Pre firing cleaning

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FatBack

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I once had a chainfire with an 1858. I suspect it was from the nipple end, ball had crisco over each one. I had used a WD40 like product called "Rusty Duck" for storage and neglected to wipe it down well, before loading (granted, it was not saturated and had set for months, after application)

Well, anyhow I finally got my hands on a nipple wrench and was finally able to remove them, after my last session, for cleaning and inspection. As there was some light rust, I used a bit of motor oil on a Q tip, to oil the threads for re insertion, after I cleaned them.

My question is, are certain lubes or oils more prone to create a chain fire? I was going to grease the nipple threads but opted for oil, instead. How do you clean off whatever you use in storage before firing? I use toilet paper twisted up to clean oil (what little there is) from the cylinders before firing. But short of removing nipples, how do you clean that end?
 

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Short of gasoline and an oxy-acetylene torch, I doubt all of any nipple lube could be removed, nor would I worry about it. I have fired thousands of rounds through C&B revolvers of every type, using grease over the seated balls, and tight fitting caps, and never experienced a chain fire, until a friend loaded a brass framed Navy he had purchased from me, and did not grease the chamber mouths to my standard. He experienced a three shot auto discharge. Frightened the horses.
 

Stantheman86

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I use a Q-Tip, just clean the threads with it. They shouldn't be all that dirty since a lot of fouling shouldn't reach into the threads.

It is suspected that most chain fires occur at the nipple end but poorly fitted balls or bullets can cause them too. Or shooting originals with pitted chambers.

In my opinion, a tightly fitted ball or bullet won't be any more prone to allowing fire past it than a bullet seated in a cartridge in a modern revolver. Has anyone heard of a single or double action cartridge revolver chain firing? I don't see much difference, the bullet is seated in brass the same depth from the forcing cone as a seated ball/bullet in a percussion revolver.......the nipple end seems far more of a likely culprit, you've got quite a bit of gas and spark going on back there.
 
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You are going to get a variety of answers because there are several effective approaches to your question. It can boil down to which ever method is easiest for you.
The nipples--I use a light oil on the threads because I remove them each cleaning(they get cleaned too) and they come out easily. Many do not remove them each time and if that is your preference you may be better off with something like anti-seize on the threads, then something like a toothbrush/cleaning solvent to brush around the back of the cylinder after firing.
The chambers--I remove the cylinder and run a brass jag with a dry cleaning patch in each one, after which I turn the cylinder to an overhead light and look through each nipple. You can easily see if the nipple is clear. Haven't bothered to snap caps in years.
As far as which oils or lubes being prone to chain fires-- I seriously doubt any of them are. There is no concession on which end of the cylinder is the chain fire culprit. Probably both--either a loose fitting cap or under size ball/irregular chamber mouth.
 

FatBack

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Short of gasoline and an oxy-acetylene torch, I doubt all of any nipple lube could be removed, nor would I worry about it. I have fired thousands of rounds through C&B revolvers of every type, using grease over the seated balls, and tight fitting caps, and never experienced a chain fire, until a friend loaded a brass framed Navy he had purchased from me, and did not grease the chamber mouths to my standard. He experienced a three shot auto discharge. Frightened the horses.
Was he injured? Curiously, my chain fire was at the "6 oclock" cylinder, the farthest one away. I knew it happened, just from noise and smoke. I was uninjured, the ball actually lodged into the frame, into the loading lever channel. I still have it. Do you use #10 caps? I use #11 and need to pinch them a tiny bit.
 
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FatBack

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You are going to get a variety of answers because there are several effective approaches to your question. It can boil down to which ever method is easiest for you.
The nipples--I use a light oil on the threads because I remove them each cleaning(they get cleaned too) and they come out easily. Many do not remove them each time and if that is your preference you may be better off with something like anti-seize on the threads, then something like a toothbrush/cleaning solvent to brush around the back of the cylinder after firing.
The chambers--I remove the cylinder and run a brass jag with a dry cleaning patch in each one, after which I turn the cylinder to an overhead light and look through each nipple. You can easily see if the nipple is clear. Haven't bothered to snap caps in years.
As far as which oils or lubes being prone to chain fires-- I seriously doubt any of them are. There is no concession on which end of the cylinder is the chain fire culprit. Probably both--either a loose fitting cap or under size ball/irregular chamber mouth.
Gotta order me a wrench (mine is on loan) and some felt wads. Shot with those the other day, for the first time. It seems neigh unto impossible to properly clean without one. Heretofore, I had used a brush with Hoppe's #9 on the nipple end. Cant bring myself to snap caps, seems such a waste.
 

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Was he injured? Curiously, my chain fire was at the "6 oclock" cylinder, the farthest one away. I knew it happened, just from noise and smoke. I was uninjured, the ball actually lodged into the frame, into the loading lever channel. I still have it. Do you use #10 caps? I use #11 and need to pinch them a tiny bit.
My friend was uninjured, it actually happened at an oil well location we were producing. I remember lead smears on the forward parts of the gun, barrel and wedge. I have a Colt navy style .44 that needs #10 caps but I often use #11s from Wally World.
 

nkbj

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Just me...
Tear a new piece completely down, clean, inspect, measure dimensions, lube, re-assemble.
Always use never seize on threads (belt and suspenders).
Pack the insides of the frame with synthetic grease.
 

FatBack

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It's odd. I had two FTFs on the first cylinder, told my buddy it was failure to clean or snap caps. Both fired on the second cap. Told him "watch this, second cylinder will all go off".....sure enough.
 

FatBack

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Anyone eat Baby Bell cheeses? They are small and round and encased in low melt, food grade wax. I remember tell of bees wax over the balls. Any use for this wax?
 

FatBack

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i have used toilet paper wads between the powder and ball. Maybe 18 rounds? Nary a chainfire.....BUT a fire hazard in prone areas.

Also TP for blank wads on New Years and the 4th of July
 
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Gotta order me a wrench (mine is on loan) and some felt wads. Shot with those the other day, for the first time. It seems neigh unto impossible to properly clean without one. Heretofore, I had used a brush with Hoppe's #9 on the nipple end. Cant bring myself to snap caps, seems such a waste.
Get the ratcheting one (for pistols)by Tedd Cash. Not only is it convenient, but the reversible tip seems quite hard and can stand up to pressure put on stuck nipples. I can't remember how many junk nipple wrenches I've had to toss over the years that were unable to do the job.
 

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