Author Topic: Cap testing  (Read 1636 times)

Online ssb73q

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Cap testing
« on: May 21, 2014, 08:15:58 AM »
Hi, the conjecture about which percussion cap make is best goes on and on. I did a little testing to determine if there was a dimes worth of difference between CCI and Remington. All my Pietta 1858 Remingtons have Wolff reduced power springs in them and reliably fire CCI #10 caps. However, I have found that reduced power springs in the 1851 and 1860 Colts problematic for reliable ignition using CCI #10 caps (I never before tried the Remington caps in these revolvers). Mike made a video where he also had problems with the 1851 using reduced power springs, see:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PB3ZKccjEmQ

While Mike shows a few misfires on the first hit, emails from him show that the second hammer hit will then fire the cap, also my experience.

The marginal ignition of the 1851 Colt with reduced power hammer spring seemed a good test platform. I have both old and new CCI and Remington Caps to test using my Pietta 1851. Old and new are relative terms, old is ~20+yrs, new <1yr. These are my cap results (six caps loaded per test, no chamber powder):

New CCI #10
Bare primer mix.
Only 2 out of 6 caps fired on the first hammer strike.
The remaining 4 caps fired on the second hammer strike.

New Remington #10
Bare primer mix.
All 6 caps fired on the first hammer strike.

New Remington #11
Bare primer mix.
All 6 caps fired on the first hammer strike.
Caps had a tendency to fall off cones.

Old CCI #11
Bare primer mix.
All 6 caps fired on the first hammer strike.

Old Remington #11
Metal foil covers primer mix.
5 caps fired on the first hammer strike.
1 cap wouldn't fire even after many hammer strikes.

Something to note is that the new CCI when they fire are very intense, the cap fragments. The new Remington Caps are indeed hotter than the old Remington caps, but it's more like a burning instead of explosion. It's clear to me that #10 caps fit the Piettas much better than #11 caps.

This testing is personally useful to me in that I now know that if I use Remington #10 caps in my reduced power spring Colts with cap and ball, they will fire reliably. I hope you also find this cap testing useful.

Regards,
Richard
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Offline mike116

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Re: Cap testing
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2014, 09:04:21 AM »
Glad to see Remington #10s seem to work well.  Remington caps are the only brand that seems to be available around here.  Although kind of spotty lately caps are mostly easy to find here as long as Remingtons are what you want.   I have not seen any CCI caps for sale locally for at least 2 years.     I have about 1500 Remington #10s on hand and continue to buy only one tin at a time in order to leave some on the shelf for the next guy.
Happy to hear they will work.  I don't have any Wolf springs installed but need to get one for my 1858 I use with a conversion cylinder.

Offline Captainkirk

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Re: Cap testing
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2014, 09:40:02 AM »
Richard, your test data backs up my field experience precisely. I will always use Remington #10's unless unavailable with RWS Dynamit-Nobel #1075 as a preferred second.
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Offline StrawHat

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Re: Cap testing
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2014, 04:24:08 AM »
While Mike shows a few misfires on the first hit, emails from him show that the second hammer hit will then fire the cap, also my experience.
Richard

To me, that sentence indicates the caps were not fully seated, the first hammer strike was softened by the fact the cap was miving into the fully seated position.  The second strike was sufficient to ignite them.

Personally, I have not found the Wolf springs to be all that valuable to me.  I stone the engagement surfaces of the trigger and hammer to give a smooth pull and let off.  To me, that is more important than a trigger pull measured in ounces.  None of my revolvers have a trigger pull less than the weight of the loaded revolver.  They all have smooth crisp trigger pulls.

I have noticed that the springs supplied by Uberti have been reduced in strength over the years.  I have Uberti C&B revolvers from the 60s through to the 90s.  The earlier ones all have stronger springs than the later ones.
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Online ssb73q

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Re: Cap testing
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2014, 06:17:50 AM »
While Mike shows a few misfires on the first hit, emails from him show that the second hammer hit will then fire the cap, also my experience.
Richard

To me, that sentence indicates the caps were not fully seated, the first hammer strike was softened by the fact the cap was miving into the fully seated position.  The second strike was sufficient to ignite them.

Personally, I have not found the Wolf springs to be all that valuable to me.  I stone the engagement surfaces of the trigger and hammer to give a smooth pull and let off.  To me, that is more important than a trigger pull measured in ounces.  None of my revolvers have a trigger pull less than the weight of the loaded revolver.  They all have smooth crisp trigger pulls.

I have noticed that the springs supplied by Uberti have been reduced in strength over the years.  I have Uberti C&B revolvers from the 60s through to the 90s.  The earlier ones all have stronger springs than the later ones.

Hi StrawHat, I agree on the cap seating issue, failure to fire on the first hammer strike.

The main reason I put the reduced power hammer spring in all my BP revolvers is to minimize the mushrooming of firing pins in conversion cylinders. The other benefit is that trigger pull is reduced to where after adding the spring a user would think that the revolver had been given a good trigger job.

BTW,  I recently cut down a reduced power spring to install in one of my new Uberti 1849 Pocket revolvers and found that the new original Uberti spring was lighter and better than the Wolff.

Regards,
Richard
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Offline Captainkirk

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Re: Cap testing
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2014, 12:53:18 PM »
I have found the most dramatic improvement on all my Colt repros an easy fix. I file a smooth, even bevel at the sharp top edge of the spring (where the hammer roller rides) and the wet sand and polish the first (top) inch of the spring (the travel are of the roller) This eases the transition from hammer down to half-cock, and assures a nice, even hammer pull. Oh yeah, after polishing I apply Lubriplate to both roller and spring surface.
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