popping caps to clear nipple

Help Support Muzzle Loading Forum:

bpd303

69 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Mar 17, 2013
Messages
3,963
Reaction score
637
Location
Carroll County, Arkansas U.S.A.
There was a question on the hunting forum about clearing the nipple and flash channel prior to a hunt. Almost universally the answer is to pop at least a couple of caps prior to loading. I used to do that but with the difficulty in obtaining caps for some I thought this might be of interest.

What I do is to wipe the bore with a clean patch till no oil gets on it. Then I take a can of compressed air sold for computers and with the nipple in the barrel I spray the air through it using the red tube for the can. I can tell by the sound of the air coming out of the muzzle the flash channel is clear. I also do this with my flintlocks, spraying through the flash hole. Never have a failure to fire in the ten or so years doing this and it saves caps for the important stuff (making smoke). :wink:
 

hanshi

Cannon
Joined
May 7, 2009
Messages
10,773
Reaction score
2,290
Although I have also popped a cap or two in the past; it's not that hard to swab out the bore and run a pipe cleaner & maybe a toothpick through the nipple and bolster/drum. Never had a FTF after I did that.
 

ChrisLJ

40 Cal.
Joined
Sep 7, 2013
Messages
127
Reaction score
0
After having a gunked up mess in my flintlock from too much oil in the bore, I now take mine and holding it muzzle down shoot Birchwood-Casey Gun Scrubber through the nipple or vent liner till it runs out the barrel. I do this right before I leave for the range, and it removes everything. I imagine brake cleaner spray would work the same.
 

tenngun

Cannon
MLF Supporter
Joined
Jan 27, 2008
Messages
14,916
Reaction score
6,320
Location
Republic mo
I dry my rifle gun before loading then do the unthinkable....I blow down the bore
 

George T.

54 Cal.
Joined
Oct 28, 2012
Messages
1,768
Reaction score
0
A snot of carb cleaner or break cleaner first and you have my routine. However I use a compressor at home or a CO2 un loader in the camp!

Geo. T.
 

Billnpatti

Cannon
Joined
Aug 11, 2008
Messages
7,340
Reaction score
16
While I have never done that using the air in a can, I have blown through my nipple/touch hole using my home air compressor prior to going to the range. I wipe out the bore well with a few dry patches and then blow air through the nipple/touch hole. It works. So, I have no reason to believe that the air in a can would not work just as well. :thumbsup:
 

dikman

45 Cal.
Joined
Jun 8, 2013
Messages
561
Reaction score
0
That's exactly what I do, bill. When I know I'm going to the range I clean out the barrel(s) at home first and then blow air from the compressor (about 100 psi) through the nipples using an adapter I made. Works with the rifle and the revolver and saves wasting caps.
 

Captjoel

45 Cal.
Joined
Apr 18, 2009
Messages
1,032
Reaction score
104
This may sound trivial, but during deer season, my rifle may stay loaded for several weeks. I keep it out in the cold so there are no issues with condensation or moisture. I have wondered if by firing several caps before loading, if the slight fowling from the spent caps would create a rust issue in the breech area of the bore?? I have had this idea that this could cause rust and when there is a chance the rifle will remain loaded for an extended period I will swab the bore with alcohol and give it time to evaporate. Then load without firing any caps.
 

will5a1

45 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Dec 11, 2011
Messages
535
Reaction score
1
Location
SW Ohio
I have always popped 2-3 caps prior to loading a rifle for deer season, and never had an issue with rust from the cap residue, with the rifle often staying loaded through late November into January. I have it in my head the caps clearing the nipple/firing channel works best, but there is probably not much oil to clear as I store the rifles muzzle down.
 

crockett

Cannon
Joined
May 1, 2004
Messages
6,352
Reaction score
25
I've had similar concerns. I've popped a cap, loaded, and let remain loaded for the short 3 day muzzle loader season in my state- so far no problem with rust however I'm thinking the air blast might work better. I have a co2 dispenser- next time might use that.
 

Zonie

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
MLF Supporter
Joined
Oct 4, 2003
Messages
32,981
Reaction score
7,074
Location
Phoenix, AZ
I'm sure the new caps made by CCI, Winchester, Remington and RWS (Dynamite Nobel) are all non-corrosive.

I'm not so sure about the old Dixie and Navy Arms caps that were made in Italy and some other European countries back in the 1960's and '70's though.
 

jethro224

Moderator
Joined
Sep 29, 2005
Messages
7,428
Reaction score
6
I just run a clean patch down and back and load up. Range shooting or hunting. Never had a failure to fire due to this. Every one I have had was due to a clogged nipple, my fault 'cause I didn't clean it right.
Some guys at the range always pop a few and they get more misfires than I do.
Do what makes you confident. Proper cleaning first and foremost.

Or... switch to flint and forget it. :wink:
 

Captjoel

45 Cal.
Joined
Apr 18, 2009
Messages
1,032
Reaction score
104
I lost the biggest buck that I had ever seen in my gun sights a few years back. When I put the hammer down on him all I got was a "POP". The deer did not run but went into alert mode, giving me time to put another cap on. The second aimed attempt gave out another "POP" and I was through. I took the loaded rifle out to my shooting range a few days later and it went off with my first try. When I told this story to an old timer buddy of mine, he just laughed out loud and then said " It just wasn't that old buck's day to die" and he was as serious as a heart attack with that reply! :idunno: Getting back on subject, I did not remember to snap a couple of caps on that rifle that morning. I did swab the barrel very well with a dry patch. These days I hunt and shoot mainly a flintlock, so there are no more issues with percussion "cussin" caps.
 

bezoar

45 Cal.
Joined
Nov 1, 2004
Messages
539
Reaction score
0
the only time out hunting that i had a percussion gun NOT fire was because i had snapped a cap off before loading. theni went hunting 3 degree. encountered an animal and simply could not get ignition. upon taking the gun apart that night, it turns out snapping the cap had created enough moisture in the gun to have turned the powder under the nipple into a solid mass.
 
Top