View Full Version : Newbie question: trouble seating caps.

July 11, 2002, 07:18 AM
I have a 1876 Army Police revolver from Cabela's.
This is my first experience with black powder.

Here is the problem:
I have a lot difficulty getting the caps to seat.
It uses #10 caps.
If I press the caps on really, really hard, they will go off on the first strike.

Usually, I cock the hammer six times, and pull the trigger.
-Six "dry fires".
The next six times I cock the hammer,
-The revolver fires six rounds.

I am concerned about using a screwdriver or something to put extra pressure on the caps, that they may ignite prematurely. :eek:

Since all six go off on the second strike, I don't think it is a weak hammer spring.

All ideas, suggestions, appreciated.

Ceol Mhor
July 11, 2002, 08:34 AM
You might try slightly larger caps...either #11s or a brand of #10s that are a tad bigger. I use CCI #10s on my 1860 Armys and they work great...

July 11, 2002, 10:39 AM
Ceol Mhor,

Thanks for that advice.
I wondered if #11 caps would fit.
Will they fall off easily?

I had trouble finding #10s around here.
Everyone shoots rifles, so I will have trouble finding a different brand of #10.
(Not sure which brand I have. It was the only one available.)

I can certainly give #11s a try.
Several stores have those.

Thanks again.

July 11, 2002, 04:56 PM
Have you tried tapping them on with a hammer? :D But seriously though, cap sizes vary a lot from one maker to another. What brand caps are you using? I have several Peitta-made revolvers from Cabelas and I found that the Remington #10 caps work best on them. They fit snug enough that they won't call off and loose enough that they fully seat on the nipple and fall off (most of the time) after they are fired. I thint it's just going to take a little experimentation to find out which ones fit best and stick with that particular size and brand of cap.

July 12, 2002, 09:22 AM

Thanks for that advice.
I am normally good at troubleshooting, (what I do for a living,
:rolleyes: ), but I didn't think of a different brand.

I am not sure what brand I am shooting now. It was the only #10 I found after checking 5 different places.

I will see if I can snoop out some Remingtons.

Man, there is just something about easing the hammer back and squeezing off a shot.
I love this cap-n-ball revolver!
It is a .36 cal. and the report/recoil seems equal to a .22.

Mike Weber
July 12, 2002, 02:59 PM
One thing that I had to do with a couple of my Navy Arms revolvers was to chamfer the nipples. This was a last resort measure as I could not get either #10 or #11 caps to seat properly. Here is how I did this. I chucked each nipple into a 3/8 drill at low speed I used a flat needle file to give a very slight bevel to the cone end of to each nipple. This must be done slowly and very carefully, you don't want to remove too much metal. You only want to put a slight bevel at the cone end of the nipple. This works even better on a drill press. If using a hand drill you want to secure the drill to your work bench so as not to shift the angle of your file cuts. Chamfering the nipples helps a great deal with seating your caps snugly. This also helps in having your fired caps fall away from the nipple rather than stick and jam up the cylinder. I haven't had any problems in seating caps on my C&B revolvers since I have done this.

July 17, 2002, 06:56 AM
Thanks Mike,

I was wondering about taking a little material off of the nipples.

The caps I am using are CCI, and every single dealer near me carries only CCI , so unless I go to a gunshow, my options are limited. :(
(Don't want to order 1000 caps and pay $20 hazmat fee, without knowing if that would fix the problem.)

I may buy a box of #11s, and if that doesn't work......
Drill press here I come!

July 17, 2002, 11:00 PM
You might want to try making and using a "seating stick",a 6" or so length of 1/4 "dowel...use it to gently push the caps on tighter

July 18, 2002, 08:58 AM
I use CCI #11's on my Cabela's 1851 Navy .44 cal revolver. Almost all of them fire the first time.

The thing jams pretty easily though, usually due to fired caps that disintegrate enough to fall off, but then get caught in the cracks.

I haven't yet tried CCI #10's on this revolver. I tried them on my Ruger Old Army, but they didn't seem to seat well, but have to admit that I was doing that by hand, not with a capper tool. In any case I went to #11's on the Ruger, and they work fine. It doesn't jam, either. At least not during the 1 range trip (about 50 shots) I've had it out.

July 19, 2002, 08:32 AM
Well, here's the progress so far:

No dealers within 1 hour drive carry anything but CCI caps, so I am stuck with them until the next gunshow.

I have two sets of nipples, so I cautiously shaved some material off of one set, until the caps fit better by hand. They still don't seat with the pistol capper.
It appears that Cabela's pistol capper (the little brass on that is kind of shaped like a sperm) is designed so that no matter how hard you try, it "bottoms out" before it the primers are seated deep enough.
If the nipples were a few millimeters longer, it might work.

I plan on trying some #11 caps Saturday.
A wooden "cap seater" stick is an option, but I would like to be able to shoot this thing with the least hassle possible.
If the #11s don't work, I will probably see if Cabela's will take it back.

I may be niave, and this is my first experience with black powder, but I have been shooting long guns and handguns for 30 years.
If a gun is sold as working with #10 caps, then any tin of #10 caps that I purchase should work.
Oh, for a perfect world. :rolleyes:

The Cabela's service dept. said they were not aware of any problems with CCI caps.
Maybe more people will call.
Do that many of you actually have a choice of caps to choose from?
I've called a dozen dealers, and checked Walmart.
It's CCI or if you don't want those, you can get CCI. :mad:

July 19, 2002, 12:16 PM
Maybe the problem is the capper.

Based on your description (to me it looks like a 'comma') I think you got the one that a Cabela's phone order person told me doesn't work with the 1858 Army style revolver. If your 1876 Army Police is like it, then that may explain things.

I use the straight line model. Of course it only holds about 20 or so caps, and your kind holds a lot more than that. The straight line one works on my Cabela's 1851 Navy, and also a Ruger Old Army.

Good luck with the #11's on Saturday.


July 29, 2002, 09:19 AM
Hey guys,
Been gone for a week, but I took the revolver out with some CCI #11 caps on 7/20.

They seat much easier.
Out of 24 rounds, 23 fired on the first try. :D
I think I can live with that.

The gun is all kinds of fun to shoot.
Soft recoil, low "thump" sound for noise, and way accurate.

I am looking forward to spending more time at the range, but it looks a lot more promising now.
(Shooting this thing really makes you realize how thrilled shooters must have been when metallic cartridges were introduced.)

-Oh, and to reply to KenF:
I purchased the accessory kit that Cabella's offers.
It came with a straight line capper that wouldn't even fit on the nipples! The caps also had a tendency to fall over, so they were sideways when you were ready to charge the revolver. I was able to use it after grinding and shaping the end so that it would fit.
When I called Cabella's, they sent me the "comma" shaped one for free.
It fits much better, and caps don't fall over.

Thanks for all of the advice.
I think I have become a black powder shooter!

July 29, 2002, 10:38 AM
there can be considerable variation between different brands of caps. CCI#11 gave unreliable ignition on my Ruger, CCI#10 was even worse, Remington #11 gave several misfires with Pyrodex, only more-or-less satisfactory ones were RWS#1075. I made a pusher-on tool out of brass rod, counterbored to accept the cap, and turned to clear the contour of the back of the frame. Now it never (seldom) misfires.
You might try another brand of replacement nipples

Mike Weber
July 31, 2002, 08:10 AM
Welcome to the world of smoke and soot. I think that you will really enjoy C&B revolvers. I just ordered two more of them from Cabela's 1858 Remington New Model Armies.:D The comma shaped capper that you referred to is a revolver capper. these were designed for use with C&B revolvers.