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  1. #1
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    Default Weak musket caps?

    It has been a while since I have had a rifle that uses musket caps. A couple of weeks ago, I picked up an older Zouave repro, marketed by Replica Arms. I only bought it since it was frankly a steal. The rifle appears to be pretty accurate - but...the musket caps I have appear to be unreliable. I actually resorted to pulling the nipple and priming the chamber underneath with powder. I guess that is ok for the range, though it gets quite cumbersome to say the least. Short of enlarging the flash hole, does anyone here notice that CCI musket caps are "weaker" than they used to be. For what it is worth, the ones I have are marked that they are for reenactors. I don't mind doing some drilling, but figured I should check out the obvious possibilities first. It is 60 miles to the closest shop that might or might not have a different brand of caps.
    "I'm the 82nd Airborne, and this is as far as the bastards are going." PFC Martin - 23 December, 1944 - Battle of the Bulge

  2. #2
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    This was posted earlier:

    All of this Musket Percussion Cap "shortage" is due to a dumb a** re-enactor. He was using CCI 6 wing "Hot" caps in a re-enactment. He was NOT wearing eye protection. The cap "fragged" and part of it ended up in his eye.

    Then Dumb A** finds a sleazy lawyer and they sue CCI. CCI responds by making a settlement and then taking their 6 wing "Hot" caps out of production, replacing them with those "weak as water" Re-enactor caps.

    Unfortunately, the CCI RE-enactor caps are NOT "Hot" enough to reliably set off either a percussion Sharps or Smith Carbine [the flash channels of both of those guns are long and make several 90 degree turns.] I even wrote a polite e-mail to CCI asking them to put their "Hot" caps back into production.

    Since they were not good enough to even respond to my e-mail, I have quit buying anything made by CCI. In other words, they lost a good customer with me, because over the years, I had purchased a lot of CCI pistol caps (#11) musket caps and .22 ammo.

    One of the REALLY, REALLY Dumb A** things some re-enactors are doing is to "drill out" the flash channels of their musket nipplie to make the guns more "reliable." What these people are too stupid to understand is that as a nipple wears, the flash channel is eroded by the hot gases going though it. So, they are literally setting up a dangerous condition regarding "Blow Back" when even a blank round is fired.

    When a musket starts "fragging" its caps...THAT IS THE WAY IT TELLS YOU THAT YOU NEED TO REPLACE THE NIPPLE WITH A NEW ONE.

    When a musket starts blowing so much gas out of the nipple when it is fired until it re-cocks the hammer-THAT IS THE WAY IT TELLS YOU THAT YOU NEED TO REPLACE THE NIPPLE WITH A NEW ONE.

    Heck, I even went on to a re-enactor BB and wrote a post, urging everyone to NOT "Drill Out" their nipples because that is setting up a dangerous condition. THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE BB REMOVED MY POST!!!

    So, there are Re-enactors that are going to be losing more eyes in the future and suffer other injuries. Too bad but I have done all I can.
    "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do
    not.."~ Elmer Fudd......

  3. #3
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    Default

    Thanks for the overview. I will try to get some RWS, etc caps.
    "I'm the 82nd Airborne, and this is as far as the bastards are going." PFC Martin - 23 December, 1944 - Battle of the Bulge

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doby View Post
    Thanks for the overview. I will try to get some RWS, etc caps.
    RWS wingless caps are very good, but sad to say, they have also stopped making them. Really don't know where this sport is going to be in a few short years if someone doesn't come up with a more powerful cap.
    "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do
    not.."~ Elmer Fudd......

  5. #5
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    My last resort is to do what I did to a Norfolk Model 1861. I removed the musket nipple, installed a replacement. That one I filed down so it just barely fit a number 11 cap. Then I use a number 11 "magnum" cap to shoot it. Works fine, no hangfires. I saved the original, of course.

