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Prairie Dawg, SASS #50329

Even us "Old" cap gunners can learn a lesson or two!

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Posted (edited)

I've been shooting cap guns since the early 80s, but yesterday at the OVV monthly, I had this happen:

 

 

importance_of_the_wedge.jpg

 

The importance of the wedge...........

I guess I was a bit lax about making sure the wedge was in.

I should have known, as I had two failure-to-fires just before.
I think the wedge got a bit loose and caused way too much headspace.
The third one lit off and took the barrel with it!
Lesson learned -- after that, at the unloading table,  gave the wedge a tap with the nylon hammer!
Course, I had to listen to "at least my barrel didn't fall off" comments for the next few stages!
But, aside from a bit of embarrassment, learned a good lesson, almost shot the match clean, and had a great time! 
Goes to show that you're never too "seasoned" to learn something new, and make it a part of your routine!
By the way, this is not a picture of me, but an image in my files.
I have not been immortalized by a digital image!!
So, keep yer powder dry & your wedges tight!!!
Be safe & have fun!
--Dawg 
Edited by Prairie Dawg, SASS #50329
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Just because you posted that I will use my C&Bs at Tusco when I shoot there this year.

kT

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Great -- the more the merrier!

I plan on shooting all cap gun Josey Wales!

Course, the weather might have something to say about that, but that's the current plan.

It'll be good to shoot with you again!

--Dawg

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Did your barrel and loading lever at least hit one of the pistol targets? :D

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Fingers McGee had that happen at one of our matches.  We never found the wedge. 

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OK, now I feel better!
If it can happen to "THE MASTER", it can happen to anyone!!

--Dawg

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Posted (edited)

One of the reasons I load on a stand for the whole gun.  I don't like tempting fate, disassembling my guns during a match!  Bad enough that last year's Back At Cha was my worst match ever... leaving the nipples at home meant using the stock ones the first day... aarrrggg!  Nary a complete stage.  Borrowed some Treso's for the final two days and not one hiccup!  

Edited by Griff

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The person in the picture you posted was Capt. Jeb. Forrest from North Carolina. He told me the shot where the barrel came off hit the target. He picked up the wedge, mounted the barrel, and finished the stage.

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Yep. Seen it happen.

Not happened to me yet.

I wore out my first ASM Reb .44 in 1988.  Never experience a chain-fire until last year.  Fortunately, only two rounds went off, one down the barrel and one nearby chamber, so no round fired into the loading lever.

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I always make it a habit to press on the wedge at the loading table before capping.  It has become such a habit that I forgot I do that.  Thanks for reminding me.

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Had my only chain fire at bordertown 3 years ago, 3 chambers went off 1 hit the wedge,one went out the barrel have no idea where the 3rd went. Hand stung for awhile. No idea what happened did my usual loading routine. After checking my shorts shot the rest of the match with no issues other than my arbor is a little wobbly. Anyone know how to tighten it up. 

Rafe

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1 minute ago, Rafe Conager SASS #56958 said:

Had my only chain fire at bordertown 3 years ago, 3 chambers went off 1 hit the wedge,one went out the barrel have no idea where the 3rd went. Hand stung for awhile. No idea what happened did my usual loading routine. After checking my shorts shot the rest of the match with no issues other than my arbor is a little wobbly. Anyone know how to tighten it up. 

Rafe

I had one loosen up several years ago.  I removed it from the frame and put red loctite on it and reinstalled.  Hasn't come loose yet.  Course it would depend on how loose it was.  I put the barrel on the frame and installed the wedge so arbor was straight while the loctite hardened up over night.

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1 hour ago, Lucky R. K. said:

The person in the picture you posted was Capt. Jeb. Forrest from North Carolina. He told me the shot where the barrel came off hit the target. He picked up the wedge, mounted the barrel, and finished the stage.

 

That would have been Jeb.  MIss him, he was always fun to shoot with!

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48 minutes ago, Cheatin Charlie said:

I had one loosen up several years ago.  I removed it from the frame and put red loctite on it and reinstalled.  Hasn't come loose yet.  Course it would depend on how loose it was.  I put the barrel on the frame and installed the wedge so arbor was straight while the loctite hardened up over night.

How do you remove it from the gun? I'm an ok smit but do know my limits. 

Rafe 

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In the hammer channel there is a small pin that keeps the arbor from turning.  Center punch it and drill it out.  Then arbor can be turned out of the frame.  File down pin in drill to correct size and before locktite hardens drive new pin in.  After locktite hardens upset head of pin with punch and file smooth.  It worked for me.

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Dawg ... Great Picture :D

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4 hours ago, Prairie Dawg, SASS #50329 said:

OK, now I feel better!
If it can happen to "THE MASTER", it can happen to anyone!!

--Dawg

True, but great smoke look....But could get a little more smoke next time....

 

Texas Lizard

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Gives a whole new meaning to getting a "wedgy!"

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1 hour ago, Marauder SASS #13056 said:

Gives a whole new meaning to getting a "wedgy!"

Both could be painful....

 

Texas Lizard

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On 8/23/2020 at 7:47 AM, Lucky R. K. said:

The person in the picture you posted was Capt. Jeb. Forrest from North Carolina. He told me the shot where the barrel came off hit the target. He picked up the wedge, mounted the barrel, and finished the stage.


That would make an awesome scene in a western movie. In the middle of a gunfight the hero’s gun explodes and as the sneering bad guy approaches him for the kill the hero calmly reassembles his weapon and takes out the bad guy or last few bad guys at the last second. 
 

Seamus

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On 8/23/2020 at 7:48 AM, Prairie Dawg, SASS #50329 said:

OK, now I feel better!
If it can happen to "THE MASTER", it can happen to anyone!!

