There is a napa brand as well.It's a bottle size so some of you in an area can split one up,unless you use it alot;it lasts me a year or two in the shop.

Foto Joe
March 18, 2010, 10:49 AM
I was suprised however to have the loading arm come down several times during shooting?

I'm also a little surprised to hear the loading lever dropped, especially with only 30gr of powder. I've loaded mine up to 50gr fffg Pyrodex and never had a lever drop.

Are you using any filler (corn meal or cream of wheat) on top of the powder to get the ball closer to the forcing cone and get decent compression on the powder? With only 30gr in a chamber that will hold 50gr you may not be getting the compression you need when you load the ball.

As you stated on another thread, space between ball and powder, not good.


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