    I mainly got the Zouave to satisfy my musket shooting itch and to shoot the Norfolk contract rifle less. At this$199, it should do the trick for awhile.
    "I'm the 82nd Airborne, and this is as far as the bastards are going." PFC Martin - 23 December, 1944 - Battle of the Bulge

  6. #6
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    Default

    I use RWS 1218, 6 winged musket caps on my pedersoli sharps, as, as mentioned the 1081 the 4 winged are too weak. If only firing the cap (4 winged), you can hardly hear it go off, for the noice the hammer makes.
    To the best of my knowledge, the 6 winged were made to get off pyrodex, and are still made

    RWS catalogue, p. 57 http://rws-munition.de/fileadmin/rws...2013_final.pdf
    Last edited by jbw; 10-30-2013 at 04:53 AM.

  7. #7
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    Didn't even know RWS made a 6-wing cap, have never seen them for sale here. Maybe they will start shipping them here now that there will be a greater demand. Thanks for the heads up jbw.




    Quote Originally Posted by jbw View Post
    I use RWS 1218, 6 winged musket caps on my pedersoli sharps, as, as mentioned the 1081 the 4 winged are too weak. If only firing the cap (4 winged), you can hardly hear it go off, for the noice the hammer makes.
    To the best of my knowledge, the 6 winged were made to get off pyrodex, and are still made

    RWS catalogue, p. 57 http://rws-munition.de/fileadmin/rws...2013_final.pdf
    "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do
    not.."~ Elmer Fudd......

  8. #8
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    Default Various musket caps

    Here is a picture of some of the various musket caps I have accumulated over the years. Both old and new styles of CCI are shown. Others include Kynoch,RWS,Alcan and Gevelot. The small blue container isClick image for larger version. 

Name:	musketcaps.jpg 
Views:	11 
Size:	62.7 KB 
ID:	712740 Italian.

  9. #9
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    Default

    Someone gave me a can of the Alcan caps, the can was worth more than the caps....lol





    Quote Originally Posted by musketshooter View Post
    Here is a picture of some of the various musket caps I have accumulated over the years. Both old and new styles of CCI are shown. Others include Kynoch,RWS,Alcan and Gevelot. The small blue container isClick image for larger version. 

Name:	musketcaps.jpg 
Views:	11 
Size:	62.7 KB 
ID:	712740 Italian.
    "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do
    not.."~ Elmer Fudd......

  10. #10
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    Default

    I decided that since the closest source for musket caps here is 60 miles away, and the closest source for any type other than CCI is 200 miles away, that I would make do with what I have for now.

    I miked the flash hole and nipple opening on my Model 1861 Norfolk, and then drilled the repro Zouave to match. The original has always been very reliable for me. I got a couple of very slight hang fires but all were after the 8th consecutive shot without wiping or cleaning. Resulting accuracy was good after filing down the rear sight, and squaring the aperture. Literally five shots in one ragged hole at 50 yards with 80 grains of 777 and PRB. This weekend I will play some more with it at 100 yards.

    I am at about 1.5 inches above point of aim at 25 yards, and about 2 inches above at 50. Hopefully this will put me pretty close at 100.

    Thanks for the replies.
    "I'm the 82nd Airborne, and this is as far as the bastards are going." PFC Martin - 23 December, 1944 - Battle of the Bulge

  11. #11
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    Back Creek Gun Shop in Virginia sells Dynamite Nobel Musket Caps for $73.00 per Thousand. Even with the HAZMAT fee, shipped to your home they are as cheap as what some retailers charge you for musket caps sold in their stores.

    http://blackpowderva.com/

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the tip, Southron, Sr...

