View Full Version : Make you own #11 caps?

10-30-2005, 11:41 AM
I noticed in my Midsouth catalogue that Foster Products has a Tap-O-Cap that you can use to make #11 caps from aluminum cans and toy roll caps. Anybody ever heard of this? Does it really work? Sounds interesting and only costs $18.66.



10-30-2005, 11:48 AM

It's like this, you notice the new inline muzzle loaders today have all three ignition systems, the #11 cap, the musket cap, and the 209 shotgun primer. Is that telling you anything? Hotter spark is what it's telling you. I have an inline and ALL I use in it is the 209 primer....just about gauranteed that charge is going to go off with a 209. I would have to imagine that a factory #11 cap is hotter then a cap pistol cap charge.


10-30-2005, 11:56 AM
I noticed in my Midsouth catalogue that Foster Products has a Tap-O-Cap that you can use to make #11 caps from aluminum cans and toy roll caps. Anybody ever heard of this? Does it really work? Sounds interesting and only costs $18.66.


You must not have kids or you just havent played with roll caps in a while. They have apparently been redesigned buy the Japanese law firm of Sosueme and Sosuememore and now are rather ah Poo Poo. Mostly misfires and fizzes and smell like yesterdays beans at the old folks home. I wouldnt expect good ignition.

45 2.1
10-30-2005, 11:58 AM
Forster used to make a Tap-o-Cap that was used in a reloading press, which I have. Makes very well fitting caps. Very usefull for all the Blackpowder pistols. They are a little less usefull in rifles, all that bending in the fire channel. Part of the problem is finding Hot (not a brand, just loud ones) toy caps, some of them are about useless. I would use them for anything that was not serious. If your going to hunt with it, use the factory jobs.

10-30-2005, 12:10 PM
Speaking of caps here is one of the stupid things my friends did (honest I never done this). They would take a whole roll of caps, the ones about four inches long and put them in their Dad's vise and clinch it down real tight, then hit the vise handle with a hammer!!! BOOM!!!! My one friend did this and he blew his Dad's vise apart!!!!!!!! Even as a kid, my ******* experiments were done half-assed safe. I wouldn't want to be that close to all those caps going off in a vise and I would have been leery of metal shrapnel or such.

Yes caps back in the old days were alot hotter then todays caps...alot hotter.


10-30-2005, 04:34 PM
I was thinking of maybe trying it for my .36 and .44 cal. revolvers. I've heard it all now. I guess I'm going to have to go load testing with a cap gun. :lol:

10-30-2005, 06:30 PM
I have one of these, and have played with it a bit. Dixie Gun Works recommend using Canadian made caps, as they are hotter. I suspect these aren't common on the U.S. market.
For any luck at all, I've had to use two or three US caps, and they have an unnerving habit of going off when you are putting them in the cap, no matter how gentle you are. This always concerned me, about capping a loaded rifle. I have a great dis-affinity for having cap fragments driven into my fingers.
I have used a primer flask of 4f to fill the nipple, and then used a single cap with some success. The results though, are hangfires.
There is a formula with potasium chloride, charcoal, and gum arabic I will play with some day, and see what kind of trouble I can get into with it. The potassium chloride is very corrosive, so prompt cleaning would be a must, maybe moreso than just black powder fouling.

10-30-2005, 10:54 PM
Sounds like more hassle than it's worth. I think I'll leave the cap guns to the kids.

MT Gianni
10-31-2005, 12:22 AM
About 10 years ago I bought an adaptor for a TC Hawken to use small rifle primers. They are not a fast recap but always go bang or boom and are about 1/3 the cost of #11 caps. It wouldn't work with your pistols but it's a cheaper reliable fire. gianni.

10-31-2005, 02:32 AM
When I was a lad back in the early 60s me and Daimen Hughes would take a couple of rolls of caps and roll them up in a small piece of carpet that had been doused with gasoline. We'd put a snail in one end and then set the whole thing on the curb. (Don't do this at home kids, leave it to the professionals) Finally, we'd take a large steel hammer and smack the roll. The blast would be deafening, the gas would produce an outrageous fireball and the poor snail would be shot across the street and into the neighbor's house with a resounding smack. God must have been watching over us because we never got so much as a singed hair.

