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Abilene, SASS # 27489

"Leadfoot" Artie Fly's APP hangfire

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I'm posting this for a few reasons.  I thought that someone who was at Trailhead last weekend might mention it, but none did.  And also I don't want anyone to hear about it the same way I did - at least 3rd hand I heard that Artie blew off a toe.  It wasn't nearly that bad, but scary for sure.  And also to point out what CAN happen, rare though it may be.  I'm sure glad Artie had only a minor injury.  Following is his message  

 

 

Leadfoot Artie here!  Word gets around, don't it. 

Below is a re-telling of the delayed discharge event:

 

I'm all right, just ended up with a bad bruise, some swelling, and a small open wound on my big toe.  I was clean up until the 9th stage, when my 1st pistol dropped an expended cap into the hammer well and jammed it up with 3 unfired.  So I set that down and fired 4 from the 2nd pistol and the 5th cap did not ignite the APP (humidity maybe?).  I finished up the rifle & shotgun, then moved to the unloading table and cleared all guns.  The posse had finished shortly thereafter and was gathering at the next stage.  I was still at the unloading table and I re-capped the second pistol 3 times with no discharge, then I set it down on the table for a moment.  The gun was horizontal this whole time.  Some 15-30 seconds later I picked it up to re-holster and when I dropped the barrel down the round went off and I felt the impact.  I knew immediately the bullet had hit my foot and I called over Doc Boedecker (who was on our posse) and he immediately began assisting. He removed the boot and bloody sock, cleaned and dressed the wound. All this time I felt no pain and could move my toes.  We examined the boot and there was a tear from the impact, but we could not find a bullet. The wound was not thru & thru and no impact on the inner sole. Not knowing where the bullet was, EMS transported me to the nearest trauma center in Katy.  After x-rays they confirmed there were no bullet fragments or broken bones, just an open wound about 1/8th inch wide.  The pretty ER doctor washed the wound, gave me a tetanus shot and an antibiotic and sent me on my way.  She left it open, no stitches.  Doc had done a better dressing than the hospital did, but she was way prettier.

From the sequence of events I believe the powder was burning slowly and by dropping the barrel an ember set off what was left, hence there was not much force behind the discharge.  The pain has been minimal (less than if I was hit with a ball peen hammer) and eased with Tylenol.  The swelling is causing me to limp, but I can put full weight on the foot and the limp should go away once the swelling subsides.  All in all, my pride was more bruised than my foot and I am more disappointed to have lost my clean match.  By shooting my foot, my son Matthew should have moved up to 2nd place.  I was told there was much discussion over this at the awards later, mostly about what my new alias should be.  Leadfoot Artie seems approprate!

Feel free to let anyone know I was just lightly injured, just bruising and swelling  and about the delayed discharge.  First time this has happened or seen it happen myself.  I should be at Plum Creek on the 4th.  Appreciate your concern.

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That whole scenario sounds very troubling.  Plus, apparently there was no comment or take charge by the Unloading Table Officer, either.  

I think Artie and individually, those around him, are very lucky.

 

Cat Brules

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I'm very glad to hear that "Leadfoot" didn't suffer any serious injuries.  My first thought is were the nipples clean?  This happened on the ninth stage could it have been a build up in the nipple orifice that prevented a full spark from igniting the powder?  I would think that if was humidity that affected the powder then the rest of the powder that was in his flask(?) should be checked.  APP tends to clump up when it gets damp which should have made it noticeable in the powder measure.  My only other thought is that the powder wasn't compressed.  I would assume though that "Leadfoot" loaded that particular cylinder the same way as every other cylinder and that there was enough powder and compression to ignite fully.

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9 hours ago, Abilene, SASS # 27489 said:

I'm posting this for a few reasons.  I thought that someone who was at Trailhead last weekend might mention it, but none did.  And also I don't want anyone to hear about it the same way I did - at least 3rd hand I heard that Artie blew off a toe.  It wasn't nearly that bad, but scary for sure.  And also to point out what CAN happen, rare though it may be.  I'm sure glad Artie had only a minor injury.  Following is his message  

 

 

Leadfoot Artie here!  Word gets around, don't it. 

