Discussion in 'Accoutrements' started by musketman, Apr 3, 2004.
I'd be careful with those old caps (1878) for I believe they used mercury if the ignition mix.
I know it's not hc/pc but I use a black magic marker and mark my tins that I've removed the labels from. I use all sorts of cap tins in my possibles or shooting bag. Even carry a flint 'n steel fire maker in one with tinder.
The caps were labeled centerfire/central fire to differentiate them from other types of percussion caps that had been developed in the 1800s. Using them does not make a firearm a centerfire weapon.
You are still stuck on the notion that centerfire requires a cartridge. Caps were labeled as center fire almost immediately after the civil war. The caps are still percussion caps not primers. They work only on percussion nipples not in cartridges unless the cartridge had a nipple in it. There is not difference between the number 11 caps made for rifles in the 1840's and the number 11 caps made today. Just from 1860's to 1970's they were labeled as center fire. Since Winchester, Remington, UMC, etc know alot more about firearms than mixed up folks today, I chose to believe the manufacturers. Refer back to the picture in port number 11. Now please explain to me how Winchester Center Fire MUSKET caps were used in a cartridge. They weren't.
Just to throw in my two-pennyworth ;-)
One has to remember that the percussion CAP was part of the continuum which included PIN-fire, RIM-fire and then what we casually call Centre-fire (sorry -- - Center-fire) Cartridges.
SOME people get agitated about the difference between a "CAP" and a "PRIMER" -- saying that the CAP goes externally over a "nipple" (or as some 19thC people termed it, a "cone"), whereas a PRIMER is inserted INTO a chamber at the rear of a cartridge.
Just to confuse the issue, a Berdan PRIMER is complete with its own ANVIL (both being inserted into the base of the case) and the pocket has one or more flash-holes for the flame to ignite the charge, whereas a Boxer PRIMER relies upon the anvil being an integral part of the cap chamber -- but some Berdan anvils are pierced with a flash-hole!
Of course there are plenty other (Patent) ignition systems, but they all rely upon an ANVIL -- whether integral in the cap chamber or a separate entity. Have a look at Bartlett & Gallatin's "Cartridge Manual" for a mind-boggling selection! Some cartridges even had priming compound in an annular ring part-way up the cartridge case, (Crispin), or in a "teat" which protruded through a hole at the closed rear of a revolver cylinder (Moore or Williamson), or Ethan Allen's "lip" which was, in effect, a very much reduced rim. I won't even START to consider "battery-cup" Primers (such as the #209 used for many shotgun cases but also some "modern in-line muzzle-loaders").
In the UK since the almost complete ban on cartridge "handguns" some people have developed revolvers using a #209 primer at the rear of the cylinder -- the best example being made by Alan Westlake (Google it!). There was even a resurrection of the "harmonica pistol" using a small pistol primer, a .32-calibre wadcutter bullet and a small charge of Bullseye -- the Zylab "Patriot". American muzzle-loading purists might be horrified by this, but at least it allows some people to continue with their pistol-shooting under our draconian laws.
I certainly agree that the term "central fire" came from the cap being co-axial with the chamber in MOST cases with revolvers (again -- not for early pepperboxes) and that these caps were generally of PISTOL size.
It's a pity that loose terminology causes these discussions -- - some of which can degenerate into arguments. Thye IMPORTANT thing is to ensure that we keep on busting these ignition devices -- - whether we call then "caps" or "primers".
I keep all my cap tins and use them for lubed patches, mink oil lube and more. I still have several Navy Arms undamaged tins and a few German (I guess) cap tins. About half of mine either have the label off or a blank sticker over it. Interesting that they may become collectable.
Needle fires DO have a "cap", which is at the base of the bullet, which acts as the "anvil". The needle pierces the paper "cartridge" so when the charge fires the needle is engulfed in flame and doesn't last long. The Prussian "zundnadelgewehr" (which contributed greatly to the expansion of Prussia and the winning Franco-Prussian war --- so that the Treaty of Versailles incorporated French revanche which in turn fuelled the Nazis lust for power) came with extra needles so the rifleman could replace the broken ones.
Amazing how all of these things link together, isn't it?
BTW Mr Zimmerstutzen, in addition to specialising in British pistols and revolvers, and "rook rifles" I also collect zimmerPISTOLEN. I presume that you have got the latest book from the German Gun Collectors Association -- "German, Austrian and Swiss Target Pistols"?
Just as a reminder to all, this topic is about percussion cap tins.
Please don't get into discussing modern primers and cartridge guns.
On the subject of cap containers, what are the old CVA blue plasic ones good for?
The first needle fire pierced a piece of match material on the base of the paper cartridge and the serrations on the sides of the needle ignited the match material which in turn ignited the powder. It had nothing to do with a cap or anvil in the base of the bullet and was patented in 1808. The Dreyse improvements came along almost 30 years later. It was the Dreyse adopted in 1848 that was used by Prussia, not the earlier configuration. There was another configuration using a serrated needle to ignite match material patented in England around 1830. From the Canadian Arms Collectors Assn. Journal: Invented in England in the 1830's, the needle fire involved a case less cartridge that consisted of a football shaped bullet in a fibre sabot. The base of the sabot had a paper skirt and was filled with powder. Where the cartridge was closed on the base, a small dab of match head material was placed. Instead of a center fire striker, it had a rough serrated needle. When the trigger was pulled, the needle thrust forward through the match material, lighting the match material and in turn the charge. The actions leaked substantial gases and were frquently fired from the hip. The system was adopted by the Prussians in 1848. They were the first major power to adopt rapid firing breech loaders. Later versions of the action changed the needle to a long pin and a percussion cap was placed in the base of the sabot that when struck would ignite the powder.
I still have some of the old blue CVA plastic cap containers with caps. I purchase a lot of 1000 caps in 10 "tins" back in the late 1970s or early 80s. I still shoot a few occasionally and they still seem to work fine. It is my understanding they are corrosive, but since one has to clean up anyway it didn't seem to be a problem.
I am amazed (and thankful) at the shelf life of ammunition on general. I just shot some caps off that had to be over 30 years old.
Just as a unsubtle reminder: We do not discuss guns that use cartridges with built in primers or have a self contained cap type ignition.
This includes needle fire guns.
Sorry Zonie, I thought a Type of ignition developed before the percussion cap ( first serrated needle into match material in 1808) was not a self contained cartridge but a way to ignite the charge in a muzzle loader. No different than a tube lock or pill lock. it merely used the friction on the needle to ignite the match material and that fire then passed through a touch hole/flash channel to the charge. A pill lock used a hammer on fulminate principal.
Old Blue CVA cap "tin"
I had no idea the caps were made in Italy. All these years I thought they were made in Spain. Hey they worked. Do they still import Italian caps?
I have made candles with the cci tins also, comes in handy.
You know that "candle" thing is a good idea. Do you make them from beeswax or paraffin? That would also be a good way to have a handy supply of wax on you, which cant hurt.
For holding CVA caps.
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