On another occasion, a few years later, (70-71) I bought a small cap pistol that used the plast of a cap to shoot a plastic bullet a few feet out of the barrel. I got the brainy idea that if one cap was good, three would be better. Man it sure was. Those plastic bullets came out of there with real authority! So, on to phase three. This time I carefully removed the powder from maybe ten caps. I dumped that into the cartridge and pushed the plastic bullet into the case. Then I stuck a cap on the back and loaded her up. I distinctly remember thinking this might not be safe so I held the gun up over my head and closed my eyes. I pulled the trigger and felt the gun disintegrate in my hands. Chunks of metal came down all around me and my ears smarted from the sound of the blast. Needless to say, the Consumer Product Safety Commission would never approve that toy today but dang, it was glorious in its time. I often wonder how I managed to survive those days. Believe me, I'm a whole lot more cautious today. Why I'd never even think of making a firecracker and marbel cannon these days. No sir, not me. :)

10-31-2005, 08:53 AM
Why I'd never even think of making a firecracker and marbel cannon these days. No sir, not me. :)[/QUOTE]

Hell, you didn't have a patent on ignorant stunts kids played when kids were allowed to be kids..hehe, if you did, then I violated it!

I recall at about age 12, that I learned how to solder while helping the old man plumb the house. Hmm, the old man was a BP shooter from way back. Now, you ever notice how a capped 1/2 piece of copper pipe resembles a cannon barrel? Well, I thought it did anyway. The old man always had a copy of a Dixie Gun Works catalog laying around. Ol' Turner Kirkland had a habit of spilling his guts on most everything that was interesting....like how to make 'aerial bombs' with shotgun shells and a black powder 'recipe'. Ooooh, that was some interesting **** to an enterprising young lad with an eye for mischief.

So, while the old man is gone to work, I make some custom copper pipe cannons...nailed to a 2x6 with fence staples of course. Drilled a touch hole and used firecracker fuses. But no, I didn't use a pisswilly firecracker for propellant.......I knew where the old man's powder horn was:). I didn't have bullet mold...never even saw one at the time...the old man must have bought his. So, out comes the 1/2" drill and I poke holes in a pine board and pour them full of plumbers lead..then split the board away... looked great to me!

Now, how much black goes in? Oh, I dunno..just pour some in.....ol' Turner says you can't blow a BP gun up if you filled the entire barrel. Probably dumped in...150 grains....wadded up some Charmin stuffed it in and then down goes the 'bullet'..put some Charmin on top too..so it won't fall out. Now, where the hell am I gonna go and touch'er off? Where I did most everything else, like smoke cigarettes and look at Oui and Penthouse magazines....over at the old farm across the road.....the corn cribs still stood over there and made a perfect hangout place.....maybe 300 acres of bottoms too.....fer huntin' (all full of factories now, damn the progress).

I had one of my dumber partners along...yeah, we were the original Dumb and Dumber. I says, here Donnie, you wanna hold it and touch'er off? Hell no! Hmm, me neither..let's prop it agin that tree over yonder....light the fuze and run! damn good thing we did. We never did see that cannon barrel again after it flew past us going about 500 fps. There was a ravine..sorta wet and swampy, and full of brush....we heard it crash in there. WE did however find the 2x6 gun carriage, all blackened and there was a hell of a hole in the tree we pointed it at. We had planned a 2" black iron pipe cannon, but that never got built after this demonstration:). Ah man.....them was some fun times 35 years ago. You oughta see how far a .410 shotgun can shoot a sharpened piece of dowel!

10-31-2005, 10:38 AM
One of my favorite activities was to put a 12 gauge shotshell on a stump, back off about ten feet, and shoot the primer with my BB gun. Five pumps was usually enough to fire the primer. Tony

10-31-2005, 12:40 PM
we use to be in the woods alot, building shacks and making fires to roast potatoes and some evil dumb sons of b*t*hes got the bright idea of throw 12 ga shotshells in the fire. I didn't like that.

My son every once in awhile asks me how to make such things he overheard me talking about to someone, such as a pipebomb. Wife says "You do and I'll divorce you"


Ken O
10-31-2005, 10:15 PM
One of the games we used to play, was to go to an orchird and pick a bunch of apples. Then we would go to brushy area and have war games. We would slide through the brush sneaking up on each other, take a phillips screw driver and punch a hole in the apple and insert a firecracker, lite it and try to time it so when we threw it at the opponet it would blow up giveing him a healthy dose of applesause. Lots of fun!

