Home Made Percussion Caps Review

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As some of you may remember I spoke about the percussion cap makers by Sharpshooter 22LR Reloader Store

I will recap my previous post on my experience with the #11 percussion cap die and end the post with my experience with the #10.

“The die performed great. The percussion caps are ugly. If you are a perfectionist and everything has to look pretty then this is probably not for you.

I made 20 #11 caps. The following day I mixed one batch of primer mixture and just had enough for the 20 caps. I used 3 drops of acetone to set it and gave it over 24 hours to cure. Probably more like 30 hours but 24 was required.

Today I tried them out with live loads in my Traditions .50 Trapper. My observations were as follows. They fired great. They did dirty up the outside of the gun, more so than the commercial caps. The area around the nipple was the dirtiest and had a rust appearance. I had one cap go off but did not have enough power to ignite the Pyrodex. I replaced the cap and had ignition. I noticed a couple caps lost the powder adhesion in the cap.

So in conclusion I am very happy with the cap makers and primer mixture. The couple deficiencies that were there I would say they were from human error. Am I going to stop buying the commercial caps? No, I will use them for hunting where human error sucks. I am primarily going to use the homemade caps for shooting in the back yard.

Keep in mind the #10 and #11 cap makers is $50.00 each and the priming mixture is $20.00 and you are supposed to get 2000 caps out of it.”

Now here is my experience with the #10 percussion cap maker. I made up about 20 caps to use with my Pietta 1858 revolver. The caps loaded onto the nipples just fine and stayed put. While firing the caps they would expand outwards kind of making themselves flat which would make you tilt the gun back so they could fall out or hand removing them so that the revolver would not jam. I had to use a tooth pick on a couple caps. I had several hangfires but I am wondering if they were human error. I may have went light on the primer chemicals on some of the caps.

My opinion on the #10 is that it did what it was supposed to minus the human error. I would not use the #10 or #11 percussion cap maker for any revolver type guns as they will jam. Pistols like my Trapper or other mini muzzle loaders will be fine. Regular muzzle loaders will be fine.

Like I said previously, “The percussion caps are ugly. If you are a perfectionist and everything has to look pretty then this is probably not for you.” You have to have patience when making them. Those of us that cast lead balls know it is a relaxation session. You cannot rush it. Hell, the whole black powder sport is a relaxation session.

Where this shines is it is inexpensive to make your own percussion caps. If you know you want to shoot a certain amount this coming weekend you can spend an evening cutting the caps and the next night putting the priming compound in the caps. Then you can go play. You have to preplan for it.

Like I said before, I would use factory caps for hunting. I do not want an error when a deer is in the crosshair. Any questions or comments?
 
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Where this shines is it is inexpensive to make your own percussion caps.
Commercial caps cost money. Self-made caps cost time.

Unless you actually enjoy making the caps for it's own sake, or you really can't afford to buy commercial ones, then making your own may not be inexpensive. I enjoy shooting with black powder. The less enjoyable parts of it (such as cleaning the gun) are part of the expense for that. And in the past I did put substantial time into reloading for several different cartridges and uses of them. So I understand the trade-offs there. But in part I did that because I really enjoyed just the reloading itself. In terms of making my own percussion caps (at least as people currently are doing this), I view that as way too time-expensive, and my time is very precious to me.

For me, ... if I simply couldn't get percussion caps to shoot my black powder guns, I'd go in the other direction and either convert them to flintlocks or replace them with flintlocks. But that's just based on my own preferences. :rolleyes:
 

n.h.schmidt

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There is a lot of information here on how to make them much better . The instructions that come with the die set leave a lot to be desired.. A little searching will pay off big time. I make my cup out of double layer pop cans or .005 soft brass. I you do that ,you will have better results in the revolvers.
 
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I don't mean this as a negative comment on the current cap-making dies or those who use them ...

The first thought that struck me when I originally saw pictures of the die set on the web was the similarity it bore to the old "Classic Lee Loader," which (I'm astonished to see) is still available.

