1860 Cap Rake

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Stophel

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Finished the cap rake for my Pietta 1860. This one modification should virtually eliminate "cap sucking" and caps falling back into the action, and make the gun much more reliable, and less frustrating! Cap sucking didn't seem to be a big problem 120 years ago, because the caps available then were twice as thick as what we can get today! Our caps are thinner than paper, and they tend to mash themselves into the safety notch in the hammer face, then get pulled off the cone, and can fall back into the action, which ain't fun. People have been doing cap rakes for several years now, and it's pretty much S.O.P. for cowboy action shooters and others that want a more reliable pistol

The rake itself is made from a 6-32 bolt threaded into a hole drilled into the frame. I locked the threads in with JB Weld epoxy. It ain't comin' out. The excess bolt length is cut off and it is filed down to fit into the notch in the hammer (which was deepened front-to-back to accomodate the rake). Lots of filing and fitting. Took me a few hours. You basically end up with a little tab or fin sticking up behind the nipple, with the hammer going around it.

Hopefully you can see it.

101_3231_800x600.JPG
101_3232_800x600.JPG

I just ran a cylinder full of caps (no loads. It's gettin' dark!). CCI #10 caps on the original nipples (the caps "fit"...more or less. I have good nipples coming). 6 pops, fast as I could work the hammer and trigger. Not a hitch. No caps pulled back, none stuck anywhere. Them suckers flung right out the right side, just like they're supposed to! We'll see how it does with powder and balls, hopefully tomorrow. ;)
 

Treestalker

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Finished the cap rake for my Pietta 1860. This one modification should virtually eliminate "cap sucking" and caps falling back into the action, and make the gun much more reliable, and less frustrating! Cap sucking didn't seem to be a big problem 120 years ago, because the caps available then were twice as thick as what we can get today! Our caps are thinner than paper, and they tend to mash themselves into the safety notch in the hammer face, then get pulled off the cone, and can fall back into the action, which ain't fun. People have been doing cap rakes for several years now, and it's pretty much S.O.P. for cowboy action shooters and others that want a more reliable pistol

The rake itself is made from a 6-32 bolt threaded into a hole drilled into the frame. I locked the threads in with JB Weld epoxy. It ain't comin' out. The excess bolt length is cut off and it is filed down to fit into the notch in the hammer (which was deepened front-to-back to accomodate the rake). Lots of filing and fitting. Took me a few hours. You basically end up with a little tab or fin sticking up behind the nipple, with the hammer going around it.

Hopefully you can see it.

View attachment 36513
View attachment 36514

I just ran a cylinder full of caps (no loads. It's gettin' dark!). CCI #10 caps on the original nipples (the caps "fit"...more or less. I have good nipples coming). 6 pops, fast as I could work the hammer and trigger. Not a hitch. No caps pulled back, none stuck anywhere. Them suckers flung right out the right side, just like they're supposed to! We'll see how it does with powder and balls, hopefully tomorrow. ;)
Sweet!
 

sourdough

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Very nice job on the cap rake. I prefer to leave my revolvers without it for historical purposes, but there are some workarounds.

Another theory is that "cap sucking" is caused by either light mainsprings (which cause the hammer to rebound when the powder charge is ignited) and/or too large of a nipple vent.

Here are two good videos by Mark Hubbs from Eras Gone:



Another possibility is the use of short pieces of plastic aquarium tubing around the cap to contain the spent cap on the nipple. A bit tedious, though.

I primarily shoot an ASM 1860 Army .44 and a Pietta 1851 Navy .36 (both have had the hammer face edges smoothed) and just rotate the revolver 90* to the right when cocking the hammer, and the spent caps fall out through the cap groove and not into the action.

Regards,

Jim
 

Stophel

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I have no problem with doing a modern solution to a modern problem (they had MUCH thicker caps 120 years ago, so they weren't cramming themselves into the hammer notch too much like they do today), and it's a $260 gun, not a fine $1260 perfect replica.

Before, the caps would stick themselves in the notch in my hammer face..even just popping caps, no loads. No more! (at least not so far). I shot it a little bit today. POW, POW, POW, POW, POW, POW. Fast as I could work the hammer and trigger (pretty quick). No jams, no hangups, no cap sucking, no cap sticking. No wrist twisting, no flipping the gun, no trying to shake out caps. It flung them suckers out the right side just like it's supposed to! ;) Which makes me happy. I ran through three cylinders full. 30gr of Pyrodex (man, that stuff stinks), the original Pietta nipples, CCI #10 caps (which fit.. sort of), no wads, NO grease, no lube at all except for plain old Hoppe's gun oil. I could have continued shooting for quite a while without fouling problems, I'm sure (I would never have made it through three cylinders shooting like that with my Remington! It will bind up tighter than Dick's hatband.). I have TRESO nipples coming to me, and caps to fit them, but even with less than ideal nipples and caps, it runs like a champ.

101_3236_800x600.JPG
101_3238_800x600.JPG
 

Phil Coffins

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Nice job, Shophel. I agree that having any machine work without having to fiddle around with it is the way to go. I did my 1860 and was so happy with it I did my 1862 as well.
IMG_0457 by Oliver Sudden, on Flickr
 

Stophel

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I just spent too much money and got one of the "1851 Navy .44 snubnose" revolvers from Dixie (they're high, but they had it, and I wanted it!). Should get here in the next few days, and I'm gonna do the same thing with it. ;)
 

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