Below is a re-telling of the delayed discharge event:

 

I'm all right, just ended up with a bad bruise, some swelling, and a small open wound on my big toe.  I was clean up until the 9th stage, when my 1st pistol dropped an expended cap into the hammer well and jammed it up with 3 unfired.  So I set that down and fired 4 from the 2nd pistol and the 5th cap did not ignite the APP (humidity maybe?).  I finished up the rifle & shotgun, then moved to the unloading table and cleared all guns.  The posse had finished shortly thereafter and was gathering at the next stage.  I was still at the unloading table and I re-capped the second pistol 3 times with no discharge, then I set it down on the table for a moment.  The gun was horizontal this whole time.  Some 15-30 seconds later I picked it up to re-holster and when I dropped the barrel down the round went off and I felt the impact.  I knew immediately the bullet had hit my foot and I called over Doc Boedecker (who was on our posse) and he immediately began assisting. He removed the boot and bloody sock, cleaned and dressed the wound. All this time I felt no pain and could move my toes.  We examined the boot and there was a tear from the impact, but we could not find a bullet. The wound was not thru & thru and no impact on the inner sole. Not knowing where the bullet was, EMS transported me to the nearest trauma center in Katy.  After x-rays they confirmed there were no bullet fragments or broken bones, just an open wound about 1/8th inch wide.  The pretty ER doctor washed the wound, gave me a tetanus shot and an antibiotic and sent me on my way.  She left it open, no stitches.  Doc had done a better dressing than the hospital did, but she was way prettier.

From the sequence of events I believe the powder was burning slowly and by dropping the barrel an ember set off what was left, hence there was not much force behind the discharge.  The pain has been minimal (less than if I was hit with a ball peen hammer) and eased with Tylenol.  The swelling is causing me to limp, but I can put full weight on the foot and the limp should go away once the swelling subsides.  All in all, my pride was more bruised than my foot and I am more disappointed to have lost my clean match.  By shooting my foot, my son Matthew should have moved up to 2nd place.  I was told there was much discussion over this at the awards later, mostly about what my new alias should be.  Leadfoot Artie seems approprate!

Feel free to let anyone know I was just lightly injured, just bruising and swelling  and about the delayed discharge.  First time this has happened or seen it happen myself.  I should be at Plum Creek on the 4th.  Appreciate your concern.

Where's the bullet?

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5 hours ago, Cat Brules said:

That whole scenario sounds very troubling.  Plus, apparently there was no comment or take charge by the Unloading Table Officer, either.  

I think Artie and individually, those around him, are very lucky.

 

Cat Brules

Please tell us what you would have done as a Unloading Table Officer.

 

Looking forward to your response.

 

Phantom

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Thanks Abilene for postin the shooters words describing the accidental shot.  

 

I was there at the other end of the range, when it occurred.  Immediate shutdown of the shooting line.  Well handled by the club and those on the line. 

 

Once we understood about the apparent lead ball to the his toe ........We knew he would be fine  :FlagAm:

 

Very little imagination of all the possibilities of what occurred.  Well..maybe one question was which toe???  LOL...We did not worry about who was at fault, etc.  Just that is was in good hands.   We were very glad for the quick response and EMS service.

 

Bout the only thing we were concerned with was what Sadie, his loving and adoring wife, was gonna do to him!!!    :lol:  Beautiful couple of great people.  

God bless em.

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46 minutes ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Please tell us what you would have done as a Unloading Table Officer.

 

Looking forward to your response.

 

Phantom

My thoughts exactly Mr. Phantom.  I would also like to know what Mr. Brules could have done to prevent this accident.

 

Lucky

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Abilene, SASS # 27489 said:

 

Leadfoot Artie here!  Word gets around, don't it. 

Below is a re-telling of the delayed discharge event:

 

I'm all right, just ended up with a bad bruise, some swelling, and a small open wound on my big toe.  I was clean up until the 9th stage, when my 1st pistol dropped an expended cap into the hammer well and jammed it up with 3 unfired.  So I set that down and fired 4 from the 2nd pistol and the 5th cap did not ignite the APP (humidity maybe?).  I finished up the rifle & shotgun, then moved to the unloading table and cleared all guns.  The posse had finished shortly thereafter and was gathering at the next stage.  I was still at the unloading table and I re-capped the second pistol 3 times with no discharge, then I set it down on the table for a moment.  The gun was horizontal this whole time.  Some 15-30 seconds later I picked it up to re-holster and when I dropped the barrel down the round went off and I felt the impact.  I knew immediately the bullet had hit my foot and I called over Doc Boedecker (who was on our posse) and he immediately began assisting. He removed the boot and bloody sock, cleaned and dressed the wound....

I want to be clear that I'm not in any way criticizing you or anyone else involved in this, but I do want to ask a question or two so I can better understand what happened and perhaps learn something from this incident.

