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what are no11 percussion caps

A number 11 percussion cap refers to a specific size of a percussion capw used in firearms. Percussion caps are small metal caps containing a volatile compound that, when struck by the firearm’s hammer, ignites the propellant charge inside the gun barrel, causing the firearm to discharge.

The numbering system for percussion caps typically ranges from 1 to 12, with lower numbers indicating smaller cap sizes. A number 11 percussion cap is one of the more common sizes and is often used in firearms such as muzzleloaders, black powder revolvers, and some older rifles. It has a diameter of approximately 0.175 inches or 4.4 millimeters.

When using firearms that require percussion caps, it’s essential to use the appropriate cap size specified by the firearm manufacturer. The number 11 percussion cap is widely available and has been a standard size for many percussion-based firearms for a long time.

What is inside 11 percussion caps?

Percussion caps play a crucial role in the ignition process of firearms, particularly those that rely on percussion mechanisms. Among the various sizes available, the number 11 percussion cap stands as a popular choice. In this article, we will delve into the inner workings of 11 percussion caps, uncovering their composition and shedding light on their key components.

The Outer Shell:
The outer shell of an 11 percussion cap is typically made of a durable and corrosion-resistant metal, such as brass or copper. This robust construction ensures longevity and reliable performance, even in adverse conditions. The cap’s small size allows it to fit snugly onto the firearm’s nipple or cone.

The Priming Compound:
At the heart of an 11 percussion cap lies the priming compound. This sensitive mixture is formulated to ignite rapidly upon impact, creating the necessary spark to ignite the main propellant charge. The exact composition of the priming compound may vary among manufacturers, but it often consists of a blend of chemicals, including lead styphnate, potassium chlorate, and antimony sulfide.

Positioned inside the percussion cap is a small anvil, which serves as a crucial element facilitating the ignition process. The anvil provides a stable base for the impact of the firearm’s hammer, ensuring that the force is directed onto the priming compound. This focused strike initiates the combustion reaction, generating the flame required to ignite the propellant.

To prevent moisture and other environmental factors from compromising the integrity of the percussion cap, manufacturers often apply a sealant. This sealant forms a protective barrier around the junction of the cap and the firearm’s nipple, enhancing reliability and preventing any potential misfires.


Understanding the components of 11 percussion caps provides valuable insights into their functionality and reliability. The outer shell, priming compound, anvil, and sealant work in harmony to deliver consistent and efficient ignition in firearms. When handling percussion caps, it is crucial to follow proper safety protocols and adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure optimal performance and avoid any mishaps.

By comprehending the inner workings of 11 percussion caps, firearm enthusiasts can gain a deeper understanding of these essential components and appreciate their role in the firing process. Whether you’re an avid shooter or simply curious about firearms, knowledge of percussion cap composition enhances your appreciation for the precision and craftsmanship involved in their design.

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