normal/safe for someone who only has a percussion rifle to keep loaded without the cap for home def?

Discussion in 'Percussion Rifles' started by RAM117, Mar 9, 2019.

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  1. Mar 9, 2019 #1

    RAM117

    RAM117

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    just curious, do people do this? is it safe/common/normal? obvoisuly without the caps cus that might be lil too dangerous, but without the caps for home defnese, it isnt hard to grab the caps and quickly put it on, but it will take sometime if nothing is loaded.

    what do yall think of it?
     
  2. Mar 9, 2019 #2

    arcticap

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    The method by which a person might choose to safely store a loaded percussion gun may very well depend on who else lives in the house.
    If you have a wife, girlfriend, child, room mate or even just friends visiting the house who may not be completely trustworthy or knowledgeable about guns, or about the ready to fire condition of your gun, then that could present a whole different scenario affecting your safe options for having rapid access to a capped and loaded one.
    The fact that you're asking the question may indicate that you're not sure what's safe and what's not, and neither will all MLF members agree either.
    Not all situations and individuals are the same.
    Some folks can keep a loaded and capped gun in their home with much less risk than others.
    It may be based on experience, or living situation.
    But a person needs to exercise a lot of forethought about all of the potential risks and hazards concerning properly preparing a capped gun in order for it to remain safe and how to accomplish that and where to keep it in your individual home.
    It can often be done, but for some their circumstances just make it more difficult to implement than for others.
    Do you live alone?
    If your gun were kept capped, is there a place where you could store it with the confidence that no one else would touch it who wasn't trained or aware of its loaded condition that you can absolutely trust?
    There's not a one size that fits all situation.
    In my opinion, you would need to provide information if you want to get answers for your individual situation.
    Otherwise you may only get general answers that might not apply to your situation, and may actually be conflicting.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
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  3. Mar 9, 2019 #3

    nkbj

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    Living in SE Texas the critter duty house gun (a short fifty) was kept loaded.
    No little ones around to make a boo boo.
    Totally scrubbed, de-oiled, ready to go.
    Fumbling with a cap takes time.

    These days in another location it isn't needed.
     
  4. Mar 9, 2019 #4

    Juice Jaws

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    Here is what I think. We all know ML's are real firearms, after all they kill off most of the Indians, buffalo, not to mention over 300,000 in the CW. But this is 2019, if I feel a need a loaded firearm in my home to protect me and mine, I would not use a ML. There are to many fine modern firearms that you can depend on to go bang when you pull the trigger. I don't need a misfire or a cloud of smoke in my way when trying to kill the bad guy. Just my 3 cents worth.
     
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  5. Mar 9, 2019 #5

    Rifleman1776

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    For many years one of my personal home defense guns was a Ruger Old Army. Kept loaded and capped. Hammer rested in notch provided between chambers. Never once did it jump up and start shooting by itself. And, we did have children in the home. They were firearm trained.
     
  6. Mar 9, 2019 #6

    Loyalist Dave

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    As a law enforcement officer, there was a time when folks lived in areas where black powder arms were not as regulated as they are today, and some jurisdictions where older folks who had run afoul of the law as youngsters, and were thus prohibited from modern firearms by the legal definition of "firearm", and who had otherwise lead lawful lives, would need to resort to a muzzle loader or cap and ball revolver for home defense.
    For SxS shotguns, many folks would use a cover for the capped nipples...
    NIPPLE Cap Cover.jpg

    And other folks would opt for a revolver. It was often an 1858 Remington BUT some might opt for the least expensive option as the local law enforcement would take the "antique" firearm into custody pending the results of the homicide investigation. However the jurisdictions have tightened up on those laws.
    PIETTA .44 CSA Navy.png

    Now IF you live in an area where a firearm doesn't require a massive amount of permits and classes to obtain, you would do very well to use something that launches anything from #4 to #00 buckshot, is a breechloader, and has a pump-action for any sort of self-defense. They are about the same price used as the above revolver, and if there is a significant other of slight build who may need to use it...20 gauge is more than adequate.

    LD
     
  7. Mar 9, 2019 #7

    bubba.50

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    Under circumstances such as some have listed above I could see a BP revolver as a defence weapon. But if all I had was a single shot rifle/pistol/shotgun I’d just keep a big knife by the bed.

    And/or a baseball bat.
     
