Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

loose caps on nipples

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by beag_nut, Dec 18, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. beag_nut

    beag_nut Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    Messages:
    683
    Location:
    Seymour, CT
    I am looking for ideas to solve a small problem I have with my .44 cal. Reproduction cap-and-ball revolver. I have seen mention about this elsewhere, but I don’t think the problem has been solved. Namely, my unfired caps tend to fall off the nipples when other chambers are being fired. I changed sizes, from #11 to #10 caps, but that helped only a little. I tried slightly deforming the caps before being installed, but that works only a little better; deforming (squeezing) even more works better, but then the caps don’t fit into the capper, and it is somewhat scary to squeeze a cap which is designed to go off under impact.
    In my searches I have never seen a replacement nipple which has any kind of serration to hold the nipples. I read somewhere about someone who applied clear nail polish to help hold them in place, but then one needs to at least wait for the stuff to dry.
    Any practical, sure-fire ideas?
     
  2. Foto Joe

    Foto Joe Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,378
    Location:
    Cody, WY
    There are numerous cures, one of which you've already tried. Keep in mind that chain fires are initiated from either the front or the rear (nipples), loose caps are asking for a surprise one of these days.

    Factory nipples are notorious for being sub-par no matter who manufactures the gun. In my experience, replacing them is almost standard operating procedure at the first sign of an issue. Roughly half my guns have replacement nipples. Take a look at TrackoftheWolf.com

    I suggest either Ampco Bronze or Stainless Steel. Once you replace the nipples with either of these, chances are your troubles will be over.
     
  3. Skinny 1950

    Skinny 1950 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    Messages:
    532
    Location:
    Vancouver B.C. Canada
    I had the same problem with a new (2010) Uberti 1851 .36 cal. the cure was replacing the tapered factory nipples with un-tapered stainless from Track of the Wolf. The factory nipples fit on a Colt 1849 Pocket .31 cal. that I was working on so they are still being used.
     
  4. Norton Commando

    Norton Commando Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    279
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Your problem is indeed common. Try replacing the nipples with ones designed for #11 caps. The Ampco nipples that Foto Joe suggested are good ones.
     
  5. TheRodDoc

    TheRodDoc Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    385
    Location:
    Iowa
    You might just need CCI brand no. 10 caps. They Fit the smallest nipples best. My Early 70's revolvers all use them. All other brand sizes are to big.
     
  6. FreddyKruger

    FreddyKruger Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Messages:
    214
    Location:
    Australia
    a slight squeeze seems to do me. that is if i cant find the right caps. try some RWS 1075. on my walker ive used 1055 which are rifle caps and they work even better, they are that little bit longer and so go further down the tapered nipple. but then you need a rifle capper as they dont fit a pistol one.
     
  7. BCRider

    BCRider Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Messages:
    7,754
    Location:
    Pacific North"Wet" Coast of Canada
    I've been making do with a squeeze to ovalize them and that's been working pretty well so far. But if you're doing a lot of shooting in a day it gets pretty hard on the finger tips. I'm looking at deciding which C&B guns I keep and which I sell off. Then I'm going to buy a set of Treso or other aftermarket nipples for all of them which fit the caps I can get correctly.
     
  8. Hellgate

    Hellgate Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2004
    Messages:
    1,440
    Location:
    Orygun
    Which brand are you using? If they are Remington, then the CCI#11 may work and for sure the CCI#10. If you are already using CCIs and the #10 is still too big you could still try the RWS#55 which are the smallest made that I know of. Otherwise get the Treso or stainless steel replacement nipples from TOW.
     
  9. Skinny 1950

    Skinny 1950 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    Messages:
    532
    Location:
    Vancouver B.C. Canada
    The Remington #10 cap is longer than the #11 so with the tapered nipple if it is long enough should fit better. With the aftermarket nipples both #10 and #11 caps will work.
    Caps falling off or jamming up the works are a PITA :cuss:
     
  10. beag_nut

    beag_nut Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    Messages:
    683
    Location:
    Seymour, CT
    I have used all the caps mentioned, with no discernible differences between them. It truly makes me wonder what the Civil War dudes had to deal with.
    I noticed an old post about a cap crimper, and am trying to ask whether the sketch for same is available (couldn't see one in the old post).
    I WILL order some of the TRESO caps, but in my heart I doubt they will be the solution (other than the material, they look identical).
    If I can come up with a cap crimper I may modify the nipples to fit (have machine tools).
     
