cap and ball misfire protocol wanted.


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birdshot8's
January 25, 2011, 01:17 AM
now that i have assembled the components to start shooting my new ROA, i have a question concerning misfires. i have read the remington caps are unreliable and unfortunately i bought remington caps before researching.
what is protocol for a misfire with cap and ball? I am wondering if the powder's ignition could be delayed enough that it would ignite after i have rotated the cylinder to fire the next cylinder. i have read the owners manual.
also i was wondering if i could make my own felt wads from an old cowboy hat. if so what grease would work to soak the felt. I have a good supply of bacon grease.

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Oyeboten
January 25, 2011, 01:35 AM
I have used nothing but Remington Caps, and, I have not has one mis-fire/non-fire I can recall.


If I were to have a non-fire, I would do a liesured count-to-ten, keeping the Revolver roughly on Target, and, then, go to the next Shot...and, once the non-fire comes round again, see if it will fire then.


What is usually most important, is that the the Nipple passage is clean, and, that the Caps fit the Nipples correctly, and, are not soo small or overly tight where, not going on all the way, it will either cause the Cylinder to bind at the rear, or, cause non-fires when the Hammer strikes them, needing to be struck again to both be finally seated far enough, and, to finally go off.

Get right size Caps to begin with, make sure of their fit, and, I doubt you will have any mis-fires or non-fires.

BCRider
January 25, 2011, 05:21 AM
In shooting my own C&B guns in CAS meets I've found that my primer failures take one of two forms. The first is that the hammer falls and there's a click with no BANG! If it's just a click I wait for a second or so and then move on and come back around to that primer again. It seems to be a case where the primer bumps off the nipple a little from a previous shot and the first hit of the hammer just re-seats it and the second strike then sets it off.

The other failure to fire occurs when I get a muted POP-sizzle sort of sound of the primer going off but without setting off the main charge. This is where I count slowly to 10 while sighing because I know that my time for that stage will suffer both for the time as well as the missed hit due to not throwing the ball out. But it's just for fun and I sure don't want to be indexing the cylinder when the main charge decides to go off. With these half the time I'll set a second cap in place and it'll fire just fine. Or sometimes I'll just remove the expended cap and pick the nipple hole and re-cap it at the next stage loading.

Noz
January 25, 2011, 10:14 AM
There is no truth to information about poor Remington caps. As in all ammunition you should inspect the components before using. There will be an occasional cap that has lost its charge. It is obvious that the charge is missing. This occurs with all brands.
I would not attempt to shoot a cowboy match with anything other than #10 Remington caps for my 1860 Armys.
An unfired cap and a fired cap that does not ignite the main charge are treated the same way, as a misfire. You can wait for 10 seconds or simply continue the sequence. Squibs are not a factor as the percussion cap does not have enough force to push a round ball into the barrel.
I've shot a lot of SASS shoots with cap and ball and seen a lot shot. I have never seen a hang fire.

birdshot8's
January 25, 2011, 10:14 AM
thanks Oyeboten and BCRider, my only previous experience with black powder involved blackcats, which ocassionaly had very delayed reports.
i also found the sticky with all of the BP info. i think i am ready to start shooting.

Fingers McGee
January 25, 2011, 12:24 PM
+1 to what Noz said.

higene
January 25, 2011, 03:06 PM
I have wondered if there is any chance of a cylinder not being charged and the cap lodging the ball in the barrel. Then proceeding without checking the bore causing a serious problem.

:confused:

junkman_01
January 25, 2011, 04:59 PM
Noz wrote:
Squibs are not a factor as the percussion cap does not have enough force to push a round ball into the barrel.


You can either believe him or try it for yourself.

higene
January 25, 2011, 06:42 PM
Noz

Thanx, I missed that.

:rolleyes:

Packman
January 25, 2011, 07:01 PM
Only misfires I've ever had were due to the caps falling off the nipples. Once I started squeezing the caps into an oval shape, I don't have any more problems with this.

I shoot Remington caps as much as I can. #11 fit my guns best. I've tried the Winchester caps, but I found that they tend to stick to the nipples after firing, and they're a pain to remove. Remingtons tend to drop clear. I did have one drop into the action one time, but I think it was my fault, not the guns.

