Wheel Weights with BP '63 Percussion

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 ....

Wheel Weights with BP '63 Percussion

Post by Todd Birch » Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:10 pm

Just got back from the range having test fired some 50 gr BP loads with commercial 100% wheel weight bullets - Lyman 515141 sized .512 with SPG.
I was told by the 'experts' that they wouldn't obturate. Wrong.

I first fired three of my own alloy, getting the customary sub-2" three shot group, benching at 50 yds. As usual, the fouling shot was out of the group.
I cleaned the bore and fired the ww loads, putting 5 into 1-1/2"! Again, the fouler was out of the group.

With my bullets at 100 yds, and the wind playing hob, I put 5 rds into 2-1/4", a full 2-3/4" left of the normal point of impact.
The 100% ww bullets printed one low on paper and two below. Since I wanted them to shoot using the same sight setting, I was disappointed.
More work necessary ......

I cleaned the bore and fired three more of my bullets on the previous target. They were dead on for windage in a 2-1/2" group, but 3" low of the point of aim. Shows what a strong tail wind can do.

I also had some 50-70 loads with the 100% ww bullets atop 28 grs 5744 for my Shiloh Military Rifle to test. Five rounds went into a triangular group measuring 2-3/4".
All rounds centred, well within the '8' ring. None too shabby for military sights and definitely 'minute-of-bear-deer-moose'.

Before packing it in due to the increasing wind, I fired three more at 100, getting a 3-1/2" group, one round 50% out of the '9' ring. Quite acceptable.

Rifling thru' the range bag, I realized that I had forgotten to bring along some BP 50-70 loads with the ww bullets ......; next time ......
"From birth to the packing house, we travel between the two eternities ....." Robert Duvall in "Broken Trail"

Bill Goodman
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Post by Bill Goodman » Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:42 pm

Todd, I don't care what kind of small groups you are shooting, everone knows W-W slugs aren't accurate! Why aren't you listening? Seriously, thanks for the experimenting with this for the rest of us. I used to shoot WW slugs in my .54 sporter years ago (before I found out through others they wouldn't work). Since the slugs were oversize and chamber seated they shouldn't need to obturate. Seems to me a bullet sized correctly and aligned in the chamber/throat near the rifling ought to shoot fiarly decently regardless of bullet material. Unless there is leading or other trouble, they should work okay. Thanks for your kind words about my recent article in BPCN. Hopefully it'll get more experimentation and interest going. Bill

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

ww bullets with BP

Post by Todd Birch » Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:52 am


The only anomaly I can't explain is why the ww bullets printed so low compared to mine at 100 yds with the '63 carbine when they didn't in the 50-70.

A few years back, I was pontificating the usual "everyone knows that ww bullets are ineffective with BP" to the local CAS guys with BPCRs. That was before I saw them shoot .....

Granted, it was only on steel out to 300 yards, but we also shot tomato cans at 150 yds - off hand! Properly sized and lubed, they did quite well with ww bullets.

I shot against them in a 'paper match' as well for score. Had it not been for zeroing problems with their sights, I'd have been in trouble. I was shooting my Browning '86 rifle which only required a shift of the rear sight ramp once.

I have shot Oregon Trail 'Laser Cast' 45-70 bullets with both smokeless and BP and got leading with both! The smokeless loads were loaded to BP equivalent. Those bullets are HARD!

I've already written to BPCN re: your article expressing my appreciation and requesting a follow up to do with paper cartridges. I'm sure other '63 shooters will respond as well.

"You have awakened a sleeping giant" and generated a renaissance of interest in the early Sharps rifles. I'm rethinking about selling my .54 Sporter.
"From birth to the packing house, we travel between the two eternities ....." Robert Duvall in "Broken Trail"

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Location: ohio

Post by coalminer » Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:01 pm

mr birch i was wondering if you had a chance to shoot anymore of the ww cast bullets and iff so how they was working out for you
You should know, when someone pisses you off, it takes forty-eight muscles to frown but only two to pull a trigger.

Jay Yuskaitis
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Post by Jay Yuskaitis » Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:10 am

Yes Todd, anymore reports. Jay Y.

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

ww in '63

Post by Todd Birch » Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:41 am

No, guys; haven't shot any more since that time.

While they were OK at 50 yds, the little shooting I did at 100 printed lower than my own alloy.

That needs further work and may necessitate upping the sight ladder for 100 yd work and beyond.

Give it a go and see what results you achieve.
"From birth to the packing house, we travel between the two eternities ....." Robert Duvall in "Broken Trail"

Charlie Hahn
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Location: Maryland

Post by Charlie Hahn » Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:32 pm

For what it is worth. In experimenting with hard lead in these guns, (wheel weights in particular) I managed to shoot out my Shiloh carbine. This happened over one season. I would expect you can use 10:1 Lead tin no problem but the other mystery metal is a sure way to really shorten the life of these guns.

If you happen to get a custom barrel made from 4140, or maybe 1060 you might be okay.

I have been getting guns and bullets with sizes way above groove size, and I see evidence of over pressure, most of these are soft. If you plan to use the hard stuff make sure the over groove diameter is maintained to some reasonable level, (about .002 inch).

I am currently shooting soft lead in my relined barrel.

Charlie Hahn

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