Percussion Sharps - The Britsh Connection

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

Percussion Sharps - The Britsh Connection

Post by Todd Birch » Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:59 pm

We got into a discussion on original rates of twist on another part of this site, and I referred to one of my books for some interesting data on the percussion carbines tested and nearly adopted by the British Army.

They first tested the slant breech '55, sending 5 regiments of cavalry off to India where they gave good service in the Indian Mutiny.
They were in .577 bore, and the troops liked them, but it was rejected for adoption due to the damage to expensive uniforms from gas leakage!
These had a 1x78" rate of twist, standard for the P53 Enfield.

The later '59 was also tested, passing adoption standards, but it was decided that it gave no advantage over the Westley Richards carbine. Several were rebarrelled to .551 and the twist changed to 1x48". The Brits preferred 18"-20-1/2"" barrels on their carbines, finding the US standard of 22" too long.

First thing the Brits did was to remove/disable the self -priming mechanisms as they found them a PITA and their troops were used to using musket caps.

For some good historical info and great pictures on percussion Sharps, get a copy of "The British Soldier's Firearm - 1859-64" by C.H. Roads.
"From birth to the packing house, we travel between the two eternities ....." Robert Duvall in "Broken Trail"

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