"Don'tcha hate it when that happens ....?"

Support for the 1863 shooter. Discussions of powders, loads, bullets, etc.
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Todd Birch
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"Don'tcha hate it when that happens ....?"

Post by Todd Birch » Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:58 pm

After weeks of brutal -20C to -36C (-40 is where C and F meet) day time temps, we are now in a warm spell of 5C to 7C above 0. We've even had rain!

So, not having shot in weeks, I packed up my '63 .50 carbine with new silver blade front sight and went to the range. I had with me 50 rds of ammo; Lyman 515141/60 gr Pyro pellet. I want this to be my spring bear rifle.

Got all set up, posted targets and Lo! - no caps!!! Second time I've done that. Hell of it is, I did think of caps before I left the house, but that's as far as it got.

Don'tcha hate it when that happens? Tell me I'm not the only one .....
Looks a return trip to the range tomorrow.
"From birth to the packing house, we travel between the two eternities ....." Robert Duvall in "Broken Trail"

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Post by powderburner » Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:39 pm

you should have brought your backup switch, then you could have at least practiced you "coup de gras "swing :lol: :lol: :wink:
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Post by Mossyrock » Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:51 pm

That happened to me a few weeks ago. Shiloh? CHECK! Targets? CHECK! Spotting Scope? CHECK! Ammo? Ammo?!? CRAP! :roll:

Todd Birch
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I'm not alone!

Post by Todd Birch » Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:11 am

Thanks for not referring to it as a "senior's moment".

When she got home from school, my wife saw my gear piled in the mud room and knew I was planning a return trip. First thng she said was - "What did you forget?"

Usually it's something like a stapler, targets, muffs, etc., but rarely ammo. Comes from switching gear bags for different guns - one for CAS, one for BPCRs, one for MLs, one for military rifle, ......
"From birth to the packing house, we travel between the two eternities ....." Robert Duvall in "Broken Trail"

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Post by MissedAgain » Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:48 am

Keep one of these with you at all times. Just in case.:wink:

Don't feel bad. I think many of us have done something like that.

I went to a surplus rifle match a few years ago with plenty of ammo. Unfortunately, my rifle was a M1 and the ammo was .303 British. :roll:



Post by Rooster57 » Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:02 pm

It's finally warming up here In Iowa enough to go shoot. Unfortunately I sent my '63 Shiloh carbine off to Shiloh to be repaired last Monday. :roll:
But, I'm eagerly awaiting a '63 Pedersoli infantry rifle to arrive in the mail....I haven't had enough aggravation in my life so I figured this ought to take care of it. :lol:
I have brought the right bullets to the range but discovered when I took the gun out of the case it was the wrong gun.... :roll:

Todd Birch
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Been there - done that

Post by Todd Birch » Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:22 am


Done that too. I've got twin Shiloh Military Rifles - one a .50 '63, t'other a '74 50-70. Got to the range once with the 50-70 and a bunch of paper rounds .....
Actually had caps with me that time.

Made a return trip to the range yesterday after lunch with the '63 carbine, ammo AND caps. I had 50 rds total, all but 6 were .54/60 grs Pyro pellet loads. Those had 55 grs of FFg, all I can get in a rd without shearing off the end of the paper.
The paper was thin onion skin for both. I punch a hole in the bases after chambering to aid ignition. Other times I've used a single thickness of paper towel as a base. Haven't yet tried cigarette paper.

First off, I proved the new front sight for height. It was right on for elevation with the Pyro at 50 yards, but needed windage! Then I fired a three shot group with the BP - 1-1/2" group. Adjusted rear sight to centre and fired three more - another 1-1/2" group. Over adjusted so I corrected again. Now I'm out of BP loads.

The Pyro loads shot to the same POA, the group opening to 1-7/8" for three rds. The target was getting cluttered, so I upped the ladder and used the 200 yd sight. This printed three rds at 12 o'clock on the 8" bull, 7/8" centre to centre; two rds overlapping!!! This with the Pyro loads.

Did something I've never done before ....

Being alone on the range, so no one could have a s**t fit, I blew three breaths down the barrel from the muzzle as per a ML rifle. This had the effect of softening powder fouling which seems drier with Pyro. It also blew any remaining paper into the chamber area which fell out on opening the action vertically.
Occasionally there is a small piece of the glued strip remaining.

The action started to get tight after 6 rds. Had it been warmer and the grease packed in the breech cavity had softened, this wouldn't have happened. To ease this, I swiped the breech face of the barrel with a dampened patch for every shot. A soldier in the era would have swiped it with a moistened finger.

This worked for the remaining shooting I did. I swabbed the bore between groups with a wet patch and a dry patch, but not the chamber. The rds are .50 but the chamber is .54, so fouling never prevents seating a rd.

I was running out of daylight, so I didn't shoot at 100 yds. Next time. I'd like to use this as a spring bear gun, but only to 75 yds max. and not on a large bear. Not without my club handy!
I wouldn't shoot past 100 with this load on a deer as I consider it marginal. The shot would have to be an optimal broadside.

What did I learn? While Pyro loads are easy to make (and actually authentic. There were compressed BP loads in the era), I enjoyed the BP loads more. However, the Pyro loads handle better for hunting and seem to have a little more snap.
"From birth to the packing house, we travel between the two eternities ....." Robert Duvall in "Broken Trail"

'63 Shiloh
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Post by '63 Shiloh » Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:25 pm

You are not alone Todd, have done the same thing with my caps twice now.

I now keep two tins in the glovebox of my 'cruiser to prevent such occurrences.

It sounds very bloody cold up there too!!

Here I am complaining as its 105 F today and getting hotter over the weekend.


emito condito
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Post by emito condito » Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:57 pm

How about getting home from the range (10 miles away) and realizing you left your spotting scope sitting on the bench!

Todd Birch
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one better

Post by Todd Birch » Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:56 am

emito condito

A pal once left his '75 Sharps 45-70 at the range, 20 miles away. He set a record for the distance and found it right where he left it on the bench.

It was during the week and the range was seldom used. There, and where we live currently, we often have the range to ourselves.

Chances are, had it been found, it would have made it's way back to him as we all knew who owned what. One of the great things about a small town.
"From birth to the packing house, we travel between the two eternities ....." Robert Duvall in "Broken Trail"

Michael P Nowak
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Post by Michael P Nowak » Mon Apr 19, 2010 6:12 am

Hey Todd: Don't feel that bad? I myself forgot to load the powder for my Whitworth that I shoot! The kicker is the range that I go to is 250 miles up north from my house in Oak Creek Wi to the UP. of Mich. Top that off, the only gun dealer in town is out of BP!!.Mike Nowak. PS. waiting for my 63. :(

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Old Doe Shooter
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Post by Old Doe Shooter » Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:12 am

Happens to me all the time too. What irritates me most of all is the 100 yard WALK back to house to get what I forgot after I remember I forgot it in the first place. Once I get all the 'stuff' opened up I can't just ride the ATV back without packing it all up or putting it all on the ground.
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