Author Topic: Percussion caps.  (Read 3023 times)

Online Pukka Bundook

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Percussion caps.
« on: June 10, 2020, 06:05:55 AM »
Evening Gents,
Some photos for you of some old percussion caps.
My grandfather gave them to me in the late '60's.    They belonged to his "Grandfather Peter".  He kept them in the tin in his waistcoat pocket.
You will see he had made a hole in the lid, so he could shake out the odd cap as required.

So, these caps and tin belonged to my Great, great,great, grandfather.
Look closely at the caps, they are Rolls Royce compared to the thin chatty caps available now!
Yes, Ive used a few, and they still work, but kept the majority.   (corrosive too.)








Should add these are English caps and probaly the same size as the Joyce  No 26, as they fit sporting gun nipples..
Richard.

Offline snapper

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Re: Percussion caps.
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2020, 01:43:08 PM »
Very cool, thanks for sharing.

I am off to Indiana today and hope to locate my GGG Grandfathers grave.

Fleener
My taste are simple:  I am easily satisfied with the best.  Winston Churchill

Offline John SMOthermon

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Re: Percussion caps.
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2020, 03:48:50 PM »
Cool! Is that the original tin or a snuff can?
Smo

Good Luck & Good Shootin'

Online Pukka Bundook

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Re: Percussion caps.
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2020, 04:02:18 PM »
Smo,

It'll be the original container, as I have others just the same shape.  They came with 250 caps I believe.
Pleased you liked to see them.   V nicely made thick copper caps.  :-)

Fleener,

Good luck in your quest!

I recently 'Found" my G't Grandmother.
Photo below with G't G-father;




Offline snapper

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Re: Percussion caps.
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2020, 03:09:07 PM »
Yesterday I was able to quickly locate the farmer that owned the field where they are buried.   He was a very kind guy and took my son and I out to the spot.  He did not really know where the graves were, but recalled seeing a stone or two in a certain area.   He said when the bush hog that area next they will look for it and mark it and let me know if they find anything.  I am not overly hopeful, he past away in 1851.  Records show 7 graves, and that the last time someone recorded information only 3 stones were found, none for my GGG Grandfather.  But, at least I got close.

Fleener
My taste are simple:  I am easily satisfied with the best.  Winston Churchill

Offline acorn20

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Re: Percussion caps.
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2020, 08:01:49 PM »
Pretty neat.  Looks like an old snuff tin to me.
Dan Akers

Offline heelerau

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Re: Percussion caps.
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2020, 01:31:41 PM »
I have a tin that used to be full, I used a heap of them when I was a kid shooting my old pat 53.  They are heavy ribbed like yours shown The remains of the lable say Breech Capping Rifles, London Manufacturers.

Keep yor  hoss well shod an' yor powdah dry !

Offline Feltwad

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Re: Percussion caps.
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2020, 09:03:13 PM »
Some of the early percussion caps by Joyce and others could be fixed with anvils which came separate for centre fire shotgun cartridges .
Feltwad

Offline Mick C

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Re: Percussion caps.
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2020, 12:55:50 AM »
That's cool and a useful idea even today for percussion shooters.  Very inventive.
My profile picture is my beloved K9 best friend and soulmate, Buster Brown, who passed away in 2018.  I miss you buddy!

Offline John SMOthermon

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Re: Percussion caps.
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2020, 02:55:31 AM »
Smo,

It'll be the original container, as I have others just the same shape.  They came with 250 caps I believe.
Pleased you liked to see them.   V nicely made thick copper caps.  :-)

Fleener,

Good luck in your quest!

I recently 'Found" my G't Grandmother.
Photo below with G't G-father;




Thanks Pukka, I thought it was the original , but wasnít sure.

Hereís a pic of my GGF & GGM , on my Dads , Motherís  side of the family.Burgess was their last name.

« Last Edit: June 14, 2020, 06:18:42 AM by John SMOthermon »
Smo

Good Luck & Good Shootin'

Offline T*O*F

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Re: Percussion caps.
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2020, 04:08:08 PM »
Quote
I am off to Indiana today and hope to locate my GGG Grandfathers grave.
Art,
Believe it or not, but my family got its start in Iowa.  Evidently, Iowa did not keep birth certificates but you could apply for one with supporting evidence.  One of my uncles did that and I was able to trace them to a homestead in Centerville, IA.  Later, they moved to Kirksville, MO.  Here is a photo of them in 1921.  My Dad is the one in the back standing between my Grandma and Grandpa.  There is nothing prior to that as they were fresh immigrants from the old country in the late 1800's.



Dave Kanger

A dedicated person with just a pocketknife can accomplish more than a lazy person with an entire toolbox.

