Tap-o-cap Percussion Cap Maker


March 29, 2008, 01:38 PM
Just curious if anyone has tried Forster's Tap-o-cap percussion cap maker? Apparently, this thing lets you make percussion caps (#11 I think) from toy caps and a tin can. Since you can buy 1000 toy caps for a couple of dollars, I thought this thing might pay for itself (which is about $25). Also, kind of has an appeal for those self reliant types like myself.

Just a couple of questions,

1. Does this device work as advertised? I obviously don't want to purchase more junk for my future garage sale.
2. Where can one buy these things (I only know of Midsouth which sells them but is sold out right now)?

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March 29, 2008, 02:13 PM
Here are links to 2 separate threads:



Redd Flynt
March 29, 2008, 02:19 PM
Yes they do work. I'm always a sucker for gadgets so I bought one. Toy caps employ perchlorate mixtures and are very corrosive. In addition you need more than one paper cap in each unit to get reliable ignition.

As a last ditch method they would work. They do produce a good cap shell once you practice with them.

March 29, 2008, 02:54 PM
Thanks for the info. Sounds like a 'must have' to me.

Did you get yours from Midsouth? Or do you know of another source?

Thanks again.

Arcticap - thanks for the links. Sorry for starting a new thread. I did a search for tap-o-cap, but because I am such a bozo, I didn't get any results. I don't understand it. Seems like I never get the right words in or misspell or something. Ugh!

March 29, 2008, 03:14 PM
I answered my own question. They are instock here:


March 29, 2008, 03:46 PM
I have one. I asked many folks around here and Voy about them before I went out and got one. Midsouth Shooter's Supply still have them, I believe.

They are excellent tools for the buckskinner, the outdoorsman, or anybody who is self reliant and loves to fix everything and do everything themselves.

Kinda like Home Depot......................You can do it, we can help:D

I have been using my own caps for a while now, as well as the RWS standard caps, and I found that the caps made from aluminum beer cans are less prone to fragmenting when fired, and having fragmnets fall into the hammer channel and binding up the action. Also, they tend to remain on the nipples throughout the entire firing session. You just pull em' off afterwards.

April 3, 2008, 01:37 PM
Okay, I just got mine. The only problem is now finding some good ole USA caps. I stole a roll from my 7 year old son which said 'Made in China' on the side and they were pure unadulterated crap. Whatever happened to those great caps they made when we were kids. No longer the little runt don't play with his cap gun anymore.

April 3, 2008, 01:40 PM
How about using just one paper cap and putting a pinch of FFFF or mealdust BP under it?

April 3, 2008, 01:41 PM
What would an uncorrosive primer be made out of?

April 3, 2008, 03:22 PM
How about using just one paper cap and putting a pinch of FFFF or mealdust BP under it?

Now that IS a great idea. Dang, I don't know why I didn't think of that. I mean, they do that with the ole flintlocks, so why not with a cap. Alright, I'll give that a shot.

April 3, 2008, 04:03 PM
BTW, I meant putting the BP inside the new percussion cap before you put in the paper cap, not BP in the nipple (although you could do that too...)

April 3, 2008, 04:15 PM
That's even better. Self-contained.

April 3, 2008, 04:46 PM
Be careful what ya wish for makeing your own caps ...modern caps are not corrosive ...the caps used in the 1800`s were more corrosive than the black powder ..I`ve seen many an old wall hanger that got there because of the nipple drum area and breech was rusted up really bad (unsafe ), from the caps used ...not the black powder . I`m not sure what is in those toy caps ..anyone know ?

April 3, 2008, 05:08 PM
It's called "Armstrong's mixture". It is very similar to the corrosive non-mercury primers in old military ammo. The potassium chlorate (some may use potassium perchlorate and manganese dioxide) is what makes it corrosive.

I dunno why I know this stuff...

April 3, 2008, 05:22 PM
For what it's worth, I bought a TapOCap a year or two ago and I have had ZERO luck with the caps. They punch out nice little caps from the strips of cut-up beer cans, they make a nice loud POP when I fire them in the gun (any gun) but they will not ignite a loaded cylinder. I have tried the red rolled paper cap centers (2,3 and 4 cap centers), red plastic caps, match heads. Nothing. Like I said, they pop but they will not ignite a loaded chamber. Maybe others have had good luck with them, but not me.

April 3, 2008, 06:42 PM
pohill - I will post my experience after I try adding a little 4fg powder under the cap like zxcvbob suggested. There has got to be a good formula because I have heard a lot of good things about them. Bear in mind that everyone mentions how bad the Chinese made caps are and even the box that the Tapocap came in had a big label stating - USE ONLY USA MADE CAPS.