Tallship
January 25, 2011, 08:31 PM
Only actual misfires I've ever had (where the cap goes off and the powder fails to ignite) is when I tried to use lube pills with pellets. :banghead:

351 WINCHESTER
January 25, 2011, 08:48 PM
The newer Remington caps are first rate. My roa prefers #10's. I had an older friend that had problems with earlier (not sure when they were made) caps as the green precussion mixture was missing in some of them. He called Remington and they gave him the impression that they couldn't have cared less.

ontarget
January 25, 2011, 09:30 PM
Remington or CCI, they have both treated me well, no problems that weren't self inflicted. As for miss fires, I follow the 10 second rule.

Hellgate
January 26, 2011, 01:05 AM
When shooting in a CAS match if the hammer goes "clunk" on a live cap I just aim at that target again with the next chamber cock & fire. After 4 shots I go to half cock, rotate the cylinder to where the shiny cap is under the hammer and full cock and shoot. If during a match i get a POP and no BOOM I move onto the next target after about a 2 second pause and chalk it up as a miss. I will hold the gun down range after a pop but in a second or two will cock and engage the next target. However I WILL lay the gun down on a prop rather than reholster it. If a chamber were to hangfire there would not be a problem if it did so with the chamber in battery or clear of the barrel. A big problem would be if it went off with the chamber half lined up with the bore.

Noz
January 26, 2011, 10:15 AM
If you have to pinch your caps, you are using the wrong size.

bushrod2
January 27, 2011, 06:50 AM
Yes follow the 10 second rule. As far as homemade wads go, I cut up an old 100% natural wool coat into large patches about 12"x12". Soak in melted Beeswax-crisco for a few minuites until it won't absorb any more. Remove with tongs to a piece of aluminum foil, lay flat to cool and harden. Punch out on a nylon cutting board for thousands of practically FREE wads. I keep mine in plastic containers with a little fine cornmeal added to keep them seperated. Have fun making them and save lots of $$$$

Chasing Crow
January 28, 2011, 07:03 PM
I believe range protocol calls for keeping the muzzle down range for at least 30 seconds.

junkman_01
January 28, 2011, 07:17 PM
My range has no such protocol. But 10 seconds is the protocol I'm familiar with.

Chasing Crow
January 28, 2011, 08:44 PM
Actually the NRA calls for at least 1 minute and I have seen several manuals which also call for 1 minute.

junkman_01
January 28, 2011, 09:51 PM
Actually, the NRA doesn't call for any time period at all.

Here is the rule from their Muzzleloading rule book...

10.9 Clearing Misfires -The Range Officer must be notified immediately and before the clearing, “breaching” or “pulling” of a bore, barrel, projectile or charge may be attempted. Extreme caution must be used, including
reasonable care to inform, but not disturb, neighboring shooters during the clearing of misfires. All clearing of misfires must be performed in such a manner that there is no danger to persons or property. Use of a CO2
discharger is permitted.

arcticap
January 29, 2011, 06:43 AM
Actually, the NRA doesn't call for any time period at all.

Here is the rule from their Muzzleloading rule book...

10.9 Clearing Misfires

The clearing of a misfire is not the same as the time needed for a "hangfire" to clearly become a "misfire".

The 10 second rule is a gun safety range rule that applies to pistol cartridges. In this case it was developed in cooperation by the NRA and the Police Explorers according to this source.

http://www.learning-for-life.org/exploring/lawenforcement/policy/p-pistol.html

Explorer Handgun Shooting—Range Operation Outline

Developed in cooperation with the National Rifle Association of America, Washington, D.C.

13. In case of a misfire with a firearm (not air gun), keep the pistol pointed downrange at least 10 seconds, call out "hang-fire," and keep the firearm pointed downrange before opening the action. This is necessary should a hang-fire occur. (A hang-fire is a delayed firing of a cartridge.)

However it's believed that a hangfire can develop much more slowly in muzzle loading firearms which leads to the recommendation to wait as long as one minute before treating the hangfire as a misfire.
According to page 3 of the Investarms Manual:

http://www.investarm.it/media/pdf/manuale_avancarica_uk.pdf

13) If the gun misfires, keep the muzzle pointed
down reange for at least a minute before attempting
to reprime it. There is always the chance
a spark is smoldering in the powder charge and
the gun could fire at any second.