11-01-2005, 12:56 AM
I've got one of the tap o cap, but haven't used it yet. THere was a good internet article on where to buy good caps, and how to use it from a guy that had used one for years.

I think he used 2-3 caps in each one.

11-01-2005, 12:59 AM
Here it tis...


11-01-2005, 05:05 AM
And then there was the time the police got called on us when we were teens and celebrating the Fourth by lighting off fire crackers and bottle rockets, and jousting with Roman candles. There were too many good places for us to hide, so they ran all over here and there looking behind bushes and getting their nice clean uniforms all covered with burrs wading through the puckerbrush. When they got sick of it, they got back in the cruiser and started to drive off. One of the brighter members of our crew had a cherry bomb and a wrist rocket and managed to put it through the open window and into the back seat from about forty feet away. Needless to say, it caused more than a bit of commotion. Thirty kids all running in thirty different directions and they must have had half the force there in about five minutes, but they were too late to catch anyone. That's one I'm very careful not to tell my kids about. :holysheep

11-02-2005, 12:38 AM
Starmetal, why didn't you try taking the whole roll setting it on the railroad tracks and smacking it with an eight pound hammer? How did we ever survive?

11-02-2005, 01:51 AM
Highway flares make a big bang when taped to RR tracks and struck by the steel wheels of a freight train. Don't ask me how I know...I just do.

11-02-2005, 11:56 AM
The railroad use to have these devices that in my area were called "torpedoes". What they were is a cake of something with alot of phosphorus in it, about 1/2 inch thick and oh about 1 1/2 inch square with a two long lead straps coming out of each side, kinda making it look like a wristwatch. They put these on the top of the rail and the straps go around the rail to anchor it. When the steel wheel of the train rides over them they explode with a very loud report. What they were used for was a signaling device. I don't know the code but say three loud booms meant to stop immediately. Jumptrap knows about these.

Anyways the railroad men gave us some when we were kids. Boy the things we used and made from them.


11-02-2005, 12:32 PM
Speaking of railroads and explosions...

Back in bout 1970, in Roseville, CA there were some WW2 bombs buried near a new railroad yard being built. THose suckers started exploding one day, and It shook our whole house in Sacramento, nearly 15 miles away. It blasted the crap out of the area, and homes in the area- and the bombs were spread out too. Lots of em.

Later in life, one of my neighbors lived very close by then, and she laid down in the bathtub to ride it out. Blew the whole house up around her, roof, walls and all.

That was what it must have felt like to be close to an arial bombing, I would imagine.

11-02-2005, 12:58 PM
"That was what it must have felt like to be close to an arial bombing, I would imagine."

I remember the B-52 saturation bombing back in WW Vietnam. I was 5 miles away, and that was WAAAY too close for me.

11-02-2005, 01:34 PM
The railroad use to have these devices that in my area were called "torpedoes". What they were is a cake of something with alot of phosphorus in it, about 1/2 inch thick and oh about 1 1/2 inch square with a two long lead straps coming out of each side, kinda making it look like a wristwatch. They put these on the top of the rail and the straps go around the rail to anchor it. When the steel wheel of the train rides over them they explode with a very loud report. What they were used for was a signaling device. I don't know the code but say three loud booms meant to stop immediately. Jumptrap knows about these.

Anyways the railroad men gave us some when we were kids. Boy the things we used and made from them.


Oh ****, I can tell all sorts of tales about 'tarpeedoes' and some are not very good.

I was raised near the railroad tracks and less than a mile from what was, at one time, the largest privately owned rail yard in the world. The Russell Yard that belonged to the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway was 4 miles long and maybe a half or three quarters wide. This facility actually consisted of several smaller yards......the coal receiving yard, the coal hump and classifying yard, the manifest receiving tracks and Manifest Hump and classifying yard (called the Sputnik yard because it was built in 1957). Then there was the westbound yards and the eastbound classifying yards. Within all this was a large roundhouse and ready track facility, a Shoptrack for running repairs on cars, a tie yard which later was converted to a welded rail plant and the Raceland Car Shops that built new rolling stock.

I worked as an engineer for 27 years in and around this complex.

