Preventing wood erosion & scorching behind military rifle/musket nipple?

Discussion in 'Percussion Rifles' started by koauke, Apr 14, 2019 at 10:04 PM.

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  1. Apr 14, 2019 at 10:04 PM #1

    koauke

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    I've had my Pedersoli 1841 Mississippi rifle out a couple of times and have noticed that the wood just behind the nipple is scorched and the wood has very slightly eroded.

    Is there a way to prevent this? A flash cup won't fit.
     
  2. Apr 14, 2019 at 10:35 PM #2

    Coot

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    Back when I was shooting percussion rifles, I would take a thin piece of scrap leather, punch a nipple size hole in it, trim to fit rifle, add a thong or two, place it on the rifle with the nipple protruding & tie it in place. No scorching of wood or build up of fouling to deal with. Easy to untie for cleaning or show. As I recall, I got the idea from an old Dixie Gunworks catalog.
     
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  3. Apr 15, 2019 at 12:23 AM #3

    Stantheman86

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    I would guess it erodes to a point and just stops.....skirmishers have 10s of thousands of rounds through these and I would guess they just let it go
     
  4. Apr 15, 2019 at 3:29 AM #4

    koauke

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    Good idea on the leather, I can do that. Thanks!

    I was wondering about it just eroding to a certain point as well. I was looking at some photos of original Mississippi rifles online and looks like many have erosion in the same area, some so severe that a significant portion of wood is just gone. But maybe that is damage from more than the rifle being fired.
     
  5. Apr 15, 2019 at 6:10 AM #5

    Rat

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    On a Replica Remington Contract rifle I picked up recently...(well within the last year) it has a thin piece of sheet brass inlaid in that spot. Someone did a good job and it looks nice. I don't know if it was done before any erosion took place, or after, but I don't think the rifle was previously fired much.

    On the other hand, I have another one that I've had forever, have fired it a million/billion/trillion/bazillion times, and it seems to have stopped burning at some point, it's not bad at all.

    The leather "band-aid" trick is a good one, I have done that, but gave it up just from forgetfulness. One could put a little masking tape on it I bet.
     
  6. Apr 15, 2019 at 7:11 AM #6

    Stantheman86

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    I think it adds character to the rifle, as long as it's just cosmetic.

    Many original 1861 Springfield rifles have pitting by the bolster from corrosive caps and probably less than thorough cleaning, and probably burns on the stock, its just service wear.
     
  7. Apr 15, 2019 at 7:28 AM #7

    koauke

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    Well, I gave the leather a try.
    First photo shows burnt area, then the leather "band-aid", then hammer at full cock, and hammer in the fired position. It doesn't seem to interfere with the sight picture, so I'll give it a go tomorrow. I think I have enough wood covered.
    IMG_2059.JPG IMG_2062.JPG IMG_2063.JPG
     
  8. Apr 15, 2019 at 12:50 PM #8

    EC121

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    That wood looks like it doesn't have much finish in it. You could put a couple of coats of Tru-oil on the area and renew it once in a while.
     
  9. Apr 15, 2019 at 9:23 PM #9

    Rat

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    I was wondering about that...what types of finish/oil/wax/varnish/poly finishes promote or prevent that. ?? What about some clear nail polish? Another possibility, might be to take the barrel out of the stock, and sand that area a bit, re-stain to match the finish, then rub some good quality (like bow-making epoxy) epoxy into the wood in that area, really work it in. Let it set up, then steel wool to match the rest of the finish.

    Now when I made a band-aid, like Coot, I had a hole in the leather, and the nipple went through the hole. Did not obscure the sights, your sight must/might be lower.
     
  10. Apr 15, 2019 at 9:37 PM #10

    Rat

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    Dug that Contract rifle out, on closer inspection, does look like it had a lot of damage in that area, and the plate was a fix. I still like it though. DSC06924.JPG
     
  11. Apr 16, 2019 at 12:55 AM #11

    Stantheman86

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    This reminds me of revolver shooters who spend all kinds of time preventing turn rings......these are things that were never a concern when these weapons were actually used in service and won't hurt anything.
     
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  12. Apr 16, 2019 at 5:01 AM #12

    koauke

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    Rat - Thanks for posting the picture of the brass plate. Not sure I'm confident enough to attempt doing that, but definitely a good solution.

    Stantheman86 - I see the point, but unfortunately I tend to be a perfectionist and it will bother me if I don't try to prevent it.

    The leather trick worked though definitely seems like it may be a one time use. In the second photo you can see where it sat behind the nipple and was eaten away. I picked up some thicker leather to see if it will stand up to more abuse.
    Mississippi Rifle -  Sacramento Valley Shooting Center 4-15-2019 VIII.JPG Mississippi Rifle -  Sacramento Valley Shooting Center 4-15-2019 X.JPG
     
  13. Apr 16, 2019 at 8:55 AM #13

    cositrike

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    My original 1841 rifle, has a piece of tin plate nailed in place.
     
  14. Apr 16, 2019 at 11:49 AM #14

    EC121

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    You might try a different nipple. That one seems to have a lot of leakage. Maybe the hole is too big. Also you can get a nipple that uses a regular cap instead of a musket cap. It has a smaller hole.
     
  15. Apr 17, 2019 at 6:36 PM #15

    Rat

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    Indeed, those nipples come in all sorts of configurations, some are very open, way open, too open. But...I sure would never replace a musket nipple with a #10 nipple, unless I didn't like reliability.

    I completely understand not wanting the wood close to the nipple to burn out. (but not turn-rings) That does look like an especially open musket nipple, and much more blow back than normal. You can even get one that does not have a flash hole much bigger than a #10, but I'd sure prefer the much greater power of the musket nipple over a #10. Yeah...look into that nipple, and then shop around.

    You know, I have a really nice 1861 Springfield, with really nice wood, inletting, fit and finish, and I keep an eye on that area, but don't really get any burn. I'll have to pull the nipple and look, but I'm pretty sure it has a fairly small orifice.

    I don't think I'd bother installing a plate either, that one rifle "came that way". But I like it. Yeah I'd wind up boogering it up trying to do that. A super gunsmith/builder like Birddog6 could do it easy, in his/their sleep. One could get real fancy with it...!

    But yeah, what EC said. (but not about the #10!!!)
     
  16. Apr 17, 2019 at 7:00 PM #16

    Rat

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    Just one more comment...if the hole in the bottom of the nipple is as big as the hole in the top...there's 75% of your problem. !!!
     
  17. Apr 17, 2019 at 7:25 PM #17

    Stantheman86

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    Probably do better to try to hog out a flash cup , a Parker Hale Enfield I bought used had one on it so someone made it work.
     
  18. Apr 17, 2019 at 7:54 PM #18

    Rat

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    I hate flash cups. :) But here's what I'm talking about, this is the nipple on my 1861. Many musket nipples are giant.
    Yours may be giant. This will just allow a pipe cleaner. DSC06941.JPG
     
  19. Apr 17, 2019 at 8:03 PM #19

    Stantheman86

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    It's a Re-Enactor nipple
     
  20. Apr 17, 2019 at 8:15 PM #20

    koauke

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    I ordered a new nipple from track of the wolf to see if that would make a difference. I don't think the the hole at the bottom of the nipple is overly large on the one it has, but we will see what the new one looks like.

    Thanks again for the help.
     

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