Do you have stuck nipple syndrome?

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In this particular case I applied Liquid Wrench in large quantities and had it soaking for a week. A couple actually came out with hand torque but the last four took a solid smack from the impact drive to release. The biggest challenge is protecting the finish while holding it solidly enough to effect the cure.
 
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I’ve turned a lot of wrenches over the years and the best prevention for seized up screw in things is to not tighten them like a gorilla. Some folks find that to be impossible and some screwy inny things have to be tightened very tightly. My small amount of experience with nipples is that a little finesse, a tiny bit of well placed lube and expert care in manipulation, takes all the worry out of getting them out the next time. It doesn’t take a lot strength. Remember, gentleness is strength controlled.
 
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Gents, I have an impact driver in my tool box. Not used often, but once in awhile something comes in that all the other tricks won't move. BP cylinders usually get "the long soak". Two weeks in solvent/ATF with a heating twice a day and then being dropped back in. Finally, a nipple wrench in the drill press (OFF!) for down pressure will remove them all. Snapped off nipples go in the mill for extraction. I make my nipple wrenchs from impact sheet metal screw drivers. Very tough and hard.
 
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I acquired an old ROA a couple of years ago. Nipples needed replacing but were pretty well stuck. I put the cylinder in a small glass jar and added Kroil up to a level that submerged the nipples. Waited a week and all came out ok. I always add some kind of grease to nipples when I replace them and have never had troubles removing those.
 
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I've had more experience with cheap wrench's that fail than stuck nipples these last 4 + decades. The light weight ones for revolvers seem the worst and "smear" the nipple slot without much effort (often damaging the nipple itself). When I had a shop I have made my own from oil quenched tool steel with tight slots. Made several for each size and cut chances of stuck nipples to near zero. Some are 40+ years old and still in use to day,
 

Notchy Bob

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We can all agree that prevention, in the form of proper maintenance, is the best way to avoid these rusted in nipples and screws. However, like the original poster, you sometimes get ahold of a gun that was abused or neglected by someone else. That's what this thread is dealing with, and it's a good discussion to have. A lot of you fellows have offered some pretty good tips!

I've been cleaning and conserving an old M1863 Springfield that had been made into a half-stocked shotgun some time after the war. Not particularly valuable on the antique market, but still a part of our heritage.

I made sure it was not loaded.

It was pretty rusty, and the nipple was frozen solid. I removed the barrel and stood it up in a bean can full of plain old kerosene. I also poured some kerosene down the bore. After about six days, I took it out and tried a regular Treso nipple wrench on it but the nipple didn't turn. I then heated the bolster with a propane torch until it was too hot to touch but didn't change color, and tried again. No joy. I puttered around on something else until it had cooled down to just warm, then heated it again as before. This time, the rusty old nipple eased right out.

Some of the internal lock screws were also resistant to removal. I soaked the entire lock in kerosene for five or six days, and all of the screws came right out. I would like to say that jobs like this can remind you what a good investment a decent set of gunsmith's screwdrivers can be.

Anyway, a kerosene soak, carefully applied heat if needed, and properly fitted wrenches and screwdrivers frequently contribute to success in this sort of endeavour. I'll try to remember some of these other techniques and potions in case my own should fail me.

Best regards,

Notchy Bob
 
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KROIL. Amazing product. Screws/bolts on farm machinery left outside for decades to the point grey lichens are present convinced me. It actually "creeps" into threads in a short time. Have not found a rusted bolt it will not eventually loosen if both are the same material (iron or steel). Smells good, too - reminds me of Hoppe's #9 sorta.
 
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Back when I was working, the anti-seize rule was that any or stud or bolt larger than 3" you used a pop sickle stick and for any bolt less than 3" you used a tooth pick. At high temp anti-seize locks up like lock tight. Less is better than more.
 

FishDFly

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Don't care how careful you are anti-seize is going to get all over you, stuff loves skin.
 
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And copper never seize is a curse upon night shift if it has been used on equipment prohibited to have copper. Cleaning and cleaning and cleaning...
🤣

About nipples, yeah, I always use never seize. No reason not to.
 

FishDFly

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In this particular case I applied Liquid Wrench in large quantities and had it soaking for a week. A couple actually came out with hand torque but the last four took a solid smack from the impact drive to release. The biggest challenge is protecting the finish while holding it solidly enough to effect the cure.

Two wood dowels will hold a cylinder while the dowels are in a vise.
 
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After 50 years shooting muzzleloaders I have found that the best anti-seize compound is to heat the nipple rub the threads with beeswax and then install it after cleaning, the nipple will be removed the next time as easy as installing it
 
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