Round ball in .54 '63

Support for the 1863 shooter. Discussions of powders, loads, bullets, etc.
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Todd Birch
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Location: Somewhere in the Cariboo ....

Round ball in .54 '63

Post by Todd Birch » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:26 am

I happen to have a .550 RB mould. I was wondering .....

The correct size for a .54 ML is .530. The driving band on my .54 ring tails mikes .545. So, I'm thinking a .550 RB in a paper round might work.

That or dropping a ball into the throat and inserting a charged tube or inserting a paper wrapped charge. Kind of like a Ferguson breech loading flintlock.

Lubing will be the problem along with bore fouling, I think. Anyone got an opinion, experience .....?
"From birth to the packing house, we travel between the two eternities ....." Robert Duvall in "Broken Trail"

Rich Siegel
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Location: Maine

Post by Rich Siegel » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:15 pm

Todd,
If my math is correct, you will be sizing your ball down 10/1000 when the gun fires. That might be a lot to ask though you probably will not tax the action. The ball would come out looking like a very short slug. I think it would be much better if you could find a .547 or even a .550 ball.

I know many people shoot oversized balls in cap&ball revolvers and the chamber mouth shaves off a ring of lead. Those balls do shoot accurately to 50 yards.
Rich

Todd Birch
Posts: 2124
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 12:01 pm
Location: Somewhere in the Cariboo ....

RB in .54

Post by Todd Birch » Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:54 pm

Rich

Re-read my post .....

The RB mould I have on hand IS a .550. That's 5 thou over the .545 ring tails.
Doesn't sound like much of a swaging process for a Sharps.

I asked our 'primitive' ML guys if they'd let me shoot my .54 Sporter in their matches if I ML'd with patched RB - NO!!!

I asked how come and they said "'Cause them Shilohs shoot too good!"
"From birth to the packing house, we travel between the two eternities ....." Robert Duvall in "Broken Trail"

Bill Goodman
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Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:47 am

Post by Bill Goodman » Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:02 pm

Years ago I was in a ML club in which I shot one of the "NEW" Shiloh 1863 Sporters (this was around 1980). After I won a couple informal events the disgruntled president of the club approached me and said the flat-nosed wad-cutter style "buffalo bullet" I'd cast at the time wasn't authenic and I couldn't use it. So, I responded that he had a real point there and that in the spirit of authenticity Speer and Hornady swaged round balls purchased in plastic or cardboard containers were in the same category and shouldn't be allowed either... He never mentioned the topic again.

Rich Siegel
Posts: 610
Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2002 7:53 am
Location: Maine

Post by Rich Siegel » Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:32 pm

You're right Todd, sorry.
Rich

1stregtengr

Post by 1stregtengr » Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:41 pm

About 10 yrs ago I shot a Burnside 5th model carbine at NSSA and used a .560 round ball to no ill affect. It worked great for 50 yd but was a bit lacking at 100. I used the Lodgewood nylon cases and about 25 grs goex 3F.

GST
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Location: Texas

Post by GST » Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:43 pm

Actualy I have done it. After I got an old Farmindale '63 carbine about 12-15 years ago I was trying to figure out how to make it shoot. The internet was not what it is now and since around here it is a total vacuum as far as to that type of gun. But low and behold there was a guy that had a shop near Marble Falls that had muzzle loading stuff. Amoungst all of his crap and plunder I found a .550 RB mould. Dropped the ball in, filled the chamber with powder capped it and shot a hole dead center through a 1# coffee can at 25 yds. I learned later that you kind of need to beat the ball into the rifleings or the powder will leak out around it if it is not shot immediatly. I later got a Rapine 475 gn. Ringtial Minie that was more better.
Latley I am thinking a good flintlock is an improvement over a '63, a lot less trouble.

Scott

Todd Birch
Posts: 2124
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 12:01 pm
Location: Somewhere in the Cariboo ....

RB in '63

Post by Todd Birch » Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:00 am

These reports are encouraging enough for me to give it a go. I'll post the results after I cast some .550s. Might make a .54 into a fine small game rifle.

Re: the 'feathers 'n leathers' crowd and authenticity ....

I regularly get flak over my P-H Enfields using RB in 'primitive' matches.
Actually, a P53 makes the historic cut-off date of 1855, the year of the last HBC rendezvous before they ceded the Oregon Territory.

This event is celebrated annually at Fort Nisqually, Washington. The "Booshway" interviewed me and wanted to know how this 'modern' arm came to be. I told him that as an HBC 'gentleman farmer' from Victoria Island, I was loaned the rifle by a visiting Royal Marine Officer.

He bought that, and I was 'approved'.

Locally, I shut down the critics with this story and ask about the authenticity of Italian "Hawkens" with coil spring mainsprings, adjustable sights and brass furniture. The parts of my P-H Enfield would interchange with an original.

Then I outshoot them with the barley corn military sight Enfield with 6 lb trigger pull.
"From birth to the packing house, we travel between the two eternities ....." Robert Duvall in "Broken Trail"

Todd Birch
Posts: 2124
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 12:01 pm
Location: Somewhere in the Cariboo ....

More on RB in '63

Post by Todd Birch » Sat Feb 27, 2010 5:20 pm

I dropped a .564 RB into the chamber of my .54 followed by a lubed 24 ga wad, seated with a short starter. Snug fit in a clean chamber.

Didn't leave much powder space, so I cut the wad in half. Now there was 1-1/2" of useable space. Hmmm .....

So I'm thinkin', a .550 RB ought to seat a little deeper into the leade, leaving even more powder space. That followed by 1/2 a wad topped with a dab of lube and followed by a paper tube powder charge might work.

Could even roll the combo into a complete cartridge ......

I must be gettin' cabin fever, thinkin' up this stuff. Time to go shootin'.
"From birth to the packing house, we travel between the two eternities ....." Robert Duvall in "Broken Trail"

Bill Goodman
Posts: 291
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:47 am

Post by Bill Goodman » Sat Feb 27, 2010 6:15 pm

Todd, I have an original 1853 Slant Breech SHOTGUN. You've got cabin fever and want something to think about, try that one! Actually the old Sharps catalogues have instructions for making paper shotshells for these guns. I'll bet Shiloh would make an 1863 perc. shotgun...

Todd Birch
Posts: 2124
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 12:01 pm
Location: Somewhere in the Cariboo ....

slant breech shotgun

Post by Todd Birch » Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:10 pm

Thanks Bill. I feel relatively sane now.

Won't surprise me if Shiloh offers such a beast one day. Hey - why not?
It was historic. Won't be a huge demand, but a few Sharpslophiles might.

I once loaded up some 50-70 shot shells and lost a beautiful Blue Grouse that I hit. Hate that. Only good for squirrels and such.
"From birth to the packing house, we travel between the two eternities ....." Robert Duvall in "Broken Trail"

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