The current percussion cap makers are the moral and functional equivalent of the Classic Lee Loader. They work, but with minimal functionality and with some effort (and clearly with not the best results one might hope for). One thing I would think of doing is making something like this set that would work with a press of one sort or another (or possibly adapting the current outfits to that). So I'm wondering -- now that so many people have turned to these little sets out of desperation -- if there may be some evolutionary movement in the direction of such a press-mounted cap maker that both make the process easier, much faster and more reliable, and with more uniform, usable, and reliable results (in both rifles and pistols of various sorts).

Any engineers out there interested in introducing some competition into this domain and developing a more sophisticated product? Just a thought.
 

n.h.schmidt

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Been there and done that. I first adapted my cap maker to use in a drill press.Used it like a arbor press. Worked nicely and could make the cups at about 500 to 600 per hour. This was fairly easy.Later I made changes to mount the same cap maker to a reloading press. I did have to make changes to the linkage for more leverage when punching double layer pop cans or brass. I used probably the worst reloading press ever made too. Now its all worked out and production is really good at 700 per hour. I have related this a few times with almost no interest. Forrester beat us to it 45 years ago with their Auto-cap. I do have one of them,now retired from active service.
 
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I have related this a few times with almost no interest.
Discouraging. But I see those postings now. I will at least look at them out of general engineering/fabricating interest, though I'm in no rush to run out and get another press and start all of this. (Gave away all my reloading stuff to my kids.)

n.h.schmidt said:
Forrester beat us to it 45 years ago with their Auto-cap. I do have one of them,now retired from active service.
It looks like the tap-o-cap was a marketing move to reach the larger demographic that didn't have reloading presses.
 
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On Saturday last week was the local wine and beer festival. I strolled through and saw a vender who was pouring custom brew out of cans into cups for the crowd. I was an acquaintance of the fellows and asked if they would set about a dozen cans back for a project I am working on. After a stroll down to the local ice cream parlor (my drug of choice) and back the cans were bagged and waiting for my retrieval. Washing and cutting out the sheets took place that night in short order.

I sat at the table a couple evenings ago and punched out 350 two layer caps. Those added with the 150 2 ply caps from last week gives me 500 to prime at my leisure when needed. With the videos in the background on the computer screen it was a better use of my time than watching the tv. I am a bullet/boolit caster out of the desire to shoot. Plus, I look forward to loading just what I want to play with. This was more enjoyable than throwing slugs, and I've done that for 35 years when the stock is low. Is this a hobby that I dream to engaging in all the time? Absolutely not, but on varied occasions I'll take some time to keep the rifles shooting. It will take years to pop all 500 caps at the rate I shoot my mlzders, but I have them when I need them.

MaterielGeneral, Duco glue is your friend to assist keeping the primer in the caps. Double layering the aluminum sheet is another benefit, as well. Thanks for your write up.
 

smoothshooter

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As some of you may remember I spoke about the percussion cap makers by Sharpshooter 22LR Reloader Store

I will recap my previous post on my experience with the #11 percussion cap die and end the post with my experience with the #10.

“The die performed great. The percussion caps are ugly. If you are a perfectionist and everything has to look pretty then this is probably not for you.

I made 20 #11 caps. The following day I mixed one batch of primer mixture and just had enough for the 20 caps. I used 3 drops of acetone to set it and gave it over 24 hours to cure. Probably more like 30 hours but 24 was required.

Today I tried them out with live loads in my Traditions .50 Trapper. My observations were as follows. They fired great. They did dirty up the outside of the gun, more so than the commercial caps. The area around the nipple was the dirtiest and had a rust appearance. I had one cap go off but did not have enough power to ignite the Pyrodex. I replaced the cap and had ignition. I noticed a couple caps lost the powder adhesion in the cap.

So in conclusion I am very happy with the cap makers and primer mixture. The couple deficiencies that were there I would say they were from human error. Am I going to stop buying the commercial caps? No, I will use them for hunting where human error sucks. I am primarily going to use the homemade caps for shooting in the back yard.

