Revolver chain fires

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by BIGBEAR, Jun 14, 2019.

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  1. Jun 14, 2019 #1

    BIGBEAR

    BIGBEAR

    BIGBEAR

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    Has any one experienced a chain fire , and what do you think caused it ?
     
  2. Jun 14, 2019 #2

    BullRunBear

    BullRunBear

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    In over thirty years using C&B revolvers I've never had a chain fire but I've seen a couple. The shooters were lucky, no injuries. They used a tight fitting ball over a lubed felt wad. No way a spark should have been able to get to the powder through the chamber mouth. The only conclusion was improperly fitting caps. I always make sure the caps are a snug fit.

    Or maybe I've just been lucky. :cool:

    Jeff
     
  3. Jun 14, 2019 #3

    arcticap

    arcticap

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    I think that this was the mother of all chain fire threads on this forum.--->>> https://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/threads/first-chainfire.10394/

    Some folks on that thread posted about their chain fire experiences and then they even tried to investigate some of the reasons why they occur.
    By the end, some interesting experiments took place.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
  4. Jun 14, 2019 #4

    bang

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    Use projectile. 015-.020 larger diameter.
    Revolvers typically use #10 primers. Push them on snug.
    Chain fire can happen with too small diameter projectile but usually too loose primer that causes hot gas to get in it.
    If chain fire consistant on two chambers no matter what suspect crack in cylinder wall.
     
  5. Jun 14, 2019 #5

    nkbj

    nkbj

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    When black powder is burning it turns into a liquefied conglomerate of substances that have mass, that flow under pressure and create their own heat and expansion. It flows into every available path until it has spent itself.

    You give it a path by the ball (imagine expecting a malleable metal seated valve to never leak) or by a cap into a nipple (yah think that connection would hold water?) and whoopee-do, you get a chamber ignition. Or two or three.
    OK, everybody go argue over whether it's by the ball or by the cap (again) based upon their particular lack of observing what others already have.
    :ghostly:
     
  6. Jun 14, 2019 #6

    flntlokr

    flntlokr

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    I have witnessed several. Always due to loose caps (#11 on#10 nipples, usually European made guns), or missing caps, when recoil shakes a cap or two off, or when some dumbass decides to load multiple cylinders, but caps them one at a time. I was at a shoot once where the range officer allowed folks to load all, but would only allow one cap at a time, because he was concerned with people moving from one station to the next with loaded guns. It took a bit of persuasion to convince him of the error of his ways. I have never seen a pistol damaged by a chain fire; they are designed so all cylinders have a way out. In many cases, the shooter is unaware that it has taken place until he lines up for the next shot
     
  7. Jun 14, 2019 #7

    Heelerau

    Heelerau

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    I can recall having a chain fire in a Remington the first time I ever loaded one back in 1972, no lube in front of the balls, I would fire a shot, hand it to Dad, he would just get a crack of a cap, I would shoot the next chamber and Dad would get a crack of a cap only, till I realised it was firing both chamber off at the same time. I have for years now used greased felt wads under the ball and never had a repeat experience. I have seen some who have the opinion that chain fires come from the caps setting each other off, I suppose that is possible to.
     
  8. Jun 14, 2019 #8

    Grenadier1758

    Grenadier1758

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    My chain fires were due to misshapen and somewhat under sized balls. It didn't help that I needed 0.380" balls and I was sold the approximate equivalent buckshot. It was a long time ago and neither the gun store or I knew very much about cap and ball revolvers.
     
  9. Jun 15, 2019 #9

    nkbj

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    Chain fires can come from any path that the fluidized burning mass of black powder finds.
     
  10. Jun 16, 2019 #10

    FishDFly

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    Chain fires can come from any path that the fluidized burning mass of black powder finds.

    Huh?

    Chain fires come from poor fitting caps on nipples.
     
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  11. Jun 17, 2019 #11

    Mean Gene

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    I have fortunately had only experienced two chain fires since I started shooting a bp revolver, the first was inmo clearly my fault because I was using a damaged round ball, shouldn't do that.
    The second I don't feel I caused, after the first I became more safety conscious about how I load the chambers, I shoot a repro pietta 1860 with 454 rb, 30 grains pyrodex and a lubed wad between ball and powder.
    I use Remington #10 caps and seat the caps using a wooden dowel.
    I had fired a couple of chambers when suddenly the next shot didn't sound the same and kicked harder than the previous shots. I found that the next shot in line at the ten o'clock position detonated along with the one in the barrel.
    Needless to say I was quite surprised.
     
  12. Jun 17, 2019 #12

    LRB

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    I shot percussion revolvers for many years. Many hundreds of rounds. I had two chain fires. Both times I did not put grease over the balls. In the 80's I started using a greased disc over the powder and never had a chain fire loaded that way. Quite often in the 70's had to settle for over sized caps. I just pinched them and used them.
     
  13. Jun 18, 2019 #13

    Mean Gene

    Mean Gene

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    I don't know if someone has already mentioned this but, I wonder if it could be possible, that the heat generated in the chamber being intentionally fired, could be enough to detonate the chamber next to it?
    To the best of my knowledge, I haven't heard of a chain fire in a cartridge revolver, perhaps, the added brass helps prevent a chain fire.
    I once heard it said, that it's not the fire of the spark that causes detonation, but it's the heat generated by the spark; this was at the time in reference to how a flintlock spark sets off the charge in the barrel.
     
  14. Jun 18, 2019 #14

    missionary5155

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    Good morning
    As a 4 or 5 year old I started watching my dad fire his Colts and Remingtons many times with his Navy buddy. They always greased the chamber mouths.
    That is how I started and to date have never had a chain fire.
    I also push the cap on as tight as I can.
    I have never seen a chain fire but have read enough about them to be careful loading.
     
  15. Jun 18, 2019 #15

    Many Klatch

    Many Klatch

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    I had a few chain fires with my Remingtons. A few extra pops and extra recoil is all it amounts to. I discarded the original factory nipples and replaced them with new stainless steel ones from Track of the Wolf. That ended the chain fires. I load with a greased wad under the ball and no grease on top.
     
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  16. Jun 19, 2019 #16

    Rat

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    My one and only chain fire was the first time I tried fake powder. (777) It took the loading lever latch off the barrel. I don't use grease over the balls, or shave a ring of lead. I do use a wad under the ball. I shot that pistol for 20 years without a chain fire, until the day I tried 777. Ponder on that!
     

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