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  8. Mar 9, 2019 #8

    Treestalker

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    Bubba.50 has a good point about keeping a blade backup for a single shot weapon, back in the day every man carried a blade, the saying was it never ran out of bullets! As for a suitable weapon, judge Colt and a jury of six is hard to beat, and a Smith and Wesson beats four aces. As far as legality in a constitutionally challenged nation, an old saying is that it is better to be judged by twelve than carried by six. If you find yourself in a situation requiring deadly force, you may only have a second to react. A jury has all the time in the world. I like what the Marine Corps says, we can be your best friend, or your worst enemy. Home invaders should be given no quarter, they are not there to enhance diplomatic public relations. Be brave, but be in the right. George.
     
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  9. Mar 9, 2019 #9

    Kansas Jake

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    A single barrel breach loading shotgun can be bought new for a little more than $100. A heritage 22 for around $130 on sale. Both would better serve in most cases than a cap and ball or percussion needing a cap placed on it in a hectic situation. I've kept loaded percussion firearms at home(during hunting season) but it made me nervous when they can't be secured. I have small grandkid who occasionally hang out here. They have to be secure from prying hands and eyes. It is amazing what a toddler can get into.

    I keep my home defense firearms in a locked situation, but easily and quickly accessible.
     
  10. Mar 9, 2019 #10

    Stantheman86

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    Unless you had some over riding need to do so , I'd just use a modern firearm....

    That said , then yes , I know a guy who's like 75 years old who got jammed up for "racketeering " back in the 1960's for being present during some heist or something I don't think he even knew what was going on but he can't own a modern firearm. He's lived an upstanding life and has worked at a local business for decades. He didn't even know he couldn't own guns until he won a gun raffle in the 90s and he failed the insta check. Hes like , I did some probation time when I was 19 I didn't even know.

    If he went to a gun show and bought a Kentucky Pistol and kept it loaded for home defense he'd still be in violation but I mean it might save his life at least.

    I did meet a very old man who carried an (original) Colt .31 Pocket percussion revolver for concealed carry. I only know because we were at a local gun shop and he overheard me talking about how I carry a Ruger Vaquero Birdshead once in a while and I feel OK with a single action around town and this man is like "I've been carryin this for 60 years" and half draws this ancient Colt Pocket out of an equally ancient leather hip holster , I'm like "Good Lord that's an old .31 Colt percussion you really carry that????"

    Just because he got it from his Dad forever ago and just kept using it, hes probably not a "gun guy" and he just is uses it because it works , I guess I dont know. Kinda cool but in my head I'm like "please sir just get a .38 snub"

    I would guess he carries hammer down on the empty chamber. As long as the powder isnt contaminated it would still fire, I doubt he puts fresh loads in.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
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  11. Mar 9, 2019 #11

    arcticap

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    The powder in the loaded muzzle loader should be protected from moisture and patch lubrication by placing a layer
    or two of wax paper, a dry wool wad or waxed card over the powder, or all of the above.
    Or else the lube can possibly migrate into the powder over time and make it too weak to set off.

    Placing a piece of tape, part of a balloon similar to a rubber "weatherguard" condom like device on the muzzle will
    further protect the bore and powder from contamination by moisture, humidity, condensation and dust.

    There's different kinds of nipples and hole sizes but it wouldn't hurt to use a cap guard of some sort to keep moisture, dust and debris out of the nipple.
    The brass cap guard was shown, and a similar replacement would be the screw on cover for a tire valve stem with the hammer left down on it.
    Leather is also an option to place under the hammer.

    It may also be a good idea to protect caps from humidity, dust and oxidation.
    I'm not saying that they won't work if left out in the open, but if using one for home defense you'd want to make sure it will work.
    Keeping a capper in a sealed Zip Loc bag or a plastic bag that's folded over may be better than not storing it in plastic at all.

    I bought a used cap & ball revolver that was left loaded for at least a year or two that had Bore Butter over the tight fitting balls and the fired loads were anemic.
    Either the lube or moisture had migrated into the black powder past the balls or through the nipples.
    When fired, the balls could have bounced off a person.
    So protect the loaded powder by every reasonable means and remove as much oil as possible from the entire bore before loading the powder into the breech.
    Protect your capper with plastic but you'll need to have it ready for action.