  11. mykeal

    mykeal Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Messages:
    5,147
    Location:
    Michigan
    I'm sure you meant Treso nipples, not caps, and I assure you they are different.

    If you have tried all 5 of the commonly available caps (CCI No. 10 & No. 11, Remington No. 10 & 11 and RSM 1075) with the same results then new nipples are the only possible answer.
     
  12. beag_nut

    beag_nut Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    Messages:
    683
    Location:
    Seymour, CT
    mykeal: you are correct, I meant nipples.
    However, all the nipples offered, from all suppliers, have the same, slightly tapered shape. When used with soft, malleable copper caps, the retention just isn't there. If the caps were harder, and thus had some elasticity, the grip to the nipples would be better. A somewhat similar situation exists in the medical industry, where the "Luer Lock" is used for syringes and similar devices. For that application, all the mating parts have appreciable elasticity (and "stickiness") to help hold the devices together. So if someone has developed a way to form a crimp in the cap, to fit on a nipple with some groove, that would be an improvement.
    I still wonder how the Civil War participants dealt with the problem.
     
  13. arcticap

    arcticap Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Messages:
    6,185
    Location:
    Central Connecticut
    The Colt instructions of the time period recommended to pinch the caps if their fit were too loose so that they would stay in place.
    Some reproduction nipples were simply made with cones that are too small to fit the available caps.
    Proper fitting caps shouldn't require any additional crimping because they fit snugly enough to where they need to be seated on to the cone by applying some pressure using a push stick, capper, thumb or such.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011
  14. mykeal

    mykeal Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Messages:
    5,147
    Location:
    Michigan
    beag_nut: If you're not willing to listen to the advice and experience of the rest of the community, I can do nothing more.
     
  15. Noz

    Noz Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Messages:
    797
    Location:
    Southwest Missouri
    The guns are so designed that the fired caps can and will fall off of the nipples to the right as the cylinder is rotated to the next chamber.
     
  16. Kaeto

    Kaeto Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,328
    Location:
    Lincoln Park, Mi.
    I have the same problem of caps not staying on the nipples. You advise replacing the nipples but to do so on all of my cap and ball revolvers is cost prohibitive. I have 8 revolvers each with 6 nipples. At $3.99 per nipple that's a bit much on a fixed income like mine.
     
  17. col.lemat

    col.lemat Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2011
    Messages:
    571
    Location:
    Lakewood, Ca
    use super glue and be done with it
     
  18. andrewstorm

    andrewstorm member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    Messages:
    634
    Location:
    land of the free,because of the brave
    loose goose

    buy a tin of remington 10 Caps they are the smallest ive found.if that doesnt work buy new nips.
     
  19. beag_nut

    beag_nut Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    Messages:
    683
    Location:
    Seymour, CT
    Sorry, guys; still no really viable answers (and mykeal: no comment). All the nipples have the same taper, regardless of the materials used. #10 caps are slightly better, but not good enough. Super glue is good for long-term readiness, but not for an afternoon on the range. Deformed caps (deformed enough to stay on) won't fit in a capper.
    Anybody else?
     
  20. Foto Joe

    Foto Joe Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,378
    Location:
    Cody, WY
    Okay, let's step back a minute here. Have you made an attempt to replace the nipples yet??

    The viable answer is to do so. ALL nipples are tapered, that's how they keep the caps on. The caps are designed to press down over that taper. As I stated above, factory nipples are notorious for being of poor quality. Companies like Treso engineer their nipples specifically to fit Remington, CCI et. al. The Ampco bronze nipples are very resistant to corrosion and preferred by many here. Stainless also are a good choice, I use both depending upon what I can get my hands on.

    If you are dead set against replacing the nipples then your only choice is going to be to pinch the caps, a lot of people do but most of us are too lazy to do so and just change over to a higher quality nipple.

    Believe me, there is a difference in nipples and if they weren't tapered you'd have even more problems. If you don't want to change to a higher quality set of nipples then you are left with pinching them and should one come loose and you don't catch it the resulting chain-fire might change your mind about trying different nipples.

    We all do things differently, all of our methods are correct for us. Find what works for ya and let us know about it. Our minds can be changed often and we all learn from this forum. But in this particular instance the consensus is change the nipples, learn from those who have learned the hard way.
     
