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View Full Version : What is the recommended Percussion Cap?



TheBaldYankee
11-26-2006, 12:48 PM
Hi Gents,

Next Sunday (Dec 3rd) I'm getting my first opportunity to portray a Union Soldier. I'll drilling and maybe doing a little firing. I'm excited to start learning, but as I'm going to be borrowing a rifle, and blank rounds, I thought it may be nice if I brought my own percussion caps.

What is hte recommended style, brand etc. I tried to find the info via internat searches but came up empty. It's hard to believe that these various unit pages offer so much good advise but non an the kind of caps to buy.

Any help would be very mch appreciated.

Thanks

VaTrooper
11-26-2006, 01:40 PM
Search here.

Ephraim_Zook
11-26-2006, 02:06 PM
Search here.

??? search where?

VaTrooper
11-26-2006, 03:01 PM
Here. On this very site. Using the search feature at the top of the screen between new post and quick links. "Precussion caps" will get you 13 hits which will tell you everything you should know about the various brands.

toptimlrd
11-26-2006, 03:23 PM
The subject of percussion caps has been fairly well flogged here and over on the AC, but the short of it is that as far as brand it comes down to a personal preference betwen the German made and the Navy arms. Now the bad news, Navy is apparently out of business and the German made are in somewhat short supply (I've heard both that they are being imported again and that they are not and not sure which is accurate). The last time I checked, you could still get the German caps on Dixie Gun Works web site (http://www.dixiegun.com/). Whatever you do (I assume flames are on the way after this one), do not use the more modern six winged caps (usually made by CCI) sold at most sporting good stores, they are much more prone to having the wings break off and go flying when fired. The German and Navy Arms caps are both 4 winged and are much less prone to this problem. Now between the two, I always use the German as I have been disapointed with the Navy Arms, others swear by Navy Arms and do not like the German caps. The thing is on my particular musket (1861 Springfield Armi Sport defarbed by Zimmerman) the Navy Arms misfire on occasion and I rarely have that problem with the German made.

By the way, many if not most events require 4 winged caps.

brown30741
11-26-2006, 04:25 PM
I would like to second Mr. Collett's warning against the six wing caps. I used to do Living History for a NPS site (6 summers to be exact), firing between 6-24 rounds a day. In that time, I had only one brass cap smack me in the face. In one tin of the CCI caps on a firing range, I got popped three or four times. I can't imagine what that would have done in a formation of men. Perhaps someone with a little more background on the science of the designs can tell us if that is b/c of the different design or the copper material.
Enjoy your first event.
Lindsey Brown

bill watson
11-26-2006, 04:45 PM
"Perhaps someone with a little more background on the science of the designs can tell us if that is b/c of the different design or the copper material."

Don't know about the science background, but previous discussions went along two lines: 1. In addition to being six-winged, the six-winged caps are also of a more brittle material;
2. The additional cuts in the cap make it more susceptible to damage caused by all the things that tend to make caps shatter, that is, blowback, out-of-alignment hammer and cone, tipped hammer, etc.

tompritchett
11-26-2006, 10:47 PM
Don't know about the science background, but previous discussions went along two lines: 1. In addition to being six-winged, the six-winged caps are also of a more brittle material;

And a third line - Because the CCI caps were designed for more modern powders with higher ignitiion temperatures, they gave more blast than the other two. Therefore, even without the danger of wings breaking off, you were more likely to have the blast from the cap hit either yourself or the man in front of you on the right.

Also, to all new users I would recommend using the search function on any forum that you log into. A lot of information can be obtained from older threads and then you can refine your questions if you still need additional information. While we tend to be gentler here about asking before searching, there are other forums where members have been known to be fairly brutal to newbies who repeat questions that have been answered multiple times in the past.

TheBaldYankee
11-27-2006, 05:18 AM
I did in fact use the search function. Perhaps I should have been a little more clear in my question. I was really trying to find out about what brands to look for.

So CCI six wing copper caps are not recommended. I found the when you ask the clerk at the big Sporting goods store, they really don't know what to tell you. They have caps in stock but they don't deal in Historical reenacting so there not sure what's best. I looked at Dixie Gun Works and they don't say if the particular cap your looking at has 6 wings or 4. I was trying to find out what brands I could ask the retailer for.

There is a store that specializes in black powder historical merchandise a little ways south of Cleveland. It's mostly Mountian Man and Pioneer stuff, but they have powder and caps. Perhaps it's just best to wait until I get a chance to drive down there. Trying to find stuff in the city has proved to be a bit of a headache.

So, at least I know what NOT to get. Does anyone know, out of those few brands listed on Dixie Gun Works, which ones ARE four winged? An answer to that would really set me on the right path.

Thanks

Fenian
11-27-2006, 06:54 AM
Anthony, The German caps with red label are back! Buy them avoid CCI and Navy's sometimes lose their priming material.Is the Log Cabin Sports Shop still operating in Lodi? Bud Scully 13th NJ

andysmith1989
11-27-2006, 07:02 AM
I have used Navy Arms (I believe these are in a metal case and has a white paper label on it) and the German ones under the name (this the name on the tin of caps, don't ask me to pronounce it) (These are in a plastic case with a red paper label) Vorderlader-Zundhutchen. Both of these are of the 4-wing cap variety. I hope this helps.

