Why Does Anyone Use No. 11's??


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Cosmoline
September 28, 2008, 04:00 PM
I've been thinking of switching my smoke poles over to use traditional caps instead of No 11's. I picked up some caps and have ordered the conversion nipples, and upon inspecting the caps I have no idea why primers were ever used. The primers are tiny, hard-to-hold, deliver a smaller spark, fall apart and jam things up after being spent and don't seal the nipple at all. Why did anyone think it was a good idea to use them in the first place? When and why did they become the standard for nipples?

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oneshooter
September 28, 2008, 05:07 PM
I've been thinking of switching my smoke poles over to use traditional caps instead of No 11's.

The # 11 cap is a "traditional "cap for rifles and large revolvers. Are you refering to Musket caps?

Oneshooter
Livin in Texas

Cosmoline
September 28, 2008, 05:39 PM
I guess that begs the question, when were No. 11 caps/primers used on muzzleloaders? I thought the musket caps were the originals. Anyone know?

mykeal
September 28, 2008, 06:38 PM
Percussion caps were originally available in sizes designated 9, 10, 11 and 12 (and perhaps more). The currently available sizes are 10, 11 and musket, with some also carrying a 'magnum' designation. We also have guns that use shotshell primers called 209's. The current 'musket' caps are a relatively recent development, I believe.

I don't understand the original question. We use No. 11 caps because they fit better on some nipples than No. 10's do. No. 10 and No. 11 caps are very close in size; I took the following measurements earlier this year:

CCI No. 10: 0.160" opening by 0.160" tall
CCI No. 11: 0.166" opening by 0.162" tall
Remington No. 10: 0.167 " opening by 0.168" tall
Remington No. 11: 0.166" opening by 0.145" tall
RWS No. 1075: 0.165" opening by 0.154" tall.

The so-called 'magnum' caps are the same size as their regular counterparts.

I have no measurements for musket caps but they are at least twice the diameter of No. 10 or No. 11 caps.

Does that answer your question?

oneshooter
September 28, 2008, 07:52 PM
We can't really answer the question till we know his definitions of "traditional" and "modern"caps.

Oneshooter
Livin in Texas

Mike OTDP
September 28, 2008, 09:04 PM
Musket caps are period - they were for muskets and other military longarms. Very reliable ignition. The smaller caps were for civil arms and revolvers.

Cosmoline
September 28, 2008, 10:33 PM
I didn't express myself very well. I guess my question is why would anyone opt for the smaller, harder-to-handle and less reliable No 11's instead of using musket caps for a rifle or musket? Is there some advantage No 11's have over musket caps as far as accuracy for a long arm? Are they more accurate or something?


The smaller caps were for civil arms and revolvers.

So No. 11's were around for rifles at the same time (1840's and beyond) as musket caps? I didn't realize that.

The current 'musket' caps are a relatively recent development, I believe.

That doesn't explain why my family Richmond Musket takes them and has a nipple far too large for No. 11's. Also, what about these CW relic caps, which look a lot like the "top hat" style musket caps:

http://www.vanshaver.com/pictures/MVC-010S.JPG

Voodoochile
September 28, 2008, 11:08 PM
When the percussion caps were accepted as a reliable replacement to the Flint lock ignition there were a many of sizes to chose from.

Many of your pocket revolvers & derringer types were primed with a #9 or #10 percussion cap.

The civilian rifles & shotguns shared the #11 & #12 percussion caps with the larger sized Pistols & revolvers like the Walker & for the most part some what standard.

The Musket size percussion caps were made mostly due to the need for a hotter spark due to possible wet weather fighting & that they were easier to handle in the heat of battle where as to know which end was placed on the Cones.

During these times the ordinary citizen did not need to have the caps made so that they could load the weapon almost blind folded & during the 1840's - the 1870's when cartridge firearms were getting more prevelent they used Fulminate of Murcury which was a little hotter than what we have today so the #11 cap may have been all the ordinary citizen needed.

Chawbaccer
September 28, 2008, 11:21 PM
The ears on musket caps make for easier hanling under tense conditions. I have never used them and so don't know if they are hotter than no. 11's. but I don't think they would fit my revolvers. I use a straight line capper and don't have much trouble handling the smaller caps.

Acorn Mush
September 29, 2008, 12:21 AM
The ears on musket caps make for easier hanling under tense conditions. I have never used them and so don't know if they are hotter than no. 11's. but I don't think they would fit my revolvers. I use a straight line capper and don't have much trouble handling the smaller caps.

You are absolutely correct about the flanges (ears) on musket caps making for easier handling.

I don't know if they are "hotter" than #11 caps - as in flame temperature - but there sure is a whole lot more of it (flame) going through the nipple to ignite the powder charge!

To use musket caps on your revolver, you would need specially-made nipples and utilize non-flanged caps like the ones CVA marketed many years ago. There doesn't seem to me to be any benefit to be gained by going through all the trouble of converting a revolver to use musket caps, unless you are one of those unfortunate souls who cannot get real black powder and therefore must use BP substitutes. However, in such cases #11 magnum caps should be sufficient to ignite the substitute powders.