 

You stated that you 'moved to the unloading table and cleared all guns'.  How is it possible that you cleared all guns but had a hangfire?  I have zero experience with cap and ball, so perhaps I don't understand the mechanics of what was going on.  To me 'cleared all guns' means that all the guns were empty, no loaded ammo, neither powder, projectile nor cap.

 

You then recapped the second pistol 3 times, does this mean recapped for the next stage, or recapped and attempted to clear the unfired chamber, and eventually it ended up back in your holster, with a charge and a bullet in it.  My understanding is that capping is the last thing you do at the LT, so why would this happen at the ULT?  Again, not pointing fingers, cause I've had my own share of mistakes, but how do you end up with a gun in your holster that still had the ball and powder from the stage in it?  When a cap and ball shooter has a failure to ignite is the SOP to leave that powder and ball in place, then just recap that cylinder at the next stage, or is SOP to get all the powder and charge out and start fresh?

 

Glad you're OK.  I've had my own brush with something like this and got lucky, just as you did.

Edited by Captain Bill Burt
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Cap and ball shooter here. Failure to to fire. YOU can re-cap on the line to avoid the miss. Or go to the ULT, clear all guns and remove, re-cap and then ask the TO to come to the line to fire the unfired chamber. Failure to fire is then up to the shooter on how and when to clear the gun. He can leave it a the ULT,  get a nipple wrench and pull the nipple, at the ULT or take the gun somewhere else. Best at the ULT. Then with something that will fit down the hole drive the ball and powder out. The issue being like any hang fire, if and when will the round potentially go off? After multiple attempts to fire the chamber he decided to holster the gun and take it somewhere else to clear it or try and shoot it at the next stage.

ULT's have little or no knowledge of C&B guns. They can watch for muzzle control and if the caps are all off indicating the gun "shouldn't? fire or is clear. Thats about it.

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2 hours ago, irish ike, SASS #43615 said:

Cap and ball shooter here. Failure to to fire. YOU can re-cap on the line to avoid the miss. Or go to the ULT, clear all guns and remove, re-cap and then ask the TO to come to the line to fire the unfired chamber. Failure to fire is then up to the shooter on how and when to clear the gun. He can leave it a the ULT,  get a nipple wrench and pull the nipple, at the ULT or take the gun somewhere else. Best at the ULT. Then with something that will fit down the hole drive the ball and powder out. The issue being like any hang fire, if and when will the round potentially go off? After multiple attempts to fire the chamber he decided to holster the gun and take it somewhere else to clear it or try and shoot it at the next stage.

ULT's have little or no knowledge of C&B guns. They can watch for muzzle control and if the caps are all off indicating the gun "shouldn't? fire or is clear. Thats about it.

 

Thanks for the answer.  Imagine (though it's probably unlikely), if that was a hang fire cartridge that made it to the ULT and suddenly went off.  Who knows what could've happened.  I'd think at the very least someone might need a new pair of shorts :rolleyes:

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When you re-capped it 3 times, did you check that there was actually a ball in the cylinder? Maybe what you actually had was a squib, thus the reduction of velocity when the powder finally went, due to the extra space in the barrel.

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23 minutes ago, Springfield Slim SASS #24733 said:

When you re-capped it 3 times, did you check that there was actually a ball in the cylinder? Maybe what you actually had was a squib, thus the reduction of velocity when the powder finally went, due to the extra space in the barrel.

 

I am not Artie, and maybe he will be along later to comment, but I don't see how that would be possible.   If enough of the powder had ignited to push the ball into the barrel, I don't see how there could be enough unburnt powder left in the cylinder to ignite again later and fire the ball out of the barrel.   But, who knows.

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You're probably right, but stranger things have happened.

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Since we weren't there in witness, and Artie doesn't even know what "exactly" happened, other than a wounded toe, WAG (Military acronym for Wild Ass'd Guess) is all there is.  None of the speculation has merit.

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38 minutes ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

 

Since we weren't there in witness, and Artie doesn't even know what "exactly" happened, other than a wounded toe, WAG (Military acronym for Wild Ass'd Guess) is all there is.  None of the speculation has merit.

But an Unloading Table Officer would have prevented it...:lol:

 

:mellow:

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6 hours ago, irish ike, SASS #43615 said:

get a nipple wrench and pull the nipple, at the ULT or take the gun somewhere else. Best at the ULT. Then with something that will fit down the hole drive the ball and powder out.

This isn't practical during a match, but to get a stubborn ball and charge out of a bore, here's a trick.  Remove the nipple and replace it with a 6mm grease zerk (available at any auto or Harbor Freight store).  Then pump grease into the bore until the ball and charge comes out the muzzle.  Force out most of the grease with a half-bore-dameter rod, then flush with carburetor cleaner through the nipple attachment hole, to remove the remaing grease.  Replace the nipple and your back in business. 

