Paper Sharps ammo

Support for the 1863 shooter. Discussions of powders, loads, bullets, etc.
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Todd Birch
Posts: 2124
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 12:01 pm
Location: Somewhere in the Cariboo ....

Paper Sharps ammo

Post by Todd Birch » Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:00 am

Thumbing through "Sharps Rifle - The Gun That Shaped American Destiny" - Martin Rywell, I ran across this entry twice in the book:

"The proper charge for Army Rifles and carbines is 55 to 60 grains of powder of 300 yards eprouvette range; and cartridges are used for convenience and celerity in firing.
In using loose ammunition, the barrel must be held vertically, with the muzzle down, the ball is inserted and forced to it's seat with a short rod, and the powder charge is poured upon it, and the slide closed.
In all firings without patches, the balls must be coated with tallow, to prevent the bore from leading." Samuel H. Green, Sec'y, January 01, 1859

The use of the word "patches" puzzles me .... what was the writer referring to? It goes on to say that chamber length rounds are deemed safer and more useful by most.

In Peter Schiffers' "Civil War Carbines - Myth vs Reality", he tested eleven original carbines with loads made up as accurately as possible, sparing no expense in replicating cases, making up moulds, lubes, etc. He found and even dissected several original rounds in his research.

His .54 Sharps rds used 65 grs Swiss #4 powder and a 462 gr bullet with a diameter of .453.

Which brings me to the point .....

Why in hell would Shiloh chamber their '63 .54 Military Rifles and Carbines to take 100+ grs of powder!!! I can find no references to the historic rifles ever being so chambered.

My .50s are so much more comfortable to shoot and possibly more historic in that they chamber 50-55 grs. Cartridges with 55 grs need a little compression in the chamber with a short starter to prevent shearing. I've never shot them with loose powder.

Schiffers mentions using "two .05'' beer coaster wads" to stiffen the base of his double wrapped typewriter paper rds, with a flash hole punched in to aid ignition. He was trying to match the stiffness of original linen wrapped cartridges. He used cigarette paper in the bases.

In my opinion, he went overboard wirth the paper (I use a single wrap on any paper I use, including typewriter paper) and I tried the beer coaster wad thing, getting poor ignition and hang fires. I use onion skin as a base paper.
"From birth to the packing house, we travel between the two eternities ....." Robert Duvall in "Broken Trail"

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

Post by Rich Siegel » Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:08 pm

Todd,
I use a paper cartridge glued to the base of a Rapine ringtail bullet. The cartridge takes 50 grains of FFFG GOEX. The cartridge just reaches the rear of the barrel. In my Robinson Shiloh, I must use a shorter cartridge, holding only 40 grains of powder. Maybe Shiloh makes their carbines to take the 50 grain paper cartridge which, by the way, measures 1/2" inner diameter glued to the Rapine bullet.

I make the cartridges out of copier paper, both nitrated and plain, with hair curler paper over the end. Always goes bang.

Rich

WV SCROUNGER
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 5:38 pm

Post by WV SCROUNGER » Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:45 pm

Why in hell would Shiloh chamber their '63 .54 Military Rifles and Carbines to take 100+ grs of powder

WITH A 100+ grains of powder you can really Reach Out and touch someone!!! hahaha

cantom
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Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:11 pm

Post by cantom » Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:48 pm

I've only fired my new to me 1963 in .45 Percussion once. I poured 60 grains of loose powder into the chamber, and there was a ton of room left over. The charge also felt a bit light. I can see Todd's point.

I noticed a lag between the cap and the discharge...normal?

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

chamber capacity

Post by Todd Birch » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:21 pm

Hey Cantom! Welcome to another Canuck, and a '63 shooter to boot.

No, there ought to be no ignition delay with a well maintained, clean '63.
Only problem I've experienced is where I've failed to snap a cap or two.

I've also noticed that after snapping a cap, I'll often find the nipple opening blocked by primer residue. This doesn't happen with a live round as back pressure prevents it.

Going to the range tomorrow with some rds loaded with 100% wheel weight bullets. Never shot any before. I'll post the results.
"From birth to the packing house, we travel between the two eternities ....." Robert Duvall in "Broken Trail"

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