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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  The Darksider's Den  |  The Dark Arts (Moderator: Lucky Irish Tom)  |  Topic: Capping - worth using an in-line capper, or not? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Capping - worth using an in-line capper, or not?  (Read 41697 times)
Sundance
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« on: November 26, 2004, 06:33:54 pm »


I don't bother myself, but is an in-line capper any major advantage?  Considering buying one and trying it out.  Has anyone perhaps come up with a homemade device etc..?  Pistol: 1858 Remington.
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Cuts Crooked
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« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2004, 07:16:36 pm »

Sundance,

Three words.... USE A CAPPER!!!! ...because you can get hurt without one! Give me some time to dig it up and I'll show a pic of what can happen when a cap detonates under thumb pressure while being pushed onto a loaded chamber.

Remingtons can be difficult to find a capper that works well with them. But there is simple modification that permits the use of almost any capper with them. If I can find it I will post a pic of that mod too.
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« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2004, 08:02:32 pm »

Hope this werks.


* 8355624.jpg (9.6 KB, 320x240 - viewed 6841 times.)
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« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2004, 08:07:47 pm »

How about that!?!?! It worked!!!!
 Grin

That's a picture of what's left of my thumb after a cap detonated under it while loading my old 58 Remington years ago.

The following is an artical that was printed in the Cowboy Chronical earlier this year about capping these old time guns.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Great Capping Controversy
 (how to avoid the whole thing and still enjoy Frontiersman)

Howdy gang!

Back in the May issue of "The Chronicle", Old Scout, SASS Life #34718, wrote about capping our Cap & Ball pistols and the inherant dangers, or lack thereof, involved. Old Scout did a great job of testing and documenting his efforts to find out just how dangerous the chore might or might not be, along with testing for the results of an out of battery discharge. I enjoyed the fact that he covered the various seating methods employed and noted the possible level of danger to the shooter and bystanders. Then along comes the June issue and a letter from Silver Sam, SASS Life #34718 expressing his frustration over the rule that prevents "hammer seating" of percussion caps. And I certainly understand Silver Sams feeling on that matter! Once one gets used to a method of doing something, and it never seems to be a problem, it's difficult to accept that someone else can see a possible danger in that method...human nature at work there!

Well, Old Cuts is going to enter the controversy and tell y'all the answer to the cap seating dilema. The answer is DON'T. It's that simple! You see the whole "seating" thing really isn't needed, and I'll tell you why in a bit here. But first...

Happens that I am one of those pards who Old Scout mentioned as having a cap detonate under "finger pressure". Yes it can happen! The results ain't fun or pretty! For those who want the gory details, it happened in either June or July (I would have to check with the local Sheriffs office to be sure. It was recorded as a "firearms related injury" at the time and the doctor called in the Deputies to record the details) of 1986 in Marion County, Iowa. I was in a farm lane on my in-laws property doing a bit of target practice when a cap that I was "seating" on my 58 Remington detonated under the pressure of my thumb. Now a percussion cap doesn't have much power, not much more than the explosive force of a cap designed for toy cap guns, but the escaping gases coming back through the nipple hole from the ignition of the powder DO HAVE CONSIDERABLE FORCE!. Without the hammer down over that little hole enough hot gas can escape to do a lot of damage to any digit in its path. When it happened I ended up with a thumb that looked kind of like a peeled banana, only black! The nail bed was laid back down over the knuckle of my thumb, a strip was peeled down the inside radius, and the meaty ball was sort of bulged out. This left the bone exposed on the end of my thumb! (OUCH!) After washing and wire brushing away all the charred stuff the Sawbones was able to pull every thing back together and sew it up by running stitches through the thumbnail and the meaty part. But there was a piece missing that he couldn't do anything about. It really didn't hurt though, in fact I've never felt anything in that thumb again! Apparently the nerve bundle on the inside of the thumb was instantly cauterized. Made fer a bit of a hassle to relearn how cock a revolver!

