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Rogers and Spencer misfire

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by sandy4570, Oct 11, 2019.

  1. sandy4570

    sandy4570 Member

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    My Rogers and Spencer misfire on every brand of #10&11 caps but it will goes boom with second strike . I did replaced a main spring with a thin one because the original is very thick making cocking the hammer very difficult. Would this be the case of light hammer strike? How can I remedy this without putting the original main spring back on ? Will high quality nipples from Tracks of the Wolf will help?
     
  2. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    Maybe the nipple is a little to fat at the bottom.
     
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  3. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    The R&S main spring is a bear. I would suggest poor nipple fit. The full power spring overcomes it while with the lighter strike of the more pleasant spring, the first strike seats the cap, the second one ignites it.

    Three options:

    The first is super cheap and easy. You want a small 1/4" dowel about the length of half your index finger. Seat the cap with your fingers or capping tool. Then sort of gently but firmly (not a great explanation) but slowly push the cap down with the wooden dowel to get it fully seated.

    The second is replace your nipples with Slix-Shots.

    The third is replace the main spring with the original.

    Options one and three are pretty cost effective ;-)

    If none of those work for you, send it to me and I will rid you of the annoying beast free of charge.
     
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  4. Malachi Leviticus Blue

    Malachi Leviticus Blue Member

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    The most likely culprit (as already eluded to) is poor fit of the caps on the nipples, aka cones.
    I've seen this so many times I can't even count them.
    The nipples are cone shaped, and as such there is a point on the cone where the OD of the cone is the same as the ID of the cap and the cap doesn't want to go on much farther than that.
    Once the cap gets to that point the face of the cap is supposed to be at the tip of the cone and also held on tight to the nipple.
    If there is a gap there, the first hammer strike drives the face of the cap down to the nipple but often doesn't ignite the cap.
    Subsequent strikes are far more likely to ignite the cap since the cap is now in an improved position.
    If this is the problem, which is quite likely, replacing the caps with aftermarket caps and utilizing the size and brand of caps recommended by the nipple manufacture will fix it.
    Slix-Shots referred to above are well regarded and a fine choice, but I would fix the nipples you have first before spending the money on a set of new nipples if was me.
    I've done the following to several sets of nipples because I enjoy fixing more than spending money and waiting for the Mail Man.
    Secure the nipple in a drill chuck and using some emery cloth, turn down the nipple until its the correct size.
    It likely wont take much, so check your fit as you go.
    If you'd prefer to spend a few bucks than spend a half hour or so working on the revolver, buy some new nipples, and make sure you have the brand and size caps the nipples are designed for.
    FYI, every brand of caps are a bit different in length and diameter so only one will be a perfect fit.
    Several may work but one will be the best.
     
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  5. whughett

    whughett Member

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    I have two of those jewels, neither ever ever misfire. Put the original main spring back in. Surely your man sized thumb can over come the spring pressure.

    Next to the ROA the R&S’s are the battle tanks of the cap gun world. Like the ROA my only problem is making sure the cross pin holding the loading lever is in the right position. :(
     
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  6. skeeterfogger

    skeeterfogger Member

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    Go for If. I put a block on mine to weaken the hammer strike and cocking pressure for quick draw reenactments and it has never misfired.
     
  7. whughett

    whughett Member

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    As to nipple, cap and hammer strike relationships. I spent considerable money on a Uberti Carbine, then more money on fancy after market nipples because it took two hammer strikes to fire. Yes short dowel rod and pushed the caps on, even the old Keith method of using the hammer to seat the caps, gingerly and pointed down range. CCI, Remingtons both sizes, It all helps but it still takes two hammer strikes on occasion. The gun needs a stronger main spring, and util I locate one I just recock and fire as needed. Of course my shooting is all casual, no ones firing back and no ones timing.
     
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  8. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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    OP, If revolver ignition is fine with the original mainspring and CCI and Remington caps (particularly #11 size squeezed a bit oval shaped for a more snug fit) then the problem must be the mainspring. I would think that you need a mainspring with medium tension rather than heavy or light.
    If this is unobtainable, then the only solution that I can see is to carefully reduce the thickness of the back of the factory spring using various grades of emery cloth wrapped around a file. It's a slow cut and try process and you have to repeatedly replace and remove the spring in the gun to test it. It's a ticklish procedure. If you go too far, then you are back to square one. This has worked in both of my Remingtons, but these have simple slightly curved springs and you can dial the tension in with the tension screw. The R & S spring is more complex in shape and there is no tensioning adjustment. Also, I don't know how difficult the spring is to remove and replace.

    If seating the caps with a dowel or using Slix-Shot nipples works with the light mainspring then of course you are good to go.
     
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  9. Stormson

    Stormson Member

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    Poor fit of caps... Or poor USE??

    When I was very early in the BP I used to be scared to DEATH about pushing the cap down on a loaded cylinder. To the point that I actually loaded the caps FIRST and then the cylinder.. a HUGE no,no, but thats how frightened I was of the cap.

