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Author Topic: Colt chain fires  (Read 539 times)

firewater forge

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Colt chain fires
« on: December 18, 2020, 12:18:27 pm »
I like Colts, they are sexy as hell. I ruined a few when I was a kid by cramming in as much FFF as possible which eventually would shoot the cylinder pin loose. I have since learned not to do that. Anyway, I was taught to fill the top of the chamber on top of the ball with Crisco. On a hot day you can imagine how everything got covered with a fine mist of the stuff. And oddly enough I would once in a while have a chain fire which would leave lead on the barrel wedge.
Anyone else have this happen? I switched over to felt wads and not had a problem since.

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    coelacanth

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    Re: Colt chain fires
    « Reply #1 on: December 18, 2020, 01:38:20 pm »
    Yup.  Felt wads are the best set-up.  As is a careful loading procedure.  A guy I used to shoot with used the same heavy cotton ticking he used in his flintlock rifle and it seemed to work OK.  The only time I ever saw a second chamber light up was on a Colt's Dragoon replica.  Pretty spectacular show but nobody was injured.   :thumbup
    " A republic, if you can keep it. "
                                                  Benjamin Franklin

    Woodenword

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    Re: Colt chain fires
    « Reply #2 on: December 18, 2020, 04:58:40 pm »
    This guy has a lot of good info.  He advocates the felt wads, which is what I’ve used.

    http://geojohn.org/BlackPowder/RevolverMobile.html

    firewater forge

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    Re: Colt chain fires
    « Reply #3 on: December 18, 2020, 05:46:08 pm »
    Yeah, it's an attention getter. But if you are shooting safely (i.e. not letting anyone stand alongside a revolver when shooting) I don't think it's too dangerous. The man with the cotton ticking must have the patience of Job. I couldn't do it.

    coelacanth

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    Re: Colt chain fires
    « Reply #4 on: December 18, 2020, 10:26:09 pm »
     Yeah, he was/is a hidebound traditionalist. 
    " A republic, if you can keep it. "
                                                  Benjamin Franklin

    steve2md

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    Re: Colt chain fires
    « Reply #5 on: January 23, 2021, 04:34:58 pm »
    Chain fire is only possible from the front of the cylinder with balls that are too loose. Your projectile should get a thin ring of lead shaved off of it when loading. This creates an air and water tight seal that can’t be breached by another shot. The crisco/bear fat over top of the ball isn’t to seal the cylinder, it’s to lubricate the pistol. Only one shot in each cylinder full needs it. 99.99% of chain fires come from the nipple end. Either loose caps, or too long of nipples slapping the rear of the frame and detonating the caps. The other 0.1% of chain fires are caused by a crack or pinhole between chambers.
    Heat it till it's hot, then beat it with a hammer until it's the shape you want.    Blacksmith's advice that works for pretty much everything in life

    teddyearp

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    Re: Colt chain fires
    « Reply #6 on: May 03, 2021, 09:53:36 am »
    I've been shooting cap and ball wheel-guns off and on for almost thirty years.  I used to use Crisco, what a pain!  Then I went to wonder wads, but couldn't find them all the time, so I just went rogue or naked(?).  Only time I had a chain fire was when I was using wheel weights to cast projectiles (I haven't bought balls/conicals in almost 29 years, lol).  They didn't always, if mostly ever, give the lead ring.  Now I only use virgin lead and only use wonder wads if I feel like tossing some lube down the barrel with the projectile.  Virgin lead always gives me the ring.

    GavenAZ

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    Re: Colt chain fires
    « Reply #7 on: May 06, 2021, 09:05:38 am »
    There are a few places like Dixie gun works that sell felt punches .
    A quick trip to JoAnn for some decent felt and a tube of ox yoke and you can make
    enough patches for a weekend of shooting in 10 minutes.

    Its a lot cleaner than the lard method in our summer heat.

    The two chain fires I've had were from improperly fitted round balls.
    I'm thinking I put the sprue in sideways creating a gap.
    Now of days it's sprue up with a felt wad. No issues since.
    “Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”
    ― Mark Twain

    JT

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    Re: Colt chain fires
    « Reply #8 on: Yesterday at 05:38:04 pm »
    You can order sets of leather punches from Amazon. I use them for cutting shotgun wads.

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