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Loading table and the cap and ball etiquette:


The Hero of Canton

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Showing up on Sat and maybe Sunday for my first match, and I am bringing my Uberti Walkers. 

 

My question is one of etiquette.

One of my revolvers is charged, seated, and capped. 

 

Do I need to show up with it discharged?

 

Not an issue to do that. I can discharge into a clearing barrel I have on my rural 2 acre Texas property. 

 

Or can I simply decap to stay within the safety rules and meet the safe holster requirements?  Then just recap 5 chambers at the loading table, and perform the stage. 

 

Is capping and seating on a loaded chamber at the loading table considered a safety violation? 

 

I have always capped and seated on empty chambers, and loaded the powder, wad and ball for fear of incidental cap detonation. 

 

I realize that safe direction, and proper hand placement would all but eliminate the worst case scenarios dangers.  In the SASS rule book  it dictates a hammer down on a empty nipple for holstering from the loading table. 

 

Is a charged but uncapped chamber on a BP revolver considered safe for clearing table purposes? 

 

 

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Percussion revolvers must only be capped at the loading table or while on the course of fire. The cap over a nipple must never be seated using the percussion revolver’s own hammer. The Chief Range Officer/Timer Operator (CRO/TO) shall require any misfires to be cleared on the firing line by either recapping and firing that chamber, or by uncapping the misfired chamber.

SHB p.14

 

Quote

All firearms will remain unloaded except while under the direct observation of a designated person on the firing line or in the designated loading and unloading areas.

...

Percussion revolver shooters must exercise care to ensure they maintain safe muzzle direction during loading and have fired or cleared all capped chambers prior to leaving the unloading area. It is not permissible to seat percussion caps on a revolver’s nipple using the revolver’s hammer. Percussion revolvers may only be capped at the loading area or on the firing line.

SHB p.29

 

DE-CAP the revolvers before arrival on the range!

Penalty for carrying loaded firearms away from the firing line is a SDQ (MDQ on most ranges)


 

Quote

 

- Loading at other than the designated loading position or firing line.

...

- Failure to adhere to loading and unloading procedures.

 

SHB p.23 - Stage Disqualifications

 

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15 minutes ago, The Hero of Canton said:

...

 

Is capping and seating on a loaded chamber considered a safety violation? 

Absolutely not...that is the most common method for loading.

 

I have always capped and seated on empty chambers, and loaded the powder, wad and ball for fear of incidental cap detonation. 

Never heard of that method.

 

I realize that safe direction, and proper hand placement would all but eliminate the worst case scenarios dangers.  In the SASS rule book  it dictates a hammer down on a empty nipple for holstering from the loading table. 

 

Is a charged but uncapped chamber on a BP revolver considered safe for clearing table purposes? 

Yes.
Percussion revolvers are not considered loaded unless capped.

 

 

 

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I would never show up at the match with caps on nipples. That was clear in the rules as safety MDQ territory. 

 

or live rounds in chambers, or tubes. 

 

PWB clearly answered my question. 

 

A burdened chamber on a cap and ball revolver is not ruled as "loaded" until a cap is seated on the nipple at the loading table. 

A uncapped burdened chamber is safe for resting hammer holstering.

 

Moreover because that was never capped it remains safe and not a misfire for the departure from the unloading table. 

 

 

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Think about the order you are loading in. Load your chambers at your cart/whatever you have setup. Then proceed to the loading table where you will cap them. 

 

BS

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Hi,

 I would suggest showing up with empty cylinders in your C&B revolvers. Do your initial loading of 5 cylinder holes per revolver before the first stage starts, but don't cap till at the loading table.  This is what is typically done at SASS matches that I have attended.

 

I know some bring extra cylinders already loaded (but uncapped), so they can just swap out cylinders before each stage, but I don't as I don't want to clean that many cylinders!

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I load my cylinders at home the night before a shoot,  cap guns are not considered a loaded firearm until they are capped. I cap at the loading table when it's close to my time to shoot.  After shooting show cleaned nipples (cones) at the unload table, then recharge my pistols at my cart.

Rafe 

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Too bad I'm doing the covid sit and wait or I'd be there and could help you out.  Another guy, who is also knowledgeable on C&B's and should be there, is Mr. Finger.

 

I'm a bit confused on the "cap and seated".  How long has the firearm been loaded?  If it was me, I'd shoot it, and clean it.  That way, when you load it this weekend, everything will be fresh. 

 

You can load the cylinder anywhere, I usually load my cylinders while working the unloading table.  Cap only when at the loading table.

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All great questions!  In my learnins as a newbie to frontiersman, I was taught to “bust caps” to clear the chambers in the morning before I get to the stage and load up my cylinders.  I do it twice per chamber.  This is how I was taught to help make sure I don’t have a pfffft.  My $0.02.  I show up to a match with clean guns.  Bust the caps,  load up the cylinders, wait until it’s my time to shoot and cap at the LT.  Rinse and repeat.

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1 hour ago, Barry Sloe said:

Think about the offer you are loading in. Load your chambers at your cart/whatever you have setup. Then proceed to the loading table where you will cap them. 

 

BS

Yes.

 

Makes total sence for games sake. To be able to burden the cyl without caps. While not at the loading table. 

 

My indoctrination to CB revolvers was all about getting it to go off reliably. And part of that was seating caps adamantly with an antler or softish probe.  

 

The danger described, was to not get carried away and grind or go slipping, into a impact,  and cause a ND of a cap. Not a problem with a unloaded cyl at 1/2 cock, but...

 

A cap ND with a burdened cyl would send ball and spall everywhere.

