Watch: Making Your Own Percussion Caps
Russ Chastain 06.19.17
Many outdoors folks love to do stuff ourselves, whether it’s building shelters, making our own repairs, or loading our own ammunition. Heck, I’ve even built a muzzleloading rifle from a kit. I cast lead bullets and balls for my muzzleloaders, too. And if I wanted to, I could even make my own percussion caps!
This isn’t new tech by any means, but it’s still interesting. I was reminded of it when I wrote about the Sharpshooter 22 LR reloading kit, and saw that they were also selling a tool for making percussion caps using aluminum cans.
You use a punch to create cups of aluminum, then add some sort of pressure-sensitive priming compound. This version naturally recommends the use of the same company’s “Prime-All” priming compound, but some folks simply use the goodie from roll caps for toy cap guns.
The short video below is a demo of Sharpshooter’s #11 Percussion Cap Maker, for which they charge a whopping $50. Do yourself a favor and skip the first 38 seconds ; it’s nothing but splash screens, a.k.a. life-wasters.
This next video shows a homemade version of the same sort of punch tool, and gives instructions for using a cheap 5/32″ punch to cut out the explosive part of a toy roll cap to put inside of the cap to make it go bang.
He snaps a couple of them, and they’re not nearly as loud as any store-bought percussion cap I’ve ever used.
I don’t see any reason to add blackpowder to the caps, but he gives it a try.
I think this makes a lot more sense than trying to reload 22 rimfire ammo, but I hope I never need to make my own caps. If I did, though, it looks like a relatively easy and worthwhile process.