Frenchie
11-27-2006, 07:22 AM
A couple of muzzleloading forums I read have lots of discussion about musket caps. The general consensus seems to be that the German four-wings like RWS Dynamit Noble and Vorderlader-Zündhutchen are the way to go. The CCIs seem to be far easier to get but spit fragments. I've found this to be true, the German caps don't break up.

One of the things that can't be over-emphasized is to make sure the hammer hits the top of the nipple square and centered. On my Armi Sport '61 Springfield the hammer rests on the nipple just a touch too far the left. Also the rear lock screw sticks out a bit and the hammer rubs over it as it moves forward, which forces the hammer a bit to the right. That's the first thing, get that screw flush with the lock plate, then bend the hammer so its face is centered over the nipple.

By the way, Vorderlader-Zündhutchen means "front loader-ignition hat".

TheBaldYankee
11-27-2006, 08:58 AM
Thank you gentlemen. I wrote those down. That'll be of great assistance.

And Fenian,

Yes the Log Cabin is still operating in Lodi OH. That's the one I was talking about. Haven't had a chance to get down there yet but it's less then an hour away from me.

toptimlrd
11-27-2006, 04:29 PM
One of the things that can't be over-emphasized is to make sure the hammer hits the top of the nipple square and centered. On my Armi Sport '61 Springfield the hammer rests on the nipple just a touch too far the left. Also the rear lock screw sticks out a bit and the hammer rubs over it as it moves forward, which forces the hammer a bit to the right. That's the first thing, get that screw flush with the lock plate, then bend the hammer so its face is centered over the nipple.

By the way, Vorderlader-Zündhutchen means "front loader-ignition hat".

Good point Frenchie, I should have also mentioned to check the hammer strike in my post. An easy problem to fix that could be a big problem on the field.

Rob
11-27-2006, 04:50 PM
Because the CCI caps were designed for more modern powders with higher ignitiion temperatures, they gave more blast than the other two. Therefore, even without the danger of wings breaking off, you were more likely to have the blast from the cap hit either yourself or the man in front of you on the right.

Man, you're not kidding... The first time I capped off my musket using a CCI, my right ear was ringing for about thirty minutes afterward. That was enough of a lesson for me.

Avoid them if you can.

Cav_Maj
11-28-2006, 12:37 PM
I did in fact use the search function. Perhaps I should have been a little more clear in my question. I was really trying to find out about what brands to look for.

So CCI six wing copper caps are not recommended. I found the when you ask the clerk at the big Sporting goods store, they really don't know what to tell you. They have caps in stock but they don't deal in Historical reenacting so there not sure what's best. I looked at Dixie Gun Works and they don't say if the particular cap your looking at has 6 wings or 4. I was trying to find out what brands I could ask the retailer for.

There is a store that specializes in black powder historical merchandise a little ways south of Cleveland. It's mostly Mountian Man and Pioneer stuff, but they have powder and caps. Perhaps it's just best to wait until I get a chance to drive down there. Trying to find stuff in the city has proved to be a bit of a headache.

So, at least I know what NOT to get. Does anyone know, out of those few brands listed on Dixie Gun Works, which ones ARE four winged? An answer to that would really set me on the right path.

Thanks

CCI is the only one that I know of that is making a 6 wing copper cap. The rest on the market are 4 wing and made of brass. You should be safe in getting any of the brands out there for a 4 wing cap, just stay away from CCI musket caps.
Brian

Ephraim_Zook
11-29-2006, 09:44 AM
Here. On this very site. Using the search feature at the top of the screen between new post and quick links. "Precussion caps" will get you 13 hits which will tell you everything you should know about the various brands.

Sorry for misunderstanding. "Search here" was too ambiguous for my literal mind. I was looking for a non-existent link to some searchable place. "Search this forum" would have set me straight.

Ron

flattop32355
11-29-2006, 11:51 AM
"Search here" was too ambiguous for my literal mind.

Probably a result of your being a Commissary man. ;) Very understandable.

The Virginia ham, etc. was worth the march.

Ephraim_Zook
11-29-2006, 02:48 PM
Bernie,

Come to McDowell 2007 and see what epicurian delights we're planning!

Ron Myzie
Reenactment Nutrition Specialist
Reg. Penna. Dep. Agr. :-)

flattop32355
11-29-2006, 04:20 PM
Come to McDowell 2007 and see what epicurian delights we're planning.

It's been on the schedule since last McDowell. This time, I'm bringing friends.

Ephraim_Zook
11-30-2006, 09:01 AM
This time, I'm bringing friends.

Geez -- yet more mouths to feed. }>

Ron Myzie
Reenactment Nutrition Specialist
Reg. Penna. Dep. Agr. :-)