A 'torpedo' is exactly what Joe says it is, a signalling device. Now, back when the Coal Hump was in operation, there were 20 receiving tracks for trains inbound from the mines and then 52 classifying tracks on the west face of the Hump. Long before radio communication was practical, they devised a signal system for the men who caught the rolling cars coming off the hump and tied them down with handbrakes. These 52 tracks were divided amongst 5 men, each having about 10 tracks to watch. Each man used a different number of 'caps' as we called them on his tracks. So, when cars were turned down a clear track that had to be tied up, he would know if they were coming to 'his' tracks. Say for example, I had tracks 1-10, my signal was 2 caps. Joe may have had tracks 32-40 and his signal was 4 caps. Once your tracks were tied down, you could prop up your feet until they coubled the tracks or a train pulled out of them. When I would hear a boom-boom..I would have to go see which of my tracks a car was coming into, go climb aboard and tie the brakes up. We would walk these tracks first thing in the morning and place our torpedos about 100 feet apart....that is lay 2 on the rail, about 3 feet apart and then walk 100 feet and lay 2 more....if 2 was my assigned number. The young boys were always stuck with the tracks using the most caps....hell you'd have to leave the shanty carrying a grocery bag full of them! The old heads would have the tracks using one or two caps..generally could carry them in their pockets.

So, boys being boys and the only thing seperating men from from boys is the size of their toys.........there were lots of 'grenades' made during the slack times in the coal yard. These were made using a vienna can ( a railroaders staple food!). Several torpedos were unwrapped and the yellow 'cake' of explosive removed...it is about 1/4" thick, 1" wide and 1.5" long. This was pulverized into a powder using the dull end of a chisel. With about 10 of these crushed, 2 washers from tack bolts went in the can first, your powder wrapped in a paper towel went in next, 2 more washers on top and then the can crimped closed. This was a serious toy. I have seen them tossed by men with very good arms, against the side of a hopper car...no military grenade is more powerful. The ground would shake and usually, the yardmaster about a mile to the east would ring the yard line and ask who threw the grenade..he could hear it there and him inside the building! The lead was always stripped from the yard caps...this was accumulated and then traded for beer about once a month....yeah, this was before the piss tests. There would be enough lead sold to buy a couple cases which lasted most of the afternoon. The lead was also removed to keep from getting hit in the eye by a flying piece.

The last installment of this 'tome' is about a kid I knew. This was well before my railroad days. This boy and some of his buddies made a pipe bomb using torpedo powder and he blew his right hand off in the process. That was probably 35 years ago...maybe a bit longer.

Railroad torpedos ain't nothing to mess with. I once saw an engine lifted off the rails when some un-named individual who for **** and grins, laid a whole sack of them on the rails in the yard...probabley 75 went off at once with a terrific yellow bang....he-he! That engine weighed 379,000 pounds and had 6 axles...so lets say there was 60,000 pounds on each axle...that'd be 30,000 on each wheel...so, it lifted 30,000 pounds a few inches in the air.

Leave them alone.

11-03-2005, 12:13 PM
Dang, those torpedoes sound like a lot of fun! They must have used a bunch of them "in the old days"! Bet they were plentiful around the rail yards. Not too sure I'd want to be within throwing distance of one of the vienna sausage "grenades" though! I wonder if they would explode when shot? Guy name Dapkus in PA I think, makes some exploding targets that are very impressive! They are just a piece of styrofoam with a sticky back and a 1" red bull on the front. Go off like a twelve gauge when hit! Seen some puny chinese imports that weren't nearly as good.

I could have made some good money at the range one day due to these targets. I had my Marlin M62 in .256 Win mag at the Rod and Gun club on Ft. Bragg NC. I was all alone so I put out three of these targets on the ground about the 50 yard line. When I got back to the bench some "local commandos" arrived with folding stock AR's, AK's and pistol-gripped shotguns and commenced to fire for effect .. just generally down range with the emphasis on quantity of fire not accuracy. I wanted for a lull when they were reloading and touched off a round at one of the targets.. BLAM! The range got very quiet then! I casually did the same twice more and the leader of the pack slidels up to me and asked what I was shooting.. I showed him the little .256 and he says "And it hits like that!!!" He was impressed, might impressed and I could have sold a good bit of that "explosive" ammo! :)

11-03-2005, 12:47 PM
A torpedo won't explode if you shoot it, they just shatter.......the compound in them requires compression or a very sharp blow...like a hammer. The explosion from a RR torpedo is akin to an M80 or the old Silver Salutes...now think about hitting that with a hammer 2 feet in front of your face.

