Making your own percussion caps?

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Widows Son

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The red plastic ring caps for kid’s toys are a substitute but only with real black powder. For extra oomph sprinkle 3f or 4f inside them and spray with hair spray to make it stick.
n.b.- These aren’t as good as factory made ones but they do work. Use these for practicing and save your brand name ones for when you hunt.
 

Wolfman0125

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I use the German paper rolled caps with a few grains of 3F in between then sealed. They seem to work ok. I’m going to experiment using copper sheeting over aluminum for a more authentic look.
 

Wolfman0125

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Actually after further research I’ve decided .005 brass will be the metal of choice. It will be sturdy, reusable, and better than aluminum cans.
 

n.h.schmidt

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For a sturdier cup with pop cans ,fold the flattened can in two. Do that the long way and even up the edge. That gives you a cup of about .008 thick. Much stronger than a single thickness. Cost is next to nothing. I can get 46 cups per can when doubled up. For a pretty cup .005 copper sheet from Hobby Lobby works well . You can down load a 40% off coupon and bring the price down to about $.01 per cup.
n.h.schmidt
 

Wolfman0125

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For a sturdier cup with pop cans ,fold the flattened can in two. Do that the long way and even up the edge. That gives you a cup of about .008 thick. Much stronger than a single thickness. Cost is next to nothing. I can get 46 cups per can when doubled up. For a pretty cup .005 copper sheet from Hobby Lobby works well . You can down load a 40% off coupon and bring the price down to about $.01 per cup.
n.h.schmidt

Where do you download the 40% Hobby Lobby coupon?
 

Icemanxxxv

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Hobby Lobby ceased the 40% off one regularly priced item coupon program, I'm not exactly sure when they ceased but the wife was reading me the email or article last week. I buy fly tying supplies there from time to time
 

Wolfman0125

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Hobby Lobby ceased the 40% off one regularly priced item coupon program, I'm not exactly sure when they ceased but the wife was reading me the email or article last week. I buy fly tying supplies there from time to time
Ok. Thanks!
 

n.h.schmidt

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Yep My bad. It has been a while since I used the coupon. There goes my on;ly reason to go there.
Back to the double layer of pop cans for caps.
n.h.schmidt
 

painter

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Actually after further research I’ve decided .005 brass will be the metal of choice. It will be sturdy, reusable, and better than aluminum cans.
For a sturdier cup with pop cans ,fold the flattened can in two. Do that the long way and even up the edge. That gives you a cup of about .008 thick. Much stronger than a single thickness. Cost is next to nothing. I can get 46 cups per can when doubled up. For a pretty cup .005 copper sheet from Hobby Lobby works well . You can down load a 40% off coupon and bring the price down to about $.01 per cup.
n.h.schmidt
What are the dimensions of the sheet sold at Hobby Lobby?
 

Winchester97

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Just got my .22 reloader capmaker last week. I made up 80 caps using doubled pop can aluminum. I mixed the Prime-All mix as directed, filled the caps about 3/4 full,added a drop of the Acetone/Duco cement, and pressed with an allen wrench. One tiny batch of mix yielded 20 caps. I used 5ml Acetone, and 3 drops Duco. Of these 80, 79 fired perfect, and one failed due to underfilling I believe. They fit great on my Walker, and 1851 navy. When fired, they do shred, but are soft enough they don't bind up or drag like CCI caps will. They are just a bit quieter than CCI Magnum caps, they leave a hard red residue when fired that comes right off with water. No doubt about it, these work great!
 

Wolfman0125

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My cap tool and primer powder is shipping to me this week. I can’t wait to try them out. I’m going to try using .005 brass. My theory is that the stronger material will make them reusable and form a tighter seal forcing more of the compound through the nipple for better ignition. Also will try homemade nitrite paper cartridges to see how they perform. I also saw on Ebay a guy putting what looks like rubber tubing around caps to prevent them from falling into the action, and offering some waterproofing capability to the caps and reduced risk of a chain fire. Anyone seen this done?
3A51DBF0-6628-473F-A279-FDEC437617DE.jpeg
 

LME

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You can buy nitrocellulose lacquer online, fireworks suppliers and such. It works great, burns completely and can be thinned as much as needed.
BUT!!!!

