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Making homemade percussion caps

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by shiftyer1, Jun 10, 2013.

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  1. shiftyer1

    shiftyer1 Member

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    Does anyone make their own caps, and if so what method and tools do you use?

    I bought a cap and ball revolver tonight and have my eye on a rifle to match.

    Being able to make everything needed to be able to shoot is appealing to me and may someday come in handy:)
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    One word of advice.

    Don't.

    Even in the 1700's people didn't make their own percussion caps.
    They had to have all their fingers to plow fields, fight injuns, kill bars, and fight the British.

    Any chemical mix sensitive enough & powerful enough to work as a primer or percussion cap?
    Is sensitive & powerful enough to blow your house off it's foundation while you are mixing it up in the basement.


    In the grand scheme of things.

    Store bought percussion caps are WAY cheaper then glass eyes or prosthetic limbs.

    rc
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2013
  3. Pulp

    Pulp Member

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    Do a search on this forum for tap a cap, or something similar. There was a long thread about this a couple of years ago. Any the tap a cap was a tool that punched out percussion caps from soda pop cans. You then put toy caps in the cup.

    I would advise against making mercury fulminate or lead styphnate, that could be extremely dangereous.
     
  4. RON in PA

    RON in PA Member

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    rcmodel, please read up on your history. Percussion caps were post 1800 inventions and when we fought the British in 1775 and 1812 it was with flintlocks.
     
  5. Archaic Weapon

    Archaic Weapon member

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    I'd fight the British any time. Who puts milk in perfectly good tea, I ask you?!
     
  6. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    Dixie Gun Works in the 1960s sold a number of the kits for punching percussion cups out of cans; you then installed a toy gun paper cap in the aluminum cup. That is a fairly safe activity, if you pay attention.

    Making percussion cap chemicals at home is more hazardous than making your own black powder. Making black powder can be hazardous but with safety precautions in small batches can be done. Percussion chemical (classic mercury fulminate for example) is hazardous in any batch size and not worth the danger.

    The toy cap gun percussion explosive is very corrosive in my experience, more so than commercial CCI or Remington percussion caps. The paper toy gun caps can plug your nipple's vent hole with paper debris.
     
  7. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

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    As a matter of fact the percussion cap came about after the Forstyth Scent Bottle Percussion Lock. Problem was the use of the mercury fulminates, and folks prior to putting it into caps, and at locations that made caps when caps were invented, tended to blow themselves up. :eek:

    LD
     
  8. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Tap O' Cap has been out of production for years. You'll have to make the Tap O' Cap on your own.

    I didn't have time last semester, but I'd like to do one for musket caps.
     
  9. raa-7

    raa-7 Member

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    I've been making my own caps but I wouldnt put into words on how to make them the way I do, because of the safety factor.The best and safe way is to just use paper roll caps,you can punch them out with a paper hole punch, and if you know how to make the cap itself,then your good to go. If one cap doesnt work try two etc. You don,t want to mess with things your not very familiar with,such as the compounds found in percussion caps.Good luck and be SAFE :D
     
  10. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Member

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    Side note: I've found that the plastic ring caps sold for toy guys work ok on percussion revolvers, after you cut the caps off the ring with a pair of dykes. They are on the weak side, however. I don't know how they'd work on a conventional sidelock but they would probably work ok on an underhammer.
     
  11. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I make 'em with a tap-o-cap. They work fine in my ROA, but not so much in my Piettas. I could drill out the nipples, I guess, but I hesitate to do so. What I DO, though, is use the home made caps to clear the nipples on my cylinders. That saves the store bought stuff for actual shooting. Funny that I can see fire come out of the barrel on the Piettas when I'm clearing the nipples, but yet, they don't fire the charge. Weird. But, they work pretty well on the ROA. They do NOT have enough fire for a sidelock rifle, though.

