Gardner's Bullet & Cartridge Machine

Support for the 1863 shooter. Discussions of powders, loads, bullets, etc.
Todd Birch
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Gardner's Bullet & Cartridge Machine

Post by Todd Birch » Wed May 04, 2011 10:41 am

Always looking for a better way to produce paper rounds, I looked into my copy of "Civil War Bullets & Cartridges" by J.E. Thomas and D.S. Thomas and Lo! - there it was!
The book has a drawing of 'Gardner's Bullet & Cartridge Machine', but it's so small as to be unreadable. So I 'googled' it and got a readable/printable description and drawing.
This has got to be the bee's knees when it comes to producing paper cartridges. All it takes is a custom bullet mould and a press to produce them .... ;>)
The bullet has a flange cast around it, below the grease grooves. The pre-cut paper is wrapped on a mandrel and forced into a die where the flange is compressed against the paper and the base of the bullet - Voila! No tying to a 'ring tail' like the Sharps design and 100% uniformity.

If any of you '63 shooters is so inclined as to make up such a machine, let me know. The article has pics of such a repro machine and discusses the problems associated with production. Then we just have to get a custom cherry cut and we'll be able to produce bullets ...... ;>)
"From birth to the packing house, we travel between the two eternities ....." Robert Duvall in "Broken Trail"

klw
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??

Post by klw » Sun May 08, 2011 11:32 pm

Where, exactly, did you find this? A bookmark would be nice.

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Free_Stater
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Post by Free_Stater » Mon May 09, 2011 9:50 am

This is all I found, but I didn't search very hard or long. This shows the original configuration of the machine.

http://www.baymediapro.com/gardner_machine.pdf
When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.

Todd Birch
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Google it ....

Post by Todd Birch » Mon May 09, 2011 2:29 pm

Like I said at the beginning ..... I 'googled' the title of this posting and got a good explanation, patent drawing and several pics of repro rounds made on the repro machine.
It was essentially the same article I mentioned above, but in more useable format and detail.
"From birth to the packing house, we travel between the two eternities ....." Robert Duvall in "Broken Trail"

Southron Sr.
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Re: Gardner's Bullet & Cartridge Machine

Post by Southron Sr. » Tue May 17, 2011 10:42 pm

A Gardner cartridge would be one way to go.

The first person to come out with a "Consumable" Sharps cartridge made out of clear "plastic" celluloid THAT DIDN'T BOOST CHAMBER PRESSURES THAT MUCH would make a FORTUNE.

The following would have to be done:
(1) An "Inside Lip" at the mouth of the cartridge that would grab and hold the rebated base of the bullet. Loading a cartridge would be as simple as dumping the powder in and popping the lubed bullet in the mouth of the "plastic" celluloid cartridge.

(2) A "Groove" in the REBATED base of the cartridge (Imagine the Extraction Groove found in the Rebated Base of a modern, brass cartridge.) In the event the shooter decided to unload the Sharps before firing it. With such a "Groove" the cartridge could easily be pulled from the chamber with either a fingernail or a knife blade, etc.

Anyone at Shiloh Sharps paying any attention to this thread???

This is your chance to boost profits by selling consumable cartridges to your percussion Sharps customers!

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Free_Stater
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Re: Gardner's Bullet & Cartridge Machine

Post by Free_Stater » Wed May 18, 2011 1:05 am

I doubt there'd be that much of a market for a plastic cartridge. Or rather, the costs of making them would make the cartridges themselves prohibitively expensive. Or you could get a Smith carbine and some of the hard rubber cartridges for it.

Me, I like making mine out of paper. It's a relaxing way to spend time in front of the TV without seeming totally unproductive. :wink:
When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.

Todd Birch
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Re: Gardner's Bullet & Cartridge Machine

Post by Todd Birch » Wed May 18, 2011 10:35 am

Southron Sr.

Ah-yup - buy an archaic, percussion fired, paper cartridge rifle like the '63 Shiloh Sharps and feed it with plastic ammo.
Makes perfect sense - NOT!
Pedersoli has long offered brass chamber inserts for their percussion Sharps and they may or may not be adaptable to the Shiloh rifles.
Rolling your own can be a PITA, but I just sized, trimmed, annealed and case-prepped 300 45-70 brass cases. Took me the better part of two rainy days. A Sharps '59-'63 is not the rifle for a lazy man, the ammo being a major factor and the clean up the biggest deterrent. The bore takes just minutes, but it takes me an hour to clean and reassemble the block using the padded jaws of a bench vise, several screw drivers, nipple wrench, pipe cleaners, Q-tips, etc. No, the latter are not historically correct, so I regard them as 'cotton-on-a-stick'.
I tried cleaning a '63 in the field once and swore 'never again'! I admire Berdan's boys for their dedication in cleaning their rifles under combat conditions.
"From birth to the packing house, we travel between the two eternities ....." Robert Duvall in "Broken Trail"

Southron Sr.
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Re: Gardner's Bullet & Cartridge Machine

Post by Southron Sr. » Tue May 24, 2011 7:05 pm

In the N-SSA we use .58 caliber plastic "Cartridge Tubes" for our Rifle-muskets. Makes loading ammo a snap and much better than spending time wrapping original style paper cartridges.

