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Carbine 10-17-2007 01:59 AM

How volatile are percussion caps?
The other day I dropped some #11 percussion caps on the concrete while fumbling with the stupid tin lid that would not come loose very easy.

Nothing happened, but the thought crossed my mind about having a lot of these caps stored together and the jostling around that sometimes occurs during transport.

Anybody ever have anything bad happen with caps?

rickrem700 10-17-2007 03:42 AM

You have to smack one pretty good to get it to fire, I doubt you could through a whole tin on the concrete as hard as you could and get them to go off, I would be more concerned about static electricity, than impact, and I really don't know if that would do it, BUT just like an unloaded gun treat it as it is, and alway be carefull x10.

Carbine 10-17-2007 01:37 PM

Thanks for the reply.

I guess they should be fairly safe because they truck them all over the world in those little tins. Maybe the tin containers are to provide some protection if one were to pop somehow.

BlueXJ 12-14-2007 09:59 AM

I use the 209 primers for shotguns and I have never heard of a disasterous situation with one of those. I have smashed one on purpose with a hammer and they don't make much more of a bang than a cap pistol did when I was a child. So I think you have minimal worries there.

deerhuntguy 01-10-2008 11:36 PM


Originally Posted by Carbine (Post 10341)
The other day I dropped some #11 percussion caps on the concrete while fumbling with the stupid tin lid that would not come loose very easy.

Anybody ever have anything bad happen with caps?

I would not want to step on them while bare-foot, might cause a couple round cuts or three :eek: :D

RL357Mag 05-04-2008 08:58 PM

Some are tougher than others. Remingtons are thicker walled than CCI for example - I generally pinch them to get them to stay on the nipple, and the Rems are hard to pinch. In either case I don't think they are prone to firing without being hit with significant force.

c3shooter 05-17-2008 10:40 PM

Well, there is a reason they are not sold in the 5 gal bucket size- by limiting the quantity, they limit the size of a bang if something DOES go wrong. Without being on a nipple, it would take a crushing of the tin to make one pop. Hence the strength of the tin. Beleive it or not, all this stuff- including blasting caps- gets tested for "mass detonation" to be certified as shippable. Have seen some videos from a friend that used to do that testing of the stuff that failed the test (Whoops!) This is also why caps may not be mailed, but must be shipped by UPS GROUND. More than 66 lbs in one shipment, it becomes HAZMAT.

marysdad 05-18-2008 07:10 AM

You raise a good question. Primers are always specially-packaged, to keep them separated while in storage and transit. Percussion caps are usually bulk-packaged in 100's, something that has long been a no-no for primers. Hatcher wrote of an incident where an ammunition-plant worker was killed when the quart-sized container of rifle primers he was carrying detonated. The worker was, apparently, swishing the primers around in the metal container, because he liked the sound it produced. This incident provided the rationale for the primer packaging seen today. I don't know why percussion caps are packaged differently.

h8dirt 06-22-2008 03:29 PM

Jostling around is OK. They've been safely jostled around for over a hundred years. Don't store or transport them in close proximity with powder though -- better safe than sorry.

Slickrick214 06-27-2008 04:56 AM

I have been doing Civil War re-enacting for about three or four years now and I've done everything to caps. So far nothing bad has ever happened to me. For the most part percussion caps are pretty stable. You have to hit them pretty hard to make them go off. Just dropping a cap or shaking them up isn't going to cause them to explode. I've used different brands but the kind I use the most is RWS Dynamite Nobel.

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