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Hello all,

Thanks for putting up with my newbiness here. First time black powder shooter.

I have a .38 Cal Navy Pietta pistol.

I tested the primers on all cylinders in an unloaded mode and they all "popped" as it were.

If I then load the cylinders with powder wad and ball and then try to fire I get nothing.
I can see some scarring on the primers but not like not when I test fire with no powder.

I have two other Piettta pistols, Nave and Army long barrel colt that do not have a problem.
I forgot to add the other 2 pistols are .44 cal if that makes even difference.

What am I not seeing as a problem?

Thanks all,
 

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Do the unpopped caps later pop when you put them on an anvil and smack them with a hammer?

Have you tried another batch or brand of caps?

Are the caps fully seated onto the nipple? Are you using #10 caps on a #11 nipple? Have you tried re-cocking and striking the cap a 2nd time?

When you remove the non-firing cap and look inside, is there priming compound present?
 

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Deke,
Welcome to the joy of BP revolver shooting. You will find them frustrating and a heck of a lot of fun!
Your revolver is most likely a 36 cal. not a 38.

AZ shooter made some very good suggestions. I would also suggest you check the nipples to make sure they are not plugged. It the fun is still loaded, remove them with a nipple wrench and see if you can see daylight through them. If not they are plugged.

This is not likely but anything is possible

Terry
 

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When I clean the nipples the last thing I always do is shoot a blast of compressed air down the nipple home , sometimes nipple grease will come from the threads and dry over the nipple exit port
Walmart electronics department has cans of compressed air to clean Computer keyboards with The little attachment the tape to the can is the perfect size to blow out the nipples
Good Luck
 

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You might be using one of those "Substitute" black powders like Pyrodex, Clear Shot, etc., rather than real black powder like Goex, Schutzen or several other brands.

While there is nothing wrong with the substitutes be aware that they have HIGHER IGNITION TEMPERATURES than real black powders.

The higher ignition temperatures when combined with a weak cap or partially blocked flash channel in the nipples might account for the failures to fire.
 

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My thoughts exactly, especially if the sub powder is a little old, they become impossible to ignite.
Hmmm, so you're suggesting that the 35 year-old can of Pyrodex I found out in the garage last summer shouldn't have worked?

I just finished the last of it a few weeks ago at the range & had nary a misfire or ignition delay in either rifle or revolver.
 

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Hmmm, so you're suggesting that the 35 year-old can of Pyrodex I found out in the garage last summer shouldn't have worked?

I just finished the last of it a few weeks ago at the range & had nary a misfire or ignition delay in either rifle or revolver.
Had it been opened? Unopened cans/jars of Pyrodex seem to work like new. Once opened, they seemingly tend to lose sensitivity.
 

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Pyrodex is hygroscopic. It will attract moisture from the air, starting when opened. Sealed cans seem to last almost indefinitely. Opened cans will probably last indefinitely in AZ, lol! Same here in NM.
 

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I assume that you mean the caps won't pop when fire, right? If they do pop, but the main charge does not ignite, then your caps are likely fouled.

If the caps simply are not detonating, check the cup of the hammer (where it strikes the caps). There might be a cap stuck up inside the hammer, and this can cause weak strike of the cap. Ask me how I know...
 

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I've recently proved the theory that the subs, when opened, lose their potency.

In my Ruger Old Army - 30gr of Pyrodex P produced 790 fps five years ago.

Last weekend, the recently located remains of that old tub - dated by me on the lid 'opened 9/09' produced four out of six FTF and two shots around the 600 fps mark. I use RWS hot caps, BTW. A new tub, opened on Sunday, produced an average of 778 fps.

tac
 
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