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I've been trying to get my new Pietta 1860's to run reliable. They keep cap sucking and the caps fall into the hammer channel and the next shot is a light hit if it doesn't go down inside and jam up the works. I rounded the edges of the slot in the hammer and that helped, but not a cure. Caps are staying on unfired chambers every time.

I found an article on the web from a Cowboy by the name of Utah. He recommends drilling and installing a pin in the hammer channel right on the edge centered in the safety slot. Looks like a 1/16 drill would fit with some slight clearance.

What do you experienced folks think? I believe I also saw somewhere folks filling in the safety slot in the hammer with JB weld. I also smoothed up the leading edge of the rounded slot on the recoil shield.

 

Thanks in Advance,

Eyesa

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Three step process:  1 - fill the hammer slot... 2 - use Treso or Slicx nipples... 3 - use Remington #10 caps.  4th is to use either a cap post or do the Manhattan conversion, which is a period fix introduced on the Manhattan revolvers.  It consists of putting a plate in the recoil shield that narrows the gap to less than the width of a cap, and narrowing the hammer to fit... also involves filling in the hammer slot.

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Slixx nipples will get you 98% reliability.

Adding a cap post/rake like you mention will get you to 99.9997% reliablity.

I use a 3/32" drill bit in mine(pictured with Treso nipples):

 

20190619_222412_resize_16.jpg

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20190608_181624.jpg

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Posted (edited)

 

Actually there are sever al solutions presented by different folks.  First and foremost, you're not going to be happy with the results of half measures.  The only absolute solution is a mechanical stop to prevent the Cap from entering the Hammer Channel.  Guns I have built have a "Cap Rake" installed in the hammer channel.  This also requires a clearance slot in the hammer to clear the rake.  I use a 5/64 drill.  I drill the hole in the slot so the drill is flush with the recoil shield.  I cut the drill off and use the drill shank, cut to length and installed in the hole with JB WELD.  There must NOT be any contact between the hammer channel and the rake pin.  With a Cap Rake, the Caps will be stopped from entering the Hammer Channel.  You can also use reduced power Main Springs.

 

Longhunter Shooting Supply installs a sort of "Dam" for the same purpose, and relieves the hammer to clear the dam.

 

Also important is to POLISH the entire face of the hammer.  I DO NOT recommend filling the Hammer Safety Slot.  You need to use the slot as a guide for the relief to clear the Cap Rake.  See Tyrel Cody's pictures.  Worth a thousand words.

 

PS:  Tyrel beat me to the draw.  :lol: 

Edited by Colorado Coffinmaker
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swap for remingtons... B)

 

seriously, i just fill the hammer slot with jb weld...

 

what is the slot for anyway???

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Really!!  You don't know!!!  If you look closely at the back of a Colt Pattern percussion cylinder, there are pins.  Set the hammer slot on the pin (between chambers) and you can carry 6 up.  :)

 

Remingtons Suck.  :rolleyes:

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I have had very good performance from my Pietta 1860 revolvers by using Slixs nipples with Rem. #10 caps. Fitting the hammer so it does not actually smack the nipple and polishing the hammer face bright will go a long way to stop cap sucking. Using a full strength hammer spring will help the caps stay in place also. If you want to use a lighter hammer spring a cap rake is just about mandatory. 

I wipe the hammer face clean between stages also.

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Use a stone on the hammer not a file. Leaves a much smoother surface.

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10 minutes ago, Lead Monger said:

Fitting the hammer so it does not actually smack the nipple

 

Should this be done as part of tuning?   

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55 minutes ago, Lead Monger said:

I have had very good performance from my Pietta 1860 revolvers by using Slixs nipples with Rem. #10 caps. Fitting the hammer so it does not actually smack the nipple and polishing the hammer face bright will go a long way to stop cap sucking. Using a full strength hammer spring will help the caps stay in place also. If you want to use a lighter hammer spring a cap rake is just about mandatory. 

I wipe the hammer face clean between stages also.