 

 

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Dusty

I've done what I described a half dozen times over the year. The ball comes our fairly easy.I use a small Phillips head screw driver and can drive it out hitting the screw driver head on the table. Of course the cylinder is out of the gun. Install nipple and head to the next stage.

Ike

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Did Sexy Sadie  :wub:  get a photo of the event? 

I would buy one!

 

And Good Job, Corpsman Boedecker!  :FlagAm:

Doc's always been prepared for most everything that happens out at Gunsmoke.

Did he charge Leadfoot for the bandages? :D

 

 

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Intelligent speculation always has merit, as it gives you lines of thought you may not have considered.

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6 hours ago, Dusty Devil Dale said:

This isn't practical during a match, but to get a stubborn ball and charge out of a bore, here's a trick.  Remove the nipple and replace it with a 6mm grease zerk (available at any auto or Harbor Freight store).  Then pump grease into the bore until the ball and charge comes out the muzzle.  Force out most of the grease with a half-bore-dameter rod, then flush with carburetor cleaner through the nipple attachment hole, to remove the remaing grease.  Replace the nipple and your back in business. 

 

 

 

You should do more research as grease fittings are not anywhere near the same thread size and pitch as the nipples on almost all percussion firearms. Whoever thought it up should be banned from youtube and shouldn't be allowed to touch firearms with tools.  

 

For percussion revolvers, I do it the same as Irish Ike. Way faster and a whole lot cleaner. Takes less than 10 minutes to do from start to finish

 

If it was a single shot pistol or rifle using compressed air via the nipple or touch hole is far and away easier and cleaner. Just be sure the muzzle is pointed in a safe direction as the ball has a fair bit of velocity. Use a rubber valve stem to make the seal.

 

BTW they used to sell a tool that used CO2 cartridges just for doing what I described.

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26 minutes ago, Sedalia Dave said:

BTW they used to sell a tool that used CO2 cartridges just for doing what I described.

That sounds like a great idea.

Does anyone know what the tool is called, or if it's still available?

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8 hours ago, Brazos John said:

That sounds like a great idea.

Does anyone know what the tool is called, or if it's still available?

 

Look for CO2 Load dischargers

 

https://www.dixiegunworks.com/index/page/product/product_id/8924/category/332/category_chain/578,349,332/product_name/MT0515+UNIVERSAL+UNLOADER+KIT

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Sedalia Dave said:

 

You should do more research as grease fittings are not anywhere near the same thread size and pitch as the nipples on almost all percussion firearms. Whoever thought it up should be banned from youtube and shouldn't be allowed to touch firearms with tools.  

 

For percussion revolvers, I do it the same as Irish Ike. Way faster and a whole lot cleaner. Takes less than 10 minutes to do from start to finish

 

If it was a single shot pistol or rifle using compressed air via the nipple or touch hole is far and away easier and cleaner. Just be sure the muzzle is pointed in a safe direction as the ball has a fair bit of velocity. Use a rubber valve stem to make the seal.

 

BTW they used to sell a tool that used CO2 cartridges just for doing what I described.

 I think we are referring different situations.  My experience is with percussion long bore rifles, and I was writing in that frame of reference.  (I know the OP was about revolvers, and I was less than clear, but I guess I didn't think anybody would ever have problems figuring how to clear a short chamber in a revolver cylinder.)  I could and should have been clearer. 

The 6mm grease zerk is the same thread form as (I will say most) rifle nipples.  My experience is with SS nipples from Tracks of the Wolf (image below). 

 

A stubbornly stuck ball or misfire is a much bigger issue when it's at the cap end of a 30" bore, over a 120 gn charge.   I never tried the CO2 gadgets, because I felt the slower grease method is less likely to seriously further jamb a stuck ball.  

Sorry for the confusion. 

Here's the Tracks nipple with a HFT grease zerk. 

20200627_065608.jpg

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale

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I'm glad to hear you are ok .

Our Heavenly Father was surely watching over you that day .

God speed .

Rooster 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Branchwater Jack SASS #88854 said:

 

Thanks Branchwater Jack.

 

FYI doesn't work very well with SliXshot nipples due to the side hole.

 

SliXshot Black Powder Nipples

 

Edited by Sedalia Dave

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Posted (edited)

I'm glad Artie is okay.

 

Not to highjack this post---But I had a 3 to 5 sec maybe hangfire back in about 2004.

We were shooting at Butt's Butte  in S/W IA.

