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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  The Darksider's Den  |  The Dark Arts (Moderator: Lucky Irish Tom)  |  Topic: Cap Gun Primer: Correct Cone Length 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Cap Gun Primer: Correct Cone Length  (Read 25033 times)
wildman1
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« Reply #25 on: July 07, 2011, 04:10:02 am »

Mako, I would disagree with you on one thing here. I have a Traditions 50 cal Pa rifle and their nipple (cone) hole is so small that it allows almost no blowback, I agree with you on smaller hole less blowback, what I take issue with is your use of the term "hype" in relation to whether or not ya need a large flash hole. I used ta shoot matches with that rifle and would get fouling so bad the rifle would not fire. The fouling was in the breech plug between the nipple and the powder chamber. I removed the nipple, drilled it out and solved the problem. Yes, I did get blowback, depending on the charge it would sometimes blow the hammer to halfcock.  But it also kept the breech plug hole clear. WM
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« Reply #26 on: July 07, 2011, 07:05:28 am »

Sounds like a problem with the spark path within the breech plug itself being too small. I may just be a nervous nelly but I worry about pieces of hot copper flying everywhere because the hole in the nipple is too big.
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« Reply #27 on: July 07, 2011, 11:40:48 am »

Ever shoot a flintlock? WM
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« Reply #28 on: July 07, 2011, 02:06:03 pm »

Mako, I would disagree with you on one thing here. I have a Traditions 50 cal Pa rifle and their nipple (cone) hole is so small that it allows almost no blowback, I agree with you on smaller hole less blowback, what I take issue with is your use of the term "hype" in relation to whether or not ya need a large flash hole. I used ta shoot matches with that rifle and would get fouling so bad the rifle would not fire. The fouling was in the breech plug between the nipple and the powder chamber. I removed the nipple, drilled it out and solved the problem. Yes, I did get blowback, depending on the charge it would sometimes blow the hammer to halfcock.  But it also kept the breech plug hole clear. WM
Wildman,
I had a reason for saying hype, read on...

You actually explain the problem and have the corrective actions all in your post.  Look at what you wrote...
Quote
I have a Traditions 50 cal Pa rifle and their nipple (cone) hole is so small...
Quote
I removed the nipple, drilled it out and solved the problem.

If you had started with a normal tube (with a normal flash hole) then you would not have ever made that statement.  By your own discovery you state the Traditions flash hole was too small for the tube interior geometry.  I know it's not your intention but don't confuse standard tubes with the "oversize" cross drilled Hot Shot aftermarket tubes.  You are mixing cherries and watermelons there.  You found the problem and you corrected it, but you have noted the correction now causes the hammer to be blown back to half cock.

As  I said you can get away with oversize flash holes on single shots, but they are anathema for revolvers.  You can also use Treso tubes very effectively on muzzlestuffers.   The Treso design is conducive to directing the combustiing priming compound into the breech.  You may have see this illustration before but is is a direct reverse engineered model of the 12-28 threaded Treso tubes for the Uberti pistols and the very recent production Uberti tubes.



I even went to the trouble to show the two step drilling for the major diameter on the Uberti tubes.  Uberti tubes didn't always look like this, they used to have a larger flash hole.  They made changes to their design when people began installing aftermarket tubes on their products.  I'm assuming they  didn't  go as small on the flash hole as Treso because Uberti makes their tubes from carbon steel and they would have problems with a lot of shooters who would let them get a bit of corrosion in the small opening.  Probably a good assumption though since that is sort of my area of specialty.

Back to your original problem and how does that undersized flash hole differ from a Treso tube?  The Treso tubes have a large primary chamber and gives the primer compound gas stream an area to initially expand into,  once gas has a vector it will continue in that direction, it really doesn't like to change direction.  You might try a Treso tube on that Traditions rifle of yours.  I have been happy with mine and I don't have a fouling or ignition problem.  I've suggested them to others as replacements if they have buggered up threads, they make oversize threaded tubes in .005" increments in five or six steps up in the 1:28 pitch.  You have to tap those breech plugs but you can save an old rifle.  I have had reports they worked better than ever after replacement and they had no issues with cold weather usage.  I'd venture to say your original tube had a small primary as well as exit hole.  

