Percussion caps are designed to fire as the result of a blow "percussion".
A capped cylinder loaded with powder and ball is, in effect, a small firearm.
Never clean, lubricate, disassemble, or work on a revolver while it is loaded. Never install, remove, or carry a loaded and capped cylinder.
A loaded and capped cylinder can discharge if dropped or struck. Read instructions before disassembling gun.
NEVER CARRY A CAPPED CYLINDER
Safety glasses must be used when loading and firing the "Old Army", or any percussion firearm. Small pieces of the percussion cap are frequently blown away when a percussion arm fires. Always wear hearing protection when firing any firearm, in order to avoid permanent hearing damage.
TO LOAD AND FIRE
A WARNING: Please re-read carefully the paragraph entitled "Warning - Black Powder", p. 10.
In the interests of both performance and safety, it is important that steps which follow be performed in sequence and with attention to detail:
1. BEFORE LOADING:
Check revolver to ensure that:
A. Nipples are uncapped.
B. Cylinder chambers are empty.
C. Chambers, bore and nipples are free of grease, oil or other obstruction.
2. CLEARING THE NIPPLES:
Without loading the chambers, place a percussion cap on each nipple. Point the gun in a safe direction and fire all six caps. This is done to ensure that the nipple passage is clear and dry.
Remove all percussion caps and cap fragments.
3. CHARGING THE CHAMBERS:
A. Starting with the hammer in its full forward position, place hammer in half-cock (loading) position by drawing it to the rear until a "click" is heard. (See Fig. 1) The cylinder is now free to rotate in a clockwise direction. (If the hammer is brought back too far, or if the hammer is put into the loading position by easing it forward from full cock, the cylinder will not be free to rotate.) Do not touch the trigger while placing the hammer in the half cock notch
. Hammer to Load Notch J^T ( 1 "Click" Back)
. Hammer to Load Notch J^T ( 1 "Click" Back)
A WARNING - MUZZLE DIRECTION
Always hold the gun well away from yourself when loading or firing. Never permit the barrel to point in an unsafe direction. Even though the revolver is sometimes called a "muzzle-loader", it is never loaded through the muzzle. Only load through the front of the cylinder.
KEEP AWAY FROM MUZZLE
.B. With one hand, hold the revolver by the grip with the barrel pointing upwards.
C. Using a dipper or other single-charge measure, pour the desired amount of powder into the front opening of one chamber of the cylinder. (See Fig. 2) Then, if desired, fill balance of chamber with filler, leaving room for the bullet to be seated.
D. Place the bullet in the mouth of the charged chamber and rotate the cylinder until that chamber is aligned with the rammer. (See Figs. 3 & 4)
E. Grasp the rammer lever and, with a firm even stroke, seat the bullet firmly on the powder charge. (See Fig. 4) For maximum accuracy, the powder charge should be very lightly compressed by the bullet. Be sure that the bullet is seated deeply enough so that it does not interfere with the barrel and the cylinder can rotate freely. Do not leave an airspace between the powder and the bullet.
Repeat this procedure until all chambers you wish to load are loaded with powder and ball. Remember that the safest way to carry any old style revolver is with the hammer down on an empty chamber. See "Handling Warning", p. 15.
F. Using one of the commercially available bullet greases or other stiff grease (some automotive water pump greases have proven satisfactory), apply a liberal coating of grease to each chamber mouth so as to cover the bullet and seal the chamber. The purpose of this is twofold:
1. To decrease leading and barrel fouling, and:
2. To reduce the possibility of multi-chamber discharge ("flash over") when firing.
4. CAPPING THE NIPPLES:
Be sure you use only pistol caps of good quality and correct size. The caps should be completely, but without undue pressure, seated on the nipples. Caps should only be tight enough so that they do not fall off the nipple when the barrel is elevated. (See Fig. 5)
A WARNING: It is dangerous to attempt to use caps which are too small. Never force a cap on to the nipple. Since caps fire by percussion, excess force or a blow in seating them can cause the caps to discharge, firing the gun, and forcing hot gas out of the nipple, which can cause injury.
Was this article helpful?