So, Cuts decided to make sure he never had to "seat" a cap again! And it isn't that difficult! My first effort in that direction was to purchase nipples (did you know the old timers called them "tubes"?) that fit my caps properly. In those days the availability of various caps and nipples wasn't all that great. But a little perserverance found a combination that fit properly. The caps would go all the way down on good fitting nipples with only a little pressure from the capping tool. And there was just enough friction to keep them in place during cycling and firing the gun. That's the way it' supposed to work, no pushing them down on with a dowel or yer finger, and no pinching them to make them fit tight enough to stay on. Just press them on with the capping tool and keep going! Simple! Right? Well...no, not exactly. Seems that nipples tend to batter and get out of shape, Which makes it harder to press a cap onto them after a while. And sometimes you just can't find the right combination of caps & nipples to achieve that perfect fit. So what do you do? Use yer finger or a dowel? The answer is neither of those! You make the nipple fit the caps!

If you have access to a lathe this is a pretty simple job. But most folks don't have a machine shop laying around the house. I know, I don't anyway! But there's still a pretty easy way to make those nipples fit yer caps, it's not hard, and it doesn't require expensive tools. All you need is a fine toothed file, some emory cloth, and an electric hand drill! Simply chuck the offending nipple in the drill, closing the jaws on the "shoulder" of the nipple to avoid damaging the threads. Then hold your fine toothed file against the "tube" and pull the trigger on the drill. Use very light pressure to hold the file against the nipple while it spins, stopping frequently to check fit with a cap. (Stop the drill when do this!!!!) When you have removed enough metal so that the cap just slides down onto the nipple with minimal pressure, then polish things up a bit with the emory cloth, not too much because you want to maintain a friction fit...and you're done! You now have a perfect fitting cap & nipple combination that doesn't require placing yoru fingers in danger or the use of a special pushing tool to seat the caps all the way down. All you have to do is place a cap over the nipple with your capping tool and press lightly, then pull the tool straight out. It will save you some time at the loading table, no more concerns about the dangers of hammer seating, and your fingers will thank you for your efforts on their behalf! And from Snakebite, SASS Life #4767, comes the tip to carry an old toothbrush in your kit, to brush away accumilated soot from the nipples at the unloading table. This helps more than you'd imagine!

Now, go shoot that fine old time cap gun, and have fun...safely!

Yer Pard,

Cuts Crooked, SASS #36914

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm still trying to find a pic of the cylinder mod.
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« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2004, 08:57:21 pm »

Errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...........Gasp.....SHOCK....didn't realise if the cap goes off when fitting it could cause that much damage to you. Yep your warning has been well and truely heeded.  The CCI caps I have been using No 11 (any other make difficult to obtain in the UK) SOMETIMES fit perfectly, however some VERY tight.  There seems to be a fine balance with caps too tight or too loose and they drop off. 
Many, many thanks for the pics and advice.
P.S You learn something new every time you visit this site. 
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Sundance
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« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2004, 05:21:58 pm »

Purchased an in-line capper today 8.50 pounds sterling.  Made of brass, Italian nice piece of kit.   I will try it on Tuesday.
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« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2004, 06:20:11 pm »

Good deal!!! I hope it works well for you! If it turns out to be problematic let me know. I couldn't locate the pic of the cylinder mod that makes using a capper easy, but I can take another picture when I get my camera back from the kids. Essentially all the modification is is to remove that shell like metal from the area around the nipples, leaving a big open space to get at them.
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« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2004, 09:10:48 am »

Having heard of Cuts' little capping disaster a couple of years ago and this re-telling made me think of the struggle to cap some of my revolvers---and my method was to use a small dowel.  But I just spent yesterday removing all the nipples from my (14)  Cry revolvers ( too damn many) and I chucked them into my Unimat lathe and turned a wee bit off each one and then polished and re-blued them---my fingers and eyes ache. Shocked  But the #11's go on as smooth as silk from my Ted Cash cappers---the only problem is that on the smaller revolvers (1849 Pocket) the capper throat is too large (skoshi) for the nipple cut-out on the cylinder. So I will continue to finger feed that little baby.  Wink
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« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2004, 05:42:12 pm »