Keep in mind the #10 and #11 cap makers is $50.00 each and the priming mixture is $20.00 and you are supposed to get 2000 caps out of it.”

Now here is my experience with the #10 percussion cap maker. I made up about 20 caps to use with my Pietta 1858 revolver. The caps loaded onto the nipples just fine and stayed put. While firing the caps they would expand outwards kind of making themselves flat which would make you tilt the gun back so they could fall out or hand removing them so that the revolver would not jam. I had to use a tooth pick on a couple caps. I had several hangfires but I am wondering if they were human error. I may have went light on the primer chemicals on some of the caps.

My opinion on the #10 is that it did what it was supposed to minus the human error. I would not use the #10 or #11 percussion cap maker for any revolver type guns as they will jam. Pistols like my Trapper or other mini muzzle loaders will be fine. Regular muzzle loaders will be fine.

Like I said previously, “The percussion caps are ugly. If you are a perfectionist and everything has to look pretty then this is probably not for you.” You have to have patience when making them. Those of us that cast lead balls know it is a relaxation session. You cannot rush it. Hell, the whole black powder sport is a relaxation session.

Where this shines is it is inexpensive to make your own percussion caps. If you know you want to shoot a certain amount this coming weekend you can spend an evening cutting the caps and the next night putting the priming compound in the caps. Then you can go play. You have to preplan for it.

Like I said before, I would use factory caps for hunting. I do not want an error when a deer is in the crosshair. Any questions or comments?

Perhaps applying slightly diluted fingernail polish or clear lacquer in tiny amounts over the priming mixture will seal the mixture in place and offer some protection against humidity and damp weather.
 
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On Saturday last week was the local wine and beer festival. I strolled through and saw a vender who was pouring custom brew out of cans into cups for the crowd. I was an acquaintance of the fellows and asked if they would set about a dozen cans back for a project I am working on. After a stroll down to the local ice cream parlor (my drug of choice) and back the cans were bagged and waiting for my retrieval. Washing and cutting out the sheets took place that night in short order.

I sat at the table a couple evenings ago and punched out 350 two layer caps. Those added with the 150 2 ply caps from last week gives me 500 to prime at my leisure when needed. With the videos in the background on the computer screen it was a better use of my time than watching the tv. I am a bullet/boolit caster out of the desire to shoot. Plus, I look forward to loading just what I want to play with. This was more enjoyable than throwing slugs, and I've done that for 35 years when the stock is low. Is this a hobby that I dream to engaging in all the time? Absolutely not, but on varied occasions I'll take some time to keep the rifles shooting. It will take years to pop all 500 caps at the rate I shoot my mlzders, but I have them when I need them.

MaterielGeneral, Duco glue is your friend to assist keeping the primer in the caps. Double layering the aluminum sheet is another benefit, as well. Thanks for your write up.
Why two layer? Do you find soda can aluminum too thin?
 

Gunny5821

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You can use waterglass (sodium silicate) as a binder/sealer. You can buy it in liquid form in quantities as small as 4oz. to gallon jugs. Building centers such as Lowes and Home Depot, as well as Tractor Supply sell it by the gallon or five gallon containers for use in sealing concrete floors. Rutland is one of the brands. Lynn Manufacturing, Inc. has it in a 4 ounce container for less than $4.
 
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Why two layer? Do you find soda can aluminum too thin?

One layer works but is quite flimsy, whereas the two ply stiffens the caps very well, has a better fit for hunting and woods walking, and does look better, IMHO. I have about 100 single layer caps primed for range sessions and will be sure I have a goodly amount of double ply for still hunting through the woods. My son and I plan on camping and squirrel hunting before too long and I have no qualms taking the doubled up can caps for the task.
 

Walkabout

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As some of you may remember I spoke about the percussion cap makers by Sharpshooter 22LR Reloader Store

I will recap my previous post on my experience with the #11 percussion cap die and end the post with my experience with the #10.