Those homemade grenades were fun, but so damned dangerous. Those big 2" washers made serious shrapnel....take your head off or at least put a big hole in it. I am not exaggerating.......the force from one of those gadgets was unbelievable...in todays atmosphere, some goddamned alphabet agency Gestapo types would have you in the gulag for making terrorist bombs.

11-03-2005, 12:54 PM
We used pieces of those torpedoes to make "bolt" bombs, talk about dangerous shrapnel.


11-03-2005, 01:24 PM
My Dad was a gandy dancer for 43 years on the Erie Lackawana. He started when they were steem. He never would accept a position upgrade, as he alwasy said he didnt want to have to tell his friends what to do. Told me he started with men waiting on both sides of the tracks for someone to get fired and get the job. Said he got hired and was given a spike hammer and a 200lb keg of spikes and off you go down the tracks. These old time RR men had a certain shuffling gait to them from walking ties for many years. They could drive a spike with two blows of that big narrow nose hammer and you could hold it with confidence you wouldnt be hurt. I shure miss my Dad!!! In all those years he never missed a day accept to get me out of trouble. He was an honorable man and I am proud of him. It was never hard to find a handfull of torpedoes or fuzeezes in his work things. My brother and I once snipped some of the real old ones. The last ones I recall looked like brown raviolies but these were the much older round paper ones that looked like a cope can with lead strips comming out. I climed up a big maple tree and brother sat the big cap on a rock and handed me a base ball bat. I aimed down the bat and let it go several times before I finaly hit that cap. KAAA-BOOOOMMMM and that bat rocketed past me with a firey tail up through that big ol maple. I jumped down all wide eyed and looked at brother him all wide eyed too and we shuffled out of there right quick never saying a word but knowing full well we would never try that again even if we did survive Dad finding out.

11-03-2005, 02:05 PM
One of the local "no-hopers" liked to make noises. Last time, he capped a length of pipe, filled it with the tips off several boxes of kitchen matches, and tried to squeeze the open end closed in a vise. When it blew, it shattered the vise, and spread bits of his fingers all over the place. He survived, but we haven't heard any bangs from the "Deep End" lately.

Ever make a "match pistol" out of a wooden clothes-pin? Take it apart, file one of the spring recesses to make a square corner, rubber-band the small ends together with the spring rigged to make a one-piece trigger+sear+hammer and set a "strike anywhere" match into it. It would snap the match alight and throw it about ten - fifteen feet.

When I was a kid, we ran across a couple of boxes of the old copper-cased .25 Stevens RF cartridges. We found you could wiggle the bullet out, stuff the case over the end of a half-length of 1/4' dowel, and shoot it at something solid with an "el-cheapo" toy bow. Made a nice bang, and no-one actually got hit with the dowel bouncing back. I also found a box of old .40-82 BP rounds. Pull the bullet, stick a strip of paper into the case, light one end and stand back - made a nice rocket. A' course the cartridge collectors would kill me for it now.

Tame stuff compared to some of you guys' tales, but I still wonder how we all survived. I guess we don't hear from them as didn't.


11-03-2005, 03:26 PM
In high school....took an empty large size CO2 cartridge, popped that crimped on cap they use to have on them back then off. Filled it full of 3F BP, stuck a 1/8 in dia cannon fuse in it, waxed it to seal it. Then filled a bowl up with BB gun BB's. Coated the cartridge with plastic model airplane glue, dipped it in the BB's. Let it dry. Coat it with glue again, dip it in BB's. Did this till it was dang near tie size of a baseball. Gave it to a friend in school and gave him strict instructions to set it off in the woods, not town, not his backyard, to make sure you could run behind something substancial, like a giant oak tree or something, light the fuse, run like hell. Well, the dumb**** (me too for making it) lit it off in his grandfathers out building wood shaddy. Yup....according to him it blew it just about down. This was in the early sixties....like Jump said do that now and the FBI would have your ***. The local country gunsmith would sell up BP, at age 14...unbelieveable today. Was 50 cents a pound, bring your own empty can.


