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Unloading A Percussion Revolver

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by tpelle, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. tpelle

    tpelle Well-Known Member

    I was just poking around reading some old threads, and ran across this one discussing how to safely unload a percussion revolver (without shooting it, of course, which is my preferred method).


    Consensus was to uncap and remove the cylinder, then remove the nipples and pour as much of the powder out as possible. Finally use a brass rod (for non-sparking reasons) that would fit through the nipple hole and tap the ball out, with the cylinder front-down on a piece of wood with a hole in it to accept the ball.

    There was some concern expressed about messing up the threads in the cylinder that the nipples screw in to by contact with the rod. That got me to thinking.

    Why not use an old or surplus nipple and drill it out to just accept the brass rod? You could thread that nipple into the cylinder, and the drilled nipple would act as a guide and as a thread protector while you tapped the ball out.
  2. 44 Dave

    44 Dave Well-Known Member

    I have knocked the ball out through the nipple hole a few times.
    If there is any lube on the bullet they come out quite easily think the brass rod I used was cut from a n old toilet float rod. brass is soft enough you won't damage the threads.
  3. J-Bar

    J-Bar Well-Known Member

  4. Patocazador

    Patocazador Well-Known Member

    A brass rod thin enough to fit in that arrangement may not be strong enough to do the job without bending or breaking.
    However, you should be able to use steel if you got almost all of the powder out. Even if you set off a few grains, it should just make a flash that would scare the bejesus out of you but cause no real harm. Wear gloves and eye protection.
  5. swathdiver

    swathdiver Well-Known Member

    I knock em out that way with the powder still there. It's not a problem.
  6. mykeal

    mykeal Well-Known Member


    As in wooden dowel.

    Plenty strong enough as long as it's not 3 feet long.

    Kind of hard to imagine a brass rod would damage steel threads - if they were that soft the nipple's threads would have stripped them out.

    What is a steel rod going to spark against? Steel on steel? If it was that easy, why don't we use steel on steel fire starters?

    Bottom line: wood, brass, steel in that order, and all will work just fine.

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