American Pioneer in a Model 1863

Support for the 1863 shooter. Discussions of powders, loads, bullets, etc.
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Free_Stater
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American Pioneer in a Model 1863

Post by Free_Stater » Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:58 pm

I've been using American Pioneer in my .50 muzzle loader and in the 50-90 1874 Sharps, so this weekend I decided to try it out in a couple of other guns. Day before yesterday I fired a dozen balls through a Colt 1860 .44 Army replica, and the APP worked great, with barely noticeable fouling and good accuracy. It's now the only powder I load in the 50-90 and I'm a convert to the "clean" black.

Last night I loaded up 20 paper 1863 cartridges with the Lee 415 Minie bullet, using nitrated paper body and tissue paper base, but instead of 65 grains of FF, I substituted a bulk load of American Pioneer. The loads were measured using a plain brass adjustable bulk measure set on the line marked for the 63. I finished the rounds normally and went out a while ago to test a few.

My paper rounds fit so that only a tiny bit of the base sticks out of the chamber, so the round is cut off evenly by the block as it rises. This makes ignition virtually a foregone conclusion.

Anyway, the dog was bugging me because he really likes gunfire, but I did manage to try a quick group, shooting offhand at 20 yards. Instead of using a mark on the cardboard box I was shooting at, I decided to aim "center of mass," and this was what I came up with. The rifle was reloaded immediately after firing, and then I fired the next round within ten or fifteen seconds. From previous experience I know that I can maintain 9-10 shots per minute if I want to, but I wasn't in that much of a hurry.

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Here's what my finished rounds look like. At some point I'm going to get a ringtail mold and try those, but currently I have quite a bit of ammunition loaded with the Minie bullets, so the ringtail will have to wait for a while.

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The American Pioneer is marketed with the claim that the weapon doesn't need to be cleaned immediately; I've tested this claim with the .50 front feeder and found it to be true. I fired five rounds of APP behind dry patched round balls and put the rifle away for two weeks. Then I ran one gallon of hot, slightly soapy water through the muzzle and out the cleanout hole under the nipple. And that's all it took. To clean the 63 I'll use a transmission funnel in the breech and run the water the other way, then patch, dry, and lube with Bore Butter.

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Lead Head
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Post by Lead Head » Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:28 pm

Free_ Stater

Looks like that powder is working for ya, how do you like the CCI 0300 musket caps? I have an 1863 sporter ordered and have some of these musket caps stored away, plus a lot of black that I shoot anyway in my other guns.

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Free_Stater
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Post by Free_Stater » Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:50 pm

They work just fine. No problems at all, but remember to wear your hearing protection if you're just snapping a cap to clear the nipple. They're loud.

I LOVE the CCI caps. If they were prettier, I'd marry them!

Nah, the truth is that I found a store that was getting out of muzzle loading, and they gave me 1,400 caps for $30.00 instead of the $10 or more per hundred (plus hazmat fee) I would have to pay to buy them mailorder.

Most of my shooting with the 63 until today has been done with FFG black, but I did want to try it out with the APP. In the 45-70 and in the 45-90 I use for midrange matches I still use black, but the 63 is a "fun gun," and I want it to be as little work to maintain as possible, so I tried the American. And it worked so very well!
When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.

Todd Birch
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'63 cleaning

Post by Todd Birch » Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:09 pm

Free_Stater

It isn't the bore of your '63 that needs your concern so much as the breech block.
I wouldn't take a chance on leaving it for any length of time. The risk is a seized flash hole clean out scew and gas plate.
"From birth to the packing house, we travel between the two eternities ....." Robert Duvall in "Broken Trail"

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Free_Stater
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Post by Free_Stater » Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:46 pm

Hehehehe. Todd, I said I COULD go for a long time without cleaning, I didn't say I WOULD. The 63 is squeaky clean, I assure you.
When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.

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Lead Head
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Post by Lead Head » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:30 am

Free_Stater

I just got off the American Pioneer web site, would I be safe to assume that you used ffg in the rifle and pistol or did you use fffg in the pistol?

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Post by Free_Stater » Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:09 pm

I used FFG in everything. I didn't see the need to go with FFF unless I was loading for my .36 caliber guns. And while I might be wrong in this, so far the results are very good.
When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.

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