Frozen Nipples


January 12, 2013, 11:34 PM
No not those kind :o the ones on a new 1858 Remington. They will not budge. Nada a bit. Will penetrating oil such as PB Blast do the trick?

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44 Dave
January 12, 2013, 11:46 PM
I like PB Blast, but don't be in a hurry. A bit of heat like from a propane torch, till it sizzles helps to cook the stuff in.
Just got a screw out of a nipple drum on a Hawken this way.

January 12, 2013, 11:55 PM
Okay, I don't know if I'm the only one here. But when you said "frozen nipples" the first thing that came to mind was the blackpowder kind, not the fleshy kind. :D

I'd soak the cylinder in WD-40, they should come out just fine. :)

Fingers McGee
January 13, 2013, 12:08 AM
Kroil or PB blaster has always worked for me

I've heard - although not confirmed - that standing the cylinder nipple side down in a pan of water & boiling it for 20 minutes or so will loosen the most difficult nipple. Next time I buy a C&B with stuck nipples I'm gonna try it.


January 13, 2013, 07:38 AM
I had an older 1860 Army that hadn't been fired in probably 10 years, and the nipples were absolutely fused to the cylinder. I used wooden toothpicks to plug the flash holes, then filled each chamber with PB Blaster, and left it sitting, chamber mouth up, on my workbench for a few days. A GOOD nipple wrench was all it took after that.

January 13, 2013, 08:15 AM
Okay, I don't know if I'm the only one here. But when you said "frozen nipples" the first thing that came to mind was the blackpowder kind, not the fleshy kind.

I was thinkin' A} Wear a coat or B) Move to Texas....:D

Kroil is some good stuff. Soak the whole cylinder in it overnight. I have a gallon can of it I dip my reels in after fishing, especially salt water, let 'em soak. Never a problem. I've broken loose some real rusty stuff with it. Once out, grease before reinstalling.

January 13, 2013, 08:20 AM
I used yea olde "Liquid Wrench" over night on a Coltish cylinder to free up a set.

My first thought was that I am glad I live in Florida.....


January 13, 2013, 10:16 AM

Try, in this order:

1) heat from propane torch (not a lot - just enough to sizzle water)

2) WD-40

3) Liquid Wrench

4) Kroil

5) a 50/50 mixture of acetone and automatic transmission fluid

6) Place two wooden dowel rods in opposite chambers, then chuck the rods up tight in a vise. Put the vice on your drill press table. Unplug the drill press. Find or make (with a Dremel) a socket that will fit the nipple. Put the socket on an extension rod and tighten the rod up in the drill press chuck. Lower the socket down onto the nipple and lock it in place. Wrap both hands around the drill press head and turn it.

January 13, 2013, 12:38 PM
I have the back of the cylinder and the nipples soaking in PB Blast. I'll see what happens after soaking for a few days.

January 13, 2013, 12:59 PM
I tried it all, and even turned the cylinder over to an old gentleman that helped to run The Log Cabin Store for many years hoping that I could pay someone to get two stuck nipples removed.
He spent half an hour and handed it back.No joy.
The old fellow did sell me a really short nipple wrench that had six-sided wrench flats and a sliding T-bar on it. He told me to boil the cylinder it also.
The ONLY thing that worked was to put that stuuby wrench on the offending nipples and cover the rest of the cylinder with scraps of wood to protect it.
Then beat that wrench top with a hammer. Nipples came right out.

January 13, 2013, 03:45 PM
Good fitting nipple wrench & a few drops from both end of Oil of Wintergreen.

January 13, 2013, 04:28 PM
I'm with mykeal's #3, #4, & #5. The 50/50 acetone ATF is the best, next best Kroil, next WD-40.

January 13, 2013, 05:21 PM
Here is an excerpt from 2010 that might help you...

I took the cylinder into my little shop and dug around in my BP range box and found another nipple wrench. It's of much higher quality...heat treated steel...and fit better. I normally don't use WD40 on my guns but figured I would try it so sprayed some around the 4 frozen nipples and applied judicous heat from a propane torch...just enough to make the cylinder a little hotter than too hot to touch. Taking the T-handle off the nipple wrench I put a large Visegrip pliers on the end, tapped the wrench snugly onto each nipple and with some effort was able to remove all the nipples w/o marring them or the cylinder!
I think I know what's causing this problem...looking at the nipple seats on the cylinder they are bare steel...obviously Pietta is blueing them with the nipples installed which allows blueing salts to seep down into the threads or around the seat holding them down tightly. Perhaps they are not allowing the parts to sit in the wash tanks long enough or the water displacing oil long enough to neutralize this? Just a guess on my part. The first two nipples came off was the other four that were on there like a gorilla with a breaker bar installed them!!!!!!

January 13, 2013, 08:26 PM
So who makes a better fitting nipple wrench?

January 13, 2013, 08:54 PM
The one I was using was an older CVA model but I just bought one that Articap suggested to another member sometime back, made by Rigthnour Mfg. Co. Part # ML063. I got it on could check there or do a Google search.

January 14, 2013, 01:15 AM
Kano Kroil oil for a few days

January 16, 2013, 10:12 AM
I bought a ratcheting nipple wrench from one of the on line vendors - unfortunately I don't recall who.

I think it was Ted Cash, but I googled it up and it looks like Cabelas has it too.

January 16, 2013, 11:03 AM
The water method is mentioned in one of Brownell's 'Gunsmith Kinks" does work, water doesn't even have to be hot.

January 16, 2013, 11:04 AM
Once you get them loose (you need to be patient or you will do some damage) apply some Never Seize on the threads and you will not have that problem again.

January 16, 2013, 11:27 AM
The best nipple wrench is one that is home-made. Make your own for short money.

January 16, 2013, 11:48 AM
The way I fixed mine was the dremel and socket technique. It seemed like nothing else would work.

Jim K
January 16, 2013, 12:25 PM
Here is a technique that will work on all but the most stubborn nipples and screws.

First, do the soaking job as advise above. But if that doesn't work:

Chuck a stubby nipple wrench (or screwdriver) into a drill press. Clamp or hold the work on the drill press table and bring the wrench/driver down until it is properly positioned on/in the work.


Lock the chuck down or hold it down with the handle. Turn the chuck by hand, wiggling it back and forth to break the nipple/screw free.

NOTE: This works with a good steel nipple wrench or screwdriver. A poor quality cast iron wrench or driver WILL break.


Fingers McGee
January 16, 2013, 12:31 PM
By far the best producton nipple wrench on the market today is from the Possibles Shop. I've been using one for over 20 years and it's never failed me.

Description Order No. Price
Universal Nipple Wrench 45-016 $26.95

Unfortunately, the website says out of stock right now.

Jim K
January 16, 2013, 12:42 PM
There are some good nipple wrenches on the market. But hand held wrenches and screwdrivers have a problem. When the wrench/driver is turned, it tends to try to back away from the work. And if the nipple or screw slot is rounded at all (and most are), the tendency of the tool to back away is increased.

That is where the drill press comes in. With the work on the table, the table clamped in position, the work held in a (padded) vise, and the tool held down so it can't back out, full torque can be applied.

If the nipple or screw still doesn't move, it's time to use the drill press the ordinary way, to drill out the stubborn %&#*^.


January 16, 2013, 06:18 PM
Jim K,

You don't need a padded vise. Read Post No. 8 in this thread.

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