 

Keeping booger hooks behind the cyl face and out of the way of a cap seating  ND at the loading table will be a departure from my indoc  for me. 

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1 hour ago, Tucker McNeely said:

All great questions!  In my learnins as a newbie to frontiersman, I was taught to “bust caps” to clear the chambers in the morning before I get to the stage and load up my cylinders.  I do it twice per chamber.  This is how I was taught to help make sure I don’t have a pfffft.  My $0.02.  I show up to a match with clean guns.  Bust the caps,  load up the cylinders, wait until it’s my time to shoot and cap at the LT.  Rinse and repeat.

Caps can run kinda scarce.  The night before the match I run a short pipe cleaner through the nipples and load powder, wad and ball.  Capping is done at the loading table.

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I blow the cylinders out with my air compressor, run a nipple pick through to ensure the flash holes are clear then load as normal if I am using a lubed wad I make sure that a cardboard wad is used between powder and lubed wad to keep from saturating the powder. 

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1 hour ago, Tom Bullweed said:

Caps can run kinda scarce.  The night before the match I run a short pipe cleaner through the nipples and load powder, wad and ball.  Capping is done at the loading table.


For years I popped a cap on each chamber before charging with powder and ball.  With caps being hard to find, I now simply pass a nipple pick through the vent after charging powder and ball to make sure the cap fire can get into the powder.  I like to feel the pick “crunch” into the powder as the wire passes through the vent.

 

 I make my own picks with empty brass, spring wire, and epoxy glue. Cheap, quick and easy to make.  I take several to the range in case I fumble one or a fellow competitor wants one.  O.022 spring wire goes through  my Treso Vents easily.

 

You can also use the wire to determine which chamber is not charged, if you care to.

 

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3 hours ago, Rafe Conager SASS #56958 said:

I also paint one of my cones with red nail polish and never load that chamber. 

 

I do the same thing, I’ve found that at the loading table it helps the person checking know which chamber is uncapped.  I also use it on the end of the chamber just as a reminder to me.  The nail polish comes off real easy if that was a concern.

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37 minutes ago, Tequila Shooter said:

 

I do the same thing, I’ve found that at the loading table it helps the person checking know which chamber is uncapped.  I also use it on the end of the chamber just as a reminder to me.  The nail polish comes off real easy if that was a concern.

I do the same! 

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I've been shooting C&B revolvers in CAS since 1987... Here's my method for madness.  I "charge" all 6 chambers with powder, wad and ball.  After mounting cylinder in gun, I run a pick thru nipple to ensure they're clear.  At the loading table I cap five, using the same procedure as Colt suppository shooters, load 1, skip one, load 4, cock and let the hammer down on uncapped chamber.  For the last 10 or 12 years, I've also simplified the process by charging cylinders on the gun, using a stand.  I do this after completing a stage, then watch several other clear their guns while I charge my chambers.  

 

When I cleared before a match by firing caps on uncharged chambers, I found I had a higher incidence of blocked nipples.  I've been meaning to come up there to Leonard to shoot for several months... I won't be able to shoot as I've got another chore for work to take care of that afternoon, but can easily walk you thru a stage or two.

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I buy a can of compressed air. The little red tube just fits inside the nipple and ensures it is clear.  

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I run a pick in each nipple at home, charge 5 cylinders on each gun, powder, greased wad, and ball.  If a reload on clock, will charge the sixth chamber while waiting to start.  When called go to loading table cap 5, if a reload after buzzer when you pull reload pistol to shoot cap the 6th chamber.  Reload is done on timer and you never drop the hammer on a capped chamber with an un-capped charged chamber in the same cylinder.

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14 hours ago, Griff said:

I've been shooting C&B revolvers in CAS since 1987... Here's my method for madness.  I "charge" all 6 chambers with powder, wad and ball.  After mounting cylinder in gun, I run a pick thru nipple to ensure they're clear.  At the loading table I cap five, using the same procedure as Colt suppository shooters, load 1, skip one, load 4, cock and let the hammer down on uncapped chamber.  For the last 10 or 12 years, I've also simplified the process by charging cylinders on the gun, using a stand.  I do this after completing a stage, then watch several other clear their guns while I charge my chambers.  

 

When I cleared before a match by firing caps on uncharged chambers, I found I had a higher incidence of blocked nipples.  I've been meaning to come up there to Leonard to shoot for several months... I won't be able to shoot as I've got another chore for work to take care of that afternoon, but can easily walk you thru a stage or two.

 

I’m guessin’ you shoot that 6th chamber before you’re done for the day?

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Here's something to do when you get there, and before your posse starts shooting.

 

Ask the posse marshal about club rules regarding loading cap and ball guns.  Some places might not let you do it at your cart, sweeping people with guns and stuff.  Might require you do move your cart towards the berm, with guns pointed at the berm when not holstered.

 

Might need to take over a corner of the unloading table, unless there is a 'safety table' where people are to bring problem guns for a quick look.

 

Or find an empty bay with a table against the berm to use.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Tequila Shooter said:

 

I’m guessin’ you shoot that 6th chamber before you’re done for the day?

Or when I get home, before cleaning.

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I have my gun cart setup so I can load my cap guns at my cart on a stand. In the past I have asked the RO if it was ok to clear my nipples...always got a giggle. I have since stopped doing that and just run a pick thru them and that works for me. As Cemetery mentioned it is a good idea to ask for the clubs ruling on where to load the pistols. If working the unloading table it takes me about 4 shooters to load up and that's without rushing. 

That's my story and I am sticking to it.

 

Hochbauer

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