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Making Percussion Caps

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Ratshooter, Nov 27, 2007.

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  1. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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    I have one of the Forster tools for making percussion caps with a toy cap for the fire. I have tried repeatedly to make this work without success. I suppose the caps aren't hot enough. The tool makes a nice looking cap though.

    I would like to use this since the price up #11 caps has gotten so high. Can anyone help?
     
  2. AntiqueCollector

    AntiqueCollector Member

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    How many cap gun caps are you putting in the metal caps?
     
  3. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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  4. Roswell 1847

    Roswell 1847 member

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    I had a bunch of dead caps once, oil had soaked through a carboard capbox.
    I cleaned those caps out carefully and used two toy gun caps cut to size with a leather working hole puncher.
    These ignited blackpowder well enough but would not ignite the older formula of pyrodex.

    That was many years ago of course.

    I also used some of those little plastic percussion caps made for the little revolving cylinder cap guns on a double barreled pocket pistol which had very small nipples. These worked surprizingly well. Didn't melt or anything like that.
     
  5. .44walkersabot

    .44walkersabot member

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    Have you tried a drop of mercury fulminate in the caps?
     
  6. pohill

    pohill Member

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    I also have a TapOCap. I have tried 2,3 and 4 red paper cap centers in the caps. I have tried putting the cap centers in both ways. I have tried the TapOCaps in several guns. Nothing. They make a nice pop in the house but they do not ignite the powder in the cylinders.
    I've heard that the match heads from Strike Anywhere matches will work in place of the red paper cap centers but I can't find those matches.
    I also tried the red plastic caps, and, again, they make a nice pop but they do not ignite the powder.
     
  7. Bezoar

    Bezoar member

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    Doesnt anybody know its techinically legal to make very small amounts of percussive priming agenst as directed in pre 1900 text books for chemistry?

    True that stuff is hazardous healthwise sometimes, but it works.
     
  8. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    So, Bezoar, do you have a pre Twentieth Century chemistry book that tells you how? I know you dissolve mercury with a nitrate solution and then add ethanol.
     
  9. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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    Thanks to everyone who has posted.

    I have only used up to three caps. No luck. I thought of the plastic caps but never tried them.

    I have an adapter that will let me use standard primers and it works but is hard to unscrew after a few shots.

    I have some of the military manuals that mention strike anywhere matches for recharging rifle primers in an emergency situation but have not tried them in the tap o cap. I do have the matches though. Wrapped in suran wrap.

    I have 6 pounds of mercury and a formula to make nitric acid for making fulminate of mercury but i think i will save that for really desperate times.

    Some one mentioned musket caps. They cost more than #11s and as i have side hammer guns with metric nipples and one T/C with a 1/4 28 thread, i don't think i'll switch nipples as i have spares for #11 caps.

    I haven't shot my BP rifles in about 5 years to the best of my memory and was shocked at the price of caps. I have 2000 on hand now but would need another 2000 to set off the amount of powder i have on hand. I think i'll just buy the factory made stuff and forget the tap o cap for now.

    Thanks again, Thomas.
     
  10. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    Buy a package of those plastic ring caps. Cut them apart and there you go. They work just fine, but they are corrosive. Since black powder and Pyrodex are corrosive, that shouldn't be a big deal.
     
  11. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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    One other thing i thought of regarding the Strike Anywhere matches.

    The jails will not give them to inmates because they have used the heads in a home made bomb trying to blow the locks on cell doors. I read of an old man who made a rocket out of the heads in a metal tube for his grandson. When he set it off the explosion killed him with shrapnel.

    We used to take sparkplugs and twist out the center electrode and use it for a plunger. You wrap a coat hanger wire around the base of the plug go about 8" make a loop to hold onto then back to the plunger and wrap the wire around the top. Break off up to 3 match heads (or less) and insert the electrode and strike the cement. It makes a hell of a bang. Everytime i have used 4 heads it blew the porcelin off of the plug. I have been cut on the hand from this. The best plugs don't have the screw on cap.

    The above is for educational use only and the managment does not endorse or condon the making of spark plug poppers. Ha Ha.
     
  12. DuncanSA

    DuncanSA Member

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    My Tap-o-Cap is on order, when it arrives I shall try the technique described by a local gunsmith who says he uses them successfully. What he does is put a small pinch of fine black powder in the cap and then a cut-to-size paper cap to hold the powder in.

    He emphasis a "small" pinch and said that I should experiment to find the amount that works best.
     
  13. pohill

    pohill Member

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  14. Pancho

    Pancho Member

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    I've written on another thread about converting my long guns over to musket caps. I did this mainly for hunting purposes due to the large physical size of the musket cap and the hotter surer ignition. I, like you, have a large supply of #11 caps so I switch back to the smaller nipples when I go to the range and really burn up the powder. The conversions are available for all metric and U.S. fine thread guns. I bought mine at Gander mountain.
     
  15. Pancho

    Pancho Member

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    I might add to my previous post that I'm probably chicken but I wouldn't have the confidence in my own home made caps when looking down my sights at a really nice buck or a really fat doe. I believe that the magic of muzzleloading includes making for yourself whatever you can such as pouring your own bullets and making your own powder horn and possibles bag etc. but I personally would draw the line at making my own caps. I doubt if the old timers did it and the cost of caps to them was probably really expensive. Thats probably why flint ignition lasted well into the percussion period.
     