In addition, the .58 caliber plastic cartridge tubes makes reloading FAST! In Skirmishing "FAST" is EVERYTHING because Skirmishes can be theoretically Won or Lost (the difference between 1st & 2nd Place) by as little as Half-A-Second or even less!

I and a bunch of other Sharps shooters in the N-SSA would buy consumable "plastic" Sharps cartridges and we burn thru a lot of ammo every year. Brass Sharps cases-Forget It, the empty cases would take too long to unload and in the Carbine Team Matches, again everything is FAST!

I have two Smith Carbines but I use my Sharps in team competition because it is more accurate and FASTER to shoot!

Noonanda
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Re: Gardner's Bullet & Cartridge Machine

Post by Noonanda » Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:03 am

Todd Birch wrote:Always looking for a better way to produce paper rounds, I looked into my copy of "Civil War Bullets & Cartridges" by J.E. Thomas and D.S. Thomas and Lo! - there it was!
The book has a drawing of 'Gardner's Bullet & Cartridge Machine', but it's so small as to be unreadable. So I 'googled' it and got a readable/printable description and drawing.
This has got to be the bee's knees when it comes to producing paper cartridges. All it takes is a custom bullet mould and a press to produce them .... ;>)
The bullet has a flange cast around it, below the grease grooves. The pre-cut paper is wrapped on a mandrel and forced into a die where the flange is compressed against the paper and the base of the bullet - Voila! No tying to a 'ring tail' like the Sharps design and 100% uniformity.

If any of you '63 shooters is so inclined as to make up such a machine, let me know. The article has pics of such a repro machine and discusses the problems associated with production. Then we just have to get a custom cherry cut and we'll be able to produce bullets ...... ;>)
I know this is a Necropost from hell and my first post but I found this forum based on a internet search of the Post name. I cannot find any good pictures or measurements of a Un-sized gardner, I have been in contact with Jim Thomas (Deans younger brother) who was able to give me some info on the man who made the mold and machine for Dean Thomas. Im looking to get a mold made, but need better measurements. Do you have the article in a more readable format as the only one I find is the old blurry one?
"You see in this world there's two kinds of people my friend. Those with loaded guns, and those who dig..You Dig"

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. The Marines don't have that problem.”

Todd Birch
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Re: Gardner's Bullet & Cartridge Machine

Post by Todd Birch » Thu Oct 19, 2017 2:47 pm

I can't be of any more help than what I posted originally.

A machine to produce these bullets would have a ready market.
"From birth to the packing house, we travel between the two eternities ....." Robert Duvall in "Broken Trail"

Noonanda
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Re: Gardner's Bullet & Cartridge Machine

Post by Noonanda » Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:14 pm

Gentlemen, Necro-post to the Necropost, and this is a cross post from both NOE and Cast Bullits forums as well as a few facebook sites.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Years ago Dean Thomas had built for him a reproduction of the Confederate Gardner machine. he also had a custom nose pour mold made.

If you are not familiar with it, it had a lead "flange" that as the bullet was formed after casting would cause it to grip the paper that would hold the powder. It was a good idea in theory but the field use showed that it weakened the paper and it would rip where the bullet began spilling powder.

Fast forward to 2 weeks ago, while at a Relic show I found a unformed and formed bullet made from this mold. As both a Civil war Nut, Relic hunter, Black powder shooter, and Bullet caster, I snagged it up as I had been looking for an example to potentially have a mold made.

Is there Anyone else interested in possibly getting a mold made? I will send in these 2 examples for measurements. I will also send in a actual dug Civil war Gardner for original measurements as well.
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"You see in this world there's two kinds of people my friend. Those with loaded guns, and those who dig..You Dig"

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. The Marines don't have that problem.”

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

Re: Gardner's Bullet & Cartridge Machine

Post by Todd Birch » Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:52 pm

What calibre is that ball? My '63s are .50.
"From birth to the packing house, we travel between the two eternities ....." Robert Duvall in "Broken Trail"

Jay Yuskaitis
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Re: Gardner's Bullet & Cartridge Machine

Post by Jay Yuskaitis » Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:13 pm

I guess over the years we've all tried different ways of shooting and cleaning our '63s. I've rolled my own, breach set bullets, then filled the chamber with powder, tried muzzle loading 'em. Finally settled on "Charlies Tubes" a number of years ago. Thank you "Charlie Hahn" for this simple ingenious development of yours. I agree with all you folks on your opinions. Cleaning the bore is easy. The breach block is another story. I love shooting my '63 and will on a good day put 50 t0 75 rounds through it over about a 3 hour stretch. When I get home the agony of the proper cleaning is a good hour as long as all my proper items are in place. No doubt it is time consuming, but enjoyable when all the parts disassemble and reassemble as needed. My '63 is a Farmingdale .54 in about perfect condition for an 1984 built rifle. Fun but Work. Enjoy 'em. Just my own personal opinion. Jay Y.

Todd Birch
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Re: Gardner's Bullet & Cartridge Machine

Post by Todd Birch » Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:39 am

It's a pity that Charlie's tubes don't work for a .50 calibre, only a .54 ring tail.
"From birth to the packing house, we travel between the two eternities ....." Robert Duvall in "Broken Trail"

Buzzard II
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Re: Gardner's Bullet & Cartridge Machine

Post by Buzzard II » Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:37 pm

An old post, but still informative. I, too, would like to see a Gardners machine and mold being offered for sale today. Anyone?
Bob

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