Offline Mad Monk

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Re: Percussion caps.
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2020, 12:04:30 AM »
Fairly thick copper caps were common into the late 1800s.  They were primed with fulminate of mercury.  Then the primer composition was changed to a mixture containing potassium chlorate or perchlorate.  The more recently the compound used is lead stephanate.  The fulminate of mercury was very sensitive to impact ignition so the thick copper did not give misfires. The following chlorate or perchlorate compounds required a bit more of an impact to cause them to ignite.  Then the lead stephanate compounds require a good bit of impact energy to ignite them.  They had to adjust the cap metal and it's thickness to insure enough impact pressure to cause ignition of the compound reliably.  That is why we now see the thin aluminum caps that split so easily.  It is the price we must pay to avoid the extreme corrosive behavior of the older primer compositions.

Online Pukka Bundook

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Re: Percussion caps.
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2020, 06:34:42 AM »
Very good and interesting information Mad Monk!   Thank you.

Had not considered the sensitivity of the compound the caps used, or the reason caps vary  in thickness etc.
Thank you again!   

Richard.

Offline hanshi

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Re: Percussion caps.
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2020, 08:56:03 PM »
Excellent post.  These are the first old style thick caps I've seen.
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Offline Mad Monk

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Re: Percussion caps.
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2020, 07:14:36 AM »
I ounce had some pages out of an early 1900s industrial chemistry book.  All explosives are checked by what is known as the fall hammer test.  You might want to look that one up on the Internet to get a grasp of how it was run.  This fall hammer (impact shock ignition) test is run on a host of industrial chemicals that pose an risk of explosion by a sharp blow while being held "under rigid confinement".  The lab I worked in sometimes ran that test on the catalysts used in PVC polymerization.  In that fall hammer test you have a weight in a vertical tube that you allow to drop down onto a 2 piece sample holder.  The base of the holder and then a circular cavity holding a specific amount of the explosive and a snug fitting plunger that the falling hammer strikes. Some units gave pounds feet.  A one pound weight from varying heights that gave you a foot pound figure. Then some were calibrated in the metric system.

Big difference in the amount of impact shock to set off the old fulminate of mercury versus the modern lead stephanate.  And that explained to me the early thick copper caps versus our present aluminum caps that are a bit thicker than a beer can.

With the old fulminate caps the ignition of the powder charge was mainly by minute droplets of melted hot mercury with little actual flame.  Heated gases do not readily ignite black powder.  In the later chlorate and perchlorate cap compositions that used a bit of finely ground glass particles that would be heated when the composition burned rapidly and the bits of incandescent glass would act like the hot minute droplets of mercury.   These primer compositions in some ways mimicked the little bits of incandescent steel off a frizzen face with a flintlock.

Offline Notchy Bob

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Re: Percussion caps.
« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2020, 04:52:04 PM »
I'm curious...  The cap tin in the original post appears to have a paper liner.  Is this original ?  Maybe a rust-preventive paper (as sold by Brownell's) added recently ?

Notchy Bob
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Offline Mad Monk

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Re: Percussion caps.
« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2020, 02:19:31 AM »
I'm curious...  The cap tin in the original post appears to have a paper liner.  Is this original ?  Maybe a rust-preventive paper (as sold by Brownell's) added recently ?

Notchy Bob

From what I saw in the originals I examined they appear to have been given a coating of thin shellac over the fulminate.  If the fulminate of mercury had access to air it would easily pick up moisture.  It would then quickly decompose and not work.  So whatever they would put over the fulminate had to be waterproof.  And it could not be too thick or it would absorb some of the impact energy produced by the hammer and give erratic results.

Offline heelerau

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Re: Percussion caps.
« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2020, 02:29:08 AM »
My cap tin as shown has a paper liner too, it is original with the tin. Guessing the same with the tin that this thread started with.  Some sort of protection for the contents at a guess. The tins seem to have been japanned originally on the outside.
Keep yor  hoss well shod an' yor powdah dry !

Online Pukka Bundook

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Re: Percussion caps.
« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2020, 04:13:02 PM »
Pardon the slow reply, Notchy Bob,
Been getting ready for our shoot , and V little time to visit here!

The paper in the cap tin was there when I got the tin and caps, in the later 1960's.  It appears original, as it fits well.
I will look at some other old tins I have and see if they too have liners, but am sure some do.
As far as I know, the tin & caps had lain in a drawer since the days of G't G't Grandfather, and no-one had meddled with them.
I also got his magnifying glass, that he carried on his watch -chain, and another V small magnifier, shaped like a funnel.  All had sat in the drawer in the kitchen for generations.

Best,
Richard.