GREAT CARE needs to be taken when you have anything more than tiny amounts of the friable compounds inside the caps. The amount needed to go from just burn to explode in an uncontained area is not that much. It is dangerous stuff. If you try to combine your own, which you can buy the supplies for, be prepared to get hurt. I've been making fireworks for year, I am licensed by the BATF and have the proper set up... and I don't mess with anything but the smallest amounts of flash or picrates.
Commercial caps and powders have a long history of built in safety that you won't have at your work bench.
I was thinking about the danger and as I read your post it reminded me of a friend of mine. When I was 12 years old a friend ,the same age as I, but a whole lot smarter than most 12 year olds. He was making black powder in his mothers kitchen. He had a small pile that ignited somehow .He didn't even know how it went off? Fortunately it was a very small pile and other than some noise,smoke and a messed up pair of Fruit Of The Looms eveything was alright. I would suggest anyone trying this to be extremely careful!
 

Wolfman0125

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I’m not familiar with nitrocellulose lacquer. I am planning on soaking the paper in potassium Nitrate. As far as the caps, I plan on using German roll paper caps with a few grains of primer powder or 3F pyrodex between them installed wet with Duco cement and acetone sealing them. What do you think of this method?
 

Scota@4570

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Lacquer is nitrocellulose in solvent. It may be possible to dissolver smokeless powder in lacquer thinner to make the same thing.

I have a bunch of "shotshell caps" . They are the middle of a battery cup shotshell primer. Apparently at one time people reloaded shotshell primers. They look like percussion caps. They are much more powerful and do fragment. The nipple needs to be slightly reshaped. They are last ditch solution. Good safety glasses would be a must. I also worry that they might detonate while being seated on the nipple.

I do have an old Forester Tap-o-cap too. I would need to find a tiny hole punch, that part was lost.
 

Wolfman0125

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I’m going to be shooting these in an Uberti .44 cal 1860 Army and Colt Navy .36 so barring chain fires which is always a danger, I want to produce the loudest percussion cap possible with the least amount of risk to the shooter or the weapon. The difference between a store bought cap and homemade safetywise, is how easy it is to set it off unintentionally. I do not want mine to go off until a hammer falls on it. Remember caps stored in tins riding on horseback get jostled together and I don’t want them exploding on me. So my question is, what is the safest options to make percussion caps that will do the job, but not blow me up if I look at them the wrong way?
 

n.h.schmidt

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Hey Wolfman That looks like air tubing from any hardware store.Silicone tubing from the pet shops would be better. What you have pictured will not work. If the tubing was down farther so nothing is covering the top of the cap ,then it will fire. This idea could be especially useful on the revolvers as it could prevent cap fragments.
 

Wolfman0125

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Yeah, this was a picture taken from an Item I saw on Ebay. I had never seen anything like this before. Cool idea. It makes gripping the cap easier, but obviously will not work in any capper. I agree he has the cap pushed in the tube too far.
 

n.h.schmidt

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On the risk of setting your caps off too easily. I have used the toy german caps and the prime-all in percussion caps for many years now. None have gone off until I wanted them to. I would think that the placing them on a nipple would be as close as you will get.Even then nothing happened.
Scota4570 Don't go the punched out toy pistol caps rout, for your percussion caps. The prime-all or the Fa-42 chemicals are so much better. All the power you can use and then some. Sets off pyrodex really well to.
 

VADSLRAM

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NC lacquer can be bought through the skylighter web site, it used to be the main type of paint back in the days when you could buy BP at the hardware store.. It is really just a amber/clear paint. But because it is NC and not some of the other chemicals it burns cleanly and doesn't retard the flame.

LME
When i was around 12 I had been playing :doh: around with my chemistry set and was drying a batch of what I called Silver Nitro Carbide on a slate slab.... It was either the warmth of the sun or the truck that went by but it went off. My cousin came around the corner to see what happen and fell on the ground laughing. She said I looked like the cartoon cigar had blown up in my face. blackened everywhere but my eyes and my hair blown back... I had burned both corneas and had to walk around blinded by bandages for a week. Last time I did anything like that..... without goggles. But it also was a great motivator to know better what I was doing and use every caution when doing it.
I still use a variant of that formula for contact igniters
, a much less sensitive variant.
 

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