Bitten by the BP bug...

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dpfeifer
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Bitten by the BP bug...

Post by dpfeifer »

Apparently if it contains an explosion and blasts something out of a tube, I can fall in love with it.

Picked up a Pietta Rem 1858 about a month ago, which lead to the TC Hawken 2 weeks ago (both bargains not to be passed up ;) ).

What a blast! I love the smoke, boom, and weirdly enough, the dirty greasy hands. I'm gonna take a shot at a patched ball competition next weekend.

Leading me to two questions regarding the Hawken for anyone who wants to chime in... (the gun is percussion)...

Firstly, it seems like every time I wipe between shots, she doesn't want to ignite on the next shot. It's almost as if I'm smushing crud into the channel that brings the fire. The wiping definitely seems to keep groups tighter so is there a way to avoid or minimize this?

Secondly, there are times when I do the in between wipe that the rod, tipped with jag and dry patch gets stuck in the breech to the point I have to REALLY TUG on that sucker to get it back out. What am I doing wrong here?
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Re: Bitten by the BP bug...

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dpfeifer wrote:Apparently if it contains an explosion and blasts something out of a tube, I can fall in love with it.

Picked up a Pietta Rem 1858 about a month ago, which lead to the TC Hawken 2 weeks ago (both bargains not to be passed up ;) ).

What a blast! I love the smoke, boom, and weirdly enough, the dirty greasy hands. I'm gonna take a shot at a patched ball competition next weekend.

Leading me to two questions regarding the Hawken for anyone who wants to chime in... (the gun is percussion)...

Firstly, it seems like every time I wipe between shots, she doesn't want to ignite on the next shot. It's almost as if I'm smushing crud into the channel that brings the fire. The wiping definitely seems to keep groups tighter so is there a way to avoid or minimize this?

Secondly, there are times when I do the in between wipe that the rod, tipped with jag and dry patch gets stuck in the breech to the point I have to REALLY TUG on that sucker to get it back out. What am I doing wrong here?
The TC has a Nock patent breach, the combustion chamber is much smaller than the bore. You have to be careful when cleaning it so you don't get something stuck in it. After running your dry patch between shots snap a couple caps to clear the nipple. When giving it a serious cleaning and using brushes to scrub you will need to use a 30 cal for the breach, make sure it is a coil type spring brush, the bristle type brush will get stuck in the patent breach.

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Re: Bitten by the BP bug...

Post by dpfeifer »

eelj wrote:The TC has a Nock patent breach, the combustion chamber is much smaller than the bore. You have to be careful when cleaning it so you don't get something stuck in it. After running your dry patch between shots snap a couple caps to clear the nipple. When giving it a serious cleaning and using brushes to scrub you will need to use a 30 cal for the breach, make sure it is a coil type spring brush, the bristle type brush will get stuck in the patent breach.
So when I do the between shot wipe... should I not be running that patch ALL the way down? Also, thanks much for the reply.
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Re: Bitten by the BP bug...

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dpfeifer wrote:
eelj wrote:The TC has a Nock patent breach, the combustion chamber is much smaller than the bore. You have to be careful when cleaning it so you don't get something stuck in it. After running your dry patch between shots snap a couple caps to clear the nipple. When giving it a serious cleaning and using brushes to scrub you will need to use a 30 cal for the breach, make sure it is a coil type spring brush, the bristle type brush will get stuck in the patent breach.
So when I do the between shot wipe... should I not be running that patch ALL the way down? Also, thanks much for the reply.
You have to be doing it by feel, just remember the bottom of the breech is a smaller bore than the actual barrel, you can get a patch stuck in it so you might want to think about getting a patch worm, plus a ball puller. Are you using real black powder?

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Re: Bitten by the BP bug...