    Point the thing in a safe direction ( I am still RESPECTFUL of caps, just not afraid) and really PUSH the thing down with a piece wooden dowel, Dont Hercules it or anything, but really push it down.

    The fact that your hammer is pushing them down enough on the first strike and finally making them close/tight enough to actually fire on the second is the give away... Make sure they fit good, then seat them WELL... Not OVER hard, but right..
     
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  10. Malachi Leviticus Blue

    Malachi Leviticus Blue Member

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    This is good advice.

    In person we likely would know if the caps were being seated firmly enough.
    On the internet, we really can't tell, and shouldn't assume they are since the OP is having a problem.
    Some force is required when seating the caps for a perfect fit that will ignite when struck but wont fall off beforehand.
     
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  11. falmike

    falmike Member

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    Lots of good advice here, really enjoy mine!
     
  12. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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    This could be the problem, but the OP says that with his light mainspring, and even with all types of #11 caps, he gets misfires. As most know, CCI #11 caps will stay put on nipples where a Remington #10 fits snugly, but only if you pinch them a bit oval shaped. However, it's just the edge of the cap that is gripping the nipple and it takes very, very little pressure for the hammer to fully seat them, even if you don't seat them with a dowel.
    So, I would think that these at least should have fired reliably on the first strike, if it was just an issue of the hammer striking force being reduced by having to fully seat the cap on the first strike.
    I use CCI #11 caps pretty much exclusively right now, and as I mentioned, my Pietta Remington (which is supposed to use Remington #10 caps) has a lightened mainspring that I reduced in thickness with emery cloth. I am getting pretty much 100% reliable ignition ( so far) and I don't bother to use the dowel to seat them.
    Without being able to try the OP's R & S in person, I don't know how much pressure his lightened mainspring has compared to mine.
    But, I suspect it's less, and this may be the problem.
     
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  13. 45 Dragoon

    45 Dragoon Member

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    The real culprit is the cam/bolt relationship. Too tall a cam, too thick of a bolt arm. Is the hammer roll free? "Cheek squeeze (check by loosening hammer screw)"?!
    Is there too much cyl. end shake? Does the hammer face contact the nipple.

    These are the reasons why a particular spring may work in one revolver but not another . . . even a consecutive numbered pair. Most folks blame the spring when it may actually be more than adequate. These are " factory " offerings designed only to sell . . . not to function to a high degree.

    Mike
     
  14. Stormson

    Stormson Member

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    I would still try it if I was him.. Its exactly what I was going through until I realized that the caps wernt so touchy as I thought. Once I did start pushing them down harder, I could actually see the difference between what I thought was down before, and what they where after really pushing. It was almost like they had two positions.. One where it seemed tight at first, then when pushed with the dowel it would almost "snap" into place all the way down... I guess I was only pushing to where they first seemed tight.

    Every single cap would do what OP described before.. after I started using the dowel I had very few problems... They also stayed on better. Heck its worth a "shot" LoL
     
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  15. skeeterfogger

    skeeterfogger Member

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    Have to go with something not allowing full strike of the hammer. I block the spring to half pressure on my R&S for fast draw reenactments and it fired every time. Been shooting bp for 45 years and never had to use anything other than thumb pressure to seat primers.
    Is his R&S his originally or new to him.?
    If new to him perhaps it has been dry fired too much. May be the nipples were replaced with tad short of original.
    What does hammer face look like? Could be deformed.
    All other issue items too. Cylinder slop. Over torqued hammer screw.
    Does hammer contact the frame somehow before full travel? Cylinder slop and or short nipples could cause it.
    Pretty sure primers themselves are not an issue. I've used all brands and they are reliable.
     
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  16. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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    On my Remington, which has never been dry fired, and has the original nipples, the hammer makes full contact with the frame and does not touch the nipples without caps in place, although it comes very close. I believe that this is by design, to protect the nipples from damage, and that the the R & S must be the same. Obviously, that minute gap had to be carefully set up by the manufacturer, and must not increase in order for reliable ignition. On my gun ignition is very reliable, even with a lightened mainspring.
    As you say, the correct length nipples, minimal cylinder end play, and a flat and well-shaped hammer face is crucial for proper ignition.

    If the hammer fall is being weakened by the cylinder bolt spring leg and the cam on the hammer, I would think that this would be easy to check. Just lower the hammer and feel how much it drags when it passes the bolt spring leg. It should have very little effect. Also, removing the mainspring and cocking and lowering the hammer without it should tell you if there is any significant drag on the hammer for any reason.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
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  17. 45 Dragoon

    45 Dragoon Member

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    It is in fact easy to check the resistance of the bolt arm tension. I set competition open top revolvers up to allow the bolt to reset with just the weight of the hammer alone . . . unassisted. That allows almost all of the power of the mainspring to be used just for ignition. The tension of the hand spring deminishes as the hand retracts ( by design) so that it's influence is "least" at ignition. This arrangement allows a 4 lb. hammer draw to deliver plenty of force to a cap for reliability but gives the shooter a much easier functioning S.A.

