Author Topic: Cap Sucking Colts  (Read 14102 times)

Offline ssb73q

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Cap Sucking Colts
« on: January 31, 2015, 04:53:27 AM »
Hi, there will forever be the argument on whether the Remingtons or Colt revolvers are the superior design BP revolver. There is one serious reliability issue for the Colt family of revolvers, Cap Sucking. That is were a cap part from a previous shot falls into the action that prevents further shooting of the handgun. This problem can be mild for the larger Colts, like the 1860 Colt, or severe for the small framed Colts like the 1849 Colt. One learns to do either the revolver in the air, or wrist twist shuffle to recock the revolver hoping that the cap jamming parts fall away from the revolver.

Mike has a video where he experienced cap sucking when testing a new Colt 1862 Police, see:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibpoDPPKqB8

CapandBall experianced the same thing testing the Colt 1862 Navy, see:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_Q9cczvG30

CapandBall discussed how to minimize cap sucking in this video, see:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwrM7TE9eJI

The best explanation I have found on why cap sucking occurs is that the cap get pushed into the hammer safety gap and then recocking the revolver pulls the spent cap off the nipple allowing it to fall into the action.

While Mike's solution to cap sucking is simple, filling in the hammer groove with epoxy, I reject that method in that it removes the safety aspects of placing the hammer down on a cylinder pin. Doing the epoxy hammer gap fill mod forever more turns a six shooter or five shooter into a six shooter or five shooter minus one.

The solution that CapandBall discusses requires a gunsmith to put a pin in the revolver frame such that when the hammer is pulled back, it separates the hammer from the cap allowing the spent cap to remain on the nipple.

I have a few questions:

Has anyone here had a pin added to their Colt frame?
Did it work?
Were there any problems with the pin added to the frame?
Is this mod reversible?
Where can I get the frame pin work done and what is the cost?
Does this really need a gunsmith, or can it be done at home?

Regards,
Richard
« Last Edit: January 31, 2015, 04:55:26 AM by ssb73q »
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Offline ssb73q

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Re: Cap Sucking Colts
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2015, 06:02:44 AM »
Hi, after making the previous post I remembered that last year's testing of a new Pietta 1851 Yank snub revolver where I didn't have any cap sucking, see:
http://blackpowdersmoke.com/colt/index.php?topic=709.msg5401#msg5401

I got that Yank out of my gunsafe to examine the revolver's hammer face. The safety groove on the Yank is different than on all my other Colts that cap suck. The safety groove of the Yank looks like the safety groove entrance cut in the hammer face is melted smooth with no sharp edges like there is with the other Colts. This provides a slight taper instead of a sharp perpendicular edge.

This has me wondering if a slight stoning of the Colt hammer face safety groove edge would produce a similar surface that doesn't hold a spent cap like the sharp grooved hammers faces do?

This is something I will need to try.

Regards,
Richard
There’s nothing better in the morning than the smell of bacon and black powder smoke!

Offline Fingers McGee

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Re: Cap Sucking Colts
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2015, 09:55:21 AM »
Has anyone here had a pin added to their Colt frame?
Did it work?
Were there any problems with the pin added to the frame?
Is this mod reversible?
Where can I get the frame pin work done and what is the cost?
Does this really need a gunsmith, or can it be done at home?

Regards,
Richard

1.  I've had it done to a pair of 1861 Navies used in CAS competition, and a 3rd Model Dragoon.
2.  It works
3.  No.
4.  Yes.
5.  Mike Brackett aka 45Dragoon (goonsgunworks@gmail.com)
6.  I'd say it would take a drill press & mill; but I'm not a machinist
« Last Edit: January 31, 2015, 09:58:28 AM by Fingers McGee »
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Offline ssb73q

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Re: Cap Sucking Colts
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2015, 10:29:39 AM »
Hi Fingers, thank you for the reply. I have eight Colts that would need the pin, the cost concerns me. I could probably buy another 2-3 new BP revolvers for the cost of pin modification. Maybe just modify a couple that I shoot most often?

While Colts cap suck, they always go bang the first shot, not a bad thing at all. While I have seven 1858 Remmys, for the pure joy of shooting pleasure, nothing beats a Colt. My 1851 Colts are the most accurate handguns I own, and I own a number of moderns.

BTW do you know if the pin modification interferes with use of conversion cylinders? Does the mod widen or deepen the safety notch in the hammer face?

Again, thanks for your reply.

Regards,
Richard
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Offline StrawHat

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Re: Cap Sucking Colts
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2015, 04:07:47 AM »
Has anyone here had a pin added to their Colt frame?
Did it work?
Were there any problems with the pin added to the frame?
Is this mod reversible?
Where can I get the frame pin work done and what is the cost?
Does this really need a gunsmith, or can it be done at home?

Regards,
Richard

Richard,

Yes, I have done it to several of my revolves and it works.  So far, no problems.  The modification is reversible by filing down the pin.  I did the installation with a corded drill, drill bit and hammer.  I drilled the hole in the frame directly in front of the hammer slot.  Using the shaft of the drill bit, I measured the depth of the hole.  I cut the bit about 3/16"longer then the depth of the hole and placed the cut end in the hole.  A set punch and hammer seated the pin.  I did have to dress one pin down to clear the hammer notch because I cut the pin too long.

