Home Main Category General Firearms

Cody Museum Cap lock safety violation

While watching a recent episode of Guns & Ammo demonstration at the Cody Firearms Museum I was appalled to watch the so called "expert" load a reproduction Kentucky rifle with a cap lock. His procedure was totally wrong and could cause harm to anyone watching this and loading their own for the first time! He failed to check if the firearm was loaded first! He assumed! Upon verifying the gun unloaded, a cap is fired to ensure the channel is clear to the chamber. Then the firearm is charged with powder, patch and ball.  He fired the rifle and only the cap fired, creating a hang fire. This is where he screwed up! He did not RESEAT the ball in the rifle! He proceeded to discharge a second cap with the same results. He then passed the rifle with a new cap to his co host who proceeded to fire the gun again with the same failed results! Experience and history has shown that even the action of a cap firing creates a chamber pressure that can move the ball forward without firing the main charge. This space can convert this chamber into a literal pipe bomb whereby another cap placed on the nipple and fired can ignite the main charge in a confined area blowing the breech apart! The fact that he then recapped and handed it to his co host to repeat the same deadly procedure was reckless without regard to both their safety and their lives! They were damn lucky the barrel didn't explode! Anyone watching this and attempting to repeat this on their own without knowledge and experience could be seriously hurt or killed! I've been shooting flint and cap lock rifles, pistols, revolvers, and muskets for the last 30+ years. I've competed with them, hunted with them, and taught others how to use them safely including hang fires! I've also been next to a rifle when the breech exploded because the shooter forgot to remove her field rod from the barrel before firing it. Fortunately for both of us, we were not injured beyond powder burns. The back 6" of the breech exploded like a pipe bomb! The same can happen with any ball not properly re-seated after a cap fails to ignite the main charge!


Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Guns & Ammo stories delivered right to your inbox every week.