The problem I have had is finding US made caps since it seems like they are all made in China these days. It is a bit funny, because I bought the darn thing since no one sells percussion caps around here. Now I can't even find a decent selection of toy cap gun caps (I am sure the anti-gun culture/nanny state has something to do with the drop in cap gun use by kids, but that is another story). :D Oh well the story of my life.

Maybe there will be some luck in zxcvbob's suggestion. Fingers crossed.

April 3, 2008, 08:46 PM
Works well in my revolvers and underhammers.
Guns that are a clear shot into the powder from
the nipple.

Also the size of the hole in the nipple makes a big
difference in how well they work.


September 26, 2009, 01:29 AM
The caps that I use for the tapomatic have two types of paper a lower heavy white paper, and a red almost tissue paper. Split the cap seperating the two papers, then use the red thin side to put in the cup. If the papers are too well glued to each other to seperate, use an exacto type blade to carve them from the heavy paper backing. Cut around the red paper side not touching the primer charge. Hold these in place with flash paper[nitrite impregnated] available at magic shops. These will even fire my T/C renegade sidelock. Note my punch came with a cup to catch the circles, take this off and allow the punched caps to fall into a shallow can. If you miss the center of a cap you can set off all caps in the cup.

September 26, 2009, 12:59 PM
...Note my punch came with a cup to catch the circles, take this off and allow the punched caps to fall into a shallow can. If you miss the center of a cap you can set off all caps in the cup.

Things that help you to be there to continue the next day... those are good things. :cool:

September 26, 2009, 08:31 PM
Caps are actually pretty powerful.

I remember as a kid having a cap gun that had a 2 piece metal "bullet". You separated the front and back and placed a cap inside.

Well being the inquisitive kid I was, I wondered what the powder from a full roll of caps would sound like. So I carefully opened the caps up and removed the powder from each one and placed it all inside the "bullet".

To be on the safe side I decided to wear a glove (like that would help if it exploded) and held the gun outside my apartment window.. :rolleyes:

It did explode, luckily in front of my hand, goodbye gun. Luckily all the rest of my handloading has not turned out like that.

February 1, 2010, 01:45 PM
I finally got a tap-o-cap after a back order of over 6 months from midsouth shooters supply. IT WORKS LIKE A CHAMP in black powder revolvers. it definitely was worth the wait and if there is ever a shortage of percussion caps like there was primers last year i should be set and able to shoot my black powder guns.
when the tool came i practiced making various caps with different combinations and firing them first on an empty muzzle loader pistol. i could definitely tell from the snap (more than a bang) sound how i was doing. the roll caps i used are "super bang" made in china, not taiwan. i got them from amazon on line. american made roll caps are very hard to find but supposed to be best. after i played with the roll caps i started putting a few grains of 4ffff black powder in between the roll caps. (dip roll cap cut outs on glue stick first to pick up the powder.) messy and somewhat dangerous if anything goes wrong. in my opinion not worth it.
suggestion: the explosive spots on the roll caps are hard for these 58 year old eyes to see when punching them out. so i lightly marked them with the tip of a felt tip pen before punching. less misfires from the roll that way.
after all my experimenting here is what i recommend as the easiest and most reliable combo for making the percussion caps: put the first 2 caps in the cup with the stick provided in the kit red side so you cannot see it but only the white side. the 3rd cap put in with the red spot facing outward so you can see it, centered if possible. never had one fail to fire so far if made that way. careful of caps folding up against the side of the percussion cap. a wire nipple cleaner is very useful for extracting them if it does happen.
i must admit i have not fired off a charged muzzle loading pistol yet, only revolvers, nor have i used the percussion caps on a rifle. and i have only loaded my revolvers with real black powder (Swiss) and not any of the black powder substitutes.
maybe i will do some more experimenting and send another post of my results.

February 1, 2010, 05:53 PM
Mine totally failed with my Hawken, but work great in my two revolvers, better than store bought! I think they must be pretty hot, but don't have much flame front.

February 1, 2010, 06:37 PM
I gave mine to my brother.It could have survivalist type potential,if you just could not get caps anymore,but I like store bought Remington or CCI.

February 1, 2010, 07:04 PM
The go POP loudly in an empty gun but I cannot get them to ignite powder in a revolver. I've tried 2, 3 and 4 cap centers and...nothing. Good for starting races.

February 1, 2010, 08:36 PM
There is also a thread about this on the blackpowder forum of CASCity. Quite a long one. Like here some folks have had good results, others poor results. If I remember right there is a link to USA made caps somewhere in the thread.