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eelj wrote:
dpfeifer wrote:
eelj wrote:The TC has a Nock patent breach, the combustion chamber is much smaller than the bore. You have to be careful when cleaning it so you don't get something stuck in it. After running your dry patch between shots snap a couple caps to clear the nipple. When giving it a serious cleaning and using brushes to scrub you will need to use a 30 cal for the breach, make sure it is a coil type spring brush, the bristle type brush will get stuck in the patent breach.
So when I do the between shot wipe... should I not be running that patch ALL the way down? Also, thanks much for the reply.
You have to be doing it by feel, just remember the bottom of the breech is a smaller bore than the actual barrel, you can get a patch stuck in it so you might want to think about getting a patch worm, plus a ball puller. Are you using real black powder?

Yep, the real stuff and I've got the puller and worm. Gotcha on the "feel" part.Image


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Re: Bitten by the BP bug...

Post by curtism1234 »

What are you using to swab the barrel? If it is the milky liquid stuff, at minimum you'll want to take dry patches until it comes out dry. Maybe take a pipe cleaner down the nipple to dry it out.

If you're just pushing powdery crud down, then all you probably need is a nipple pick.

I would hate to waste caps at the prices and availability they typically are. There's not really a need to do that imo :no:

Others will completely disagree, but I would I try 777 and see how it groups for you (probably use 5grains less than bp). It's a much cleaner powder which leaves a film instead of sludge. You'll get more than a couple shots off before you swab your barrel. YMMV, I like it though.

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Re: Bitten by the BP bug...

Post by CDFingers »

Yeah, you're not going to get very far without a nipple pick, I tell you what.

The first time I shot my Italian .36 Colt Navy copy--built the year ('71) I gradded high school--I laughed out loud. I kid you not. Burst out in a guffaw raucous enough to knock a fishwife off a bar stool. I use Crisco, so when I shoot it smells like popcorn. So, fun. I must say, though, I've not hauled out the smoker in a while. Have to consider about that.

Image

I bought it used, so there are a couple issues. I have to replace all the nipples. Got the nipple wrench, the nipple pick, and two propositions from two different leather dudes. Some hammer face work would help. Have to consider about that.

I even have a powder horn, another thing to consider--don't know if the BP bug is gestating in me or not.

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Re: Bitten by the BP bug...

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curtism1234 wrote:What are you using to swab the barrel? If it is the milky liquid stuff, at minimum you'll want to take dry patches until it comes out dry. Maybe take a pipe cleaner down the nipple to dry it out.

If you're just pushing powdery crud down, then all you probably need is a nipple pick.

I would hate to waste caps at the prices and availability they typically are. There's not really a need to do that imo :no:

Others will completely disagree, but I would I try 777 and see how it groups for you (probably use 5grains less than bp). It's a much cleaner powder which leaves a film instead of sludge. You'll get more than a couple shots off before you swab your barrel. YMMV, I like it though.

I've tried dry patches and I've tried some with a drop or two of Track of The Wolf's bore solvent which is aqueous (and then a dry patch).
I also would not like to waste caps. :thumbup:

I'll pick up a bottle of 777 and see if I like it. I gotta admit though, I like the dirt. I like coming in the house grinning ear to ear, hand black and greasy, usually the same schmutz smeared on my shirt and pants. Sure the cleanup is kind of ... Different? Messy? Stinky? But I don't mind.
CDFingers wrote:Yeah, you're not going to get very far without a nipple pick, I tell you what.

The first time I shot my Italian .36 Colt Navy copy--built the year ('71) I gradded high school--I laughed out loud. I kid you not. Burst out in a guffaw raucous enough to knock a fishwife off a bar stool.

I even have a powder horn, another thing to consider--don't know if the BP bug is gestating in me or not.

CDFingers
I've been routinely giggling in a cloud of sulfurous smoke and soot and the pace is delightful, relaxing, covered in gunk and supremely satisfying. Hatch that bug! Go execute some milk jugs for the cause!

Thanks both for the input, I think a nipple pick is the next thing to give ago.
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Re: Bitten by the BP bug...

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dpfeifer wrote: Thanks both for the input, I think a nipple pick is the next thing to give ago.
safety pins work if you're not concerned about being period correct. they had safety pins back in the day, but they didn't look like they do now.

