Developing a new load for my 1853 slant breech

Discussions of powders, bullets and loading information.

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Developing a new load for my 1853 slant breech

Post by Tmacmi » Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:05 am

This is going to be a long post. I hope you will bear with me.

I own a .44 caliber 1853 Sharps Slant Breech Carbine. About 10 years ago I had the gun fully restored by Markus Moll in Germany.

I shot it a bit back then, but then the kids got into sports and I had to put it aside for a while. I've decided to pick it back up again.

When I had the gun restored, I told Markus that I wanted to hunt deer with it. He being a German gunsmith was very adamant about developing a bullet/load that was sufficient for deer. So he made a custom mold for a 376 grain bullet. Its a four ring bullet that's about 1.11" in length. the first ring is approximately .42" in diameter the final ring is .44". (I'm led to believe that this bullet is heavier than the original bullet of the day)

I spent some time at the bench and developed a nitrated paper cartridge that used 67 grains of 1 1/2 fg swiss with a 1/4" cotton wad between the powder and bullet.

It posted 4" groups at 50 yards. I was able to kill a sizable boar at about 70 yard with it.

I just never felt like I got the accuracy out of the gun it was capable of. Now that the boys are almost out of the house I feel like I can now goof around with it.

I spent some time time trying to gauge the twist rate and as best I can tell its 1:37.25 inches and was told that the length of the bullet was too long for that twist rate.

I spoke with a gunsmith friend and he ended sending me a box of these bullets. They are .459 in diameter.

Measuring the lands and groves of the rife is hard to accomplish because its a odd number of grooves.

I inserted a cylinder of wrapped paper into the muzzle and I came up with .43 between the lands.

I then tapped one of these bullets into the breech end with a brass cleaning rod. I couldn't get it all the way through to the muzzle, but I also didn't really pound on the end of the rod either.

When the round came out the lands had cut a healthy grove in the bullet, but even with examining it with a glass I didn't see evidence that the bullet hit the bottom of the grooves.

Do you think this bullet is too large in diameter to safely shoot?

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Re: Developing a new load for my 1853 slant breech

Post by Tomklinger » Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:14 am

I shoot and hunt with an original 1852 .44 cal sporting rifle. It’s very accurate! The bore is .435 and the groove is.459. They had very deep rifling. My load is just long enough to trim the base of the paper round as you close the breech. My load is 81.5gr. 2fSwiss with a wax paper wad on top of the powder. I use a .455 diameter hollow base bullet that I fill the base with lube. The bullet weights 265 gr. and is .880 long. It bumps up to seal in the bore.
The bullet is available through Buffalo Arms. 455265HB. There phone number is 208-263-6053.
Where do you live?
PM me I will send pictures of the round and rifle...
Hope this helps
Tom Klinger

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