Hole in top hat percussion cap.

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nagantino

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I’m new to muzzleloading. I bought a PH .451 rifle which is fun to shoot. On its 5th. trip to the range I noticed that the fired percussion caps had a hole blown in them. I had not noticed this before, so, is it common or does it indicate something else?
 

Zonie

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I’m new to muzzleloading. I bought a PH .451 rifle which is fun to shoot. On its 5th. trip to the range I noticed that the fired percussion caps had a hole blown in them. I had not noticed this before, so, is it common or does it indicate something else?
It's quite normal for the percussion cap to be damaged after it has been fired. Usually, they split up one side or the other, often blowing completely off of the nipple.
IMO, this is a good thing. One of the few peeves I have with percussion caps is when they don't become damaged and/or blow off of the nipple.
When that happens, I have to get out my knife and scrape them loose before I can reload.
 

TFoley

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'RWS Dynamic Nobel Vorderlader Zundhutchen' is what it reads right there on my plastic 'tin' - been using them for forty or more years with total satisfaction. Sounds to me like you might replace the nipple, as noted by bisley john. between us we have over a hundred years of shooting PH rifles. Any sign of the hammer blowing back - wholly or partly? If you are going to do a lot of shooting it might be worth your while investing in a platinum-lined nipple - mine is over twenty years old and appears totally unworn...
 

nagantino

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Dynamit. Predictive text sent it as Dynamo. Yes, the hammer is blowing back sometimes but not every time. A spare nipple came with the gun so it might be time to change.
 

Kansas Jake

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If you are getting blow back, it is time to change the nipple. You aren't using a huge charge, so the nipple is probably eroded to a larger opening. Putting on a new nipple will probably help accuracy too.
 

Zonie

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Ok a new nipple might be required. Is it possible to visually check the existing nipple? Is it an obvious thing?
It's only obvious to someone who has examined new nipples.

The thing they would be looking for is the size of the thru hole that is in the nipple.

I'm not talking about the large entry hole at the top of the nipple. At the bottom or very near it is a very small, and I mean SMALL hole that meters the amount of gas that can pass thru the nipple. On a new nipple this hole is about .028" in diameter. That's smaller than 1/32 of an inch.

Occasionally, someone will get the bright idea that making that little hole larger will help to improve the reliability of their guns. I've seen some that were drilled out to 1/16" diameter. The result of this was too much gas blew out of the nipple and the hammer would blow back even with mild powder loads.
 

Kansas Jake

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As Zonie said, it is hard to see if a nipple is opened up too much. If you are getting hammer blow back it is probably eroded too much. If you have another nipple, take the two nipples and hold them up to a light and look through the nipple. You should be able to see the difference in the hole diameter between them if the other one is a new nipple. The new one should have a smaller diameter hole. Changing them is easy and if it works, you have solved your problem.
 

Grenadier1758

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If you are getting hammer blow back, the hole at the base of the nipple is too large. The hole in the cap is also a good clue that the hole is too large. Your 0.451 PH musketoon is hard on nipples and burns them out pretty quickly.
 

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