  21. rem1858

    rem1858 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    Surrounded by pines in Wi.
    Beag nut;

    What kind of pressure are you installing the caps with ?

    Thumb pressure ? (which is relative to ones ability to push those tiny caps with your thumb).

    This may be scary to some, but I push them on with my thumb(I have big hands and big thumbs. LOL), then seat them a little snugger with a 1/4" wooden dowel or safely lower the hammer onto each cap and push on the hammer with my thumb.

    I just want to make sure they are seated fully so I do not have to do a double tap on a chamber.
    Just like not seating a primer all the way on a smokeless pistol cartridge, the hammer drops, but does not fire cause the hammer just now seated the primer fully, then the next hammer drop on that round ignites it.

    I have always been under the impression to not baby firearms.
    It is a machine, load it and treat it like you mean it.

    If the above does not work, then get new nipples as stated by others.

    I dont mean to hash on you, but it is the experience that I have had while only been shooting black powder for a couple years, maybe.
    I'm a quick learner, been shooting all kinds of firearms since I was a kid(I am pushing 50 now, boy where has the time gone...)

    Hope this helps.
    Happy holidays to all

    Clarence
     
  22. Smokin'Joe

    Smokin'Joe Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2011
    Messages:
    310
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Caps are easily and symmetrically re-sized using a small socket from a ¼'' ratchet set. Either a 5/32” or 4mm size will work.


    IMG_02135.gif
    Simply place cap on hard flat surface open side up and apply downward force with the socket. A gentle tap may be required. If the re-sized cap resists being removed from the socket gently grab it with pliers and rock it back and forth.


    IMG_02165.gif
    I modified my socket slightly with a pointed stone on a Dremel tool to provide a forcing cone of sorts.
     
  23. Foto Joe

    Foto Joe Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,378
    Location:
    Cody, WY
    See, I learned something new today. Good tip although like I said before, I'm lazy. I'd rather replace the nipples.
     
  24. beag_nut

    beag_nut Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    Messages:
    683
    Location:
    Seymour, CT
    Smokin'Joe:
    Now THAT'S what I'm talking about, a new idea! Time will tell if it's the best one (we engineers know that there's always a better idea), but at least it makes some sense.
    FotoJoe:
    Tapers work, when the materials have elasticity. Caps don't; they are made from annealed copper or brass.
     
  25. Lunie

    Lunie Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Messages:
    530
    beag_nut, I can assure you that caps have elasticity (or at least "enough"). I'm going to use some terms like "usually" and "probably", but caps are going to usually be made of a high-copper alloy, probably either C21000 or C22000. (Unfortunately, I do not know the exact alloys used by various manufacturers.)

    About the taper design being inferior and the caps lacking elasticity... For example, CCI #10's are too small for my particular nipples. The skirt on the cap makes a solid contact with the outside taper of the nipple long before the priming compound in the cap can get close enough to the face of the nipple. I'm literally doing this as I am completing this message. Using only moderate thumb pressure, the cap is so firmly seated on the nipple that I can't remove it, even with the cylinder removed so I can get two fingers on the cap. I'm either going to need pliers, or to re-mount the cylinder to my frame and fire it. Because the cap is tight, but the priming compound is not fully seated, it may take 2 or more hammer blows before it will go off. Again, my case is obviously different. These caps are too small, while CCI#11's are slightly oversized, and require pinching on my particular nipples.

    If none of the common brands/sized of caps will fit your nipples, they might:

    1) Have the correct taper angle and nipple length, but were cut down to an undersized diameter.
    2) Have the correct taper but the nipple was not cut short enough (too long).
    3) Have an incorrect taper that is too shallow.

    In all 3 cases, the cap would bottom out before its skirt had a chance to grip the taper.

    If pinching or otherwise resizing your caps is unacceptable, and unless the cause happened to be 2), I would say a new set of nipples. There are several "if"s involved for remedying #2, but buying new nipples is still probably the preferred solution to that as well.

    I think makos_goods(?) posted some nice CAD models to illustrate cap fitment and the relative sizes of various cap brands. If I can find it, or someone else does, I think they may help you visualize what is really happening.

    Edited to add: I did manage to remove the cap, and a piece of my thumbnail, without aid of hand tools. YMMV
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page