11-03-2005, 09:05 PM
Ever make a "match pistol" out of a wooden clothes-pin? Take it apart, file one of the spring recesses to make a square corner, rubber-band the small ends together with the spring rigged to make a one-piece trigger+sear+hammer and set a "strike anywhere" match into it. It would snap the match alight and throw it about ten - fifteen feet.

Yep me and my partners in crime made and used the match guns.

Then one day about 15 minutes after I dumped a whole box of kitchen matches in my pants pocket, they all went off at once, had a hell of a burn about silver dollar size on my thigh, that ended the match guns for me, Mom was really pissed.
good luck

11-03-2005, 11:48 PM
My Dad was a gandy dancer for 43 years BIC/BS

My Dad was an ol'rail too. Retired from C&NW. Nothing as romantic sounding as a gandy dancer, but I do remember going to a gandy camp once. He made me stay in the truck, as no telling what kind of art would be hanging on the walls of the cars. I sure miss him too. He used to say that Ol'rails came back as gophers and lived under the tracks. I can't go over a crossing without looking for one.

I remember seeing some torpedoes that he had stashed, but never did get to hear one going off.


11-04-2005, 01:36 AM
the torpedoes we used were red paper and rectangular and all this was dipped or covered in shellac. On the bottom was sand...must have been applied while the shellac was wet..it was there to hold them on the rail instead of sliding.

For the life of me, I cannot remember who made them...so small company. If I can find some out in the tractor shed, i'll try to post a picture.

Torpedoes are great from smoking out squirrels and coons.........illegal of course, but we never invited the game warden/fish cop hunting.

Take a torpedo and just cut one corner a little, light it and toss it in the hollow tree. It'll just burn a real smokey fire......the explosive is much the same compound as in fusees (Fyoo-Zee)...with something added....an oxidizer of some sort to make it go BANG. A fusee burns too long and hot...set the tree on fire...a torpedo burns just long enough...sure beats twisting them out with a green briar.....all of you should have been boys in the hills of eastern Kentucky....damn we had a time.

11-06-2005, 01:59 PM
Here's a cap supplier:



11-08-2005, 09:01 PM
My tap-o-cap arrived today from midsouth. I fished through the trash, got a few cans and commenced punching 'em out. It is a very neat little tool.
The instructions that came with mine said to use three caps per percussion cap. I did so and got all six to go off in my remington 1858. I then tried two, and didn't get one bang. I was using el-cheapo caps from the grocery store, made in china. I intend trying some other brands to see if they work better.

Using this tool is very labor intensive. Punching them out with the tap-o-cap is easy, kind of fun, actually. Putting the little cap cutouts into the percussion cap is a pain in the neck. I shoot on an average of 100 caps per shooting session...not sure that I want to give up the store-bought caps just yet. However, it is something that one could fall back on in a pinch. Caps are hard to come by where I live. Everyone is shooting 209 primers in their muzzleloaders. So, I could see where the tool has some merit.

Here is a link to another source online


11-09-2005, 08:43 PM
Tap O Caps... Got one. I could only find Canadien made caps, dunno their name at the time. I bought up all that Meijers had tho. They wouldn't set of BP/Pyrodex/anything else I tried tho. Every once in a while when punching out the caps, ......BAM!:shock: It do make ya a bit gunshy. I used the cans from V-8 for it. I'll have to get some of them american made caps, as the instructions recommended. I would like them to work in my .32's.

As an aside. I always was a pyro. My gramps took me out with some M-80's. He lit one, put it under a coffe can, and gave it a quick stomp. The roar weren't muffled at all, and we lost sight of the coffee can on the way up. I found it shreaded in the woods about 3 months later, after looking hard for it! Also had some moron toss one in the river next to me while swimming once. I came up for air and then watched this gueyser! My best was in the USMC, while on a shoot down into a draw. I watched this F-16 doing what looked like a strafing run a few times, then he dropped a 500lb'r a half mile away from us. the ground shook so hard we were literally a foot off the ground! [smilie=b: Stupid butterbar didn't call in our position, I recon.

11-09-2005, 09:28 PM
Starmetal, why didn't you try taking the whole roll setting it on the railroad tracks and smacking it with an eight pound hammer? How did we ever survive?