The Treso tubes are unique in the depth of the primary chambers, I have several other brands of aftermarket tubes and none of them have the short necked down section that Treso does. Some are necked down, but not as much or having such a short section of being necked down.  Treso remains unique not only because they are constructed of Aluminum Bronze alloy, but because of the the interior dimensions.  A lot of steel tubes would have erosion problems with the Treso Geometry.  I use two other Ampco alloys which are very similar the Treso alloy because they resist high temperature erosion of nozzles in an extreme environment better than any material we have tried to date.

As far as the hype goes check this out:



This is a TCA Hot Shot, the cross drilled holes seem like a good idea until you think about the gas flow under normal firing.  Is it really a good idea, or just a "different" idea?  People could reply and make the same claim about the Treso tubes.  But, there is a difference...The Treso tubes don't allow more back blast and they don't blow the hammer back to half cock.  Hot Shot shooters accept that as the consequence of having a "hotter" (translate that as higher, faster, sexier, cooler) tube.  

This thread was started as a primer for about revolver cones and cutting through the misconceptions, and remains that today. Let's not get too far off of the subject or we just make what was a nice tidy thread into an unwieldy series of posts going in and out of being on topic.

Regards,
Mako


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« Reply #29 on: July 07, 2011, 08:39:18 pm »

As soon as I drilled out the nipple I made a flash deflector that is held on by the nipple. most of the blowback is contained by the cup shape of the hammer, as a matter of fact if you don't pay attention you will actually get a buildup of expended caps in the hammer recess. I can honestly say I've never had a problem with that rifle and flying pieces of cap.  WM
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« Reply #30 on: July 07, 2011, 10:30:23 pm »

Most people don't realize it, but There is a significant amount of gas that comes back through the flash hole on a standard percussion cap revolver.  The entire pistol is enveloped by a burning "cloud" of gas coming from the cylinder gap and the flash hole.

This sequence is from a high speed study done with an original Colt 1860.  Full attribution is given to Arthur Tobias  in his excellent study. Notice the initial flash from the cap as part of the charge escape around the periphery of the cap in the second and third photos in the sequence.  In the fourth photo it is evident the gas is being blown to the rear through the flash hole.  In fact there is burning gunpowder that has now passed around the sides of the hammer and is moving back towards the shooter before the bullet has left the barrel.



This is another shot of the Colt enveloped with a burning cloud of gas and smoke.  Once again the burning powder is seen shooting back over the hand of the shooter.



Treso tubes help attenuate this back blast.

~Mako
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« Reply #31 on: July 08, 2011, 12:14:42 am »

As always, Mako your post are great and very educational .

Thank you so much.
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« Reply #32 on: July 08, 2011, 03:06:48 am »

Wonderful, Mako.  My hat is off to you and your great explanations and illustrations.

I need some clarification, if possible.  I couldn't find an real definition of "Brisiance."  From what little I found, it seems that my own definition I've been working under is wrong.  My definition is similar and perhaps serves to be "close enough for government work" but I like to be correct.

Also, weren't the Magnum caps created primarily aimed at the Pyrodex shooters?  In my own experience, real BP ignites easily and with about any cap/primer.  Pyrodex, which IS a real BP, but not like the newer subs (which I believe are citrus oriented) is somewhat harder to ignite.  As to the Magnum primers, what has been mentioned is right on, especially about cold temperature ignition.

Thanks again!
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« Reply #33 on: July 08, 2011, 07:33:27 am »

Just shot my Uberti Cattleman Carbine for the first time yesterday and I will tell you those pictures are right on the button. I had much more debris flying back and around than I ever had with my long rifles, percussion or flintlocks. Nice pics Mako enjoyed as usual, especially now that I can see em. WM
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« Reply #34 on: July 08, 2011, 11:00:52 am »

"This is a TCA Hot Shot, the cross drilled holes seem like a good idea until you think about the gas flow under normal firing."

