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New to Cap & Ball Pistols - Need tips


"HH" (a.k.a. Dave)
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Just recently acquired a trio of percussion cap revolvers; 2 - Ruger Old Armies and 1 - Pietta 1851 Navy.  I'm not completely green, but would appreciate some help with what sort of "tools" should I carry on my gun cart during matches.  I've got the nipple wrench (Slixwrench), powder flask, powder measure and a capper tool.  Are there also decapping tools and/or nipple cleaners (like a cutting torch tip cleaner) that I should be carrying?  I also bought the SlixSprings cheater handle and ram extensions.  Just looking for anything I missed, including cleaning kits/tools.

 

I'm looking forward to shooting some frontiersman matches in the coming season and just want to get geared up and practiced over the winter.

 

Thanks,  HH

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I use a stand similar to what Warden Callaway is using. If you look at his cart he has tubes which I am guessing he preloads before coming to a match. I do something similar so I do not have to mess around with a powder flask at a match. The slix rammer is money well spent I have one too. Also put the Slix nipples on my ROA's but mine only like Remington #10 caps. 

Back to what to have on your cart...I have dental pics that look like small brushes to clean my nipples. Balistol and bore butter. Or a some PAM which is a mixture of equal parts of Murphys oil soap, peroxide and alcohol. Works well. I carry a piece of wooden dowel in my pouch so I can make sure my caps are firmly seated. I am sure there will be more suggestions coming your way. 

I have a rugged gear cart that my wife and I shared...but once I got into  shooting frontiersman I found a baby stroller and converted that to be my cart and it has a nice solid work area on top and room for all of my stuff.

If you go on Fake Book and lookup Captain Baylor there was a big thread on this topic of what to carry on a gun cart and lots of pics.

 

Hochbauer

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Never, ever, ever, use your thumb, or finger, to seat a cap. Use a piece of dowel rod, or antler. If that cap goes off, while you are pushing it on the cone with your thumb or finger, it will ruin your year, or maybe the rest of your life!!! Murphey's law says what can go wrong will go wrong. Do not take the chance.

 

Replace the stock cones (nipples) with slick-shot cones (nipples).

 

At some point, in your dealings with cap & ball revolvers, you need to study and start making paper cartridges, instead of using loose powder and ball.

It speeds up the loading/reloading process, and I have seen some talented folks reload a cap & ball revolver faster than a person can eject their empties, and reload a cartridge revolver.

 

You can use plain old blue windshield washer fluid to swab the bore...followed up with a NON-petroleum based lube, or oil. 

 

Use ONLY a NON-petroleum based lube, or oil, with any black-powder firearm. Blackpowder, and petroleum based lubes and oils, do NOT do well together. Back in the 1960's we were not aware of this...but we learned our lesson, big time!!!

 

Non-petroleum based lubes and oils, such as Rand CLP, or, Ballistol.  NEVER use a petroleum based oil on a black-powder firearm!!! 

 

A combination of lamb's tallow and bees wax, is a good non-petroleum based lube, as is SPG lube, and Wonder Lube. 

 

Study some videos/youtube segments, on how to use the cap & ball revolvers,. and what you will need to carry. Duelist1954 is an excellent person to walk you through this. He is on youtube. Mike has the experience. 

 

My Two Bits from doing this since 1964.

 

W.K.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Waxahachie Kid #17017 L
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Some bp shooters find this cylinder block comes in handy to hold the cylinder while removing the nipples.  

4E850E10-7BCB-4BB6-B7DD-E1306F327F37.jpeg

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Also even tho you are shooting cap & Ball and it takes time to  reload them, don't forget that you also have posse duty to do.

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I have never met two blackpowder competitors who do things exactly alike.  Trust yourself to develop the procedures that work best for you and your guns.
 

People and guns are like snowflakes:  no two are identical.  It gives you freedom.

 

Have fun.

 

:)

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17 minutes ago, Nickel City Dude said:

Also even tho you are shooting cap & Ball and it takes time to  reload them, don't forget that you also have posse duty to do.

The shooter is asking for help, not to be scolded and assume because he wants to be a c&b shooter that he won’t work.
 

 Look up captain George Baylor’s website for frontiersman for dummies.  Great start.  

 

other good info here.  Find a local frontiersman mentor.  Mine have been invaluable.  There’s so much to frontiersman.  That’s why I enjoy the challenge.

 

if needed pm me phone # or other contact info for specific questions/tips.