--Dawg

Just to be clear, I don't remember the barrel going down range.  It fell off when I  cocked for the next round.  You don't have a video of it Warden ................ do you?

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Posted (edited)

new post

Edited by Major Crimes

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That is an amazing photograph.

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Glad you're ok, hope you were wearing the brown pants.  Did you have to declare a broke gun?  ;) :FlagAm:

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Oh, it wasn't a danger in any way.

In Colt open top-style revolvers, every time the gun fires, the ball goes into the barrel, and tries to rip the barrel off the arbor, but the wedge stops that from happening, and the ball goes through the hole in the barrel instead.

When the wedge is missing, the ball pulls the barrel off, and the ball/barrel assembly all goes downrange.

No danger of explosion or anything else -- except embarrassment.

One of the reasons brassies "shoot loose" with stout loads, is that every time it fires, the ball is trying to rip the barrel off the frame, tugging on the arbor.  The connection between the arbor & frame in brass-framed guns is not as tight/structurally sound as in steel-framed guns.

So. I want my guns to be steel-framed, and keep my loads reasonably light -- We're not shooting bad guys, after all!

The wedge holds the barrel on the frame.
Once we found the wedge, I just reloaded it, tapped the wedge in tighter, and finished the match.

And, yes, I laid the frame/cylinder on the spool & said, "I think it's broke."

--Dawg

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8 minutes ago, Prairie Dawg, SASS #50329 said:

Oh, it wasn't a danger in any way.

In Colt open top-style revolvers, every time the gun fires, the ball goes into the barrel, and tries to rip the barrel off the arbor, but the wedge stops that from happening, and the ball goes through the hole in the barrel instead.

When the wedge is missing, the ball pulls the barrel off, and the ball/barrel assembly all goes downrange.

No danger of explosion or anything else -- except embarrassment.

One of the reasons brassies "shoot loose" with stout loads, is that every time it fires, the ball is trying to rip the barrel off the frame, tugging on the arbor.  The connection between the arbor & frame in brass-framed guns is not as tight/structurally sound as in steel-framed guns.

So. I want my guns to be steel-framed, and keep my loads reasonably light -- We're not shooting bad guys, after all!

The wedge holds the barrel on the frame.
Once we found the wedge, I just reloaded it, tapped the wedge in tighter, and finished the match.

And, yes, I laid the frame/cylinder on the spool & said, "I think it's broke."

--Dawg

 

Now that's funny.  If I ever get lucky enough to shoot with you I'll remind you to check your wedge (just to be a wise guy)

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Well, if you had a correctly made "open top"  this wouldn't have happened. Take a design, make it wrong, put it in the hands of a competition shooter and expect it to work is foolish!! What is one to expect?!!

 

Mike

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I suppose the only one on the Planet making an Open Top Correctly is YOU .... right??  Pretty Self Aggrandizing they're Dragoon ???

 

Our "Open Top" design Colt pattern guns run just fine Thank You.  Have for years.  Anyone can make a goofy error.  Even happens with Strap Guns i case you haven't seen ejector rods go down range, 44-40 loaded in 45, you know human frailty.  Gimme a Break.

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Thumb-tight has worked for thousands of rounds put downrange in 35+ years of shooting cap guns.

But you have to actually push it in thumb tight, which I obviously did not do.

I like the way my guns run, and have not lost any confidence in my method of loading and shooting them.

So, I disagree with the implication that Pietta builds the guns wrong, or that I  have set them up wrong.

--Dawg  

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Posted (edited)

Hold on...

 

Getting Popcorn..... B)

Edited by Four Eyes Henry
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All of my cap guns are set up to use only thumb pressure to remove. I never have a problem with that. If the little spring lock thingy is engaged the wedge will not shoot out. Slight pressure on the lock and against the end of the wedge will let you pull it out. It works for me.

Lucky

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Posted (edited)

Lo!!!!! 

 

 Well, for the CAS crowd, "thumb pressure" may work with the loads used, but that still doesn't translate to Colts own instructions to "drive" the wedge in and "drive" the wedge out  .  .  .   I didn't make the rules .  .  .   PD himself said that he fixed the problem by "tapping" the wedge in with a nylon hammer (something he hasn't done in 35+ yrs finely caught up with him). No problems after that.  There ya go . . . easy Peasy.  Had he done that before the match, this thread wouldn't exist . 

  My comment about building a design wrong has absolutely nothing to do with the shooter, but everything to do with the maker! CM knows exactly what I'm talking about with the arbor situations in Uberti's (et al) and Lord knows everyone here has talked about the problem so well outlined by Pettifogger!   So, if you're buying S.A.s that aren't correct from the factory, how do you expect them to stand up to competition?! I said absolutely nothing wrong towards any shooter and everything aimed at the revolver in question.  All revolvers need to be set up for competition, some more than others but the basics need to be adhered to. No matter who pushes a wedge in, tapping it in will close tolerances even more.  As already has been stated, tapping the wedge in solved the problem so I rest my case. 

  

  As far as self aggrandizement, oh please CM !!! Me ???  

  As far as being the "only one" to make ot's right? Where does that come from? Never said I'm the only one, but I am one!

 

Mike

 

 Well, I'll be dog.  Guess I didn't catch PD's last comment about Pietta's not built right and he did nothing wrong  .  .  .  wow !!! Wonder what happened to it then?!!   Mystery!!   

 

 PD , I apologize if I said anything derogatory about you or your Pietta's. My mistake. Thought this was titled something about old cap gunners Learning a lesson or two .  .  .   hmmmmm .

 

Apparently the only person that did anything wrong was me agreeing with you and Sam Colt about how to install the wedge!   

 

 For the life of me I don't understand why you folks are losing numbers in the Cowboy game!  Sheeeesh!

 

 

 

 

 

  

Edited by 45 Dragoon
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