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I finally got back to the range today with my new/used T/C New Englander .54 left hand rifle. I had done some tinkering with .54 balls and patches but was not too impressed.
Today I was shooting .54 348 grain Powerbelts and Barnes MZ Sabots 325 grain. After getting the sights set I was able to shoot one hole groups at 100 yards with either projectile sitting on 100 grains of loose Pyrodex Select. I think my hunting load will be the Barnes MZ 325 grain to start with a Powerbelt backup load for a second shot as they go down the barrel so much easier. This was the good news.
The bad news was I was getting miss fires from the nipple cap combo I was using. I dod not know if the caps are getting old or the nipple needs replacing, probably both. At one point I had the rifle sitting on sand bags and I had a misfire. The cap just did not go off. I cocked and dropped the hammer again to no effect. I held the rifle for a few minutes then laid it on the bag in a safe downrange posisition and tried to remove the bad cap. Of course by now it had cold welded to the nipple. As I went to pry it off with a small screw driver the rifle went off!!
I was beside the rifle and as it went off it launched backward off of the bag and landed in the grass behind the bench!! As it went by the hammer grabbed and ripped my shirt and the remaining powder discharge smoked my T-shirt!!
:eek:
After I sat down and stopped shaking I examined myself and the rifle, in that order, and found we were both OK. My son and the only other guy at the range had seen the entire incident. They told me I was one lucky SOB.
I think I got a batch of unstable caps. This is the first time in my entire life I have even had a missfire much less the four I had today.
:eek:
 

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Good news -Bad news-Good luck T/C New Engla

Wow.....that sounds a little unnerving........Yes, I'd get rid of the caps.......I've fired my 50 cal renagede about 100 times in the last couple of weeks.....no misfires........

I'd have to change underwear after that!
 

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Good news -Bad news-Good luck T/C New Engla

What brand of caps? (I had this problem with RWS caps on my New Englander) :eek:
 

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Good news -Bad news-Good luck T/C New Engla

Wow!! That would be way up there on the pucker factor!!

What kind of caps?

When I have good caps misfire, it's always due to the nipple being to large in diameter and not allowing the cap to slide all they way onto the nipple. You can replace the nipple or work it with a fine file and then stone to get a good fit. Just did that very thing saturday morning.

Have never had one go off when prying with a screwdriver. I've pried a few too. Guess I've been lucky :shock:
 

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Good news -Bad news-Good luck T/C New Engla

UPDATE;

The caps that were in my inline capper came from a can of CVA caps. My son had loaded them from a can he found on my blackpowder shelf after our last shooting session. When I checked the can it was dated 1990!! I threw them all away. The cap that went off had been hit with the hammer twice. When it went off I had just barely put pressure on the side of it. The primer material may have been destablized by the two previous impacts and when the side pressure mashed it BOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMM.

In comparing the nipple to the nipple on my Renegade I found the New Englander nipple was much longer nad has two holes in the sides that end up being under the cap when it is put on. Experiments with caps on an unloaded rifle does indicate a certain difficulty in putting the cap on the nipple. I mas try filing down the current nipple to see if I can fix it and use some new caps.
 

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Good news -Bad news-Good luck T/C New Engla

has two holes in the sides that end up being under the cap when it is put on.
That's a good design. Use it on most of my guns, but the oversize will gitcha every time!

I made the mistake of installing a new nipple before a match last saturday and found that it was much larger than others that I'd purchased from the same maker. It's not easy to do under those circumstances but I was able to go around it twice with a file and then once with a stone while holding the threads in my fingers. Ouch!

The home solution is to put the threaded end in your hand drill or drill press in hold the file to it checking frequently for size with a cap. It comes off pretty fast. If you take it a bit to far it will still work fine but your caps might fall off in a field or hunting situation :lol:

I continue to be somewhat disturbed by your experience :shock:
 
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