When I purchased them they had not been shot but a spacer had been put under the hammer spring to lighten it. I'll try removing it. Installing the pin as above post stated looks like something I can do and probably will as an added precaution. I also went with Track's nipples per an earlier post and I was already ordering from them. The caps stay on well until fired! My hammer does smack the nipples, looks like I could take about 15-20 thousanths of the face as that's about how far it will push the cylinder forward with no barrel attached.

46 minutes ago, Sedalia Dave said:

Use a stone on the hammer not a file. Leaves a much smoother surface.

I did polish the hammer face with a very fine arkansas stone.

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1 hour ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

 

Really!!  You don't know!!!  If you look closely at the back of a Colt Pattern percussion cylinder, there are pins.  Set the hammer slot on the pin (between chambers) and you can carry 6 up.  :)

 

Remingtons Suck.  :rolleyes:

 

Oh yeah, those tiny pins that sheer off... Remingtons just have a big ole slot for the hammer to rest in, it won't break. :)

 

Colts Suck. :rolleyes:

 

 

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All my cap guns that are used for SASS have Manhattan Conversions done by Rowdy Yates or cap rakes done by Coffinmaker.

With Tresso or Slix nipples and Remington #10 caps, they are 100% reliable

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1 hour ago, Prairie Dawg, SASS #50329 said:

All my cap guns that are used for SASS have Manhattan Conversions done by Rowdy Yates or cap rakes done by Coffinmaker.

With Tresso or Slix nipples and Remington #10 caps, they are 100% reliable

One is retired and the other I am not sure is still working...After that, who else is around doing cap gun work???

 

Texas Lizard

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16 minutes ago, Texas Lizard said:

One is retired and the other I am not sure is still working...After that, who else is around doing cap gun work???

 

Texas Lizard

Goons Gunworks and Longhunters come to mind.

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I am not a gunsmith.  Anything I make in a shop looks like I made it.  That said, you can tune your open top Colt copies yourself.

 

Use Treso/Ampco/Slix nipples to reduce blowback gasses.

 

Use Remington #10 caps on those nipples.

 

Use small powder charges.  18-22 grains.

 

Install some kind of a cap rake.  The post is best.  If you screw that up (like I did) there is a crude alternative, the "1/4 cent cap rake".  Ugly, but it works.  Link:

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Sedalia Dave said:

 

Should this be done as part of tuning?   

Yes. Evan if you do the cap rake installation the hammer should not pound on the nipples. I have one revolver with .006” clearance between nipple and hammer. It has never misfired. Another has .010” clearance and it has never misfired either. Yet another has been polished bright but not relieved. It fires every time but is beginning to show a “nipple ring” on the face of the hammer. I will fix that. 

I admire the cap rakes shown in the entries above and and I sure I will eventually install them on some of my revolvers.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Lead Monger said:

Yes. Evan if you do the cap rake installation the hammer should not pound on the nipples. I have one revolver with .006” clearance between nipple and hammer. It has never misfired. Another has .010” clearance and it has never misfired either. Yet another has been polished bright but not relieved. It fires every time but is beginning to show a “nipple ring” on the face of the hammer. I will fix that. 

I admire the cap rakes shown in the entries above and and I sure I will eventually install them on some of my revolvers.

 

I know for sure the last pistol I bought touches. I check the pair I am shooting and see if they touch.

 

I was researching aftermarket nipples and found that some of the nipples availble from Track of the Wolf can be had in different lengths.

 

For example you can buy 6-.75mm metric thread nipples in three different lengths.

0.260"

0.300"

0.319"

Edited by Sedalia Dave
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2 hours ago, Lead Monger said:

YYet another has been polished bright but not relieved. It fires every time but is beginning to show a “nipple ring” on the face of the hammer. I will fix that. 

 

How do you fix this 'ring'?

 

My 1860s with Slix Nipples have this, almost crater like.

