Forster Tap-o-cap experience?

  • Last Post 20 September 2010
bruce posted this 14 December 2009

I just read about the Forster Tap-O-Cap that is used to form percussion caps from aluminum soft drink cans used in conjunction with toy caps. <url=> Has anyone tried this? My only muzzle loader is an in-line. I'm thinking of getting a revolver. I am wide-open to suggestions. I'm leaning towards a '58 Remington style, but I'd love to hear the arguments in favor of a Colt style as well.

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JeffinNZ posted this 14 December 2009

The major issue you will find is locating decent toy caps these days. The modern caps are lame on a good day.

Cheers from New Zealand

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RockChuck posted this 28 January 2010

I would have to agree with Jeffs' viewpoint.  I have one and discovered that ignition wasn't reliable.  Using two or three “caps” improved this somewhat but still wasn't a 100% fix and the extra space taken up by the additional caps increased the already present tendency for these caps to fall off the nipples.(Especially on subsequent shots with revolvers)  Having said that I didn't throw mine away for who knows what desperate days might be ahead.

Chuck Martin

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bruce posted this 28 February 2010

Well, I'm not setting the world on fire with this whole BP hobby of mine, in that I haven't even fired the 1851 Colt Replica (44 cal, brass frame) that I bought before Christmas from Cabela's.

Yesterday I looked for some roll caps, and all I found was the red plastic eight-shot gizmos at the dollar store. So I came home and cut up a coke can and punched a few aluminum cap shells. As I took one of the plastic caps and tried to fit it into the shell, it dawned on me that the things are shaped like caps anyway, so I put one on the nipple of the revolver and blasted it. Then I tried a real cap. Then I took one of each into another room and asked my wife, daughter and another young lady to do the sound comparison for me. They assured me that the commercial cap was significantly louder. At this point I started looking around on the internet to see if anyone had tried firing real BP guns with the red plastic caps. It turns out that people do.  They cost $1 for two 72 shot packs, or $1 for 144 caps.

Has anybody actually fired a real gun with these who will admit it?

Will anyone on this forum admit to having made their own BP?

Has anyone read the article about the old grandma that shot squirrels with her flintlock loaded with powder made from saltpeter, sugar and iron rust?

Inquiring minds want to know!

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jimkim posted this 01 March 2010

I once tried using the head from a match, just to see if it would work. It did. Maybe you could soak some safety matches in denatured alcohol, and make a paste. If you diluted it enough you should be able to use an eyedropper to charge your caps/primers.

I found this. It might help.

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Daryl S posted this 29 May 2010

I used one for several years, back in the late 70's. I made my own priming compound with some nasty stuff - might not be a good political climate to get caught with the components. Kids toy caps were the final reason I sucked it up (the cost) and bought real percussion caps - besides, the potassium chlorate needed in the formula I used, produces very corrosive fouling - bad stuff - but not as bad as perchlorate, which is used in the production of most phony black powders.

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bruce posted this 29 May 2010

Well, this is timely. Earlier this week I went to a local grocery store with my wife. I saw some cap pistols in the toy area that required roll caps. Within fifteen seconds my eyes were resting on roll caps, and inside of twenty seconds I had enough to provide 2000 individual caps in my shopping cart. Mind you, I haven't even fired the gun yet. Then, on Monday my casting buddy emailed me and asked when I wanted to make .454” balls. I immediately ordered a Lee two-hole mold. It arrived Thurday, with no special handling, and last night we cast a good batch of them. If everything works out, Monday being Memorial Day, I will finally light this puppy off. I think my first cylinder full I'll use store-bought primers, then cylinder #2 will be the Forster home-made variety. If those work half decent, I have a good mind to blast a few of the red plastic ones.

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Maven posted this 29 May 2010

"Has anybody actually fired a real gun with these who will admit it?....  Has anyone read the article about the old grandma that shot squirrels with her flintlock loaded with powder made from saltpeter, sugar and iron rust?"

bruce, Found some of the plastic cap pistol caps once and tried 1 or 2 on my rifle.  They went bang, but the gun was unloaded (by design).  As for the saltpeter, rust, and sugar concoction, you can read all about it in one of the U.S. Army field manuals about improvised explosives.  Don't know about “old grandma” and her flintlock though.

Attached Files posted this 31 May 2010


 I have fired my muzzleloading rifles with the red plastic caps and have used the tap o cap   too. They both do work but are marginal at best. With the plastic caps I get three to four shots before the misfires start. A few more with the tap o cap . Its all about fowling keeping the powder away from the nipple. As long as the powder can get up to the nipple ,it works. The caps you buy have enough power to blast the way clear to reach the powder. Two things help with this experiment. A strong hammer hit and a nipple with a somewhat bigger flash hole. In my caps I have had best luck in using four of the paper cap dots. Super Bang caps are working for me. You do have to be selective about which ones to use though. Many are too little. The Mountain State made Spitfire nipple seems to work well for me.

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bruce posted this 31 May 2010,

Thanks for your reply. It sounds like a man who wants to use these alternative ignition approaches would do well to invest in a good nipple pick!


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Daryl S posted this 31 May 2010

Further note about kids toy caps in a Tap-O-Cap made percussion cap. The paper and foil can obstruct the flame passage hole - usually at the very top. Looking in the hole before re-capping is a good idea. A normal sewing needle is all that's needed to clear the bit of paper that sometimes plugs the hole.

Attached Files posted this 31 May 2010

Yes a nipple pick is needed to clear the flash hole. All the paper that is blown down the flash hole is likely the biggest problem.

 These caps will work best in underhammer or mule ear lock type rifles. Both have a direct into the powder flame path. With either of these sucess would be easy to have.


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CB posted this 01 June 2010

Gee, the website says that this product is unavailable.

So much for that idea.


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bruce posted this 01 June 2010

My wife called in and they said I would get it in Jan (2010). I got it sometime in January, ordered before Christmas. I'd say call if you want one

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Daryl S posted this 01 June 2010

Further note- when I got mine, back in about 1976, the Canadian beer and pop cans were thin steel. Although hard on the tap-o-cap's teeth, these steel caps worked perfectly, and were re-0usable. They'd merely expand slightly for easly removal, then running them back into the die would re-form them to new shape. Some, I got 3 or 4 firings from before they split. I used 5:1:1 mix of pre-1898 from “The Pictoral History of the Underhammer” Hershal Logan. Apparently, the formula is unstable if mixed wet, btw.

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bruce posted this 20 September 2010

I finally fired my bp revolver for the first time. I was using soft lead .454” balls made from a Lee mold. Good fun. I need to do that again. I didn't use the Forster-made caps the first time. Nor did I try any home-made powder. All of this may happen later. Cleaning the thing up afterward was interesting. I had read about busted caps in the lockworks. I found one! I have found an article about modifying Colts so this doesn't happen. BP revolvers are not for the impatient!

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