    The ring caps, same for me, work on my ROA, but not on my Piettas and not on my side locks. They are a cheap way to clear nipples, too, but you need a pick to get the plastic off 'em when done, kind of a pain, but saves the good caps. :D
     
  12. faustopph

    faustopph Member

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    If you find a Tap O Cap, be prepared to pay over $60 for one. The last time I looked up prices on them I decided to just use my brothers. I think he payed around $19 when he bought his new.

    Plenty of info on making caps using a Tap O Cap on the internet and this forum.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013
  13. elhombreconnonombre

    elhombreconnonombre Member

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    I have found that the Chinese roll caps and red ring caps are worthless. I don't think roll caps like some of us used in the 50's are made in the US now. The German made toy roll caps, I get are better than the Chinese ones. They also make some percussion cap style cap gun caps in a blue plastic which seem to be better than the red ring caps. If you want more oompf cut a few of the German roll caps using an 1/8" ticket puncher and put them in the plastic cap and seat them with a 1/8" dowel. They still tend to jam plastic into the nipple, but that's why we all wear a nipple pick on a chain around our neck, verdad?

    Luckily, my local source had a shipment of #10 caps come in and I bought all they would let me. So when I run oun out of these I will be back to toy caps. In the mean time I search every day for a complete Tap O Cap kit.
     
  14. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    I often read of people popping a cap to ensure the nipple(s) are clear. I have had 1 problem in my sidelock, but none in my pistol. Is this really a big concern? Seems like a waste of caps. Maybe not when hunting, but otherwise...
     
  15. Noz

    Noz Member

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    A tiny trace of oil in the throat of a nipple can cause a misfire.
    I always snap caps before loading on the first stage of any match.
    Cheap insurance.
     
  16. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    IF you make your own caps (which I do not recommend for the reasons mentioned above), be sure you handle the priming compound wet, seal it into the cap using a paper disc, then let it dry.

    IME, toy caps are not powerful enough for sure ignition.

    As for popping a cap to make sure the nipple is clear, I strongly recommend it; many people who hunt with caplocks have tried clicking a deer to death because they cleaned the gun and didn't make sure the nipple was clear. It is also a good idea to make sure a flintlock touchhole is clear by firing a priming charge and watching for smoke at the muzzle before loading the regular powder and ball.

    Jim
     
  17. Vermonter

    Vermonter Member

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    I'd be scared of an accidental discharge when putting homemade caps into place on the nipple.

    [​IMG]

    This should last me a year or two. Anybody know how long they'll keep if I get more? Are some brands better than others for long-term storage?
     
  18. faustopph

    faustopph Member

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    Popping a cap on an empty chamber is cheap insurance. The only time I haven't ,is when I have used alcohol to swab out the nipple and chamber/s. Even then I have a hard time not snapping at least one cap on a single shot rifle or pistol and one on each chamber of a revolver. Old tried and true habits die hard.
     
  19. faustopph

    faustopph Member

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    The more you get the more you shoot. I bet you find you won't have a problem with them 5 years from now if you keep them dry.
     
  20. Lunie

    Lunie Member

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    No, who puts tea in perfectly good milk??? (I kid, I can at least say that tea and milk aren't a bad combo. Not that I would drink it everyday...)

    As to caps, I am making no recommendation for others to do thusly, but cartridge primers without anvils can serve the purpose. The tricky part is finding the right size so that they will fit on the nipple.
     
  21. 44 Dave

    44 Dave Member

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    I am too cheep to waste caps on an empty cylinder, but I do blow the nipples out with a compressor and hold it up to light to see if clear.
     
  22. mykeal

    mykeal Member

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    Now THAT's funny!

    Vermonter: percussion caps should last indefinitely.
     
  23. kendak

    kendak Member

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    ???
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013
  24. ofitg

    ofitg Member

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    Uhhhh..... you wouldn't waste time making a 4-cent cap, but you would take time to cast an 8-cent bullet?
     
  25. kendak

    kendak Member

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    ...
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013
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