Roll Hell, we used to use the whole BOX!! :holysheep :holysheep :holysheep
BaDABOOOM! Almost as much fun as shooting the 16ga. shells with the .22 after drillin holes in wood to fit 'em into. Great way to split your firewood!

11-09-2005, 10:42 PM
I've still got my firecracker cannons I collected from gunshows as a kid.

They autta be worth somethin' now I'd think?

I'm gonna try those caps made in Germany, in the link I posted above. Them krauts make good stuff, and prolly work good for tap-o-cap.

MT Gianni
11-10-2005, 12:40 AM
From someone who had to walk 4 1/2 miles as a kid just to lay a penny on the tracks I have really enjoyed this thread. Firecrackers, sparkler bombs gunpowder what 14 year old alive now or 40 years ago thinks these things need rules. Gianni.

11-10-2005, 03:13 PM
'Bout 20+ years ago, our neighbor across the street worked for the railroad. No idea which one. He always had a good supply of flares and torpedoes. Boxes of 'em.
As there were a bunch of us kids in this otherwise peaceful suburban neighborhood, the 4th of July and New Year's were always good reasons for celebration with large amounts of Class-C explosives. (With my Uncle running one of the larger seasonal fireworks distributors, supply was never a problem.) Anyways, the neighbor's sons would usually use a couple of rows of flares to cordon off the block, to ensure we wouldn't be disturbed in our placement and ignitions. For the New Year, the flares were also usually used to ignite unsold Christmas trees from the lot around the corner (trees being safely placed in a barrel, of course).
The best part, though, was what they did with the torpedoes. They'd strip the lead from the charges, and lay a bunch of them in a cluster on the sidewalk or street. How many depended on the time of night.. the amount usually went up as it got later. Most I've ever seen was about 8 at once. They had this slab of 1-inch steel, about 6 feet long and 6 or so inches wide, with a re-bar handle welded to one end. They'd situate the slab so the handle end covered the pile of torpedoes, then pivot it up, holding the handle and pushing with one foot on the opposite side; sort of a spring, hammer, sear setup. They'd let go of the handle, and use whatever weight they could muster to get it to fall as fast as they could. The result was THE most impressive non-military explosions I've ever heard. The percussion was enough to move tree branches, and make you gasp for your next breath. How the sidewalks weren't shattered I'll never know. You could usually see the blast patterns in the concrete for weeks afterwards. I was seldom closer than 20 feet to these, and usually plugged my ears when I saw the slab descending, but I'm sure a lot of my high-end hearing loss is due to these magnificent noismakers.
I wish I had a couple of boxes of those now. I don't think people in my new part of town fully appreciate firecrackers. (Of course, some of them might not wish to).

11-10-2005, 05:16 PM

Good story! Wish I could have seen a few of those celabrations! We live in a nice safe padded world today compared to our youth! Heck, I was buying blasting caps when I was only about 16, no questions asked! Today, I'd be a headline!

11-30-2005, 02:20 AM
When I first married my little Senorita, I was staying at their home in Juarez, Chih. I found a little shop that sold firecrackers. I really liked the ones that were the size of half a road flare. They really gave a nice bang! The neihbors really hated me, but I don't know if it was all the 1/2 sticks of dynomite I was tossing into their yards, or the dead cats I shot with my crossbow/blowgun. I took out a lot of cats there too. One kept me up every nite by howling on the window ledge of my bedroom every nite at 2am. I run him off a bunch of times, but to no avail. I fetched em a piece of bologna, coaxed him in, grabbed him by the tail & head, give him a smack against the block wall, twisted his neck till it snapped, and .... once again...... tossed it into a neighbors yard! It came back before breakfast, but I toss farther the 2nd time 8) 8) 8) 8)

11-30-2005, 04:12 AM
I woulda loved to catch up with the person that took out my cat, back when I lived in the city.

12-19-2005, 04:06 PM
Back when my kids were small, we lived in a small town in central California. One 4th. of July, all the neighborhood kids had fireworks, and I could see my two young ones wanted to join in the fun. I had my torch out in the carport, so we capped off a styrofoam coffee cup, filled it with just the right oxyacetyline mix, and touched it off! Windows rattled for about half a block in all directions, and the cup turned into powder.

BTW, the cops came cruising by several times in the next 30 minutes, but we were safely inside by then!
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