POTD: Not a Cap Gun, a Real Gun – Maynard Style Tape Primer

   08.04.21

POTD: Not a Cap Gun, a Real Gun – Maynard Style Tape Primer

Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Do you guys and gals remember those cap guns with the rolls of caps when you were kids? I do. The Maynard Tape Primer was a system that basically worked the same way, but it also set off a black powder charge to launch a projectile. Instead of a flintlock or percussion cap gun, these primers would be used in rifles that had a compartment reserved for a roll of caps. The caps would be fed up a ramp and placed over a nipple where percussion caps normally would be. The hammer drops, hits the tape primer, flashes over the powder charge, and shoots the bullet.

Turns out the whole cap gun style of primer does not work well in the field. These came onto the scene in the mid-1800s and were used in small numbers in the American civil war. They worked fine in controlled conditions, but under stress and out in the wild it just did not work very well and quickly was not looked at favorably.

Harpers Ferry Maynard Tape Primer Device [Photograph found in CivilWarArsenal.com, Civil War Arsenal]. (n.d.). Retrieved August 3, 2021, from https://www.civilwararsenal.com/img_1332-jpg/

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