What is the purpose of the cross drilled holes? It baffles me. 
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« Reply #35 on: July 08, 2011, 11:27:54 am »

"This is a TCA Hot Shot, the cross drilled holes seem like a good idea until you think about the gas flow under normal firing."

What is the purpose of the cross drilled holes? It baffles me. 

I've often wondered about that myself.  I don't get a mental visualization that justifies cross-drilled holes, unless it is supposed to allow more oxygen into the mix.
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« Reply #36 on: July 08, 2011, 12:59:55 pm »

Hey Steel Horse,
If you’ll bear with my lengthy explanations I can make it plain for all.  Brisance actually has two meanings that we would be interested in.  The first is the common meaning used with explosives, propellants or other pyrotechnics.  Brisance is basically a “rate” metric.  It is the rate at which a combustion reaction reaches maximum pressure.  If an explosive charge has a sufficiently “high” brisance rate (lower time) then it can create a shock wave which is what you want from a “high explosive” a “low” explosive like BP doesn’t have the shattering effect of a faster explosive because it has a shallow pressure curve and takes longer to make maximum pressure.
 
As an aside BP also has a lower final pressure and expansion velocity than other industrial or common explosives.  This makes it a better propellant than an explosive, just like nitrocellulose powder is a better propellant than an explosive.

The shattering effect is what the first commercial and military applications were looking for, brisance comes from the French word “briser” which means to break or shatter.

We also use the term when it comes to detonation trains, primers, initiators and in our case percussion caps.  In this sense it applies to two elements of the combustion process, the amount of burning gas generated and the distance it will travel.  So, it is volume and the distance which are usually, but not always interrelated.  You can add more of the base priming compound to increase the brisance of a cap or primer, or you can add an extender or booster.  The extender or booster may increase the velocity or the time it will burn (in some cases both). If you have an extender in a cartridge primer it may just allow the burning gas to project out further while it is still at the maximum temperature it will attain.

With an initiator train for a warhead we really don’t care if we create excess pressure or debris because we’re getting ready to make a big bang anyway.  In the case of precision shooting we usually want to minimize the effects of the primer and control our pressures and gas volumes with the propellant instead of the primer.  If you consult a common loading manual you will see differences in pressures with identical loads except for the primers and a warning you will see increased pressures if using certain magnum primers.

I am attaching a portion of a great article German Salazar wrote for the June 2008 issue of Precision Shooting.  These shooters are looking to control the most arcane aspect of each and every cartridge so the search for the primers that have the least amount of pressure deviation at the lowest brisance rate that will effectively ignite their powder.  I’m including it because the pictures illustrate the differences better than I can explain them.  Note these are Bench Rest primers, and look at the ignition and carry differences between these precision primers by manufacturer alone.



Now to address your astute comment about the common usage of “magnum” caps.  You are very correct!  

The problem powders are not so much Pyrodex but the other modern substitutes.  They are more difficult to ignite.  Now that being said the Pyrodex pellets are candidates for magnum caps.  I have sample cans of the substitutes but I really don’t use them.  I get excited when I read about them and upon trying them it’s sort of like “kissing your sister.”  So I tend to relay information about ammunition and loads using Gunpowder and not substitutes.  

Real Gunpowder is very forgiving and really doesn’t need the “new fangled” inventions, magnum caps or primers to set it off.  In fact attenuating the effects back through the flash hole is more of an issue with those of us that want to be competitive in timed shooting events.  I will literally use whatever components I have on hand when loading BP cartridges, it’s really not picky.  But, I am very picky about my cones and how the caps I have on hand fit on those cones.  As I have written, I have had good success with Treso tubes on even muzzleloaders which probably lets the same amount of gas through the flash hole from the cap side (because of the internal geometry) as a standard primer, but then limits the gas flow coming back through the hole from the chamber.