Kevin
« Last Edit: April 09, 2015, 01:36:44 PM by StrawHat »
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Offline ssb73q

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Re: Cap Sucking Colts
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2015, 05:24:14 AM »
Hi StrawHat, thanks for the information. Did you find the frame case hardening a problem drilling through?

I have a drill press and good drilling vise which should be easier than using a hand drill. I would sure hate to hurt a revolver. A good thing is that the hole is where it can't be easily seen and filled in if I screw up. However, I'm going to try tapering the hammer safety notch first.

Regards,
Richard
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Offline Fingers McGee

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Re: Cap Sucking Colts
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2015, 09:43:30 AM »
BTW do you know if the pin modification interferes with use of conversion cylinders? Does the mod widen or deepen the safety notch in the hammer face?
Regards,
Richard

Pin mod shouldn't interfere with a conversion cylinder.  Safety notch would need to be widened and deepened; but, amount would depend on size of the pin installed. 
Fingers (Show Me MO smoke) McGee - AKA Man of Many Colts; SASS 28564-L-TG, rangemaster and stage writer extraordinaire; Frontiersman/Pistoleer, NRA Endowment Life, Central Ozarks Western Shooters
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Offline StrawHat

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Re: Cap Sucking Colts
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2015, 01:31:03 PM »
BTW do you know if the pin modification interferes with use of conversion cylinders? Does the mod widen or deepen the safety notch in the hammer face?
Regards,
Richard
...Safety notch would need to be widened and deepened; but, amount would depend on size of the pin installed...

I forgot to mention that the slot should be widened, if necessary, to accept the new pin and engage the safety pins on the cylinder.

Kevin
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Offline ssb73q

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Re: Cap Sucking Colts
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2015, 10:42:31 AM »
BTW do you know if the pin modification interferes with use of conversion cylinders? Does the mod widen or deepen the safety notch in the hammer face?
Regards,
Richard
...Safety notch would need to be widened and deepened; but, amount would depend on size of the pin installed...

I forgot to mention that the slot should be widened, if necessary, to accept the new pin and engage the safety pins on the cylinder.

Kevin

Hi StrawHat, IMO widening the hammer slot would be problematic for conversion cylinder use.

Thanks for the info.

Regards,
Richard
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Offline StrawHat

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Re: Cap Sucking Colts
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2015, 04:45:25 AM »
...BTW do you know if the pin modification interferes with use of conversion cylinders? Does the mod widen or deepen the safety notch in the hammer face?...

Richard, I widen the cut in the hammer just enough to clear the pin.  I use a drill bit between 1/16" and 3/32" not much more than the existing notch.

The case coloring on the frames is merely coloring, it does not harden it to any extent.  A center punch is helpful to start the hole.

As for a conversion, I do not have any so that, to me, is an unknown.

Kevin
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Offline ninetoes

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Re: Cap Sucking Colts
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2015, 02:07:11 PM »
You know, I sometimes wonder if the whole cap-sucking phenomena is a function of the safety notch and the fact that our modern replicas have hammers that are far too long. Take a look at any replica that is extensively dry fired; the hammer will have a huge donut where the face is smashing into the cones.
I do believe the originals were regulated to just go far enough to ignite the cap, then strike the frame; Remington states that this was the case in the Remington revolvers, and I'm sure this was the case with Colts as well. It's a fine adjustment, of course, but not having the hammer smashing into the cap with so much force might make a difference. It doesn't take that much force to set off a percussion cap, after all, and most hammers are grossly over-length at the face, which damages both the hammer and the cones as well over time.
Just some food for thought.

Offline Southron

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Re: Cap Sucking Colts
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2015, 08:59:47 AM »
Well, putting the Epoxy Steel in the hammer face of a 3rd Generation Colt Navy to do away with the cap slot in the hammer face DOES NOT WORK!!!

A gunsmith friend of mine tried that. On the 30th shot, the Epoxy Steel fell out of the hammer face and jammed the action!

Offline ssb73q

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Re: Cap Sucking Colts
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2015, 10:45:35 AM »
Well, putting the Epoxy Steel in the hammer face of a 3rd Generation Colt Navy to do away with the cap slot in the hammer face DOES NOT WORK!!!

A gunsmith friend of mine tried that. On the 30th shot, the Epoxy Steel fell out of the hammer face and jammed the action!

Hi Southron, I actually purchased a wire welder to fill the hammer gap. However, the more I thought about it, the more I decided to keep the gap that is a safety feature. I have a theory that putting a slight taper in the gap would allow the hammer to be pulled back without pulling the caps off the nipples into the action. I have yet tried doing this. The jury is still out.

Regards,
Richard
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Offline Captainkirk

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Re: Cap Sucking Colts
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2015, 10:53:26 AM »
Could anyone who has done this mod post up some photos of the completed mod?
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Offline 45 Dragoon

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Re: Cap Sucking Colts
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2015, 07:31:30 PM »
Which mod?

Mike
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