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8 hours ago, Eyesa Horg said:

I've been trying to get my new Pietta 1860's to run reliable. They keep cap sucking and the caps fall into the hammer channel and the next shot is a light hit if it doesn't go down inside and jam up the works.

 

One thing to do is not run heavy loads.  Take it from somebody who likes to get 60grains of black into a space that holds 25grains.  All that back pressure coming out the back can push the nipple off, which helps it stick to the hammer face, and sometimes gets into the works when cocking the next round.  Meaning it gets stuck between the frame and the cylinder.

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1 hour ago, Cemetery said:

 

How do you fix this 'ring'?

 

My 1860s with Slix Nipples have this, almost crater like.

File the face of the hammer until it will no longer reach the nipple when the cylinder is pushed forward against the forcing cone. Finish by stoning and polishing the face bright and smooth. On my revolvers, 5 to 10 thousandths clearance has been reliable and no nipple gouging is evident. Further more the nipples do not get mushroomed or cracked from normal operation. I do not dry fire capguns and I use factory strength hammer springs To help prevent gas pressure from lifting the hammer. Most of the time I use 24g of GOEX 2F and a ball but summertimes I play with 30gs just for fun. Never a problem. 

I get a hot cap in my right hand once in a while but never in my left!

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I agree that there are many "schools of thought" on fixing the "cap sucking" prob. Personally, I'm a big fan of the cap post (rake for some).  My instruction to customers is to cycle the action with "authority" !! This will help the post remove any fragments in the hammer nose and toss them away from the hammer slot. Of course cycling the action in this manner can be "tough" on revolvers not setup for this as "normal" operation. Cycling slow gives more opportunity for caps/frags to not clear the slot and fall into the action anyway. I designed an "action shield" for this exact reason. It keeps caps, frags and fouling from entering the action (down the hammer slot) and keeps presenting the debris (each time the hammer is cocked) so it can be dumped. It works exactly as intended!! 

  As Coffinmaker mentioned, the cap post allows a lightened mainspring to be used (the post limits rearward hammer movement). Some folks don't mind a heavy main but those with arthritic thumbs need a "thumb friendly" hammer! Not to mention the folks that are interested in being fast .  .  .    heavy mains are just not fast. 

 

Mike

  

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I'm interested in the idea that the cap post will allow you to use a lighter main spring.  Why would this be the case?  

 

Thank you,

 

Chili

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Posted (edited)

Great question!! 

  When the hammer drops, pops a cap and lights off the main charge, the path of least resistance is back through the nipple. The pressure builds and tries to push the cap hull off the nipple. A heavy mainspring helps to keep the cap on the nipple. 

   A light mainspring (allowing a 4lb. hammer draw) will allow some lift of the hammer and a cap hull / fragments are free to go where ever.   Enter the cap post!!  The C.P. is a physical structure that stops the cap hull from moving any further to the rear and thus, the hammer with it.  Therefore, a light mainspring can now be used to allow a more "cartridge" type setup which will be much easier to opperate than an 8 lb hammer draw. Oh !!!  Hello speed !!!!

 

Mike

Edited by 45 Dragoon
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1 hour ago, 45 Dragoon said:

Great question!! 

  When the hammer drops, pops a cap and lights off the main charge, the path of least resistance is back through the nipple. The pressure builds and tries to push the cap hull off the nipple. A heavy mainspring helps to keep the cap on the nipple. 

   A light mainspring (allowing a 4lb. hammer draw) will allow some lift of the hammer and a cap hull / fragments are free to go where ever.   Enter the cap post!!  The C.P. is a physical structure that stops the cap hull from moving any further to the rear and thus, the hammer with it.  Therefore, a light mainspring can now be used to allow a more "cartridge" type setup which will be much easier to opperate than an 8 lb hammer draw. Oh !!!  Hello speed !!!!