Tried the in-line capper last night - very time consuming, and difficult to pull off when the cap has fitted.  However got there in the end.  Wanted to put it down and just push the cap on I must admit, Cuts photos in my mind's eye prevented this though (thanks again Cuts).
I think Cut's solution of making the nipple fit the cap is really the answer.  Ordering a set of nipples next week to alter.
Has anyone ever had any bad experiences pushing caps on with a dowel or popsicle stick?  I would imagine there is a chance (slim mind) that too much force might perhaps cause the cap to ignite the powder, and result in pieces of dowel being shattered and ripping into the shooters hand.  Perhaps I'm being a bit melodramatic here but, just thinking out aloud.
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« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2004, 05:56:04 pm »

I modified a Butler Creek in-line capper to fit the Remingtons better. I also added a "magazine" to hold over 100 caps and a thumb-activated plunger to advance the next cap into the springs. The nose is also reenforced soz ya kin push the caps down firm without bending the capper. The magazine also has a plexiglass cover soz ya kin see how many caps is left inside.

It werks purdy good and I can shoot a whole match without refilling the capper.



The way I built it wouldn't be practical for mass production (too much solid brass) but I offered the idear to Butler Creek (free of charge) but they said they waz gettin outta blackpowder accessories. If ya run into a company that wants to mass produce 'em, the design is free.
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« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2004, 06:32:46 pm »

Re: New Model Remingtons ---I tried a capper various times but have gone back to hand capping (gently) on good fitting nipples (Treso mainly). Since I don't have machining tools I use the dowel method with even pressure (gently) until the cap is fully seated. On the Colts I can use my capper as long as I can find it!
Thanks for the reminder Cuts - ya gotta be careful right? Specially with cap and ball....... Cry
Charlie
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Will Ketchum
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« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2004, 09:40:18 pm »

Montana Slim has a neat inline capper where the caps are held in so the sides of the caps are parallel with the sides of the capper and they come out bottom first.  This makes it very easy to cap a revolver.

Tedd Cash is a friend of mine and although his inline capper is the best being made currently but I sure would like to see him make one like Montana's.

Will Ketchum 
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« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2004, 09:27:49 am »

Cuts;  as always, you have great ideas!  I have an end mill cutter and while reading these posts I was wondering if I could use it in a drill press.  Lo and behold, here comes Cuts posting about his experience (complete with pictures) saying he'd already done it!  Thanks!

Sundance, by all means, use that new capper.  If it doesn't fit, try another style.  It does take some getting used to - but the practice is fun!  I have an old inline capper that I bought when I got my 1860 (Uberti) Iver Johnson repro.  It works quite well, but it's a bit "fiddely."  Mine took  some getting used to:  but it's a heck of a lot better than getting Cutsthumb!  (New word invented by me to honour Cuts Crooked!)
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« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2004, 10:49:17 pm »

I have 2 Ted Cash cappers and IMHO they can't hold a candle to the 4 that I bought from Taylors.  I did a comparison on TFS before the April Melt Down.  Main features of Taylor's (it's made in Italy)are:
    Works fine with 51 Navies and 58 NMA's
    Better built - thicker brass
    Caps don't flip over (#10 & 11's)
    Brass extension behind the first cap doesn't bend when capping ... Ted's does
    For a perfect fit into the nipple cutout... just round the edges on the extension and the 2 twiizzers

Straight Line Capper - Brass ... from Taylors
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« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2005, 10:13:50 pm »

I know this is an old post,  But I just signed up today! Grin

Here is a pic of the cylinder I modified on one of my Remingtons;

I used a 1/4" sanding drum that came in my Dremel tool assortment.  It took all of 5 minutes to do the whole  cylinder.

Much easier access now! 

John


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« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2005, 10:28:02 pm »

John ... Welcome to the CasCity.  Tis nice to see more folks coming over from the other towns.  Look around.  The Marshal does a good job here in town

Sure can drive a truck into those nipples.  I'll have to give it a try.

Now don't take this wrong ... might want to lengthen the hand on the revolver.  Got an early rising bolt that really digging in.

