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View Full Version : Can you dry fire a cap & ball gun?


Lead Waster
01-03-2013, 4:02 PM
OK, so I've had this Pietta Remington 1858 (from Cabelas) for about a year. It's in my safe (no particular reason other than to sit with the other guns) and I have caps and powder (no balls!) and very limited places to shoot it, since indoor ranges won't allow it (around me anyway).

Can I dry fire this without completely messing up the nipples/hammer? I'm guessing no. Is there any trick so that I can? Like putting something over the nipples or unscrewing them off the cylinder or something?

I don't have any revolvers other than this one and it's never been fired and it's driving me crazy just sitting there, I just want to pull the trigger .. LOL!

CSACANNONEER
01-03-2013, 4:05 PM
Nipples are made to be replaced. However, dry firing doesn't do them any good at all. If you're just going to dry fire it a few times, go for it. But, I would not make it a habit unless I had a extra nipples.

Edit: Isn't the range at Coyote Point open? I would assume they allow BP.

DrewN
01-03-2013, 4:32 PM
Couldn't you just put used caps on the nipples? Maybe put a tiny dab of silicon in 'em.

Lead Waster
01-03-2013, 4:47 PM
Coyote point does not allow BP. In fact they only allow rifles and .22 pistols. I've not been there, even though they are the closest range to me, I'll give them a try some time (for .22)

CSACANNONEER
01-03-2013, 4:56 PM
Couldn't you just put used caps on the nipples? Maybe put a tiny dab of silicon in 'em.

They disinegrate.

Coyote point does not allow BP. In fact they only allow rifles and .22 pistols. I've not been there, even though they are the closest range to me, I'll give them a try some time (for .22)

Times have changed. I haven't been there in 28 years.

DrewN
01-03-2013, 4:57 PM
They disinegrate. Ah. Good to know. I thought they were just primers.

Lead Waster
01-03-2013, 5:00 PM
Actually, I don't even have old caps yet, having never fired it!

I have some powder, and 2000 caps (Dang, I hope they're the right size!) and no balls (ha ha, yes, that's funny). But I've got some lead and a melting pot, I'm going to make them the old fashioned way .... (in an electric melter, they had those in 1858, right?)

CSACANNONEER
01-03-2013, 5:01 PM
They disinegrate. Ah. Good to know. I thought they were just primers.

Some of the larger musket caps retain their form but, the little ones tend to split or break up into multiple pieces which is a PITA when they jam up the cylider of a wheel gun.

bohoki
01-03-2013, 5:18 PM
if a nipple snaps off you are not going to have a good day

CSACANNONEER
01-03-2013, 5:22 PM
if a nipple snaps off you are not going to have a good day

Ice will help until you can get to a hospital.

CSACANNONEER
01-03-2013, 5:23 PM
Sorry, wrong forum. Sometimes having dual screens can get a little confusing.

David13
01-03-2013, 6:57 PM
Get some balls. For the gun.
Then try Where to Shoot.org. And put in your zip code, and look for somewhere that allows black powder. There are quite a few places around here, so there should be, perhaps more up there, maybe to the east.
You will find real shooting is a lot more fun that dry shooting.
dc

Geologyjohn
01-03-2013, 7:04 PM
If you gotta dry fire it, put caps on it. But make sure that you clean the pistol immediately afterwards. Do not dry fire w/o a cap. The nipples will slowly get smashed, and repeated dry firing commonly leaves a scar/dent on the face of the hammer. Its just unnecessary abuse of the pistol.

Geologyjohn
01-03-2013, 7:04 PM
If you gotta dry fire it, put caps on it. But make sure that you clean the pistol immediately afterwards. Do not dry fire w/o a cap. The nipples will slowly get smashed, and repeated dry firing commonly leaves a scar/dent on the face of the hammer. Its just unnecessary abuse of the pistol.

Dutch3
01-03-2013, 7:38 PM
Put caps on it and fire it in your backyard.

Just like a kid's cap gun, but maybe a little bit louder. Many recommend popping some caps on the cylinders before loading with powder & balls to be sure the nipples are clear.

Dutch3
01-03-2013, 7:40 PM
Sorry, wrong forum. Sometimes having dual screens can get a little confusing.

I see what you did there.

:D

EM2
01-03-2013, 7:50 PM
Sorry, wrong forum. Sometimes having dual screens can get a little confusing.


Perhaps it's time for new glasses? ;)

Carsgunsandchics
01-03-2013, 8:02 PM
You can also secure a strip of leather to the face of the hammer to take the impact. Depending on the grade of leather determines how many times you can dry fire. And you can blow out any little pieces of leather from the nipples that become lodged in there.

Cobrafreak
01-03-2013, 8:56 PM
Yeah, use leather like an old belt or something. It will cushion the nipple and prevent damage.

6mmintl
01-04-2013, 7:22 AM
Bring it to the Freezararsse rondevous in Manteca the 11-13th

Eljay
01-04-2013, 9:38 AM
I've heard some people get some of the tubing they use for airlines in fish tanks and cut off a short segment and use that as a cushion but I have no idea how well that actually works or how long they last.

I'd just go shoot it. Go to Chabot or something.

shotcaller6
01-04-2013, 9:50 AM
I use irragation drip line tubing as Eljay suggested, works fine you will need to replace them as they wear out though.

Lead Waster
01-04-2013, 10:38 AM
Ah, great suggestion for the airline! (And to go shoot it! I'll head to Chabot at some point)

As for the nipples breaking off, a sports bra will help, right Cannoneer? :p

Thanks for the tips. I have too many unfired guns in my safe, maybe a full day at Chabot will help me out...

Eljay
01-04-2013, 6:30 PM
Sounds like a trip is long overdue.

Chabot's actually pretty BP friendly. Curtis (one of the regular ROs, he's almost always the RO on Friday) knows a fair amount about BP and is pretty helpful. I've had one or two of the guys I don't recognize who were maybe just a little bit clueless - you might have to show them how to tell the gun's unloaded (Chabot standard is that no percussion caps = unloaded). They have BP rules on their website and the only additional thing that I don't think's up there is that they want you to cover your powder flask while shooting. I just toss mine into a ziploc bag I leave on the bench. I can argue the merits of that rule but it's easy enough to humor them.

CSACANNONEER
01-06-2013, 6:24 AM
Sorry, wrong forum. Sometimes having dual screens can get a little confusing.

Are you guys on the other forum too?

Get some balls. ................
You will find real shooting is a lot more fun that dry shooting.
dc

You can also secure a strip of leather to the face ............ And you can blow out any little pieces of leather from the nipples that become lodged in there.

Yeah, use leather like an old belt or something. It will cushion the nipple and prevent damage.


As for the nipples breaking off, a sports bra will help, right Cannoneer? :p