“The die performed great. The percussion caps are ugly. If you are a perfectionist and everything has to look pretty then this is probably not for you.

I made 20 #11 caps. The following day I mixed one batch of primer mixture and just had enough for the 20 caps. I used 3 drops of acetone to set it and gave it over 24 hours to cure. Probably more like 30 hours but 24 was required.

Today I tried them out with live loads in my Traditions .50 Trapper. My observations were as follows. They fired great. They did dirty up the outside of the gun, more so than the commercial caps. The area around the nipple was the dirtiest and had a rust appearance. I had one cap go off but did not have enough power to ignite the Pyrodex. I replaced the cap and had ignition. I noticed a couple caps lost the powder adhesion in the cap.

So in conclusion I am very happy with the cap makers and primer mixture. The couple deficiencies that were there I would say they were from human error. Am I going to stop buying the commercial caps? No, I will use them for hunting where human error sucks. I am primarily going to use the homemade caps for shooting in the back yard.

Keep in mind the #10 and #11 cap makers is $50.00 each and the priming mixture is $20.00 and you are supposed to get 2000 caps out of it.”

Now here is my experience with the #10 percussion cap maker. I made up about 20 caps to use with my Pietta 1858 revolver. The caps loaded onto the nipples just fine and stayed put. While firing the caps they would expand outwards kind of making themselves flat which would make you tilt the gun back so they could fall out or hand removing them so that the revolver would not jam. I had to use a tooth pick on a couple caps. I had several hangfires but I am wondering if they were human error. I may have went light on the primer chemicals on some of the caps.

My opinion on the #10 is that it did what it was supposed to minus the human error. I would not use the #10 or #11 percussion cap maker for any revolver type guns as they will jam. Pistols like my Trapper or other mini muzzle loaders will be fine. Regular muzzle loaders will be fine.

Like I said previously, “The percussion caps are ugly. If you are a perfectionist and everything has to look pretty then this is probably not for you.” You have to have patience when making them. Those of us that cast lead balls know it is a relaxation session. You cannot rush it. Hell, the whole black powder sport is a relaxation session.

Where this shines is it is inexpensive to make your own percussion caps. If you know you want to shoot a certain amount this coming weekend you can spend an evening cutting the caps and the next night putting the priming compound in the caps. Then you can go play. You have to preplan for it.

Like I said before, I would use factory caps for hunting. I do not want an error when a deer is in the crosshair. Any questions or comments?
Hmm, I was only able to produce 10 #11 caps with one mixture. Maybe I used too much mixture per cap, but I was spilling quite a bit. Need to find a tiny funnel. Thanks
 
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I tried the #11s on several revolvers and long guns last night and they seemed to fit well on all. They were unprimed. I dropped the hammer on 3 on a couple of revolvers and the gun cycled fine.

One issue I’m having is about one in ten or twenty punches through when forming and needs to be dug out of the tool. Any suggestions?
 
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Hmm, I was only able to produce 10 #11 caps with one mixture. Maybe I used too much mixture per cap, but I was spilling quite a bit. Need to find a tiny funnel. Thanks


Because the caps are so small, something I did is took a piece of 1X8" and drilled holes so that about half of the caps would fit in the hole. Makes loading them a lot easier with the powder.

Your supposed to use the small cup with 1/3 powder per cap.
 
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You can use waterglass (sodium silicate) as a binder/sealer. You can buy it in liquid form in quantities as small as 4oz. to gallon jugs. Building centers such as Lowes and Home Depot, as well as Tractor Supply sell it by the gallon or five gallon containers for use in sealing concrete floors. Rutland is one of the brands. Lynn Manufacturing, Inc. has it in a 4 ounce container for less than $4.
Curious off hand do you have a receipt where you add say one scooper full to the mixture. Next time I make some I’m thinking I’m going to clean surface with MEK and then give the material a light sanding to help with adhesion. They work well but are sensitive to cracking.
 
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