    Yep, that would be about ten bucks a can, which is close to the same as CCI out here. Plus I like buying stuff from my old home state! Already did the drilling. So far so good. First two shots today were one hole, slightly elongated. (75 yards) Third shot opened up about an inch right. Wiped out the barrel, and repeated with almost the same result. Two accurate shots to the same point of aim is plenty for hunting anyway. Hopefully those RWS caps will help with consistency on longer strings.
    Doby
    "I'm the 82nd Airborne, and this is as far as the bastards are going." PFC Martin - 23 December, 1944 - Battle of the Bulge

  13. #13
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    Default

    Am I missing something here? Am I supposed to expecting problems? I shoot bp replica rifle muskets all the time, and have had no failures to fire caused by weak caps. I use mostly the RWS 1081, but lately have also used the newer CC! "Reenactor" caps, and even some older Navy Arms caps, etc., basically whatever I have on hand, for practice sessions. My general loading in all these is around 60-65 grains of either Graf's or Goex 3f or 2f, with either a Lyman OS or NS minie, and accuracy is good. So why the complaints about weak CCI caps? I got about 200 of them in a deal last summer, and all went bang and fired the loads without issues; accuracy was at least as good as with the other caps, iirc.
    Last edited by FGD135; 11-03-2013 at 06:08 PM.
    Sam Cummings laughs at us from the grave!

  14. #14
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    I was getting hangfires at best with the CCI caps. Several times I had to remove the nipple and prime the channel under it just to get it to fire. I was trying with this thread to determine if it was the rifle or the ignition that caused this. The rifle had been shot very little and is kind of an off brand with a Korean made barrel. Since I changed the specs (with my trusty drill) I have still had a couple of hangfires, but nothing too bad. I'm glad the CCI caps work on your rifles.
    "I'm the 82nd Airborne, and this is as far as the bastards are going." PFC Martin - 23 December, 1944 - Battle of the Bulge

  15. #15
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    I think it is fair to say that the CCI 4 wing musket caps are "marginal" at best. More people are having problems with them than people not having problems with them.

    The people shooting some of the "replica" black powders like Pyrodex, 777, etc., are having problems because the replica powders have a higher ignition point than plain old black powder like Goex or Schutzen.

    The people that are hurt by the weak CCI musket caps are the Skirmishers, because in N-SSA team competition, both the Musket and Carbine Team Matches, in close matches ONE MISSED OR "DROPPED" SHOT CAN CAUSE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A TEAM WINNING OR LOSING A MATCH.

    Another group that has been hurt by the CCI musket caps are the deer hunters. I just wonder how many deer hunters have lost getting their deer during muzzle loading deer season because the CCI musket cap was too weak to set off the main charge in their rifle? The sound of a "cap snapping" can spook a deer and cause him or her to run off, never to be seen again! [I know this from personal experience!]

  16. #16
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    Well, that's good to know, I am so used to shooting with real blackpowder that I forget about the syntho-bpowder shooters. I gave up using Pyrodex a loong time ago in both ML and in cartridge guns. I forgot about all the ignition problems I used to have, including having to use magnum primers in BPCR to get consistent ignition. It would make sense that a weak cap would aggravate a Pyrodex etc shooter.
    At least the RWS 1081's are still available!
    Sam Cummings laughs at us from the grave!

  17. #17
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    Default

    I put amusket nipple in my TC rifle and had CCI musket caps they were'nt any good 1 out of 5 worked went back to my 11 nipple

  18. #18
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    My RWS caps arrived yesterday. The difference is night and day. CCI should modify their label. Instead of "For Reenactors" it should say "For Reenactors Using Blank Black Powder Loads Only."

    They should be ashamed. I pulled one apart, and the cap inside looked like the sticky little caps I used on toy guns as a kid. It had been a long time since I had to buy percussion caps at all, since at one time I had thousands that lasted me for at least a decade. I don't know what is in those CCI musket caps, but whatever it is, there is not enough of it. The d@#&€ lawyers will get us all if the politicians don't do it first.

    I guess CCI is just trying to avoid another lawsuit, but maybe they could give us a bit more truth on their label. Or make a reenactor cap and a full strength one for shooters. At any rate, between having my RWS caps, and the Winchester 11 Magnums, I am in good shape for a couple of years now.
    "I'm the 82nd Airborne, and this is as far as the bastards are going." PFC Martin - 23 December, 1944 - Battle of the Bulge

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