Dry firing???

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by Chaco24, Feb 10, 2019.

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  1. Feb 10, 2019 #1

    Chaco24

    Chaco24

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    I have 2 Pietta 1858 New Army revolvers that I’ve recently purchased and I was curious about what kind of damage, if any, would occur from dry firing a cap and ball revolver. And no I HAVE NOT dry fired either revolver, but I have taken the cylinders out of both guns and fully cocked the hammer and pulled the trigger just to be sure they worked and I’ve placed caps on all of the nipples on both cylinders and fired them off after cleaning them.
     
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  2. Feb 10, 2019 #2

    Gene L

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    I think you'd stand a chance of battering the cones/nipples, "mushrooming" the tops. I believe it's not a good idea to drop the hammer on bare cones. I also don't think you/d be doing your hammer any favors, but I'm relatively new to C&B myself.
     
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  3. Feb 10, 2019 #3

    BeoBill

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    Someone suggested cutting pieces of plastic hose (like fish tank aerator hose) to length and slipping the pieces over the nipple cones to protect them. The pieces should be slightly longer than the cone.
     
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  4. Feb 10, 2019 #4

    Le Loup

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    Dry firing is okay, but you MUST use a cap on the nipple or place some other protective device on the nipple.
    Keith.
     
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  5. Feb 10, 2019 #5

    Eutycus

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    I can see how that would protect the nipple if the hose isnt left too long. They almost got to be the correct lenght or the hammer cant come all the way forward on its downward cycle. Another reason I dont like dry firing any revolver is the drag ring it creates around the cylinder. Normal use is probably going to create one anyway so why hurry up the process?
     
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  6. Feb 10, 2019 #6

    Chaco24

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    I read that somewhere also. I noticed after firing off a cylinder of caps on my brand spanking new 8” Pietta 1858 New Army revolver that the trigger guard screw and the trigger and bolt screw had both loosened up considerably, I’m hoping that they were already loose when I received the revolver last Thursday from FedEx.
     
  7. Feb 10, 2019 #7

    Eutycus

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    I'm hoping whoever owned my ASM didnt sit there and "Play Clint Eastwood" on this gun. And lets hope he had the sense to clean it.Thats probably one of the worries of buying a used black powder gun. How well did the previous owner care for it?
     
  8. Feb 10, 2019 #8

    hawkeye2

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    Take the cylinder, or a nipple, to the auto parts store and find some rubber vacuume tubing that is a snug fit on the nipple. Buy a foot or more, it's cheap and sold by the foot. Cut 6 pieces as long as possible to fit on the nipples and still allow the cylinder to turn and dry fire all you want without harm.
     
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  9. Feb 10, 2019 #9

    Chaco24

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    I bought the revolver brand new from Cabela’s, no previous owners.
     
  10. Feb 10, 2019 #10

    Woodnbow

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    As long as he cleaned it after firing it there’s not much that he could have done to damage the gun beyond repair. And the repair parts are relatively cheap and easily replaced. If he did “play Eastwood” about the worst that could happen would be to mushroom a nipple or a few. It’s also not a given that a ring will appear on a properly timed revolver. These arms were designed for rough use and some measure of abuse by rough men in war. Take heart gents, the guns can take it.
     
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  11. Feb 10, 2019 #11

    smoothshooter

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    Cut a foam earplug in half and insert it in the upper part of the hammer slot in the frame.
    Dry-fire to your heart's content.
    Remove earplug at end of session.

    Cheapest and easiest solution possible.
     
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  12. Feb 10, 2019 #12

    Chaco24

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    Won’t the foam piece get jammed in there some kind of way when the cylinder advances???
     
  13. Feb 10, 2019 #13

    Zonie

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    With a properly made Remington New Army revolver the face of the hammer never contacts the nipple when the gun is "fired" even if there is no cap on the nipple.

    The hammer stops on the frame of the gun, not on the nipple. There should be .005 to .015 clearance between these when the hammer is all the way down.
    This isn't as bad as it might seem. The priming compound in the cap is thicker than .015 so it does compress and fire when the hammer hits the cap.
    I measured the thickness of the priming compound on several caps a few years ago and found that it is over .030 in my CCI and my RWS Dynamit Nobel caps.

    Now, if the nipples aren't correct for the gun or they haven't been screwed all the way into the cylinder, it is possible for the hammer to hit the nipple but a little filing on the top of the cone should fix that problem.

    The open top Colts hammers also stop on the frame before the face of their hammer hits the nipple.

    What this all boils down to is, dry firing a Cap & Ball revolver should not damage the nipple or the gun (although with a brass frame gun it might cause some damage over time).
     
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  14. Feb 10, 2019 #14

    smoothshooter

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    Those nipples are about $5 apiece to replace nowadays, if I recall correctly.
     
  15. Feb 10, 2019 #15

    smoothshooter

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    Not at all if you place it in there properly. You have some leeway there.
     
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  16. Feb 10, 2019 #16

    smoothshooter

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    When the hammer falls it just makes a soft sounding " plop " noise.
     
  17. Feb 10, 2019 #17

    Rat

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    They were loose. But do keep in mind that the various screws on a single action do "tend" to loosen when being fired, (with powder and ball, or cartridges) and part of the cleaning process is checking all the external screws for tightness. But not over-tightness.
     
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  18. Feb 10, 2019 #18

    M. De Land

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    You can dry fire them safely without buggering nipples if you make a pad of 1/8 neoprene that fits in the hammer slot over the web of the frame between the top and bottom cuts for the hammer clearance.
    I use I/8 thick setting blocks for insulated glass cut to snug friction fit down in the hammer slot in the frame. I seat them with a pair of forceps. They stay in place by themselves and allow the hammer down far enough to cycle normally and completely prevent any hammer contact with the nipple.
    Simply remove them with the same forceps used to seat them before firing.
     
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  19. Feb 11, 2019 #19

    FishDFly

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    Alas, here is the person and also Zonie to listen too, they offer sound and sage advice for dry firing revolvers .
     
  20. Feb 12, 2019 #20

    Woodnbow

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    If you use a bit of inletting black you can check your nipples to ensure there’s no contact with the hammer face. And then dry fire to your hearts content. Which is a great idea btw, you can work with the pistol while watching a movie, (killing bad guys) and it will help you with trigger control as well as ingraining muscle memory.
     
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