Here it is: http://www.cascity.com/forumhall/index.php/topic,14929.0.html

February 4, 2010, 11:45 AM
i have done some more experimenting with my tap-o-cap. i got some kilgore american made caps on the internet (google roll caps.) their explosive spot is about 4x larger than the chinese super bang caps i started with and they bang almost like the factory made percussion caps rather than snap like the chinese ones. i put one american cap in the cup red side first, then a second cap with the explosive side out. with real black powder (Swiss) this combination will "turn the corner" on a .50 caliber muzzleloader and give you a good ignition. it did not work with Clean Shot powder substitute 2ff in the .50 caliber however. the chinese caps would not fire the .50 caliber either. lastly i tried the american caps on a revolver using Clean Shot 2ff and it fired fine. Moral of the story: buy american caps as they work so much better in more applications.

February 4, 2010, 09:20 PM
coldwarvet I did a google and must have missed what you found. Please post a link if you get a chance.

I have a tapocap I bought many years ago and I have never got it to set off anything. Not even a rem 1858 revolver. I would love to have this thing up and running. I hope I never have to depend on it. My local GS has been getting remington #10 &#11 caps in regular and selling them for $3.00 a tin. I buy a few each time I go in. I have had 4000 caps for years and now I have a little over 8000 so the tap o cap is just a novelty. Still it ought to work.

February 9, 2010, 01:16 PM
try www.toyguns4u.com. they have kilgore and other american made caps. they will make all the difference in the world. good luck. let me know how you make out.

February 9, 2010, 03:32 PM
Anybody want to get rid of their Tap-O-Cap? I can trade you a used Lee mold for a conical bullet designed for the Ruger Old Army? I don't feel like paying $40 for the Tap-O-Cap kit and don't need the mold.

February 10, 2010, 09:02 AM
try midsouth shooters supply. they're only about $24. definitely worth it.

Al LaVodka
February 10, 2010, 10:09 AM
Interesting how some view making your own caps is somehow closer to God when you're still using store-bought paper caps. I have been looking for something that stays on the nipples for the entire session so that aspect, at least, I can understand.

December 8, 2010, 12:59 AM
I would like to buy one if any body has one as mine was stolen and I have been un able to find its replacement!

December 8, 2010, 07:28 PM
I wonder how well copper flashing would work in place of aluminum cans?
Not that there's a need to go out and pay for copper flashing, when aluminum cans are free for the taking.

When I was a kid, we'd lay a roll of caps on it's side and smack the hell out of it with a heavy hammer. Talk about a bang. Talk about stupid. It's amazing most of us lived to adulthood, given some of the things we got away with growing up.

Man, I miss the old days, back when running from the cops got you nothing more than a ticket.

December 9, 2010, 12:25 AM
Why would cap makers, percussion cap makers or toy cap makers, not use lead styphnate? It is supposedly less corrosion producing than anything else, and that would be the only thing I'd be wary of.

The old cap guns of my old days were made of the same material many modern high end guns are made of, pot metal, or more specifically Zamak. Zamak probably wouldn't corrode no matter what the caps used, but even my stainless guns (416 I assume) will corrode quickly with byproducts of chlorate or perchlorate combustion, and I think fulminate of mercury earned a bad reputation too.

I'm sure commercial percussion caps would use the least corrosive mixture possible.

December 9, 2010, 07:04 PM
Having tried the Tap O Cap, I would rely on a flintlock before I would a Tap O Cap.


December 9, 2010, 08:04 PM
Right On!!

December 11, 2010, 12:14 AM
I like my flint lock rifles....It is hard to find a flint lock revolver so I had to tap o cap?

December 12, 2010, 12:41 AM
So, do you guys who gave up on the Tap-O-Cap want to sell them???

Forestdavegump wants to buy one.

And I wouldn't mind having a spare.

December 12, 2010, 02:47 PM
heck id get one

January 24, 2011, 10:10 PM
we'd lay a roll of caps on it's side and smack the hell out of it with a heavy hammer. Talk about a bang.

Yeah, my ears are still ringing.

Skinny 1950
January 25, 2011, 11:13 PM
I was using toy caps for quite a while with my Uberti 1851 Navy until a cap went off as I was putting it on the nipple,the ball shot out the side of the gun hit the frame and shaved a slab off. I don't know where the ball went but I sustained a minor injury to my thumb. Good thing it was pointed downrange or someone could have been hurt. Up to that point the toy caps were working great as they don't jam up the gun like the CCI #11's. Anyway the toy caps go off a lot easier that metal ones and could lead to injury.
Haven't been on this forum for a while as I live in Canukistan (Canada):D
Why don't you check out Canadian Gun Nutz ......CGN ....similar layout etc.

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