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7 minutes ago, Tucker McNeely said:

The shooter is asking for help, not to be scolded and assume because he wants to be a c&b shooter that he won’t work.
 

 

 No scolding intended, it is just that I have seen this a few times and I didn't want him to fall into this problem.

Happy Trails to you.

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Be sure to put some antifreeze on the threads of your nipples, same stuff used on sparkplugs.

 

As for nipple picks, I've seen people use dental picks, paperclips, and just about anything that will fit through the nipple to clear the channel. I personally stopped carrying something like this years ago, as I always lost it over the course of the day.

 

Also, be sure to pay attention to your reloading process and don't let yourself be distracted.  Otherwise you might be seating balls without any powder in the chamber.  Ask me how I know. 

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11 hours ago, Nickel City Dude said:

Also even tho you are shooting cap & Ball and it takes time to  reload them, don't forget that you also have posse duty to do.

 

That's a concern I have when shooting my cap guns. I'm show at shooting and slow at loading.  I generally shoot a couple hundred rounds over the winter break and try to improve my loading time. Last winter I got some centrifuge containers to pre-measure the powder charges. Works a peach. Much handier than a flask. 

 

300414019_CentrifugecapsulesMarch2021.jpg.2e42c0a698cbaaa7703107f9827edd50.jpg

 

I also modified a wooden ammo box to collect and transport all the items I may need. About like traveling with a baby.

 

1156840307_WoodenboxJan2020.jpg.b9951d5d40128cb32b313b472a4ff050.jpg1065270540_PistolboxtrayJan2020.thumb.jpg.64fb77783e97005759b21ba05c5de282.jpg982537033_Boxforblackpowder2Jan2020.jpg.e956b44cde4f700e461cdc753a5f8d1b.jpg

 

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1 hour ago, Cemetery said:

Also, be sure to pay attention to your reloading process and don't let yourself be distracted.  Otherwise you might be seating balls without any powder in the chamber.  Ask me how I know. 

 

This^^^^

 

And because it IS going to happen get a 6" brass rod that will fit through the threaded hole in the cylinder with the nipple removed to facilitate removing said balls. I also have a small slotted jewlers screwdriver for removing powder via the threaded hole in the cylinder when I end up with a charged cylinder that fails to fire. 

 

You need a small non marring hammer for the above and for loosening stubborn wedges. I bought this set. 

Wheeler Master Gunsmithing Interchangeable Hammer Set Keep the small hammer in my cart and the large one in my shop tool kit.

 

You will need two nipple wrenches. ROAs use a different wrench than the 1851.

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17 hours ago, Black Angus McPherson said:

I'd recommend a piece of dowel rod or deer antler to fully seat the caps on the nipples before holstering.  Cappers are great, but they don't get the caps seated really tight on the nipple.

 

Angus

A 3" honey dipper works great as well. You can get them by the dozens on Amazon for under $15

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2 hours ago, Cemetery said:

Be sure to put some antifreeze on the threads of your nipples, same stuff used on sparkplugs.

 

As for nipple picks, I've seen people use dental picks, paperclips, and just about anything that will fit through the nipple to clear the channel. I personally stopped carrying something like this years ago, as I always lost it over the course of the day.

 

Also, be sure to pay attention to your reloading process and don't let yourself be distracted.  Otherwise you might be seating balls without any powder in the chamber.  Ask me how I know. 

Antifreeze or Anti seize ??  

Just curious , 

Rex :D , who doesn't have any cap guns.

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34 minutes ago, Rex M Rugers #6621 said:

Antifreeze or Anti seize ??  

Just curious , 

Rex :D , who doesn't have any cap guns.

Anti-seize, unless of course you shoot in really cold weather.

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On 10/13/2021 at 3:08 PM, "HH" (a.k.a. Dave) said:

Just recently acquired a trio of percussion cap revolvers; 2 - Ruger Old Armies and 1 - Pietta 1851 Navy.  I'm not completely green, but would appreciate some help with what sort of "tools" should I carry on my gun cart during matches.  I've got the nipple wrench (Slixwrench), powder flask, powder measure and a capper tool.  Are there also decapping tools and/or nipple cleaners (like a cutting torch tip cleaner) that I should be carrying?  I also bought the SlixSprings cheater handle and ram extensions.  Just looking for anything I missed, including cleaning kits/tools.

 

I'm looking forward to shooting some frontiersman matches in the coming season and just want to get geared up and practiced over the winter.

 

Thanks,  HH

Everything but the kitchen sink...And you will still need something else...