    Mike
     
  18. TheOutlawKid

    TheOutlawKid Member

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    Speaking of springs... Mr.45 Dragoon/Mike, did you get my pictures i sent you in the private message...its the pics i told you id send after we got off the phone a few days back
     
  19. 45 Dragoon

    45 Dragoon Member

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    Outlaw, I did, good job! (thought you were going to call back). It's pretty much like what I first called a "Rented Mule" service. I used the trigger side of the combination spring to power the trigger (conventionally), but I cut the bolt side shorter and shaped it to capture the stationary end of the coil bolt spring. I later decided to go ahead and coil spring the trigger as well which lead me to need a new name for the action. That's when it became the "Outlaw Mule" (rented Mule turned "Outlaw" = meaner/tougher Mule!!). Now the Rented Mule is a tuned flat spring setup and the Outlaw Mule is my coil sprung action.

    Mike
     
  20. TheOutlawKid

    TheOutlawKid Member

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    Thank you sir! Your approval and feedback means a lot, i did this blind....it was my first attempt at tuning a gun and making springs etc. I had never held a pistol before and got this cap and ball gun...a week later i broke the bolt spring and this is what i came up with as a fix....so tinkering and "gunsmithing" is a new thing for me...but your comment really made me feel as if i did something right. Thank you sir!
     
  21. 45 Dragoon

    45 Dragoon Member

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    You are more than welcome and hey, I'm just passing along what was passed along to me. Now you need to dig into "tuning" a S.A. because custom springs just "enhance" what type of tune the revolver is in. The factory springs often hide/cover-up problems. It's good when folks are willing to learn about this particular field

    Mike
     
  22. Stormson

    Stormson Member

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    But if its not meeting the cap or not meeting it hard enough on the first strike then why would it regularly set them off on the second? The cap would have been shoved forward even further from the hammer by then or at the very least, if already seated as far as it can go, be exactly where it was on the first strike... Im still thinking they arnt being seated firmly enough..
     
  23. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    Why not shim the nipples?
    A small circle of flattened wire wrapped around the threaded nipple base may provide the extra height needed to provide a more positive cap hit.
    After all, if the original mainspring worked with the same unadulterated nipples, then the nipples cones would seem to be okay.
    That might be worth a try and doesn't cost anything, even if you only try it with one nipple to see if there's any improvement.

    Take a piece of thin wire, wrap it around the base of the nipple to form a circle, then remove it and flatten it with a hammer.
    Then place it back on the nipple and tighten the nipple to raise its height by a very small amount.
    Cap it and then function test.

    Edit: I suppose that you could also simply back out a nipple 1/2 turn or so which would also raise the cone by a small amount.
    Then adjust the nipple height as necessary while function testing.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
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  24. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    Too light a mainspring, aka hammer spring, has a history of causing light strikes in a variety of guns. I don't believe changing nipples will solve it if the hammer lacks the ummph to do its job. Is there a mainspring, or several, somewhere between the original and the one you changed to? If so, I'd say try it, but you might try several before you find the right combination of reliable ignition and ease of cocking.

    You're talking about difficulty cocking a hammer on a C&B revolver... I haven't seen this problem, but then I haven't dealt with a Rogers&Spencer either. I think I'd be somewhere between swapping mainsprings and trying to build up hand strength.

    Adding here that I typed the first two paragraphs before reading everybody else's comments. There are YouTube videos on this that will corroborate some diagnoses... check out Blackie at Shaman's Forge as he has several videos, with a variety of C&B revolvers, explaining the relationships of cap/cone/hammer and other things.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
  25. 45 Dragoon

    45 Dragoon Member

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    Mustanger98, maybe building cap guns for competition shooters with arthritic thumbs might make one think that there are many other reasons why a cap gun won't fire without a hammer draw of 7, 8 or 9 lbs. I've proven many times that a 4 lb. or lighter hammer draw is more than enough to reliably fire a S.A. revolver (several of my guns have won state championships). Hopefully, you won't experience arthritis in your life but many do and they enjoy their shooting just as much as the youngsters! Cycling an 8lb hammer 5 times means that thumb moved 40 lbs. while a 4 lb hammer is just requires 20 lbs. . . . shoot all day and it adds up quickly.
    Likewise, it's hard to fan (I mean really "fan" a S.A. with an 8 lb hammer!) or "slip-thumb" (a competition technique using the off-hand thumb to cock the hammer). I know these aren't typical shooting styles for most folks but it's the "proof in the pudding" that it's not just the mainspring that matters! Like I put in my last post, heavy mainsprings are mostly covering up a poor, over sprung action. A finely tuned cap gun S.A. can run head to head with any finely tuned cartridge S.A.
    Pretty much all the suggestions mentioned above have merit and a hammer has to crush a cap. The least one I would choose is a heavier mainspring.

    Mike
     
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