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another range trip... took both the 1858 and the 1847

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I took both of my BP pistols out.  The 58 was a paragon of reliability.  The 47 was more reliable than the 1st time I shot it, but still misfired a few times.

I ran #11 caps on the walker and those worked MUCH better, yet still had to deal with a few misfires.  The 777 powder had 2 instances where the cap popped to no avail.  Pyrodex pellets worked almost flawlessly, yet still misfired as well.

fortunately no bullet puller needed today, just some re-capping.  for the life of me, I'm having trouble seeing why this walker misfires like it does.  guess I need to have it smithed.  Who here specializes in that?

G Dog:

--- Quote from: Frankenstein on September 02, 2018, 08:21:55 PM --- guess I need to have it smithed.  Who here specializes in that?

--- End quote ---
That would be .45 Dragoon to an absolute certainly.

My understanding and experience has been that T7 responds well to sturdy compression.

It seems to be like Black MZ in that respect but that's where similarities between the two end.

If the caps are popping reliably, but the main charges aren't, there's probably nothing a smith can do other than offer advice on loading.  For sure, real black powder ignites more easily, but T7 has been more reliable for me as compared to Pyrodex.  Loose powder or pellets, Pyrodex has often exhibited slight ignition delays for me.  Certainly, real black has been consistently more reliable, but T7 is pretty good.

The open top Colts are notorious for dropping a spent cap into the hammer channel in the frame, preventing the hammer from getting a good strike on the next cap as it hits that spent cap first.  You weren't 100% clear on the type(s) of misfires you're having with the Walker, but a spent cap jammed under the hammer against the frame is very common.  If you haven't had it happen yet, you certainly will.

45 Dragoon can help there, by installing a "cap rake", which is a steel pin screwed into the frame in the top of the hammer channel just behind the nipple position.  It prevents the cap from coming back and falling into the hammer channel.  The hammer is notched, or rather the existing hammer notch is enlarged, so the hammer can clear the cap rake and strike the caps with full force.

I'd suggest sending the Walker to 45 Dragoon just as a matter of principle though, to have the barrel/wedge/frame fitment done proper.  In extreme cases, the cylinder may be moving too far forward, away from the hammer, such that the hammer may not always make a good strike on the cap.  That's a rare condition, but not unheard of.  Uberti Colts are never fit right from the factory though, and for all I know none of the Walkers or Dragoons are, and that's where 45 D can really help, thus making it a better gun that will last longer..

If the cap is exploding with full force and the main charge doesn't light or it lights with any perceptible delay, there is either a hard obstruction inside the flash channel of the nipple (very rare), or you've left some oil inside the flash channel (very common), or you're using Pyrodex, or your powder was grossly contaminated (either beforehand, or once it hit oil left in the back of the chamber after you last cleaned it).  A gunsmith has no control over these things once you take your gun back.

I went out and fired around 30 shots this weekend, using paper cartridges exclusively, from a Pietta Remington and an Uberti Remington revolving carbine, some carts loaded with Olde Eynsford 3F black powder and some with T7 3F, and all shots went off like a modern metal cartridge gun.  I swab the insides of the nipples with pipe cleaners, and the ends of the nipples with cotton swabs (oil on the back of the nipple can contaminate the priming pellet inside the cap if the cap sits on it for any length of time), and repeatedly swab the chambers dry, using multiple fresh swabs, paying special attention to the threaded pocket at the back of the chamber where the nipples don't come quite flush in there, after cleaning.  If I absolutely, positively need my first shot to go off perfectly, as before heading out to hunt, I know that THAT, AND using real black powder, is how to ensure it.  And it will work every time, no question.  It is only when I fail to observe all those precautions that I ever have a problem with ignition.

Also, snapping a cap before loading may clear out the nipple flash channel, but it won't sop up, nor blow out, the much larger quantity of oil that may be lurking in the nipple threads in that pocket at the back of the chamber, or in the hard corner at the back of the chamber wall.  And the oil is most likely to be lurking right there where ignition of the main charge takes place, so focus on that hardest to reach place in there with the corners and the threads.  I've seen a guy have hang fires and misfires all day from an oily chamber in a single shot muzzleloader, and a revolver is no different.

Be mindful of these things, and you'll have no more problems.  And also, "bite the bullet" and order some black powder.  Lots of people use the substitutes and are satisfied with them, but it is a fact that black powder ignites more easily (which is why it's a little more dangerous to have around in quantity).

45 Dragoon:
G Dog and Omnivore, thanks for your recommendation!! Very kind of y'all!!
Frank, many things or combination of things can be the culprit of a "failure to fire" (not pop a cap) but a cap that pops but fails to ignite a charge is more likely (as already stated) an obstruction, partial obstruction or even weak caps themselves. If another cap will light the charge,  it could be the fault of the caps.

Follow me on Instagram @ goonsgunworks

G Dog:
RE clean flash channels -

I will occasionally string the cones on a piece of 24-gauge bronze(ish) wire and sort of Ďsay the rosaryí.  (Iím not RC but the analogy always seemed apt and it sure donít hurt none).

That will scour the flash channels without removing metal and sometimes a bit of soot will wipe off from the wire.  Itís like a circular nipple pick.


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