 

Texas Lizard 

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Some cap and ball shooters like this socket. It fits standard or hex nipples. It’s a modified 1/4” drive narrow neck deep well socket. 

904CCAD1-0CB0-41AC-9AEC-D80236B68727.jpeg

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Don't over complicate things.

 

Ruger got it right almost 50 years ago, stock nipples, Remington #10 caps, or if you can find them RWS1075's.

 

I use a t-pin to pick the nipples after loading, I then stick it in the seem of my range bag, doesn't get lost and doesn't poke me.

 

If I'm shooting a big match I will take the nipples out and wire brush them every other stage, for monthlies I just leave them alone.

 

For the ROA's, a cylinder loading stand is the hot ticket.

 

Make sure you use .457 balls, Speer are better than Hornady.

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I’m using the @Warden Callaway tubes also, they do work 

image.jpeg.05f77ddb9ce6d8845414c326a2ee01d0.jpeg

 

I went a different route with mine, I bought some of @Lady Pearl bags.  Her small bags are a perfect size for 10 balls, 10 wads and 10 tubes of pre-measured powder.  When I need to recharge the cylinders I grab a bag and I don’t have to fiddle around with big containers of stuff.  When done the empty tubes go back into the bag, keeps the gun cart neat and clean.  I usually have an extra bag, just in case, 5 stages-6 bags go in the cart. 

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Lube your balls &

Cap your nipples !

Screenshot_20191219-064623_Photos.thumb.jpg.da0e4b71adc1c86bbb1280d1167cb5b8.jpg

 

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7 hours ago, Tequila Shooter said:

I’m using the @Warden Callaway tubes also, they do work 

image.jpeg.05f77ddb9ce6d8845414c326a2ee01d0.jpeg

 

I went a different route with mine, I bought some of @Lady Pearl bags.  Her small bags are a perfect size for 10 balls, 10 wads and 10 tubes of pre-measured powder.  When I need to recharge the cylinders I grab a bag and I don’t have to fiddle around with big containers of stuff.  When done the empty tubes go back into the bag, keeps the gun cart neat and clean.  I usually have an extra bag, just in case, 5 stages-6 bags go in the cart. 

Thank you kind sir

LADY PEARL SEWS 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks to all who've provided tips!  Excellent info that has me on my way.  I'm also fortunate to have a good friend who casts his own bullets, and now, my round balls too.  Looking forward to next Spring's Washington State Black Powder Championship match where I'll be shooting C&B instead of cartridge.  Will be practicing loading, shooting and cleaning until then.

 

Thanks again pards!

 

HH

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Make sure your balls are cast with pure lead.  The lead alloys used for bullets are too hard for C&B.  BTW, I only use real black powder when shooting C&B at a major match.  I get the most reliable powder ignition with real black powder.  Sometime I get slight delays when shooting subs.  I recommend shooting minimum loads for competition.  The reduced recoil helps keep loading levers from popping loose.

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Send the guns to Mike Brackett - Goon Gunworks - goonsgunworks@gmail.com   They will never fail you.

 

Get a polish capper   https://www.polishcappers.com/en/products/universal-capper-made-by-polish-cappers-model-pcc-for-over-150-percussion-caps-11.html

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http://www.curtrich.com/frontiersmen.html

http://www.curtrich.com/frontiersmen2.html

http://www.curtrich.com/captbaylorsrangercamp.html

http://www.curtrich.com/bpsubsdummies.html

http://www.curtrich.com/bpsubsdummies.2.html

http://www.curtrich.com/bpsubsdummies.3.html

 

October 2008—Dispatches From Camp Baylor—The Care and Feeding of the Ruger Old Army, p. 38

Sept. 2012—Dispatches From Camp Baylor —Come to the Dark Side. We Have Cookies, p. 50

Jan. 2013—Dispatches From Camp Baylor —Black Powder Velocity and Accuracy Test, p. 26

Mar. 2013— Dispatches From Camp Baylor —Who Are Those Guys With the Funny Guns, and What The Heck Are They Doing?, p. 22

July 2013—Dispatches From Camp Baylor —Improved SliX-Shot Nipples for Ruger Old Armies), p. 42

May 2014—Dispatches From Camp Baylor — Cylinder Loading Stands for Percussion Revolvers, p. 44 

December 2015—Dispatches From Camp Baylor—Chronographing Colt's Percussion Revolvers, P. 40

 

Edited by Pee Wee #15785
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