If ya don't have extras, ole Cheyenne passed on the tip ... "Wang" the end of the hand with a heavy hammer  Grin

Now for another question.  What do you folks do to get such good quailty close up digital pictures?   Mine are always hazy.
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« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2005, 12:21:30 am »

Thanks John Boy!  It is nice to see familar faces in all the good spots.

I'll have to do a search to find that fix for the hand;  It is a brand new replacement that I got from Dixie a couple months ago  Huh

If you think the marks on my Pietta are bad,  you should see my genuine original Remington NMA - The bolt falls a good 1/8" before the slot!  Of course,  when I think about the wear from all the shots it has fired during the Civil War, Indian Wars, and later- I'm not too surprised!  But I ain't touching the hand on that one  Grin

Thanks again,
John
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« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2005, 08:29:08 am »

I make a simlar mod to my cylinder. Only I do it with an end mill bit in a drill press. Ends up squared off rather than rounded out like yers, but it's the same affect overall. Makes a huge difference in ease of capping.
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Warthog
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« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2005, 06:22:19 pm »

I do the exact same thing as johnrtse does with the rounded cutouts. Keeps it kinda unnoticeable that way I think. The square cut draws attention to it by being a right angle. I thought about squaring them up some day, but never got to it and they work fine this way. DM
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« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2005, 07:05:21 pm »

Hmmm? Actually the "square cuts are no more attention drawing than the nipple recesses on the Colt style C&Bs. However, in looking through some of my old resource books the rounded cuts look more like some of what Remington actually used on some of their pre NMA revolvers!
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« Reply #20 on: June 24, 2005, 04:12:11 pm »

Oh Good Lord! This is really important stuff! I cannot spare my one good hand, so THANK YOU for posting this.

Bad Hand
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« Reply #21 on: June 24, 2005, 10:29:24 pm »

I been using TC st. line capper's for 5 yrs. with great results.  I grind off some of the ends that would touch the cylinder.  They work in all my 51's- 60's- 61's- 58's  & ROA's.  I use an antler to seat (curved and end flat to match the end of cap.)  Slight push to seat & they go off everytime. 
   Did try some of the Rem #11's and they ALL flipped over IN the capper.  They are shorter than CCI's.  Pluus they are very thin walled and fragment real bad when fired.  Had pieces in the works after just 1 cylinder.   CCI's very rarely frag enough to get into the hammer slot.  For me anyway.
   I never put caps on by hand alone.  One, can't get my fingers to do it- two, not a good idea.  Don't need a "CUTS" thumb! Shocked
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« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2005, 08:45:27 am »

Having shot C&B revolvers since the early 1970's I will have to agree with Cuts Crooked on the use of a capper.  Wether you use a straight in line or the larger Snail capper from Ted Cash, Available from Dixie Gun Works, the choice is yours.  The inlines will work better with the Remington clones while the Snail will work on the Colt copies.  The possible excecptinon would be the Colt pocket models where the inline capper will work better.

Another thought is that you get what you pay for.  Make sure, if at all posible, that the capper will fit your cylinder cutouts for the nipples/cones.

Keep your powder dry and your knife sharp.
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« Reply #23 on: June 27, 2005, 10:14:06 am »

I use a Ted Cash in line capper. File off the little tips on the very end allowing the cap to go strait on to the nipp,.This allows the capper to go a tad more into the cylinder and puts the cap directly in line with the nipp.
If I can get my camera to work tonight I'll post a photo of this process.

Faster than greased lighting !!!1

Then use a deer antler seater that Cactus Cris made for me.

Works first time every time.

Hope this helps
Mason
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« Reply #24 on: July 02, 2005, 06:56:40 am »

Anyone know why those Remington NMAs replica cylinders have such narrow slots adjacent to nipples? First one I got I immediately took file to it to widen those absurdly narrow slots. After reading this thread, I am surprized that only a few seem to be doing this.

I also fit nipples to a specific size of caps, normally RWS/Dynamite Nobel 1075s, so that only slight seating pressure with in-line capper is needed. Also surprised that this is not SOP for more shooters.

Lars
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