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Dust Devil
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« on: March 20, 2010, 10:45:48 PM »

Tuco's gun is in the water of his bathtub seconds before he dispenses of Al Mulock's character: is that scene even possible? Can those old revolvers fire under water?

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« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2010, 03:57:04 AM »

Under the suds not under the water I believe

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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2010, 04:11:57 PM »

Under the suds not under the water I believe

Yeah, you're probably right. But - it was immersed just seconds before.

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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2010, 01:22:34 AM »

If we assume that Tuco has some how miraculously reacquired his super bad ass modified cartridge gun he put together in the gun store, (i.e. Wallace had it on his person and we never see him get it back) or that the gun he uses in the latter half of the film is a somehow another extremely rare cartridge gun, he would be using .38 caliber rim fire cartridges.  Rim fire cartridges are different than center fire cartridges in the fact that base is completely closed in, i.e no center punch hole for the primer for center fire.  So with the case being completely closed off and the soft lead sealing off the top of the cartridge it would make for a pretty airtight seal.  That being said, even center fire cartridges are amazingly water tight to a point of about an hour or two being submersed in water, although each bullet has it’s own different tolerances.

If Tuco was using a Cap and Ball revolver with no special attention given specifically to waterproofing the pistol it would in no way fire.  Once the powder was wet, that was it.  However, there were many a trick the old-timers used back in the day to waterproof their pistols.      

It is common practice on black powder revolvers to “lube” or “grease” the top of the chambers once loaded, although this step is not always followed and is not mentioned in Colt’s loading instructions the lubing of the cylinder is a crucial step that severs three purposes.  First, it prevents flash over, meaning it prevents flame from the chamber being fired from entering into adjacent chambers and igniting them causing a chain reaction of all cylinders going off at once.  Although this possibility may seem remote it does happen from time to time on un-lubed cylinders.  The Colt Walker was prone to this flaw and was very susceptible to flash over and was known for “blowing up” in your hand.  Secondly, the grease also serves to lubricate the bore and ball and keep the abundant black powder fouling moist and soft.  If kept moist, fouling from each shot will be wiped out by the next, increasing the number of rounds that can be fired between cleaning.  And lastly, it helps weather proof the gun by keeping the powder dry.  When using conical bullets there are lube grooves around the radius of the bullet or if you were using a prefabricated paper cartridge the bullet came pre-lubed.  Back then they used whatever they could get there hands on.  Bacon grease, animal fat, machine grease, etc…  After Crisco was invented in the 20’s it was the choice of lube for years.  Hobby enthusiasts of today use a special formulated lube specifically designed to pack the front of the cylinders.  It does get kind of messy so a lazy mans way to lube is to pack a grease soaked patch between the powder and ball.
    
An old trick of the trade back then was to submerse the nipple caps and cylinder joints in hot melted bees wax or candle wax as well as pouring some down cylinder holes on top of and around the ball.  Not only did this make the gun water proof it prevented multiple chambers from discharging as mentioned above with lubing.  Although the wax not being especially good for fouling one would figure the importance of the gun discharging in any condition over fouling if your life depended on it.  Besides, those guys were cleaning their guns everyday unless you were stupid or lazy.  Nipple caps themselves are relatively waterproof up to a point.  So, with a properly loaded and lubed black powder revolver the only real area of concern for moisture would be the joint, or the hole, on the back of the cylinder where the cap would flash flame into the cylinder.  This is where the old melted wax trick would be of importance.  

« Last Edit: March 22, 2010, 03:19:54 AM by Harmonica » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2010, 07:07:42 AM »

If we assume that Tuco has some how miraculously reacquired his super bad ass modified cartridge gun he put together in the gun store, (i.e. Wallace had it on his person and we never see him get it back) or that the gun he uses in the latter half of the film is a somehow another extremely rare cartridge gun, he would be using .38 caliber rim fire cartridges.  Rim fire cartridges are different than center fire cartridges in the fact that base is completely closed in, i.e no center punch hole for the primer for center fire.  So with the case being completely closed off and the soft lead sealing off the top of the cartridge it would make for a pretty airtight seal.  That being said, even center fire cartridges are amazingly water tight to a point of about an hour or two being submersed in water, although each bullet has it’s own different tolerances.

If Tuco was using a Cap and Ball revolver with no special attention given specifically to waterproofing the pistol it would in no way fire.  Once the powder was wet, that was it.  However, there were many a trick the old-timers used back in the day to waterproof their pistols.      

It is common practice on black powder revolvers to “lube” or “grease” the top of the chambers once loaded, although this step is not always followed and is not mentioned in Colt’s loading instructions the lubing of the cylinder is a crucial step that severs three purposes.  First, it prevents flash over, meaning it prevents flame from the chamber being fired from entering into adjacent chambers and igniting them causing a chain reaction of all cylinders going off at once.  Although this possibility may seem remote it does happen from time to time on un-lubed cylinders.  The Colt Walker was prone to this flaw and was very susceptible to flash over and was known for “blowing up” in your hand.  Secondly, the grease also serves to lubricate the bore and ball and keep the abundant black powder fouling moist and soft.  If kept moist, fouling from each shot will be wiped out by the next, increasing the number of rounds that can be fired between cleaning.  And lastly, it helps weather proof the gun by keeping the powder dry.  When using conical bullets there are lube grooves around the radius of the bullet or if you were using a prefabricated paper cartridge the bullet came pre-lubed.  Back then they used whatever they could get there hands on.  Bacon grease, animal fat, machine grease, etc…  After Crisco was invented in the 20’s it was the choice of lube for years.  Hobby enthusiasts of today use a special formulated lube specifically designed to pack the front of the cylinders.  It does get kind of messy so a lazy mans way to lube is to pack a grease soaked patch between the powder and ball.
    