I shoot Ruger K-Bisley Vaqueros in .44 Mag as a Gunfighter.

My fake BP loads were using APP FFFg.

I was engaging my last pistol target with my last round.  It was a normal steel target surrounded by a barn wood window frame.

I had been alternating the six-guns for the first 9 rounds at that target and the 10th shot did not go off.  

For some reason (God was watching me) I held the revolver downrange and it fired in a few seconds after the hammer had dropped.

The round hit the window frame just left of the intended target.

 

I did collect an M and a P for hitting the prop. :huh:  Oh, well!

But I am very glad that it did not discharge anywhere else.

 

I was feeling pretty blessed that it went off in a safe direction.

 

Mustang

 

PS--The rounds had been loaded for about 2 or 3 months.

Edited by Mustang Gregg
goofs
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4 hours ago, Sedalia Dave said:

 

Thanks Branchwater Jack.

 

FYI doesn't work very well with SliXshot nipples due to the side hole.

 

SliXshot Black Powder Nipples

 

Couldn't you carry a spare nipple and switch em out when you needed to blast out a dud round?

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9 minutes ago, Branchwater Jack SASS #88854 said:

Couldn't you carry a spare nipple and switch em out when you needed to blast out a dud round?

 

Exactly. I carry a couple Pietta and Uberti factory nipples for just such occasions.

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21 hours ago, Sedalia Dave said:

 

You should do more research as grease fittings are not anywhere near the same thread size and pitch as the nipples on almost all percussion firearms. Whoever thought it up should be banned from youtube and shouldn't be allowed to touch firearms with tools.  

 

For percussion revolvers, I do it the same as Irish Ike. Way faster and a whole lot cleaner. Takes less than 10 minutes to do from start to finish

 

If it was a single shot pistol or rifle using compressed air via the nipple or touch hole is far and away easier and cleaner. Just be sure the muzzle is pointed in a safe direction as the ball has a fair bit of velocity. Use a rubber valve stem to make the seal.

 

BTW they used to sell a tool that used CO2 cartridges just for doing what I described.

Dixie gun works may have these still, we used to use them, 

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20 minutes ago, Sedalia Dave said:

 

Exactly. I carry a couple Pietta and Uberti factory nipples for just such occasions.

I needed this tip. Just got a second Navy in 44 today.

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24 minutes ago, Whiskey Hicks said:

I needed this tip. Just got a second Navy in 44 today.

 

Before it happens during a match practice removing the ball from a loaded cylinder a couple of times to make sure your tools are adequate for the job. I have founs that a hammer with interchangeable faces to be a useful item at the range. A short section of oak with a 1/2 to 5/8 hole drilled through it makes a handy anvil for removing stuck balls, squibs, etc

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On 6/26/2020 at 1:39 AM, Cat Brules said:

That whole scenario sounds very troubling.  Plus, apparently there was no comment or take charge by the Unloading Table Officer, either.  

I think Artie and individually, those around him, are very lucky.

 

Cat Brules

Well since Cat Brules will not elaborate on his comment, perhaps someone else would know what an UTO would have been able to do in this particular case that would have eliminated the realized end result.

 

Always willing to learn things ya know.

 

Phantom

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9 hours ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Well since Cat Brules will not elaborate on his comment, perhaps someone else would know what an UTO would have been able to do in this particular case that would have eliminated the realized end result.

 

Always willing to learn things ya know.

 

Phantom

I asked for more details for pretty much the same reason, trying to figure out how it could have been prevented. 
 

I guess sweeping his foot with a ‘loaded’ gun is the problem, but I don’t see a ULT being able to stop that and those of us with the newfangled cartridge guns sweep our own feet with loaded guns all the time. 
 

I think all I learned is that hang fires can take a long time and may be position sensitive AND once you’ve popped a cap, that gun should be handled very carefully until the ball is definitely out.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Sedalia Dave said:

 

Before it happens during a match practice removing the ball from a loaded cylinder a couple of times to make sure your tools are adequate for the job. I have founs that a hammer with interchangeable faces to be a useful item at the range. A short section of oak with a 1/2 to 5/8 hole drilled through it makes a handy anvil for removing stuck balls, squibs, etc

 

I knew a feller who had a neat way of getting out the occasional FTF. It was on his loading stand.He had it to where he could clamp down on the cylinder in the stand with a screw through the center of the cylinder. He would unscrew the bullet seater, and then had this screw that would go in its place and screw into the ball. Then he would pull up on the ram, and out came the bullet.

Edited by Branchwater Jack SASS #88854
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