Another issue when it came to flints and caps. As far as my research has shown, there was no large scale gun flint production in this country, unlike England, France, etc. We imported tons of flints for the military and sporting use. If there was a war in Europe and a resultant blockade of the different ports, the U.S. could suffer. The warring factions flint production would go for THEIR needs first. If the ship carrying flints sunk in a storm or was captured/plundered by pirates the flints were lost. I assume that the vessels and or civilian merchants had insurance for their cargoes but the flints would have to be re-ordered and a new shipment sent out. Time loss AND money! Depending solely on an outside source for something as critical as flints was not wise but in this case it was the only answer. With caps, these were made by machine and were faster to produce. You didn't have to be a professional flint knapper to make the caps. Just operate the machine. Caps were more consistent in size although quality could be erratic. Some of the French caps were notoriously bad.