Are CCI 4 wing musket caps a good cap?

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Greg Blackburn

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I'll be converting my Silver Elite over to musket caps, for both availability of caps and more ignition. I used to use CCI "4 wing" musket caps but it's been years. Is that a good cap these days?

Is there something better?
 

Treestalker

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A few years back when I reenacted artillery, the infantry had a problem with CCI caps being too strong and hurting the ears of men in the front rank. They fell out of favor, so when the world's largest retailer decided to dump them, I managed to buy quite a few. No problem with ignition, and I have two guns that use them. Unfortunately someone beat me to the #10/11 size caps and had cleaned them out.
 

Notchy Bob

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The only CCI "four wing" or "top hat" musket caps that I know of in current production are their "Reenactor" caps. The story I heard is that fragments from a CCI cap got in the eye of a reenactor, and the company responded by weakening the priming element in the caps so they would be less likely to fragment. In his post (above), Treestalker mentioned the caps were too loud. In any event, most people who use them agree the CCI Reenactor caps now are weak, and some folks have complained of poor detonation of the powder charge with live fire (with bullets). I have not shot them a lot. I used a few shooting my M1842 smoothbore with round balls a while back and don't remember any particular problems. Bear in mind, reenactors typically bore out their musket nipples to about 0.080", I think, and the much larger flash hole allows for good detonation of the blank charges they shoot, even with the weaker caps. Please do not use a bored-out reenactor nipple for live fire with bullets. The pressures generated as the expanding gases of the powder charge overcome the resistance of the ball may produce unsafe blow-back through the enlarged flash hole.

Anyway, CCI is not the only musket cap maker. RWS makes good ones, and there are also Scheutzen brand musket caps, which I have not tried. I think Graf's may have all three.

The reenactors and N-SSA competitors among us may be able to provide more information. I will also be interested in reading what they might have to say.

Good shooting, my friend!

Notchy Bob
 

Henry Miles

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CCI caps are good to go, or have been in the past. CCI has great QC for the most part.
 

Notchy Bob

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Sorry, but I spoke out of turn. I was looking at musket caps last night and got some of the vendors confused.

Graf's has both Scheutzen and CCI Reenactment musket caps. Sportsman's Warehouse has RWS and CCI. So, they both have CCI, but neither vendor has all three. I think Sportsman's Warehouse may require pick-up in store.

I apologize for the error.

Notchy Bob
 

Greg Blackburn

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Crap! But glad I asked here first! Nearly bought these.

 

Notchy Bob

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RWS makes good caps. However, as stated in my post above, the CCI Reenactment caps worked for me, the last time I had my 1842 at the range. I believe I was shooting Goex FFg.

It's just that the general consensus seems to be that the CCI Reenactment caps are not as hot as the regular old CCI caps were back in the day, and not as hot as some of the others that may be available. I suppose that could be an issue, depending on the type of nipple and/or propellant.

I would recommend that you visit the N-SSA website and forum, and ask what brand of caps those people like best. I don't know where you live, but another additional thing to try (under normal conditions) might be to look for Civil War reenactments or encampments within driving distance. Events this year are probably cancelled due to the pandemic. Anyway, they usually have sutlers at those events who can sell you small quantities of caps on site, so you don't have to pay shipping or HazMat fees. Find what works, then order in quantity.

If it were me, I would take a chance and order a thousand of the RWS (which I did, a few years ago), or the Scheutzen caps (which I have not tried, but I would take a chance on 'em if I needed caps) in addition to one or two tins of the CCI caps. Or, buy two or three tins of all three, if you can get them all from one vendor at the same time to save on shipping and HazMat. Try them out and see what you think. If the CCIs are hot enough, that's good, because they seem to be the easiest to get, generally speaking.

As a final suggestion... Since we are all friends here... I would suggest you look up Smokey Plainsman, send him a private message and ask him what kind of caps he was using when he shot that big old horse pistol of his. He posted about a successful day of shooting with that beast recently, and I'm pretty sure his pistol uses musket caps. He didn't report any problems.

Best of luck to you!

Notchy Bob
 
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TFoley

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I've been shooting RWS Musket caps since around 1974. The only time I used CCI was back in the early 80's, at a Schuetzenfest in Paderborn - the fragments flew everywhere although thankishly I was wearing protective glasses. Mrs tac used her eyebrow tweezers to dig the bits out of my forehead. I stuck to RWS since.
 
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RWS musket caps are tops.

They work nicely on my original M1842 horse pistol. I personally would not bulk purchase any CCI caps. If possible, buy a tin and try them out but I would certainly seek out some RWS caps, they are very good and are meant for live fire shooting.
 

huntdaw

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The CCI 4 wing reenactor caps do the job in my opinion. They are an improvement over the earlier 3 wing ones that did have a history of the wings shearing off. For reenactors, they also have the copper finish which is more accurate to the Civil War. I have never had any problems with them but have heard about them not being as hot for live fire.
 

Griz44Mag

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I'll be converting my Silver Elite over to musket caps, for both availability of caps and more ignition. I used to use CCI "4 wing" musket caps but it's been years. Is that a good cap these days?

Is there something better?
Yes, there is something better.
Use the #11 caps the rifle was designed to use.
 

Notchy Bob

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RWS did make two types of musket caps, with wings and without wings. My shooting buddy swears by the wingless caps. I still have musket caps made for Navy Arms.
I think the RWS "wingless" musket caps have been discontinued. Too bad... Its good to have options. I don't know of a website for Dynamit Nobel (the manufacturer). I tried to look them up to confirm this. The last dealer I know of to have stocked the RWS wingless musket caps was the Winchester Sutler, but I think they may have gone out of business.

I still have a tin of the old Navy Arms musket caps, too. I don't know who made them for Navy Arms, but I never had any problems with them.

It may be a little off topic, but I still have six or seven tins of Alcan #12 caps out of a case of 1,000 my dad bought in the mid 1960s. These are just a bit bigger and proportionally hotter than the #11 caps which seem to be the standard for muzzleloading sporting arms now. I think the #12 caps used to be considered the "standard" size, years ago. We still have a few old but unused nipples with the cones sized for #12 caps, too.

Notchy Bob
 

lyman54

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The old 6 wing CCI caps were hot, never failed me. The 4 wing caps are a disgrace of a cap. Rarely would they set off 3F Goex. Got a no.11 nipple and works great with those caps, even CCI
 

dave951

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Here's the skinny-

RWS are currently best followed closely by Schutzen. Current production CCI reenactor caps are crap if you're looking for accuracy. They might or might not set off a charge. If your gun is one with a convoluted flash channel like a Sharps or Smith, forget it. The old CCI 6 wings were great but are out of production and what's out there is all there is.

Some folks will shoot current production CCI reenactor stuff and say they're great. Get to the brass tacks, they are most likely not competition shooters or interested in accuracy. For my money, I'm getting what works in competition meaning for plinking and hunting, I'll never, ever be able to blame my equipment.
 

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