Look at the sequence in my post above, look specifically at frame 2.  There is excess gas which can’t make it through the flash hole on even that 138+ year old Colt’s original tube. If it is given a larger primary chamber in the tube to start down then it can still have a sufficient volume to make it into the chamber and set off the powder with gobs of excess gas to spare.  There is obviously a lot of extra gas volume from the cap that continues into frame 3.  So a smaller hole with a lead in on the cap side will assure enough getting through for ignition while at the same time limiting the orifice size to let gas flow back through the hole.

This is how we are similar to the Bench Rest shooters, we want just enough gas into the chamber to assure consistent ignition.  But then the BR shooter are then concerned about it affecting their pressures, we are just concerned about that pressure having a large hole to get back out of.  If I get the time I may conduct some photo tests with caps and different tubes.  It would be interesting to see the difference in brisance coming out the chamber end of a cylinder with different flash hole sizes and primary tube chamber geometry.  Ideally I would take an old or damaged cylinder and face it off leaving only 1/8” or so of chamber to see the gas shape right at the flash hole exit instead of out at the end of the chamber.  If you look at the photos above you can see some of the primers have a nice gas head right at the exit, yet they don’t project very far (they have “lower brisance”).

Regards,
Mako

P.S.
On the cross drilling comment: priming compound already has it's own oxidizer and it couldn't entrain any air into the mix quickly enough to have any effect.  Primers, propellants and explosives all carry their own oxidizers and contrary to what you see in movies, TV and read in books they will go off in total vacuum sealed or unsealed, also underwater (or in any other environment) if the items which can be affected by moisture don't get wet.
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« Reply #37 on: July 08, 2011, 04:57:04 pm »

The Treso tubes were designed for #11 caps  but as many shooters have found they can use #10 caps if they use a seating stick and additional force to fully seat the cap.

The thought of using extra force to seat caps makes me a mite nervous. Far better to handfit your nipples to the more commonly available caps.

These tubes were modified using a CNC lathe which allowed precise profiling to the taper but the fit could be created with even a file and a tube chucked up in a drill motor.  The secret is to work slowly and measure the diameter at the correct gauge distance from the face of the tube.  If manually modifying tubes it would be best to choose one cap that is readily available and then work the tube until the diameter matches at the gauge height for that cap.

While I agree on the use of a drill to handfit nipples, I would suggest that one would have an easier time using a fine grit knife sharpening stone lubricated with dishsoap or water base machinist oil, rather than be bothered with constantly having to stop and clean the file, which will fast become clogged with filings, especially when handfitting bronze nipples. Plus, use of the stone will give a better finish.

For gauging the right fit, I deaden a cap with penetrating oil, waiting a day to pick out the insides with a wooden toothpick. Using a second toothpick, I mark off the depth of the cap. Using the marked toothpick and the deaden cap, I can now guage my work. Remembering that I want a somewhat tight fit, so the caps don't jump off during recoil.

Great pictures mako, what program are you using for them?

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« Reply #38 on: July 08, 2011, 05:26:23 pm »

Said by an old comic on a long gone TV show:  Ver-ry  Int-er-es-tink!

Thanks for the interesting display and clarification.  My definition of brisiance was the "soft vs. hard" one, but way less technical ... and not entirely correct, it seems.  That was not a term used in my Master Gunner training, which is where I did learn enough to see where your explanation clears up my misconceptions.