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Re: Bitten by the BP bug...

Post by curtism1234 »

A nipple pick/wrench should be bought alongside powder, balls, and caps - it's an important tool. I personally would remove it when cleaning the rifle, though many people don't. It screws in on an angle so be careful not to strip the cheap steel.

As long as the threads are correct (and they should be), replace whatever nipple you're using with the CVA Perfect Nipple. It's still your standard #11 but it is a vastly superior product and could be part of your problem. A musket nipple/caps is another option hunters like.

Your problem though is in my opinion 1) not having the correct tools/parts (pick and Perfect Nipple) and 2) you're doing something wrong when swabbing between shots.

Did you get the gun new or used?

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Re: Bitten by the BP bug...

Post by eelj »

When using real black powder it is very important that the lube and cleaning product not have any petroleum in it. Petroleum when heated to 550 degrees and mixed with sulpher turns into asphalt. Very difficult to clean out and will build up. I clean my Plains Rifle after a shoot by removing the barrel and the nipple and sticking it in a bucket of warm water, then use the cleaning rod with the jag and a tight patch like a pump. You will see all kinds of crap shooting into the bucket. When I replacr the nipple I give it a lube on the threads with a tiny bit of bees wax.

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Re: Bitten by the BP bug...

Post by curtism1234 »

I use Bore Butter for patches (spit patches are fine if you're going to shoot the load at the range right away) as well as lubing the interior and exterior barrel for storage. I've always had good luck with it.

The only petroleum product I have used is a small tube of lip vasoline to seal the nipple area in a rain storm.

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Re: Bitten by the BP bug...

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curtism1234 wrote:A nipple pick/wrench should be bought alongside powder, balls, and caps - it's an important tool. I personally would remove it when cleaning the rifle, though many people don't. It screws in on an angle so be careful not to strip the cheap steel.

As long as the threads are correct (and they should be), replace whatever nipple you're using with the CVA Perfect Nipple. It's still your standard #11 but it is a vastly superior product and could be part of your problem. A musket nipple/caps is another option hunters like.

Your problem though is in my opinion 1) not having the correct tools/parts (pick and Perfect Nipple) and 2) you're doing something wrong when swabbing between shots.

Did you get the gun new or used?
The gun was used.

I though a nipple pick was part of the first nipple wrench I picked up - I was mistaken. I take it out and clean it every time I clean the gun, which is every time I shoot the gun. I picked up a "Hot Shot" nipple from Track of the Wolf, but maybe it's not as hot as stated, lol. I'll give the CVA one a try.

So the problem goes something like this...

1) Fire rifle one or two times.
2) Wipe with damp patch and then dry patch
3) Load rifle, cap nipple, pull triggers
4) Nada - no boom
5) Patiently sit for a minute or two
6) Remove and clean nipple - run pipecleaner in as far into the flash hole as I can get it
7) Try another cap - nothing
8) #5 again
9) Remove and clean nipple - run pipecleaner in as far into the flash hole as I can get it - add a few grains of powder under the nipple - replace nipple - recap
10) Pull trigger - slight hang - BOOM

Its happening about on about 2/3 of wipes so I'm inclined to agree its something in my wiping technique.
OR
That fancy breech is mucky from the previous owner.

eelj wrote:When using real black powder it is very important that the lube and cleaning product not have any petroleum in it. Petroleum when heated to 550 degrees and mixed with sulpher turns into asphalt. Very difficult to clean out and will build up. I clean my Plains Rifle after a shoot by removing the barrel and the nipple and sticking it in a bucket of warm water, then use the cleaning rod with the jag and a tight patch like a pump. You will see all kinds of crap shooting into the bucket. When I replace the nipple I give it a lube on the threads with a tiny bit of bees wax.

I clean it with super hot water (with a drop or two of Dawn) - plunging the barrel a decent amount, I dry it off well, hit it with a spritz of Barricade, wipe it down and then coat it with Bore Butter inside and out (not the nipple and flash hole area though). I've also used Hoppe's #9 a few times and that gets wiped out/off thoroughly afterward. I use a wee bit of choke tube lube on the nipple threads after.
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Re: Bitten by the BP bug...

