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Old 08-19-2008, 02:34 PM
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To enlarge the nipple or not?

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Ok, here's the situation. I was talking to a friend and I wondered out loud why the exit hole in the nipple was so small. Now I understand the principle of concentrating flame but he said that if you drilled out the nipple and went too far with it, it would actually cause the pressure from the cap to blow back against the hammer and could ruin something, like your face. Now that seems just contrary to what I thought it would do ie: take the path of least resistance and go into the larger opening. Might not light the powder but it sure wouldn't blow backwards. There's a lot of things I don't understand, Mcain and Obama for two so let's make this three.
Any ideas?
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Old 08-19-2008, 03:03 PM
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Upon initial firing the bullet/ball rammed into the bore tightly is not the path of least resistance. There's nothing holding the hammer down but the hammer spring. The hammer spring is designed to hold the hammer down on the nipple against a certain amount of pressure. Drill that hole out to a larger size and there is going to come a time when that hammer spring isn't going to overcome the pressure.

Believe me it's been done.
Bob from Idaho
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Old 08-19-2008, 03:38 PM
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The pressure will exert itself in all directions with equal force. With black powder it will be about 23000 to 25000 psi. If the area of opening in the nipple is large enough(.0001 square inch would allow it to apply 25 pounds of force to the hammer) When this force exceeds the force appllied to the hammer by the spring it will push the hammer back. (A backfire) I have had the hammer go back to full cock on one I foolishly fired without checking. Get a good set of wire drills, a set of safety glasses and gloves and start drilling. Enlarge the hole slowly and you can see what he means.
The man who invented the plow was not bored. He was hungry.
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Old 08-19-2008, 04:51 PM
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Its the pressure from the powder ignition not the pressure from the primer ignition that will blow the hammer back if the hole is too large.
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Old 08-19-2008, 06:04 PM
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Ahhh ! Comes the dawn

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I'd never thought about the pressure of the ignition being able to come back into the enlarged nipple opening. Makes perfect sense! Now if only I could figure out our two Presidential candidates I'd be 3 for 3.
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Old 08-20-2008, 06:39 AM
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Same reason you don't stand to the right of a flintlock, main charge shoots a flame out a few feet!
19C728 Pennsylvania is for Hunters
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Old 08-20-2008, 11:10 AM
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Yup too much is definatly not good but most nipples are a shade too small. so drill gradualy. Another thing that I do is to take a fairly large bit and drill out the bottom of the nipple In other word I just touch it to make a kind of recessed cone shape in the bottom of the nipple. I have noticed that the so called high performance nipples come that way.
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Old 08-20-2008, 03:52 PM
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Personally, I prefer large nipples.
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Old 08-20-2008, 04:31 PM
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On my TC Renegade Sidelock, after having 3 misfires shooting at deer in the same season several years ago, I replaced the nipple with a one for musket caps. This solved my ignition problems with BP substitutes.
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Old 08-25-2008, 06:06 AM
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Drilling the inside hole too much can also cause the nipple to be thinner and the hammer will wear out the nipple faster. Another problem is maintaining enough rim thickness to ensure positive contact so the cap is struck enough to detonate. Get the nipple too thin, sometimes can cause more miss fires. I make my own nipples on a mini-lathe and try what works. Switching to a musket cap does help on the bigger bores. I believe however that the smaller bores are more accurate using regular #11 set-up. By small-bores I'm referring to .45 cal. or smaller. A .50 might go either way. JMHO.
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Old 08-25-2008, 06:57 AM
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A will not get into a peeing contest over what size flash hole that should be in a nipple beyond saying that a small hole concentrates the flame temp imto a long deep flan=me into the powder. it is the same design concept eith centerfire primers. It becomes moe important with most sub powders.
Having shot all tupes of percuusion guns for about 50 years, that fact has become obvious to me.
There is more to consider than just the flash hole indeed. pressure in the rear of the barrel is different with the various powders, including the sub powders. Black lights off very easy, but other sub do not.
The solutions is quite Treco/Amoco bronzw nipples. They remain the best overall design...period. besides being hard/tough, they has a very flat top which insures the percussion cap has a good surface under it. Bu adding the little plastic tubes arouns and down over the is better concentrated.
Winchester has jst come out with an excellent #11 cap called the BP Magnum...the very best we has tested with both Sub powders and black.
We hunt true wild hogs with our 50's with a heavy conicals and Black Mag 3...and can not base our shots on speculation.
So...take it foe what it's worth! The Tresco/Ampco nipples foe your gun can be purchased from Track of the Wolf. Yes...they are expensive! But you get what you pat for indeed!
The attached jpg shows the Tresco/Ampco nipples with the plastic cap guards on one of our Ruger Old Army backup guns.
Regareds, James
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To enlarge the nipple or not?-oldarmy2.jpg  
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