 

Mike

 

I was also told, I think by Coffinmaker, that using a lighter mainspring obviously reduces pressure triggering the hammer going forward, and the spring on the hand, can still be still, and when that hammer falls, the hand and spring get compressed in the hand channel, and a stiff hand spring can actually slow down a hammer falling.  I thought about this and it made sense.  Then one day cleaning my Uberti 1860s I snapped a hand spring.  Well, did the Ruger style coil spring conversion thing a ma jig, and I noticed how much smoother that made the action.

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16 hours ago, Sedalia Dave said:

 

I know for sure the last pistol I bought touches. I check the pair I am shooting and see if they touch.

 

I was researching aftermarket nipples and found that some of the nipples availble from Track of the Wolf can be had in different lengths.

 

For example you can buy 6-.75mm metric thread nipples in three different lengths.

0.260"

0.300"

0.319"

I got the .319 I believe. Didn't realize you actually get away with having a gap. Not all the nipple holes were drilled to the same depth at the factory, in fact all the chamber weren't reamed top the bottom either!

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15 hours ago, Cemetery said:

 

One thing to do is not run heavy loads.  Take it from somebody who likes to get 60grains of black into a space that holds 25grains.  All that back pressure coming out the back can push the nipple off, which helps it stick to the hammer face, and sometimes gets into the works when cocking the next round.  Meaning it gets stuck between the frame and the cylinder.

I'm currently using a 24 grain spout

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Thanks Dragoon,  so it has nothing to do with the physics of setting off the cap, it is purely a blow.back issue in relationship to caps coming off the nipple?    Thats what i thought but i thought id ask as you and CC are the experts.  

 

 

Best regards,

 

Chili

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Pete .. and "Others."  Too more address two issues, no, the Cap Rake of itself does not promote lighter Main Springs.  The Rake, as explained by The Dragoon, prevents the cap from blowing off the Nipple, or being dragged off the nipple and hence into the hammer channel.  With the Cap Coming off, out to the side, the gun runs like a cartridge gun "FAST."

 

Normally, I would set up a Cap Gun with between 006 and 008 barrel to cylinder gap.  Normally this allows a light contact with the hammer face to the nipple.  If you are running the OEM Main Springs, this will eventually dimple the hammer face.  With light Main Springs, this dimpling is greatly reduced.  More of a mark than a dimple.  Most hammer face damage comes from those whom are foolish enough to dry fire a Cap Gun with the nipples in the cylinder and or with OEM Main Springs.  Cap Guns should NOT be dry fired.

 

The guns also run much much smoother with a Ruger style Coil Spring and Plunger for the Hand.  A heavy hand spring is not necessary if the gun is properly timed AND the bolt is fit to the cylinder notches.  Pietta guns are famous for slightly oversize bolts which must be fit to the cylinder.  Once the bolt fits correctly, a much lighter Trigger Bolt Spring can be used.  The T/B spring is ONLY reduced on the BOLT side.

 

I set the guns up with a reduced Main Spring as a matter of course.  I used either a reduced spring from VTI (VERY NICE) or Lee's Gunsmithing Gunfighter spring kits from Brownells.

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While I appreciate a well tuned action and a light hammer draw; I loose more time waiting for the smoke to clear enough to see the next target than I do cocking a revolver.

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5 minutes ago, 45 Dragoon said:

Haaa!! Anything in the rules about bringing your own fan?!!!

 

Mike

You have one...It's call a hat....

 

Texas Lizard

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I bring her all the time and she laughs at me!:huh:

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Also, the TINY exit hole in a treso nipple does help with the blowback of gases that would pop the cap off the nipple.

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You can also do a custom Hammer Spring adjustment on a reduced Spring by installing a S/S split lock washer or two under the spring hold down screw. I had this on my Pietta 51's I tuned.

I never used cap rakes or such, and never had cap sucking. The hammer face slots were Tig-welded closed, faces filed &  squared for a perfect strike and polished with a stone. All the frame surfaces where a Cap might hang up, like under the cylinder/water table were also polished.

I also used reduced powder loads.

Only shot Pietta's, 1851's & 1860's.

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