Post by lurker »

cant speak to the TC hawken, but when i saw this in a springfield or enfield, it was always crud blocking the flash hole. maybe don't put so much stuff down the barrel.
i was 2nd sgt., part of my job was to fix malfunctioning rifles in the field. i saw a lot of misfires, usually improper cleaning. some can be fixed with a nipple pick, some not.

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Re: Bitten by the BP bug...

Post by Louis »

I have yet to shoot real black powder, but I noticed with my Lyman Great Plains rifle shooting Pyrodex if I pick the nipple every four to five shots I can shoot almost indefinitely without swabbing.

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Re: Bitten by the BP bug...

Post by eelj »

I'm guessing when you clean the bore you are shoving crud down into the breech, next time after your wipe down at the range put a patch over the muzzle and snap a cap and if it flys off it should fire. Since you have done business with TOW the next time you order from them buy a tin of their patch lube, it is bees wax and mink oil all natural. You should get a 30cal brush for the breech, spring type not bristle. puzzling problem you are having.

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Re: Bitten by the BP bug...

Post by curtism1234 »

The Hot Shot nipple should be fine.

I've changed my mind, I don't think it's anything your're doing wrong per say.

I'm not sure if this is a design problem with the new TC's (the older TC's didn't have a snail drum if I remember my dad's rifle correctly) or a problem with this specific rifle. A phone call to TC would not hurt. If they think it's a problem with your gun, a new blued barrel may not cost that much and personally I'd rather have a 54 caliber anyway unless you're only shooting paper.

Otherwise, it's time to quit monkeying around. :see_stars: Try 1 or 2 OR 1 and 2:

1. Don't get the patch dripping wet where liquid goes down the barrel when pushed. You may not want to go all the way down with the patch but realize it will be harder to seat the bullet. Put a mark on your ramrod indicating where the top of the barrel should be or do the bounce test (the ram rod will spring/bounce up when dropped down the barrel if fully seated; otherwise it just thuds/stops).

2. Buy a spare snail screw and keep it in a baggie in your stock's storage area. Take the snail screw out and put a pinch of powder down it. It WILL go off then. I do this when shooting the very first load of the day or when going out hunting. I don't really think it needs to be done after swabbing the barrel but obviously it does. Be careful not to strip it - I don't like doing this repeatedly with soft metal. And buy a spare screw before you drop the other. :crockett:

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Re: Bitten by the BP bug...

Post by dpfeifer »

Well, I'm hauling her out to the range tomorrow. I'll try several different things (not all at one time) and see what gives. I'm pretty sure it's me, not the gun. Thanks again for the insights and tips!

I'd give my big toe to see a cutaway of the breech. I've found pics of generic patent breeches, but not the Hawken's specifically. I just like to know what's down there... it's vexing me. :hmm:
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Re: Bitten by the BP bug...

Post by CDFingers »

Buncha enablers. I went looking at nipple pics and nipple wrenches today at Sportsman's Warehouse. Have to find out my nipple size.

Hey: I thought stainless steel and BP was bad for the stainless, yet I saw some stainless nipples. Can someone enlighten me?

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Re: Bitten by the BP bug...

Post by curtism1234 »

Stainless nipples need to be cleaned. Even after they are cleaned, you will find there will be soot stains on the exterior and interior finish that don't come out --- think of how hard it is to get a stainless centerfire revolver bright and shiny again. I wouldn't worry about the nipple very much. During the cleaning process you just toss the nipple and bolster screw in some soapy warm water and clean the rest of the gun. At the end, come back to the nipple and screw and clean it real good with the pipe cleaner. I put it up to my mouth and blow out excess water and take a dry pipe cleaner to dry it out.

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Re: Bitten by the BP bug...

Post by CDFingers »

Thanks, curtism. That doesn't mean I'll shoot BP out of my stainless Vaquero.

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