Cosmoline
September 29, 2008, 12:46 AM
I guess for revolvers that makes a lot of sense. But I've had nothing but trouble from No. 11's on my rifles. Esp. the doubles, which frequently send the left barrel's cap off from recoil. I'm going to switch over to the musket caps on my Tryon and kodiak and see if there's any major accuracy problem.

Smokin_Gun
September 29, 2008, 02:12 AM
For God's sake have you not read this forum long enough to know that one squeezes a #11 or #10 cap if it's too loose/big for the cone. It's always been S.O.P. for BP anything...
Please read this courtesy of Black Powder Revolver Forum(Voy Old Coots Admin)
Percussion Revolvers: A Primer (We know Rifles, and Muskets plus the differance.)
http://www.angelfire.com/ny5/shenandoah/Choy.html

SG

Cosmoline
September 29, 2008, 03:09 AM
Easy there. With the double's recoil pinching is not always sufficient. Besides it's irritating to have to do it. I squeeze, the thing pops out of my fingers and rolls off. I get another, overpinch and it won't fit so it falls off and jams up behind the nipple. Finally I get it on there and it pops off with recoil. All of of which pretty much rules out taking the thing afield up here. Thus my thinking has turned to musket caps, which I have a far easier time manipulating. I know others have switched to them, thus my questions.

That link is for revolvers, btw

mykeal
September 29, 2008, 08:05 AM
Cosmoline - sorry for misunderstanding your first post. Now I'm on the page.

Mike OTDP is correct about musket caps being contemporary with the smaller sizes. I did a little research and learned quite a bit that I hadn't realized - never was curious about it, so your question prompted me to look into it.

Musket caps are easier to handle. I'm only aware of one negative thing about them. There is come controversy amongst the target shooters and reenactors these days regarding the six flange CCI musket caps; apparently the flanges can come off and become shrapnel, causing problems with adjacent shooters. I understand some reenactments are not allowing the CCI brand to be used for this reason. There is a brand (RWS?) that has just 4 flanges and it's not had the problem. If I can find the thread on this I'll post a link.

Acorn Mush
September 29, 2008, 10:45 AM
But I've had nothing but trouble from No. 11's on my rifles. Esp. the doubles, which frequently send the left barrel's cap off from recoil.

Cosmoline, have you thought about replacing the nipples that are giving you problems? It seems that there are dimensional differences in the foreign-made nipples which could be contributing to your problem. I'm not shilling for anybody, but I have found the Treso brand of nipples to accept number 11 caps very well.

I share your frustration about handling and pinching those itty-bitty caps. When I was younger the caps were MUCH bigger, and easier to see to boot. Now they are made really really small, and painted with semi-invisible paint:D!

Cosmoline
September 29, 2008, 12:18 PM
Learn something new every day. I'm going to buy a variety of new nipples for 11's and caps and see how they function.

apparently the flanges can come off and become shrapnel, causing problems with adjacent shooters. I understand some reenactments are not allowing the CCI brand to be used for this reason.

Huh, well I'll have to watch for that. The 11's also produce shrapnel, which is why I've been wearing a left hand gauntlet when I shoot the double. The good thing is there's not enough force to break skin, just sting. Maybe musket caps have more oomph.

bonza
September 29, 2008, 01:06 PM
I have to agree with Acorn Mush on the nipple sizes here. I'm using MSM (Mountain State Muzzleloading) nipples on just about all my percussion rifles & handguns these days & don't remember when I last had any problems with caps falling off OR getting stuck. They seem to be sized to work well with #11 caps (I use RWS & CCI). However, some of the nipples that come fitted by the gun makers do seem to be smaller than the U.S.-made ones.

Cosmoline
September 29, 2008, 01:43 PM
Thanks! I'll look them up.

oneshooter
September 29, 2008, 05:10 PM
The flanges on the musket caps also made it easier to remove a spent cap. Simply by brushing your finger alongside the nipple when pulling back the hammer.

Oneshooter
Living in Texas


Ain't it wunnerfull when everybodys on the same page!!

Omnivore
September 29, 2008, 05:21 PM
I would say that anytime you feel you have to squeeze a cap to make it fit, you're using the wrong cap or the wrong cap/nipple combination. Not only that, but in a revolver I'd say you're increasing the risk of a chain-fire due to a poor gas seal at the nipples, or due to a nipple coming off an unfired chamber. With the proper fit, there's no way you should ever have a cap come loose. Getting them off is the only problem you should be faced with.

You should definitely get a capper, so you're not handling individual caps in the field. But beware-- some of the cappers are a poor fit for some of the caps. I have one capper that will not accept the taller Remington #10s. And if you're using a capper, I find that the 10s and 11s are far easier to handle than musket caps. The one musket capper I tried was a huge pain in the rear. Better to handle the musket caps individually, which meant the 10s and 11s, in a capper, were much easier to deal with. That was my experience. Maybe someone else knows of a decent musket capper.

