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Author Topic: Test Fired Old and New  (Read 355 times)

Offline Jamesk58

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Test Fired Old and New
« on: July 03, 2015, 05:14:24 PM »
Finally I was able to take my 3 antique pistols and a new Pietta 1851 Navy out for a test fire.  I charged all the muzzle loaders the same with roughly 50 gr of BP and the calibers range from 64-70. Even after careful measurement of the bores and helpful advise through Track, the ball/wad combo just seemed a bit too tight on two of the pistols.  I really didn't want to force the ball down that hard so I packed the lubed wad on top instead of between ball and powder.

The Spanish Migulet was first and did just fine. I believe that one flashed once w/o fire but after a fresh pinch of powder it touched off nicely.  My only complaint is that the grip is very short with the lock and spring stationed just on the inside of my index finger.  Couldn't really find a comfortable way to hold it and ended-up getting a nice bloody cut.  It may be a good thing as it will teach me to shoot it left-handed-  :laffing .

2nd was the Belgian percussion and there were no issues with that one.  It's 70 cal and I recently modified the nipple to take a #11 and everything worked swell.  Fun to shoot!

3rd was the British Tower pistol and the charge ended up getting fouled I believe from too much oil and lube from my earlier restoration efforts.  Sooo glad I bought and brought a ball puller.  I had a bad feeling I would need it and sure did.  Thought I had that chamber clean and dry but guess not.  Made sure it was fully cleaned and dry when I got home and will give it another whirl before long.

Finally tried out the Pietta 1851 I bought almost 3 months ago from Dixie.  2 complaints about the nipple and cap interaction. 1st, the opening on the frame that gives you access to the nipple is quite small and shallow.  I don't have particularly large hands but you need little alien fingers to place the #10 cap on the nipple PLUS no matter how hard you push down, it won't seat all the way.  Even with a capper I don't think you can press the cap down far enough for it to fire.  Twice the gun "dry-fired" all the way around the cylinder and then the next time around the caps went and fired the cylinders.  It took the hammer to push the caps down flush to the nipples in order for them to ignite.

I know there are plenty of aftermarket nipples available and not sure which may be best or if changing the nipples is the right move.  Any suggestions on that would be appreciated.

Anyway, good fun and learned a bit too.  I'll head back soon.

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Re: Test Fired Old and New
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2015, 07:45:05 PM »
Sounds like fun!!!!!!!  :rt th
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Offline Jamesk58

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Re: Test Fired Old and New
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2015, 11:02:01 PM »
Yeah, that does sound like a simple solution.
Thanks!

Offline Roaddog

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Re: Test Fired Old and New
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2015, 07:20:29 AM »
You have a nice brase of pistols there sir.Thanks for sharing with us. :rt th
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Offline hawkthrower

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Re: Test Fired Old and New
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2015, 08:10:10 AM »
Measure the nipples with a caliper. They may be for #11 caps!
I have several revolvers (an 1858 or two in the group) that will take #11's......handy in the field not to have to carry both.... :)
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One must study to know, know to understand, understand to judge."
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Offline Jamesk58

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Re: Test Fired Old and New
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2015, 05:36:28 PM »
Hawkthrower- you are so right, the 1851 does take #11s and it's in the Dixie description.  Don't know why I was thinking 10s but you got me straightened out.
It will be interesting to see how they do after discharge because the spent 10s almost always got stuck between the cylinder and frame- which I read about from others.

One more thing I forgot to mention on this pistol is the mainspring screw in the grip frame is hopelessly frozen.  I snapped a brand new Grace driver made specifically for that screw.  Grace was nice enough to replace it but I know it will happen again.

I've soaked it in penetrating oil, heated it, tapped it, and it won't budge. Maybe put in the freezer? I don't know but sooner or later it's gotta be removed.

Offline greyhunter

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Re: Test Fired Old and New
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2015, 09:07:05 PM »
Stuck screw, PB Blaster. I've found to be better than Kroil or Liquid Wrench. Set fitted screwdriver into slot and tap the end to shock the PB Blaster in to threads. Good Luck.
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Offline Jamesk58

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Re: Test Fired Old and New
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2015, 09:47:36 AM »
Thanks Greyhunter, I'll give it a shot!

Offline hawkthrower

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Re: Test Fired Old and New
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2015, 11:30:55 PM »
If all else fails with a standard screwdriver, and the screw head is still intact - try a T-handle - I use a 1/4 drive Snap-on T-handle an appropriate extension and the correct 1/4in bit - Apply a twist with one hand  and smack the T with a brass mallet (judiciously)!  Along with your application of a penetrating oil and perhaps a bit o carefully applied heat.........The brass on steel will transfer more shock to free the threads than smacking a plastic screwdriver and the T will transfer more torque  on the screw head with less slippage..... :)  :)
"Never utter these words! 'I do not know this—therefore it is false.'
One must study to know, know to understand, understand to judge."
The apothegm of Narada,
an ancient east Indian philosopher