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percussion caps, Old vs. New

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by TheRodDoc, Sep 3, 2010.

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  1. TheRodDoc

    TheRodDoc Member

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    I have just got out my 1851 colt to shoot it again. been many years since I last used it. (late 70's)

    Low and behold can't use it.

    The new caps they make now days won't clear the frame. Tried cci and remington. 10's or 11's. Normally takes no. 10 caps.
    Seems the newer caps have more powder in them and or the water proofing and hold the cap out to far.
    When you put one on a nipple and try to turn the cylinder the cap hits the edge of the loading notch. I dug through some of my boxes of shooting stuff and finally found a few old caps from the 60's that I used for that gun. They will clear just fine.

    Original 1851 revolvers had a close clearance between the end of the nipple and the frame back. This insured that no caps can fall off the nipples in use. But now If I were to get them past the frame they would be holding the cylinder ahead and most likely set off a chain fire.

    The nipples are original but I guess I will have to either seat them deeper or cut them shorter.

    One other thing is that the flash holes are only .025" dia.

    Guess those two things are why this gun never had much of any problems with caps coming off or blowing open or pushing the hammer back. Always worked well. shot after shot.
    Never had a misfire either with it so the holes must be big enough.
     
  2. bubba15301

    bubba15301 Member

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    get another set of nipples for your revolver
     
  3. mykeal

    mykeal Member

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    Remington No. 11's should fit; they're shorter than any others, including the old ones from 1973 in my kit.
     
  4. the Black Spot

    the Black Spot Member

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    i have a few red tins of the dixie gun works kind, they are fantastic. i remember when cva had some caps out in a black plastic tin that were like some kind of brass, bronze or something. they never split and fell off and jammed your gun, they just fired great then you flipped them off with a knife when done.
     
  5. TheRodDoc

    TheRodDoc Member

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    Mykeal,

    The metal part of the cap isn't the problem. the stuff inside is to thick. I tried all the modern caps and they all have to much stuff in them to go onto the nipples far enough.

    The old ones went on farther.

    The Black Spot,

    I just found a light green plastic tin of CVA caps from back then in one of my boxs of stuff. (around 30 or so caps) They do work on my 1851.
    The other old ones I found had the label gone off the tin but they might have been winchester brand. I don't think there was CCI caps then. At least I don't remember them.

    Your right the CVA are brass and stiff. you can't pinch them with your fingers. And you are right about them not blowing off so bad.
     
  6. Pyro

    Pyro Member

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    Remy #10 works for my 1851.
    Although some of them do sit loose and fall off when shooting, so I just crimp them a bit with my fingers and push em on.
     
  7. zimmerstutzen

    zimmerstutzen Member

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    Last time I was at Dixon's Muzzleloader shop, he was explaining that most of the new caps are magnum, extra strength, heavy duty, etc. He still sells both the standard caps and the heavy duty jobs. In addition, the holes in many older nipples were smaller in diameter. Some folks claim the reason for the caps blowing back into the revolver actions is due in part to the newer high power caps.
     
  8. denster

    denster Member

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    You're friends at Dixon's is correct. I recall back before the harder to ignite subs that the caps were much weaker. They didn't blow apart on the nipple of revolvers and we didn't have as mjuch problem with cap jams on the open top colts nor the blow back into the inards of the guns. Now even with non magnum caps they blow apart even without a charge in the gun.
     
  9. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    I don't see why the nipples can't be dressed so that the caps will fit better and not interfere with the cylinder turning.
    Or go to gun shows and hunt down some old style caps.
    I've bought many tins of older caps over time, especially Remingtons. The Remingtons were all made larger back then so that they often needed to be pinched. So maybe the revolver nipples had a closer tolerance to help keep the caps from falling off during shooting.
    The nipples of the many different gun makers weren't quite as standardized and it seems that Remington made larger caps to accommodate more of them.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2010
  10. Shultzhaus

    Shultzhaus Member

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    The tales I have heard say the manufactures had rifles in mind, when they needed more powerful caps to ignite the subs, and especially pellets. No clearance problems with rifles, but, oops, forgot about C&B revolvers. I don't have any problems with my 3 Piettas, as #10 Rems or CCIs fit snug, and enough clearance. They do seem to shatter more than in the past, and leave most of the skirt imbedded in the nipple recess. Pick the the thing out with a toothpick, or you might slice your finger tip, like I did once.
     
  11. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    I guess that GOTC is too busy trying to figure out which cylinder fits into which gun. Someone ought to send him a label maker! :D :D
     
  12. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Member

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    Can you find a set of shorter nipples? If not then shorten the ones you have.
     
  13. TheRodDoc

    TheRodDoc Member

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    finnaly got time to fix my 51 colt so it will except the modern caps. put all nipples in lathe and had to shorten each .028 ".
    hard to believe they put that much more powder in the caps now then in the 60's. no wander caps blow open and off so often now days. cci no. 10's have always fit this gun. still do but slightly tighter now. once you push one on you have to pry it back off.
     
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