Used Charlie's Tubes over the W/E

Support for the 1863 shooter. Discussions of powders, loads, bullets, etc.
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'63 Shiloh
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 4:38 am
Location: Australia

Used Charlie's Tubes over the W/E

Post by '63 Shiloh » Sun Jan 18, 2009 6:22 am

Hi all,

Well, Charlie was kind enough to post me a good quantity of his 1.875" and 2.00" tubes to me down here in Australia. (Many thanks Mate!).

I am currently using two moulds for my 1863 Shiloh, a Ped USA 317-514 which drops a 535gn pure lead slug and the original 'Buffalo Slug' mould which drops a 440gn wadcutter slug.

After measuring my chamber with one of the bullets engaged in the rifling, the Ped slug uses the 1.875" tube and the Buffalo Slug is used with the 2.00" tube.

I am planning to get a NEI or Rapine ring tail mould in the future too, as these designs will work better with the tubes.

Charlie emailed some photos which helped me greatly in the assembly of my tube and bullet combination. Due to the flat base on the Buffalo Slug and the small 'tail' on the Ped bullet, I needed to enlarge the mouth of the tube slightly to accommodate the bullet setting in the tube. This was a simple matter of inserting a .50 BMG bullet and rotating it gently to flare the mouth of the tube.

One of the big advantages of the tubes is their rigidity, allowing me to insert the charge and bullet right into the rifling, taking care not to puncture the paper glued on the base of the tube. Charlie recommends perm paper for hair dressers, I had none on hand so I experimented a bit; using info from members on this forum.

I used nitrated paper, TP, newspaper, copy paper and un-nitrated bond paper. All worked! Now I have to try some perm paper, I am a little concerned about fronting up to a salon asking for the perm paper; its a bit like the missus asking you to pick up certain 'feminine products' from the shop :wink:

Loads: at the moment the only BP I can get is Wano PPP, I think you blokes know it as Schuetzen powder.
With the 1.875" tube and the Ped bullet glued in place, I was able to stuff 77gn (weighed) into the tube.
With the Buffalo Slug, I can get 85gn (weighed) in the cartridge.
Now these may be a little too much for plinking and such, so I used some Dacron (pillow stuffing) in the tube as a filler. This allowed me to use 45-50gn of BP, a very nice target load in my rifle.
Surprisingly, the Buff Slug was the most accurate at 100m (110yds), I would imagine that this bullet would not perform so well at greater ranges however due to its wadcutter shape.

Shooting: The Buff Slug with a filler of Dacron and a load of 50gn was very nice to shoot and averaged at 2.220" for 5 shot groups in a string of 4 groups. One group in particular was simply outstanding, coming in at .867", centre to centre. I reckon this may have been more 'arse than class' though.

The Ped 535gn load was fired with a full house load of 77gn of BP, as I intend to use this as my hunting load. Accuracy was still very respectable, with a average group of 3.47", more than enough for hog and other game such as donkey and camel.

Advantages of Charlie's Tubes: Consistantcy in powder loading, fast to assemble, rigid enough to be pushed right into the chamber and allowing the bullet to engage the rifling, more forgiving to rough handling and offers a degree of moisture resistance.

Conclusions: Charlie's Tubes are a design that allows shooters using the '63 a deal of flexibility, consistency, a more rigid paper cartridge, the ability to use a filler and compress the load more than the traditional paper cart and very well priced.

I plan to continue my experimentation with the tubes and will keep you blokes informed.



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Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2003 4:03 pm
Location: Virginia

Post by ndnchf » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:05 am


Thanks for sharing your results. This is very helpful for a lot of folks. I haven't tried Charlies tubes, but I should. My Pedersoli has a short chamber that only holds about 54-55gr FFG behind the traditional Sharps bullet. Mine shoots very accurately with this load. My eyes have a hard time with the barrel sights, so I'm sure it shoots better than I do :lol:
Never trust a man who wears both suspenders AND a belt.

Todd Birch
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Location: Somewhere in the Cariboo ....

Charlie's Tubes

Post by Todd Birch » Wed Jan 21, 2009 5:29 pm


Several of us have discovered the convenience of Charlie's tubes. I've used all the same other materials you have with good success as well.
For a supply of curler papers, try your local apothecary shop rather than the hair salon.

I was happy to see your intentions to take game with your '63. I carried one of mine (a Military Rifle in .50) several times last year, but game presented itself when I was packing it's twin in 50-70.
That means I have to hunt exclusively with a '63 if I'm going to connect.
In only one instance did I see game I couldn't have dropped with a '63 - three bull moose moving in trail at 200 yards. Hitting one wouldn't be the problem; dropping it would.

I also have the '63 carbine in .50 and a Sporter in .54. This would really be the rifle of course should I get a moose draw next season.

I was slightly taken aback by your alias. On another forum I'm listed as
"Sharps '63".
"From birth to the packing house, we travel between the two eternities ....." Robert Duvall in "Broken Trail"

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Location: Alberta

Charley's tubes

Post by PawPah » Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:26 pm

are the tubes consumed or does the chamber need to be cleared?
.50 caliber and black.............HOLY SMOKE!


Post by 1stregtengr » Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:25 pm

the tubes are both somewhat consumed and draw out of the barrel by their design and the associated vacume created when firing. I shoot them in competition and have gone over 30 rounds without cleaning and not having any problems. Been using them in my rifle and carbine since Charlie started making them a few years back

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Post by snapcap14 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:41 am

I'm no longer a fan of NEI since Walts passing Quality has gone down hill. So unless you want to pay postage back and forth a few times I would stay away. Steve Brooks (tru-Bore) makes a great mold for the 63's. Have him modify the base to fit Charlies tubes. he did it for me and charlie
Rapine is no longer making molds
Standing on the ROCK
14th VA. Cav.

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