Anyone have an old beat-up 1858 cylinder ?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by piettakid, Jul 11, 2016.

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  1. piettakid

    piettakid Member

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    If so it would be interesting if you would cap it (no powder or lead ball) and then drop it repeatedly on a concrete sidewalk and also on a gravel road to see if that causes any of the caps to fire.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016
  2. Sharpie443

    Sharpie443 Member

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    I can pretty much guarantee that they will. They come off in firing sometimes even if you crimp them. Historically they would have sealed them if they were going to be carrying the pistol for any length of time.
     
  3. Sharpie443

    Sharpie443 Member

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    O misread that as "fall off". i don't think they would go off if they hit the ground if it was flat. If there was a small rock that got in there and hit a cap it might. However that's not likely while it's on the gun.
     
  4. piettakid

    piettakid Member

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    I'm not talking about when the cylinder is in the gun. I'm concerned with dropping a capped and loaded cylinder while transferring it from belt to gun.

    Some people say that is very dangerous, other shooters say the risk is very slight.
     
  5. Sharpie443

    Sharpie443 Member

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    Well I would say it's not likely to go off. People seem to be overly worried about things like that these days but to each his own. I would say that without a berrel it's not going to get much velocity even if it did go off. I'd like to see if it's even lethal at that point. If I could find a way to crono it or fire one into ballistic gel I would give it a shot. If the round is at the top of the cylinder like it should be its just going to pop out before the vast majority of the powder is even burned.
     
  6. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    For testing purposes, you don't have to put a ball into the cylinder. Powder and a tight fitting wad would do the trick.

    As for the risk being slight, should a cylinder discharge, the ball would still be dangerous. Think of smoothbore pistols of the 18th Century.
     
  7. Sharpie443

    Sharpie443 Member

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    Smooth bore pistoles still have a berrel. I'm pritty sure the round would just pop out unless it was seated deep in the cylinder it wouldn't have enough time to gain any velocity. Certainly wouldn't want to test it on myself but my theory is it wouldn't do much. Not enough time for the powder to burn.
     
  8. Oohrah!

    Oohrah! Member

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    Sharpie, what do you mean by "they would have sealed them if they were going to be carrying the pistol for any length of time"?

    How do you do this?
     
  9. Sharpie443

    Sharpie443 Member

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    They used a hard sealing wax to waterproof and "glue" the caps. Not really something we would do at the range but back in the day when you would be riding around in the rain or marching around in the civil war it would have been critical. At least until the fighting started.
     
  10. noelf2

    noelf2 Member

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    The test would have to be done on dirt, gravel on dirt, sand, gravel on sand, concrete, gravel on concrete, asphalt.............. Too many variables to keep from getting a definitive result. Could it happen? Yes. Is it likely? No. I'm in the not worried about it camp.
     
  11. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Before ballistic gelatin, wood was used to determine penetrative power. Time to do a pine board test (pine and other woods were used to test the penetration of a projectile).
     
  12. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    Yet Sam Colt advised to use no such sealing on his revolvers. During lectures, he would load a cylinder, cap it and drop it into a pail of water. Later, he would retrieve the cylinder, install it in the revolver and proceed to fire. No sealant at either end of the cylinder.

    Nor did the US Army advocate the sealing of cylinders in any of the manuals I have been able to find.


    Kevin
     
  13. kBob

    kBob Member

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    So some one should take say a colt and remove the barrel and replace it with a hose clamp with the screw and band out of the way and shoot a cylinder with no barrel over a chrono.

    Well, someone?

    -kBob
     
  14. Sharpie443

    Sharpie443 Member

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    I was actually thinking of making a wood spacer to use with the wedge. It would make an interesting video so I might actually do it. I'll use a solid pine bored to test the legality. I already have one set up for another video i did.
     
  15. ofitg

    ofitg Member

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    It's been done - these guys measured 146 fps -

    http://www.brimstonepistoleros.com/articles/capping.html
     
  16. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    ^ I remember that page! No barrel, straight from the cylinder, 148gr ball @ 146 fps = 7 ft-lbs energy. That broke me of my desire to convert an old valueless brass frame FIE 1858* into a very snubby pepperbox. I could probably do more damage with 148gr balls from a slingshot.


    * I am glad I did not. It does have sentimental value. My stepdad bought it from me when I was desperate for money and it was returned to me after he died, with the instructions I wrote for him on loading and firing.
     
  17. Hellgate

    Hellgate Member

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  18. Tinpan58

    Tinpan58 Member

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    I can set you a cylinder I have 12 pm a note
     
  19. Oohrah!

    Oohrah! Member

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    Interesting side note. I was reading about Wyatt Earp, and according to his biographer, one of his most embarrassing incidents was his "single action revolver" falling out of his holster while at the card table. The gun discharged, the round passing through his coat and ricocheting off the ceiling.

    Best I can find, he liked to carry the S&W Model 3, a cartridge revolver.
     
  20. 44 Dave

    44 Dave Member

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    Must have loaded all 6,
     
  21. piettakid

    piettakid Member

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    Really nice the way some BP revolvers like the 1858 and the ROA have safety slots. I guess there's not enough room in a cartridge gun to do that unless you make the cylinder much thicker. Transfer bars are nice but can you trust them?
     
  22. shiftyer1

    shiftyer1 Member

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    I think you can trust a transfer bar, if you look at one you'll see why.

    If the cylinder was dropped it would have to land off center to hit a cap, it would also depend on the terrain. Rocky ground would give you the best chance to set it off i'd assume. Soft dirt no so much.
     
  23. 44-henry

    44-henry Member

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    The tests would be mostly pointless and could not be generalized for other terrains. There is always a chance a dropped cylinder could go off if it were capped, how big a chance is open for debate. Perhaps you may be willing to take the chance, but is it OK to put the other person nearby at risk for a negligent discharge that would be your doing?
     
  24. shiftyer1

    shiftyer1 Member

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    44-henry,

    The only other option I can think of is not to touch it?
     
  25. piettakid

    piettakid Member

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    Transfer bars are not perfect. If some dirt got between the hammer and the firing pin, the gun could go off if dropped. With the hammer in a safety slot on an 1858, there is no chance.
     
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