We have found over the past few years certain manufactures products have rather loose leader safety caps.
We hand fire, and often when we fire a shell, the pressure/blast wave can make surrounding shell safety caps fall off and sometimes ignite.
This can become a problem especially at smaller shows were you only have a certain amount of product to fill the 10 - 15 minute slot. If every other time you light a shell, 2 or 3 more go off, you will be out of shells before its time.
Certain caps are worse (with this) than others. If you find your caps fall off easily, heres a quick & easy fix that will almost totally prevent it from happening.
You simply put a bend in the cap (while still on the leader)
See the image below...The pictured green colored cap is the worst type we've seen yet. However, they do work just fine if you bend them all.
Hope some of you hand shooters find this one helpful.
Last edited by InertProducts; January 19th, 2007 at 12:51 PM.
This may work for you...Alot of the shells I recieve have the leaders bound up with a small rubber band...just loop the band a couple times and place it over the cap...this should keep it on the leader...otherwise you could use little strips of foil and just hand crimp that over the cap and the pressure of the foil will keep it in place...
A slightly more advanced solution would be to Electrically fire...then you cna get rid of the caps all together...I understand this has probably already been ruled out but just think it should be an option...
A more radical solution would be to look for a different supplier...Don't get these shells with crappy caps...
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In some of our shows we might have 250/300 single tubes preloaded. When I encounter 'loose' safetys covers or caps as you call them I instruct the crew members to hold onto the safety near where it contacts the quickmatch and twist the paper until it tightens up on the visco. We use very long tubes most of the time made up in racks of ten singles each. We generally have about 10 to 15 3" racks and 10 to 15 4" racks used for hand lighting by flare.
This set up works 4 or 5 folks pretty good for an 18-20 minute show in conjunction with some banks of 5 and up sized electric fired racks.
By twisting the safetys I've found they stay in place pretty well when the rack does 'the rock and roll'.
The whole cap thing, simple as it seems, is an ongoing issue. Some people want them tight, some loose. It goes back and forth between really having to tug on them or having them slip off.
In the past, for hand fired shows, we would rubber band all of the leaders to the muzzles of the mortars. This way the fuse is always in the same position to pull the cap and light...just a simple stupid thing, but really helps the flow of the show. The rubber band around the mortar would hold the cap on also.