An old trick of the trade back then was to submerse the nipple caps and cylinder joints in hot melted bees wax or candle wax as well as pouring some down cylinder holes on top of and around the ball.  Not only did this make the gun water proof it prevented multiple chambers from discharging as mentioned above with lubing.  Although the wax not being especially good for fouling one would figure the importance of the gun discharging in any condition over fouling if your life depended on it.  Besides, those guys were cleaning their guns everyday unless you were stupid or lazy.  Nipple caps themselves are relatively waterproof up to a point.  So, with a properly loaded and lubed black powder revolver the only real area of concern for moisture would be the joint, or the hole, on the back of the cylinder where the cap would flash flame into the cylinder.  This is where the old melted wax trick would be of importance.  


Man, this is the kind of answer I was hoping for! Cool Afro

(And the kind of answer a topic named The ''wet'' gun deserves! Cheesy)

Ehm, about the ''greasing'' - I think that was taken care of automatically once the gun came in contact with Tuco. Wink

« Last Edit: March 22, 2010, 10:50:26 AM by Dust Devil » Logged



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« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2010, 07:13:49 AM »

Was the ''greasing'' or ''waxing'' also a solution for guns that had to be carried and fired in places where the temperature was extremely cold?

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« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2010, 11:34:26 AM »

Was the ''greasing'' or ''waxing'' also a solution for guns that had to be carried and fired in places where the temperature was extremely cold?

I had not heard of that before Devil, however that doesn’t mean it couldn’t hurt.  I think that the powder is going to flash and ignite no matter what the temperature, unless of course you’re at absolute zero where molecules cease to move.  Wink   

Here in Ohio were the winters can get pretty cold, I have shot loads in the coldest of tempatures with no problems...

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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2010, 12:22:37 PM »


Ehm, about the ''greasing'' - I think that was taken care of automatically once the gun came in contact with Tuco. Wink

Oh yeah, by the way...   Grin  Grin  Grin

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« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2010, 08:58:57 AM »

I had not heard of that before Devil, however that doesn’t mean it couldn’t hurt.  I think that the powder is going to flash and ignite no matter what the temperature, unless of course you’re at absolute zero where molecules cease to move.  Wink  

Here in Ohio were the winters can get pretty cold, I have shot loads in the coldest of tempatures with no problems...

Yeah but don't other parts of the gun (trigger, cylinder or hammer) freeze when it gets very cold? Have you seen Il grande silenzio? In that movie they keep their guns (wrapped in clothes) in warm to prevent them from freezing. True, I know very little on the subject, but it seems believable.

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« Last Edit: March 23, 2010, 09:02:05 AM by Dust Devil » Logged



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« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2010, 04:44:42 PM »

Quote
Yeah but don't other parts of the gun (trigger, cylinder or hammer) freeze when it gets very cold? Have you seen Il grande silenzio? In that movie they keep their guns (wrapped in clothes) in warm to prevent them from freezing.

Its a matter of condensation, when you bring a gun that has been in a house out in the cold condensation forms on the metal, if its below freezing that condensation is what freezes. Its the same condensation that forms on the outside of a glass with ice cubes in it in hot weather. In "The Great Silence" Loco is more correctly keeping his gun dry of condensation.

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« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2010, 06:22:27 PM »

But following your theory; something has to ''condensate''. Some sort of vapor or something, for example the human skin perspiring. I don't think there's anything to condensate on a object of pure metal.

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« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2010, 03:31:46 AM »

Where does the water come from on the outside of a glass with ice cubes? Its the water vapor in the air, the relative humidity.

I'm not talking out of my ASS I learned this from ranchers while hunting in Montana they take this precaution all the time in winter.

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« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2010, 06:33:25 AM »

Where does the water come from on the outside of a glass with ice cubes? Its the water vapor in the air, the relative humidity.

I'm not talking out of my ASS I learned this from ranchers while hunting in Montana they take this precaution all the time in winter.

Relax, old rancher, I didn't mean to put you on the spot, it's just that something doesn't sound right in that theory. I'm not claiming I can't be wrong, to make it clear. Wink

« Last Edit: March 24, 2010, 06:34:33 AM by Dust Devil » Logged



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« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2010, 03:36:44 PM »

[Even thought the weapons of the period were mainly Cap and ball Blackpower the overall effect of the movie is to indicate  that they are all cartridge pistols. The film is for entertainment and not meant for purists.
A vast amount of viewing public are unaware what Blackpowder revolvers are and therefore there are not many (if any ) Westerns that show the time in loading cap and ball revolvers,not to mention the cleaning.
The public just want to see a pistol loaded with cartridges and fired.............which raises another topic about gun fanning ........but thats for another day.

« Last Edit: April 05, 2010, 03:40:12 PM by johnk » Logged
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