  16. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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    Well Pancho i just replied to your other post on the solvent. I will have to see if i can find a musket size nipple for my T/C 50 cal Hawken. They used to have them at the local Walmart of all places along with musket caps when they sold BP guns.

    I just got back from my locol gun dealer. He had 1200 caps and i got those for $32.00 out the door. That gives me 3200 total so i'm good for now.

    I agree about using a questionable cap for hunting. At this point it is a non issue since i have never set the gun off with one anyway. I may have to be on the lookout for a flinter. Have you seen how much flints cost? I guess there is a shortage of rocks now to go along with a shortage of brass and lead.

    Must be the war in Iraq.
     
  17. Pancho

    Pancho Member

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    Ratshooter the TC is a no brainer it's 1/4-28 and readily available at Dick's, Gander mountain, Cabela's. I went to it mainly because during our Ohio's deer season it can be cold and fiddling with #11 caps just drove me nuts. I dropped more than I used. We also hunt mostly by drives and that means decapping a lot to load men and guns into trucks to get to the next drive. The tophat style musket cap is a lot easier to decap.
     
  18. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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    Pancho i work one exit from the new Cabelas in Ft Worth. I'l have to look next time i'm there. I know what you mean about the cold and numb fingers. One time i was hunting here in Texas and it got so cold i had to wear long pants and a flannel shirt.

    Just kidding. Most of the time its pretty warm here and we worry about meat spoiling in the heat. Seems like our coldest months are march and febuary long after season is closed. But ever once in a while it does get cold. Not for long though, thank goodness since i work outside.
     
  19. JCT

    JCT Member

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    I looked into all this once too.
    Toy caps have a mixture of Potassium chlorate, Sulfur and Red Phosphorous and powdered glass. It's similar to what's called "Armstrongs mix" and may be one of the most sensitive explosives in existence.
    They're loaded wet because they're extremely sensitive to small amounts of impact and friction. Many have died playing with that stuff!
    Because it has a chlorate, it makes chloric acid and is very corrosive. That's the issue with Pyrodex too, it's made with Perchlorate and I'd prefer not to breathe the smoke from it!!! Most BP substitutes use perchlorate as the oxidizer: ( look up perchlorate poisoning) Pyrodex has less fouling than most BP, but is much more corrosive!
    Strike anywhere matches have all the same ingredients, chlorate, a phosphorous compound and sulfur.
    I'd like to know what is is modern percussion caps, I think they're no longer Mercury Fulminate. Anyone know? If you could mix a small amount wet and load a few hundred caps safely, I'd be interested in looking into it again.
     
  20. Pancho

    Pancho Member

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    Ratshooter, this is getting off the thread and I'll drop it from here but we had a really warm deer season one year and had to go to the nearest store (not all that near) and buy bags of ice and tie them into the hanging deer to keep them somewhat cool.
     
  21. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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    Well i have a new filler to try for tap o caps.

    I looked up strike anywhere matches on google and on the second page there was a link to metacafe which is like you tube except educational.

    There is a video titled "make your own strike anywhere matches". The person who made the video used 2 drops of ketchup, a pinch of flour and a drop of Jack Danials whiskey. Mix with a toothpick, then mixture was left to stand for about 3 hours. Then a round toothpick with the end cut off was stuck in the mixture for 3 hours. The maker then lit the match on the side of a TV remote.

    Of coarse i have to try this. Now i have to go to the liquor store and buy whiskey. I guess if it doesn't work i'll be forced to drink the left over whiskey. Drat!!!
     
  22. Pancho

    Pancho Member

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    Interesting formula I've got all of the ingredients including a couple of drops of my favorite burbon, I think I can spare it.
     
  23. JCT

    JCT Member

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    I hope you're joking. There's nothing in that mix that'll ignite. Once the alcohol evaporates out of the whiskey, the water/vinegar out of the ketchup...you're left with flour, tomato, salt and coloring. There's no oxidizer or fuel!
    There's thousands of videos like that, metacafe pays the posters based on amount of views, so if you post " make matches out of ketchup..." you'll get alot of views!
     
  24. Roswell 1847

    Roswell 1847 member

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    Tomatoes are loaded with Tannic Acid. Flour burns and can even explode.
    Always a possibility that theres some chemical reaction there which changes the molecules.
    Picric acid is made from Hair and leather scraps, the Japanese loaded their cartridges with it. If it crystalyses it can detonate like nitroglycerine.

    Your can make a high explosive using "Light salt", and rocket motors can be made with sugar.

    PS
    I think that Metal Azides like Lead Azide are used as primer compound in rimfire cartridges, also in explosive bullets like the one Hinkley shot Reagan with.
    I've used Mercury Fulminate Caps before. They will cause rust to form within hours if the gun isn't cleaned throughly.
    Also Mercury causes brass cases to become brittle. Black powder fouling reduced this problem but Smokeless powder cartridges could become too brittle to reload after even one firing.
     
  25. JCT

    JCT Member

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    I just watched that vid....It's fake, even the person who made the vid tagged it under "jokes, tricks". How could you think ketchup, flour and whiskey would make a friction sensitive mixture? I'm sure there's at least a few foods that use the 3 together.
    Most explosives are fuel/oxidizer mixes. Fuels need oxidizers. Sugar rockets and charcoal need Potassium nitrate. Flour won't burn unless mixed well with air or another oxidizer.
    People just post anything to try for alot of views, which they make money from on metacafe!
     
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