Carrying a percussion pistol

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tiger13

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One would have to consider the time period. WE take safety much more serious today then some one 160 years ago would. They would load, cap pinch the cap on tight, put the gun on half cock and go about their business I would think. They would be more concerned with saving their skin should the need arise and being able to get the shot off as fast as possible, not worry, I personally believe, about how safe is it to carry the gun. OSHA was not created yet, along with all the worries it brought. And common sense, was still quite common. But this is just my 2 cents on this matter...
 

FishDFly

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"And common sense, was still quite common."

The phrase, "common sense", is the lowest form of knowledge known. Some folks can not understand chemistry, physics or to be able to do the four functions of basic math or the ability to read.

Actually the phrase "common sense" is degrading.
 

azmntman

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Some folks can not understand chemistry, physics or to be able to do the four functions of basic math or the ability to read.

Well if they do not check the level of their gas tank with a match (which a local chemistry professor did here years back) then I would say they had more "common sense" than a chemistry professor?
 

smoothshooter

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I agree with the idea of the hammer being just off of the cap at half cock,on single shots,low enough to keep the cap from coming off. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to find reproduction guns that are set up this way .I suppose one could have a gunsmith relocate the half - cock notch on the tumbler, but that could be somewhat costly. I suspect the reason many original military muskets and pistols were set up with the wide gap between hammer and nipple at half-cock was so troops could cap and uncap without having to fool with the hammer and trigger, thus reducing the likelihood of an accident. But this is only speculation on my part. Do you have any information on this ?
 

jferguson

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Capt. Thomas said:
Well as to your question of how to carry a loaded / capped single shot and how they did it back then.

If I needed to do it today I would use the cap savers instead of varnish or wax. They work well . . . . . .
So, please tell, what is a "cap saver?" Thanks.
 

wolfundrabe

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I'm guessing it's in reference to very short lengths of aquarium tubing used to hold a cap on the nipple and protect against exposure to the elements.
 

M. De Land

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I'm told they often used a bit of Bee's wax around the cap both to seal it from water and to keep in in place on the nipple while on half cock.
The other was to put a piece of leather down over the capped nipple and leave the hammer on half cock.
Pretty hard to fire a cap with a leather pad over the top of it even if the hammer were to drop.
 

DLB

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Having the cap on the nipple and ready to fire would have been the only step taken by a person in the wilderness with more dangerous situations facing "him" than we could believe. An accident with the gun being dropped and striking the hammer, discharging it, would be a risk few would give up back then. Skill and caution would be needed just like today. Do you carry, with a round chambered or not.. and why? Do you think about having to draw it fast and remember to drop the safety first and then flash to "oops"! Wearing a cap&ball Kentucky pistol was because the person counted on it to save his/her life. Think about it, it's simple. If it's pouring down rain he would have it covered but with the hammer sitting on a good cap ready to fire. when your life is up for grabs..be ready or pay the price.
 

Scota4570

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How does one carry a loaded percussion pistol safely? You can not.

They did so back then because they were more worried about defense than than safety. They probably didn't know better. I would not carry a Winchester lever gun (has an external hammer) with one in the chamber. You drop it , you could die. In fact I was taught to never carry any gun with a round in the chamber. Why risk it with no reward?

I have only witnessed one accidental shooting. It was a self inflicted 22 to the knee, not my knee. It was a painful mess. Could have been much-much worse. It puts safety in perspective to see a friend hurt needlessly.

I would carry a small leather capper, with a couple of caps, tied to the trigger guard. The capper would be stored under the hammer to keep it from swinging around. When game appears I would cap the gun, not until then.
 

DLB

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It sounds like we are saying the same thing..a 45 colt's hammer was resting on a live round like the Winchester 73, if you carried it with a round chambered. Then and now are a long way apart. I would carry it loaded and ready to fire then, but now I don't carry with one in the chamber and I do carry..all the time. I'm hoping that I never will need it. :grin:
 

swathdiver

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Scota4570 said:
How does one carry a loaded percussion pistol safely? You can not.
You sure can mister. Lots of ways.

Scota4570 said:
They probably didn't know better.
Them people back then were generally much smarter than we are today. We just look smarter because we stand on their shoulders. The law of entropy you know.

Scota4570 said:
In fact I was taught to never carry any gun with a round in the chamber.
Remind me of this if we're ever side by side in a war! :shake:

All of my guns are loaded all the time, whether they are loaded or not.
So when my buddies come over and their kids, nobody is fool enough to not handle them right. It's also 'cause of the company I keep! :thumbsup:
 

Tinker2

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swathdiver said:
Scota4570 said:
In fact I was taught to never carry any gun with a round in the chamber.
Remind me of this if we're ever side by side in a war! :shake:
:slap:
In war
Those people are ok, just put them out in front between you and the danger.



William Alexander
 

Scota4570

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"Remind me of this if we're ever side by side in a war!"

Hunting is not war. RISK vs REWARD should be assessed. There is no conceivable reward to risking an accidental shooting of ones self or a friend while hunting. If a person who I went hunting with insisted on doing so I would never hunt with them again.

"All of my guns are loaded all the time, whether they are loaded or not."

In many places it is specifically illegal to not lock up your guns. If you get caught you will likely have your gun privileges revoked and pay a hefty fine.
 

Scota4570

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I can't edit my post anymore.

Also, we were talking about a handgun. The changes of it pointing in an unfortunate direction if dropped or fallen on are huge compared to a long gun. I stand by my opinion that a cap lock single shot pistol can not be carried in the field safely.
 

Tinker2

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1: it is a right, not a privilege :slap:

2: I will take your word for whether or not you can carry in the field safely. :wink:

3: when I hunt with a muzzleloader it is loaded. :)




William Alexander
 

John Neslen

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This is in response to the first post of thread. I can't seem to edit since I hit reply on wrong one, duh me.


This is what I did for my Lyman PP's.

I took a short piece of dowel, drilled a hole in one end to go over the capped nipple, tapered the other end to fit in the hammer and have a string from it to trigger guard. Works like a charm.
 
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