Author Topic: Musket caps vs #11  (Read 5849 times)

wet willy

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Musket caps vs #11
« on: February 27, 2014, 02:56:02 AM »
Anyone on the Forum have data on the output (brisance, the energy released in an explosion) comparing musket caps and #11?

There is some data on the temperature achieved by each of these, but I think the energy output would be the best way to characterize the ability to ignite the main charge. Unlike flinters, where the priming charge goes almost directly into the main charge, percussion firearms use patent breaches or drum/nipple arrangements which create a longer, indirect path for the ignition energy to follow to the main charge.

dlbarr

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Re: Musket caps vs #11
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2014, 10:12:53 AM »
I don't know the answer to your specific question, Willy, I've only heard that musket caps are hotter than #11s. Don't know if it's actually true, but it's what I've heard.

I got a musket nipple for one of my guns to try the caps. They certainly worked fine, but I didn't chronograph my shots so I wouldn't know about increased performance, which is what I presume you're really interested in.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2014, 10:14:23 AM by Dave »

Offline LH

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Re: Musket caps vs #11
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2014, 05:25:55 PM »
The amount of fulminate in each might be something you could figure out that would give a general indication of energy.  How much of the "fire" that makes it through the nipple and to the main charge might be hard to figure out. 

necchi

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Re: Musket caps vs #11
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2014, 09:45:31 PM »
No data,
But they have the same brisance, the material used is the same,, there's just more of it.
They are not "hotter", just more volume.
Musket caps and nipples are for muskets.
Rifle caps and nipples are for rifles.
Putting musket nipples on rifles gains nothing.

Offline Artificer

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Re: Musket caps vs #11
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2014, 10:04:15 PM »
No data,
But they have the same brisance, the material used is the same,, there's just more of it.
They are not "hotter", just more volume.
Musket caps and nipples are for muskets.
Rifle caps and nipples are for rifles.
Putting musket nipples on rifles gains nothing.

I agree AND unless one has a strong mainspring, the blowback from a musket nipple may cause the hammer to be thrown back to half cock and damage or wear out the sear nose and/or half cock notch faster.
Gus

dlbarr

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Re: Musket caps vs #11
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2014, 10:08:19 PM »

I agree AND unless one has a strong mainspring, the blowback from a musket nipple may cause the hammer to be thrown back to half cock and damage or wear out the sear nose and/or half cock notch faster.
Gus

That's an interesting observation...I did experience that a time or two as I recall. Anyway, haven't used those for some time....still have a small supply and not sure what I'll do with them unless somebody here needs musket caps? No charge, I'll just send them....

Offline Artificer

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Re: Musket caps vs #11
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2014, 10:28:34 PM »

I agree AND unless one has a strong mainspring, the blowback from a musket nipple may cause the hammer to be thrown back to half cock and damage or wear out the sear nose and/or half cock notch faster.
Gus

That's an interesting observation...I did experience that a time or two as I recall. Anyway, haven't used those for some time....still have a small supply and not sure what I'll do with them unless somebody here needs musket caps? No charge, I'll just send them....

That's the way it begins, it will only do it occasionally.  Then as the vent hole in the nipple opens up with use, it will do it more often.  Now the worst I've seen it was on Hopkins and Allen underhammer rifles that have a hammer spring that isn't very strong.
Gus

Offline hanshi

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Re: Musket caps vs #11
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2014, 10:47:41 PM »
I also agree that musket caps simply have a larger amount of the same compound used in smaller caps; never had hammer blowback on military musket/rifles.  The H&A underhammers will blow back fairly easily and this is the reason loads in the 60 to 65 grain range are recommended.  That load is still a great deer killer in a .45.
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Naphtali

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Re: Musket caps vs #11
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2014, 11:22:16 PM »
Anyone on the Forum have data on the output (brisance, the energy released in an explosion) comparing musket caps and #11? . . .
I have an old Muzzle Blasts where this topic was addressed and quantified. As time permits, I'll find it and report.

Or you might find the issue online at NMLRA web site?

Offline Artificer

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Re: Musket caps vs #11
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2014, 09:02:27 AM »
In all the years I worked on UnCivil War Period Rifle (Short or “2 Band” rifles) and Rifle Musket (3 Band) locks, I only saw a very few where hammer blowback was a problem.  In all cases, the nipple/cone had been continued to be used long after the vent hole had opened up too much from wear.  In addition to that, either the locks were of very cheap quality and had “light power” mainsprings or someone thinned the mainsprings in an attempt to lighten the trigger pull.  The latter was very uncommon, though.  I don’t believe I ever saw an original Springfield or Enfield Rifle or Rifle Musket lock or a real English made Parker Hale Arms lock do it because their springs were so robust and even when folks did not change the nipple when they should have.  Of course, this is with powder charges and bullets that did not go well over normal pressures.  

I should also mention that many original guns in use by NSSA shooters since the 60’s and 70’s have had FAR more rounds fired in them than most any original guns did during the UnCivil War.   This is a testament to the original lock and parts designs being so robust and usually so well made that they stood the test of use so well over time.

Of course, just as in my modern career of being a Military Armorer, I have seen some very strange and unusual ways people have broken or disabled their locks and guns from lack of knowledge, accidents, neglect or even abuse – but one can’t hold the guns at fault for that.  
Gus
« Last Edit: March 01, 2014, 04:43:10 AM by Artificer »

Offline Daryl

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Re: Musket caps vs #11
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2014, 09:06:56 PM »
Gus- ANY time a hammer is blown back to 1/2 bent position, it is time to either repair the main spring, get a heavier one - or get a new nipple with proper sized hole - any one of these problems can cause the problem - or all of them working in concert.
Coil springs are bad for blow-backs if the hole in the nipple is oversized.  Size of the powder  charge can also be a major contributor to blow-back, but a good lock, with a proper nipple will not blow back no matter the charge.
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline Artificer

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Re: Musket caps vs #11
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2014, 12:10:17 AM »
Gus- ANY time a hammer is blown back to 1/2 bent position, it is time to either repair the main spring, get a heavier one - or get a new nipple with proper sized hole - any one of these problems can cause the problem - or all of them working in concert.
Coil springs are bad for blow-backs if the hole in the nipple is oversized.  Size of the powder  charge can also be a major contributor to blow-back, but a good lock, with a proper nipple will not blow back no matter the charge.

Daryl,
I could not agree more with your emboldened statement above. 

I wasn't sure how coil main spring locks would react because I have only ever owned one and it was a TC Hawken Rifle, which I did change the nipple on every year before shooting season began and I never had such a problem with it.  That is good info to keep in mind on coil spring locks. 

All other percussion civilian rifles I've owned or worked on were original rifles and I've never seen any cause to put a musket sized cap nipple on them. 

I did strongly encourage U.S. International Muzzleloading Team members to put a new nipple on their rifles long enough before going to Regional or World shoots so they knew where and how their rifles would group and not have this problem.  This was especially important if their original caplock rifles had a thread size that was no longer made.  One of our top female competitors did not do it and her rifle went belly up at the World Championships at Wedgnock, but fortunately it was the first day of practice and not during the match.  A replacement nipple and the next day's practice got her back to shooting good groups.  Fortunately, her original underhammer target rifle had either originally come as or had already been rethreaded so as to use modern thread size nipples. 
Gus