The TC Arms System 1 instruction manual warns of a similar one minute hang fire waiting period in big red letters on page 19:

http://www.tcarms.com/assets/manuals/noncurrent/System1_Muzzleloader_Manual.pdf

WARNING

Pyrodex, while cleaner burning, is somewhat harder to ignite than
Black Powder. If while shooting, you should experience a misfire, hold
the firearm downrange and treat the firearm as if it could go off at any
minute - it might. After waiting at least one minute, clean out the nipple
port or flashhole using your nipple pick. Replace the priming
charge(flint lock) or percussion cap (or primer) and try firing the rifle
again. Continue to point the firearm downrange while clearing ignition
ports and repriming to prevent injury in the event of a discharge. If,
after several tries, the firearm still refuses to fire, then the charge must
be deactivated and pulled (See section on “Pulling a Charge”).
FAILURE TO FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS MAY CAUSE
DAMAGE TO THE FIREARM AND INJURY AND/OR DEATH TO
THE SHOOTER OR BYSTANDERS AND DAMAGE TO PROPERTY

Carl N. Brown
January 29, 2011, 07:29 AM
To prevent cap misfires I have learned to make sure the nipples are clear (you can see daylight through the nipples) before charging, and that the nipples are degreased before capping, and that the caps fit well (either #11 pinched for a press fit or #10 for small nipples that need 'em) and are fully seated.

Tallship:Only actual misfires I've ever had (where the cap goes off and the powder fails to ignite) is when I tried to use lube pills with pellets.

That's a lube+powder misfire.

I had had good results after chambering the ball filling the chamber with crisco+beeswax mix or just crisco. But it was messy, so before one match I thought I would try the lubricated over-powder felt wads. The lube from the felt wads contaminated the powder, resulting in reduced report and recoil and a flaming wad stuck to the ball headed toward the target. I actually fired six shots at a target at twenty-five yards and had more than six holes (but no quite twelve) apparently because the flaming wads were seperating from the bullets just before reaching the target: the round ball holes were ragged, but the wads made holes in the paper with sharp round edges.

These shots were not misfires so much, so no misfire protocol was invoked, but it was at a match with several competitors as witnesses to my pyrotechnic display of poofs and flaming wads headed down range. I learned to test new components or loading ideas with a trip to the range before a match.

junkman_01
January 29, 2011, 08:22 AM
Articap,

If you are shooting a match under NRA rules, then the approriate NRA rule book governs.

Foto Joe
January 29, 2011, 12:10 PM
I have never seen a hang fire.

Wait for it...litterally!!

I've never had a serious hang fire in a pistol, let's say more than just a split second and those were in the days before I stopped using Pyrodex.

I DID get a 15 second hand fire in a rifle that belonged to a friend, who had also loaded it. Let's just say that 80+gr of 2f that hang fires on you will get your attention. I was getting tired of holding target after the pop and had just started to lower the gun when it went off. It came back an whacked me pretty good in the shoulder.

So yes, if you get a pop but no boom, don't get in a hurry.

Noz
January 29, 2011, 12:25 PM
Talk to the cowboy shooters. They shoot lots more than the rest of the black powder disciplines.
A regular home club match will normally require 50 pistol shots, 50 rifle shots and 20-26 shotgun shots, all at the highest speed you can generate.
Most of the at least semi-serious shooters will do that at least 3 times a month. Some of us even practice.

arcticap
January 29, 2011, 02:18 PM
Articap,
If you are shooting a match under NRA rules, then the approriate NRA rule book governs.

That's true and private shooting organizations, clubs and leagues are free to develop their own rules. But the OP didn't ask about shooting in sanctioned matches as much as he wanted general information about the possibility of a hangfire with a cap & ball pistol.

what is protocol for a misfire with cap and ball? I am wondering if the powder's ignition could be delayed enough that it would ignite after i have rotated the cylinder to fire the next cylinder. i have read the owners manual.


At least the NRA recognizes the potential for hangfire and developed the 10 second rule for general range safety as cited.
TC & Lyman promotes awareness of a longer hangfire waiting period for general muzzle loading safety, probably because of the greater potential for BP guns to develop fouling that can affect their ignition system.

rocky branch
January 29, 2011, 03:06 PM
I had a misfire with a Walker yesterday.
Protpcol in the military was to announce "Misfire! Wait 30 seconds!"
Lay down the piece or continue pointing downrange.
I shoot a lot of surplus ammo as well.

I still follow the old rules.

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