My experience with Mag percussion caps was from shooting a LOT of Pyrodex "back in the day" before I had a dependable supply of real Gunpowder.  I have some Trip 7 powder but have not yet used it, and have exactly ZERO experience with ANY of the other subs.  However, as you pointed out, some of the "new fangled" stuff needs more "oompfh" to ignite.  I got around that once with an experience in max loads in my (then) new 2nd Gen. Colt 1st Mod. Dragoon.  I put in around 20 grs. of KIK in the chamber, then topped it off with a 30 gr. Pyro Pellet, a lubed wad and a round ball.  Since the KIK was the initial powder ignited by the cap, no special percussion cap was used ... or needed ... and the pellet had NO problem igniting right along with the loose 3f KIK powder.  It was FUN, 'tho a bit wasteful.  It was VERY "energetic" - even more so than ANY other C&B I've ever fired or been around.  Not for the faint-of-heart!!  I was pleasantly surprised at #1 -- the accuracy, #2 - the recoil (MUCH more than any other BP load I've fired, 'tho still "nada" compared to some smokeyless loads), and since I fired over snow, #3 how little powder was unburned and was sent out the barrel to be thoroughly wasted.  The snow was surprisingly clean after these loads.  (If some of the other readers don't know what I'm referring to, if you fire over snow [like the oldtimers did when testing some of their loads] you'll probably be surprised at how much black residue will be on the snow in front of your firing position, which shows how much unburned powder is wasted upon firing.  I've HEARD tell that up to 50% of a load can be blown out the barrel either unburned or ignited & burning AFTER it has left the gun, therefore adding NOTHING to the fired round.  Simply wasted.  This applies primarily to handguns.)

Again, thanks.

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« Reply #39 on: July 08, 2011, 05:37:30 pm »

Cross drilled percussion nipples have been around since the late 1970s call "Hot Shot Nipples" by Michaels of Oregon. Designed by Dan Pawlak, the inventor of Pyrodex. Claims were " laboratory tests found that these nipples give more consistent muzzle velocity and better accuracy." Also prevents hammer blow back. This info is from an old "Gun Digest". I've used them on rifles but can't say I found them better or worse then any other good quality nipple.
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« Reply #40 on: July 08, 2011, 07:22:40 pm »

...Also prevents hammer blow back. This info is from an old "Gun Digest". I've used them on rifles but can't say I found them better or worse then any other good quality nipple.
Kent,
That would make sense because the back blast could also vent out the cross drilled holes instead of just straight back towards the hammer face.  Since the Hot Shot tubes  have larger flash holes there is going to be significant back blast coming back through that cone.

But, It's like I said before, you can get away with a lot on a single shot rifle.  With a single shot you don't have to worry about blasting your caps into the action, the hammer channel or even shredding the caps because there are no quick follow up shots.  From the experience I have had with muzzleloaders I find a reduced flash hole on the Treso works well and with all of the other advantages it offers such as strength, precision fit to the caps, erosion resistance I would tell anyone to try it for the small price it is for one tube.

For a revolver, Treso tubes are the very first thing I recommend as a purchase to a new shooter on their path to making a reliable percussion revolver.  There are many other things to do to a revolver on that path but this is the first one that involves a purchase.

~Mako
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« Reply #41 on: July 12, 2011, 09:09:44 pm »

This is getting really complicated, wonder how the heck the boys in USA or CSA managed without engineering degrees.

But then only their lives depended on the cap making the pistol go boom, not like the pressure to shoot a 15 second clean stage.
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« Reply #42 on: July 12, 2011, 10:01:07 pm »

This is getting really complicated, wonder how the heck the boys in USA or CSA managed without engineering degrees.

But then only their lives depended on the cap making the pistol go boom, not like the pressure to shoot a 15 second clean stage.

Then we must re-examine your premise.

Actually it isn't hard to explain... There was one source for tubes, and they were expressly designed for the pistols they were putting them on.  No question of which materials, which hole size, how much clearance, etc.  There were some very intelligent and clever I might add engineers, mechanics and machinists who had it all figured out and delivered a pistol ready to shoot.

In addition there really wasn't any question as to which caps to use...No arguing over size 10, size 11 or 1075s.


In fact there was little to ferret out as to what the correct loads should be...






They weren't trying to make a bunch of Italian clones run.

Pretty clever bunch if you ask me...

~Mako
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