    Depending on your living situation, the caps should probably be stored in a "safe" place away from the gun, children and untrained or untrusted people.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
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  12. Mar 9, 2019 #12

    Straekat

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    I put a baseball bat, glove, ball and shoes in the back of my truck, and car. Local laws in my part of the world allow law enforcement to charge someone with a baseball bat being in possession of an offensive weapon if there's no glove, bat, ball or signs it is not being carried for athletic use on a diamond.

    If you enter certain categories of federal or state property, cross state lines, or the US border, forgetting you are carrying a loaded firearm can create problems. A baseball bat and related sporting gear? Not so much.
     
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  13. Mar 9, 2019 #13

    Loyalist Dave

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    American Gun Craft (ACG) sells muzzle loading SxS, external hammer, 12 gauge handguns, https://americanguncraft.com/products/ which makes them a bigger choice than the pricey Howdah from Pedersoli. The company also makes smaller versions with protected internal nipples and forum rules prohibit further discussion of them due to the nipple position relative to the bore.

    LD
     
  14. Mar 9, 2019 #14

    Stantheman86

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    Honestly you're just better off with a big Maglight or Breaker Bar , both items commonly kept in a vehicle. Once you use the bat to defend yourself it's now a weapon anyway regardless of the glove and shoes.

    When I worked unarmed security years ago there was a "no weapons" policy so I went to Kmart and bought a 6 D-Cell Maglight and stuck it in my belt when I walked around the remote locations of the plant I was at (meth heads often broke in to steal chemicals)
     
  15. Mar 9, 2019 #15

    tenngun

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    I grew up with loaded guns in the house, my kids lived with loaded guns, and I keep loaded guns around the house now. ML do every thing a modren gun will except reload fast.
    Criminals don’t want to shoot out. 99% of the time no shots need ever be fired and reloads are never needed. A shot gun or revolver or two or three or four is as effective as needed.if you get smoke stains on your ceiling the bad guys won’t care.
     
  16. Mar 9, 2019 #16

    Stantheman86

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    I don't think the average cowpuncher or regular person, even a Soldier who carried a percussion revolver who wasnt involved in direct action was constantly changing loads out in a revolver that likely sat in a drawer or rode in a holster.

    I don't think any lube, oil or wad was used originally and most times just a combustible paper cartridge was rammed into each chamber and the nipple capped and they left it alone. As long as the caps fit tight you should be ok. Ammo was expensive and sometimes hard to get.
     
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  17. Mar 10, 2019 #17

    arcticap

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    On the other hand, it's been said that Wild Bill Hickok reloaded his pair of 1851's every day, and carried an other pistol as a back-up.
     
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  18. Mar 10, 2019 #18

    Griz44Mag

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    If your focus is really safekeeping your family then choose a modern multi-round self defense firearm.
    If security around others is an issue, get a fingerprint or coded bracelet lock-box so it can be quickly retrieved and put into play.
    You cannot defend yourself or your family with a firearm that is not 100% dependable, readily accessible or not loaded and ready to rock. Think this through carefully.
     
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  19. Mar 10, 2019 #19

    smoothshooter

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    I never bought that story about changing his loads daily for a minute.
    Think about the impracticality of it on several levels.
    Hickok was a very good PR guy.
     
  20. Mar 10, 2019 #20

    Felix the Cat

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    I am well aware that this discussion does not affect me on this side of the pond, however I do come across significant numbers of muzzle loaders from the antique trade that are loaded and have been for years. I have just extracted the remains of a firework from a muzzle loader that seems to have been down there for at least sixty years. Who knows who put it in there, but the gun had been around the antique and gun dealing circle for the past couple of decades with nobody seemingly bothering to check or do anything about it.

    You may feel the need to protect yourself with an antique firearm due to the peculiarities of your legal system. This is not an issue from me, as in UK permission to hold a firearm for defence purposes is very rarely given. What I would say is that if you must do it, do it with something like a cap & Ball revolver where it is obvious that the cylinders are charged. Leaving a long barrelled muzzle loader around with a charge in it is, IMHO a hostage to fortune. You have no idea who may pick the firearm up in the future and frankly the chances of them being familiar with ML firearms safety are probably slim. None of us are getting any younger, and who knows what the future will bring..

    Do you want to have been the cause of blowing your great great grandson's head off (or any other innocent in the future..) Why not leave some primed anti personnel mines in your effects..? Same Same IMHO..!
     

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