Every in-line capper I own had to be ground down around the tip to fit properly with revolvers. With a sidelock rifle it matters not, since there is plenty of room around the nipple for the capper.

With a good fit and real BP, you'll find FTFs a very rare occurence, too.

FWIW, I find Remington #10 caps on Treso nipples are a perfect fit on my Pietta revolvers. My rifle takes 11s, and I have yet to find the perfect fit. I may just have to turn down the nipple, 'cause my problem is the #11 cap fitting too tight, sometimes requiring a second strike to fire, even after I push it on using the hammer nose. Getting a cap off without firing it would be a real trick.

1858rem
September 29, 2008, 10:14 PM
i gotta 1858 Remington and the standard nipples dont work well with either #10 or#11 caps, 11 is too big and 10 too small, either way getting them to fit is no easy task. the 10's work ok but sometimes dont go on far enough and must be hit twice to work, but the 11's are easier to use if you put a dimple in the side with your fingernail. holds em on wonderfull. BUT 11's went up to 5.25/100.... and i got an offer on a box of 1000 #10 caps, so i got them for 30$ instead. anyone know of a good nipple for #10 primers to fit an 1858 Remington? cause readin the posts it said treso was good with 10 and 11's.... is that correct?

Mike 56
September 29, 2008, 11:41 PM
1858 rem you can chuck your nipples in a drill or drill press and turn down your nipples with some emery cloth. Work slow and you can fit the nipples to #10 caps.

Mike

Cosmoline
September 30, 2008, 02:21 AM
Complicated. Makes a body want to get a flintlock!

Elbert P . Suggins
September 30, 2008, 08:17 AM
At the top of this thread, Mykeal stated that CCI 10s were measured as being smaller than CCI 11s, while Remington 10s were measured as being larger than Remington 11s. Now I am confused, but my wife says it is just my habitual nature. Can somebody clarify this and help me out?

mykeal
September 30, 2008, 09:06 AM
Elbert - I've been chasing this ghost for 30 years and I'm no closer to understanding it than when I started.

First - The measurements I posted are averages of at least 20 caps of each of the ones listed. The statistics say that the precision in the measurements is no better than 0.005" in the case of the diameters and 0.001" for the heights. And probably even worse.

Second - the diameter measurements were very difficult to make. Measuring the opening in a small, thin walled and tapered article with a vernier caliper is an exercise in frustration. This is compounded by the fact that the caps are rarely round - the majority are somewhat oval shaped, which is only to be expected for something as thin walled as a percussion cap. All I can say is that I tried very hard to be consistent.

Third - The only valid (I believe) conclusions one can draw are that the size designations are meaningless between manufacturers, and that even within manufacturers the variations sometimes make the size labels misleading. In short: CCI and Remington No. 10's are NOT the same size, nor are their No. 11's. Trying to apply these numbers to a nipple that's supposed to use "No. 11" caps is simply fooling yourself.

Finally - Other people have attempted to verify/refute these measurements. The numbers are all over the map. It appears to me that one batch of No. 10's (or No. 11's) can be very different in actual size from another batch of No. 10's (or No. 11's) from the same manufacturer.

Don't feel bad about being confused. It's a crap shoot.

Elbert P . Suggins
September 30, 2008, 12:55 PM
Thanks for the reply. I am not going to worry about it. It's not that hard to pinch an oversized cap to make it fit. Even an undersized can be forced into submission if you take side cutters and snip it and than squeeze it to fit. Like my wife said " If there is a will than there is a way". People make such a big deal out of cap size but if you can't find the right ones use your head and adjust. The only problem I have had is finding caps for a Colt 1st Dragoon. They were designed for no 12s originally and Colt continued that concept. I had a post in regards to that a few days ago. With CCI 11s and Rems 10s I just drive em on with a dowel.

pohill
September 30, 2008, 08:45 PM
I would say that anytime you feel you have to squeeze a cap to make it fit, you're using the wrong cap or the wrong cap/nipple combination.

Not according to Colt...
From an old Colt Industries pamphlet:
"Percussion caps are now made in sizes from nine to thirteen. Ten and eleven are the best numbers for the small and medium-sized arms, and twelve for the larger sizes, although, as different-sized nipples are sometimes met in specimens of the same model, no hard and fast rule can be given. It is better to have caps slightly too large than too small, as large caps can be pinched together at the bottom enough so they will stay on the nipples, but small ones must be driven down on the nipple by the blow of the hammer, and this process frequently cushions the blow to the extent of producing a misfire."

Pancho
September 30, 2008, 10:23 PM
I've never cared for the "Colt" method of pinching to fit. I've spent too much time trying to fit over-pinched caps.
As for converting to musket caps, I've converted every percussion long gun I own to musket caps even my 32 cal. Cherokee. I've noticed no change in accuracy but they are a lot easier to handle especially in winter.

dwave
September 30, 2008, 10:34 PM
Just for the record, RWS does have 4 flanges and I have not had any of them fly off. Caps pretty well stayed together. I converted my Pedersoli Frontier rifle to them.

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